The ACLU’s war with God

by | December 29, 2004 12:00 am

Bobby Beecher

Everyone knows that the Christmas season is the busiest time of the year. But nobody knows that better than the lawyers who work for the American Civil Liberties Union.

After all, Christmas is when the ACLU’s legal gadflies take aim at all those pernicious public Nativity scenes. Indeed, given the zeal with which these uncivil libertarians attack every crèche in the country, one might think that plastic figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were capable of coming to life while we sleep to tunnel under the wall that supposedly separates church and state.

Despite the group’s propaganda, the ACLU’s constitutional vigilantes aren’t true libertarians. They’re leftist partisans and anti-religious bigots. And they won’t rest until they’ve transformed Christmas into some kind of secular “Winterfest.”

But this year the guardians of godlessness have abandoned the “little town of Bethlehem” to wage perhaps a bigger war with the little town of Dover, Pennsylvania. For the ACLU’s goal there isn’t simply chasing the Son of God from the Town Square, it’s removing the Hand of God from public school classrooms.

Last October, the Dover Area School District decreed that the theory of “intelligent design” must be taught alongside the theory of evolution in ninth-grade biology classes. Intelligent design is similar to “creationism” in that it posits a theistic alternative to Darwinism, or the theory that life on Earth is the result of “natural selection” and “random mutations” that take place over a period of millions or even billions of years.

Charles Darwin’s views on the origin of species weren’t etched in stone and delivered to the faithful from the summit of Mt. Sinai, but they could have been, at least as far as the true believers of the ACLU are concerned. They treat proponents of intelligent design and creationism the way Moses treated the votaries of the Golden Calf.

That’s why the ACLU’s legal legions are marching on the hapless hamlet of Dover. Heretics must be dealt with swiftly and severely. And that requires dragging the taxpayers of the Dover Area School District into court.

ACLU strategists know that Americans overwhelmingly reject their anti-theistic worldview. They’re reminded of this unpleasant reality every time one of their “card-carrying members” is defeated at the ballot box. But if the democratic process doesn’t naturally select ACLU members or causes, the divinities that preside over the national judiciary are more sympathetic. Hence the ACLU’s decision to sue the Dover school board in federal court.

If the ACLU really cared about protecting our constitutional way of life, no thoughtful conservative would oppose it. But the citizens of a tiny town in Pennsylvania, who have the natural right as parents to determine what their kids are taught in school, do not pose a threat to the Constitution.

And the leaders of the ACLU know it. But these same leaders are arrogant elitists, who believe ordinary Americans are too stupid to know what’s best for themselves and their children. And, worse still, they’re hypocrites, who preach openness and tolerance for their pet groups and ideas but (as the Dover case reveals) practice censorship and intolerance when their secularist agenda is threatened.

The ACLU claims that the theory of intelligent design is nonsense, a fundamentalist subterfuge the purpose of which is to sneak God back into the classroom. But a spokesman for the Dover school board said that officials “would monitor the lessons to make sure no one is promoting but also not inhibiting religion.”

Most Americans would say the Dover plan represents a reasonable balance between church and state, the kind of equilibrium the Founders had in mind when they added the “establishment clause” to the First Amendment. Perhaps someone should show the ACLU’s legal luminaries a copy of the Bill of Rights. –

Bobby Beecher is our regular guest columnist. He can be reached at bobbybeecher@hotmail.com

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