I have got to admit that I have no idea what, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, differentiates an acceptable establishment of religion from one that is unacceptable, other than whether it corresponds to ADF ‘s right-wing agenda.
For instance, ADF says that if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed, it means the government will “effectively establish preferred religions or religious beliefs.”
Yet, at the same time, ADF is defending the National Day of Prayer as entirely constitutional:
ADF attorneys sent letters to mayors across the country two weeks before Crabb’s decision, urging them to observe and participate in last May’s National Day of Prayer event, and resist unfounded demands from activist groups to discontinue honoring the day … However, atheists and activist groups have challenged the constitutionality of local government recognition of the event by claiming Establishment Clause violations. ADF attorneys argue that such contentions are without merit.
So, according to the ADF, a government-ordained day of prayer is in no way a violation of the Establishment Clause … but a community college showing the documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” is an outrageous violation?
In September 2009, the president of Lakeshore Technical College announced that a faculty in-service session would include the film For the Bible Tells Me So, which includes political and religious figures promoting the view that homosexual conduct is consistent with biblical standards of morality.
The film asserts that those believing homosexual behavior to be wrong have “a fifth grade understanding of God.” In one of the film’s leaders’ guides, some religious leaders and scholars contend that the Bible has been “misused” to condemn homosexual behavior, thus allegedly harming individuals and families. Another of the film’s guides includes extensive materials that re-interpret Scripture in a way that justifies such conduct.
Some faculty and staff formally complained to Lakeshore officials about the program. In November 2009, they requested that an upcoming in-service include a presentation defending the biblical perspective on homosexual conduct. The college refused this and a similar request made in August 2010. Meanwhile, the college also used For the Bible Tells Me So as an assignment in some of its psychology and sociology classes.
ADF sent Lakeshore a letter [PDF] demanding that they cease and desist:
[W]hen the Founding Fathers wrote that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” they ensured that the state would not declare some religious beliefs superior to others. The fundamental principle they embedded in the Bill of Rights is one of denominational neutrality.
By showing For the Bible Tells Me So, LTC flaunted his fundamental First Amendment principle. This film overly favors denominations and religious sects that favor homosexual conduct, makes Biblical arguments about the morality of such conduct, and denigrates the theological views of those who do not favor it. And two federal courts have already recognized that such programs are unconstitutional.
And ADF has apparently succeeded, with Lakeshore agreeing to stop showing the film and even allowing concerned staff “to hold a campus-wide event to present the Bible’s actual teachings on homosexual conduct.”