ACLU: We’re only interested in protecting some civil rights
Enter the American Civil Liberties Union. There was a time when the ACLU was an organization that took on government overreach in an attempt to protect the civil liberties of ordinary Americans in spite of how unpopular it was to do so. Those days seem to be behind us.
The organization that once went to court to ensure that the American Nazi Party could parade through Skokie, Illinois in an exercise of free speech no longer wants to support the exercise of religion guaranteed in the same First Amendment. The ACLU’s deputy legal director published the organization’s backpedaling from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act the day before the Obergefell decision that will make it even more critical. If it’s not being used to help Muslims in prison and Native Americans in unemployment insurance, writes Louise Melling, just skip it:
The ACLU supported the RFRA’s passage at the time because it didn’t believe the Constitution, as newly interpreted by the Supreme Court, would protect people such as Iknoor Singh, whose religious expression does not harm anyone else. But we can no longer support the law in its current form. For more than 15 years, we have been concerned about how the RFRA could be used to discriminate against others. As the events of the past couple of years amply illustrate, our fears were well-founded. While the RFRA may serve as a shield to protect Singh, it is now often used as a sword to discriminate against women, gay and transgender people and others. Efforts of this nature will likely only increase should the Supreme Court rule — as is expected — that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.
…Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others.
Anyone with half a brain and an ounce of objectivity could see this sort of thing coming a mile away. The current climate seems to be less about equality and more about pushing an ideology. After all, true equality would be the state treating everyone equally by getting out of the marriage business altogether while also protecting the rights of everyone – including those who choose not to condone certain marriages or participate in certain weddings. But we’re not doing either of those things. In fact, we’re doing the opposite. We’re increasing government’s hand in marriage while also coercing conscientious objectors to do something that violates their beliefs.
At the end of the excerpted piece, the ACLU says that “religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others.”
This statement could not be more contradictory.
First of all, liberty (religious or otherwise) does most certainly include the right of an individual to choose with whom they would like to engage in various activities. The ACLU may not like it, but it’s the truth. Coercing someone to enter into a contract or work against their will is quite the opposite of liberty, by definition.
But they follow this up with the statement that people shouldn’t be able to impose their views on others. This is interesting seeing as how this is exactly what they’re defending by telling Christian bakers that they must bake a cake. And therein lies the contradiction. They are defending gay people who impose their views on bakers (or photographers, etc). The ACLU isn’t standing up for rights or liberty here. They have simply chosen an ideology and are sticking with it.