The American Civil Liberties Union

In researching the history of the ACLU in the International Law Library of the Library of Congress, I discovered the following: In 1917, this organization was founded under the name, National Civil Liberties Bureau. In 1920, its name was changed to The American Civil Liberties Union. Excerpts from the Associate Director’s book on its history are hereunder quoted:

…The ACLU backed or led numerous court tests which resulted in the Supreme Court checking the marauding of investigating committees and voiding loyalty oaths…In 1925, the ACLU attacked Tennessee’s anti-evolution law in the famous Scopes Trial. While Scopes was convicted and fined $l00.00, the Bryan-Darrow courtroom confrontation was instrumental in ending a serious governmental threat to freedom of thought and academic liberty…(Author’s note: The Scopes Trial was valiantly won by William Jennings Bryan, distinguished Senator, lawyer, Christian statesman, and Nebraska’s greatest hero in the U.S. Capitol’s Hall of Fame)…The House un-American Activities Committee initiated new forays into colleges and professions which underscored the ACLU’s call for the Committee’s abolition…Historians have correctly characterized the 1950’s as the period in which civil liberties faced its most severe threat because of the inexorable pressure of the US-USSR confrontation. And the dark night of McCarthyism called up the ACLU’s most vigorous and vigilant efforts…Whether it was the Wisconsin Senator’s vicious assault on the ACLU itself, on State Department and army personnel; the unrelenting hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee; the scare-induced firings of teachers for refusing to inform on past associates, the witch hunts of the government’s security investigations, paralleled by State and local probes, loyalty oaths and investigations of private industry…the ACLU was challenged again and again…Even though unceasing effort was required to make the yeast of freedom rise over the Cold War oven, other areas were not neglected. The wall between church and state was cemented in decisions ending Bible-reading and prayers in schools. For the first time, movies were legally recognized as enjoying the protection of the First Amendment… *

The devastating results of the ACLU’s anti-American agenda are all around us today.

*See Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 Statute for Religious Freedom – “Separation of Church from Interference by the State,” forerunner to the First Amendment Clause of the U. S. Constitution.

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