Even two decades ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took firm stances on First Amendment issues of all kinds and at every point on the political spectrum. But now it has relegated religious liberty in particular to secondary status, sometimes actively supporting laws that would restrict it. Tim Schultz writes:
There are honorable exceptions, but the ACLU and many of its allies on the left are now increasingly hostile to actual religious freedom, which includes the ability to exercise one’s beliefs openly in the public square and not just within the narrow confines of a place of worship.
The ACLU launched a lawsuit that would force most of the nation’s religious adoption agencies out of business, limiting the difficult choices facing birth mothers and forcing children into a broken government-run system. An advertising campaign coinciding with the lawsuit makes no policy arguments, but instead relies on cartoonish portrayals of Christian adoption workers as violent bigots.
The California legislature passed a bill (with strong ACLU support) that would require churches and faith-based charities to employ people who procure abortions. The bill was too extreme even for the liberal governor Jerry Brown, who wisely vetoed it.
Democratic Senators—with well-coordinated public relations help from the ACLU—declared as unfit for government service a Catholic judicial nominee and an evangelical deputy cabinet secretary based upon beliefs that tens of millions of American Catholics and evangelicals would recognize as their own. . . .
Consider the implications of the ACLU’s position that religious freedom is perfectly fine so long as it does not come into conflict with any other important right or value. If that thinking were applied to other constitutional freedoms, it would render the Bill of Rights meaningless. How much freedom of speech or of the press would there be if it were allowed only when it didn’t give offense?