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ACLU lawsuit to get national attention on O'Reilly Factor
Nov 07, 2006 12:00 am
The Wilson County School System's strong stand to defend themselves against a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union has garnered national attention with a Mt. Juliet city commissioner scheduled to appear on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor next week to discuss the issue.
Mt. Juliet District 2 city commissioner Glen Linthicum will be in the national spotlight Wednesday Nov. 8. in support of the school system against the suit that alleges Lakeview Elementary School promoted Christianity to students via such things as advertising Prayer By the Pole and singing spiritual Christmas songs.
Linthicum said he was contacted last week by host Bill O'Reilly's executive producer Ron Mitchell after show officials heard about the controversial lawsuit through local media coverage.
"I am very excited about the interview," Linthicum said. "This is a big way to get the issue of the ACLU's constant and continued attacks on traditional America in front of the nation. I feel fortunate and blessed they've picked up this issue and run with it."
The O'Reilly Factor is the No. 1 news cable show in America The live broadcast will air locally at 7 p.m. This national attention falls on the heels of Linthicum and District 1 city commissioner Ray Justice orchestrating a city resolution in support of the school system and a subsequent Prayer Rally at the school which drew thousands protesting the suit.
When contacted Monday, Mitchell confirmed Linthicum's live satellite interview which will take place from the Nashville Fox 17 news studio. He said O'Reilly will personally interview Linthicum in an approximate five minute segment. The producer stated Linthicum will be the only one featured in the segment as ACLU officials declined to be part of the interview.
"It's a very interesting story," Mitchell said. "We cover a lot of ACLU stories and try to track them around the country. I think the ACLU tried similar actions in a lot of small towns, however it looks like those in Wilson County are planning to stand up against them."
O'Reilly's new book The Culture Warrior was No. 1 on the New York Times best seller list and in part addresses O'Reilly's views on the ACLU, according to Mitchell.
While Linthicum said he was "nervous" about the live interview he said it's an issue he's passionate about.
"I believe in the issue," he expressed. "I think I'm articulate enough to do well and make Mt. Juliet proud."
Linthicum said he is anxious to show America that a "few people" can make a difference in an issue they feel strongly about. He said he hopes to stress two things in particular.
"I want to tell America students, faculty and administrators do not lose their First Amendment rights as soon as they step into a school," Linthicum stated. "And I want to let America know folks here are ready to stand up and fight back for traditional values of America."
Though Justice won't be interviewed, he plans to accompany Linthicum to the FOX 17 studio.
"I do believe this is a national issue that landed in our back yard," Justice said. "I think Glen will have the chance to highlight our original goal which is we resent the ACLU's intrusion in our private lives. We don't want to stop fighting, but continue to let the ACLU know they are not welcome here."
State Rep. Susan Lynn has followed the issue closely and spoke on behalf of the school at the recent Prayer Rally.
"I think it's good this local issue will air nationally," she said. "There must be other communities where parents are praying for students. We are standing up and fighting the ACLU and encouraging other communities that may some time face the same attack."
Linthicum in Tuesday's election will be on the ballet to retain his city commission seat. Will Sellers is his opponent. Linthicum stated no matter the outcome of the election, he still will rally the cause and support the school system. The law suit will be heard Nov. 27.
Mt. Juliet Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 754-6397 or by e-mail at email@example.com.