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Jun 04 2014

The Difference Between Secular and Christian Advocacy Groups

The Center for Inquiry has been pushing for the release of Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman in Sudan who has been sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy for refusing to renounce her religion. They’ve started email campaigns and protests over it contacted the Sudanese embassy over it.

Can you think of a single instance where Christian groups that claim to fight for religious freedom, like the American Center for Law and Justice, have done anything like that on behalf of atheists like Albert Saber, Ben Baz and many others who have been imprisoned for blasphemy in Muslim countries? Maybe they have, but I’ve never seen such action from them. A quick search of the ACLJ website finds nothing. And as I recently noted, the ACLJ has been supporting harsh blasphemy laws in other countries as long as they’re Christian.

The same comparison can be made between those groups and the ACLU. Though groups like the ACLJ, ADF and Liberty Counsel claim to support religious freedom, the truth is that they only seem to care about the rights of Christians (and often the right of Christians to impose their religion on non-Christians). The ACLU, on the other hand, defends the religious freedom of Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists and members of every other group, as they have done for decades.

The ACLU defended Jerry Falwell in court, twice. They’ve defended school children who have been denied the right to hand out religious literature to their classmates, to wear anti-gay t-shirts (Harper v Poway), anti-abortion demonstrators, street preachers being harassed by the police, and even Rush Limbaugh. You can read lots of examples in an old post of mine at Science Blogs.

This seems to be the difference between secular civil liberties groups and Christian ones. The Christian ones only care about the freedom of Christians and no one else.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    ArtK

    The Christian ones only care about the freedom of Christians and no one else.

    That’s because they are the only people who matter.

    Another way of looking at it: There are only two kinds of people, professed Christians and un-professed Christians, so they’re fighting for the rights of all people. The un-professed ones just need to realize the error of their ways and everything will be just fine.

  2. 2
    dingojack

    Given the quality of Christian advocates’ lawyers, isn’t THEM NOT representing someone really for the best?
    Dingo

  3. 3
    eric

    If they want an easy opportunity, Hemant points out that Sanal Edamaruku is still living in exile in Finland. He’d like to go home to India, but the Catholic church says they will prosecute him for “hurting religious sentiments” unless he apologizes (for pointing out that the blood from a bleeding statue was just a leaky drainage pipe). How about the ACLJ talk the Indian Catholic church into letting him come home? This isn’t even as hard as trying to convince a country to let someone they perceive as a dissident go; this is just convincing an NGO not to complain about someone else’s free speech.

  4. 4
    Modusoperandi

    The Christian ones only care about the freedom of Christians and no one else.

    Bullshit. They only care about the money.

  5. 5
    thebookofdave

    They only care about the money

    Your cynicism saddens me, MO. In fact, the ACLJ exists to free their donors from the burden of worldly matters, liberate their lawyers to pursue worldly concerns (as their faith dictates), and frees capital to defend True Christians™ everywhere from the differing opinions of the religiously intolerant. It’s all about freedom.

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