ACLU Supports Religious Freedom?

By Stanford Matthews
Blog @

Okay, now I’m confused. As the links and excerpts below indicate, it seems the ACLU is supporting religious freedom and at the same time ignoring their long standing effort to eliminate religion using their questionable arguments on separation of church and state. Gee, wouldn’t a police department be viewed by the ACLU as the ‘state’? And wouldn’t wearing a beard for religious reasons while working as a police officer or detective violate the ACLU’s sensibilities on the issue of separation of church and state? And then there is the upcoming trial to determine if said officer will be allowed to wear a yarmulke during work and the ACLU attorney is optimistic that his client, the officer, will be victorious. Is it just me or is the ACLU changing their tune on things religious? Someone tell me what they’re up to.

A Las Vegas Metro Police detective has won a partial victory in his fight to observe his religion. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Detective Steve Riback, an Orthodox Jew, can wear a short, trimmed beard at work. But Federal Judge Roger Hunt ruled a jury must decide if Riback can wear a yarmulke on the job. He has been supported by the Nevada ACLU.

ORTHODOX JEW: Judge: Detective’s beard OK

Allen Lichtenstein, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada who represents Riback, and the department’s lawyers all said Hunt’s ruling pleased them.

“We knocked out seven of (Riback’s) nine claims,” Anderson said.

Lichtenstein said his client asked for two accommodations, and Hunt granted one while allowing the other to go to trial.

“We are gratified that the judge ruled that when the Police Department allows beards for medical reasons that they can’t discriminate by prohibiting them for religious reasons,” Lichtenstein said. “We look forward to the trial on the question of the yarmulke and believe that the outcome at trial will again be favorable to Detective Riback.”

Metro Detective Wins Court Victory Over Beard

from the interesting point from a comment on the above site suggests a problem if two neighbors, one being Muslim and wearing a turban, would cause some conflict if the police were called and the cop was wearing a yarmulke. Another comment suggested if you don’t like the rules at your job, quit.