To the editor:

Re: Concerned about actions of the ACLU by Harold Baldwin

Mr. Baldwin, you and many others are misguided in your understanding of the ACLU. I’m afraid that your research has inadequately educated you about the American Civil Liberties Union. Here are a few facts that may dispel some of the mystery concerning what you refer to as this “strange organization”:

Our system of government has the majority govern through our elected representatives but its power must be limited to ensure individual rights guaranteed us in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The ACLU’s sole purpose is to protect the civil liberties of the individual.

It appears that you have no beef with its protecting your freedom of speech, or association, or assembly, or freedom of the press or freedom of religion, but rather you have a big problem with the ACLU’s strict adherence to the separation of church and state. The majority of Americans are grateful to the ACLU for protecting this separation. Many of us firmly believe that it strengthens our religious freedom and protects everyone’s freedom equally.

It looks like you are also concerned that your tax dollars pay to protect the freedoms of individuals at what you perceive to be the expense of your freedoms. Let me set your mind at ease. Since its inception in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union has been nonprofit and nonpartisan. It is supported by annual dues and contributions from more than its half-million members, plus grants and private foundations. It receives no government funding.

Be assured, Mr. Baldwin, that should you or I ever find any of our civil liberties trampled upon, the ACLU will be in our corner, fighting for all of the rights we have as citizens of this fine country.

Sheila Richardson

ACLU member

May