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Archive for first amendment

Defending the First Amendment

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments about whether or not Hobby Lobby should be forced to pay for their employees’ contraceptives and abortions, despite religious objections, as a part of Obamacare. Four justices have already voiced that they will side with the government. I find this to be mind bogglingly shocking. These people were put there to DEFEND the Constitution, with the very first Bill of Rights being to protect religious freedom. It should be a slam dunk case, with Hobby Lobby winning easily. That fact that FOUR of the justices think otherwise is frightening. What on earth is their justification?

Their argument is that Hobby Lobby is a corporation and that the First Amendment does not apply to corporations. Say what!? First off, that makes zero sense. Corporations are nothing more than collections of people and it is my understanding that the First Amendment applies to ALL people. Corporations are owned by people, staffed by people, managed by people. Corporations are people and in that respect they are no different than government. They reflect the values and integrity of the individuals that make them up.

But even if corporations are some strange separate artificial intelligence entity, what good is the First Amendment if it doesn’t apply to EVERYBODY?? When the government can start to pick and choose who gets protected by the First Amendment and who doesn’t, you have entered into dangerous territory, and the fact that four justices think that it’s their job to decide who doesn’t get protected by the First Amendment means that we are already there!

I brought this point up to a liberal friend and his response was, “Well, I don’t like Hobby Lobby pushing their religion on their employees.” What does that have to do with the issue? Hobby Lobby is not forcing the employees to do or not do anything. The government IS forcing Hobby Lobby to do something it finds objectionable. If Sue Employee wants to have an abortion while under the employ of Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby will not stop her from doing so and frankly, I don’t think Hobby Lobby cares what Sue Employee decides to do with her life outside of Hobby Lobby. But why should Hobby Lobby be FORCED to pay for that abortion? It’s Sue’s abortion, not Hobby Lobby’s. She should pay for it herself, if that’s what she wants, or find somebody who does want to pay for her abortion.

Even though Hobby Lobby does not get involved in Sue Employee’s personal life, if Hobby Lobby, or any company for that matter, wishes to establish for themselves a code of ethics on how they feel their employees should conduct themselves outside of employment, I would defend their right to do so. Sound extreme? Well then, work for another company. We do not have forced employment in this country. Nobody is forcing anybody to work for any company. Why is it that so hard to understand? If Sue Employee wants her employer to pay for her abortion, she can get a job with one who will.

What does the First Amendment specifically say? It says “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.” The Obamacare mandate violates this on both accounts. First, it denies Hobby Lobby their free exercise of their religion. I bring this up and I hear liberals say the First Amendment is supposed to keep people from forcing their religion on others. No, it doesn’t. Considering the fact that a lot of the signers of the Constitution were ordained pastors or ministers, I doubt that this is what they had in mind when they signed it. No, the First Amendment ALLOWS people to proselytize, Bible bash, witness, share, whatever you want to call it, to one another. Don’t like it, tough, it’s their freedom. What it DOESN’T allow is for government to force ITS religion and yes, secularism IS a type of religion. By forcing Hobby Lobby and anybody else to pay for contraceptives, the government is establishing that this is their worldview (religion) and this is their way of forcing you to acknowledge it. The failure to understand this is a failure to understand the First Amendment.

IRS Scandal

In case you live under a rock, or in case you get your news from MSNBC, the big scandal of the day is that the IRS is targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.

Yawn. This is news? I mean, I guess it is in the fact that it’s finally being reported, but no doubt this has been suspected for a long time.

My biggest frustration with all of this is the Democrats. When are you going to start cleaning house? What boggles my mind is that honest, hard working, freedom loving Americans are so loyal to their own party, that they are unwilling to rid it of corruption as it has taken over. I’m sorry, using the IRS as bullies to shut down political opposition (aka speech) during two election cycles is tyranny. There is nothing else you can call it. Sure it’s your guys doing it, so you’ll look the other way, but you same people screamed foul at W for barely even sneezing!

The Republicans have NOOOO problem jettisoning politicians the moment they are accused of wrong doing, whether or not such accusations are even true. Remember Tom Foley? Tom Delay? Dan Maes? Why can’t you Democrats do the same?

Of course, these attacks by the IRS are justified according to Democrat Harry Reid. According to him, because these conservative non-profit groups are sometimes fronted by rich (gasp!) people, they shouldn’t be allowed to qualify like the liberal non-profit groups (fronted by rich people). So, let me get this straight, rich people shouldn’t have free speech protection? Actually, yes, I’ve had some liberals tell me, and with all sincerity, they say money should be removed from speech so that it becomes fair. Then they pat themselves on the back for being so freedom minded.

Money does make speech easier, but guess what, it exists on both sides. Need I remind you that Democrats have outspent Republicans on every major national election since 2006? Money is speech and there shall be NO law restricting it!

Other prominent liberals have justified these IRS attacks by saying violent and racist groups like the TEA party should have extra scrutiny placed on them. WHAT?!? I’m confused. Do these liberals really believe that the TEA party is racist and violent, or are they just saying this as a convenient way to quickly demonize and dismiss their opposition? Every time a liberal tries to pin the TEA party as violent, I ask them, based on what? Can you name for me an actual violent incident involving a TEA party member? I can tell you how many times TEA party members have been falsely accused after any number of terrorist attacks, only to be quietly exonerated later. (Gabby Giffords, Aurora shootings, Boston bombings.) Perhaps they only remember the first media accusations and not the later correction?

And the charges of racism? Sooooo… let me get this straight. Smaller government and fiscal responsibility are racist?

This is a tactic often used by dictators. Falsely accuse your political opponent of the worst possible immorality you can think of. (In America, right now, that’s the charge of racism.) Then because they are so immoral, you can justify perpetrating whatever injustices against them you want, you know, like IRS harassment. It’s how Hitler got an entire German country to turn against the Jews.

What are your values? Forget party allegiance. Take the time to investigate the people on your side and those from the other side. When anyone, Republican or Democrat, engages in unethical activities in order to gain political power, the entire nation should be holding them accountable, not just the opposing party.

Side Note: Phew! Sorry this is so long. But it’s like the adage, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can even put on its shoes. Lies are easy to spread as one liners on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else. “The TEA party is racist.” Once it’s out there and people start believing it, just saying “no they’re not” will not suffice. Unfortunately, it requires long documentation and rational explanation in order to set the record straight and even then, people are slow to believe. That’s the beauty of cartoons sometimes. They can hammer home a truth much quicker and more poignantly than words.
Post Script:  Even I was subjected to harassment by the Obama campaign. Back in 2008, I posted Obama’s position on Orphan Works based upon a Newsweek article. A week later, I received a phone call (area code New York City) from a lady claiming to be on the Obama election campaign, telling me they were going to sue me for libel if I didn’t take down that post, citing a Time article in which Obama was quoted as taking the opposite position. Of course, I took it down, but does that mean Obama might have read some of my cartoons? Cool.

Colorado Tea Party


The First Amendment guarantees us the right to assembly. Thus, this Wednesday I’m exercising my First Amendment rights by going to one of the many TEA parties being held across the nation. Naturally conservative in all I do, this is a great stretch for me. But I’m looking forward to having fun and I hope you will join me there.

Earl Grey, with a little milk and a little sugar, and with a touch of vanilla… That’s how I like it!