Friday, November 18, 2005

Leave Me Out of This!

The latest anti-ACLU attack is out. Some folks, like Eugene Volokh, are getting all upset-like because the press release compares the ACLU to terrorists and the KKK. And yes, that is a rather nasty thing to do, so even sympathetic organizations should disassociate themselves from the message.

However, because this is me, I'm going to lodge my own separate protest. Here's an excerpt from the start of the release:
The Reverends Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) and Patrick J. Mahoney will visit ACLU headquarters today to hand-deliver more than 20,000 petitions demanding that the left-leaning liberal attack group back off of terrorizing communities and individuals who seek to affirm America's Judeo-Christian values.

Regular readers know where I'm going with this...


Maybe, maybe, you can plausibly claim to represent Christian values. I don't know, that's your religion, not mine. But don't drag my religion into your political advocacy. I'll bet money that these activists don't have the foggiest clue about traditional Jewish ethical teachings on the issues they care about. And I'll bet twice that amount that the "10 commandments" that the ACLU sued over was the Protestant version of them, not the Jewish (or Catholic, for that matter) translation.

The obnoxious thing is that the press release itself is titled "Christian Activists to Hand-Deliver Letters Demanding ACLU Back Off." Well gee, where did all the Jews go? It's dishonest and disingenuous to claim to represent people that you don't, and by and large Jews aren't and never have been part of this coalition. Really, I can accept that Christianity has been hijacked by its extreme right elements--tragic, maybe, but there you go. But the vast majority of Jews, as represented by our religious and political organizations, are steadfastly opposed to the imposition of Christianity into our public school curriculum. And remembering the long history of Christians murdering, oppressing, and harassing Jews throughout the past millennia or so, the separation of Christianity and government has been a great victory for the "Judeo" part of the tradition at least. Which may explain why Jews overwhelmingly support the ACLU and it's project. For us, it's quite literally life or death.


Anonymous said...

Eh, I just found the website interesting and wanted to put it out there for everyone else to decide. That's all.

Jack Davis said...

Excellent post. I, too, am concerned about the influence of the religious right and its extreme agenda. I don't want Jewish (or atheist or Hindu, for that matter) children forced to recite Christian prayers in public school. I don't agree with the ACLU on many issues but on this one they're right. Thank you.

The probligo said...

A small part of the NZ education curriculum back in the 1950's was one session a fortnight (about 40 minutes) set aside for "Religious Studies".

Now if I recollect, it was not difficult to join the "other class" in writing an essay or whatever. But being the Headmaster's son meant "setting an example", so I had to sit through every week the local Minister of whatever flavour (I don't think that the Catholics ever got involved) mumble his way through the forty minutes.

I don't think that experience had the effect of making me any more or less atheist than I am. I do not think that I am any more than "ordinary". I do not think that any ordinary person would be unduly affected by having that indoctrination inflicted upon them.

Or is it that Americans are so insecure in both everyday life and their beliefs that they are totally unable to listen, and objectively assess the validity of another faith without the fear of being polluted by it.

Mind you, I suspect that Americans could be that insecure. It would explain their unstinting, and almost unthinking, willingness to believe everything that they are told by their leaders...

Oppps....did I say that??

Stacy said...

As a christian, I can assure you they dont represent my values.