Using the principle of separation of church and state, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has frequently taken on Christian groups in various cases meant to remove Christianity from the public square. In fact, the ACLU so often appears to be deliberately targeting Christianity that it has gone on record denying bias.
Now the town of Gilbert, Arizona has banned religious services in the homes of its residents. If the ACLU is indeed in the business of protecting Americans’ civil liberties, the group should take up the cause of the town’s Christians who have been barred from practicing their religious freedom in their own homes.
The Oasis of Truth church began meeting at Pastor Joe Sutherland’s house in November and rotated homes several times a week for Bible study and fellowship.
A Gilbert code compliance officer hit the church with a violation notice after seeing a sign near a road advertising a Sunday service.
A zoning administrator told the church that Bible studies, church leadership meetings and fellowship activities are not permitted in private homes.
It’s clear that the town’s law is unconstitutional. Indeed, the violation of the residents’ right to exercise their religion is much more egregious than virtually all of the semantic church/state conflicts the ACLU perpetuates every day. So much so, in fact, that if the group purports to be a defender of the constitution and the rights it guarantees, the ACLU must respond in favor of Christians in Gilbert with all of the force and bluster the watchdog group can muster. Anything less would be a hypocritical violation of the group’s publicly declared purpose.