|The Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove from Wikipedia|
What sparked this post was an article on Fox News about the ACLU threatening legal action against a New Jersey high school that holds its graduation ceremony in a large, Christian owned, auditorium (read it here). In case you don't go and read the entire article let me fill in some important facts for you.
1) This public high school has been having graduation in this auditorium for 70 years. This is a deep tradition for this community, not some two-bit tradition like the senior class "rolling" the principles car on the last day of exams. This one reaches back to a time when America's "greatest generation" was graduating from high school.
2) The Great Auditorium is rich with history, not just Christian either, but American. Here is a link to information provided by the Ocean Grove Historical Society. It is mentioned in the article, but it is worth reiterating, Mark Twain was on the board of Directors at the turn of the 20th century. Some 27 of NJ's governors have attended events there as well as 6 US presidents. Evidently it is okay for heads of state to go there but not graduating seniors.
3) The auditorium has always been open for events both secular and religious. The Fox News article points out that even the Beach Boys have played there. While they do represent, what I believe to be, a much purer time in American pop music they were by no means "Christian."
The laundry list of problems I have with this is almost overwhelming. First of all, it seems to me that tradition is becoming the victim of, so-called, First Amendment rights. At this point I think it would be helpful to see what the actual First Amendment states rather than the ACLU's interpretation thereof.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance.
Ummmm, I'm not seeing this situation anywhere in this amendment. Congress isn't having anything to do with this graduation ceremony. They certainly haven't made any laws in regards to it. From what I understand, no one in foisting Christianity on the students. The school was even compliant enough to remove the two Christian hymns that were to be sung at the ceremony. The rest of the amendment doesn't apply at all and, to their credit, I don't think the ACLU is claiming that it does.
Now, please don't misunderstand me. Just because something is tradition does not make it right. Lynching was a tradition in the "old south" and it has no place in any society, much less American society. However, I don't think having a graduation ceremony in a Christian building falls in the same category.
My next thought is this, what is the ACLU for anyhow? Luckily, in this techno-saturated age we have the internet to answer such questions. According to their website the ACLU is...wait for it;
The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
Finally, I've always wondered who it was that was protecting my rights. All this time I thought that is what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were for. Silly me. I guess the brave members of our military don't have a role in it either. That mission statement sounds very noble and on the surface it would be hard to disagree with such a sentiment and desire. The problem is that the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. This most recent example of the ACLU's action is absurd enough, not to mention the fact that if it goes to court it will be a massive waste of time and money. But there are other examples of the "good" work that this organization does. Did you know that in 1977 the National Socialist Party of America (read, Nazi) planned to hold a rally in Skokie, Illinois. That may sound somewhat ridiculous but still tame enough. Well, if you add to the equation that Skokie, Illinois has one of the highest concentrations of Jewish American's of any city in the country it becomes...what's the word I'm looking for...ABSOLUTELY NUTS! This city, of course, opposed allowing this rally to take place. Who do you think the Nazis ran to? You got it, the ACLU. The good folks of the union argued that not allowing the ralliers to display symbols of Nazism was a violation of their First Amendment rights. I don't listen to much talk radio but one day I did hear Laura Ingram offer this little nugget of wisdom. She said that my right to express myself ended when my fist encountered another person's face. That is, our rights only extend as far as they don't violate someone else's. The bottom line is that the ACLU was openly advocating the persecution of an entire demographic, the Jews. Therefore, the "rights" of some wacko group of anti-American's comes before the rights of law-abiding members of society. Well alright. My feelings about the ACLU are similar to those I have about the UN, they are both a worthless waste of time and money. At least one of those things we can print more of though.
Let me attempt to get back on track here. Kudos are due to the school officials in New Jersey who have decided not to acquiesce to the ACLU's threats. Someone must stand up to this organization because if no one does we will drown in a sea of ludicrous lawsuits and some demented form of political correctness. Make no mistake about it, Christians are a target for this organization. They will fight to make sure that our First Amendment rights to freedom of religion are squashed in favor of other worldviews. Does that mean that I think other worldviews should be squashed in favor of Christianity? By no means. There must be a balance though and the ACLU is not striking it. What I am about to share should be the end of the ACLU because, as well all know, no one survives a Chuck Norris attack;
The ACLU is not anti-religion, just anti-Christian. By definition, it's the American Civil Liberties Union. By action, it has become the Abolishing Christian Legacy Union.
The ACLU will assure Muslim clerics and imams the right to pray on planes, fight for an atheist's rights to remove a cross, stand beside pro-abortionists, help illegal aliens cross our borders, and establish rights for the sexual deviant by forming the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, but what is it doing for Christians and Christmas censorship?
While allegedly fighting against the tyranny of the majority, the ACLU itself rules religiously by litigation, lobbying, and supporting counter-culture Christian movements. So who died and appointed the ACLU as America's religious constitutional watchdog? Membership for the ACLU is only 500,000. America's population is 300 million. I think it's time that we helped them feel their size!
I suggest the rest of us follow the passion of Thomas Jefferson, who spoke these words that are etched on the very wall of his memorial in Washington, D.C.: 'I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.' Chuck Norris, Published on WorldNetDaily.com on Dec. 11, 2006.
I will say this and try to bring this rant to a close. The Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove is located in an area that, thanks to MTV, we know as "The Jersey Shore." I admit that I have only seen approximately 3 minutes of that show. Those three minutes told me everything I ever needed to know about it though. The Great Auditorium, and the Camp Meeting Association that owns it, stand as a shining light for an area that has been marred by the hormonal antics of a depraved television show. If the ACLU wants to get involved in New Jersey maybe it should be against the anti-Italian, anti-brain foolishness of "The Jersey Shore" not a high school trying to uphold a deep and lasting tradition for its students, one that will give them an appreciation for the past and hope for the future of our nation.