Thursday, June 29, 2006


ACLU, Guns and Religion

Reading this article about a West Virginia school displaying an image of Jesus, I noticed that once again the ACLU is vigorously protecting us against the threat of looking upon a religious image in a publicly owned building. I then wondered about the ACLU's position on gun ownership.

The ACLU makes their position quite clear here. Some of their statements:
We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias to assure their own freedom and security against the central government. In today's world, that idea is somewhat anachronistic and in any case would require weapons much more powerful than handguns or hunting rifles. The ACLU therefore believes that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns or other weapons nor does it prohibit reasonable regulation of gun ownership, such as licensing and registration.


The national ACLU is neutral on the issue of gun control. We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns.


"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free
State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The Second Amendment to the Constitution

"Since the Second Amendment. . . applies only to the right of the State to
maintain a militia and not to the individual's right to bear arms, there
can be no serious claim to any express constitutional right to possess a firearm."

U.S. v. Warin (6th Circuit, 1976)
Please go to the ACLU site and read the whole thing. Notice that the ACLU compares licensing/controlling guns to licensing/controlling cars. If you can find anything in the Constitution regarding cars or other means of transportation, please let me know.

I have no recollection of any legal case in which the ACLU has defended one's right to gun ownership and the ACLU sites no case in their position statement. Quite different from their position on religion.

Compare the ACLU's actions concerning this phrase in the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;.

The ACLU fully supports this phrase that specifically states "Congress shall make no law..." in the broadest terms possible. Schools, county courthouses, post offices, etc. are not laws made by Congress. The ACLU argues in many places in its site that it works to protect religious freedom. Arguably, at times it does. But overall, the ACLU's actions suppress religion and force people to act in violation of their religious beliefs. In the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, it is clear that the ACLU expects doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, etc. to perform abortions, dispense "morning after pills" and more despite their religious beliefs or affiliations. The ACLU also clearly expects the government, at all levels, to enforce this position.

So much for the "free exercise" of religion.

Religion is not just going to the church, temple, synagogue, mosque and praying. Every major religion expects its members to carry out the rules of that religion in every minute of their lives. The ACLU position is to force people and organizations to not follow or carry out the teachings and laws of their religion.

It's interesting how differently the ACLU interprets these two pieces of the Bill of Rights.

"the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," is interpreted in the narrowest terms possible.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" is interpreted in the broadest terms possible and then some.

At the least the ACLU's positions on these issues in intellectually dishonest, endangers citizens who wish to be able to protect themselves from criminals and tyrannical governments, and grossly unfair to many devout members of various religions, Christian and otherwise.

hmmm, interesting, but where does the power of religion and the personal power begin and end.

everyone has certain rights, but when anything, religious or personal rights deny others of their own rights then thats WRONG.

i am childfree, it doesnt mean i hate kids, i dislike a lot of them, but i know in my case and in my fiancee having kids is not for us. i have a few genetic problems, that i would pass on, plus theres a lot of inherited cancers in both lines, and i have personality quirks, like hating chaos, needing order. if i was to have a kid that kid would be the focus of my ire, because its something i passionatly beleive in, to have a kid in that case would make me resent it and possibly abuse it (its happened in other cases).

there are some pharmacists, that have denied filling in prescriptions for birth control, for religious reasons, they are using religion to deny the rights of the individual. these are prescriptions written by doctors, and they are not being filled, some of them have been taken off the people and refused to return them.

since i am an englishman, we dont have gun laws, we dont have a bill of rights, since we are subjects of the queen. but the problem remains, where does religious intolerance begin and the rights of individuals end.. there are as many reasons for people not to have kids, as stars in the sky, but to let anyone governmental or religious deny personal beleifs of consenting adults. like birth control, its just a short step into controlling every part of your life.

theres been suggestions that all kids be analysed, so they can be medicated or "cured".. is this a infringement on personal rights and personal beleifs.. possibly.

my personal rights that work for me, is that i will not have any kids, same for my fiance.. are we going to be forced to have children despite our personal beleifs..
I think situations would be exceedingly rare where someone in the U.S. could not find a pharmacist that would full their prescription no matter what it was. I believe those that want to force all pharmacists to fill all prescriptions have an agenda beyond health care.

There are many other services and products that certain individuals and businesses refuse to provide due to religious reasons or simple personal belief. But in certain areas such as "reproductive health" it seems unusally important to the left to force everyone to "participate." If you don't like how someone does business or performs professionally, take you business elsewhere and give your financial support to those you like.
One of the reasons the ACLU ends up focusing heavily on First Amendment cases has to do with their membership.

Like any private organization, they depend on money from donors, and I'd wager that a lot of those donations come from folks who have far more invested in First Amendment issues than Second Amendment issues.

Also, the Second Amendment has a larger, probably better funded and organized defender in the National Rifle Association.

The disassociation the ACLU seems to have with the 2nd Amendment in particular may be no more sinister that the fact that, with the NRA covering 2nd Amendment cases, the ACLU lawyers are simply doing other work.
a few places, have taken the prescription off people, and refuse to give it back, due to their faith.. so unless you go back to the dr without an appointment and get yet another prescription, which the doctor will be reluctant to do, as they dont know if your having 2 lots of pills..

theres many stories about this, i agree if they dont want to sell it, then dont, dont force them, but why are they in that job anyway, if one part is against their faith

Pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions are suppose to make arrangements for patients to get them filled elsewhere, but Martinez says that doesnt always happen

Julee Lacey stopped in a CVS pharmacy near her home in a Fort Worth suburb to get refills of her birth-control pills. Then one day last March, the pharmacist refused to fill Lacey's prescription because she did not believe in birth control. USA Today Nov 2004

**In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman's prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views** this is the best solution, rather than laws.

In the Madison case, pharmacist Neil Noesen, 30, after refusing to refill a birth-control prescription, did not transfer it to another pharmacist or return it to the woman. She was able to get her prescription refilled two days later at the same pharmacy, but she missed a pill because of the delay,

is religious beleif more important than, personal beleif..
Interesting examples which raise big questions. Personally, I have no problems with birth control pills and other preventive methods. I do have a problem with pharmacists confiscating legal prescriptions or refusing to transfer them. This violates the patients religious freedom and other rights.

It doesn't seem right that one would be denied or have to avoid a profession due to religious beliefs but people often avoid professions because of beliefs, religious and otherwise.

I know it sounds absurb but maybe we just need a system where if a doctor, pharmacist, hospital, etc. doesn't want to perform a particular action for religious reasons then there is someone else or another agency available to step in who will perform the service or provide the product.

In the U.S. someone under 21 years old can't purchase or sell beer. When I buy beer at the grocery often the check-out clerk is under 21. Someone 21 or older will step in and ring up the beer and then leave. Ridiculous but maybe there is an answer here somewhere.

But, for me, one of the biggest questions is "What is the role of government in all this (in the U.S.) given the religious rights guaranteed in the First Amendment?"
yes, thats the problem, i have heard stories in the cf world, about people who have ovarian cysts, and at that time of the month they are in so much pain, its hurts anyone near them, crying in pain, birthcontrol can stop those symptoms, and give these people a life..

if i was morally against eating meat, and it was a new thing for me, i wouldnt be working in an abattoir, thats the problem, where does personal morals, and religous duties begin and end.

whatever happened to dont judge lest ye be judged.. they are judging an entire group of people on their birth control choice.

when any religion takes away individual freedoms, whether its muslims, or christians, then that religion needs to look at itself very hard, once it starts, you get murders in the name of religion, tortures, mutilation in religions name..

this is my opinion, but having read about and lived through the catholic/protestant religious troubles in ireland, i am very disappointed in religions that treat people as being somehow morally defective, for whatever reason, birth control or gay marriage, it just means the people targeted will be seen as lesser.
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