America's New First Amendment
By now, most people know of the latest episode of Islamists frothing at the mouth over what they claim is an insult to the Prophet Muhammad. Specifically, they are enraged by a movie titled "Innocence of Muslims." The movie's trailer was recently dubbed into Arabic and posted on YouTube. Four people have been killed already and, almost certainly, the violence is not over.
Much has also been made of an early statement by the U.S. Embassy that chastised those who, "hurt the religious feelings of Muslims" with such an "abuse" of the right of free speech.
Robert Stephenson adroitly noted in American Thinker, notwithstanding the upside-down fact that the law-abiding must apologize for making Muslims mad, we must recognize that:
A human being is not absolved of responsibility because of a certain religious following.
While this certainly ought to be true, it clearly isn't in the case of Islam.
I wrote about this in American Thinker when I discussed an Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan, where Christians were arrested one year and the next year threatened with arrest for upsetting the delicate sensitivities of Muslims. Recall what the Dearborn police said to the Christians protesting the festival:
Part of the reason they are throwing things [at you] is you tell them stuff that enrages them.
Ah, so the Dearborn police have established a new principle of American/Arab law. Do something to upset Muslims, and you are responsible for their irrational, illegal response. Or, more generally, do something that someone, somewhere, views as offensive, and you, not the ultra-sensitive, are examined for fitness.
We see this growing in our culture (sorry for the pun). It's even being codified in new social codes of conduct.
For example, Illinois State University's Code of Student Conduct, "To Be an Illinois State University Student," notes that there are "non-negotiable values" including "civility" and an appreciation of "diversity" and "social responsibility." Recognized for its absurdity by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in its "September Speech Code of the Month," the Code states, in relevant part:
These values are the hallmark of the University, and will be protected diligently. . . . When individual behavior conflicts with the values of the University, the individual must choose whether to adapt his or her behavior to meet the needs of the community or to leave the University.
As FIRE noted:
[B]y the plain language of this policy, if a student's expression or behavior deviates from the university's definition of what it means to appreciate diversity or be socially responsible, that student may be asked to leave the university.
Is there any question we are witnessing a denuding of our First Amendment? Is there any doubt that our education system, our political system, and even our government are teaching us that old, out-dated ways of doing things must yield to a New World Order where no one can offend certain protected classes of people, and where Muslims must be allowed to throw violent and even murderous temper tantrums?
We might legitimately ask: Where is this headed?
Here's a glimpse.
ABC News reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued the following statement on the violence over the movie, "Innocence of Muslims":
Desecration is not a part of the freedom of expression, but a criminal act that has now badly affected the righteous sentiments of 1.5-billion Muslims all over the globe.
A criminal act?
While this is not the statement of a representative of the United States, when one can be expelled from school for undefined "uncivil" comments, when Christians can be arrested for passing out religious tracts, when the violent acts -- the actual crimes of the "offended" -- form the basis for punishing the "offender," how far are we from that standard?
With Obama genuflecting to Muslim leaders around the world, with him supporting the creation of radical Muslim regimes, and with his administration supporting and spewing all manner of leftist drivel (see Saul Alinsky's Rule 13) aimed at shutting down conservative voices, we might as well accept that our First Amendment has already been revised. Published first here, the new First Amendment now reads:
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble; provided, however, the right to commit Illegal acts against people who offend shall not be infringed.
Mr. Reddy blogs at www.cameronreddy.com. His controversial thriller, "By Force Of Patriots," crystallizes the social, political, and legal issues created by this type of upside-down, leftist dogma. It's available at Amazon.com