MYTH: Republicans and conservatives don't belong to the ACLU.
FACT: The good work of the ACLU to enforce limits on government power attracts principled constitutionalists across political parties. The ACLU is nonpartisan and does not endorse political candidates.
MYTH: The ACLU is funded by taxpayers.
FACT: The ACLU is a nonprofit organization funded largely by the generosity of members and donors and receives no taxpayer dollars.
MYTH: The ACLU is anti-Christian.
FACT: The ACLU protects the rights of all Americans to worship-or not to worship-as they please. This is the guarantee of the First Amendment. Therefore, the ACLU has represented Christians, as well as others with religious beliefs whose free exercise rights have been violated.
MYTH: The ACLU opposes prayer in public school.
FACT: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled many years ago that school-sponsored prayer violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment: the prohibition against government establishing religion. School-sponsored prayers are not protected under the Constitution. However, individual students' rights to voluntary prayer that is not disruptive of the educational environment are protected. The ACLU has advocated for student led religious clubs to have the same rights as other clubs.
MYTH: The ACLU supports the rights of criminals, not victims.
FACT: The ACLU protects the constitutional rights all people. Prisoners are protected by the Eighth Amendment from cruel and unusual punishment.
MYTH: The ACLU doesn't support Second Amendment.
FACT: The ACLU supports ALL rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLU interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right right to bear arms, existing only in the collective population of each state for the purpose of maintaining an effective state militia.
MYTH: The ACLU is a First Amendment ONLY organization.
FACT: Many of the cases taken on by the ACLU involve the Fourth Amendment-the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fourteenth Amendment, protecting a person's right to due process. The ACLU also takes on many voting rights cases, another freedom protected by the U.S. Constitution.
MYTH: The ACLU defends only fringe elements of society.
FACT: The ACLU represents clients who are in need of constitutional protection. Sometimes, but not always, these are people – including children, people with disabilities, immigrants and the homeless-who do not have the resources to defend themselves against the improper use of the government power. Without the ACLU, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for many of our clients to obtain qualified legal counsel.
MYTH: The ACLU is an extremist organization.
FACT: There is nothing more principled and mainstream than striving to ensure that the protections of the U.S. Constitution extend to all. While groups on both ends of the political spectrum attempt to impose agendas and beliefs on the rest of us, the ACLU of Mississippi is dedicated to promoting, protecting and defend in the rights, liberties and freedom guaranteed to all people in our state by the U.S. and Mississippi Constitutions. We're not here to defend only the people who share our views or whose behavior is popular; we're here to defend all people.
FRIENDS OF LIBERTY: HELP US DISPEL THE MYTHS!
Use the statements of fact above to add to the ongoing conversations taking place on news websites, blogs and other places information is shared.
Friend us on Facebook to stay current on the latest news about the ACLU of Mississippi.
Follow the ACLU of Mississippi on Twitter, @aclu_ms, to help us spread the news about our good work.