The ACLU vs America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values by Alan Sears and Craig Osten (2005) published by Alliance Defense Fund
I don’t recall how I came across the reference to this book so that I ended up putting it on reserve. I am not sure if I saw ACLU and assumed it was about the ACLU in an objective historical way or if I realized upon closer reading the subtitle that it was going to be a right wing screed of lies and bullshit and decided on my general principle of know they enemy that I should give it a look.
First and most obviously, the back jacket gave me the best clues about the trip down the rabbit hole this book is; Bill O’Reilly of Faux News has a blurb quoted on the back exhorting the “well researched” content and says that it “pulls the veil away and exposes the ACLU’s TRUE AGENDA.” [emphasis mine] The rest of the back jacket was equally hysterical (in all senses of the word):
Disguised as the great defender of freedom, the ACLU is actually overthrowing the freedoms of millions of Americans.
As a result of ACLU efforts, the church has been PROGRESSIVELY SILENCED [WTF!!?], parental authority has been shockingly undermined, children are far less safe, and human LIFE [fetuses not women] continues to be cheapened — both at birth and death.
The ACLU vs. America is an up front wake-up call to these subversive attacks that every true freedom-loving individual and family must heed. [Unless you are a woman with a sex life.]
The authors, Alan Sears, and Craig Osten, the former being a porno hunter back in the day and the later being
The Wikipedia entry has a quote from Sears condemning the ACLU (founded about 1917) first director, Roger Baldwin of being ultra-radical, promoter of that great evil – SOCIALISM – and as having “extreme positions” that are hidden from the good Christian people like them. OMG there is just so many ways I could go off on this before even getting into the text! First of all, I wasn’t familiar with Roger Baldwin but found it very cool that the ACLU was involved in the freaking SCOPES TRIAL!!!! And the Sacco and Vancetti murder trial, and in a cause dear to my heart, CHALLENGING THE BAN on James Joyce’s Ulysses (it was deemed pornographic back in the day); now considered one of the great modern novels that I consider it to be unreadable crap, but I respect the right of all crap to be read.
Which leads me to a very serious conflict, because as much as I don’t find Joyce’s books to be appealing, true crap is too high a standard to classify this book as, probably because it presents the content as Truth (yes with a capital T) and yet it is outright lies, vile libel, and consists of other various defects. Like anything Ann Coulter has written, among others, this should go into a special category of “only people who have left their brains at the door” will believe the shit fest this book contains.
Alan Sears is president, CEO, and General Counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to defend and protect the right to hear and speak the Truth.
It would be hilarious if their “Truth” was harmless buffoonery, but these miserable wretches have money and power and are pumping out lawyers by the hundreds to nit pick and twist every piece of social justice and decency and fairness to death by a thousand cuts.
The book has no index which is a pain since I always like to look up passages based on the index, such as in this book, Ruth Bader Ginsberg [once an ACLU lawyer] would have been fun to look up. I did see one reference when flipping through and sampling the offal. I’ll have to look for it again to share. Obviously she was not rendered positively, but the greatest man next to Jesus, Scalia was praised far in excess of his actual opinions from the bench but since he was a right wing extremist old white Catholic man, as long as Scalia voted for what these bigots thought was good he was a god. Such as his and his mini-me sidekick Clarence Thomas in the Obergerfell v Hodges case where they both dissented against same-sex marriage.
There are helpful appendices for churches and to fight separation of church and state for public schools (the usual praying for winning high school football teams and such), as well as a nice little essay describing the “metaphor” of Thomas Jefferson’s belief in the necessity of such a separation. Quite a bit of time is spent on the whole metaphorical nature of this phrase, which does not make it any less valid.
Most of the table of contents are nicely phrased as if legal cases, The ACLU vs. Marriage, Mom and Dad [isn’t that just folksy special?!], Children, Human Life [abortion AND physician assisted suicide], Religion [hence their propaganda that religion is under “attack” when in fact it is religion attacking anyone else’s point of view other than evangelical Xtians], Christmas [OMG will they never stop], and American Sovereignty.
The first chapter title declares “The ACLU: Against America from the Beginning.” The final chapter declares how they propose to pursue “Taking America Back from the ACLU.”
For years I have been trying to achieve the zen state of “I used to be disgusted, now I am just amused,” But alas, this book warrants only disgust. Not only does it misrepresent reality, the language used to frame the arguments is used in such a way to degrade or diminish the side of reality.
INTRODUCTION (p. 2 +)
For eight decades, the ACLU has been America’s leading religious censor, waging a largely uncontested (until recently) WAR AGAINST America’s CORE VALUES — all not only without protest but with the support of much of the media — cloaking its war in the name of liberty.
The result of this conflict is that Americans find themselves living in a country that, with each passing day, resembles less of what our nation’s FOUNDING FATHERS INTENDED when they came to these shores.
I can’t help but point out that he seems to have confused some of the Founding Fathers with the Puritans who did come to these shores. Whereas Thomas Jefferson, for example, was BORN HERE. So was John Hancock, John Adams, George Washington, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, and Jame Madison . Alexander Hamilton was born in British West Indies. These are considered to be the key Founding Fathers. None of whom “came to these shores” from elsewhere, not even Hamilton in the sense these authors mean. He was, interestingly, BORN OUT-OF-WEDLOCK and orphaned and therefore poor. So pretty sure these authors would not be wanting to provide him with funds for his education at what is now Columbia University in New York. Fortunately for us, wealthy gentlemen of West Indies chose to help him, recognizing his talent and abilities (from Wikipedia; it doesn’t say how he came to be in NY so will have to Google more widely).
Patrick Henry of “Give me Liberty or Give Me Death” fame was also a native born revolutionary. Sam Adams, like his brother John, was born here. His father and mother had TWELVE (12) CHILDREN. Only three survived to adulthood. Wikipedia didn’t say if the mother died in childbirth but I kind of assume so. AND REPUBLICANS DON’T WANT WOMEN TO HAVE BIRTH CONTROL! @!!!!#$%^%^&
Thomas Paine, the famous author of The Age of Reason, was born in Britain, but came to “the Colonies” with the help of Benjamin Franklin (Wikipedia doesn’t say how, again, be interesting to look up more information) in 1974 “just in time” for the Revolution. Quote from Wikipedia entry:
He became notorious because of his pamphlets The Age of Reason, in which he advocated deism, promoted reason and free thought, and argued against institutionalized religion in general and Christian doctrine in particular. He also published the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1797), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income. In 1802, he returned to the U.S. where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.
So while he may have been one Founding Father to come to these shores he was one among many who definitely WERE NOT of CHRISTIAN or JEWISH faith, and therefore, the statement that Founding Fathers “came to these shores” is wrong or incorrect to say that their beliefs were those of today’s Republican conservative evangelical Christian” [Xtian] zealots who choose fiction over fact, and cherry pick the Bible as need be, and declare the doctrine of Originalism to be sacrosanct via the likes of the blessedly dead Scalia and other Catholics on the Supreme Court, except of course, when it doesn’t suit their delusion that the Founding Fathers were Christians.
They would likely go nuts to read that Thomas Jefferson owned a Qur’an and advocated that Muslims, Jews, and even Pagans deserved civil rights. As opposed to excluding them, or cursing them, or telling them to go back to the Middle East.
To return to the “shores” error, I’m sure he was confused because of the trope from a sermon preached when the Puritans first landed in Massachusetts: John Winthrop’s A Model of Christian Charity. This was once again made popular when plagiarized for a Ronald Reagan speech. To quote Wikipedia’s discussion of how it then became part of the right’s mythology of American being a Christian nation:
The phrase entered the American lexicon early in its colonial history, in the PuritanJohn Winthrop‘s 1630 sermon “A Model of Christian Charity“. Still aboard the ship Arbella, Winthrop admonished the future Massachusetts Bay colonists that their new community would be “as a city upon a hill”, watched by the world — which became the ideal the New England colonists placed upon their hilly capital city, Boston. The Puritans’ community in New England would set an example of communal charity, affection, and unity to the world, or if the Puritans failed to uphold their covenant of God, “we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world” of God’s judgement. Winthrop’s sermon gave rise to the widespread belief in American folklore that the United States of America is “God’s country” because metaphorically it is a “Shining City upon a Hill”, an early example of American exceptionalism.
Okey Dokey. So that brings us to the top of page 2 and it is already clear that these authors are basically wrong in important ways already.
We now livw in a country where our TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN and JEWISH faith and religion — CIVILIZING FORCES in any society [unlike other religions in China, Japan, India, the Middle East, etc.] — are openly MOCKED and increasingly pushed to the margins. [!!!!]
First, I continue to be amazed that right continues to give the Jews an honorary Christian pass. I mean, they don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah — a core belief of duh, Christians. Maybe because Jesus was a Jew? But of course the Catholics and pretty much everyone else HATED the Jews and ghettoized them, tortured and killed them, forcibly converted them by stealth if necessary (see the story of the kidnapped boy). And of course FUCKING GENOCIDE, by good Christians as often as opportunity presented itself.
We now live in a country where parental authority is undermined and children have less protection from pornography, violent crime, and the promotion of dangers and selfish sexual behaviors. We live in a country where the value of human life has been cheapened — from the moment and manner of conception to natural or unnatural death.”
Okay, so I either have to vomit, laugh until my guts split, or weep for the country that believes such bullshit. Pedophile priests, those righteous anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-child care funding, anti-food assistance, anti-welfare, racist, homophobic bigots who liken the feeding of the poor to be like feeding a stray dog — they’ll just keep coming back for more handouts. No sign of Christian charity there, or civilized behavior, or loaves and fishes. Lot’s of hellfire and damnation though. Child abuse, domestic violence, rape, incest — such good reasons to keep that parental authority supreme, plus of course those purely virtuous Christians that let their children die rather than seek medical care, relying on the power for freaking prayer. How many Republicans have been arrested and charged with “dangerous and selfish [?] sexual behaviors” recently? All the fuss about bathrooms when it turns out that Republican Christian “family values” men are seeking homosexual relationships or committing adultery at every level. Newt Gingrich and his serial adultery through 3 or is it 4 wives?
If human life has been cheapened I am pretty confident it started with slavery and anti-immigration acts (Chinese, Irish, Syrians, JEWS fleeing Nazi genocide). And of course women. Blacks were judged 3/5th of a person, but women even less since they are not mentioned nor presumed to be included in any of the blessed Founding Fathers considerations despite Abigail Adams‘ famous, paraphrased here as “Remember the ladies. . . for all men would be tyrants if the could.” She of course, as so many women before here were ignored. Wikipedia again:
Abigail Adams wrote about the troubles and concerns she had as an eighteenth-century woman and she was an advocate of married women’s property rights, more opportunities for women, particularly in the field of education. Women, she believed, should not submit to laws not made in their interest, nor should they be content with the simple role of being companions to their husbands. They should educate themselves and thus be recognized for their intellectual capabilities, so they could guide and influence the lives of their children and husbands. She is known for her March, 1776 letter to John and the Continental Congress, requesting that they, “…remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”
Today, however, rather than worrying about Christians and /or white men, as these authors profess we must fight for their rights for they are the ones under attack. Yeah, right. Rape is pervasive, especially or even in the military and on college campuses and 40,000 rape kits go untested because, you know, women lie. Maybe the fact that women today MAY CHOOSE TO HAVE SEX LIVES without desiring either marriage or CHILDREN, or maybe children and not MARRIAGE is what the authors consider SELFISH SEXUAL BEHAVIORS. This is not, of course, ACCEPTABLE MORAL BEHAVIOR to the Christians. Especially the Catholic hegemony that would rather people die from AIDS rather than use a condom, thereby spreading a deadly disease (contradicts their “pro-life claim pretty thoroughly) and causing children to be born just to die from AIDS. Now that is what I consider to be selfish sexual behavior, forcing women to contract AIDS that infects their children, and everyone dies. The authors don’t even seem to grasp the irony of the death they would choose to spread by criminalizing abortion and contraception, denying use of condoms per theoretically celibate priests [ha ha ha], and opposing now the next logical step with the SACROSANCT view of life AT ALL COSTS unless tax dollars have to pay for it, including physician assisted suicide for terminally ill people who would prefer not to SUFFER and SUFFER until the inevitable release of death may come. Thus these zealots feel the need to interfere in the most personal decisions (abortion, manner of death) such as when SCOTUS and George W. Bush, et al, choose to interfere and deny the right to die to people like Terry Schiavo.
Small government and liberty for all. Not quite boys.
When the ACLU positions itself as the great defender of freedom, it is actively STRIVING TO ELIMINATE THE FREEDOMS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. [ha ha ha ha ha ha ha — another case of opposite world] The ACLU is against the freedom [their emphasis]of parents to pass their FAITH and VALUES [aka religious indoctrination and bigotry] along to their children. Ir is against the freedom of organizations such as the Boy Scouts to set standard rules of conduct for their leaders. [no homos! tell it to former House Speaker Dennis Hastert you hypocritical bastards.] It is against the freedom of churches to publicly teach and proclaim their uncensored Word of God in the public square.
Pretty sure Freedom of Speech belies this claim, but they may be referring to having the various versions of the Ten Commandments in public buildings. Or, The whole “uncensored Word of God” stuff may be a twist on things such as when football coaches have players pray for high school teams to win, maybe this is deemed censoring. Of course it is only the Christians STUPID ENOUGH TO BELIEVE GOD GIVES A DAMN ABOUT A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME given the condition of the world. And they certainly wouldn’t support a Muslim prayer for a win, or another religion. Nope, they only want religious freedom for themselves and that includes FORCING THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ON EVERYONE ELSE.
So now making it over to page 3, it just keeps going and going with shameless lies like:
Tax-funded libraries should not restrict access of children to pornography on the Internet.
Their citation was 404 not found, but with a little effort I found some more accurate descriptions of what the actual heart of the library-kids-porn allegation was about, and it was NOT to make tax payers pay for children to see porn. First of all, kids don’t need to use a library to look at porn when they probably have parents who wouldn’t know how to search a browser history to see what they are looking up in the first place. But also, as one article pointed out, the conjoining of child and porn could mean someone needing access to a help group supporting victims. That would not be a search I would want to even try, given the dregs of humanity and the number one thing people use the Internet for — even in states like North Carolina that have gone all nuts about bathrooms, but it was satisfying to see that one porn provider CUT THEM OFF from accessing their site which had previously received over 400,000 users from North Carolina as I recall reading.
The short take on the children seeing porn in the library is an exaggeration on many levels. It actually isn’t saying a public library lets your kid look at porn on the library, it is more about the fact that too many excessively zealous cranks don’t want their children exposed to any ideas outside of their own little bubble. Maybe a pregnant woman is looking at a book on breast feeding. Oh the horror! Little Timmy might have caught an illustration of a breast! It is basically a slippery slope argument. First they come for porn, then they expand the definition of porn to be “I have two mommies” and then they come after “unpatriotic” books, i.e. pretty much anything I like to read (my epitaph should be “question authority”) that shines sunshine on the lies and distortions of the powers that be. Anyway, this and banned books have been a fight for generations and is likely to stay a battle as long as there are people afraid of independent thought and alternative points of view. For example, I would be so very tempted to say that this book does not deserve to be in print, mainly because it pretends to be facts and is classified as nonfiction, but it is really fiction.But it is, as I said, useful to have seen it to know the depth of the hatred of all things related to social justice or progressive or remotely liberal.
A JUMP FORWARD IN THE BOOK
A really dirty trick the authors seem to like to pull is to make outrageous statements in their text, things I know to be false. Then I notice a little asterisk in or at the end of a sentence.These notes are in tiny tiny type, so only a serious reader like myself is likely to read them. On page 147 the little asterisk appeared in the first sentence of the following paragraph:
A brochure published by the ACLU in mid-2005* argued that it is MORALLY PERMISSIBLE to HATE TRADITIONAL RELIGION for their discriminatory teachings. It is no violation of hate speech codes, the ACLU PAMPHLET ARGUES, to express hatred of those who uphold the narrow teachings of Christianity and Judaism.
Now in reading this, as a conservative and faithful Christian (or Jew I guess), wouldn’t you be outraged? As a side note, it is kind of funny that they admit their “traditional religion” is discriminatory and that the teachings are “narrow” as well. But of course, they are not speaking from their point of view, they are describing things the ACLU says, right? Time to check that asterisk:
- Note: the authors are talking about a HYPOTHETICAL brochure. We are not aware of ANY PLANS of the ACLU to publish such a document in the near future; they will have a lot more of what’s left of the Constitution to rewrite first.
Now reread the paragraph again. Did you see anything in the text, apart from the asterisk, that would give you any clue that the whole paragraph is COMPLETELY MADE UP BY THE AUTHORS and is completely false?!!! I’m guessing an editor or a lawyer said, boys, this goes too far. Put in an asterisk. The fools reading this tripe won’t bother to read it.
UNFREAKING BELIEVABLE! Except it’s not. I could grow old and die before I finished FACT CHECKING this book.
On page 146-147 under The ACLU vs. Religion: The Current Climate for Religious Freedom subsection, it begins by declaring as fact that the ACLU is assaulting religious freedom “through its misapplication of the First Amendment” and impacts (presumably negatively in their minds) “communities across America on an almost daily basis.” They offer no examples to substantiate this impact or cite specific examples then and there of such “assaults” and how they determined the courts that decided with the ACLU misapplied the First Amendment. They go on with a list of things the ACLU theoretically accomplished such as #6:
They removed all crosses, Stars of David, and crescent from the gravestones of American soldiers in military cemeteries around the world.
Oh wait, I see, maybe this list is “Drawing from statements in the ACLU policy guide, Michael Novak and Johyn Templeton wrote about IN WHICH DIRECTION THE ACLU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE America. Not that they necessarily have, and even if they did so, they say it like this direction would be a bad thing. As a person who does not wish to have their religion forced on me, I cannot agree that to moved in this direction would be a bad thing. But the use of “WOULD” rather begs the question, that implies in the future, but then it says “removed” so that is the past. Which is right? Neither? And authors are professing to have gotten these statements from ACLU documents, but they do not cite them (and they do have quite a few citations in their notes). The next statement implies things in the following list were “finally successful” in 2007, such as “getting the Ten Commandments plaques removed from public buildings in all fifty states.” (HUZZAH is my response to this. They have no place anywhere other than a church or in a private residence.)
Despite the authors’ beliefs that the ACLU is the sole petitioner in favor of keeping their religion out of my life, the ACLU is not always the group bringing the cases. But, whatever, one Supreme Court ruling and all 50 states have to obey. Unless you are Texas and threat to secede, or any of the other Republican Governors in various states who seem to have forgotten the Civil War and the preeminence of FEDERAL LAW over states’ rights. Constitutional rights should not and MUST NOT be based on geography.
Here is the whole list. Oh and the language with which they frame things is actually pretty funny. “In addition:
- They FORCED the Ten Commandments to be expunged from the Supreme Court building;
- They obliged the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to FIRE THEIR CHAPLAINS;
- They won a ban on official chaplains in the military;
- They removed “In God We Trust” from ALL CURRENCY and PUBLIC DOCUMENTS;
- They removed “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance;
- They removed all crosses, Stars of David, and crescents from the gravestones of American soldiers in MILITARY CEMETERIES AROUND THE WORLD;
- Finally, as a coup de grace, they succeeded in getting major revision or deletions in the public use of American historical documents, including:
- The removal from the Declaration of Independence of the words: “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” “Supreme Judge,” and “Divine Providence.”
- Deletion from the public use of letters and speeches by America’s founders OF ANY REFERENCE TO GOD, PROVIDENCE, the TEN COMMANDMENTS, or religion in general, including numerous usch references made by George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln.
- Deletion — when SUNG IN PUBLIC of the last God-laden stanza of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Oh my, oh my!!! The godless heathens of the ACLU have really destroyed America, our Christian Nation! NOT.
#1 Ten Commandments – yes we have a winner, it is true that such displays are illegal, but not necessarily thanks only to the ACLU
Here is a link to an excellent response to the whole Ten Commandments in public building argument. Again, the authors operate from a delusional belief that such laws are BAD things, but plenty of people do and should feel that they are good things. The persistent false argument that one can have no morality without being a Christian is a form a narcissism and self-righteousness that God would frown at if “god” wasn’t just one of many creator myths. It is just frustrating that the monotheism cults have managed to hold onto their power so long; greatly helped I think by the authoritarian hierarchy of the Catholics power structure, and their decision to declare the Pope “infallible” — ha ha, would that I could so declare myself right all the time and have millions believe me, no matter what stupid pronouncements I make! Like sex is bad unless for procreation. Especially for women. But the morality of their people is certainly open to question given the pedophile priests, the Dennis Hastert’s abuse of young boys he was coaching, the serial adulterers, all who proclaim their godliness. Hypocrites and criminals the lot of them. Like Newt Gingrich going after Clinton while he was also having an affair. Or Ann Coulter reassuring the religious republicans not to worry about Donald Trump having had three wives. God said it was okay.
One of my search results was a site named “take back our rights” which of course would DENY my rights; I do no wish to be forced to look at this kind of idolatry.
#2 Fire Congressional Chaplains – false!
If ACLU sued to have Congressional chaplains removed, it would seem that it was not successful since there is in fact a chaplain today in the House of Representatives. There also is a chaplain in the Senate currently. So once again FALSE statement to enrage the religious masses and stir them up so that the religious zealots controlling them get to slowly take away everyone else’s civil liberties and the ACLU is of course, the best and most active source to stopping the theocracy.
#3 Military Chaplain ban — FALSE!
On #3, stating the ACLU “won a ban on official chaplains in the military” it would seem to be false also since no such ban is described in this Wikipedia article on the subject. The principal issue seems to be that some overstepped their bounds and coerced prayer and proselytized a captive audience. But they are still in the military.
#4 McCarthyism change to currency slogan still in place so FALSE!
As far as the currency and public documents (not specified what public documents and no citation and no illustrations to fact check; why it would be appropriate on any public document OR EVER HAD BEEN on public documents, last time I checked my money, it was still there. Here is the Wikipedia link on currency. Note, as mentioned above it replaced the previous Latin “e pluribus unum” — from many, one. Now that was a nice phrase for showing how we had been many colonies and are now one United States. Well, except maybe for Texas. And Oklahoma has some issues. (ha ha)
#5 Pledge of Allegiance still has invokes God, alas – so FALSE!
#5 claims the phrase “Under God” was successfully removed thanks to the ACLU, but alas that is also FALSE.Here is the Wikipedia entry showing it is still in the official version. This phrase as any reasonably educated person knows, was added during that plague of horrors, the McCarthy trials seeking out every godless communist they could find and more by threatening and destroying lives, compelling people to “name names” to perpetuate the red witch hunt. This phrase is not SACRED; in fact it represents one of the most reprehensible abuses of governmental authority gone mad. But if these authors had their way it would repeat this process and worse given half a chance with the likes of Ted Cruz declaring his god’s law is higher than “man’s” law in the form of the Constitution OR SCOTUS decisions that don’t pass his authoritarian theocracy interpretation.
It is true that many people have advocated for the removal and the restoration of the original pledge, buy religious judiciary naturally took the view it was harmless and patriotic and therefore dismissed cases seeking to remove the phrase. This actually proves the point that it should be removed because god has nothing to do with patriotism and we all know it refers to the Christian god. It is precisely the allowance of RELIGIOUS support found in the pledge and on the currency (also a McCarthy era holdover) that allows religious nuts like the authors to perpetuate the myth of American being founded as a Christian nation.
What if the pledge were to say, instead of “Under God” maybe, “Under Angry White Christian Men” instead? That would actually be more accurate. Or try it with other options, like “Under the wisdom of the Founding Fathers” — wouldn’t that be more patriotic? How about “Under the Blessed by the Virgin Mary who gave birth to our Savior Jesus Christ” as a really serious patriotic option. Or how about “Under the rule of Corporations” or “Under the Koch Brothers” or maybe a more expansive “Under the Billionaires” — gosh, so many options.
Pfft. Balderdash I say to this Christian nation trope.
#6 Removal of religious symbol in military cemeteries around the world — I only Googled Arlington but still FALSE
It rapidly becomes clear that they are making this stuff up to push the buttons on their sheep-like followers.
Here are some images of CROSSES, STARS OF DAVID, AND CRESCENT symbols found in Arlington National Cemetery. Of course if you just trust these authors, you would just walk around screaming about how anti-religion and persecuted the military has become. Note one is to JEWISH CHAPLAINS.
So as you can see by these photos from various hits on the web, #6 is an out and out lie.
SIDEBAR about AN INTERESTING MAN
While looking for information on the ACLU’s purported successful attempt to for Congress to “fire their chaplains” I came across this amazing sounding philosopher that I am confident could run rings around these authors. His name is Ronald A. Lindsay and he is president and CEO for the Center for Inquiry — which obviously is not something that our right wingers would ever support. Just answer “how high” when commanded to jump is the proper response of men such as the authors of this screed.
#7 ACLU writing revisions to “American historical documents” – FALSE
The Declaration of Independence still has the references they purport the ACLU had stricken from it.
#7 a Deletion of God, etc. from Founding Fathers letters or speeches
I have to say, this whole section of page 146-147 just has worn me out. It is simply a crackpot conspiracy theory of some sort. A simple Google search will undoubtedly be full of copies of their letters and speeches and I don’t think the ACLU broke into the National Archives or Fort Knox to tamper with them. It’s so absurd, I am just not going to even bother citing reasons to disprove this.
#7 c No God allowed in our “national anthem” – False
As to the purported “deletion of the last God-laden stanzas of My Country ‘Tis of Thee” there are a few things worth noting. First, the original verses did not include God, and the song was written by a Baptist Preacher. It is not the “official” National Anthem. The Fifth verse that does contain a reference to God was written 57 years later in honor of Washington’s centenary celebration. Not surprising that after decades more as a preacher he, approaching death, might be on his mind some. The first performance of the music was in 1831 so holds no special place in American iconography other than it was a patriotic song written for a Fourth of July celebration. And of course, it is also well-know that the lyrics are set to the music of the BRITISH NATIONAL ANTHEM. Then another guy added two more verses and yet another guy added more about abolitionist-related theme. I can state with complete confidence that no one walking on the streets of America today could even tell you what all the versus are, much less cut them out due to some edict achieved by the ACLU. And one mention of God does not really equate “laden” to me. I think there is only one or two more mentions in verses that, as I say, no one even knows exist. Nor do they care about God being in there or not. The time for obsessive patriotism through symbols and marches and pledges and songs is past. Let it go, and move on. The few bits of God that are there are there, not deleted (see link above on Fifth). And unless they can provide an original document showing actual god-laden lyrics, then they might have an issue, but I doubt it.
So, while it was fun at the start to read and rebut this crap, it is tedious and boring, so I am going to move on to another Robert Kuttner book I think. Need some intellectual vigor and reasonableness.