25 May 2006

Uncommon Dissonance

Over at Uncommon Descent, DaveScot seems to have forgotten that the theme of the blog is Intelligent Design, and gone off on an anti-ACLU rampage. So far today, he's managed to post three items assaulting ACLU positions.

One isn't really worth mentioning - it's just a link to "stoptheaclu.com." That site is mostly focused, at least right now, on promoting efforts that are currently underway in the House of Representatives to prohibit courts from awarding legal fees in Establishment Clause cases. This is intended, apparently, to make it possible for local communities to violate the first ammendment without running the risk of having to pay as much if they are sued and lose.

The second is a copy of a First Ammendment Center press release about the ACLU recently forcing some high schools to exclude prayers from their graduation proceedings. (Appearently, the students at one of the schools decided that their classmates' rights weren't worth respecting no matter what the courts said.) For an interesting perspecive on the problems with prayer at major public events, I'd encourage people to take a look at this article at WorldNetDaily - a site that I usually don't endorse.

The third is an article about a lawsuit that the ACLU just filed in Kentucky on behalf of a supporter of Westboro Baptist Church. For those of you not familiar with that wonderful religious institution, those are the "God Hates Fags" folks. Recently, they've taken to protesting at the funerals of troops killed in Iraq, carying signs that say things like, "Thank God for IEDs," to promote their claims that the deaths of the troops are god's punishment because the US tolerates homosexuality. Kentucky recently passed a law intended to stop the Westboro assholes from protesting at the funerals. The law bans any protest activity of any kind, whether disruptive or not, whether spoken or written, that takes place within eye or earshot of the funeral, or within 100 yards of the funeral, unless they have the family's consent. (See here for the ACLU's complaint.) The ACLU's argument in this case, and as much as I despise Westboro and everything they stand for I think the ACLU is right, is that the law is extrordinarily overbroad and an unconstitutional restriction on free speech and expression. As an aside, I have to wonder if DaveScot and the rest of the wingnut community would have been so pissed at the ACLU if this had happened as the result of the protests Westboro Baptist used to run at funerals for AIDS victims.

What I really love about DaveScot's complaints, though, is this: when he was running around trying to defend his idiocy in falling for a well-known anti-ACLU scam, he said:
The ACLU has certainly stood against prayer in public school even if led by students in extra-curricular settings like graduation ceremonies and football games. There is not one iota of doubt in my mind that the ACLU would love to do the same thing to prayer in the military. Prayers led by commissioned and non-commissioned officers in the Corps are common. The military builds and maintains chapels on military bases. They employ religious clerics whose job is spiritual counseling and leading worship services. Anyone that thinks the ACLU wouldn’t stand against that if they could get away with it needs their head examined. They simply know the American public wouldn’t tolerate it and the ACLU would be so harmed they might never recover as an organization. So they bite their anti-religious tongues in the interest of self-preservation.
Gotta love it.
The ACLU is defending Westboro Baptist, which DaveScot refers to as "vile" (proving, I suppose, that the old adage about a stopped clock might just be right). The ACLU has defended in the past the free expression rights of Nazis and the KKK. But they won't take on military chaplains, he says, becuase it would be too unpopular.

Somebody needs to buy DaveScot a clue, because he's in desparate need of one and obviously can't afford it himself. If there is one thing that the ACLU has proven, time and time again, it is that they do not care how unpopular the cause. If they think that someone's rights are being violated, they'll take on the cause no matter how scummy, sleazy, dishonest, repulsive, or reviled the plaintiff might be. Hell, they've even come to the aid of Rush Limbaugh. If that doesn't prove it, I don't know what will.
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