Monday, August 14, 2006

ACLU vs Christianity

Last year during Hurricane Katrina, 129 residents of Louisiana's St. Bernard Parish were killed. The Parish is erecting a memorial which will be dedicated on August 29 on the first anniversary of the deaths. The memorial includes a stainless steel cross with the face of Jesus. Obviously the ACLU objects.
So what is the basis of their objection? Are public funds paying for the cross? No, it is privately funded. Is it being built on public land? Again, no, it is being built on private land. So what could they possibly object to? It will be visible from a public waterway, specifically the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet which is blamed for much of the devastation in New Orleans.
The ACLU also says that, since the Parish government approved putting up some kind of memorial and the memorial later chosen is religious, it violates the ban on government endorsement of religion.
The ACLU is worried that an unsuspecting non-Christian will be travelling thought the MRGO, look up and see a 13 foot cross on private land and feel government pressure to switch to Christianity.
This article has a few choice quotes.
[...] parish President Henry 'Junior' Rodriguez had a simple reply to the assertion: 'They can kiss my ass.'

[...]ACLU Louisiana Executive Director Joe Cook said the Parish Council approved the monument and was therefore sanctioning a religious symbol.

Of Rodriguez`s quip, Cook said he`d prefer if Rodriguez 'would kiss the Constitution.'

While the ACLU likes to make use of the Constitution, they do not actually believe in it. They have defined their own standards of civil liberties. One of these is freedom from any reminders of Christianity. Clearly, if there is no government money or land involved then the government should stay neutral. Instead, the ACLU wants to government to intervene to stop a religious monument from being erected.
Somehow the irony of trying to use the Constitution to suppress private observance of religion escapes the ACLU.

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