Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm sure this will be shocking to some

But the ACLU actually came out in support of Christian Students. You did not misread that. You see, there was recently a case heard in the 6th District Court - Morrison v. Board of Education of Boyd County (in KY). In the case, Christian high school students and their parents argued that the County's high school students' First amendment rights to free speech were "chilled" by the school, which had an anti-harassment/discrimination policy. Back in 2004 and 2005, the school had speech codes that prevented the students from sharing their position that it's a sin to have the gay. According to the Religion Clause Blogspot, the court agreed with the students and refused to dismiss on mootness or standing grounds stating that "an allegation of a past chill of First Amendment-protected activity is sufficient to confer standing to a plaintiff seeking retrospective relief, even when that relief comes in the form of nominal damages.... [T]o establish such a claim, a plaintiff must show that the defendant's actions of policy would deter a person of ordinary firmness from exercising his or her First Amendment liberties in the way the plaintiff alleges he or she would have, were it not for the defendant's conduct or policy."

Now I think that might be a difficult standard to meet, or alternatively, it might be overbroad - since you could say you "would have" done just about anything... but that's not the point.

The point is that the ACLU applauded the court's decision - here's a statement from Sharon McGowan, a staff attorney with the ACLU's national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project: "The court understood what we've been saying all along - that you don't have to violate anyone's First Amendment rights to protect gay and lesbian students from being harassed at school. Respecting students' rights to express their religious views about gay people and keeping gay students safe aren't mutually exclusive, and schools can and should do both."

I think there's a misconception about the ACLU that has been spread throughout the country, and which I have heard on Christian networks and programs for years - that they seek to destroy this country. Why else do they support these causes, but when Christians aren't given a prayer vigil in the park at the same time as the Yoga class, they do nothing (Yes, I've heard this analogy)? But the ACLU is there to stand up for the civil liberties of those who don't have the resources to defend themselves; and to see that EVERYONE has the same opportunities that those with the power and influence have. This should help show that they are not anti-Christ; they are pro-First Amendment. And that's a good thing.

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