Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Does First Amendment Trump Gov't. Power?
Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressed concern following the Muslim terrorist massacre in San Bernardino.
Her expressed concern is not about the killing, but rather about the "anti-Muslim rhetoric" that may follow.
People's Speech. People's Words.
She told the Muslim Advocates dinner in Arlington, VA., "America is based on free speech," but when that speech "edges toward violence," the Department of Justice "will take action."
Muslim advocates gave her a standing ovation, but our Founding Fathers are not applauding.
Does government have the power to manage and silence speech?
And if so, can it also manage and silence biblical teaching on moral issues such as human sexuality and the sanctity of human life?
Can the Attorney General, the most powerful law enforcement official in our country, "take action" against someone who says something that she thinks "edges toward violence?"
A former US Justice Department attorney, J Christian Adams, told One News Now , "If I want to go on television and say things about Muslims that edge toward violence, I have every right to do so under the First Amendment."
Adams is not a hateful person. He, as I and most all Christians, feel that is morally wrong and irresponsible.
However, he makes the point regarding the power of the First Amendment.
Matt Staver, founder and president of the largest Christian advocacy law firm in the country, says, "Free speech protects speech with which you disagree, and there is no exception for Islam or Mohammad."
Adams says the true test is "whether something is an imminent and real threat of violence, not something that edges toward it."
Lynch's comments, he says, "is what our country's Founders feared."
Concern over Lynch's comments has been expressed by both legal experts and freedom advocates.
Apparently she has reconsidered.
Politico, not a conservative news source, appears to be reporting that she is walking back her statements.
Ms. Lynch apparently had a "on second thought" moment after she left the Muslim advocate dinner.
Politico says the US A/G has "recalibrated" her remarks and is now saying the Justice Department prosecutes "deeds not words."
This may give our Founding Fathers some relief from anxiety, but for us Christians living in the 21st Century, perhaps not so much.
This is a reveal of where the secular progressive Left is actually coming from. And if not called out publicly, they advance both a double standard regarding freedom of speech and a miscarriage of the original intent of the Founders and our Constitution and its First Amendment.
Moe Lane at Red State wrote, "Attorney General Loretta Lynch FINALLY reads the US Constitution."
He says his suggestion, for example, of what the New York Times can do with their gun-control editorial would almost certainly be classified as hate speech by some of the more unhinged Left-fringe types; and they'd probably love to prosecute people like me for it. They just can't because of that pesky First Amendment."
He says Politico's choice of words was artful---What a marvelously protective term of art--- 'recalibrate'. It sounds better than repudiate, or obfuscate although 'apologize for' would have been more welcome."
There will be no apologizes forthcoming. Those are saved for foreign governments regarding past mistakes on the part of America.
Christians do not hate Muslims. In fact, there are Christian missionaries working tirelessly both here and abroad, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. And God's love for them that none should perish, but all can have eternal life.
However, Christians have expressed concern about the Obama Administration's fixation on promoting and advancing Islamic causes, and his relentless drive to bring in thousands of improperly vetted Syrian refugees when it is clear there are those within the ranks of Islam who seek to kill us. And will use any means possible, including coming into our country as a refugee.
Tim Constantine, writing for the Washington Times this past March, expressed a larger threat to the our Constitutional First Amendment.
In the back drop of the fury and hate of the Left toward the Religious Freedom Restoration Act---specifically in Indiana, he wrote, "The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were crystal clear on the priority of religious liberty...Throughout our 200 plus history, the First Amendment has stood strong. It's been challenged by society at times, but thankfully upheld by our courts and supported by our courts and supported by our government."
His concern focuses on the march against biblical teaching regarding human sexuality, marriage and family by the homosexual advocates.
In this case, our government loses its affinity with the first Amendment, and with great zeal, almost religious zeal, silences and punishes Christians who hold to biblical teaching because it is in conflict with what the government has deemed to be "moral" regarding human sexuality.
Constantine wrote, "Freedom to exercise your own spirituality somehow offends the gay community. They claim it is intolerant and is an attack on their lifestyle. Ironically, their response has been to attack supporters of the law with intolerance of religious beliefs."
"It seems the purveyors of political correctness and tolerance aren't so tolerant if your religious beliefs don't agree with their way of thinking," he said.
Tim wrote the article last March. It has gotten worse, not better in the months that followed.
More and more laws are being enacted which infringe more and more on both freedom of speech and religious expression regarding biblical teaching about the homosexual lifestyle.
Conversely, the same arguments are being used to silence---and potentially punish those who disagree with this president and his pro-Islamic agenda.
In this case, government enforcement is trumping the First Amendment rights of biblical Christians.
There is a profound cultural, political and moral divide in our country. Charles Dickens would probably call it a "tale of two cities."
It would best be described as a politically irreconcilable conflict between two polar opposite worldviews.
There is no pure political solution.
Political and social restoration must be preceded by spiritual restoration.
In defining his times, the prophet Isaiah also defined ours: "Justice is turned back, And the righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter" (59:14).
Isaiah also defined what spiritual restoration looks like: "When the enemy comes in like a flood, The spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him (19)...Arise shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you" (60:1).
Founding Father John Hancock described what political restoration looks like: "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christians and social duty of each individual. Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."
Be Faithful. Be Strong.