Thursday, May 9, 2013

Using the liberals version of the First Amendemnt against them.

We live in a time when the First Amendment is highlighting the fragmentation of American society.  The Amendment itself is pretty clear:

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 words are clear and any ambiguities can be cleared up by reading what the Founders wrote. In the mind of liberals however the clear intent of the Firs Amendment is replaced with highly complex and obtuse interpretations that, magically, always conform to what liberals believe the Constitution should say.

One of the key liberal “interpretations” is that the free exercise of religion only covers being able to worship God.

That interpretation coupled with liberal rejection of Judeo-Christian morality is creating significant conflicts within modern American society.

The problems arise from liberals attempting to enshrine their own moral code, their own religion if you will, into the law of the land.  In the case of gay marriage for example liberals are not satisfied with ensuring that gays can pretend to be married but rather that it be illegal to not support the massively promiscuous gay lifestyle.  This leads to the direct demand that the First Amendment rights of those who disagree with gays, and other liberal favorites, be revoked.

Recently a poor florist has been sued not once but twice because she won’t provide flowers for a gay “wedding”.  It’s clear that the woman is not a bigot since she had no problem selling flowers for the two grooms for other occasions; she just believes that she can’t support an event which goes directly against her deeply held religious beliefs. She is asking that she be allowed to exercise her religion.  The gay men were not harmed in any way since there are plenty of other florists who are only too glad to sell the men flowers.

Her lawyer raised the enticing prospect of a First Amendment freedom of speech based defense. After all if burning the flag is speech why isn’t not selling flowers speech too?  Clearly the woman is trying to send a message.

One might suggest that while burning the flag is a positive action not selling flowers is a negative action and hence different in nature. But we have just been taught by no less than the Supreme Court that not buying health insurance—a negative act—is in fact a positive action that can be taxed so the negative nature of the florists actions should have no bearing; in any case who would doubt that a hunger strike—a negative act—is not in fact speech?

The lawyer’s concept of using the liberal First Amendment to ensure protection for people who don’t wish to be oppressed for not agreeing with liberal “truth” is an example of making lemonade out of the sour fruit of the new liberal First Amendment and use that lemonade to hoist liberals on their own petard.

If it’s ok for people to object to a government policy by burning the flag why can’t someone object to a government policy, gay marriage, by not selling chapel bound gays flowers?

While significantly distorting the intent of the First Amendment activist judges have clung to certain principles in order to justify their actions. One of those is that speech cannot be limited based on its content; they use that to explain why burning the flag or pornography should be legal even though most people find them to be offensive.

But in the case of gay marriage this creates a problem.  If not selling flowers to a gay “couple” is to be found to be illegal the judges will have to make the case that the speech is so offensive that it must be banned. Given that the majority of Americans still oppose gay marriage it will be hard to declare that speech opposed to gay marriage is so odious that it must be prevented—especially in a country where it’s ok for Nazi’s to march through a Jewish neighborhood.

Additionally there is the whole free exercise of religion concept. We’ve seen that Obama and liberals believe not in the right of Americans to freely exercise their religion but in the right of Americans to freely worship; that is liberals are willing to deign to let people of faith go to their own little government approved ghettos and do whatever primitive things people who believe in God do.

Contrary to liberal misconceptions a core aspect of exercising one’s religion is not cooperating with that which one thinks to be evil. Can anyone doubt that abolitionists were exercising their religion when they did not turn slaves back to their owners?  The situation is the same when a state has legalized so called same sex marriage. People are not calling for gays to be strung up; all people are asking for is the right to not be forced by the full power of the government to cooperate with things that violate their religious beliefs.

The situation is no different than if the government made a law saying that it would be legal to marry 5 year old girls.  In that case the fact that not cooperating with the marriage of a 40 year old man and a 5 year old girl is a good thing is one that few would object to. But at the core of it the only real difference is that most Americans, even liberals, oppose child molestation while liberals believe that gay marriage is morally fine while many Americans disagree.

This reveals the core of the problem. Because America no longer has a universally shared moral code there are more and more cases where there is disagreement about the role of government in morally related issues. This in turn sets up conflicts between the groups that manage to enshrine their morality in the law and those who based on their faith object to the moral position the government takes.

America is therefore confronted with a conundrum; if the law says gay marriage is legal to what extent can the government force those who disagree with that law to not exercise their First Amendment right to freedom of religion and speech?

The answer is very simple of course so long as the objective is supporting the religious diversity of the American people and not enforcing a crushing conformity by creating a single moral code, religion, that is enforced by the government.

Just as pacifists are not required to shoot people when in the military people like the florist should not be forced to cooperate with things they believe to be morally wrong. If liberals are right and most people support gay marriage then there should be no problem for gays to find florists.  If America has historically declared that freedom of religion is so important that in existential conflicts like the Civil War and WWII people could not be forced to violate their beliefs to fight for their country on what basis can liberals claim that florists must be forced to sell flowers for gay weddings?

Irrespective of one’s opinion of gay marriage letting two people who can never have biological sex get “married” is not of sufficient value to throw out the First Amendment and declare that those who don’t conform to the government defined morality have no right to either free speech or to exercise their religion.

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