In a land once known as America, there was a golden age. People wrote down their ideas and ideals of what good government was composed of, how it should be operated and what was necessary to maintain the proper operational program assuring those ideas and ideals maintained their uppermost position of importance. Who knew irony would step in and allow those principled, idealistic pursuits: freedom and liberty and justice, would be used against the people it was originally drafted to protect?
Today, we speak of constitutional rights. To constitute means taking the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of (something).” (Vocabulary.com) A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is. When these principles are written down into a single document or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to embody a written constitution; if they are written down in a single comprehensive document, it is said to embody a codified constitution. (Wikipedia 2013)
This means our ideals, drafted on principles taken from our religious instruction and based on the ethical and moral tenets resident in those teachings set a broad foundation for our understanding of how we, as people, should treat each other in “open society “ as was stated in the Declaration of Independence. It’s clear and precise. It needs NO elaboration or interpretation. It says simply: “All men are created equal.” That means under law no man; woman or child may be held to a higher/lower level of debit or credit to his reputation, standing in public or right before a court of law.
Nowhere does it say “all men are likeable.” Or, “all men’s lifestyles are acceptable”. Or, that all people should be exalted for the choices they make and must be supported politically, financially and physically from the public coffers developed through taxation and “re-distribution” of another person’s holdings and good fortune.
Somehow, in some way, people entrusted with the maintenance and care of the Constitution of the United States of America have taken to interpreting what needs NO interpretation. While it’s true America immediately violated the first tenet of freedom of the Constitution’s birth and denied blacks the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness under constitutional protections, America ultimately returned to the real and actual words of the Declaration of Independence and bolster the principles established there. The extension and understanding of these fundamental rights came to cover all men, women and children alike.
It’s only when government denies these rights to people does the constitution kick in. But, in the First Amendment to the Constitution it says: “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 Constitution says I must allow you the right to speak, practice your religion and/or lifestyle.
It doesn’t say I have to like it. It doesn’t say I can’t disagree with it. It doesn’t say I CANNOT speak out against it. Specifically, it allows me the right to speak out against anything I find objectionable. To remove that right from me is as unconstitutional as it would be for me to remove the right from you.
I may not like your lifestyle, your clothes or your politics. That doesn’t make me a bad person. It makes me an opinionated person. That’s not against the law. But, factions of people displaying a convoluted sense of justice claim it’s against the law to hate.
We’ve defined certain actions as being “hate crimes”. How do you legislate emotion out of a person? How do you make somebody “love” somebody they find antagonistic to their moral and ethical foundation? When did emotion (no matter how raw and unpleasant it may seem) become something one person may tell another is wrong if that person committing the passive act of non-acceptance and restricted nobody from practicing that lifestyle?
It’s only when people demand rather than command the respect of their peers, we see the failures of this action. All homosexuals enjoy equal protections under law as heterosexuals. But, homosexuals can’t force heterosexuals to accept them as a group or individually. You simply can’t force another human to welcome another culture he doesn’t want to be a part of.
If I don’t like something, or somebody, it’s my right to not associate with that person. I don’t like the Taliban. Is it the stance of the federal government I must welcome American born Taliban operatives into my neighborhood while knowing the preponderance of Taliban seek to destroy anybody/everybody not of their religious faith? Can’t I state my opposition to the threat they make me feel?
This is where the irony of the situation presents itself. This hypothetical Taliban has the same constitutional rights as any citizen until he/she commits an overt act of criminality breaking the law of the land. Just speaking his mind is NOT against the law. His hatred of Christian/Jewish/Atheist/Agnostic/ (whatever the heck else is left) American ideals and the expression of that anger and hatred is NOT unconstitutional. It’s wrong in many people’s minds, but it’s not ILLEGAL!
So when a reality TV star says things and makes comments about what he doesn’t like, it’s his right and privilege as an American. It’s also his right and privilege (as it is for all of his supporters) to boycott the products advertised on the network folding to the whim and protest of a small minority of the viewing public because they choose to define the honest and straight-forward OPINIONS of the person as “hate speech”.
The constitution and bill of rights work for all people. It’s only bigots, racists and those so immature as to believe they (and they alone) are being slighted and feel unloved make it a constitutional dilemma to be addressed.
Nobody says you must listen to anything you don’t like. That goes for both sides of the coin.
Thanks for listening.