Way Too Predictable..............

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Thu Jan 27 16:55:52 MST 2005


ACLU Changes Its Website After Being Caught Editing and Distorting
the 1st Amendment

by Chris Field
Posted Jan 24, 2005
On January 17th, I posted a First Look column titled "The ACLU's
Very Own Constitution." In it I commented upon an item that I had
first been made aware of in a "Best of the Web" column by James
Taranto of the Opinion Journal. The subject of my column was how
the ACLU had distorted, edited, "censored" the 1st Amendment on
its website in order to support its claim that the Framers
considered the freedom of speech so important that they put it at
the very tip-top of the Bill of Rights.

But now the ACLU has changed its website and completely erased the
traces of the old, misleading site. However, we here at HUMAN
EVENTS saved a copy of the original page (link is to a pdf copy of
the original page).

The language at the top of the ACLU's "Free Speech" page at the
time of my column read as follows:

      "It is probably no accident that freedom of speech is the
first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment: 'Congress shall
make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or
of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.' The Constitution's
framers believed that freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression
were the hallmarks of a democratic society."

As anyone who has read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is
aware, the "first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment" is
that of religion. In the ACLU's 1st Amendment quotation, the
freedom of religion is erased, replaced with ellipses. The only
reason that the ACLU finds that the "freedom of speech is the
first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment" is because they
cut out the 1st Amendment's two clauses regarding religion. Here's
the 1st Amendment in its entirety:

      "Congress shall make no law RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF
RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; OR abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances."

Since the original posting of "The ACLU's Very Own Constitution,"
the ACLU has changed their website. In place of the distortion of
the 1st Amendment on the "Free Speech" page is the following,
slightly, but significantly updated and altered text:

      "It is no accident that freedom of speech is protected in
the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: 'Congress shall make no
law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the
people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances.' The Constitution s framers believed that
freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression were the hallmarks of
a democratic society."

The ACLU still doesn't mention the freedom of religion in its
quotation of the first part of the Bill of Rights, but at least
the site isn't utterly wrong.

Call this one a win for the good guys -- the ACLU may still be the
Leftist organization it has come to be known as, but at least it
has been forced to stop this specific distortion of the Bill of
Rights.

Chris Field is Editor of Human Events Online.
He can be contacted at Chris.Field at HumanEventsOnline.com



More information about the Rushtalk mailing list