Thursday, March 26, 2009

ACLU supports violence

FrontPage Magazine reported An unlikely alliance of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian lawyers’ group that usually fiercely opposes the ACLU, along with several other groups, is contesting a proposed Bureau of Prisons rule that prohibits “materials that could incite, promote, or otherwise suggest the commission of violence or criminal activity” from being placed in prison chapel libraries. It would enable prison officials to remove from libraries books that they deem to be “advocating or fostering violence, vengeance or hatred toward particular religious, racial or ethnic groups” or advocating “the overthrow or destruction of the United States.”

The ACLU has framed the issue as one of religious freedom. David Shapiro, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project, explained: “BOP officials need to follow the law, not engage in the business of banning religious material.
If they were banning all religious material, I would agree with you. But material inciting people to create violent acts should not be protected because someone says it is "religious material"
Distributing and reading religious material is as protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as worshipping in churches or preaching from the pulpits. It is not the role of the government to dictate what is religiously acceptable.”
They are not saying what is religiously acceptable, they are saying violence, or encouraging violence, is not socially acceptable.
What’s more, the ACLU and its allies charge that the rule as written, with its language about material that “could…suggest” violence, is too broad, and can be applied in far too sweeping a manner. “We’re with the ACLU on this particular issue because it’s very important for religious freedom that these texts be available,” said Kevin Theriot of the ADF. “Somebody could take offense with the Bible, which teaches that Jesus is the only way to the Father. That’s an offensive idea to people who are not Christians.
There is a big difference between saying something someone might find offensive and encouraging violence. He also said And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.. He did not say Fight those who do not believe in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and his Messenger have forbidden — such men as practice not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book [i.e., Christians and Jews] – until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled

Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, indicating that "your neighbor" means a total stranger, or someone that happens to be nearby. He did not say O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

And He certainly did not say So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks [cut off their heads] until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.

Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross so that people could come to God. Muhammad shed other people's blood so that his constituents could have political power throughout the Arabian peninsula.
They could say that’s inciting trouble.”
If you commit violence because you are offended, then you are the one at fault.
Shapiro agrees in principle: “They could remove texts that are critical to prisoners’ ability to practice their religion.” And indeed, there are indications that Bureau of Prisons officials have been overzealous in applying the law. The ACLU says that authorities have ordered removed from prison chapel libraries books that do not incite violence by any stretch of the imagination, including Moses Maimonides’ Code of Jewish Law and The Purpose Driven Life by the popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren.
I suspect they did that because they thought it was easier to ban all religious material, but if they did that, they were wrong.

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