Better grave than slave

Pedophilia good, religion, bad

Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2000 / 14 Elul, 5760
Debbie Schlussel --

AND YOU thought it was impossible for the ACLU to sink any lower.

The self-anointed defender of the First Amendment is defending NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association, a pedophilia advocacy group, in a lawsuit over its role in the 1997 sexual molestation and murder of 10-year-old Matthew Curley.

Curley was lured from his suburban Boston neighborhood by Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari. When he resisted their sexual advances, they smothered him to death. Then, they raped his dead body and stuffed it into a concrete-filled container, which they dumped into a river.

Jaynes viewed the NAMBLA website (which is no longer on-line) from a public library, right before the murder and also possessed NAMBLA publications. NAMBLA actively educates members and others on how to locate children for sex, how to gain their trust, and how to avoid law enforcement. In short, NAMBLA tells guys like this despicable rapist/murderer how to break the law and rape children. That's why the Curley family is suing NAMBLA. It incited the commission of this tragic crime.

There are limits on free speech. Some speech is unprotected by the First Amendment. You can't incite a riot, and you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. NAMBLA's actions – let alone its whole perverted raison d'etre – violate those limits. Its slogan, "Sex by eight or it's too late," refers to victims' age. And that's the tame stuff.

Under the landmark 1969 First Amendment ruling in Brandenburg v. Ohio, speech, like NAMBLA's, which incites imminent illegal activity or amounts to calls to action is not protected and can be restrained or punished. The 1999 $25 million verdict in Michigan's "Jenny Jones" case set a precedent. "Jenny Jones" producers were held liable for inciting the murder of Scott Amedure by Jonathan Schmitz, after the show ambushed the mentally unstable, heterosexual Schmitz with gay crush Amedure.

And in May 1999, Paladin Press settled Rice v. Paladin Enterprises with the family of Mildred Horn, after it published and sold the book "Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors" to the hit man (hired by Horn's husband) who murdered Horn and others. Unlike NAMBLA's materials, "Hit Man" featured disclaimers, such as, for "information purposes" and "academic study only," but Paladin settled, citing legal precedent against it already set in the case, including at the Supreme Court level, and the likelihood it would lose.

Likewise, the ACLU has no case here.

And the ACLU's involvement in the NAMBLA case is very telling. It claims it's defending NAMBLA because the group's ideas and web communications are protected under the First Amendment. Yet, the ACLU was clearly on the other side of free speech when it helped take away free speech rights of football fans to organize voluntary prayer.

And the ACLU was on the wrong side of free speech in May, when it filed suit against Richmond County, Georgia, because the county's official seal includes a small drawing of two stone tablets containing Roman numerals I through X, which might be the Ten Commandments, allegedly suggesting that Christians receive preferential treatment from government.

The ACLU's view that the Ten Commandments are exclusively identified with Christians is absurd. And it's news to me, a Jew -- one of the people of Moses, who brought the Commandments down from Mt. Sinai.

The ACLU opposed the Child Pornography Prevention Act and was part of a "Free Speech Coalition" that sued Janet Reno in Federal Court in Northern California over it. I'd love to know how a child being forced into pornography against his/her will is free speech. The ACLU recently lost its suit against Virginia for instituting a moment of silence in its public schools. Sorry, ACLU, but freedom not to speak is a legally recognized form of free speech, too.

Where was the ACLU's precious commitment to free speech, when Goldsboro, North Carolina's Chief of Police, Chester Hill, suspended police officer Ken Edwards and threatened to fire him, for teaching an off-duty class in gun instruction, required under that State's concealed weapons law, merely because Hill opposed the law and was upset it passed? It took a Second Amendment organization, the National Rifle Association (NRA), to fight for Edwards' First Amendment rights. And where was the ACLU when a Downsville, NY school superintendent refused to let Downsville Central High senior Jennifer Bono, a competitive sharpshooter, pose with an automatic weapon in her high school yearbook photo? Again, the NRA took the action that got this reversed.

Where was the ACLU, when an Oregon group lost millions of dollars and its right to post lists of abortion doctors on the "Nuremburg Files" website? Or when Operation Rescue's free speech to protest abortion was curtailed under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act? Or, in February, when the Senate passed legislation preventing only anti-abortion activists from filing for bankruptcy, another politically selective limitation on free speech? Or, last fall, when Washington State education officials pulled student Joshua Davey's state-funded college scholarship because he decided to major in religion?

The ACLU is no martyr for the First Amendment. That's a PR sham. It's merely a shill for the free speech of liberal and extremist causes. And the ACLU's lack of consistency in the free speech debate—in fact, its activism against the free speech of mainstream religion and morality—is the only thing consistent about it.

It's not just the ACLU's current message of "prayer and G-d bad, rape of children good." As House whip Tom Delay said in his Monday Night speech at the Toward Tradition Conference in Washington, the radical, minority ACLU is picking which type of speech will really be free for America. That deviant, offensive speech, like flag burning, nude dancing, and instructions on how to build bombs, will be free; But moral, laudable speech, like voluntary prayer, will not.

Remember that form of free speech known as silence? It's time for the ACLU to exercise it.

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