Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The ACLU Comes to the Rescue, Again!
I’m not a big fan of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Well, truth be told, I’m not a fan of the ACLU at all! Most of the time, when I see them taking a case, I know that my opinion of what they are doing will be the exact opposite of what they are saying.
That’s why the following story caught my attention. The ACLU is taking up the case of a southwestern Michigan minister who was sent to prison for warning that a judge could be tortured by God. The ACLU said it asked the state appeals court last week to release the Rev. Edward Pinkney on bail while he appeals a probation violation. Lawyers claim his free-speech rights were trampled in Berrien County.
So far, I’m curious about the case. How about you? Seems like I could appreciate what they are doing in this situation. Oh, but wait. There’s more to the story, as Paul Harvey always tells us.
In 2007, Rev. Pinkney was convicted of paying people to vote in a Benton Harbor election. Did you get that? The good, or not so good, reverend was paying people to vote in an election. Okay, now I’m returning to my normal feelings about the ACLU. Why would they want to defend someone who’s buying votes?
Here’s more. Months later, the reverend wrote an article in a Chicago newspaper saying the judge who handled his case, Alfred Butzbaugh, could be punished by God with curses, fever, and “extreme burning” unless he changed his ways.
Then, in June 2008, another Berrien County judge, Dennis Wiley, sent Rev. Pinkney to prison for three to 10 years after finding that he had violated his probation by making a threat against the judge. “Those are words that would ... put the fear of God into anybody, as a threat that this could happen to them if they do not do what Mr. Pinkney wants him to do, whatever that might be,” Wiley said, according to a transcript.
“To our knowledge, this case marks the first time in modern history that a preacher has been imprisoned for predicting what God might do.” said Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU in Michigan.
Mr. Steinberg might want to check his facts! What about preachers in China, Russia, Thailand, and other countries? What about Christians in various countries in the world who are imprisoned for “preaching” their beliefs in Jesus Christ?” What about Christians in countless Muslim countries? What about students in high schools across America that can no longer wear crosses around their neck or t-shirts sharing a Christian message?
Mr. Steinberg, believers around the world are imprisoned for their beliefs, their love of God, and their sharing the love of Jesus with others. Thousands are martyred each year for the values they hold. Countless millions of Americans can no longer pray at work or school or put up public displays of their faith. Mr. Steinberg, these people are punished, murdered, intimidated, and imprisoned, not for threatening a judge or buying votes, or violating probation, but for their faith in Jesus Christ.
I knew I didn’t like the ACLU.