URL of the original posting site: https://fearandblood.com/national/student-attacked-defending-second-amendment/
The school, Middleburgh Junior/Senior High School in New York, had it’s students watch the Parkland students Anti Gun speech where Emma Gonzalez gave the “We Call BS Speech.” The speech was played during an assembly held on the day of The National Walkout. The school also had local authorities come in and talk about safety and what to do if a shooting happened at their school. Breault did not agree with the Anti-gun message and talked to some fellow students, but he was overheard by a student who was wholeheartedly drinking the Liberal Koolaid. His father, Brian Breault, posted about the incident on Facebook.
“Today the school my son, Christian, attends participated in the National School Walkout for Gun Control and School Safety. The school held an assembly after the walkout bringing in community leaders and law enforcement to speak. Toward the end of the assembly, they showed an Anti-NRA video vilifying the gun organization and its members (American citizens).
Following the dismissal of the assembly Christian engaged in a conversation with other students who felt the assembly was not handled well. Christian expressed he felt the Anti-NRA video was over the top and he found it offensive. Another student not involved in the conversation threatened him for his view on the video going as far as telling the school nurse that he would punch Christian in the face if he didn’t stop defending the NRA. The nurse told the student he could not say that and no further action was taken.”
But this was not the end of the incident as the anti-NRA student was clearly could not going to allow someone to have an opposing view. So later in the day, according to Christian Breault, the close-minded student attacked Breault. But just as he was strong in his convictions he was equally able to stand his ground in a fight.
“Christian defended himself, punching the kid in the jaw, causing him to fall to the floor,” he told PJ Media. “The kid got up and threw an object at Christian, which he deflected.”
The school suspended both students administering a one day to Christian and a 3-day to the aggressor. But Christian is concerned as he is an early enlistee in the Navy and doesn’t want a bad record to affect his chances. But his father is upset as he feels it is wrong that his son is being penalized for defending himself. His father is also angry that they pushed a political video at school that slandered the NRA and gun rights.
The superintendent has at least agreed that the video was over the top.
“Dear Middleburgh Central Schools community,
On Wednesday, March 14th, the Jr./Sr. High School held a school safety assembly for students. The purpose of the assembly was to give administrators and law enforcement the chance to speak with students regarding how the district handles school safety and answer any questions students may have had. During the assembly, a video was shown that changed the focus of the conversation from school safety to politics. This was not our desired outcome for the event, and we regret and sincerely apologize for that result.
Conversations are happening across America about how we can keep students safe in school. No matter where you stand on this issue, we can all agree that student safety should be our top priority.”
While it is a step in the right direction that the Superintendent apologized for the politically motivated video, the damage is already done. If the school wanted to make it right they should have a pro NRA video played explaining gun rights and why they should not be infringed upon. They should give students a full education on topics as opposed to simply following the Liberal approved agenda. But was Christian Breault in the wrong for defending himself? The school seems to blame him. Why should he be given any punishment for simply defending himself?
The Daily Caller has a new story about a teacher from Hillsborough County, Florida who has an interesting and cruel way of teaching her Christian students.
High School math teacher Lora Jane Riedas has found herself in some hot water after her treatment of her students became known. The lawyers for some of the students are from the constitutional defenders at the Liberty Counsel, and they recently sent a letter to the district Superintendent explaining the situation.
We write on behalf of parents of children in the classroom of teacher Lora Jane Riedas, a math teacher at Riverview High School, who report that Ms. Riedas has prohibited at least three children from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming on occasion that they are “gang symbols.” They are not gang symbols, but are symbols of personal faith. A picture of one of the crosses, less than an inch tall, is attached. Subsequent to her cross ban, Ms. Riedas singled out at least one of the students for a number of false “misbehavior” allegations. One of our student clients reports that she had just sat down in class, and placed her books on her desk, when Ms. Riedas approached her. Referencing the tiny cross necklace which was around the student’s neck, Ms. Riedas said, “I need you to take your necklace off.” Our client asked “Why?” and Ms. Riedas refused to explain, stating “That’s disrespectful; you have to take it off.” Our client did not want to be disrespectful, so she took it off, but she felt bad because she felt she was being forced to deny her faith. All of our clients are afraid to openly wear their cross necklaces in class any more.
Ms. Riedas has further engaged in impermissible LGBT political activism in the classroom, and has indicated her intent to further do so during instructional time. Ms. Riedas is planning to promote GLSEN’s 2 “Day of Silence” coercive political activities during instructional time in her classroom on Friday, April 21, 2017. In addition to being opposed to student religious expression, we understand that Ms. Riedas is the sponsor for the R.G.S.A Gay-Straight Alliance (“GSA”) at Riverview High School, and that her classroom is permanently decorated with LGBT political themes, including a large display on her wall stating “ALLY,” a “Safe Space” poster and door sticker, and assorted other LGBT promotional material, including buttons prominently displayed on her desk, facing students, stating “I Love My LGBT Students” and “PROUD Public Employee.” These buttons make other students feel marginalized and excluded, and not full members of the classroom community. Moreover, at the beginning of the semester, Ms. Riedas placed LGBT rainbow stickers on students’ classroom folders without their consent, which were there one day when the students arrived. One of our clients reports that after she removed the LGBT sticker, Ms. Riedas’ behavior toward her changed markedly for the worse…
The totality of Ms. Riedas’ behavior is very concerning: banning cross necklaces on the one hand, while promoting wholesale LGBT political activism on the other. By retweeting GLSEN’s “guide” for classroom activism, Ms. Riedas is encouraging other teachers to engage in what she herself appears to be preparing to do on Friday, April 21: classroom activism during instructional time, requiring students who do not agree with “Day of Silence” to participate in various forced activities entirely unrelated to math class, and rewarding students who participate in the political activity she herself favors.
In banning cross necklaces from three different students in her classroom, Ms. Riedas has “intentionally violate[d] or den[ied] a student’s legal rights.” The right to wear a cross necklace is clearly established. There is no question that students have the right to wear religious jewelry, despite any specious claim of “gang affiliation” by Ms. Riedas. Subsequent to her cross ban, Ms. Reidas has subjected at least one of the students “to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement,” in singling the student out for false allegations of student behavior violations. In her numerous promotions of homosexuality in the classroom, including GLSEN’s “guide” she has indicated an intent to “intentionally . . . distort subject matter” which is beyond the scope of classroom instruction. In the cross ban and subsequent harassment, Ms. Riedas has violated the prohibition on harassment or discrimination “against any student on the basis of …religion . . . political beliefs . . . or social and family background.” The same holds true for any of the activities from GLSEN’s “guide” which she plans to foist upon the students, as well as the final prohibition on “exploit[ing] a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage,” in that she holds a position of power over students, and is using that to push her own politically activist LGBT beliefs upon them…
Parents have the fundamental right to determine the jewelry as well as the associations and activities of their minor children. School officials have no business in intentionally interfering with parent-approved religious jewelry, or in promoting their pet political ideologies during instructional time to a captive audience. The Hillsborough County School District is hereby on notice that any further violations of student rights in this fashion will be viewed by Liberty Counsel as sufficient to support a federal lawsuit for civil rights violations…
Reidas’ behavior is grotesque and unacceptable, but it is also becoming more and more common at our nations public schools. There are thousands of good teachers toiling in anonymity, working hard to educate our children and to mold young minds into a creative and intelligent generation. Sadly, those teachers have been overshadowed by the hundreds (upon hundreds) of teachers, who just like Reidas care more about their own agenda’s than they do the true education of our children. We cannot allow it to continue.
Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Liberty Alliance media group. He’s also the managing editor at Eaglerising.com, Constitution.com and the managing partner at iPatriot.com. Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children. You can find his writing all over the web.
In September 2015, the student group was told that without a permit, they must stop approaching other students inside the student union to engage in religious discussions or invite them to attend group events.
“It’s an amazingly broad speech restriction”, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Tyson Langhofer told me. “Public universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not places where students need a permit just to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases. They allege the Christian group has been singled out by the university.
“The University has not restricted the ability of other students and student groups to engage in expressive activity,” the lawsuit states. “Grace has witnessed other students, student groups and off-campus groups handing out literature either without a permit or outside of the area reserved by their table permit.”
A university spokesperson did not return my calls seeking comment.
NC State’s rules were so draconian that the Christians were not even allowed to step from behind their table in the student union.
“Colleges are supposed to be places where ideas are freely shared – not gagged,” Grace Christian Life President Hannalee Alrutz told me. “The only permit a student needs to speak on campus is the First Amendment.”
It’s true that the university does regulate student speech – written, oral or graphic.
ADF points to Regulation 07.25.12 that “requires a permit for any form of commercial or non-commercial speech, which the policy broadly defines as ‘any distribution of leaflets, brochures, or other written material, or oral speech to a passersby (sic)…’”
“The policy specifics that any person ‘wishing to conduct any form of solicitation on University premises must have the written permission of the Student Involvement (Office) in advance,” ADF noted.
According to the lawsuit, a university official sent an email to another official concerned about the Christian club.
“There is an individual named Tommy who works for Grace who is essentially soliciting throughout the building,” the email reads. “He walks up to a single person or duo of persons, starts with a hello and then starts the conversation into religion, ending with giving them a card.”
The email goes on to explain how they’ve stopped other groups from engaging in similar behavior in order to “create that inclusive, welcoming environment.”
The lawsuit also provides some context on the university’s attitude towards Christian ministry during the time that Grace came under attack. Grace was a member of Chaplain’s Cooperative Ministry, an independent, interfaith organization that supported individual campus ministries and planned jointly sponsored interfaith programs. In October 2015, a university official met with the CCM to advise the group “on the speech restrictions imposed by the Speech Permit Policy.”
“Solicitation is not allowed when conversation is initiated under one pretense different from the intended purpose…inviting involvement in a certain ministry,” the university official said in written minutes of the meeting.
In November 2015, the university dissolved its relationship with CCM because “the current environment of diversity and faith traditions within the university is not shown or mirrored well within CCM as it currently exists.”
The lawsuit did not elaborate on the problematic “faith traditions” — but typically that means “Evangelical Christians.” ADF tried unsuccessfully to convince NC State to drop its unconstitutional speech policies – but they refused – hence the lawsuit.
“The courts have well established that a public university can’t require permits in this manner for this kind of speech – and certainly can’t enforce such rules selectively,” ADF Senior Counsel David Hacker said. “Unconstitutional censorship is bad enough, but giving university officials complete discretion to decide when and where to engage in silence students makes the violation even worse.”
Kudos to Grace Christian Life for standing up to a bunch of academic bullies who want to silence Christian voices. And thank goodness for bold believers like Miss Alrutz.
“I think this is an attack on my liberty as a citizen of the United States,” she told me – warning that every freedom-loving American should be concerned.
“If they could do it to us – they could do it to anybody,” she said.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.
URL of the original posting site: http://clashdaily.com/2015/07/gay-jihad-the-death-of-free-speech
The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, listed non-negotiable constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in specific order, unchanged since 1791. James Madison, its chief architect, listed freedom of religion first; then speech, press, assembly, petition, right to keep and bear arms, and freedom from forced quartering of military members in one’s home.
Freedom from civil government overreach and interference was essential to establishing sustainable civil order and a just rule of law; the first ten amendments — only 468 words — were added to protect what the founders considered “preexisting rights” from federal government “encroachment.”
Freedom of religion was un-mistakenly listed as the first freedom of the Bill of Rights. And the term “religion” was well understood from its original context derived from the State of Virginia’s Bill of Rights. In Article 1, Section 16, Virginia’s Bill of Rights defines “religion” as “the duty which we owe to our Creator… the manner of discharging… [of which] can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.”
(Many significant words and phrases used to write the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution were selected from preexisting documents and individual state constitutions’ declaration of rights, which provided more detailed definitions.)
Virginia’s Bill of Rights legally defined “religion” as a means to secure freedom from government coercion, which enabled a foundational protection for other freedoms. The Bill of Rights, by defining religion, allows people to believe and act by “reason or conviction” without fear of being coerced to violate their “dictates of conscience.” In this way, religion is jurisdictional– the Bill of Rights ensures that the government cannot force a citizen to violate his/her conscience.
James Madison articulated in Memorial and Remonstrance:
“The Religion … of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as they may indicate. This right in its nature is an unalienable right. It is unalienable; because the opinions of men … cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also; because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. … This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”
Madison believed that citizens were first “subject[s] of the Great Governor of the Universe,” who must first make his/her “allegiance to the Universal Sovereign” before they could consider being a “member of Civil Society.”
He considered religion first and foremost “immune” from any and all civil authorities. The wording used for the First Amendment’s two religion clauses were specifically straightforward: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” All matters of religion were exempted from civil authority.
“In matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society, and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance.”
As a legal and jurisdictional matter, Madison asserted that all men are first subject to God as an immutable fact based on the Christian worldview (Mark 12:17, Psalm 24:1). It was imperative to specify that no government could ever have authority over one’s relationship with God. Understanding that even governmental authority itself originates from God (Romans 13:1) — moral standards could not be mutually exclusive from rule of law.
Furthermore, freedom of conscience, under the jurisdiction of freedom of religion, established the next four freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. They include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully assemble, and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. These four freedoms granted constitutional security for “residual sovereignty” of the people, not the government. The Bill of Rights ensured freedom of religion as the foundation for all other liberties. No other amendments were possible if freedom of religion had not first been guaranteed as an unalienable right.
URL of the Original Posting Site: http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/26/judicial-activism-from-supreme-court-on-marriage-heres-how-to-respond
The court summarized its ruling in this way—which highlights that they have redefined marriage, substituting their own opinion for that of the citizens:
The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest.
Manifest to five unelected judges that is. Not to the majority of American citizens who voted to define marriage correctly. As Chief Justice Roberts pointed out in dissent:
If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.
That’s exactly right. When it comes to the majority opinion, the Constitution “had nothing to do with it.”
We must work to restore the constitutional authority of citizens and their elected officials to make marriage policy that reflects the truth about marriage. We the people must explain what marriage is, why marriage matters, and why redefining marriage is bad for society. For marriage policy to serve the common good it must reflect the truth that marriage unites a man and a woman as husband and wife so that children will have both a mother and a father. Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and woman are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father.
The government is not in the marriage business because it’s a sucker for adult romance. No, marriage isn’t just a private affair; marriage is a matter of public policy because marriage is society’s best way to ensure the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage acts as a powerful social norm that encourages men and women to commit to each other so they will take responsibility for any children that follow.
Because the court has inappropriately redefined marriage everywhere, there is urgent need for policy to ensure that the government never penalizes anyone for standing up for marriage. As discussed in my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” we must work to protect the freedom of speech, association and religion of those who continue to abide by the truth of marriage as union of man and woman.
At the federal level, the First Amendment Defense Act is a good place to start. It says that the federal government cannot discriminate against people and institutions that speak and act according to their belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. States need similar policies.
Recognizing the truth about marriage is good public policy. Today’s decision is a significant setback to achieving that goal. We must work to reverse it and recommit ourselves to building a strong marriage culture because so much of our future depends upon it.
Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon senior research fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory. He’s the author of the forthcoming book, “The Future of Marriage and Religious Liberty.” Read his research.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation certainly doesn’t mince any words concerning what they’re about. Recently they went on the offensive against a Florida sheriff who was invited to speak at a local Baptist church. Apparently, they wanted him to change out of his uniform first:
[Polk County Sheriff Grady] Judd spoke from the pulpit of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland two months ago.
“Wouldn’t the world be better if everyone behaved like a Christian?” Judd said as part of his speech.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent Judd a letter accusing him of “excluding other religions and making non-believers feel like outsiders in their own community.”
Judd says he was invited to the church and that his message was “clear and uplifting.”
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.
Great. So far, so good. Let’s look very carefully at this text:
Congress . . .
Okay, let me interrupt you right there. “Congress shall make no law…” Congress. Not the state government. Not county governments. Certainly not sheriffs. Congress. Why is this so hard to understand?
The First Amendment, like the entire Bill of Rights, is about defining and limiting the powers of the national government. It doesn’t refer to any other level of government because, according to the Tenth Amendment, state and local governments, or the people, reserve any powers not exclusively delegated to the national government or prohibited by the Constitution. The First Amendment has nothing to do with local law enforcement. In other words, local authorities are technically permitted to make laws establishing a particular religion, though none of them probably want to.
Furthermore, Grady Judd was not making or enforcing any law by “preaching” at a Baptist church. He was speaking his mind. While in uniform. In a church. Oddly enough, all of those self-expressions are protected by the First Amendment. Yes, the very same First Amendment that the Freedom from Religion Foundation is attempting to use to forbid such self-expressions.
It’s odd how some people can get things so absolutely backwards. But, what do you expect from people who have no religion? In the immortal words of Sheriff Grady Judd, “Wouldn’t the world be better if everyone behaved like a Christian?”
The new free speech campaign went up on 100 billboards today in St. Louis.
Geller explained: “Drawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it. Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder.”
“Speech that is offensive to some must not be curtailed, but protected (i.e., the Mohammed cartoons). Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced. If speech that offends a group is outlawed, that group has absolute power, and a free society is destroyed. A group that cannot be criticized cannot be opposed. It can work its will no matter what it is, and no one will be able to say anything to stop it.”
Geller added: “There is nothing about this cartoon that incites violence. It is within the established American tradition of satire. If America surrenders on this point, the freedom of speech is a relic of history.”
AFDI Vice President Robert Spencer stated: “Many people on both the Left and the Right are saying that we should do nothing to provoke Islamic fundamentalism. The immediate answer would seem to be that we should do nothing to provoke violent jihadis, that the prudent thing to do would be to avoid doing things that anger them. But if we did that, they would not they stop coming at us. Last September, an Islamic State spokesman boasted: ‘We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.’
“In light of that, what is the point of asking whether or not we should provoke them? They’re already provoked. A more useful question now is whether it is really productive and helpful to signal to them that we will acquiesce to their threats of violence and change our behavior accordingly, or whether we will instead signal to them that their violent threats are not going to frighten us into submission.”
The ads have been submitted to run on billboards in the St. Louis area. The next city will be going up tomorrow.
AFDI stands for:
Join the AFDI Facebook page here.
Freedom of expression. It’s not a difficult concept. Basically, every human being has the right to speak his mind without fear of government punishment or penalty. Accepted, reasonable restrictions on speech are generally very loose, like no yelling “fire” in a crowded auditorium and no speech that is genuinely disruptive like standing up and reciting the Communist Manifesto while the teacher is trying to conduct class.
Yet somehow, school officials across this land often seem to forget that the right to freedom of speech, particularly religious speech, does not end at the classroom door. The latest example comes from Somerset Academy near Las Vegas, Nevada, where sixth-grader Mackenzie Fraiser was given an “All About Me” report assignment that was supposed to include an inspirational quote. When Mackenzie wanted to use John 3:16, however, her teacher said that biblical quotations and quotes from the Book of Mormon were forbidden by the school.
The incident might not have even come to light except that some months later, the same teacher made an assignment about self-esteem, and Mackenzie’s parents suggested using a Bible quote, reasoning that the reason Mackenzie has strong self-esteem is that she is made in God’s image. At that point, the sixth-grader spilled the beans about her teacher’s prohibition of things scriptural.
Mackenzie’s father, Tim Fraizer, the pastor of Grace Point Church, fired off an email to his girl’s teacher, certain that there must have been a miscommunication. The reply he received, however, was an email from an assistant principal, Jenyan Martinez, confirming that Mackenzie recalled the incident correctly and that the teacher was, in fact, enforcing school policy. In her response, Martinez suggested that the reason for banning the biblical quote from the original assignment was because, as an oral report, the assignment would give Mackenzie a, quote-unquote, captive audience for her religious beliefs.
Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys told The Blaze, “When students go to school they do not lose their First Amendment rights. It chilled her speech and, as such, what the school is teaching these kids right now is that it is wrong to reference their faith at school. If they don’t apologize for this mistake … then the lesson that these students will take away is that it is wrong to reference their faith in school.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the academy said in a statement that it values students’ rights and the incident was under review.
The Mackenzies are asking for the school to apologize and allow their daughter to submit her original assignment with the quote for a grade, which seems very reasonable. Had the situation been inverted, and an atheist student found herself banned by a Christian academy from using, say, a Richard Dawkins quote, the fireworks would be seen far and wide.
I’ve always admired people who stick up for their principles even under threat of violence or death. Thomas More, the “Man for All Seasons,” is a hero of mine.
After this week, I’ve got a couple of other heroes on my list. There’s Pamela Geller, who now has a fatwah, a death threat, on her head because she stood up for free speech against the world’s Islamo-fascists. And there’s Bosch Fawstin, the cartoonist who won both the judges prize and the People’s Choice prize at last weekend’s contest in Garland, Texas.
Fawstin is also under threat of death by the backward forces of Islam, simply for drawing an image of Mohammed. It’s interesting that in all the talk about the failed terrorist attack in Garland, few if any news outlets have actually runFawstin’s winning illustration. It’s pretty nifty line art, and I especially like theHitlerian mustache.The image shows Mohammed threatening the artist, saying, “You can’t draw me!” and the artist responding, “That’s why I draw you.”
It’s clever, and I don’t think there’s anything offensive about it, unless you’re a Muslim who’s embarrassed to have his Prophet’s and fellow Muslims’ attitudes summed up in a sentence.
Many of the entries were offensive on various levels, from the naughty-but-funny to the truly cringe-inducing, but I don’t think any of them were necessarily inaccurate. Speaking as a fellow entrant, I think Fawstin’s piece was the right choice. (Mine was more a study for a painting, rather than a cartoon, but I thought it was important to represent for the First Amendment. I would post a link to all the contest entries, but the page seems to have been removed from Photobucket.)
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart, Fawstin explained that he was raised as a Muslim in the Bronx but left the religion. When 9/11 occurred, he researched his former faith extensively and decided that he had to use his artistic talents to stand up against jihad. From the Breitbart interview:
“I did receive some flack for leaving Islam, but I didn’t feel like I left anything important behind. I wanted to get the hell out. Islam had no hold on me whatsoever. It wasn’t a heartbreak, I just left.
“Right after I left Islam, 9/11 happened. I revisited everything. I reread the Koran. I read countless books on jihad, Islam, and Muhammad. I knew as a cartoonist, as an artist, I had a tool to respond to the atrocities. I made sure I knew Islam very well before making any move.
“I became a follower of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and remain so to this day. Ironically, I went from the most misogynistic philosophy on earth, to that created by a woman. Without her work, I don’t know where the hell I’d be today.”
Fawstin’s discussion about growing up in a Muslim household underscores some of the things we’ve discussed about Islam here at Godfather Politics, including the sympathy for Nazism and the Left’s myth of the “moderate Muslim.”
“Almost all of the women in my generation were beaten by their husbands. There was strong admiration for Hitler in the household, because he killed more Jews than anyone. That’s why I refer to Hitler as Islam’s favorite infidel. They forgive him because he killed more Jews than anyone. we were ‘moderate Muslims,’ but there was still hardcore misogyny and Jew-hatred in my community.”
As might be expected from that champion of liberals-only speech, Facebook, Fawstin’s Facebook page has been removed, and Fawstin has been requesting that people share his winning cartoon with friends and associates.
The Left is abominable when it comes to protecting the free speech rights of anyone who is not in their PC club. Not only that, but Homeland Security has not even bothered contacting Geller about the Islamic death threat made against her on social media. (For that matter, I don’t think the threat has been taken down as of yet.)
While the Left may be fine with that, the rest of us who know the cost must stand up with Geller and Fawstin for free speech against the forces of jihad and totalitarianism.
Let me stipulate up front that drawing caricatures of Muhammad as a form of social commentary is not my style. It’s not something I would do. And it’s not something the American Family Association would be a part of.
That being said, the reaction to Pamela Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas is worrisome and is lurching the U.S. in the direction of becoming an abject, fearful Shariah-compliant nation rather than a proud, bold Christian one. The issue is simple. Regardless of whether we would enter a contest like the one Ms. Geller sponsored, or even approve of it, the question is this: should somebody be murdered in cold blood for publishing a political cartoon?
We as a nation had just emerged from an era in which the Crown sought to suppress and punish any political commentary it didn’t like, and the Founders made a point of ensuring that kind of oppression would not be acceptable in America.
(By the way, the Founders were protecting political speech. They were not protecting pornography, obscenity, vulgarity or even profanity. They would be scandalized at the way in which the First Amendment has been perverted to protect things that would have horrified them.)
The Texas state constitution is equally clear: Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.
This means that, in America, we must all be prepared to listen to political speech that agitates us and offends us. Trust me, this happens to conservatives every day when we read the New York Times and other members of the low-information media.
Constitutional provisions regarding free speech mean public debate over the nature of Islam is fully protected. The government must protect freedom of robust political debate, and is prohibited from restricting it in any way. The merits of Islam, the truth about Islam, the truth about Muhammad, the question of Muslim immigration, etc. are all proper topics for public discussion. Such debate includes, as it has since the dawn of the Republic, political cartoons, which were often used to make salient points on a matter of public concern.
Many voices, on both the left and the right, have condemned Pamela Geller in this circumstance rather than the Muslim shooters. She has been blamed for getting shot at by figures on the right such as Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly. She has been faulted for going ahead with her event knowing it could possibly trigger Islamic violence.
Such critics do not realize, by the way, what they are saying about the religion of Islam. The mere fact they argue Ms. Geller should have known better means they know that Islam is not in fact a religion of peace no matter how hard they try to convince themselves (and us) otherwise.
As James Taranto observed in the Wall Street Journal, “In the case at hand, it would effectively make Shariah’s prohibition on images of Muhammad the law of the land. The terrorists really would have won.”
Awhile back “progressive” Bill Maher released an anti-Christian and mocking “documentary” entitled “Religious.” Did Maher ever fear for his life? Did anyone tell him he shouldn’t be “held accountable for producing such a film because of the possibility of violent blowback?Yesterday, we learned that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomats were killed when a violent Muslim mob raided the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and burned it down. They were enraged, we are told, by some horrible YouTube video made by an Israeli-American that lampooned “the prophet” Muhammad.
So naturally, voices in the liberal media are calling for censorship. For example, Farah Stockman, a columnist for the Boston Globe, writes in her editorial: “How Could Chris Stevens Die because of a YouTube clip?”
Shouldn’t people who knowingly incite violence against the United States – as a crude, thinly-veiled publicity stunt – also be held accountable? I can’t think of a time when the reckless actions of a few private citizens have cost us so much – in American lives, tax dollars and credibility around the world. Just because we have the freedom to say what we want doesn’t mean saying whatever we want is just or prudent.
No, it wasn’t prudent. But censorship is illegal in the United States. It is a fundamental law of the land. People have the right to speak, write, and publish opinions even when it is imprudent to do so.
There is no question that this editorial is calling for government censorship when it speaks of being “held accountable.” Despite saying that, “Americans rightly pride ourselves for our freedom of speech,” Stockman holds up Europe as an example of holding people accountable:
It is worth noting that a movie similarly insulting the Jewish faith would likely be considered illegal hate speech in much of Europe, which has seen the kind of death and destruction that hate speech can unleash. Even in the United States, speech deliberately inciting violence against a religion or ethnic group can be considered a crime.
Notice how perverse Stockman’s reasoning really is: Her argument that the violence and blowback were “foreseeable” is due to the fact that Muslims tend to be much more violent and intolerant of unbelievers than do Evangelicals, Roman Catholics, and other Christians. Notice the word, “tend,” here. I know there are tolerant Muslims and intolerant Christians. But I think my generalization is obviously true based on Stockman’s own claims, and on the fact that we are talking about a murderous, rioting mob of Muslims. When was the last time a mob of angry Christians killed someone?
So we are supposed to reward Muslims for their behavior by keeping quiet and by holding anyone who speaks up “accountable.”
I am not condoning the offensive video (I haven’t seen it to have an opinion good or bad), but I’ve been tolerating Bill Maher for years and plan to keep doing it. I would appreciate it if Maher’s progressive fellow travelers would stop trying to punish my tolerance by opposing the First Amendment. Punishing free speech for the sake of preventing violence is nothing more than ending free speech for the sake of appeasement. Find another way to deal with the problem.