Friday, May 31, 2013

The Government attack on the First Amendment


*** Update from the TFC ***

Rod -

ACT! for America and many other groups are paying attention to a serious issue here in Tennessee: civil liberties and free speech. Read below for a message from the national ACT! for America group.

On June 4th, an event titled "Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society" will be held from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd, in Manchester, Tennessee. The special speakers for the event are a U.S. Attorney and an FBI special agent.

The instigation for this event was a Facebook posting by a Coffee County Commissioner, a Democrat. The posting showed a picture of a man pointing a shotgun at the camera with the phrase, "How to wink at a Muslim."

ACT! for America believes this posting was ill-advised, offensive and provocative - but it appears to us to be the kind of political satire that is protected by the First Amendment. And it's certainly less incendiary than some of the comments jihadists have been known to publicly make.

In an article in The Tullahoma News, the U.S. Attorney is quoted as saying:

"If a Muslim had posted 'How to Wink at a Christian,' could you imagine what would have happened?" he said. "We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we're here, they're going to be protected."

We know the answer to his question - nothing would have happened.
There would have been no meeting like this one to warn Muslims about how they might be violating the civil rights of non-Muslims.

The attorney further went on to state in the article that violations of civil rights will be prosecuted. ACT! for America is not in the business of violating anyone's civil rights. We are, however, in the business of protecting our constitutional right of free speech. And we find the tone of the U.S. Attorney's remarks, and the very existence of this meeting, disconcerting at best and a preemptive assault on the First Amendment at worst.

On March 11th we conducted a national webcast announcing the creation of "Americans United to Defend Free Speech." We explained how our own State Department was complicit in efforts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to impose what amounts to "hate speech" laws in countries around the world.

This State Department effort is unprecedented, which is why we're encouraging people to sign our Open Letter to Congress and the state legislatures to oppose the effort.

Here's your opportunity to stand up against the intimidation of free speech in your state. You can join the many others we know who are planning on attending the meeting in Manchester.

Our message-your message-at this event is simple: The First Amendment right of free speech is one that we cherish and that we will defend - even provocative, offensive speech must not be used as a pretense to muzzle it.

Should you choose to attend, we encourage you to be respectful with any questions and responses to the speakers, and stay focused on the issue of free speech.

The Board of Directors
Tennessee Freedom Coalition

My Comment: Even "hate speech" should be protected and the government should not be engaged in indoctrination campaigns. 

I am more concerned about the growing trend of our government to indoctrinate people and to force people to conform to political correctness than I am those who may exercise bad taste and offend someone. I am more concerned about a coercive government that tells you what to think and forces you to display proper attitudes than I am the odd bigot who lumps all Muslims together and lets it be known he doesn't care for them. 

A good example of this trend to coerce proper attitudes is the incident in which the Department of Justice issued a memo to employees saying that failure to actively promote LBGT pride month would be construed as disapproval. "Silence will be interpreted as disapproval,” said the memo. If a Christian who thinks the transvestite in the next cubical is living a sinful life of which he does not approve, it is not good enough just to keep his opinions to himself and ignore the co-worker. No, he must actively show his acceptance, or surfer the consequences. He must display a LBGT sticker or leave a brochure promoting tolerance on his desk or do something to actively affirm acceptance. 

 If some coalition of advocates of toleration want to have a seminar in Coffee County because of this anti-Muslim Facebook posting incident, I would say, "go for it." It is another matter, however, when the government sends in an Attorney General and FBI agents to conduct a seminar preaching the virtue of diversity. This incident and the use of IRS police powers to silence conservative organizations and the DOJ LBGT memo are all evidence of a government attempting to coerce uniformity of thought and silence dissidents. The real threat to our liberty is an out of control government that does not respect the First Amendment.

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