The ACLU Struggles with Child Pornography
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) purports to defend American freedoms, including the freedom of expression (“About Us,” 2007). This can be a noble, constitutional ideal. However, it has been demonstrated repeatedly that the ACLU supports the promotion of humanism and immorality, while seeking to deny the freedom to stand for godly principles of morality and justice on which the nation was founded (see Miller, 2006; Lyons, 2005; Harrub and Thompson, 2003; “Abortion in the…,” 2007; “Fighting Assaults…,” n.d.).
The ACLU regularly defends pornographers, molesters, and the homosexual agenda, in court cases (“The ‘Anti-Christian…’,” n.d.; cf. Strossen, 2000). It comes as little surprise, therefore, that an ACLU leader was arrested and convicted for possession of child pornography. ABC reported that Charles Rust-Tierney, former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, allegedly “used his email address and credit card to subscribe to and access a child pornography website” (Date, 2007).
On May 10, 2007, Rust-Tierney was indicted by a federal grand jury (Rybicki, 2007). According to the criminal complaint obtained by ABC, Rust-Tierney admitted that he “downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites,” and these videos depict graphic, grotesque sexual misdeeds. Many of the children depicted in the images were under 12 years of age. Rust-Tierney, a former Arlington County youth sports coach, pleaded guilty in June to downloading hundreds of pornographic images of children as young as four years old (Brubaker, 2007). He viewed this material on a computer in his 11-year-old son’s bedroom (Brubaker). On September 7, he was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for buying child pornography that prosecutors labeled “sadistic and masochistic” (Brubaker).
Interestingly, Rust-Tierney once argued that Internet filters in libraries interfere with students’ abilities to learn and communicate (“ACLU Exec…,” 2007; cf. “Statement of the ACLU…,” 1998). Now, Rust-Tierney’s own moral failings have mounted a stronger, if indirect, argument for filters than any of his own past or future anticensorship rhetoric possibly could overcome. Furthermore, Rust-Tierney’s lawyers are the very same ones who represented serial killer John Allen Muhammed (Markon, 2007; cf. Bykowicz, 2003).
As Christians continue to wage intellectual and cultural warfare against immoral, unjust ideologies, it is helpful to take note when erroneous ideas or imbalanced ideals lead to horrific, real-life outcomes. Clearly some communication must be illegal, filtered, and should not be promoted (see Philippians 4:8).
“Abortion in the News,” (2007), ACLU, [On-line], URL: http://www.aclu.org/reproductiverights/index.html.
“About Us” (2007), ACLU, [On-line], URL: http://www.aclu.org/about/index.html.
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Brubaker, Bill (2007), “Va.’s Ex-ACLU Chief Gets 7 Years for Child Porn,” The Washington Post, [On-line], URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/07/AR2007090701673.html.
Bykowicz, Julie (2003), “Two Experienced Attorneys Battle for Muhammad’s Life,” The Baltimore Sun, [On-line], URL: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bal-te.md.defense12nov12,0,6300601.story?coll=bal-home-headlines.
Date, Jack (2007), “Former ACLU Chapter President Arrested for Child Pornography,” ABCNews, [On-line], URL: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=2900174.
“Fighting Assaults on Liberty” (no date), ACLU of Florida, [On-line], URL: http://www.aclufl.org/issues/index.cfm.
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), “The Illusion of Academic Freedom,” [On-line], URL: https://apologeticspress.org/articles/51.
Lyons, Eric (2005), “Sex Education Gone Crazy,” [On-line], URL: https://apologeticspress.org/articles/320.
Markon, Jerry (2007), “Conflicting Views of Alleged ‘Double Life’,” The Washington Post, [On-line], URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/08/AR2007030802115.html.
Miller, Dave (2006), “The Insane Expulsion of God,” [On-line], URL: https://apologeticspress.org/articles/2973.
Rybicki, Jim (2007), “Arlington Youth Sports Coach Indicted for Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography,” United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia, [On-line], URL: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae/Pressreleases/05-MayPDFArchive/07/20070510rust-tierneynr.pdf.
“Statement of the ACLU of Virginia to the Loudoun County Library Board,” Tech Law Journal, [On-line], URL: http://www.techlawjournal.com/censor/19981201aclu.htm.
Strossen, Nadine (2000), Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights (New York: NYU Press).
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