The Alarming Assault on the First Amendment

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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The Democrat Party’s War on the Bill of Rights

It is no secret that our Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is under attack. The Founding Fathers established our republic in the context of limited government so that our God-given inalienable rights were protected from government overreach. 

Unfortunately, this created an intractable conflict between the government and the Constitution; like a child that rebels against the rules of its parents, so too does the government rebel against the laws of the founders.

While both political parties are guilty of overreach, the party of Big Government, i.e., the Democrat Party, has launched an all-out rhetorical war on the limitations imposed by the Bill of Rights. Things have gotten so bad that U.S. Rep. Fredericka Wilson (D-FL) has called for the prosecution of anyone who makes online fun of Democrats in Congress. This is like the head clown saying anyone who laughs will be thrown out of the circus. Travesties like this put the duty to defend our rights at the ballot box and beyond on the backs of American patriots.

The First Amendment goes to the heart of many of the debates that are affecting our country today. These 45 words establish the most essential rights which we value to maintain our republic. The Second Amendment, moreover, is the tool that we can use to protect these rights from tyranny. 

The Democrat Party is undermining both the First and Second Amendments.

The First Amendment is the Cornerstone of Democracy

Not surprisingly, the Democrats are undermining the Second Amendment while they ramp up their assault on the First. For those of you who learned from modern textbooks that give you the gist of the Amendments without telling you what they actually say, the First Amendment reads as follows: 

“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.”

Within this relative brief statement are stipulations that protect the other rights which we value in this republic. By protecting them from political attacks, we preserve our union, remove the status of progressive, Liberal, or Conservative from our identification, and become resolute as Americans that elected civil servants or activist judges won’t take this republic from us.

Religious Liberty Must be Maintained

The paramount right in the First Amendment is freedom of religion.  Though this right has been watered down by an overreaching judiciary, the Bill of Rights is very clear as to its meaning. It is a simple passage that we have allowed, however, to become convoluted through years of technicalities where corrupt justices and judges read outside documents into the law to create the meaning that they want.

First and foremost, Congress is prohibited from making any law respecting the establishment of a religion, full stop. This is not a condemnation of prayers at the beginning of city council meetings or football games or municipalities allowing the 10 Commandments to be displayed in a public place. It simply says that Congress can’t tell people how they may establish a religion. It is quite simple. However, the courts have read into the law that there is a “Constitutional” requirement for the following:

  • Separation of church and state (Read in through the letter to the Danbury Baptists)
  • Neutrality in public religious displays (Lynch v. Donnelly)
  • No state money can go to an already established religion, even with voter support (Lemon v. Kurtzman)

While none of these concepts appear in the Constitution, the defining document of government power, our unconstitutionally unabated Supreme Court has established new loopholes in the limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause.

Just as distressing is the assault on the Free Exercise clause. Once again, it is specifically stated that Congress cannot and must not prohibit the free exercise of religion. 

Unfortunately, activist courts and progressive groups like the ACLU have read in meanings to this clause that are simply not present in the text of the Bill of Rights. 

Bakeries and Fast-Food Restaurants

Here are two of the more notable examples of the undermining of religious liberty :

The Christian baker: A homosexual couple drove past dozens of other bakeries, stores, and grocers to come to a Christian baker to ask him to make them a cake for a same-sex wedding. As any business owner may have the right to do, he declined to make a cake that violated his religious beliefs, though he still would have sold them a cake, just not the way they wanted it. 

The couple sued, and in a contrived court case were eventually defeated because a person cannot force a business to create something it does not support (note that the baker did not deny them the right to shop there).  Try going to McDonalds and asking for a bowl of chicken marsala with a side of Parmesan garlic wings; establishments do not have to create items that they do not serve to anyone else.

The banning of Chick-fil-A from the airport: The Chick fil-A fast-food chain was denied applications to open stores in airports in Buffalo and San Antonio because of its support of traditional marriage. Chick-fil-A owners are deeply religious and donate to pro-traditional marriage organizations.

Once again, Chick-fil-A does not deny anyone service, and the company is exceedingly polite to every customer regardless of race, religion, or identity. Yet because of the actions of private persons who donate their own money to private organizations, elected leaders and others lobbied to deny Chick-fil-A business license on the basis of religious beliefs.

In both of these instances, activists attempted to use a modern interpretation of the Bill of Rights to force others to violate their religion. In the Christian Baker case, the Supreme Court eventually found that the lawsuit was repugnant to the Constitution. The idea that individuals can be forced by the state to do something that they are religiously opposed to because it offends others brings back memories of Ceausescu’s Romania and his human rights violations.

Prohibiting Chick-fil-A airport locations because of the owners’ Christian values and support of traditional marriage perhaps also brings back memories of past dictatorships that banned Jews from the public square.

Freedom of Expression in Jeopardy

Freedom of speech and of the press protections come next, representing two interrelated, important rights. The language represents two important forms of self-determination.

The reason for this passage is quite simple, in 1776 (and even today), you can get arrested and imprisoned the UK for what you say. Indeed, everything that the Founding Fathers discussed at the time would be considered treason by the Crown of England; in America, these discussions are just called discourse. 

We can talk about ousting the president, we can make fun of idiot Members of Congress like AOC and the guy who thought Guam would capsize. We can wave a middle finger in the air at the White House or Congress. We have the right to disagree with our government, and that makes America great.

However, we are seeing assaults on free speech through Internet censorship. Google, Facebook, and Twitter and others have been caught suppressing free expression. This does not involve hate speech, threats, or abject racism. if Big Tech companies do not want that on their platform, they can ban it through their terms of service.

That mainstream conservatives that are being suspended, de-platformed, or shadow banned is worrisome. Even though these companies are privately owned, they are still open communications platforms.

Since they seek protections under the law in this capacity, however, they must allow free and unabated speech within reason. Those who are silenced currently have no recourse. Separately, certain speech is being forced down the throats of schoolchildren, while other other opinions are denied in the same environment.

The Fake News Media

The corporate media is experiencing attacks on its freedoms from both sides. President Trump’s fake news campaign has extended beyond the bounds of CNN and MSNBC has focused on some of the other network news outlets.

While NBC, ABC and CBS may have a liberal slant to them, they are still reporting the news as they see fit under the First Amendment. However, press criticism is not only coming from the right. Plus, we are seeing “inbred journalism” with personal relationships between politicians and Democrat operatives as well as a revolving door between government and journalism. This results in a very unbalanced news system. These marriages of convenience, as it were, are a direct threat to a free and independent press.

Peacefully Petitioning the Government

Petitions are an interesting part of the First Amendment, and the courts have not fully examined this right. What we do know, however, is that the basic premise behind this right is under attack.

The method for petitioning is up for discussion. We have the right to use sites like Change.org to create national petitions to our representatives. Further, we know that when citizens do make a choice, like the potential plan to break up California, Illinois, or New York, decriminalizing some recreational drugs, or Florida’s ill-conceived referendum to allow felons to vote in elections, the will of the people should be respected.

Even if we do not like it, the will of the people is being expressed through the lawful processes established by state or federal constitutions. Unfortunately, this right as well as the related right to peacefully assemble is in under assault from both the left and the right.

The Only Standard is a Double Standard

In our nation, we have a clear double standard about who is allowed to assemble. The media-industrial complex has essentially decided that the following groups or causes should be allowed to protest with or without a permit:

  • A labor union
  • A civil rights-related protest as defined by the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center
  • resisting the Trump administration
  • demonstrating against anything mainstream or traditional
  • a climate change or environmental march

However, those who support conservative-leaning rights and who obtain permits from authorities never get the same media support or coverage. This includes the following:

  • right to work
  • traditional marriage
  • application of actual science
  • right to bear arms
  • The Bill of Rights

Those who support those causes will be harassed when not being ignored.  Here are some recent examples.

Antifa Demonstrations

An Antifa group clashed verbally with the Proud Boys at the latter’s free speech rally in Washington, DC on Saturday, July 6. Due to a large police presence, Antifa violence against the Proud Boys was prevented, the Washington Examiner reported. On Saturday, June 29, Antifa activists were caught on film hurling milkshakes allegedly filled with quick drying cement and lye at independent journalist Andy Ngo and others. The police only arrested a few protesters although dozens were breaking the law.

DNC Primary Debate Rally

A Republican women’s group had organized and received a permit for a “anti-Socialism rally” outside the DNC primary debates last month. NBC security allegedly bullied the lawful assembly of hundreds of President Trump supporters, however. According to the head of the Federation of Republican Women of North Dade, NBC employees threatened and intimidated the group, Big League Politics reported.

Peaceful people assembling in support of the president violates the Democrat narrative that Trump supporters are violent and out of control, which is also why the media covers up for ANTIFA. 

Disparate Treatment Should Never be Tolerated

Notice the distinct difference between how people were treated at each event. This difference in treatment is not only illegal, but also sets a bad precedent. Why should peaceful protesters be punished for supporting their beliefs, while violent rioters are assured of their rights? This is clown world at its worst.

So, how do we deal with this problem?  We need to call out the double standards where we see them, but we must keep our own side in check.  If you are a Republican, you can call out fake news. Just because news agencies report something unfavorable, however, does not make it fake news. 

If you are Democrat, you need to contact CNN and MSNBC and demand real news, not just what Democrat political operatives want them to publicize for political gain. Similar to how people vote at the ballot box, Americans also vote at the “idiot box” through television ratings.

If networks fail to show actual news, seek out other sources. The New Right Network and OANN have a good track record for printing the truth on the Right. The BBC and some network stations generally have a good record on the Left.

Let’s turn off the echo chamber and consume real news so we can find where we are alike and not just where we are different.

Author Profile

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer
Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer
Dr. Christopher Smithmyer is a writer for NRN, the Vice President of International Affairs at Brav Online Conflict Management, and an Adjunct Professor of MBA Business at Doane University. He is also part of the founding team at BlackWalletLTD, one of the leaders in stable coin 2.0 ecosystem maintenance. Dr. Smithmyer’s focus is international business and finance, along with reviews of board games, weapons platforms, and survival items.
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