Okay, sometimes I use this soapbox to rant but you can tell we are in for a nasty next few years (maybe more depending on who is elected).
The HATE MONGERS are rallying their troops. At stake in this election cycle is literally whether the Bill of Rights, that set of amendments to the US Constitution, those hallowed rights that everyone (worldwide) believes are essential American experience. These amendments were so important that 4 of the AUTHORS of the US Constitution refused to sign the document unless they were added and that George Washington vowed in his first Inaugural Address the country would immediately enact. Since 1793, these have been the law of the land but now the Trump supporting right wing of the Republican Party (henceforth referred to as FACISTS) wants these rights revoked. If you elect these people, you are saying goodbye to the America we know.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a gun owner. I fully support the concepts spelled out in the Second Amendment but the First Amendment is widely considered to be the most important part of the Bill of Rights. It protects the fundamental rights of conscience—the freedom to believe and express different ideas. Under the First Amendment, Americans have both the right to exercise their religion as well as to be free from government coercion to support religion. In addition, freedoms of speech, press, and petition make democratic self-government possible by promoting the open exchange of information and ideas. So why is it that the Second Amendment is considered vital by the FACIST but the First Amendment is an inconvenience.
Many states have decided that Freedom of Religion only applies to very select small segment of Christianity. When you count agnostics and atheists, this is a very small minority of the population but that fact is trivial. What is not trivial is that a shocking number of “Red States” (states with Republican controlled governments) are enacting laws that demand adherence to the religious beliefs and practices of this small minority. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment EXPLICTLY forbids this:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Twelve states have placed bans on women seeking, in most cases even learning about, abortion. This week, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled, ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS that abortion bans and prosecution of those who seek abortions OUTSIDE of Oklahoma, even in cases of medical necessity to protect the mother, were legal. These laws and court rulings effectively state that the Jewish perspective that a fetus is lav nefesh hu, not human life, and therefore has needs that are subservient to those of its mother, is illegal. This OVERLY “prohibits the free exercise” of one religion in favor of another.
Twenty-three states have placed restrictions and bans on LBGTQ citizen effectively prohibiting the Hindu philosophy of a third sex or third gender (tritiya-prakriti – literally, “third nature”). In the Hindu community transsex/gender people are called Hijras and not considered fully male or female but rather a combination of both. Limiting the rights of LBGTQ people again places the FACIST side of Christianity in the seat of the “Establishment Religion” and disenfranchises others.
Finally, and perhaps most overtly, Florida and Texas are pushing for MANDATORY CHRISTIAN PRAYER in schools. Only an true moron or true hater of all things American would fail to see how this is a violation of “make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” but our current Supreme Court seems favorable to hear the case. Once Freedom of Religion is gone, we are on the way to true totalitarian rule. We will effectively become Nazi Germany in a different skin. Freedom of the Press (already challenged by Donald Trump during his presidency) and Freedom of Speech will fall just as quickly.
Juxtapose this with the FACIST view on the Second Amendment. the Second Amendment links guarantees the right to bear arms and form well-regulated militia. The basic idea is that without access to guns for a militia, Americans are vulnerable to oppression. Following the English Civil War, Catholic rulers prohibited their Protestant subjects from owning firearms. The English Bill of Rights corrected that injustice in 1689. Similarly, during the American Revolution, Parliament sought to disarm the colonies. The U.S. Bill of Rights included bearing arms among the rights “of the people,” not just government militias. Over the years, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to own guns, not just the collective right of a state to have a militia. The FACIST have taken this court ruling to be absolute and fought to oppose all regulation of gun ownership, all forms of conceal and carry, and all forms of access.
This disproportionate superiority of one right to another is a timebomb and the countdown is close. We have seen an uptick in the use of violence against marginal populations (LBGTQ, aliens and immigrants, people who oppose certain political positions, and non-Christians). The ‘brown shirts” of the FACIST party are empowered and armed and all efforts are thwarted. This played out in the extreme on January 6, 2021 when armed extremist attempted to overthrow the government.
The situation is dire but all is not lost. As we enter the primary process for our 2024 elections, remember that not everyone in the Republican Party is a fascist. Some still cling to the traditional core values of the Party of Reagan. They favor a balanced budget (urgent), they favor protection of individual rights (urgent), they want to strengthen our military, and they are seeking office for the betterment of our country not personal gain. Look for the candidate that truly want to make America better and return us to the trajectory we were on prior to 2016. Find them, ensure they are the voice of the future and quash the trend of demise we are on.
I’m not asking anyone to give up their personal values, just consider that others live in our great country who may not share your views. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “freedom for the thought that we hate” is important to the discovery of truth. the way to oppose thoughts with which we disagree is not to ban them, but to speak up for what we believe. In this way, truth has an opportunity to compete in the “marketplace of ideas.” Also remember that if one right is to be considered sacred, then all must be considered sacred, otherwise we are oppressing others.
Enhancing the rights of the few at the expense of the rights intended to be enjoyed by all is the tool of tyranny — Sic Semper Tyrannus…. Its not about party affiliation, its not about political theory for what makes American better, its about choosing who represents us well because in a republic, like the United States, we don’t really control our politicians day to day, we elect them for a term and must trust them to do good things not evil.