There on TV for almost the hundredth time this past year was the face of yet another big-city ACLU-nik gleefully boasting to the anchor how he brought to its knees a village he doesn’t even live in and an institution in which he is not even a member. By mere threat alone, the local town agreed to remove its age-old Christmas tree; its courthouse Ten Commandments; and barred from school premises the local Boy Scout troop. Now his colleagues are suing the government so as to forbid individual soldiers from saying Grace in the mess hall at mealtime.
It should be obvious by now that the Bill of Rights forbade only Congress from making national laws establishing a religion, not however local communities and their majorities from voting to express their religious ethos. Unique to America is the ideal that what may be forbidden to the “Feds” is permitted on a local level. The term for this special American legal and social concept is: local control.
But even if some wish to extrapolate Jefferson’s metaphor of a “wall of separation” between church and state onto local communities, how does the display in winter of a sparkling Christmas tree, or a freely-chosen Grace before meals, or the acknowledgement of the Ten Commandments as the basis of the American legal system, and the existence of a God-believing, heterosexual Boy Scout troop “establish” a national religion?
It doesn’t, of course! But what motivates most of the ACLU lawyers is not the First Amendment, but something completely different, something pernicious. It is a desire to weaken and destroy the institutions they do not control, and demonize the people and individuals produced by such institutions in order to neuter their influence. First Amendment concerns are simply the legal ruse to force compliance and hide their true malevolence.
I happen to know the background and mindset of many of those behind these lawsuits. As secularists they abhor genuine convictions of Faith and cannot abide its challenge to their own irreligiousity. They fear it – especially the powerful Christian variant – for it bespeaks of their own rootlessness and lack of religious belief. Thus their need to destroy it. Some are, sadly, simply anti-Christian – a bigotry acceptable among today’s cultural elitists; some are envious and do what envious people often do: crush the object of their jealousy.
The civic institutions they target today as adults are those they were as youngsters taught to disdain. The victims of their lawsuits are the type of people they were early-on taught to dismiss. As quintessential cosmopolitan “urban-males,” they look down on the soldier and the outdoorsman.
What they lack in themselves they deride in others. What because of their own self-centeredness they cannot reach, they denigrate. What they cannot become, they fear – and seek to destroy. Be it the virtues of physical strength and courage, purity of spirit, religious faith, selflessness to country. Their ego leaves no room for nationalism and patriotism.
Many mock historic masculinity, having been raised in a social milieu in which the “feminine” side of the male was portrayed, theologic-like, as the nobler, more sensitive. In their circles, true masculinity was an embarrassment: soldiering, scouting, guns, physical prowess. The need, therefore, to destroy the type of man they know they will never be as well as the institutions that produce such men. Be it religion or masculinity, they will not tolerate that which they are not. They will not let live those institutions beyond their hegemony.
Yet, most men do enjoy a battle, the hunt. This organic impulse is fulfilled, for them, by toppling “the powerful majority,” which in their worldview is American Christianity, the army, and traditional Americana. This is their conquest! After each court victory or “enemy” surrender, they return, like “conquerors back from the wars,” to their like-minded community and circle of admirers to exchange “high-fives.”
What in Americana is for most of us dear and cherished is to them the enemy, that which needs to be vanquished. Even the politically-correct seem to have wars they believe in!
The transcendence most find in God and religion is in this clique realized when, as they like to say, “making the majority uncomfortable.” To them, this is the “high”: the romance of the bourgeois revolutionary. Genuine “dissent” as an end is in overturning the majority, even ignoring its virtue. Since World War II, cache – both political and existential – is in flaunting a minority status.
It is not the powerful per se they wish to topple, since they themselves have become the wealthiest and the most powerful. It is the majority attitude, majority religion, and the virtues the majority hold dear that they wish to dismantle. Viewing and preferring themselves as a minority, their antipathy is not against the powerful but against the majority. They are working overtime towards creating a tyranny of the minority.
Besides waging war on Christmas, defending Muslim combatants in Guantanamo Bay is another ACLU cause celebre, as evidenced by their newly fabricated, unheard of, definition of torture: specifically, draping Arab prisoners in an Israeli flag. They would love to indict the U.S. Army and its soldiers – an institution and men they detest – because, as mentioned, the Muslims are deemed a minority (and thus virtuous) while the Americans are from the majority. Imagine the cries of “torture” if an ACLU-nik ever found himself forcibly wrapped in an American flag.
I remember reading of a sign posted on the community bulletin board inside a Community Center in Oklahoma where a local ACLU lawyer was a member. It read: WE WON! This small bank of people was able to intimidate the town council into hauling away the Christmas tree that for decades had been part of the town’s holiday season celebration. What for the townspeople was a source of loss and pain was for this group a source of joy and celebration. “What terrible neighbors,” I thought, “so wrapped up in their anti-Christianity.”
It is demoralizing and frightening that America allows, literally, a handful of well-placed nasty ACLU lawyers and their media supporters to steal our nation’s heritage. This is being done not through the power of tanks but simply through the threats and glib words of those with a good gift of gab but evidently a bad heart.
Would Americans allow their home-town sports teams to be exiled by the whim of a few loud contrarians? Never! Why so, then, their courthouses, boy scouts, village squares and parades?
Perhaps Americans all over are allowing this to happen to their civic culture because they have been brainwashed into believing that their beliefs, values, and institutions are “chauvinistic” and exclusive; that the majority must self-immolate in the name of minority rule.
Our innate goodwill has been exploited. The ACLU-clique is relying on our continued confusion and timidity as well as our apparent lack of will to fight back.