In some circles it is currently considered cool to bash the ACLU and to pretend that they are a dangerous organization. These people will cite chapter and verse about all of the many ways in which they allege the ACLU is hurting America, but they rarely discuss the benefits that the organization brings or why it is advantageous to continue a system of checks and balances.
They have a very narrow definition of what civil liberties are and like to run amok like chicken little screaming about how their own are impinged upon. Oftentimes the liberties that they claim are being infringed upon are those that are constitutionally illegal.
Kesher Talk has a very important post that describes how they have gone overboard. Here is a big chunk of that post.
“Once in a while I am reminded of why I insist on calling myself a liberal hawk. I mean “classical liberal values”, which is increasingly not what “liberal” means anymore, and why I am no longer a member of the ACLU. I support their original mission (just as I supported Amnesty International’s original mission), but every organization is susceptible to mission creep and bias.
But, while some conservatives also believe in a strict interpretation of the Establishment Clause, on this issue the label “liberal” still fits me the best, and here I make common cause with many fellow Jews with whom I disagree on the Iraq War, the 2nd Amendment, and many other issues.
The Stop the ACLU Coalition exemplifies the kind of conservative who makes me call myself a liberal. Its latest project is called “Expose the ACLU Plaintiff,” and yes, it’s just what you think it is.
When an individual, group or even church (yes, there are churches that support the ACLU) is using the ACLU (or similar groups like Americans United, People for the (Anti) American Way, Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Atheists) to facilitate removal of a cross, the 10 Commandments or other religious symbols or the ceasing of prayer from a school or government entity, we want the community to know about it.
The proud first use of this campaign, on March 6th of this year, was to harass the Dobrich family, formerly of Indian River, DE. The Dobriches moved to Wilmington to escape threats from their neighbors, because they were one of two families (the other choosing anonymity) to challenge pervasive bias at their children’s school. (More background here.) Patriot Boy – among many bloggers who jumped on this story – has a screen shot of the original post. (Scroll down to the middle of Patriot Boy’s post.)
(Here’s the current page. The proprietor Nedd Kareiva says he made “some minor corrections” to the page (i.e. removing the Dobrich family’s street address and phone number) “not as a direct result of your e-mails but because I believe it was the right thing to do. However, there will be no more changes.”)
Other bloggers who don’t show the best face of conservatism are rallying around Nedd. Jay of the Stop the ACLU blog wants you to know that it is a separate entity from the Stop the ACLU Coalition. But he doesn’t disapprove of Nedd’s campaign:
. . . we reject any and all race/religion/ethnicity-based personal attacks on anyone, with special protection due children. Second, we reject physical violence on individuals and incitement of the same.
But he doesn’t reject the tactic of revealing people’s personal information; about Nedd in particular he only says:
We support each others main cause of exposing the dangerous agenda of the ACLU, but obviously use different methods. I canâ€™t control what Nedd does, and he doesnâ€™t control what I do.”
Sometimes logic escapes them.