ACLU Declares Churches Free Speech Zones (Restrictions Apply Elsewhere)
The following quote by ACLU attorney Yale Freeman is astounding:
“There is a time to speak you [sic] religious beliefs and that is in your church.”
Mr. Freeman said this in defense of the ACLU’s objection to a private citizen offering Bibles to students during lunch at various high schools in Collier County, Florida. (HT: Stop the ACLU)
As local news stories report (here and here), many students and teachers gladly accepted the Bibles and thanked Jerry Rutherford, the giver of the gifts. And those who didn’t want them were not forced to take them.
What is so astonishing here is not whether the Bible distribution was permitted by the school district’s policy. (Indeed, it seems the policy prohibits such action, though the constitutionality of that policy is certainly in question.)
Rather, the blatant honesty of Mr. Freeman in his opposition to religious speech is what is so amazing. As he went on:
“There’s really no reason to introduce it into the secular school system. There is plenty of opportunity to worship freely.”
In other words, only Secularism is welcome in schools financed by tax dollars collected from all citizens, including the religious. Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court disagrees with this view.
In essence, Mr. Freeman has given voice to what has long been the unspoken policy of the ACLU: to push all religious expression safely inside the walls of church buildings. “Outside of official worship services, Christian,” the ACLU is saying, “you are very welcome to keep your mouth shut.”
Here’s my question for Mr. Freeman: Where in the Constitution does it state that free speech is the right of all Americans excepting the religious, who must abide by special free speech zones in their churches and synagogues? What Founder advocated for this peculiar notion?
While the ACLU’s position on this issue is absolutely wrong, at least their candor here is refreshing.