Editorial: The religion police

December 21, 2003

Hats off to Oldham County officials for coming up with a novel response to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU has questioned the constitutionality of a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn in La Grange and has asked Oldham county officials to clarify their policies on private use of the public square.

The ACLU told the officials that if the display was government-sponsored it would have to come down. If it's not, the ACLU said the county would have to let other groups also put on displays on the lawn.

County officials said that the Nativity scene wasn't government-sponsored and that over the years they have allowed various organizations to use the lawn.


But Judge-Executive Mary Ellen Kinser went one step further in emphasizing the county's openness: She invited the ACLU to file an application to put up a display on the lawn.

So far, according to the Associated Press, Kinser has not received a reply from the ACLU to the county's invitation. It's not likely to either, but it certainly can't claim that the county's not open to letting anybody and everybody use the courthouse lawn for displays.

The ACLU already has turned down another of Kinser's requests. Saying that she had never received a complaint from a county resident about the Nativity scene, Kinser asked the ACLU for the names of the people who complained to that organization so she could verify that they are county residents.

The ACLU declined to reveal the names. Could it be because they don't exist?

Increasingly, the ACLU has become the religion police dedicated to stamping out all signs of it wherever they turn up. It doesn't seem to matter whether anybody has been offended or has complained. The ACLU will turn on its red lights and sirens anyway.

The glue that holds our diverse country together is the traditional America pioneer spirit of live and let live. Most people are too busy to worry much about just exactly what should be offensive to them - that is, until the ACLU tells them.

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