Thursday, November 5, 2015

The First Amendment: censorship is Anti-American

Have you ever told someone to shut up because he or she was speaking about a subject and taking an opposite view? What about hating someone just because of their religious belief? Should a person be asked to resign from a job because of their beliefs?

Before you answer, read the following:

"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."

That is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Before I go further, let me state for the record that I am NOT a Republican nor an I a Democrat. I actually am a registered Libertarian.

What is a Libertarian? According to their website, "As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power."

Basically, less government and more personal freedom.

I get angry when I hear repeated storied of events being shut down by protesters not letting others speak. Our universities restricted free speech. Personal choices are being chipped away by the liberal might when free speech is limited to a small square on campus. Students tell parents that they are forced to turn in work that leans to the left, less they want to get low marks. Truth is hidden under lies on both sides.

The media is worse. Stories once based on facts are filled with propaganda to further an agenda. Statistics are tossed about to 'prove' a point, but stats can be manipulated. People don't like what a commentator says, so he or she should be fired? Don't let someone like Trump host a show? He may not be the candidate I'd vote for but I wouldn't censor him any more than I would Saunders or Clinton (don't like them either). Yes, the media has freedom but stories must be given with some responsibility. Get the facts first instead of guessing or convicting a person before he or she is even charged with a crime.

Having a difference of opinion is a good thing. Trying to shut someone down because you dislike their point of view is ANTI-AMERICAN. I don't care if that man is spewing the vilest stuff imaginable. He still has a right to speak his peace. Yes, he will have to deal with the ramifications of his words but that is his First Amendment right. The same goes for religion. I don't always understand some of the religious ceremonies or traditions but I respect the right of the individual to practice them. With that said, I believe radical Islamists are the most dangerous threat to world safety at this time. What other religion advocates the killing of anyone not of their faith?

You don't have to believe in religion but don't step on my right to do so.

As for peaceful dissent. I'm all for that. Notice I said PEACEFUL. Throwing rocks & bottles at the law enforcement, setting fire apparatus on fire, or threatening ems personnel is not cool.

We should follow the Golden Rule: treat others as we want to be treated. It is the first step to making a better world.

It's that simple.

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