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One Reporter's Opinion @ Scare Tactics of the ACLU

Friday, 30 December 2005 12:00 AM

It is this reporter's opinion that the ACLU and its members obviously do not think the rules of ethics, morality and fairness apply to them. All one has to do is watch their behavior when either the phrases "Under God" or "In God We Trust" or patriotism is involved.

Their endeavors often extend to the ridiculous. Take the recent example of a 17-year-old student in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: Nudged on by the local Civil Liberties Union chapter, he refused to stand while the rest of the class recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. He's now bringing a suit, which the ACLU says is not about the Pledge of Allegiance, but about the right to choose not to stand to recite the Pledge, and they are citing the First and Fourteenth amendments. The kid says, "Patriotism is more than going along with everybody else and saluting a flag; it's about such things as helping hurricane victims."

Now and then we see a glimmer of hope, such as the case of an attorney who once worked for the ACLU and criticizes the organization "for perverting federal law by threatening government officials into getting rid of public expressions of religion."

He is Rees Lloyd, a civil rights attorney and an officer with the American Legion who is supporting the Public Expression of Religion Act (PERA, HR 2679). The bill would prohibit judges in civil suits involving the First Amendment establishment clause from awarding attorneys' fees to those offended by religious symbols or actions in the public square, such as the recent Ten Commandments display in a courthouse.

The bill is put forth by Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., who says some organizations have created a right to be protected from religion, which is found nowhere in the Constitution, nowhere in the Bill of Rights. Hostettler's action was inspired by the case of Judge Roy Moore in Alabama, where the state Supreme Court ordered removal of a Ten Commandments display because it didn't want Alabama taxpayers to have to pay any more than they did ($500,000) to the ACLU, which brought the case.

Rees Lloyd decries "the terrorizing litigation tactics of the ACLU." Says Lloyd: "Not only can the ACLU bring these suits and compel taxpayers to pay them to destroy the public display of our American history and heritage, but so can Islamist terrorists or Islamist sympathizers in our midst. All they have to do is walk into court, make their claim that they are offended by the sight of a cross or other religious symbol and they have a good chance to win their case."

Attorney Lloyd is furious over the San Diego, California, case over a cross on a veterans memorial on public land. "That was one step taken too far," says Lloyd. "For the first time, the ACLU was attacking the very veterans who secured their freedom."

Lloyd worked with the ACLU in the '70s but he now says: "I have parted with them. The ACLU has perverted, distorted, and exploited the civil rights act and has turned it into a 'lawyer enrichment act.'" He says, "The American people are oblivious to how many millions of dollars in taxpayer funds are going to the ACLU each year."

He points out that many attorneys, in cases brought by the ACLU, are volunteers, so the fees the group is awarded normally do not go to reimburse an attorney but rather go directly into the organization's coffers. Lloyd cites case after case in which local governments across the nation have knuckled under to threats of litigation brought by the ACLU.

The ACLU picks a target, usually an organization with little, if any, money. It threatens a lawsuit and brings in volunteer (unpaid) lawyers, and the case becomes an unfair contest. Rather than sustain tremendous court costs, the victim opts for a quick payoff.

Congressman Hostettler says, "When officials see the potential threat of a lawsuit, they stop allowing children to write papers for English class that might be threatened by the ACLU."

Also, you may recall that the ACLU chapter in New Mexico suspended an entire chapter of its local organization because it discovered that a member of the board of directors is leading the state's Minuteman group. The ACLU has suspended the entire chapter. But there still might be hope: Congress is actually now being asked to probe the ACLU.

One can only recall the words of the ACLU's founder, Roger Nash Baldwin, who stated: "We are for socialism, disarmament, ultimately for abolishing the state itself. We seek the social ownership of property, abolition of the propertied class, and sole control of those who produce wealth – COMMUNISM IS THE GOAL." Baldwin has left behind an institution that is fundamentally un-American and subversive to the principles upon which America was founded.

Congressman John Hostettler's Public Expression of Religion Act (PERA, HR 2679) would cut off the attorneys' fees and would stop supporting the terrorist tactics by the ACLU. For years, public officials have been scared to death of ACLU lawsuits. PERA would prohibit damages, court fees and attorneys' fees from going to the plaintiffs while keeping the original purpose of civil rights law.

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It is this reporter's opinion that the ACLU and its members obviously do not think the rules of ethics, morality and fairness apply to them.All one has to do is watch their behavior when either the phrases "Under God" or "In God We Trust" or patriotism is involved. ...
One,Reporter's,Opinion,Scare,Tactics,the,ACLU
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2005-00-30
Friday, 30 December 2005 12:00 AM
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