ACLU Will Not Defend Religious Freedom
Though they’ve positioned themselves as an unbiased organization in favor of civil rights for all Americans, the American Civil Liberties Union has long been accused of courting liberal favor. Time and again, conservatives have watched suspiciously as the ACLU has chosen to pursue cases that buck tradition. And thus it comes as little surprise to listen to their latest announcement.
According to the ACLU’s deputy legal director Louise Melling, the esteemed organization will no longer take religious freedom cases. Writing in the Washington Post, Melling mourns the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of old. When it was used to stick up for Sikhs, Muslims, and Native Americans, it was a damn fine piece of legislation. Now that it is being used by Christians, though, the ACLU is “concerned” that the RFRA could be used to legalize discrimination.
This is, of course, a reaction to the political climate of the day. The Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage has allowed blatant liberals to come out of the closet…so to speak. Now that five justices have used their preternatural wisdom to decide on a new definition of marriage, these individuals and organizations can finally come out and say what they really mean. Christianity is bad, gay is good, now let’s see what other changes we can make to the fabric of the country!
It’s one thing to hear Democrats and liberal bloggers claim that the RFRA is being used as a tool for discrimination, but it’s quite another to see (supposedly) learned legal experts claim the same. What causes less strife? Allowing business owners to decide for themselves which products and services they will sell? Or mandating that anyone and everyone must espouse the progressive agenda on gay marriage? In scenario one, a couple wanting gay pride t-shirts can simply go to another store. In scenario two, business owners, county clerks, and possibly even clergymen will be forced to choose between their beliefs and their livelihoods.
If this was really about discrimination, that would be one thing. But there is no movement to allow business owners to turn gay people away at the door. This is about whether or not those owners should be forced by law to make gay products, participate in gay events, and support the gay agenda. According to…well…common sense, you can’t discriminate against an idea or an event or a message. But according to the new liberal theory, refusing to bake a gay wedding cake is the same as refusing to serve a gay customer.
The ACLU should reconsider their stance on religious freedom. Unlike gay marriage, religious freedom is codified in the Bill of Rights. In fact, it is provided for in the very first of those amendments, indicating perhaps that the Founding Fathers felt it was rather important. It may not be trendy to stick up for religious freedom in 2015 – it may not score you any points at your little liberal meetup at Starbucks – but it is essential to the continued survival of our great American experiment.