When I was in seminary my Old Testament Prof, Eliyah Mohol, said one day, “We have to know who our enemy is.” He was referring to 19th century theologians who doubted the truth of the Bible. For some reason, that statement was very profound to me.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) exists as an enemy of the cross of Christ. You take nearly any case they are involved in, and they will be diametrically opposed to a Christian perspective.
Their website says “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.
These rights include… freedom of religion”2
Sounds good, right?
“We have to know who our enemy is.”
In Texas, for example, the ACLU has objected to a revised Social Studies curriculum being formulated by the Texas Department of Education. The ACLU claims that the new Social Studies curriculum is ideology driven and not factual. To some extent, they might be right. Shall we suppose the Social Studies curriculum of the previous 10 years in Texas, that the ACLU supported, was not ideological? That curriculum placed Cesar Chavez alongside Benjamin Franklin in importance. Fact or ideology?
Four of the ACLU’s objections3 to the Social Studies Curriculum include:
1. Objection that individual school districts in Texas should determine the content for elective courses on the Bible offered in Public Schools. These are electives! The ACLU claim this will violate the rights of students and parents under the clause, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”4 Why the fear of local school board members?
2. The ACLU objects that Texas’ 4.7 million students will have to critically evaluate “well-established” scientific principles such as the Big Bang and cell formation. I wasn’t aware that the current theory of how cells evolved was a well-established fact?
3. The ACLU complains the curriculum portrays the U.S. and its allies in history as acting with good intentions nationally and internationally. Words like “expansion” will replace “imperialism” in the textbooks to describe U.S. actions abroad. We have plenty of faults as a nation, but surely it wasn’t all imperialism?
4. The ACLU feels Islam is being portrayed falsely by being singled out with regard to terrorism and fundamentalism. They contend that these “acts and doctrinal beliefs” are a part of many of the world’s religions. Can you name one for me?
The worlds religions are not the same. Ravi Zecharias writes, “One of India’s leading “saints,” Sri Ramakrishna, is said to have been for a little while a Muslim, for a little while a Christian, and then finally, a Hindu again, because he came to the conclusion that they are all the same. If they are all the same, why did he revert to Hinduism?”5
To be fair, some issues raised by the ACLU are valid. They felt it was unfair to highlight Republican Ronald Reagan and to minimize Democrat Ted Kennedy. Why not emphasize both? Seldom is one side right on every point. Why not let students decide? Is it possible to be factual and not ideological?
On May 21st the Texas Board voted after 3 stormy days of debate. To the consternation of the ACLU, the more conservative curriculum passed 9-5. That has determined the content of Texas Social Studies books for the next 10 years. Hooray! Victory! Or is it?
Will the ACLU go away? No. They are committed to minimizing Christianity, regardless of what their web site says.
“We have to know who our enemy is.”
Now that we know, we need to pray for the ACLU. Pray for it’s leaders like Susan Herman and Anthony Romero. After all, Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”6
This is a challenge to me. To disagree and not hate. That’s what I need to work on. God help me. It’s not enough just to know who my enemy is!
1 Philippians 3:18 New International Version
3 http://www.aclutx.org/files/051310ACLUofTexasSBOEReport.pdf “The Texas State Board of Education: A Case of Abuse of Power”
4 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States
5 Ravi Zacharias, “Jesus Among Other Gods,” (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 2000) p. P 158
6 Luke 6:27-28 New International Version