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Freedom of Speech is Good; or Not

May 24, 2010

Our Founding Fathers guaranteed in the First Amendment our God given right of freedom of speech. They did this because a person is not truly free if he is not free to express his views. The left, who like to think of themselves as the most tolerant among us, seem to not be quite so tolerant of speech they find does not fall in line with their political views.

In a speech at Hampton University, President Obama bemoaned devices such as iPod, iPad and X-Box as diversions. He suggested that these type devices provide 24/7 access to arguments that Obama said “don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter.” In addition, he decried the blogs and talk radio as “putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.” Notice that Obama specifically points to the new media (blogs and talk radio), where much of the content is conservative in nature. How are these media outlets “putting new pressures” on our country? They may be putting new pressures on his administration in that people now have a choice in where they obtain their information and don’t have to settle for the liberal spin offered by the old media.

This view does not seem to correlate with what President Obama said just a few months ago. On November 16, 2009, while speaking to and taking questions from a group of Chinese students, Obama said that information should be free. The President said that he was “a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information,” adding that “vocal criticism of his polices had made him a better leader.” So it seems that the Chinese should access information from any source they wish but the same does not hold true for Americans.

President Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein wrote a paper in 2008 in which he openly called for banning conspiracy theories. One theory Sunstein would like to ban is the idea that global warming is a “deliberate fraud.” His ideas included outright banning of conspiracy theorizing, taxing the activity (monetarily or otherwise) and infiltrating “extremist” groups. Can you say Tea Parties? He also suggested that right wing websites should include links to opposing views and vice versa. According to Sunstein this could be done either voluntarily or by force.

In a report from the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships under Section C – Environment and Climate Change this is the very first recommendation: “Recommendation 1: Form an Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and assign Faith- and Community-Based Liaisons to EPA regional offices.”

In the report, the reason for recommendation is described, “Houses of worship can exert a powerful influence when they practice good energy stewardship and preaches and teaches about conservation as a moral value, it has a powerful influence.” This means that at least Obama’s Advisory Council wants global warming theory preached from America’s pulpits. I don’t have a problem if a pastor feels led to teach conservation in his church, but this is a government agency pushing pastors to teach a particular political agenda. Hopefully, America’s pastors are too busy preaching the Word of God to push Obama’s agenda.

We have an agency of the Federal Government “partnering” with churches. Is this like Federal Government partnering with GM where Obama picks the CEO? Maybe it’s like the Federal Government partnering with Freddy and Fanny and controls the vast majority of home mortgages.

Where is the left squawking about separation of church and state? Remember the left’s endless attacks on Sarah Palin because she was a church going Christian. I remember the hissy-fit the left threw when George W. Bush first announced his “faith-based initiatives.” Even I had a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. But here the administration is planning to “partner” with churches and is admittedly going to influence the teachings of the church and the silence from the left is deafening. I guess this sacred separation of church and state only works one way.

It leaves one wondering why try limiting speech they don’t like and encourage speech they do, all in direct violation of the Constitution. Why not just defeat the ideas on their merits? This is not the actions of a President of the United States but the actions of a leader in some third world dictatorship. I remember when the American tanks rolled into Bagdad and seeing those huge murals of Saddam Hussein. Is that next for us?

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Copyright ©2010 Humphrey Stevenson

Humphrey Stevenson has BS degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and an MBA and makes his home in Tulsa, OK. He is a chemist by trade, has been published in trade journals, and is a recent "tea party" participant and political writer. His inspiration, as with many conservatives, is Ronald Reagan.