This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published August 8, 2014 on The Washington Times website

For an organization that frequently goads government into advancing an atheistic viewpoint on everyone within reach, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) talks a good game about how wrong it is for some people to “impose their beliefs on others.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June in favor of Hobby Lobby and another Christian-owned company that refused to comply with Obamacare’s abortifacient mandate has sent the left-wing legal group into serious handwringing.

“While religious freedom gives us all the right to make personal decisions about how to practice religion,” the ACLU states, “it doesn’t give institutions or individuals the right to impose their beliefs on others.”

Really? Doesn’t requiring the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood Products to cut their conscience to fit the ACLU’s atheism constitute a situation where the ACLU itself is trying to use the law to “impose their beliefs on others”?

According to the ACLU’s reading of the First Amendment, it’s OK to have “freedom of worship,” which means keeping religious stuff strictly in your head or behind church doors. But God help you if you try to live it out in the real world, where the ACLU prowls for “victims.”

On the bright side, the ACLU is doing us all a favor by keeping track of its many religious-freedom challenges to the oppressive Obamacare contraceptive mandate across the nation.

“To date, 101 cases have been filed challenging the rule as an infringement on religious liberty,” the ACLU states on its website. “Eighty-nine of these cases are currently pending: 41 cases brought by nonprofit organizations, 45 cases brought by for-profit companies, and three cases brought by both nonprofit and for-profit plaintiffs.”

The devil’s law firm and other atheistic groups are also actively attacking religious freedom by contending that religiously affiliated schools cannot require employees to live by religious standards.

In 2012, in the Hosanna-Tabor case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that the government cannot interfere with religious groups’ faith-based employment qualifications. The lawsuits keep coming, though.

In 2013, San Diego Christian College dismissed an employee, Teri James, who had become pregnant out of wedlock. She retained feminist camera-hog lawyer Gloria Allred and sued the university, even though Ms. James had signed a covenant as a condition of employment agreeing not to engage in certain behaviors, including premarital sex. What’s a promise or a contract worth?

“Women out there should not have to worry about losing their income and independence just because they are carrying a child,” Ms. James said in a statement.

Independence? She means that the school has a duty to support her in the manner in which she is accustomed even if she breaks their rules. The ACLU summed up the situation this way:

“There are cases of religious schools firing employees who are unmarried and pregnant, for example, in the name of religion.”

Well, yes. A Christian school should have the right to employ people who abide by Christian values, such as keeping sex within marriage. What’s the point of having an expressly Christian organization if the people within it openly defy its values?

Would the ACLU be comfortable hiring someone who opposes abortion on demand or homosexual “marriage”? How about an anti-porn advocate?

In Missouri, the American Humanist Association is threatening to sue because one recruit was made uncomfortable when he spotted some donated Gideon Bibles on a shelf at a National Guard intake center in St. Louis. Maybe the recruit would benefit from a stint in a country not yet influenced by Christianity’s unique respect for individual rights.

The ACLU is the point of the spear, legally speaking, of a larger leftist campaign to fundamentally transform America into a place where fornication of any kind under the sun trumps all other human rights. It’s the only freedom we’ll have left after they establish government-enforced diversity re-education to stamp out anything resembling traditional religious values.

Achieving diversity used to mean ending discrimination based on race, ethnicity or other immutable characteristics. Now it means dividing people into groups based on grievances and then constantly inflaming those sore points. Google the “war on women” for more details.

For good measure, anyone resisting this onslaught is said to be “obsessed” with it, as though the activists demanding a wholesale moral meltdown are, by contrast, only casually involved.

In his classic, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis’ professorial devil instructs his demon nephew that in order to make it easier to steal souls, “All extremes except extreme devotion to [God] are to be encouraged. Not always, of course, but at this period.

“Some ages are lukewarm and complacent, and then it is our business to soothe them yet faster asleep. Other ages, of which the present is one, are unbalanced and prone to faction, and it is our business to inflame them.”

For decades, the ACLU has been reading the devil’s mail and acting accordingly.

They’ve learned only too well how to “impose their beliefs on others.”