Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 16, 2005

ACLU Amends the Constitution (Update #2)

Filed under: — Different River @ 8:17 pm

Azure Field reports that Richard John Neuhaus reports in the Feb. 2004 issue of First Things a fact from which we might conclude that the ACLU’s amendment-by-ellipsis seems to be working:

[A] recent national survey asked administrators and students about the First Amendment. Only 21 percent of administrators and 30 percent of students knew that the First Amendment guarantees religious freedom. Only six percent of administrators and two percent of students knew that religious freedom is the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment. Only 41 percent of administrators and 32 percent of students believe that religious people should be permitted to advocate their views by whatever legal means available. On the other hand, 74 percent of students and 87 percent of administrators think it “essential” that people be able to express their beliefs unless—and then come a host of qualifications, all amounting to the condition that their beliefs not “offend others.” Commenting on the survey, Alan Charles Kors, a University of Pennsylvania historian, said, “If an antiwar group put up a poster of Iraqi children they claimed were maimed by George Bush, nobody would blink. But let a pro-life group put up a poster of an aborted fetus and suddenly it becomes, ‘Well, they crossed the line.’” Students surveyed said they remember having heard something about the Bill of Rights back in high school. But then they moved on to higher things.

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