Roger Baldwin (1884-1981): Founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

By Brannon S. Howse

“The most effective humanist organization for destroying the laws, morals, and traditional rights of Americans has been the ACLU. Founded in 1920, it is the legal arm of the humanist movement, established and nurtured by the Ethical Cultural Movement.”

I didn’t make that up. David Noebel and Tim LaHaye, demonstrate it clearly in their excellent book, Mind Siege. The history and practices of the American Civil Liberties Union substantiates the conclusion that the organization has been a leader in undermining our constitutional liberties.

But what motive would inspire anyone to want to destroy America’s free society? One hint is the founder’s choice of office location. On January 20, 1920, Roger Baldwin established the ACLU’s first office, set up in New York City in space shared with the American Communist Party’s tabloid, New Masses. 


[quote] Other hints are discovered among Baldwin’s co-horts. John Dewey—Chapter 8’s “father of modern education” in America—signed the Humanist Manifesto I, was a board member of the American Humanist Association, helped establish the League for Industrial Democracy, and assisted Baldwin in founding the American Civil Liberties Union. Another co-founder, William Z. Foster, had previously served as the head of the United States Communist Party. Baldwin, Dewey, and Foster set the tone for what the ACLU would become, and today, where there is an attack on religious liberty, you can bet the ACLU is involved either directly or indirectly. [end quote] 


Sneak Attacks:


As with most things communist, Baldwin’s organizing began like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. Historian George Grant reports in The Family Under Siege: 


[quote] In 1920 he [Baldwin] also launched the Mutual Aid Society to offer financial help to leftist intellectuals, trade unionists, and the radical fringe. Baldwin also started the International Committee for Political Prisoners to provide counsel and support to anarchist and communist subversives who had been deported for their criminal activities. He helped to establish the American Fund for Public Service—with two million dollars donated by Charles Garland, a rich young revolutionary from Boston—in order to pour vast sums of money into revolutionary causes. And finally, he developed close institutional ties with the Communist movement and the Socialists International. [end quote] 


The mainstay of the organization’s activities, eradicating religious freedom is only part of the ACLU agenda. Here is a list of “liberties” the ACLU strives to legitimize in America: 


• Child pornography

• Abortion on demand

• Tax exemptions for Satanists

• Totally legalized drug use

• Mandatory sex education for all grades

• Prostitution

• Gambling

• Giving gays and lesbians the same legal benefits married people have

• Letting homosexuals become adoptive and foster parents

• Unconditional legal protection for flag-burners

• Greater benefits for illegal aliens and homosexuals who want to enter the U.S.


And the list of liberties the ACLU opposes? Pretty much everything conservatives support:


• Prayer in public school classrooms (as well as in locker rooms, sports arenas, graduation exercises, courtrooms, and legislative assemblies) 

• Nativity scenes, crosses, and other Christian symbols on public property

• Voluntary Bible reading in public schools, even during free time and after class

• Imprinting “in God we trust” on our coins

• Access for students in Christian schools to any publicly funded services

• Accreditation for science departments at Bible-believing Christian universities

• The posting of the Ten Commandments in classrooms or courtrooms

• The words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance

• School officials searching students’ lockers for drugs or guns

• Requiring people on welfare to work in exchange for their government aid

• Tax exemptions for Christian churches, ministries, and other charities

• Rating movies to alert parents about sex or violence

• Home-schooling

• Medical safety regulations and reporting of AIDS cases

• Public pro-life demonstrations

• Laws banning polygamy.


Lest you think there is even the slightest undue conservative bias in my assertion that the ACLU has been one of America’s most liberal and dangerous organizations from the get-go, consider the results of an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Special Committee on Communist Activities in the United States within the first dozen years of the ACLU’s existence. On January 17, 1931, the committee reported:


[quote] The American Civil Liberties Union is closely affiliated with the communist movement in the United States, and fully 90 percent of its efforts are on behalf of communists who have come into conflict with the law. It claims to stand for free speech, free press, and free assembly, but it is quite apparent that the main function of the ACLU is to attempt to protect the communists in their advocacy of force and violence to overthrow the Government, replacing the American flag by a red flag and erecting a Soviet Government in place of the republican form of government guaranteed to each state by the Federal Constitution. [end quote] 


Nearly four decades later, investigators from yet another source were still coming to the same conclusion. A police undercover agent, David D. Gumaer, revealed in 1969 that “206 past leading members of the ACLU had a combined record of 1,754 officially cited Communist front affiliations. . . . The present ACLU Board consists of sixty-eight members, thirty-one of whom have succeeded in amassing a total of at least 355 Communist front affiliations. That total does not include the citations of these individuals which appear in reports from the Senate International Security Subcommittee.”


Communism, A Clue:


Despite the clever name of the organization, “civil liberties” was never Roger Baldwin’s real goal. In fact, Baldwin was so committed to his radical liberalism that he was willing to use the power of governmental tyranny to “suppress” the masses and bring his worldview to bear: 

[quote] When the power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever. No champion of a socialist society could fail to see that some suppression was necessary to achieve it. [end quote] 


As for his atheistic, communist worldview, Baldwin, by his own admission, was no “innocent liberal.” His strategy was precise: 


[quote] I joined. I don’t regret being a part of the Communist tactic, which increased the effectiveness of a good cause. I knew what I was doing. I was not an innocent liberal. I wanted what the Communists wanted and I traveled the United Front road to get it. [end quote] 


So there you go. Roger Baldwin—the father of the ACLU and acclaimed liberal—admits he is a communist, and a communist by definition is an atheist and humanist. The American Civil Liberties Union is not about liberties. It’s about communism, revolution, and oppression! 


To accomplish his communist revolution in America, Baldwin’s tactics are as true to communism as his underlying philosophy. It is a frighteningly effective way liberals in general have adopted as the means to achieve their goals—by using lies, deception, and lots of smoke and mirrors: 

[quote] We want to look like patriots in everything we do. We want to get a lot of flags, talk a great deal about the Constitution and what our forefathers wanted to make of this country and how that we are the fellows that really stand for the spirit of our institutions. [end quote] 


While appealing to the Constitution and waving the American flag, Baldwin and company trash the Constitution, defend the right to burn the flag, and persecute genuine patriots in order to achieve their goals. Baldwin outlines his plans:


"I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal. It all sums up into one single purpose—the abolition of dog-eat-dog under which we live."


The approach has been stunningly successful. Despite Baldwin’s hatred for the U.S. Constitution, America, God, private property, the free enterprise system, and freedom of religion, in 1981, then-President Jimmy Carter (a Democrat, in case you’ve forgotten) gave Baldwin the Medal of Freedom—our nation’s highest civilian honor!


Fortunately, not everyone is blind to the ACLU’s true intent. Mark Campisano, former Supreme Court clerk for Justice William Brennan, asserts:

"An accounting of the ACLU’s case load suggests that the organization is an ideological chameleon—that beneath the protective coloration of civil liberties, the ACLU is pursuing a very different agenda—a very liberal agenda."


According to William Donohue, the ACLU is the very incarnation of liberalism: 


"Social reform, in a liberal direction, is the sine qua non of the ACLU. Its record, far from showing a momentary wavering from impartiality, is replete with attempts to reform American society according to the wisdom of liberalism. The truth of the matter is that the ACLU has always been a highly politicized organization."


In concluding this review of the Roger Baldwin’s legacy, I’ll add that—besides fronting for communism, undermining American ideals, and crusading relentlessly against the freedoms we hold dear—the organization also shows a vile level of bad taste in the causes it celebrates. In 1978, the ACLU rabidly defended “the right of American Nazis to march through a predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago.”


So may I submit to you my suggestion for an alternate name to go with the initials ACLU? It may help you remember the organization’s real agenda: American Communist and Leftist Union. 


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