This archived article was written by: Erik Falor
Just because a cat always lands on its feet does not mean that throwing it from the top of the Geary Theater is a good thing to do. And just because we are allowed to express ourselves freely, we should not use those freedoms to justify irrelevant, unnecessary, and harmful displays and actions.
Legality does not equal morality. The fact that slavery once was legal in the South didn’t make it right, nor was a compelling enough reason to keep it around. And all speech is not harmless simply because the constitution protects it.
The American Civil Liberties Union, as a result of their high profile and liberal interpretation of free expression has done more to damage the image of civil liberties than any other group. Their lawsuits involving controversial and dangerous parties tend to draw much attention. Unfortunately, this publicity has the effect of deprecating civil liberties in the eyes of countless Americans.
The result is a generation of Americans that are growing more and more wary of so-called “civil liberties” that seem to only benefit wackos and crackpots. Many have forgotten that civil liberties are meant to protect regular folks as well. Mainstream America is now terrified of what civil liberties in the wrong hands can do. The bottom line is that the ACLU has done more to harm their pet cause than to help.
They harm free expression because they fail to be well-grounded judges of what constitutes “good” expression. In fact, when they take a case, they do not consider the content of expression at all. They simply claim that they are protecting the principle of “free speech.” The constitutional legality of expression is not a compelling enough reason to endanger the liberty and safety of others. By defending dangerous and inflammatory groups the ACLU demonstrates that it either completely misunderstands why civil liberties have value, or that their real motive is to pit millions of Americans against civil liberties. They clearly do not comprehend that though a particular issue may involve free expression, it is not necessarily a noble cause as well.
I demand that the ACLU explain how Larry Flint’s misogynist magazines increase womens’ civil liberties. What do Ku Klux Klan hate rallies bring to the table? What good is served by allowing kiddie porn to be posted on the Internet? How will removing plans for weapons of mass destruction from the internet restrict my right to criticize the IRS? The ACLU looks the other way instead of addressing these issues.
It is impossible to defend the morality of a civil liberty disjointed from the consequences of its exercise. While it is wrong to prevent people from possessing these rights, it is not wrong to limit their use.
We must see that our civil liberties are merely tools that have only potential value. The slippery slope logic that civil liberty proponents uses to forward their laissez-faire society is simply ridiculous.
It was clearly the intent of the founding fathers to protect Americans from being arrested for saying things that are critical of the government. Prior to the American Revolution it was dangerous for colonists to be critical of the British government. After all, the Federalist Papers were originally published with pen-names.
Clearly there are situations that the founding fathers could never have foreseen, and I can guarantee that neither they, nor the scores of Supreme Court Justices in the meantime would have allowed this abuse of free expression.
The fact is that there have always been reasonable limits on our freedoms. Take automobiles for example. Cars are legal to use as long as the operator is a properly licensed individual, and then only as long as that person obeys the rules of the road. The dangers of driving are accepted as a necessary evil; just as easily as a car can rush a dying person to the hospital can it kill or maim. If some group were to suggest that we should ban cars in this country because of the mortal risk, they would be laughed to scorn. However, there is nothing wrong with requiring yearly vehicle inspections and licence renewals.
Restrictions on expression are already part of the status quo; slander and libel are illegal, as is false advertising. One cannot incite a panic by crying “fire” in a crowded theater, nor bear false witness while under oath. These kinds of restrictions must be enforced in all forms of media, especially the Internet.
Revoking the restrictions that some may perceive as unreasonable is just as dangerous as imposing no limits at all. My fear of what private individuals can do with their words is just as valid as the ACLU’s fear of government restriction. The slippery slope tilts both ways.
Our founding fathers made sure that these rights were protected early on. These fundamental rights have become a mark of distinction on all societies that afford them to its citizenry. But in order to preserve the sanctity of the concept, they should never be used as farfetched excuses to justify meaningless speech and dangerous actions.
And it is nearly impossible to be an advocate of civil liberties when it is enforced as capriciously and arbitrarily as it is by the American Civil Liberties Union. Only when it best serves their nefarious interests do they wrap their cases in the flag of free expression. And just as soon as a conflict of interests arises, the ACLU is ready to suspend justice and withhold these fundamental rights. Case in point: the request for a gag order in the case Curley v. North American Man-Boy Love Association.
The ACLU stepped in to defend NAMBLA, free of charge in a murder case that could have come out of a pedophilic snuff film. Two men, one of whom was a member of NAMBLA, lured 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley to a public library where they together accessed www.nambla.org/. After that, they tried to force Jeffrey into a sexual encounter. When he resisted, one of the men muffled his cries with a gasoline soaked rag. Jeffrey died as a result of asphyxiating on the gas fumes, and both of his assailants are currently serving life sentences.
NAMBLA is an organization that seeks to legitimize sexual relationships between grown men and adolescent boys. Their claim is that these relationships are mutually consensual, are homosexual in nature and not pedophilic, and that the young boys are in love with grown men.
Their logic is easily defeated by appealing to any number of well documented studies, as well as common sense. First, children are treated differently than adults in the justice system. There is even an entire bureaucratic office devoted to protecting them from malignant adults – Child Protection Services. This is because children don’t have the reasoning faculties and judgement that mature adults have developed. If it were up to children, Dora the Explorer would be running for California’s governorship, and our society would be segregated because of cooties. Secondly, children are manipulated and traumatized when involved in relationships of this type.
While NAMBLA denies that any physical harm is done to these boys, the psychological damage that occurs leaves scars that last into adulthood. Finally, mainstream homosexual organizations distance themselves from NAMBLA because they do not condone relationships between adults and children.
The truth is that NAMBLA is a forum to educate men on how to perpetrate harmful and illegal acts through the manipulation and coercion of young boys. They seek to satisfy their unnatural sexual desires and get away cleaner than OJ Simpson.
The ACLU wanted to keep the Curley family from talking to the press by calling for a gag order, which would prevent them from commenting on the case outside of the courtroom. Fortunately for the Curley family, the judge threw out the request.
If you are asking yourself what kind of civil liberties are at stake, you are not alone. Shouldn’t a child’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness outweigh a man’s supposed right to make love to whomever he can lure into his car?
The answers may be out there, but not on the ACLU’s website, www.aclu.org/. The ACLU’s webpage on the Curley v. NAMBLA case was highlighted last week on Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor, but is no longer available on-line.
Ironically, the ACLU page about the ongoing fight against internet censorship is still posted. Another example that illustrates such inconsistencies is a case where the ACLU litigated against antipornography demonstrations in Bellingham, Washington. Nikki Craft, an activist, was incarcerated for three weeks for burning $11.00 worth of pornographic magazines at a rally. Her symbolic burning of the magazines was trumped by a book store’s property rights – she did not buy the magazines before she burned them.
If the ACLU considers burning the American flag as protected symbolic speech, why did they side against citizens who were burning pornographic magazines in protest? Their “slippery slope” fear of censorship is irrational. Sure, “book burning” doesn’t have a nice ring to it, but what about a “porn roast?” And more than that, what in the world is there in a porno magazine that is relevant enough to spare it from the flames? The Dear Penthouse forum? That wasn’t Ms. Craft’s only run-in with the ACLU. In another instance an ACLU attorney physically assaulted her at a rally, cutting her hand on the glass of a picture she framed for display at the protest.
The ACLU likes to pretend that they can stand up for the rights of dangerous people without actually advocating their standpoints. They say that though they defend the rights of the KKK to preach hate, they do not condone racism. What part of “defending in court free of charge” doesn’t smack of endorsement? And if they really do not agree with their racist ideals, why do they not let justice take its course? How will it be the downfall of society if we do not allow racists to encourage crowds to hate?
I do not reject racist ideals simply because they are not my own. I reject them because they have murdered in the past, and because they continue to be dangerous. If you were to ask the ACLU what good reason there is to permit their continued existence, they would likely change the subject and talk about how important free speech rights are. It is laughable that an organization that calls upon the government to declassify sensitive documents will not take a stance for or against critical issues. But, as they would say, every compromise is a failure, and a vote that is not against racism is a vote for racism. Therefore, the ACLU is a racist organization, as well as an anti-American organization.
What they really do is tantamount to playing accomplice to all manner of crime. They want to believe that what they do is enabling to humanity, and will ensure greater freedom for generations to come. And while they may have some success in protecting us from the government, they only multiply the ways that dangerous and conniving men can exploit us.
The ACLU can no longer stand up and say that violent pornography is not harmful, and that it has no effect on its consumers. They must stop defending misogynistic smut-peddlers who degrade women to make fortunes. People who fall victim to those who choose to repeatedly disregard civility deserve no better than justice, and I submit that the American Civil Liberties Union turns a deaf ear to their cries. The ACLU has a penchant for keeping an inconstant interpretation of justice, and for making mountains out of mole hills. It is a dangerous special interest group that is anti-American in every sense of the term.
Whenever a special interest group composed of un-elected members and funded by the financially elite wields as much power as the ACLU does, it is a first-class threat to representative government. It is also antithetical to everything our model of government stands for just because of the fact that they are so far removed from mainstream thought that they only represent a slim minority of citizens in this country.
It is time for us to rescue our civilization out of the hands of a special interest group who is not at all interested in our rights or our safety. We must stop supporting the ACLU financially and otherwise beforeit is too late.