Friday, December 20, 2013

And that's the Word, First Amendment Protected Speech

Staff Writer, DL Mullan
News / Government

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!"

As children many of us were given this piece of advice as a shield against bullies and enemies. This advice safeguarded our self identity and esteem. Children may expose the truth, albeit sometimes painful truths, but we always managed to cope because we had these mechanisms of advice.

In all reality, it's not what you say that affects people; it's what you do. If someone says something you do not like then you have an opportunity to oppose them right then and there, or ignore them. It is your choice in what action you take.

See there, saying versus doing?

The great thing about the First Amendment is that it protects our daily speech: conformist rhetoric to controversial religious views to argumentative demagogue. You are covered! 
Amendment I

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. 
Granted the Supreme Court does not believe yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded and dark movie theater as a First Amendment protection, but we can agree to disagree to make no law "abridging the freedom of speech."

That is unless you are a corporation.

Today if you speak your truth, you are admonished. You can't say this. You can't say that. Why not? Sticks and stones, remember? Words are not going to hurt you, but adults are not using this childhood self-defense mechanism. Instead adults are going for the juggler in response to mere words.

What is even more ridiculous is that we as a nation of adults are allowing corporations to deem what is speakable and what is not. "Hate speech" is another form of censorship. As an adult you can hate all you want as long as your actions do not take away the rights of another person.

Saying words does not keep someone else from expressing themselves, carrying out their lives, or going to work.

Actions do.

So a corporation says: you cannot work unless you stop your free speech! That should be sending a red flag to everyone in the United States. The First Amendment is not there to protect social graces but the social heredox.

In America if you have a difference of opinion or religion or whatever, you can have your freedoms abridged without due process of law. Someone can get suspended or fired from their job.

The next level of this outrage against opinion is happening in the courts. Now if you have a business, not giving service to someone you do not agree with, then you can get your business sued. Can anyone walk in off the streets without a shirt or shoes get service refused and sue the establishment? What happened to an owner's right to refuse service to anyone for any reason? That's gone.

It is beyond ridiculous that the United States has been reduced to a bunch of whiny, insolent, bratty children! People have the right to their opinion. That is what separates us from North Korea and China. So suck it up.

If you do not like someone's opinion, then do not talk to them, buy from them, or serve them. It is really a simple approach to protect people's rights for and against any topic. The adult way to handle the problem is just to agree to disagree.

If no one got harmed, then words are just words. Protected words. Freewill to express those words.


Words offend. Words defend. Words define.

Words should never be regulated by corporations at any time in any way.

And, that's the word.

Source: Cornell Law