Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hyman: "I Have Not Yet Begun to Slander the ACLU!"

Add another grand tradition of the Navy: rum, sodomy, and the lash . . . and forced prayer.

In his latest editorial, our favorite powder monkey, Mark Hyman, calls the ACLU the anti-American Criminal Liberties Union, which raises the question: can the estate of Senator Joe McCarthy can claim copyright infringement for appropriating his rhetoric without acknowledgment? Of course, I couldn’t care less about plagiarism so I’ll leave that for you all to discuss amongst yourselves. ;-)

What has caused Hyman to unload yet another broadside
at the ACLU? Their opposition to institutionalized prayer at the Naval Academy, where midshipmen are led in a public prayer at mealtime, or else must stand conspicuously silent among their comrades.

We already talked a bit about this when Hyman commented on the same topic several weeks ago. As we noted then, the ACLU has a long track record of fighting for individual religious liberty, including the rights of conservative Christians.

What Hyman erroneously suggests is a contradiction—the ACLU’s opposition of institutional prayer at the Naval Academy and its support of religious rights of detainees suspected of terrorism—is actually an example of the organization’s straightforward position on religion: individuals should be free to practice (or not practice) their religion as they choose; government has no business telling people how they should or shouldn’t practice religion.

It’s odd that conservatives, who generally feel government is inherently bad, think that it should play any role at all in one of the most sacred aspects of each person’s identity: their spirituality. In fact, the ACLU is standing up for the vital importance of spirituality by fighting against the intrusion of government into this most private of matters.

But then again, intellectual coherence is not something we should be looking for from the doldrum-becalmed brain of Monsieur Hyman.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.55


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