Posts Tagged ‘1st amendment’

One of the signs of an abusive relationship is the willingness of the person on the recipient end to take it until they reach a breaking point.

For the media and the Obama administration this should be it.

Reporter Scott Powers was the designated “pool reporter” for the vice president’s Wednesday visit to the massive Winter Park, Fla., home of developer and philanthropist Alan Ginsburg. The veep hadn’t arrived yet but most of the 150 guests (minimum $500 donation) had. They were busy noshing on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese and bacon deviled eggs, before a lunch of grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps.

Not so for Powers. A “low-level staffer” put Powers in a storage closet and then stood guard outside the door, Powers told the DRUDGE REPORT. “When I’d stick my head out, they’d say, ‘Not yet. We’ll let you know when you can come out.'”

It was first reported by PJ Tattler (at least that’s where I first saw it) but they had not confirmed it at the time and put it up with a caveat. Drudge confirmed and the London Daily Mail is on it:

The White House website proudly says ‘President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history.’

But try telling Vice President Joe Biden’s staff that, after they held a local reporter in a closet for hours after he was invited to cover a Florida political fundraiser because they did not want him talking with the guests.

During the last election the press pool was so fawning of candidate Obama as to defy belief. Their promises of open access during this administration has proven empty. If the mainstream media doesn’t treat the locking up of one of their own as it is, an affront to the first amendment and freedom of the press and act accordingly then they are simply abused spouses whose obsessive hatred of all things conservative (particularly all things Palin and Bachmann) is so great that they will pay any price to keep them down.

I predict that they will use the e-mailed apology from Biden’s office to ignore or dismiss it as a “news you can’t use” segment making themselves just an unsponsored version of media matters. It would be really good for the country and the constitution if they prove me wrong.

…that doesn’t mean it’s either smart or honorable.

This strikes me as troubling. Not because Petraeus is wrong; on the contrary, I think he is probably right. Already, mobs in Pakistan have demonstrated against the planned Koran burning by, among other things, burning American flags. History, e.g. the homicidal response to the Danish cartoons and the false report, circulated by the American press, that U.S. soldiers had flushed a Koran down a toilet at Guantanamo Bay, suggest that Petraeus’ fears are well founded.

Moreover, I personally am not in favor of burning Korans. My advice to the Florida church would be, don’t do it.

Still, is it not highly problematic when a senior military officer warns American citizens against exercising their undoubted First Amendment rights? This situation is different from the Koran-down-the-toilet story. We criticized news outlets at the time for endangering American troops, but that was mostly because the story was false. Presumably we can all agree that newspapers and magazines should not circulate false reports that endanger our troops. But what about accurate stories of Americans exercising their constitutional right to criticize Islam by burning Korans?

In one respect this is similar to the ground zero mega mosque. In both cases the people in question have a legal right to do what they intend. It both cases it is not only insensitive but provocative.

In the end we are going to have to fight to defend these people’s right to be glory seeking idiots. The provocation of course doesn’t make any violence by those offended justified, in fact it will simply prove their barbarity and insecurity

Update: Saw the preacher on the air declare this as a statement against Sharia law and for the 1st amendment, that’s a pretty good and strong argument but this still doesn’t sit right with me.

When I first read this story my jaw dropped on the floor and rolled around a while:

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a public university that removed a Christian student from its graduate program in school counseling over her belief that homosexuality is morally wrong. Monday’s ruling, according to Julea Ward’s attorneys, could result in Christian students across the country being expelled from public university for similar views.

Sounded an awful lot like the Georgia case, I wrote about earlier. My outrage button was pushed and heading into overdrive but when I read the Fox story there was a twist that I noticed that should not be ignored:

She was removed from the school’s counseling program last year because she refused to counsel homosexual clients.

This is a most important sentence, we would not allow a doctor to refuse to treat a homosexual man, I can’t see how this is different than an Islamic bus driver keeping a guide dog off the bus.

A counselor’s job is to give advice, there is nothing wrong with a counselor shaping and framing that advice based on their beliefs (we are all of us are shaped by our beliefs) but to refuse a patient based on said beliefs, particularly in a training program, that’s off.

In private practice a person can pick and choose patients, but during training that is a different matter altogether.

Let’s put it another way. Murder is a mortal sin, Adultery is a mortal sin, Theft is a Mortal sin, all are explicitly prohibited by the 10 commandments. Would Julea Ward refuse to treat a person who committed any of these sins as well?

Christianity explicitly teaches that homosexual acts are sinful (many protestant denominations consider homosexuality itself a sin). It is a serious sin, but it is not the only sin, when we pretend that it is we make a grave mistake, almost as large as the mistake that is made when one pretends it is not sinful at all. One can magnify the legitimate sins of others in order to ignore our own. This is a trap not of our political foes making but of our spiritual foes making and its eternal consequences are much more dangerous to us as individuals.

Christian belief is not based on the separation of one from sinners, we are all sinners, it is based on the separation of one from sin and the willingness of Christ to forgive sin when one repents.

So lets be clear on what the 1st Amendment does and what it doesn’t do:

• Julea Ward has a right to follow any religion she chooses, natural law AND the 1st Amendment guarantees this right.

• A public university has no business trying to force any student or employee to change any person’s religious (or political) belief, that is a totalitarian act contrary to the natural law and the 1st Amendment.

• Any such speech code or rule by a public university to restrict the free expression and/or practice of religious (or political) belief is unconstitutional on its face per the 1st Amendment.

• Any and all such public universities who attempt to enforce such codes to change any person’s religious (or political) belief violating 1st Amendment rights should be sued until they are so broke that they have to go back to slide rules.

• A public university CAN however require that a student follow the basic rules of a degree program. An Islamic student can’t refuse to study the anatomy of a dog or pig if they want a degree in Veterinary medicine.  That is not a first amendment issue.

Julea Ward put herself in the wrong by refusing to counsel a homosexual student: From the ruling:

“In the case of Ms. Ward, the university determined that she would never change her behavior and would consistently refuse to counsel clients on matters with which she was personally opposed due to her religious beliefs – including homosexual relationships.”

In such a case the correct and honorable move for Miss Ward would be to tell the patient openly that she considers homosexual relationships wrong and that her advice would be informed by that belief. She could then give said patient the option to either continue with her or request a different counselor. This empowers and informs the patient without violating personal beliefs. If the patient wished to continue with her she could give advice based on actions that are harmful (lying, selfishness, deceit etc) in any type of interpersonal relationship.

And the university put itself in the wrong by trying to change her beliefs:

Ward’s attorneys claim the university told her she would only be allowed to remain in the program if she went through a “remediation” program so that she could “see the error of her ways” and change her belief system about homosexuality.

By attempting to create a single mindset within said program the university harms itself by closing of it’s own mind and robs potential patients of the perspective and philosophy that can benefit them.

There is no question that the media culture and university culture is trying to promote and protect homosexuality (remember Dirkhising Christian & Newsom? Exactly!) and to attack Christianity as a rule. Let’s avoid helping them out in their endeavor.

Memeorandum thread here.

Update: I think we on the right are missing that key detail that makes this case different than the Keeton case. I would however concede that the Clinton appointed judge would have likely gone with the university even if she didn’t refuse the patient treatment.

Update 2: Outside the Beltway almost gets it.

This really isn’t complicated: You’re allowed to believe whatever you wish. Under the 1st Amendment, you’re allowed to say or write just about any damned fool thing you please without fear of sanction from your government. You’re also allowed wide berth in the practice of your religious beliefs.

But public institutions are allowed to set policies that conflict with some people’s religious beliefs, so long as they have a rational, secular basis for doing so. In this case, EMU did. It would be simply absurd to allow students to participate in a program designed to provide counseling credentials who would never be able to get licensure as a counselor.

This misses the point here, if a license is not allowed based on a religious belief that is a religious test and unconstitutional. If they decide a believing Catholic, Muslim or Protestant can’t be certified that is a de-facto religious test made by a public university based on beliefs also unconstitutional. It wasn’t the beliefs of Miss Ward that were the proper grounds, it was the INACTION in refusing to treat the patient that constituted the proper grounds for the University to act.

Update 3: The Anchoress zings in her own gentle way at the very end of this post

I guess my question is, if a gay counseling student expressed an inability to “embrace” religious people or their values also be subject to remediation? Are we drowning in irony, here?

Bazinga!

In my post about the fatwa on Molly Norris I mentioned that wordpress put up a post asking people to support the 1st amendment through a group called 1forall and my challenge to them to support Molly. In true first amendment fashion that comment has apparently not been approved. So in keeping with the actual spirit of the 1st amendment I am reprinting it here:

Well a good way [to support the 1st amendment] would be to support Molly Norris. Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has declared a FATWA against her and called for her death for the “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” event. I have in this post

https://datechguy.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/dear-mr-al-awlaki-i-formally-request-to-be-included-in-your-fatwa/

declared my support for Ms. Norris and requested that he include me in said FATWA because I vow to have a new such day if they succeed in killing her. She is a fellow American, worthy of our support.

You might not like the schools in Texas or the Oil companies etc or the patriot act George Bush but you risk nothing by opposing them. That’s not defending the 1st Amendment it’s cheap and false courage to give yourself a pat on the back.

If you believe in the first Amendment, you declare that it is very important for people to stand up for it. Well here is a real way to do it to put actual skin in the game.

The question is do you have the actual courage of your declared convictions or is the threat of radical Islam a bridge too far for the defense of freedom of speech?

Lets find out.

I guess we did didn’t we?