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Friday, June 30, 2006

Sen. Allen's ACLU Facts--Wrong

Recently, I wrote Senator George Allen (R-Va) asking him to sponsor a bill that prevents the ACLU from receiving taxpayer money to secularize America.

They receive this funding due to US Code section 1988 which states that that when the ACLU storms into a community like yours claiming that the 10 Commandments must come down, a graduation speech is too religious, or prayer before meetings is un-Constitutional, they can be reimbursed at the taxpayer's expense because it is a 'civil rights' issue.

While this intent of this law is to protect religious folk, it has been abused by the ACLU and utilized as a significant source of funding. Instead of this law offering protection, it offers incentive for the ACLU to fight against the religious traditions of the American people.

Here is a list of 9.6 million dollars that the ACLU has received from you and me (courtesy of Stop The ACLU). Yet, when I brought this to Senator Allen's attention asking him to sponsor Rep. John Hostettler's (R-Ind.) amendment in the Senate, this was his response.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I appreciate your concerns and value the opportunity to respond.

As you may know, the American Civil Liberties Union is a non-profit agency that seeks to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Their mission is to fight violations of civil liberties wherever and whenever they occur.
(Why is he defining the ACLU? What makes him speak so highly of it? Why has a Senator of the United States given himself to describing the alleged role of the ACLU? Makes me wonder... But, back on message; here's the important part:)
Annual dues and contributions from its members, plus grants from private foundations and individuals, help fund the ACLU. They do not receive any government funding.

I believe the United States strength, in part, comes from its diversity; it is a land of freedom and opportunity. Our nation understands that people have fundamental God-given rights and liberties and our Constitution requires the government to protect those rights.

While I may disagree with many of the positions and stances the ACLU defends, I believe that it is important that we respect the opinions of others. Our Founding Fathers did not necessarily always agree with the course our great nation was taking, as evidenced in the writings of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in the Federalist Papers and the antithesis of the Anti-Federalist Papers written by Robert Yates. Without this great debate, and many similar debates like this over time, our nation would not be what it is today. Therefore, it is with differing opinions that we continue to solidify and uphold the ideals that our nation was founded upon freedom, liberty, and representative democracy. You can be certain that I will continue to fight for the common sense ideals of Virginians...

With warm regards, I remain

Senator George Allen
I generally like the Senator, but this one case where his facts are dead wrong and they are costing American's their tax dollars and their religous heritage.

Linked: Stop the ACLU. Thanks

Thoughtful Readers Speak:
As much as I am not a fan of Sen. Allen, he, in fact, is correct.

The ACLU does not receive taxpayer dollars through the legislative budget process, as the list you cited clearly indicates. All the so-called taxpayer dollars awarded to the ACLU were as a result of reimbursement of attorney fees and expenses incurred in the process of defending constitutional legal principles. Any plaintiff can petition the court for recovering legal expenses if they prevail in the case.

Your premise is a dishonest characterization of how the ACLU happens to receive any funds that may have originated as taxdollars. Perhaps wiser governance by the agencies being forced to pay these legal expenses would prevent the ACLU from getting any "taxpayer dollars."
I am pleased that you find my blog worthy of your time. Obviously, we are going to disagree often, but feel free to continue commenting.

I take issue with your choice of the word 'dishonest' as if there was ignoble intent or, even more revealing, as if you knew my motive. Perhaps, you'll choose your words more carefully in the future.

I believe I clearly and accurately stated the issue.
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