The ACLU of Southern California and the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations recently sued the FBI for violating the rights of Muslims by sending an informant to spy on them in a California mosque. The FBI was investigating possible terrorist threats, but the lawsuit claims it was guilty of “indiscriminate surveillance.”
The ACLU is motivated by politics, not principle. In the late 1970s, after Rep. Henry Hyde authored a bill to restrict federal financing of abortions, the ACLU dispatched an agent to spy on him. The agent followed him into a Catholic church on Sundays and took notes of what happened. This was done to show that it was Hyde’s Catholicism that accounted for his pro-life stand.
It is a little too late for the ACLU to feign outrage over FBI agents spying on Muslims in a mosque: it cares not a whit about religious rights, unless they serve a political purpose. That’s why the ACLU is so fond of defending the religious rights of prisoners, but is noticeably silent when it comes to the due process rights of Catholic priests accused of crimes that allegedly happened decades ago.
The FBI has a job to do in tracking down suspected terrorists, and if that warrants surveillance in a house of worship—including a Catholic church—so be it.