The First Amendment and Other Fairytales
by Ryan Scott
You know, I heard it in a bed-time story somewhere that this country used to have a thing called the First Amendment. That must have been a long, long time ago though, as it’s fairly obvious that its alleged articles no longer apply in modern America.
But, then, a breakthrough: after countless hours of searching, I found what appears to be a rare complete copy of this almost extinct document, tucked away in the back corners of some obscure text called the Bill of Rights. Never heard of it? Neither has the Supreme Court.
So, after long hours of exhaustive study and debate, I finally managed to distill the basic message of this incredibly dense and complicated document into one (just one!) sentence: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Crazy stuff, huh? I wonder how they ever thought they could make this work.
Let’s examine the distinct clauses, and then compare that to how our government currently operates, so that we better appreciate how we are being protected from the chaos and confusion inherent in the supposed freedoms offered by such a radical law.
1. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . .” Now, now, I know that’s scary to even read, but fortunately our politicians have been doing their damnedest to ignore it. It reassures me that Rick Santorum, who for a time was considered a serious contender for the position of the leader of the free world, has the courage to state that the seperation of church and state makes him want to throw up. And where would our country be if teachers in Tennessee were not allowed to spend valuable class time, on the public’s dime, learning it to the youngin’s that saying “God did it” is a valid replacement for reason and empirical evidence?
But the most powerful reminder of faith’s important place in American law comes to us courtesy of North Carolina, where the God-fearing righteous people have played such a large part in making sure that gay marriage will most likely soon be officially declared invalid by the state. Thank God that figures such as Reverend Billy Graham are considered legitimate political forces; truly, they have done so much good with their positions.
2. ”. . . or abridging the freedom of speech. . .” Wow. Opens the door to all kinds of obscenities, doesn’t it? Thankfully, all of the prominent Republican candidates this election cycle promised “strict enforcement” of anti-obscenity laws. For those of you who are worried that anti-obscenity laws might be a little too tame to protect our children from filth and new ideas, take heart. Remember that Margaret Sanger was arrested for disseminating information about contraception back in the 1920′s on charges of obscenity. With the enforcement of obscenity laws, our wonderful government gate-keepers will have the ability to shield us and our poor children from harmful opinions and facts.
3. ”. . . or the press. . .” Can you imagine what the world would be like if the government didn’t control coverage of the Iraq War effort? I don’t know about you, but my patriotism was never higher than the day I discovered that in the lead up to the Iraq War, many of the supposedly “impartial war experts” were, in fact, employed by the Pentagon! What a brilliant strategy! Clearly, ensuring fair and accurate coverage of the facts surrounding the war would have just confused the public. It was up the Decider’s administration to make sure that the public made the right choice.
4. “. . .or the right of the people peaceably to assemble. . .” This one is just asking for chaos and disruption. Fortunately, the law has been working overtime lately to make sure people do not exercise this so-called “right.” Take how the valiant forces of law and order have come down with brutal justice on the unwashed masses in the Occupy Movement. For example, in Seattle on November 15, 2011, some heroes of the police force won themselves eternal glory by pepper-spraying an 84-year-old community activist, a priest, and a pregnant teenager. Of course, there are many more examples of the boys in blue violently breaking up peaceful assemblies.
And don’t worry, the Occupy Movement is not the only time that the police has had to intervene to make sure people cannot exercise this First Amendment “freedom.” When a group of upstart Mississippians tried to hold a hold a peaceful pro-gay rights march, the Jackson police decided to shut down the rally, with police reportedly telling LGBT activists that “it’s illegal to be openly gay in the state.”
5. That leaves only the right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” While the government, to my knowledge, has not yet done taken measures to protect us from that particular right, nor has it ever really paid attention to those petitions. And even if they did, that puts them at following about 1/5 of the First Amendment. Besides, even a 20% rate would be far too good for any government policy based on such an evil and grotesque law as the First Amendment.
And so ends our nightmarish trip through the horror that is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. I for one am grateful to our immaculate leaders that they have been able to save us from fountainhead of chaos. Fortunately, we will always have our politicians and police forces to ensure that we never slip into such poisonous freedoms and treacherous rights.