Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shocking Fact: Chain Emails Are Not Always True

You may be as shocked - shocked! - as I was to learn this: Some people say things about the ACLU that aren't true.

To wit, a chain email that first circulated years ago saying that the ACLU had filed suit to have all cross-shaped military headstones removed has apparently been revived, if the calls our offices have gotten inquiring about it are any indication.

Below is an excerpt from the national ACLU's Blog of Rights stating the facts about these allegations. Click here to read the entire post.

The ACLU and Religion: Don't Believe Everything You Read On the Internet

A malicious and factually inaccurate e-mail accusing the ACLU of not standing solidly on the side of religious liberty – an e-mail that was first circulated six years ago – has once again reared its ugly head and popped up in the e-mail inboxes of people across the country. In an effort to set the record straight, below are two myths the e-mail passes off as truth, followed by the facts which effectively debunk the e-mail’s claims.

MYTH: The ACLU has filed a lawsuit to have all cross-shaped headstones removed from federal cemeteries.

FACT: The ACLU has never once advocated for or initiated any litigation in favor of removing cross-shaped headstones from federal cemeteries. In fact, as the website Politifact.com makes clear, there are no cross-shaped headstones at VA national cemeteries. The headstones and markers the government issues are rectangular.

What the ACLU did do in 2006 was file a lawsuit seeking to protect the right of veterans and their families to choose religious symbols to engrave on headstones in federal cemeteries. The result of this litigation was not the forced removal of any crosses, but rather an expansion of the official government list of religious symbols allowed on headstones by the National Cemeteries Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to include the Wiccan pentacle.

Becca in Harrisburg

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