Posts Tagged ‘American Civil Liberties Union’

It’s been an eventful week at the intersection of parenting and politics, that busy corner where decision-making often is affected by the onslaught of traffic from social engineers, liberal educators, public health experts, and civil rights activists who know better than parents what’s best for their kids.

Several news stories seem to indicate that America’s moms and dads are losing ground in the effort to raise their children as they see fit. To wit:

In Rhode Island, the Cranston school district announced it was banning father-daughter and mother-son events because a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union indicated they violate state law. The civil rights group filed on behalf of a single mother who said her daughter suffered discrimination because she doesn’t have a daddy with whom she can attend the daddy-daughter dance.

“This is 2012 and [public schools] should not be in the business of fostering blatant gender stereotypes,” Steven Brown of the Rhode Island ACLU was reported to have said.

Take that, parents.

In nearby New York City, the public school system quietly launched a pilot program in 13 schools called CATCH, or Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Healthcare. This progressive health care initiative has schools distributing abortifacient drugs — also known as “morning-after pills” — along with the free condoms they already hand out to any student who wants them, no questions asked.

Parents learned of the program through a letter advising them they could opt their students out of the program.

According to an article at, Deborah Kaplan, assistant commissioner at the city health department’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health, said, “We wanted to make sure young people who are sexually active have easy access to contraceptive services and general reproductive health services.”

This is because, Ms. Kaplan said, “In any given year, there are about 7,000 pregnancies to girls ages 15 to 17 in New York City, about 90 percent of those are unintended.”

Obviously, since NYPS is trying to solve such a serious problem, undermining the rights of parents to know about the prescriptions their children are taking is not relevant.

Meanwhile, in faraway La Porte, Texas, stay-at-home mom Tammy Cooper was arrested and held in jail for 18 hours overnight for neglectful parenting based on the complaint of a neighbor. Ms. Cooper’s children had been riding motorized scooters in front of their home (situated on a cul-de-sac). She claims to have been watching them from a lawn chair.

Charges against Ms. Cooper were dropped. Not surprisingly, she is suing the city’s police department, the arresting officers and her neighbor.

What do these seemingly unrelated stories have in common? If, like me, you read the news for evidence of eroding parental authority, quite a lot.

The rights of parents to engage in activities they choose for their children, such as a daddy-daughter dance, are under attack by the purveyors of politically correct social policy. Now, an ACLU lawyer is deciding what traditions — or as he calls them, “gender stereotypes” — may be permitted for other people’s children.

(Good luck to the parents who came together to ask the school board to recommend a change in state law that will allow a daddy-daughter dance exception to anti-discrimination statutes.)

The rights of parents to even know about the medical care being administered to their minor children are completely undone in New York and other states, where “reproductive rights” for teens and preteens now trump the rights of parents.

And that’s not to mention the rights of parents to impart their moral and religious values in raising their children, some of which would influence their decisions with respect to contraception and morning-after pills.

Heck, even the right of a mom to decide when and where it is safe for her children to play with certain toys is abridged in America in 2012.

Though, if anyone can stand up for her rights, I’d put my money on a Texas mom named Tammy.

You know what they say: “Don’t mess with Texas.”

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left’s Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).

It may not be a union many would envision, but the American Civil  Liberties Union has sided with fast-food giant Chick-fil-A after the company  came under intense opposition because of statements made by its president  supporting traditional marriage.

Key elected leaders in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston have said they would  oppose and even block future Chick-fil-A stores from opening in their  communities.

Former White House chief-of-staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel  chimed in earlier this week after a city alderman suggested they block  Chick-fil-A from expanding into his district. “Their values aren’t reflective of  our city,” said Emanuel, who has long been a supporter of same-sex marriage.

At present, there is only one Chick-fil-A within the city limits of  Chicago.

However, legal experts maintain that elected city officials have no solid  grounds to block a business from setting up shop because of company executives’  personal views. An attorney for the ACLU, a group that supports same-sex  marriage, weighed in on the issue by saying one cannot reject an application for  a permit simply because of someone’s words or opinions.

“The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against  customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their  words,” Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of  Illinois, told Fox News. “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open  because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the  government is practicing viewpoint discrimination.”

Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley also agreed with the ACLU, saying  there were “serious” constitutional concerns over banning businesses over their  statements of beliefs.

“It’s also a very slippery slope,” said Turley on Fox News. “If a city  council started to punish companies because of the viewpoints of their chief  operating officers, that would become a very long list of banned companies.”

On Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood up for Chick-fil-A’s  right to build where it sees fit. Addressing proposals for a ban by other city  CEOs, Bloomberg said it was “not going to happen.”

“I disagree with them really strongly on this one,” Bloomberg said during an  appearance on the John Gambling radio show. “You can’t have a test for what the  owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in  the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs  before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job.”

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was the first mayor to suggest that Chick-fil-A  could not build in his city, even going as far as penning a terse letter to  Chic-fil-A President Dan Cathy saying, “There is no place for discrimination on  Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.

Menino later backtracked and admitted that neither he nor his city would deny  the restaurant the necessary permits to build in Boston.

This is why we need to vote Obama out of office!  He is not good for America!  He does not value our belief in God, and does whatever he can to get God out of the hearts and minds of people, in whatever way he can.  What’s wrong with the Ten Commandments?? They are the word of God, moral compasses of the way we should all be living, and I do not understand why anyone thinks they have the right to change what our Creator wrote! (trinityspeaks)

When Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States” we could not have anticipated the extreme transformations he would seek. The evidence is rolling in that he is determined to transform America into a totally secular land where religion is permitted only within the walls of a church and is banned in every public place, public gathering and public school.


Obama tipped us off to his animosity toward religious Americans when, campaigning in San Francisco in 2008, he insulted religious people in small towns. He said, they “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

In April 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Georgetown University, only after his staff had pressured the Catholic college to conceal the monogram for the name of Jesus that was always displayed above the podium. In May 2009, he cancelled the traditional White House event honoring the National Day of Prayer, saying that he would pray only in private.

Obama began censoring religious words out of important American documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, from which he many times deleted the word “Creator.” In a November 2010, speech, Obama pretended to quote the U.S. national motto, “In God We Trust,” but he changed it to “e pluribus unum” (out of many, one).

When Obama gave the traditional Presidential Thanksgiving Day address in 2011, it’s not clear whom he was thanking on this uniquely American holiday, but it was not God.

Barack Obama is trying to morph our traditional religious liberty to the lesser scope of freedom of worship. That means worship only inside a church, or maybe a synagogue, but not any public affirmation of belief in God.

In July 2011, Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs banned any mention of Jesus Christ during burials at Houston National Cemetery. The ban was lifted only after hundreds of demonstrators protested.

In September 2011, the U.S. Army revised guidelines for Walter Reed Hospital to read: “No religious items (i.e., Bibles, reading materials…) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” The hospital rescinded this policy only after Congressman Steve King, R-Iowa, reported it to the House of Representatives.

In February 2012, the Air Force removed the Latin word for God, Dei, from the logo of the Rapid Capabilities Office, and it was also removed the Latin motto, which means “Doing God’s Work With Other People’s Money.” The new logo says, “Doing Miracles with Other People’s Money.”

Also in February 2012, the U.S. Army warned Catholic chaplains not to read from an archbishop’s letter opposing the Obama administration’s mandate that all employers, including religious hospitals, schools and colleges, must pay for abortifacients drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations for their employees. People were shocked by the military order telling chaplains what they cannot say to members of their own faith during a religious service.

A prime example of Obama’s hostility to religion is the Supreme Court case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, in which the Obama administration challenged the longtime religious exemption that prevents politicians from controlling the hiring and firing of employees of religious institutions. The church had fired one of its minister/teachers, and she sued to get her job back.

With the help of Obama’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, this case got up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Obama’s lawyer made the astonishing argument that the federal government could force the Lutheran church to rehire her, but the Obama administration’s case was so ludicrous that in January 2012 it lost 9 to 0.

Obama’s first judicial appointment, David Hamilton, had worked for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now as a fundraiser, as vice president for litigation for Indiana’s American Civil Liberties Union branch and was known for blocking pro-life and pro-decency laws. Even the left-leaning American Bar Association called him “not qualified.”

Hamilton was most noteworthy as a district court judge for striking down a prayer in 2005 used in the Indiana Legislature that mentioned Jesus Christ and ordering the Indiana Legislature to “refrain from using Christ’s name or title or any other denominational appeal.” At the same time, Hamilton stated that it is permissible for the Legislature to use the word “Allah.”

After that, President Obama promoted David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Another ACLU-type judicial appointment made by President Obama was federal Judge Michael Urbanski. He suggested in court that the Ten Commandments be censored down to six commandments in order to make the posting of the commandments legal under the First Amendment.

Barack Obama has a record of hostility to religion that we have never before seen in any American president.

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly  is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.

God Almighty needs an editor, according to a federal judge in Virginia. At least, He does when the Ten Commandments are on government property.

The ACLU had sued the Giles County district for posting the Ten Commandments in its public schools, and U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski sent the case on Monday to mediation, suggesting a compromise: deleting the first four commandments. Here’s the short version of those:

1. I am the LORD your God. You shall have no other gods before me.

2. You shall not worship idols, for I am the LORD your God.

3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

An Obama appointee, Judge Urbanski also issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of the ACLU in February prohibiting the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors from “invoking the name of a specific deity associated with any one specific faith or belief in prayers given at Board meetings.” No word yet on how much this ticked off the local Hittites and voodoo priests.

It’s all part of the campaign for “religious equality,” in which atheism and tree worship are considered equal (or superior) to the nation’s founding faith. The only surprise Monday was that the ACLU didn’t immediately object to leaving intact the commandment against adultery.

Among the items displayed alongside the Ten Commandments at Narrows High School are the Declaration of Independence, the Mayflower Compact, the Magna Carta, the words to the Star-Spangled Banner, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Since none of the other 10 documents is being challenged, it’s obvious that the Ten Commandments are offensive solely because they are religious in origination, and remind people of America’s dominant faiths, Christianity and Judaism.  In a brief filed on behalf of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the ACLU says the presence of the Decalogue violates the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.

For 10 years, the Ten Commandments had been posted in a frame in each of the public schools of Giles County. They were gifts to the schools from a local pastor, who thought they would be a good addition in the wake of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado in 1999.

The displays were not a problem until December 8, 2010, when the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the superintendent demanding that the displays be removed after a single complaint by a student and the student’s parent.

The schools tried a variety of solutions, including replacing the Ten Commandments with a copy of the Declaration of Independence. This didn’t sit well with many in the community. On Jan. 11, 2011, a meeting was held with about 200 people, including pastors, and a short time later, the school board voted to reinstall the displays.

The Commandments were re-posted, and then taken down again upon the advice of counsel. A local attorney proposed a display that would include the Decalogue in a historic exhibit about Western foundational law and government.

It’s unclear whether the ACLU will accept the judge’s offered compromise, since the six remaining commandments came from the God Who is not supposed to be mentioned on government property, even though it’s part of the universe that He created.

“We intend to show that the School Board cannot simply shroud its religious purpose for posting the Ten Commandments by surrounding it with historical documents,” said ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg.

The ACLU’s press release notes that “The Ten Commandments are posted on a main hallway at the high school, near the trophy case and on the way to the cafeteria, where it is seen by students every day.”

If that’s not enough for a sensitive, easily offended student to lose his or her lunch, what is?

According to Liberty Counsel, which is representing the school district, “The Virginia Standards of Learning requires students to know about the foundational principles of civilizations, including the Hebrews, and the foundations of law and government. Secular textbooks published by Prentice Hall and McGraw-Hill trace the roots of democracy and law and specifically refer to the Ten Commandments and many of the documents posted as part of the Foundations Display.”

To the ACLU, the other documents are fig leaves:

“Given the history of the School Board’s Ten Commandments displays, any alleged secular purpose for the current displays are [sic], and will be perceived as, a sham. The displays were erected with the primary aim of advancing religion.”


It’s a warped reversal of the ACLU’s logic back when they argued that fig leaves like Hugh Hefner’s hedonistic “Playboy Philosophy” essays turned his skin magazines into constitutionally protected works of literary merit.  Hefner’s primary aim, of course, was to advance pornography (and his wallet), but in the ACLU’s world, that’s more than okay. So what if it was a sham?

C.S. Lewis observed that the agenda of the Left is to make religion private and pornography public.  In Virginia, the ACLU, otherwise known as the devil’s law firm,  is still doing its best to live down to that demonic goal.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall

Welcome to the real ObamaCare, whereby a handful of leftists in Washington, D.C., impose the views of their big-money donors on more than 300 million Americans. If the Obama mandate for contraception remains intact, then liberals will next demand that Americans pay for other objectionable items that are not really medical care.

We can expect future mandates, under the guise of “health care,” to include sex-change operations, late-term abortions, embryonic stem-cell use and a variety of other procedures that many Americans do not support and certainly do not want to be compelled to foot the bill for. Obama’s directive for abortifacient drugs opens a slippery slope that would erode the moral authority of religious institutions in America.

Obama and the liberals have overplayed their hand. By baring their teeth, these lackeys for the Left have awakened Democratic voters to the real contempt that liberals hold for religious values.

All 181 U.S. Catholic bishops oppose Obama’s mandate, and Rasmussen polling estimates that 65 percent of Catholic Americans also oppose it. There are about 75 million American Catholics, most of whom have traditionally been Democratic voters but wouldn’t hesitate to cross party lines to defend their church leaders.

It will be fascinating to see how many Democratic politicians up for re-election this November side with Obama and against religious organizations. Liberals are just fine with throwing some Democratic incumbents overboard to advance far-left goals, just as the enactment of ObamaCare in 2010 cost many Democrats their congressional seats.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s congressional testimony made clear that the Obama administration is dug in permanently to enforce the regulation that religiously affiliated institutions must offer their employees health insurance that includes abortion drugs, sterilization and contraceptives. Of course, insurance companies price their products to make a profit, so clearly the cost will be concealed and distributed so many will pay for services that violate their religious beliefs.

Dick Morris exposed how George Stephanopoulos outed the Obama strategy behind this outrageous action. Knowing that abortion is no longer a winning issue for Democrats, Obama wanted to shift the debate to contraception.

However, his ploy has failed. He really shifted the debate to religious liberty and to how the Obama administration is planning to force Americans to pay for procedures that their religion teaches them is morally wrong.

The religious liberty issue is definitely not confined to Catholic hospitals, schools, colleges and charities. It opens up the whole attack on religion and on Christianity that is now going on in the Obama administration, the courts and even the military.

The U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains sent an email to senior chaplains telling them that Archbishop Timothy Broglio’s letter criticizing the Obama insurance rule was not to be read from the pulpit. There is no evidence that Obama personally issued this order, but the Army Chief of Chaplains must have thought he was taking a politically correct action.

Has anti-religious bigotry become so pervasive that chaplains believe they must censor their sermons to conform to Obama’s prejudices?

Just recently, the Obama administration forced the Air Force’s Capabilities Office to strike the Latin word for “God” from its logo. Since schools seldom teach Latin any more, I wonder how many realized what this meant.

At the Veterans Affairs Department, Obama’s agents banned Military Honor Details from reciting the significance of each fold of the American Flag during the burial services of our heroic men and women who gave their lives for our country. Obama says the ceremony promoted religion and therefore, the recitations had to stop.

Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University, a Catholic college. But he ordered his staff to cover up a crucifix with a giant black tarp because he didn’t want anybody to see a religious symbol while he was talking.

Obama has joined in the war against religion being waged by the American Civil Liberties Union and the atheists in the courts. We’ve all heard about the lawsuits attempting to delete “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, remove Ten Commandments monuments and crosses from every public place.

Less well known, but important in the big picture, are the judges’ decisions to ban the Westmoreland Middle School football coach in Tennesse from bowing his head during student-led prayer before a game and the decision to ban grace before supper at Virginia Military Institute.

The plan is even more far-reaching. It confirms that the ObamaCare law can impose any regulation the bureaucrats choose, such as death panels.

The firestorm over this most recent regulation is one more proof that social issues and fiscal issues are inescapably intertwined. Social-issue policy decisions determine fiscal ones.

The Heritage Foundation has just released its 2012 Index of Dependence on Government. It shows the shocking fact that 1 in 5 Americans is dependent on government, meaning reliance on government handouts for housing, health care, food stamps, college tuition and retirement assistance.

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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