Category: The First Amendment

What’s so hard about the First Amendment?

I would have thought that the most understood and accepted amendment to the Constitution would be the First Amendment. After all, how hard is it to grasp what freedom of speech means? Put simply, it means you can express yourself and your point of view without being silenced by someone else. Seems simple, right? Well, apparently the folks over at IO9 have only the most strained grasp of what our natural right to freedom of speech is all about.

The first thing we need to understand about freedom of speech, as it was laid out by our founding fathers, is that it is implicitly designed to cover the speech we hate the most. If it wasn’t there would be no reason to acknowledge it in an amendment. Those words should remind us that there is no need to protect a right that we can all agree with – so the intent was to cover ALL speech – particularly the speech we despise.


Sources :

  1. http://toybox.io9.com/islamaphobic-bus-ads-in-san-francisco-are-being-defaced-1681857271?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+io9%2Ffull+%28io9%29&utm_content=Netvibes
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relations_between_Nazi_Germany_and_the_Arab_world

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Freedom: If you’re not giving or taking offense regularly, you’re not doing it right.

It is hard to go more than a day or two without hearing someone either complaining about being offended or someone else tripping over themselves to stop doing something for fear of offending.

STOP IT! Go out and offend! The bottom line is that we should all be very concerned when suddenly the world of public discourse does not include ideas that offend a pretty good chunk of people. In fact, one of the best measures of our freedoms being well used is the fact that people are being offended.

While many seem to believe that our Bill of Rights and Constitution were written, in part, with the intent of preventing us from being offended, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is the complete opposite that is true. One of the things our founding documents were designed to insure was our right to offend whoever we like – with no impact on our rights.

However, this does not mean that offending carries no responsibility. If you offend, it is the right of others to decide how they will treat you. While the government cannot take away any of your rights because you have offended, if you offend me, I am free to not associate with you. That could mean not using your services or buying your products. Any punishment for any offense you might give or take falls to the community in which you live. As it should be.

What is most important here is that as long as your opinions are informed and considered, you are likely to offend far fewer than you will impress. Of course, the opposite is also true. The stupid among us will quickly find that when they offend, they offend far more than they win over. What could be better to help encourage the stupid to become less so than the vast majority of their community expressing to them exactly how stupid they are? So giving and taking offense can combat stupidity and even provide a sort of self correcting mechanism in the world of political discourse.

So get informed, consider some thoughts and go out and offend.

Ann Barnhardt schools Lindsey Graham on free speech.

Lindsey Graham needs a refresher on the concept of free speech. At least, Ann Barnhardt is pretty sure he does!  Frankly, I have to agree with her on that point.

While Ann wants to stand “four square” with the Koran burners, I prefer to offer my support in the form of the phrase  “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I believe burning a Koran to be stupid and a very poor way to make a point, but I support someones right to do so. It does not break my leg, or pick my pocket.

Take the 9 minutes and 36 seconds to listen to Ann’s examination of Lindsey Grahams less than knowledgable grasp on our First Amendment to the Constitution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeyrp-V3Jvc

Senator Lindsey Graham, R - South Carolina. Our very first "Asshat Of The Week!"

Lindsey could stand to learn a few things from Ann. Perhaps his first step should be to pick up the cliff notes on that document he swore to protect and uphold… The United States Constitution.

Before you start singing Anns’ praises, you might want to check out the rest of her videos.

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce a weekly effort here at The Unforgotten American! That is the Asshat Of The Week!  Each week we will award to some lucky person this prestigious distinction. This weeks winner of course, Lindsey Graham!

Interesting to note here that in coming up with our first winner of the Asshat Of The Week award, I very nearly awarded it to Ann for a completely different set of reasons! Bu then, there is always next week!

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