Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
"the ACLU wants to defend the rights of the terrorists"

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]deridetenebras)

The president of a Christian activist organization is among a growing number of citizens who are saying it is about time for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to stop trying to put criminals' rights above the rights of American citizens.

Last week police in New York City conducted random searches of subway riders after authorities received word of an alleged terror plot. An October 9 Associated Press report said a Department of Homeland Security memo had warned that a team of terrorists may have traveled to New York to carry out an attack on or around Sunday.

The memo noted that FBI and Homeland Security officials harbored some doubts about the credibility of the threat. However, as U.S. military forces interrogated three terror suspects in Iraq, New York officials became increasingly confident about their decision to err on the side of caution and step up patrols and bag searches in the city's subways.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has commended Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other New York officials, saying he respects their judgment and considers their precautious "absolutely appropriate." But just this past summer, the city officials may well have felt chastised for taking such careful counter-terrorism measures when the ACLU sued the City of New York, arguing that it had violated the rights of subway passengers by doing random searches.

Don Swarthout, president of the Kentucky-based group Christians Reviving America's ValuEs (CRAVE), believes the ACLU is not looking out for the civil rights of average U.S. citizens when it does things like bringing this suit against New York, or attacking expressions of religious faith in the public square, or trying to squelch acknowledgement of America's Judeo-Christian religious heritage.

"It seems to me that we need to get back to some good, simple, straightforward thinking," Swarthout says. "These civil rights issues -- like whether or not you can hang the Ten Commandments in the court, or whatever -- have gotten to where the argument is so perverted that common sense is just completely thrown to the wind, and even the law has been thrown to the wind."

With this recent legal attack against New York officials' security efforts, Swarthout feels the ACLU's actions may actually be dangerous to the citizens of the city. "Now here is this threat that apparently is real enough that they're spending all kinds of money to try to prevent a bombing in an American city once again," he says, "and the ACLU wants to defend the rights of the terrorists."

Citizens Call on Congress to Reign In ACLU
Apparently, Swarthout says, members of the so-called civil liberties organization "really are not so concerned about the rights of the law-abiding citizens." He has drafted a letter to Congress asking U.S. lawmakers to investigate the ACLU's policies and true intentions, and to look into the group's "widespread use of frivolous lawsuits" following its legal action against New York City.

Meanwhile, a petition drive spearheaded by the Center for Reclaiming America is mobilizing more than 100,000 Americans to urge Congress to pass a bill to curb the ACLU by denying plaintiff attorneys the right to collect attorney fees in lawsuits that target religion in the public square. The petition in support of legislation by Representative John Hostettler (Rep.-Indiana) calls for "a stand against the ACLU's radical agenda, which undermines our nation's moral and religious heritage."

Congressman Hostettler's bill would amend the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Act of 1976 to prohibit prevailing parties from being awarded attorney's fees in religious establishment cases, but not in other civil rights filings. The congressman introduced a bill with identical language in 2003 to deny attorney fees and permit only injunctive relief in cases filed under the Constitution's religious-establishment clause.

Although that bill failed in subcommittee, supporters are hopeful that the current legislation will pass this session because of the more conservative makeup of the current Congress, as well as escalating calls to curb activist judges, particularly on matters of religion.