Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Alliance Defense Fund: Fighting the Good Fight

I often post about STOP the ACLU, and repost alot of their stuff. This week, I want to focus on an organization that I learned about from the fine folks at STACLU. The Alliance Defense Fund is kind of an ACLU for people of faith, who choose to express it openly. Apparently, the ACLU is often an opponent of religious civil liberties; the ADF is there to oppose them, as well as some like-minded activists in the bureaucracy and judiciary. Here's a roundup of some of their latest cases, so you can get an idea of where they stand:

5th Circuit upholds parental rights victory for Texas teacher

Teacher represented by ADF ally denied promotion after declining to move her children from private religious school to public school

ADF attorney available to the media following hearing on Ga. man jailed for handing out religious literature

Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman will be available to answer questions from the media following a hearing Wednesday in the case Baumann v. City of Cumming. The case involves a Christian man, Fredric Baumann, whom Cumming police arrested in April for handing out religious literature on a public sidewalk, using the city’s "parade ordinance" as justification for the arrest.

6th Circuit rules in favor of Boyd County student, reinstates free speech case

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have succeeded in their appeal of a federal judge’s decision against a Boyd County, Ky., student. A former school district policy prohibited the student from saying to other students that homosexual behavior is wrong. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Friday reversed a ruling in favor of the school district and sent the case back to trial.

ADF attorney sends invocation policies to help Penn. Senate and Akron officials who want to pray

The Alliance Defense Fund has sent letters to the Pennsylvania Senate and city officials in Akron, Ohio, offering legal information to both on the constitutionality of opening public meetings with an invocation. In recent weeks, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has threatened both of those governmental bodies and countless others nationwide with legal action because the officials begin their meetings in the traditional manner.

Earlier this month, after receiving similar information and offers of support from ADF, the Ohio House of Representatives reversed its previous decision to censor legislative prayers. A growing number of public bodies across the country are now adopting tailored versions of ADF’s model prayer policy for their own local use.

These are not cases the ACLU has "found the time for," to be polite. In fact, my buddy Glib Fortuna over at STACLU skewers their amazing claim that a "Federal Court Agrees with ACLU: Schools Can Protect Both Gay Students and Religious Speech." Here's the relevant part of the ACLU press release:

The case decided today was brought in 2005 by an anti-gay legal organization, which claimed that the training and policy violated the religious freedom and free speech rights of students who are opposed to it. The ACLU, representing former student plaintiffs in its original case, joined the lawsuit to help defend the school's ability to conduct the training and to support all students' free speech rights.

To this, Glib says:

Sounds like the ACLU was in the right on this one…that is until you know how the school came to institute a tyrannical program in the first place. No, this isn’t what the ACLU "was saying all along."

The ACLU filed suit against this school several years ago on behalf of students who wanted to form a "Gay-Straight Alliance" club. The ACLU argument for this type of sodomy-promotion club are constitutionally sound on Equal Access grounds (though, natch, the ACLU has argued against a Christian club being permitted using the opposite argument in a case currently at the 9th Circuit), but that isn’t the problem. The ACLU claimed that because "anti-gay harrassment" was "widespread" at the school (charges that were completely inflated, but this rural school district was being attacked by the ACLU, so of course it did what it was told), part of letting the scared-shirtless district off the hook would be the implementation of the very policies and program the ACLU is claiming the federal court "agreed" with it about!

He continues:

In 2005, the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against the school for enforcing the policies the ACLU demanded. No doubt the ACLU would agree with the manner and course of the implementation of these policies had ADF not filed suit to protect the rights of students constitutionally-vicitmized by the ACLU-inspired speech suppression, but the ACLU had to cover its 6 once ADF smoked this thing out. Not only was this "tolerance training" mandatory (students would be penalized academically for refusing to attend, even if their parents excused them), students were not even permitted to voice an opposing viewpoint! The ACLU is claiming that the school went too far, but who really believes the ACLU would have jumped in had it not been for the ADF which exposed the program the ACLU demanded and surely had to know how it was being run.

Of course the infantile ACLU can’t resist name-calling in its press release. Instead of acknowledging ADF’s stand for the First Amendment in a case the ACLU surely would not have brought itself, it instead refers to an "anti-gay legal organization." Hey ACLU, do you mean that same group that is cleaning your clock in courts all across the country over and over again.

Here's an excerpt from the WND story linked in Glib's post, though I recommend reading the entire article:

The ACLU's support of a legal precedent used to gain recognition of a student homosexual group has reversed now that the ruling is being used to back the rights of a Christian club on campus, claims a public-interest law firm.

The "public interest law firm" is the ADF, and consider me an admirer. All it takes is "secular" people of all faiths to look away, and those who profess their beliefs in their lives become open to discrimination, in many ways. Christians may be a majority, but Christian beliefs are being excised from the "public square" in clearly unconstitutional ways. The ADF is fighting this trend, with amazing success.

Full disclosure: They linked to my blog, the last time I did an ADF roundup. It was quite some time ago, and I'm not expecting one now. I just like them.

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