Can’t Both Viewpoints Have A Parade?

Last weekend there was a Straight Pride Parade in Boston. A group of people decided that since there have been gay pride parades, they should be able to have a straight pride parade. As expected, there were protestors in attendance. Some of them were not very nice.

The Washington Times is reporting today that some of the people who misbehaved during the parade, who expected to get off with a slap on the wrist after being arrested, are not necessarily getting off that easily.

The article reports:

Two Boston Municipal Court judges refused to throw out the charges against the 18 defendants who appeared Tuesday in court, frustrating defense attorneys and prosecutors who sought to have minor charges dismissed, as reported by local news outlets.

Judge Thomas Horgan also told out-of-towners that they risked 90-day jail sentences if they set foot in Boston for any reason other than court and lawyer appointments, rejecting one defendant’s request to visit relatives in the city’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

“Stay out of Boston,” said Judge Horgan, according to the Boston Herald.

The article continues:

Meanwhile, Larry Calderone, vice president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, praised the courtroom outcome, noting that many of those arrested came from outside the city and state and accusing them of coming to “create havoc.”

He said the four officers injured have not been able to return to work yet, and that the union wants the offenders “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“A lot of the assaults that happened during the day, you only knew of a few of them,” Mr. Calderone told reporters outside the courtroom. “Many officers were assaulted throughout the day with bottles of urine being thrown at them, bottles of chemicals, bottles of unidentified material, rocks.”

The city is looking into complaints that police used excessive force during the event.

“Multiple times I asked why I was arrested, he said ‘for calling me a pig,’” Joshua Abrams, who was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, told WBZ-TV before his arraignment. “Well, that’s my First Amendment right to do so.”

If Mr. Abrams was resisting arrest, that is a crime. This is how protestors who cross the line from protest to assault need to be treated. Enforcing the law serves as a warning to those who want to cause trouble that they will be held accountable for the trouble they cause. The First Amendment allows protest; it does not allow assault.

As a side note, American Greatness reported the following yesterday:

Far-left Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley lent a helping hand to violent antifa agitators over the weekend after a number of them were arrested on assault and battery charges.

The two “Squad” members urged their followers on Twitter to contribute to the bail fund for the “counter-protesters” who tangled with law enforcement while protesting the Straight Pride Parade in Boston on Saturday. A masked Antifa protester told reporters that the violence was necessary in order to shut up Straight Pride marchers.

This is the fact of the new Democrat party. If you are for law and order, there is no way you can support this. I have not yet heard any Democrats denouncing these tweets.

The First Amendment Allows The Free Exercise Of Religion–It Doesn’t Restrict It

The First Amendment was designed to prevent the establishment of one religion sanctioned by the government. It was not designed to put obstacles in the way of people choosing to practice their religion.

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about a policy of the Trump administration designed to protect the rights of Americans to practice their religion.

The article reports:

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham praised Vice President Mike Pence for defending religious freedom at Veterans Affairs hospitals in a recent speech, where Pence said, “Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.” 

In an Aug. 29 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, “‘VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.’ Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the American Legion’s 101st National Convention yesterday about all that this administration is doing to help our nation’s military veterans.”

“He also addressed the issue of a current lawsuit in New Hampshire to remove the Bible of a World War II POW from a VA hospital’s ‘missing man’ table,” remarked Graham. “Vice President Pence said, ‘…under the last administration, VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct.

The article concludes:

“In 2014, the Navy Exchange Service Command issued a memo for the removal of Bibles in Navy Lodge guest rooms following a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation,” reads the letter. “The Navy reversed course and announced that the Bibles would be replaced.  Similarly, the Establishment Clause does not require that you remove Bibles from the Missing Man Table displays.  The mere presence of a Bible coerces no one.”

At the Manchester Veterans Affairs hospital in New Hampshire there is a “missing man” memorial table that includes a Bible. In May, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, headed by Michael Weinstein, filed a federal lawsuit to have the Bible removed. The litigation is ongoing.

“That sectarian Christian Bible bolted down to that POW/MIA table at the Manchester NH VAMC is a grotesque gang sign of fundamentalist Christian triumphalism, exceptionalism and supremacy, indeed a middle finger of unconstitutional repugnance to the plurality and separation of church and state guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution,” Weinstein told the Military Times.

Weinstein is well known in the military as someone who frequently uses lawsuits to end religious speech. Barack Obama appointed Mikey Wienstein to be a consultant to the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling of American troops. These are some of the policies that President Trump is quietly undoing.

A Disturbing Trend On College Campuses

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Basically that means that even people you disagree with have the right to speak. However, that principle is not being taught on many of our college campuses.

The Daily Signal posted an article today about some recent events at Williams College.

The article reports:

At Williams College in Massachusetts, biology professor Dr. Luana Maroja wrote online last year that she was concerned about student and administrator attitudes regarding free speech. She gathered more than 100 faculty signatures on a petition calling for the school to adopt what is known as the “Chicago Principles,” a statement in favor of free expression developed by the University of Chicago.

More than 60 schools have endorsed this statement, a welcome response to the disrupted events and other nonsense that have plagued universities around the country.

Some Williams students will have none of it. Maroja says that more than a dozen of them barged into a faculty meeting last November holding signs such as “free speech harms” and saying faculty were trying to “kill” the students.

After that, tensions escalated. The College Fix reports that a professor subsequently “threatened violence” if Williams adopted the Chicago statement. All this, because Maroja dared to promote the idea that Williams should maintain a “climate of mutual respect.”

If that isn’t troubling enough, a poll of the students is even more troubling:

A recent survey of college students found that more than half of respondents say shouting down speakers is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable. Sixteen percent of respondents say it is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to use violence to stop a speech protest or rally.

These responses are disturbing. Civil society – life in the office, in your neighborhood, at your child’s soccer game – depends on people tolerating those who do not share their beliefs, not trying to silence them through intimidation or violence. The American Dream dies if we live in fear of persecution.

Williams officials should take seriously the threats posed to the next generation of adults that come from limiting the ideas that can be considered on campus. The school should require students to attend sessions on free speech during freshman orientation – and explain that hiding from ideas with which you disagree is a poor strategy for life.

New policies for public universities in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin now serve as examples of how to protect everyone’s freedom of expression in a campus community.

These policies affirm the idea that anyone should be allowed to protest or demonstrate in public areas as long as they do not prevent others from doing the same. Moreover, they stipulate that their public universities must be prepared to penalize individuals who silence others.

The article notes that Williams is a private college and can set its own policies regarding free speech. However, it is troubling that the First Amendment is no longer appreciated or practiced on some college campuses.

Elections Have Consequences

The Daily Caller posted an article today about a planned resolution that will be introduced in Congress this week by Democratic Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar.

The article reports:

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar says she will introduce a resolution this week supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The freshman Congresswoman told Al Monitor on Tuesday that her resolution approving of a boycott of one of America’s allies will be an exercise in “American values,” and a stand for the First Amendment. The move comes after President Donald Trump accused Omar and other progressive congresswomen of being anti-American.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” she told the outlet. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

I don’t have a problem with anyone exercising their First Amendment rights. However, it is interesting to me that a Congresswoman would introduce a bill approving a boycott of one of America’s strongest allies. Israel is the only truly free country in the Middle East–it is the only country that allows people to worship whatever god they serve. The Congresswoman has shown herself to be anti-Semitic in previous statements, and this resolution simply reinforces that idea. Last time I checked, antisemitism was a form of racism. It seems that some of the charges this woman is making against the President might apply to her.

A City That Has Forgotten Its Heritage

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the City of Boston is being sued by Liberty Council for refusing to include a Christian flag in a 248-flag display on Constitution Day in 2017 and 2018.

The article notes:

“The city’s application policy refers to the flagpoles as a ‘public forum’ open to ‘all applicants,”’ Shurtleff said in a statement, “City officials have never denied the ‘messages’ communicated by Boston Pride and the pink and blue ‘transgender’ flag, and even the flags of Communist China and Cuba, but will not allow the civic and historical Christian message of Camp Constitution.

Boston has allowed the pride flag, Turkish flag, communist Chinese flag and Cuban flag — among others — to fly high and proud above city hall. Their reason for disallowing Camp Constitution’s Christian flag: no non-secular flags permitted, the lawsuit filed by the group says.

However, the Turkish flag is not secular. Turkey is one of 21 different nations with an Islamic symbol on their flag.

The article concludes:

“Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted violates the First Amendment,” said Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. “Boston city officials may not ban the Christian flag as part of a privately-sponsored event when they allow any other flag by numerous private organizations. It’s time for the court to stop the city’s unconstitutional censorship,” he added.

Camp Constitution executives are optimistic about “key undisputed facts” that will compel the court in their favor. They say the city changed their parameters about the flags after their application and that the refusal is “content-based” discrimination.

The City of Boston’s press office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation for comment at the time of publishing.

Christianity is a major part of America’s heritage. The Judeo-Christian moral principles form the basis for our legal system. It seems a little odd to allow the Islamic flag to be flown and not allow the Christian flag to be flown.

The Growing Contempt For Freedom Of Speech

Walter E. Williams posted an article at Newsbusters today about the attack on free speech.

The Professor notes:

The First Amendment to our Constitution was proposed by the 1788 Virginia ratification convention during its narrow 89 to 79 vote to ratify the Constitution. Virginia’s resolution held that the free exercise of religion, right to assembly and free speech could not be canceled, abridged or restrained. These Madisonian principles were eventually ratified by the states on March 1, 1792.

Gettysburg College professor Allen C. Guelzo, in his article “Free Speech and Its Present Crisis,” appearing in the autumn 2018 edition of City Journal, explores the trials and tribulations associated with the First Amendment. The early attempts to suppress free speech were signed into law by President John Adams and became known as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Later attempts to suppress free speech came during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln and his generals attacked newspapers and suspended habeas corpus. It wasn’t until 1919, in the case of Abrams v. United States, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally and unambiguously prohibited any kind of censorship.

Unfortunately many of our college campuses have lost the concept of free speech and open debate.

The article reports:

Today, there is growing contempt for free speech, most of which is found on the nation’s college and university campuses. Guelzo cites the free speech vision of Princeton University professor Carolyn Rouse, who is chairperson of the department of Anthropology. Rouse shared her vision on speech during last year’s Constitution Day lecture. She called free speech a political illusion, a baseless ruse to enable people to “say whatever they want, in any context, with no social, economic, legal or political repercussions.” As an example, she says that a climate change skeptic has no right to make “claims about climate change, as if all the science discovered over the last X-number of centuries were irrelevant.”

Rouse is by no means unique in her contempt for our First Amendment rights. Faculty leaders of the University of California consider certain statements racist microagressions: “America is a melting pot”; “America is the land of opportunity”; “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough”; and “There is only one race, the human race.” The latter statement is seen as denying the individual as a racial/cultural being. Then there’s “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” That’s “racist” speech because it gives the impression that “people of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race.” Other seemingly innocuous statements deemed unacceptable are: “When I look at you, I don’t see color,” or “Affirmative action is racist.” Perhaps worst of all is, “Where are you from, or where were you born?”

We should reject any restriction on free speech. We might ask ourselves, “What’s the true test of one’s commitment to free speech?” It does not come when people permit others to say or publish ideas with which they agree. The true test of one’s commitment to free speech comes when others are permitted to say and publish ideas they deem offensive.

I hated it when the neo-Nazis were allowed to march in Skokie, Illinois, but that is what free speech means. The concept of hate speech is the antithesis of free speech–it is an excuse for censorship. If you are not comfortable enough in your own ideas to be willing to let others who do not share those ideas speak, then maybe living in a free country isn’t your cup of tea.

When Perspective Is Missing

All of us have our sensitive spots. Sometimes we react to comments we find offensive that were not meant to be offensive at all. Sometimes we read meanings that were never intended into things based on our own experience. Some recent local events illustrate that point.

A local weekly newspaper called The County Compass (which I would consider a conservative news outlet) publishes a page written by members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The CCTA is composed of ordinary citizens who are concerned about the rapid growth of government and increase in taxes in recent years. Members attend local board meetings of various kinds and attempt to hold our elected officials accountable. They also post vetting reports of candidates on their website during elections to provide voters with information. The group is made of up people of all ages from different professional backgrounds and personal experiences. Recently the CCTA page dealt with the issue of bringing those to justice who have engaged in a soft coup attempt to undo the 2016 election. The writer of the article stated that she hoped those guilty would be held accountable for their violations of the civil rights of Americans and their attempted coup. At the top of the article was a picture of a noose, which to many Americans represents an old fashioned concept of justice. Unfortunately, for some people a noose, even in a totally non-racial context, represents racism. The professionally outraged saw the picture and swung into action.

A local young black woman chose to post that graphic on her Facebook page with a remark about the paper’s being racist for having published it; she chose to disregard the subject matter of the article entirely; therefore, her post was completely out of context.

The NAACP got involved, and a local TV station interviewed Jeff Aydelette, the publisher of The County Compass, and the NAACP on the subject.  Then this past Wednesday, about 120 members of the NAACP staged a protest rally outside the offices of the Compass.  Jeff offered them chairs, went around and shook hands, and behaved in his usual gentlemanly way.  Again, a report was featured on local TV.

Now The County Compass is getting calls from advertisers who are cancelling their ads.  They are saying that the NAACP is telling them that their businesses will be boycotted if they continue to advertise in the Compass.

Although I am willing to concede that the picture may represent different things to different people, I think it needs to be viewed in context. I believe that this protest is simply an effort by the political left and its allies to shut down a conservative news outlet. This should be a wake-up call to all Americans who value free speech and freedom of the press that our First Amendment rights are under attack.

 

Forgetting Your Oath

On Tuesday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Democratic Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson asserted that people who mock members of Congress online should face prosecution.

“Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace, and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable [sic],” Wilson said during comments made Tuesday outside of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Florida.

“We’re gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted,” she continued. “You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress. It is against the law, and it’s a shame in this United States of America.”

Wow.

This is the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The underline is mine.

This is the oath Representative Wilson took when she became a U.S. Representative:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Enough said.

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

Breitbart reported today that a  student at Park City High School in Park City, Utah, has admitted to releasing pepper spray inside a lecture hall last month in an attempt to prevent the school’s Turning Point USA student group from hosting an event. The student said that he did not feel that the Turning Point USA event would be a safe thing to have at his school (so he made it unsafe by using pepper spray? Logic, anyone?).

The article reports:

“I didn’t feel as though [the TPUSA event] was a very safe thing for a lot of our students to really have in our school, so I decided I wanted to disrupt it,” said the student during his hearing in 3rd District Juvenile Court on Friday, elaborating on his reasons for releasing the dangerous chemicals inside the lecture hall.

…Judge Knight reportedly told the student that he had been shutting down speech because he did not agree with it, and suggested that he find less harmful means for protesting, if he chooses to do so again in the future.

The student, who had been facing 18 criminal charges, admitted in court to four class B misdemeanors, which included one count of criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, two counts of assault and one count of disrupting a meeting.

Judge Knight dismissed the remaining 14 charges and sentenced the student to 100 hours of community service.

Additionally, the student was ordered to write an essay about civility, write a letter of apology to the school’s resource officer who entered the school seeking to identify the substance, pay restitution to the school for clean-up costs, and pay the co-pay of the individual who was hospitalized as a result of the incident, according to The Park Record.

We need to start teaching our children about the First Amendment. Evidently they are not learning about it in school.

Taking Away The Freedoms Guaranteed In Our Constitution

The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution reads:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Laws passed by Congress and state legislators are supposed to be in line with the U.S. Constitution. However, there is a bill currently in the House of Representatives that not only undermines the First Amendment, it also cancels out The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. H.R. 5 is a nightmare for those who believe in religious liberty and freedom of religion.

The Heritage Foundation lists seven problems with the bill:

1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

2. It would compel speech.

3. It could shut down charities.

4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

7. It would enable sexual assault. 

All of these problems have already arisen. Please follow the link to The Heritage Foundation to view the details.

The Liberty Counsel posted an article on May 10 detailing one major aspect of H.R.5. The article states:

HR 5, in the U.S. House, and S. 788, in the Senate, misnamed the “Equality Act,” takes the unpreceded step of eliminating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as a claim or defense to the application of many federal laws. This bill drastically alters religious freedom in all cases, not just those involving LGBT.

For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits houses of worship to make employment decisions based on religion. This recognizes the essential right for houses of worship to employ those who align with their religious doctrine. The “Equality Act” would abolish this fundamental right. Catholic and Christian churches could be forced to hire atheists. If a synagogue preferred a Jew over a Muslim, it would not be able to raise RFRA as a claim or defense.

RFRA is a federal law that protects religious freedom. Specifically, it “prohibits any agency, department, or official of the United States or any State (the government) from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except that the government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person.” 

However, HR 5 clearly forbids raising RFRA as a claim or defense to the application to the “Equality Act” and many other federal laws that would be amended by this bill.

This “Equality Act” extends the federal protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy, i.e. abortion. HR 5 applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more. In addition, the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” will be defined to mean “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” In other words, under the terms of this bill, “pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition… shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.” The “Equality Act” also expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.”

After passing the House Judiciary Committee recently, the “Equality Act” will now go to the House next week and then be sent to the Senate, where the bill number is S. 788.

If you value religious freedom in America, please call your Senator and tell them to vote against this bill. It will probably pass in the House of Representatives, but needs to be stopped in the Senate. If you are not a religious person and don’t think this is a problem, remember that if the government can undo religious freedom, it can also undo other freedoms. You might not be impacted this time, but if this bill passes, there will be more to follow.

The Democrats’ First Proposal Upon Taking Control Of The House Of Representatives

The first bill introduced in the House of Representatives when the Democrats took over was H.R. 1. The bill was sponsored by Representative John P. Sarbanes of Maryland and is called the “For the People Act of 2019.” Great, only it’s really not for the people–it’s for bigger federal government and smaller state governments.

Politifact posted an article on February 8th about the bill.

The article mentions some of the demands the bill would make on states:

• Offer online voter registration;

• Establish automatic voter registration;

• Allow voter registration on the day of a federal election;

• Allow voters to correct their registration information at the polls;

• Restore voting rights to felons after they leave prison;

• Offer at least 15 days of early voting; and,

• Follow new rules before purging voters from registration lists.

The bill also has several measures related to campaign finance or ethics:

• Require super PACs to disclose donors who give more than $10,000;

• Require major online platforms to maintain an online public record of people who buy at least $500 worth of political ads; and

• Use public financing to match small dollar donations to House and presidential candidates.

There are also some other interesting items in the bill listed in a pjmedia article of January 10th:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

For further information follow the link to the pjmedia article.

Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

States are given the authority to hold elections. To put the federal government in charge of elections is to open the door for fraud on a large scale. That is exactly what H.R. 1 does.

H R 1

The Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to start the new year off with a bang. Hopefully it will turn out to be more of a whimper. H.R. 1 is called the “For the People Act of 2019.” It is actually only for some people who want to make sure that the Democrats win all future elections. It was introduced into the House on January 3rd.

Breitbart posted an article about the bill today. In their article is a link to the Conservative Action Project which is opposing the bill.

The Conservative Action Project lists some problems with the bill:

H.R. 1 undermines the First Amendment. H.R. 1 undoes key Supreme Court cases that protect elections as fundamental to free speech. It would allow the Federal Election Commission to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to different charitable and nonprofit organizations. The legislation will subject private citizens to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs, far broader than what was done in the IRS targeting scandal in 2013.

H.R. 1 yanks election authority away from the states. H.R. 1 reasserts the ability of the federal government to micromanage state elections through a process known as “preclearance.” Preclearance, which was previously overturned by the Supreme Court, requires states to get permission from the federal government for changes as small as modifying the hours of an election office, or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. Critically, none of these practices would undo any fraud or corruption. Rather, these same practices result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data, while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting. Moreover, they are all designed to eliminate the federalism that keeps elections transparent, local, and fair.

H.R. 1 attacks individual voter integrity. America was founded on the principle of “one person, one vote.” H.R. 1 turns this on its head by weaponizing every aspect of the political regulatory system. The Federal Election Commission, which is currently a neutral body, would be given a 3-2 makeup, guaranteeing a partisan outcome with little accountability toward the actual votes which are cast. H.R. 1 also includes a 600 percent government match for political donations, and authorizes even more public dollars to campaigns. The bill also wants to make Election Day a new paid holiday for government workers, with additional paid vacation given to bureaucrats to oversee the polls. All of these changes are designed to distance the outcome of the election from those casting their votes.

H.R. 1 would also implement the following changes:

• Forces states to implement mandatory voter registration, removing civic participation as a voluntary choice, and increasing chances for error.
• Mandates that states allow all felons to vote.
• Forces states to extend periods of early voting, which has shown to have no effect on turnout.
• Mandates same-day voter registration, which encourages voter fraud.
• Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.
• Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.
• Criminalizes protected political speech by making it a crime to “discourage” someone from voting
• Bars states from making their own laws about voting by mail.
• Prohibits chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns.
• Mandates free mailing of absentee ballots.
• Mandates that states adopt new redistricting commissions.

H.R. 1 would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America. We oppose H.R.

Our new House of Representatives has obviously decided to throw out our Constitution wherever possible. This bill is representative of that. It opens the door to massive voter fraud and nationalizes state elections, which is unconstitutional. Nationalizing all elections also greatly increases the vulnerability to hacking. The bill needs to fail miserably or we will be in serious danger of losing our representative republic.

But It Sounds So Wonderful

Sometimes I wonder if anyone in Congress has actually read the U.S. Constitution.

Shmoop states:

Clause 1. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Constitution generally leaves it up to the states to organize congressional elections, but gives Congress the power to set new rules for federal elections as it sees fit. In 1842, Congress passed an important law requiring single-member district elections in every state, standardizing congressional election practices nationwide. The same law set one standard Election Day—the Tuesday after the first Monday in November—throughout the country. We still use the same Election Day today.

On Thursday PJ Media reported that one of the top legislative priorities of the new House of Representatives is the passage of H.R. 1.

The official name of the bill is:

H.R.1 – To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.

If only that were what the bill is actually about.

These are some of the provisions of H.R.1 listed in the article:

It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list — such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies — then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice. Moreover, aggregated government lists always contain duplicates and errors that states, even without mandatory voter registration, frequently fail to catch and fix.

H.R. 1 also mandates that states allow all felons to vote. Currently, states have the power under the Constitution to set the terms of eligibility in each state. Some states, like Maine, have decided that voting machines should be rolled into the prisons. Other states, like Nevada, have chosen to make a felony a disenfranchising event.

…H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes. While purportedly designed to increase participation, early voting has been shown to have no effect on turnout.

…H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

The proposal also undoes another Supreme Court decision. In Husted, a case arising out of Ohio, the Court ruled that federal laws — known as “Motor Voter” — do not prohibit states from using a voter’s inactivity from triggering a mailing to that voter to see if they still are living at that location. H.R. 1 would undo that ruling and prohibit states from effectively cleaning voter rolls.

You get the picture. Please follow the link to read the entire article. Aside from the fact that most of H.R. 1 in unconstitutional, it is a naked power grab by the new House of Representatives. It needs to be stopped cold.

A Rookie Mistake Or A Portent Of Things To Come?

Not every country in the world has freedom of speech. In a case recently decided, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff appealed an Austrian court’s conviction of her for denigrating the beliefs of an officially recognized religion by uttering “hate speech” against the prophet Mohammed. Unfortunately the European Court of Human Rights ruled against her appeal.

For those who came in late, the hateful words uttered by Elisabeth were in the form of a rhetorical question about Mohammed’s sexual relationship with a 9-year-old girl: “What would you call it, if not ‘pedophilia’?”

The European Court of Human Rights is made up of a group of countries considered to be part of western civilization. What Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff said is true, but evidently that fact did not help her case. How in the world did we get here? We need to realize that free speech is a gift that needs to be protected.

Meanwhile back in America, yesterday The Federalist posted an article about a recent statement by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Admittedly the new Congresswoman is not known for her knowledge of the U.S. Constitution or any familiarity with her new job description, but her comment is somewhat chilling.

The tweet below is her response to a meme about socialism that she did not find humorous:

There are some problems with that statement.

The article notes:

Now, in a perfect world, we’d be holding debates about the merits of state-controlled economies versus markets via more dignified forums and mediums, but that’s not how things go in 2018. Not only is this all absurdly juvenile, but Ocasio-Cortez should be aware that, per page 150 of the House Ethics Manual, “Members…are not to take or withhold any official action on the basis of the campaign contributions or support of the involved individuals, or their partisan affiliation. Members and staff are likewise prohibited from threatening punitive action on the basis of such considerations.”

This seems like a small matter, but it is not. Essentially it is an incoming member of Congress threatening to use subpoena power against someone she disagrees with. Combine that with the censorship of conservatives on social media, the concept of ‘hate speech’ (who determines hate speech?), and the rumblings that the First Amendment is no longer needed, and you have the potential for Americans losing a large portion of their freedom. Pay attention and stay tuned. This may not have been a casual remark.

 

 

What Are We Teaching Our Children In School?

According to Business Insider, the median age of an Apple employee is 31 years old. That really doesn’t tell us much except to imply that half of the employees are under 31 and half are over 31. A much more interesting number comes from an internal survey of Apple employees.

On September 1, InfoWars reported that 71.98% Of Apple Employees Say Repeal The First Amendment. It is ironic that the First Amendment protects their right to say that. I would venture to say that the number who also want to repeal the Second Amendment is probably comparable.

This is what happens when you do not teach history to American students. Our republic is always a generation away from disappearing. If we are to maintain our freedoms, we need to teach the value of those freedoms to our children. If they don’t value those freedoms, they will not preserve them.

This is a warning to young parents. If your children are not in a school that teaches the founding documents of America, the principles behind them, and why they are important, find another school. It’s that important.

Insanity Among Some Americans

Yesterday Todd Starnes posted an article about Brigadier General John Teichert, the new wing commander at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Brigadier General Teichert owns a website called, “Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States.”

The article reports:

…a press release from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation calling for the arrest of now Brigadier General Teichert – the new wing commander at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is an organization that trolls military bases in search of any public display of the Christian faith. They are typically triggered by Nativity scenes and Bibles placed on Missing Man tables.

MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein was especially angered to learn that Gen. Teichert owns a website called, “Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States.”

The website encourages “Bible-believing Americans to take time to specifically pray for our nation at lunchtime every day.” It also features a prayer list – including among others President Trump, Vice President Pence, Congress and the military.

Weinstein demanded that Defense Secretary James Mattis launch an immediate investigation – calling Gen. Teichert a “fundamentalist Christian tyrant and religious extremist predator.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation claims to represent 41 personnel at Edwards AFB who are allegedly offended by the general’s personal website.

“Brigadier General Tiechert’s disgraceful, illegal and brazen promotion of his personal flavor of his weaponized version of Christianity represents one of the worst and most egregious cases MRFF has ever encountered in its 13 years of First Amendment civil rights advocacy,” Weinstein said in a prepared statement.

He went on to allege the general’s website violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice and demanded he must be investigated, prosecuted, convicted and punished.

“General Teichert should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a Wing wearing a General’s stars,” Weinstein said.

The Pentagon has not responded to my inquiries about Mr. Weinstein’s complaint, but the allegations are so outlandish they deserve no response.

“The Air Force appears to be doing exactly what it should upon receiving a complaint from Mikey Weinstein: ignoring him,” First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry told me. “Like so many complaints by the MRFF, this complaint is vindictive, intolerant, and completely without merit.”

Unless the Brigadier General was coercing people to go to his website, I really don’t think Mikey Weinstein has a case.

The article concludes:

During the Obama Administration Weinstein once bragged about having a hot line to the Pentagon. It’s beyond time for the Trump Administration to disconnect the number.

It’s time to put a stop to these vile and hateful attacks on Christian members of our military. Demanding that a general be imprisoned because he prays? Calling him an extremist predator? Outrageous!

It seems to me the only fundamentalist, extremist predator in this case is the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Mikey Weinstein is entitled to his opinion of Christianity. He is not entitled to prevent anyone from practicing Christianity.

If You Ever Doubted That Free Speech Is In Danger

The Washington Times posted an article today about a request made to Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai by Senate Democrats to investigate Sinclair Broadcasting Group for “news distortion.” Yup. Right after they investigate CBS, NBC, ABC, and The New York Times for ‘news distortion.’ The request was denied.

The article reports:

“Thank you for your letter requesting that the Commission investigate a broadcaster based on the content of its news coverage and promotion of that coverage,” said Mr. Pai in his letter. “In light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press, I must respectfully decline.”

His reply was dated April 12, the day after the request from 11 Senate Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent, who cited Sinclair’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Company.

 “We are concerned that if the Sinclair-Tribune merger continues without a thorough review of these new facts, Sinclair’s practices of news distortion will proliferate to even more local stations, which Americans rely upon every day for fair and impartial news,” said the Senate letter.

Signers, including Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, said they were “alarmed” by Sinclair’s local anchors being required to read a promotional message last month about “biased and false news.”

The promo touted the stations’ commitment to balanced journalism and warned that “some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think.”

 In their letter, the senators said that such “must-run dictates from Sinclair harm the freedom of the press guaranteed in the First Amendment by turning local journalists into mouthpieces for a corporate and political agenda.”

Mr. Pai responded that the FCC lacks the authority to yank broadcast licenses “based on the content of a particular newscast.”

Up until about 1991, when Rush Limbaugh arrived on the national scene, the political left had a monopoly on news–the networks and the major newspapers. Their monopoly has been slowly slipping away from them since then. Needless to say, the mainstream media does not like the competition. They have been trying to put Fox News out of business since it began by name calling and boycotting sponsors. This request is one of many examples of the need for the alternative media. It is also an example of the attack on free speech (further illustrated by what is happening on some of our college campuses).

Are We Losing Our Religious Freedom?

Yesterday Fox News reported the story of Eric Walsh, a lay minister in Georgia. The State of Georgia has asked that Dr. Walsh turn over copies of his sermons.

The article reports:

“Please produce a copy of your sermon notes and/or transcripts,” Attorney General Samuel Olens wrote to attorneys representing Dr. Eric Walsh.

…Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister had been hired in May 2014 by as a District Health Director with the Georgia Department of Public Health. A week later, a government official asked him to submit copies of his sermons for review. He complied and two days later he was fired.

His attorneys said the government was curious about sermons Dr. Walsh delivered on health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science and creationism. He also preached on what the Bible says regarding homosexuality.

He has since filed a federal lawsuit charging state officials with engaging in religious discrimination.

“He was fired for something he said in a sermon,” attorney Jeremy Dys told me. “If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything.”

Dr. Walsh has assembled a powerhouse legal team comprised of Parks, Chesin & Walbert along with First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms.

“It’s an incredible intrusion on the sanctity of the pulpit,” Dys said. “This is probably the most invasive reach into the pulpit by the state that I’ve ever seen.”

The First Amendment applies to churches. The government has no right to examine or control what is preached from America‘s pulpits. Although separation of church and state is not part of the Constitution (the concept is based on a letter from Thomas Jefferson), the Constitution states that the government does not have the right to interfere with the free exercise of religion.

This is not the first time a pastor has been asked to submit his sermons to the government. About two years ago I posted an article about a similar request in Texas.

These requests are unconstitutional. We need to make sure that they are not allowed to stand.

 

The Central Issue In The November Presidential Election

There are a lot of issues floating around the presidential election in November–globalism vs. nationalism, gun control vs. the Second Amendment, freedom of speech, religious freedom, etc., but there is one very subtle issue that really needs to be looked at carefully if you care about the future of America.

On Wednesday, the American Family Association (AFA) posted an article about a recent statement by Donald Trump about this election.

In August, The Washington Post reported:

Donald Trump, trailing narrowly in presidential polls, has issued a warning to worried Republican voters: The election will be “rigged” against him — and he could lose as a result.

Trump pointed to several court cases nationwide in which restrictive laws requiring voters to show identification have been thrown out. He said those decisions open the door to fraud in November.

“If the election is rigged, I would not be surprised,” he told The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “The voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times.”

The article was dismissive of the charges–not a surprise, considering the political bent of the newspaper, but we have seen clear evidence of voter fraud in the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, so the idea of voter fraud is not shocking.

The AFA article explains exactly how the system is rigged:

This makes two debates in the past week where the moderator’s biases have been clearly evident. The American people can’t even get a fair and balanced debate.  Why? Because the Left’s ideas don’t work and if there ever were to be a fair debate, this would become quite obvious.

We all remember the role Candy Crowley‘s misinformation played in the 2012 debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama. We can expect more of that sort of thing in the coming debates.

The AFA article further explains:

Over recent years, rogue federal judges have struck down voter I.D. laws in several key states. Laws aimed at preventing voter fraud have been partially or fully struck down in states like Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin to name a few. Many of the judges claimed that the voter I.D. laws would have caused a decrease in turnout for minority voters, specifically blacks.

This should be an offense to the entire black community. A federal judge makes the assumption that minorities aren’t responsible enough to acquire a government issued identification card. If individuals have to show their I.D. when buying tobacco or when going to see an R rated movie, then why is it unjust to apply the same standard to something as important as voting?

I would like to note that the majority of the judges ruling against voter ID were appointed by Democrats.

So what am I saying? The system is definitely slanted against Republicans. If Hillary is elected, that will continue and she will probably add to the problem. Unless you want America to become a banana republic where one party rules and is above the law, you need to vote for Trump. I really don’t care what the man does or what he is accused of, he is the alternative to losing our freedom. If you believe that the Clintons are pure as the wind-driven snow and have never spoken or acted crudely, then you are the result of the slanted media I have been talking about. There are some serious things on the line here–the Second Amendment and the First Amendment (including religious freedom) being two of them. Your vote counts.

Re-education Training In America?????

Today’s Washington Times posted an article about Cynthia and Robert Gifford. The Giffords own a 100-acre farm in Rensselaer County, New York. In August, a judge ruled that the Giffords were required by law to host a same-sex wedding despite the fact that same-sex marriage was against their religious views. The Giffords were fined $10,000 by the state Division of Human Rights and also ordered to pay the McCarthys $1,500 each in damages for “the emotional injuries they suffered as a result of the discrimination.” Unfortunately, a New York appellate court upheld that ruling yesterday.

I believe that the court’s decision is in conflict with the First Amendment–it is infringing upon the rights of the Giffords to practice their religion, but there is another more disturbing aspect to this case.

The article reports:

The couple was also ordered “to implement re-education training classes designed to contradict the couple’s religious beliefs about marriage,” according to the ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom).

Re-education? Designed to contradict the couple’s religious beliefs about marriage? What in the world is going on here? How is this not an infringement on their First Amendment rights when the government is going to re-educate them to attempt to remove their religious belief?

Our First and Second Amendments are under attack. If Americans do not quickly wake up and elect people who will uphold our laws rather than rewrite them, we will lose our republic. Judges in most states are appointed by elected officials. Pay attention to whom you elect.

Losing Our First Amendment Rights

On December 17, 2015, Representative Donald S. Beyer, Jr., a Democratic Congressman from Virginia, introduced House Resolution 569 into the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is the text of the Resolution (taken from thomas.gov):

RESOLUTION

Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.

Whereas the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim;

Whereas the constitutional right to freedom of religious practice is a cherished United States value and violence or hate speech towards any United States community based on faith is in contravention of the Nation’s founding principles;

Whereas there are millions of Muslims in the United States, a community made up of many diverse beliefs and cultures, and both immigrants and native-born citizens;

Whereas this Muslim community is recognized as having made innumerable contributions to the cultural and economic fabric and well-being of United States society;

Whereas hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the United States values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

Whereas these acts affect not only the individual victims but also their families, communities, and the entire group whose faith or beliefs were the motivation for the act;

Whereas Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing have been disproportionately targeted because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances; and

Whereas the rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance plays into the false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam, and can encourage certain individuals to react in extreme and violent ways: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes;

(2) steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of all its citizens of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

(3) denounces in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim;

(4) recognizes that the United States Muslim community has made countless positive contributions to United States society;

(5) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all United States citizens, including Muslims in the United States, should be protected and preserved;

(6) urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and

(7) reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation, and to practice their freedom of faith.

We need to be really careful about this resolution. Where is the rule against hate speech against Jews, Christians, Blacks. Indians, etc.? Note that this law makes hate speech a crime. I am not a fan of hate speech, but making it a crime is a dangerous infringement on the First Amendment. Hate speech is speech–not action. If actions follow, they need to be dealt with, but freedom to be an idiot is enshrined in the First Amendment. Just for the record, this law is in compliance with Sharia Law.

Let me explain the history of what is going on here. In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted under the oversight of Eleanor Roosevelt. The document was an attempt to internationalize the rights that Americans have under the U.S. Constitution. In 1985, Sa’id Raja’i-Khorassani, the permanent delegate to the UN from Iran said the following:

The very concept of human rights was “a Judeo-Christian invention” and inadmissible in Islam…. According to Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the Shah’s “most despicable sins” was the fact that Iran was one of the original group of nations that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1990, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) drafted the Cairo Declaration. It was introduced to the United Nations in 1993. This document controls OIC policy on human rights.

The Cairo Declaration states in Article 22 (a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely to such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah. Remember that according to Sharia Law slander is defined as mentioning anything concerning a person that he would dislike. Truth does not play into the equation. Saying you love Jesus could be considered slander (or hate speech) under Sharia.

The information in the previous four paragraphs is taken from Stephen Coughlin’s book Catastrophic Failure. It is a book all Americans need to read.

Back to the Resolution. This needs to be put to rest very quickly. It is a direct assault on the First Amendment. Please keep in mind that one of the stated goals of both the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS is to bring non-Muslims under Sharia Law. This Resolution is a perfect example of how that would work.

Our First Amendment Rights Are In Danger

Yesterday PJ Media reported that the Federal Election Commission is considering a rule which would require non-profit organizations to provide a list of donors. This would mean that pro-life groups, Tea Parties, etc. would have to disclose donors. If this seems innocent to you, I would like to remind you of an incident that happened in California last year.

In April of last year I reported:

The Foundry is reporting today that Mozilla Corp. co-founder Brendan Eich has resigned as CEO after a week of public criticism for his support of Proposition 8 in California. Proposition 8 was the ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Brendan Eich had been at Mozilla for 15 years.

I have a few problems with the forced resignation of Mr. Eich. How does anyone know he contributed to a campaign supporting Proposition 8? Is that public information? Since when did supporting traditional marriage cost you your job? Aren’t Americans allowed to contribute to things they believe in?

The article at PJ Media points out:

Harassment of financial donors to conservative causes has become one of the standard tactics of the militant left. Speech regulations issued by the Federal Election Commission are therefore a necessary component of snuffing out financial support for conservative causes through harassment campaigns.

A half-century ago, liberal groups understood and respected this. The landmark case of NAACP vs. Alabama saw the Supreme Court protect the NAACP from having to disclose supporter information because of the harassment campaigns that would follow.

Now, with perfect hypocrisy, the PAC that issued the petition which triggered the FEC to consider rulemaking which would force disclosure of information does not disclose the full name of its leader. On the page detailing who runs Make Your Laws PAC, Inc., the founder, treasurer, and director is listed merely as “Sai”:

sai

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (of which I am counsel) has already submitted comments to the FEC opposing new federal powers over political freedom. Those comments can be found here. If you also oppose more power for Washington bureaucrats to pry private information from groups who speak out, you can add your own comments at this link.

If you value your First Amendment rights, please leave a comment at the link in the previous paragraph. This is truly a threat to free speech.

Should Pastors Have To Turn In Their Sermons To The City?

Hot Air is reporting the following today:

Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance took another legal turn this week when it surfaced that city attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists that have sued the city.

Opponents of the equal rights ordinance are hoping to force a repeal referendum when they get their day in court in January, claiming City Attorney David Feldman wrongly determined they had not gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case’s discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

The article further reports:

The subpoenas for any electoral activity might be legally acceptable, since churches have a tax exemption — but that is generally a state and federal issue, not a municipal distinction. The demand to produce any comments regarding “homosexuality or gender identity” go straight to the heart of the First Amendment and on government censorship. The intent to intimidate Christian pastors into silence on these issues could not be clearer, and uses the threat of government action to back up that intimidation.

There are two issues here that I think are important. The first is that the ‘rights’ of homosexuals and other gender identity groups are usurping the First Amendment right of free speech and the free exercise of religion. The other issue here is that this ‘equal rights’ ordinance will eventually be used to declare Biblical truth as ‘hate speech’ and silence pastors preaching from the Bible in that way. In both cases, America loses.

I do not condone discrimination, but I do think everyone in the marketplace should be able to make their own decisions about who they do business with. A car dealership has the right to turn away a customer because the customer cannot afford to buy a car from that dealership. Doesn’t a business owner have a similar choice if someone is asking him to do something that violates his conscience? If a venue chooses not to be available for a homosexual wedding because the owner holds the Biblical view on homosexuality, should that vendor be asked to compromise his religious beliefs? Couldn’t the couple involved simply choose another venue? Again, I am not against homosexual rights–I just don’t want to see homosexual rights used as a vehicle to destroy the First Amendment rights of all Americans.

 

Senators Opposed To Free Speech

On Monday, the Washington Post posted an article by George Will on a recent move by Senate Democrats to limit free speech.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I am not a lawyer (neither were most of our founding fathers), but that seems pretty clear to me.

The Washington Post reports:

The 48 senators proposing to give legislators speech-regulating powers describe their amendment in anodyne language, as “relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.” But what affects elections is speech, and the vast majority of contributions and expenditures are made to disseminate speech. The Democrats’ amendment says: “Congress and the states may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections,” and may “prohibit” corporations — including nonprofit issue-advocacy corporations (such as the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice America and thousands of others across the political spectrum) from spending any money “to influence elections,” which is what most of them exist to do.

Because all limits will be set by incumbent legislators, the limits deemed “reasonable” will surely serve incumbents’ interests. The lower the limits, the more valuable will be the myriad (and unregulated) advantages of officeholders.

The foxes are guarding the hen house again.

This is the list of Senators proposing this bill. The names in italics are Senators running for re-election:

Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Robert Casey (Pa.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Angus King (Maine), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Harry Reid (Nev.), John Rockefeller (W.Va.), Bernard Sanders (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Udall (Colo.), John Walsh (Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Ron Wyden (Ore.).

This is one example of why we need term limits and Congressmen who understand the Constitution.

How Far Does Free Speech Go?

I will admit that free speech is not always comfortable. We have allowed Nazis to hold parades in America under the banner of free speech, and I am sure that everyone has groups they disagree with that hold parades or protest various things. That is their right. Or so we thought.

CBN News is reporting today that a federal appeals court has ruled against a group of Christian evangelists who were forced to leave an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn, Michigan, in 2012.

The article reports:

Festival-goers threw rocks and water bottles at members of the Bible Believers group when they denounced Islam and called Mohammed a false prophet.

In response, Wayne County authorities threatened to ticket the Christian group if they did not leave.

On Wednesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backed county authorities, ruling 2-1 that police were only trying to keep public order.

The article included part of the judges’ ruling:

“The video from the 2012 festival demonstrates that (evangelists’) speech and conduct intended to incite the crowd to turn violent. … Although robustly guarded by the First Amendment, religious conduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society,” the three-judge panel wrote in its ruling.

Think about that for a minute. The judge was judging the intent of the evangelists–not the actions of the crowd. I thought when you threw a bottle at someone, you were responsible for throwing the bottle–I didn’t realize that the person you were throwing the bottle at was responsible for making you mad.

The dissenting judge had an opinion more in line with the First Amendment:

“The First Amendment protects plaintiffs’ speech, however bilious it was,” Judge Eric Clay wrote in his 11-page dissent. “The majority … provides a blueprint for the next police force that wants to silence speech without having to go through the burdensome process of law enforcement. I expect we will see this case again.”

Again, the evangelists were simply speaking–they were not rioting or destroying property. It was their speech that was stopped–not the actions of the violent crowd. We have forgotten who we are.