The brief is here. I agree entirely with the bottom line, and almost entirely with the analysis.
Thanks to Craig Oren for the pointer; a news account asserts that the brief was just filed.
The next time a fellow Christian disparages the ACLU , try answering with something like this: "Sure, they're on the wrong side sometimes, but I thank God for the times when they're right."
Does it ever occur to theists that if indeed God exists he doesn't need the special rights and government establishment his followers keep demanding?
Does it ever occur to theists that if indeed God exists he doesn't need the special rights and government establishment his followers keep demanding? What a weak, puny, impotent God they serve if he can only be kept in business with special government favors and tax breaks.
It's one of more than two dozens examples on my ever growing webpage: The ACLU Fights For Christians
Your page includes this example: "ACLU Argument In Support of the Display of a Christian Cross in a Public Forum". That one refers to a KKK cross. While the government did try to justify itself using the Establishment Clause, calling this 'the ACLU fights for Christians' is rather misleading.
Also, several of these involve Christians versus other Christians. I don't think that quoting these cases really demonstrates that the ACLU "fights for Christians" since they could as easily be characterized as "the ACLU fights against other Christians".
Until the ACLU starts protecting Second Amendment rights, I'll always consider them partisan hacks.
You seem to be requiring the ACLU not just to "fight for Christians", but also to "fight for Christians and against non-Christians". How exactly is that a fair reading of the original claim?
It seems to me that your hidden premise is that there is no such thing as a case in which Christians are fighting against each other, such that one can choose a side and be fighting for some Christians and against other Christians
Until the ACLU starts protecting Second Amendment rights, I'll always consider them partisan hacks
Saying "fights for Christians" does imply that non-Christians are on the other side, because otherwise the conflict, so to speak, is just as susceptible, as has been pointed out, to being read as "fights against Christians." The description must be complete to be truthful, and "fights for Christians" omits a fact that's necessary to make the statement true.
Try being a believer in a public school or university and taking exception to the athiestic views that are taught as "fact."
. . . If I moved to Saudi Arabia, I would expect to be confronted with Islam at every turn, and would be foolish to complain about it. . . .
The point is that it's tiresome to listen to a non-stop barrage of theism day after day after day and any Christian who had to listen to a non-stop barrage of Islam day after day after day would find it tiresome too.
Ok, MixChael222, you unfortunately don't understand a basic, fundamental premise of the Bill of Rights: Under the First Amendment, there can be no such thing as a religious outsider because the government is forbidden to prefer one belief system over another. And that's really what's at issue here: You want the government to prefer yours. So we are back to my original point about Christians demanding special rights.
Thanks for your comment -- that makes great sense to me.
(I am not a lawyer or a law student, just a writer with an occasionally hot head, who'd better get back to work!)
Bored Lawyer, you are right that only state action implicates the First Amendment and not all of my examples were state action (though all of them have the same cumulative psychological effect on those of us who aren't members of the majority faiths). But there are plenty that are state action: public schools, government bodies that open with prayer, government currency that carries theist slogans, all of those are clearly state action.
Now, you can argue, with some plausibility, that I suffer no actual personal harm by carrying dollars in my wallet that say In God We Trust. In fact, I probably have a First Amendment right to cross out the offending words with a black magic marker if I really feel strongly about it. I would respond that you would probably suffer no actual harm if I tapped your telephone lines or read your mail either -- if someone from the Department of Homeland Security wants to listen to my mother tell me on the phone about her aches and pains, why should I care? But a lack of tangible harm isn't the point. The point is that in a free society there are some things government doesn't do, and one of them is making second class citizens out of religious minorities