Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Americans United For Separation of Church & State Doesn't Really Represent America or "All Americans"

They just think they do.

 The Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper recently took special exception to an organization called "American United For Separation of Church and State," which caused a school to move the location of a play they were putting together.

 They said:
  • Just days before students at Willoughby South High School were scheduled to perform an opera partly written by the public high school's choir director, Ben Richard, and set to the music of a young Norwegian composer, Ola Gjeilo, plans for the April 24-25 performances were upended. A Washington, D.C., group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State contacted Willoughby-Eastlake school district officials, warning them that the "religious" opera violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.
  •  An Americans United spokesman acknowledged to Plain Dealer reporter Jim Ewinger that the group had not actually read the opera but said the organization was acting on a complaint from an unidentified "member of the school community" -- one of about 1,000 similar complaints he said they receive yearly.

There is a common theme going on from organizations like "Americans United" who seem to think their namesake "Americans United" actually means all American are united behind them. Also, the Freedom from Religion Foundation commonly puts out letters to schools fairly regularly suggesting some one...and there is usually only "one," who has complained, but, of course, they "cannot divulge the name" of the person. It's  tactic that seems to work over and over again.
 That in itself should raise eyebrows, but eyebrows should also be raised at the school districts who fold because the FFRF or AU played their cards so well.
 As one of the editorial board members writes:

  •  It's sad that we have allowed ourselves to reach the point where the Americans United for Poking Their Noses into Other Americans' Business can use one curmudgeon's complaint to terrorize a school into disassociating itself from such a creative and stimulating enterprise. Trying to squelch this play in no way advances the educational process or protects any student, and is miles from what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the First Amendment.
 In a rather whiny article posted on their web site in which the AU complained about how unfair the Cleveland Paper response was, they whined:
  •  If it were not for groups like Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union and others, civil liberties and civil rights would go undefended. The average citizen does not have the resources and legal firepower to resolve issues like this. AU and other groups exist to give people those resources. It’s disturbing to think that a member of an editorial board of a major daily newspaper doesn’t understand this.

How very disturbing it might have been had that one person just NOT gone to the play and let the rest of the community enjoy it......