(2/3/2004) The constitutional separation of church and state in the
U.S. has long-been a hotly contested issue. How that separation should be
interpreted and enforced has been at the heart of such issues as the
Pledge of Allegiance in schools and the Ten Commandments in state
courthouses. But does the separation mean that war dead buried in
government-owned cemeteries must be interred only with secular headstones?
Did you see in the news last week where the A C L U doesn't want
any crosses on any Federal property.
Let them try and remove these!! What are these people thinking??
At what point do we say, enough is enough? Please pass this on to as
many people possible as quickly as you can even if you normally
don't do this type of thing. Some messages just need to be forwarded
and this is most certainly one of them. Please take the time.
This chain letter has changed a good bit since it first surfaced in
2002. In its current form, it appears to be warning conscientious
Christians that the ACLU is out to remove crosses from government
cemeteries. This is not true, nor was it probably the intent of the
chain's original author.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) frequently draws criticism from
Christian interests because it advocates for absolutely no
government-sanctioned religion. It is the ACLU that backed lawsuits
regarding the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and the
propriety of the Ten Commandments in an Alabama Courthouse. What rankles
most is the ACLU's insistance that the First Amendment guarantee of free
religion includes the choice to follow no religion, thus any tolerance by
the government of any one religion is seen as a violation.
In its original form, the letter above was a patriotically-charged and
good-hearted jab at the ACLU. As it has circulated, the irony it
originally played up has slid away as many forwarders take the message
literally and assume the ACLU really is going after crosses in military
cemeteries. In a statement, the ACLU denies such actions:
"The ACLU is not pursuing, nor has it ever pursued, the removal
of religious symbols from personal gravestones. Personal gravestones
are the choice of the family members, not the choice of the
government. The ACLU celebrates this freedom to choose the religious
symbol of your choice."
Some versions have identified the cemetery in the picture as Arlington
National Cemetery and went as far as to assert that the ACLU was, indeed,
going after that revered institution. It is not. In fact, the picture
depicts a cemetery in Europe. Break this Chain.