I Think, Watchtower Mislead ACLU to Support Them

by Scott77 8 Replies latest social current

  • Scott77

    Please, what do you think after reading new article? I think the Watchtower is itself, an abuser of people's religious rights like the right to one's choice of religion. Look, many individuals are stalked over the years, all in the name of religion. I think, its a double standard on the part of the WTS in this respect.



    January 21, 2010

    Laws In Puerto Rico Restricting Access To Public Streets Violate First Amendment

    CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; [email protected]

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union, its national chapter in Puerto Rico and its affiliates in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island filed a friend-of-the-court brief late Wednesday opposing unconstitutional laws that effectively ban Jehovah's Witnesses from freely expressing their faith in the streets of Puerto Rico.

    The brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, supports a constitutional challenge to Puerto Rico laws, enacted in 1987, that authorize neighborhoods to deny citizens access to public residential streets by erecting walls and gates around them. The laws effectively prohibit Jehovah's Witnesses from engaging in the door-to-door public ministry for which they are well known worldwide. The federal lawsuit was filed by the approximately 25,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in 318 congregations in Puerto Rico, as well as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., the publisher of religious material that is often distributed by Jehovah's Witnesses.

    "The Jehovah's Witnesses unquestionably have a constitutionally protected right to proclaim their faith on the public streets of Puerto Rico," said Daniel Mach, Director of Litigation for the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. "These laws impose sweeping restrictions on free speech and religious exercise and strike at the heart of the First Amendment."

    The ACLU's amicus brief, filed with cooperating counsel at the Washington, DC office of Mayer Brown LLP, argues that closing off public streets to outside speakers is an unprecedented intrusion on some of the most basic, fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    The brief also notes that the amount of constitutionally protected speech restricted by the challenged laws extends well beyond religious expression. The laws not only limit the ability of religious adherents to spread their message of faith, but also prohibit, for example, door-to-door charitable solicitations and political canvassing.

    "The public street has long been the archetype of a traditional public forum," said William Ramirez, Executive Director of the ACLU of Puerto Rico. "These laws dangerously limit access to places that for ages have served as forums for unfettered public discussion and communication."

    The brief also argues that personal appeals made through door-to-door messaging have long been recognized as uniquely powerful means of communication, and there are no adequate alternatives available under Puerto Rico's restrictive laws. Door-to-door messaging is also the only means of communication that is affordable for many small and poorly financed groups, and bans on door-to-door messaging effectively serves to silence these groups entirely.

    A copy of the ACLU's amicus brief is available online at: www.aclu.org/religion-belief/watchtower-bible-et-al-v-de-jesus-et-al-brief

    Additional information about the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief is available online at: www.aclu.org/religion

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    Watchtower Bible, et al. v. De Jesus, et al. - Brief
  • finallyfree!

    The WTS and their "effort to convert and judge the world is a poison to society. You can't just walk into a country and expect to uproot strong engrained customs and traditions. No wonder they're "persecuted" so much. The only reason you don't see kingdom halls getting lit on fire and the religion literally driven out is because we live in politically stable countries. If north america were to fall into political chaos for some reason the people would drive out this corrossive dividing wedge of a cult.

  • Yan Bibiyan
    Yan Bibiyan

    What really pisses me off is that JWs are hitching free rides on the back of established laws and liberties for which they have contributed NOTHING. Infact, their very MO is quite the opposite of "free expression" of one's self. Someone from the ACLU should call them on it and point out that in their own back yard expression is anything but free...


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I am a lawyer who supports the ACLU. Indeed, I worked for them at one point. People outside the profession seem to have trouble understanding the role of the ACLU. The Witnesses have shaped civl liberties laws to a great degree. My mother was expelled from high school for not saluting the flag. It would have been her wish to salute the flag but her mother would have killed her. My mom suffered, not my grandmother. Later, the ACLU helped knock down the flag salute laws as applied to parents. This history was my main motivation in attending law school. My father was friendly with Covington at Bethel.

    The ACLU will champion unpopular causes if it fits within their litigation strategy of extending the law. They are not representing the Witnesses. An amicus curiae brief points out how the law will affect others. It gives the court guidance. Among lawyers, the ACLU is highly regarded for attracting the brightest lawyers in the country. Most work at large, corporate law firms and donate their time. These large firms recognize a social responsibility to bring these cases. I have never agreed with all of the ACLU legal positions. Its role in creating a tension to highlight civil rights is pivotal. Many ACLU lawyers have joined The Federalist Society, an organization designed to encourage conservative legal tension.

    I am curious as to how legal work is done for the Society in general. It boggles my mind that an educated lawyer can argue for the society out of personal conviction rather than cash. I am a strong critic of the Society but there is no doubt that the WTBTS expanded the rights of all Americans. Of course, those who use the system of ACLU advocacy, such as the WTBTS, Nazis and the Klan, rarely grant those rights to people outside and within their fold.

  • read good books
    read good books

    I wish the ACLU would do more to protect mainstream American peoples rights, the TSA is clearly violating people's constitutional rights by sticking their hands down your pants and x-raying passengers, what law suits have the ACLU filed over this?

    Instead of spending so much of their resources and time defendng the rights of a stinking mean spirited cult that steps on the rights of those who wish to quit why isn't the ACLU doing more to fight the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act?

  • Scott77

    @read good books : I think, your questions demand a response.

    @ read good books : I am currently exploring legal ways how in the interest of public safety, to force the Watchtower Society to release all the names of pedophiles as kept in its databases. The public right to know outweigh any interest of the WTS be it any. Also, I would like to have the WTS be forced to release upon request, a copy of what is kept in its file of all members, current and ex-JWs. Please, do you have any idea how this can be done?


  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    The Witnesses have shaped civl liberties laws to a great degree.

    :) I posted something to this effect several months ago and had some notable posters jump down my throat. BTW, welcome to the board Band. I'm a 1L. For obvious reasons, I do not post much anymore. However, I just finished exams and do not quite know what to do with myself yet; I think I am in shock! This is a nice diversion sometimes. :)

  • Evidently Apostate
    Evidently Apostate

    i have to agree with the ACLU as much pain as this religions preaching has done they have the right to go publicly from house to house. they are having almost zero effect with it in most of the industrialized nations and it is wearing a lot of them down which hopefully gets them to give up by themselves or at least start to question the logic and direct them to the internet another freedom i am greatfull for

  • Scott77


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