“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 free press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” –First Amendment to the US Constitution, written by James Madison
In our entire American Constitution, there are no more important amendments than the first ten, the Bill of Rights. This was intentional. Madison, Jefferson, and the other writers of this world-renowned document recognized the importance of a free, libertarian United States of America with a very tightly-controlled federal government while protecting especially against a runaway president who might try become “king.” In order for all the rest of it to work, these first ten amendments had to structure everything else, they reasoned beautifully.
And of all the first ten amendments, there is none, not one even close, to the level of importance of the First Amendment because of the free speech, freedom of religion, free press, and freedom of assembly/protest assurances. If our framers would’ve been asked which amendment they could save and if all the rest would have to go away, they would’ve undoubtedly saved the First Amendment and that one alone.
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Meme Credit: www.oversight.house.gov
Other American political animals on the Left are not so sure. They want to chip away at our Constitution, just as their feckless leader is and has been doing with impunity. Obama has been a premier anti-Constitutionalist, talking out of both sides of his mouth simultaneously to different audiences or targets, while acting like an automated, human wood-chipper and eliminating as many of our First Amendment rights as possible.
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Photo Credit: Salon.com
There’s nothing more shocking to me and other Conservatives than to have a supposed “Constitutional law professor” (he wasn’t, his title was “lecturer”) taking great big bites out of this exemplary document with cruddy, piranha teeth. Just how phony, how much of a liar, and how anti-American is this president? How stupid does he take us to be?
Let’s look at these basic, beautiful American rights and what Obama’s done to threaten and eradicate our protections by the First Amendment.
“If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.” –Thurgood Marshall
Very true. But Justice Marshall did not go quite far enough. It also means that a state has no business telling anybody—not just a man and not just one sitting at home—anything at all about what they can read, watch, or most importantly say.
Anybody who’s ever been to London’s Hyde Park Corner, “Speaker’s Corner” on a Sunday morning, knows about Free Speech. You can expect to see all manner of sensible, erudite, uneducated, and lunatic speakers, all trying to out-do each other, yell louder, and attract a bigger crowd to listen than any other speaker. This is the American First Amendment in action.
Free speech is the most important right we Americans, or anybody else for that matter, can possibly have. It must be protected, if necessary, with our lives. For what is life worth living without this most basic and most truly American liberty?
Freedom of Religion
It is perhaps the most ironical and dangerous Obama war that he reserves for Religion. Given the fact that our Founding Fathers were over here precisely to flee religious persecution, this right must be respected–and any who might encroach upon it hammered senseless.
For the love of God, America has always fought for the religious freedoms of other countries and spent our precious blood and treasure for others’ religious rights in some forsaken faraway lands. And now we allow someone elected by mistake (do over?) like Obama to come along and ruin our religious rights while he supports the religious rights of others who seek to curtail and then abolish our own? Bizarre.
The American right to freedom of religion is as “inalienable” a right as there is in this great country. That’s why Madison put in in the First Amendment. We must protect it at all costs, even if it means ridding ourselves of another “Nixon.”
Freedom of the Press
A “Free Press” was not something born yesterday. It was imagined by a tight-knit group of revolutionaries, wearing powdered wigs and trying to break away from a tyrannical and mad king. They had no idea that America would someday have the Internet, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. But they saw something like what we have now, and they were prepared. These learned men fully recognized that a free press was necessary in order to keep politicians, elected officials, and the branches of government honest.
So that’s the real value of the press to Americans, not to sell newspapers or radio and TV commercials and help those in power stay there. If the press isn’t doing their central job anymore, then I say “Be Gone with You.” I would quote thusly, “When a ‘free press’ ceases any questioning, any disagreement or investigation of its government; that is the time to rally the farmers, the soldiers and the decent Conservative citizens to ‘assemble, and petition the government for redress of their grievances.’ Except more aggressively.”
And, we can also use the “power of the pocketbook” and not buy, read online, listen to on the radio, nor watch on TV those media businesses that promote Obama’s policies and the trashing of our Constitution. There are many.
Meme Credit: Unknown
Freedom of the press in this country is something I’ve experienced first-hand. Well, sort of.
I’ve never been asked to ratchet-up my Christian Conservative columns or even encouraged to keep on writing them by a Liberal publication. But it’s easy to see Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Judith Miller, and other Liberal/Progressive/Socialist writers certainly have received drooling encouragement, vast sums of money, and eager support from their newspaper, The New York Times.
In fact, I’ve been asked to stop writing my pieces critical of Obama by notoriously Liberal publications. They like rigging the deck, these Liberal media organizations riven with Marxists. I kiddeth you not.
Though I’ve written for The Wall Street Journal, I would never write for the NY Times because they’re part of the problem in America. I don’t respect them. And from the looks of their circulation numbers and ad revenue, I’m not alone.
That’s the difference between writing for a Liberal rag, distorting the truth and protecting their hand-crafted man in our Oval Office and writing for the Western Center for Journalism: I get gratitude and support from the latter. It’s clear they like my political opinions and writing. And I like them.
As a writer speaking from the inside of the Fifth Estate, I can tell you that when Conservative media outlets are not included in White House press briefings or press and members of Congress aren’t allowed to take their smartphones inside, much less take photos or video of the makeshift centers (read prisons) for the wave of illegal immigrant children flooding over our southern borders, well then, we don’t have anything even resembling a Free Press in America anymore.
And the Democrats are trying to seize our Free Speech, Free Religion, and Free Press rights away more and more with each passing minute. They correctly calculated that the first place to start was by getting the obsequious press onboard with first-class access to the President—provided they wrote only nice things about him—and then slowly, almost imperceptibly taking away their rights as power consolidated in the hands of the President and his horribly Liberal government. Psych! Given, then taketh away.
And the other two, Speech & Religion, become inordinately difficult without the Free Press part, the completer and protector of the Triad.
Freedom of Assembly/Protest
“Anytime someone carries a picket sign in front of the White House, that is the First Amendment in action.” –Julian Bond
Funny, but I haven’t seen anywhere near as many people carrying signs in front of the White House now with a Democrat president in residence as there always were when a Republican was president. Odd. But completely understandable, as Liberals hate anybody criticizing their elected officials but surely whine loud and proud when it’s a Conservative they’re hounding. That’s why Julian Bond would say that.
Liberals are the biggest, weakest, and phoniest First Amendment supporters when the speech, press, religion (or lack of it in their case), and right to protest or burn flags, for instance, is curtailed. They are hypocrites to the N-th degree.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are traditionally, well … more traditional. These Liberals hate tradition. We care about our Constitution and support it supporting everybody, even our political enemies. Well, I for one am going to stop doing this because it’s dumb. It’s dumb because while we’re helping to protect the rights of Liberals who hate America, they’re trying to tear us and our rights down. If they are going to try and do that, they lose all protection under the same Constitution we use to defend them. If they won’t submit to taking a driving test, eye test, and having their pictures taken in order to get a driver’s license, then we won’t give them one—they can walk. It’s the same with the Constitution and America herself: If you don’t like it or her, you justifiably cease enjoying the protections of it and her.
So our right to assemble peaceably and protest remains under attack by the scions of Leftist demagoguery. The best case-in-point is an event I went to in 2010 … August 28th, 2010 to be exact: Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” event in Washington D.C. Spectacular. I was there.
This event, attended by well over one million kind, considerate, cleanly, and decent Conservatives, angry as hell with Obama and Obamacare, was a super-caucus of Conservative thought leaders, Conservative press, and Conservative citizens. Beautifully produced on the same Lincoln Memorial steps where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, Beck got the first license for such a big event to be held in that spot since King’s speech there. And it was an amazing event that the mainstream press went into overdrive to falsely denigrate.
“I don’t think the First Amendment trumps everything,” says self-proclaimed “anti-sexist” Tom Keith, a supposed proponent of something he mercurially refers to as “media ethics.” Oh you don’t, do you?
In such an ironically free speech situation, I would have to respond, “Take a hike Keith; you don’t know what you’re talking about, fascist. You’ll likely find yourself incarcerated in a dungeon someday by your own cavalier attitude about the First Amendment.” That’s me protecting my free speech about what a complete dolt Keith is for saying such a thing.
Meme Credit: LiberalLogic
James Madison was our fourth President and writer of the First Amendment—he wrote it!
Madison said of his First Amendment vision, “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”
Relentless Bill Robinson: @RelentlessBill
“The Relentless Conservative”: @RelentlessCon
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.