ACLU Sues to Remove Crosses From Military Cemeteries and to Ban Prayer from Military.
You’ve probably seen the chain email where the subject line is something along the lines of “I am honored to do this.” It goes on to say something to the effect that the ACLU has filed suit to have all military cross-shaped headstones removed and another suit to end prayer from the military completely. It also states: “They’re making great progress. The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus’ name in prayers thanks to the ACLU.”
I received this email from a number of friends and family near the end of 2009. I believe I had seen it before but I cannot be sure. My response was to point them to a number of websites that addressed the veracity of the content of the email.
Snopes: Where it is pointed out that over the years, the ACLU (and other related groups) have opposed the display of religious monuments and symbols on state-owned or state-maintained property. Examples given is the contention about an 8-foot iron cross in California’s Mojave National Preserve (pictured above with a plywood cover so as to not “offend” anyone until the Supreme Court made its decision) and the court battle over the 29-foot high cross that sat atop city land on Mt. Soledad in San Diego. Snopes also points out that the implication in the message is that the ACLU’s opposition to religious displays on state property extends to its advocating the removal of headstones and burial markers from federal cemeteries in the U.S. (although the message is accompanied by a photograph of a cemetery in Europe where World War II servicemen are interred) The Snopes authors then state:
“(this) is another example of one group’s exaggerating its opponent’s position in order to mobilize support through political outrage.”
This is sort of like saying, “These people will say anything and believe anything to get their way.” This is clearly an Alinsky technique, so I find it ironic that the liberal-minded Snopes folks use it as evidence of that “group’s” failings. It’s also a real classy way to tell you that you are stupid if you believed it.
I also pointed the senders of the email to PolitiFact.com
As to the prayer part of the email you can find information at Factcheck.org where it states that “The ACLU did not sue and doesn’t want to end prayer from the military completely. Rather the ACLU supports the right of those in uniform to pray or not as they please.” (emphasis mine) Not “forcing” someone to participate in prayer was the issue of the case.
The question in my mind is this: Does asking someone to stand by respectfully as others pray constitute “forcing” them to participate? It seems that it does in the minds of quite a few folks.
Factcheck.org also shares the “false email’s claim that the Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus’ name in prayer thanks to the retched [sic] ACLU and our new administration.” They point out, of course, that later versions of the email corrected the misspelling of “wretched” but still mangled facts in the case of Navy Chaplain Gordon J. Klingenschmitt, to which the message likely alludes.
They fact that they needed to point out the misspelling says much about their position in their investigation. Once again, let’s show how “stupid” these folks are. They also give you some background on the Chaplain’s complaints to his superiors of pushing chaplains to offer generic, nonsectarian prayers and point out that he now solicits donations, news interviews, and speaking engagements. Is that supposed to be a comment on this man’s character? Don’t politicians solicit donations, news interviews and speaking engagements? Do these acts automatically make someone a person of suspect character?
The article goes on to demonstrate that the court-martial was about his disobeying an order. The Chaplain’s side is presented at WND. There is no source I could find that presented both sides of the story in one document.
I replied to this email with the following:
Although the ACLU is at times a wretched organization, this is not true. They have argued against crosses on public lands, like the lawsuit in California, but they consider “Personal gravestones as the choice of family members, not the choice of government.” So they have not filed a lawsuit to do what this email says. As it says at the site (link below) “This is another example of one group’s exaggerating it’s opponent’s position in order to mobilize support through political outrage…”
I don’t think we should, or need to exaggerate the damage the ACLU does to our society to make our point. I think we need to be sure that what we are passing on is true as far as can be determined so that when we really do have something to be outraged about folks take us seriously. Like I told another friend of mine, sometimes I think our opposition starts this stuff just to confuse and distract us from what we should really be worried about; the destruction of our Republic!
Please note that I spelled wretched correctly. Does that mean I’m not stupid :-) I sent this response in December of 2009. In January of 2010 I started a campaign to help put an end to the energy that is in many ways “wasted” on these types of emails. I then started a blog in June of 2010 to continue this fight as well as to find out exactly what “fundamental transformation of the country” means. At this point I will invoke “Princess Bride” and state unequivocally that I do NOT think it means what the majority of those who voted for Barrack Obama THINK it means.
Sea Turtles Extinction–NOT Due to Global Warming
Fast forward to June 2011. I received the “Sea Turtle Extinction–Not a result of Global Warming” email again. From what you can google you can find that the pictures in the email are real, but the description of what is actually happening is “inaccurate.” My friend expressed that she is starting to wonder about almost everything she reads or hears anymore. And THAT speaks to my theory on who starts these emails. I replied:
This is where my theory about just WHO starts those emails comes in. For years a “false” email goes around. Everyone who sees it believes it and passes it on. Our opposition then points out how “stupid” we are for “believing anything.” THEN when it really starts to happen we dismiss it as false based on our previous experience. It’s an ingenious use of behavior control. So, that’s why I fight so hard to get folks to stop forwarding those chain emails unless they do a google search and verify. I’ve started suspecting ANYTHING that does not have a link to a reliable source.
If the goal of the sea turtle email is to battle the agenda of the Global Warming crowd perhaps time would be better spent reading both sides of the argument. There are sources that dispute much of what our children’s heads are being filled with in school.
But that takes time. I know we are all busy living our lives and each of us has our own challenges. That fact, however, is exactly why we want the one piece of evidence that will prove what we all know is happening. It’s easier to pass on an email that we hope will open people’s eyes.
The problem is that these emails may contain some “truth” but they are many times factually inaccurate. And that, my friends, is how we lose track of what is really TRUE.
Updates to the above Emails to Consider
As an update to the email about the “retched” ACLU I’d like you to consider the story about the Houston Cemetery banning the word “God” from military funerals. That is something that is really happening. Houstonians took a stand. That is something that is also really happening.
Status of Mojave National Preserve Cross
On April 2010 The Supreme Court gave its approval to display a cross on public land to honor fallen soldiers, saying the Constitution “does not require the eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm.”
May 2010 thieves cut the metal bolts that attached the 7-foot metal cross to a rock in the Mojave National Preserve and carried it away. One news report stated that: “It remains unclear whether the motive is connected to the controversy. The memorial cross has, to date, not been restored.
Our system supported the existence of the cross. Some people decided they did not agree so they took action. (Note: if you think it’s “unclear that the motive was connected to the controversy” I’ve got some magic beans I’d like to sell you.)