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Letter: Protecting Freedoms, Not Destroying Them (Greece Post)

To the editor:

Doris Naundorf’s letter, “It’s your duty to speak up,” (published March 20) contains two troubling errors.

First, Americans for Separation of Church and State, not the ACLU, is suing the town of Greece for starting public meetings with Christian prayers. Neither the ACLU nor its New York affiliate, the NYCLU, is involved in the lawsuit in any manner.

Second, Ms. Naundorf unfairly accuses the ACLU of seeking to “destroy” her faith. She could not be more mistaken. The ACLU and NYCLU strive to protect people’s religious freedom, not destroy it.

Because our efforts to prevent government promotion of selected religious activities are well known, people wrongly assume that we do not strongly defend the rights of religious believers, including Christians, to practice their religion. The ACLU and NYCLU have a proud history of defending people’s right to express their religious beliefs no matter how controversial – from aiding religious conscientious objectors to defending the rights of Christians to publicly condemn homosexuality or abortion, we’ve done it all.

And while we might disagree with Ms. Naundorf about the constitutionality of starting town board meetings with Christian prayers, we would zealously defend her right to practice her own religious faith however she chooses.

Gary Pudup
Director, Genesee Valley chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union

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