CONSTITUTION 101: The First Amendment Comes First. Period

Written by Dr. Mom on May 8, 2015

It seems there are few left in America who actually understand the Constitution and its importance to liberty and life. The muddle-headed emotionalists that have called themselves professors for about four or five decades appear to have been quite successful in their drive to create a nation of feelings-driven lemmings who can’t (or won’t) follow a reasoned argument because it won’t make them happy when they get to the end of it.

So let’s talk today about how the real Constitution functions in the real world we live in.

Last weekend, there was an event held in Garland, Texas, that was dedicated to the principle of American free speech, contrasting it with the not-at-all free speech that seems to be part and parcel of Islamic Sharia law and Islamicist practice. The meeting featured a “Draw Mohammed” contest and offered a prize of $10,000. Islam prohibits the depiction of the Prophet Mohammed—which is fine, for those who want to follow that religion. However one does well to remember that a non-adherent to a religion is, by definition, not bound by its tenets.

The winning cartoon showed a scowling Mohammed with upraised sword, saying, “You can’t draw me,” while the unseen cartoonist responds “That is why I draw you.” Were the subject any other religion or “sacred cow” of culture, the political and media elites would be muttering “Ooh, so provocative. So bold!” It is, in fact, clever and sharp and to the point. And, almost immediately, some adherents of the faith in question demonstrated why every day in America should be “Draw Mohammed Day.”

As the event was concluding, two gunmen showed up. They were wearing soft body armor and carrying Soviet-style rifles. They shot an unarmed security guard before being gunned down by a police officer using his Glock pistol.

This could have been a much larger tragedy. The organizers of the event, famed lioness of free speech Pamela Geller and others had arranged for extra security, because they know that by speaking out as they do they take their lives in their hands whenever they appear in public. The gunmen were denied what they sought: the chance to kill some infidels and earn—presumably, since ISIS has now taken credit for their acts—their heavenly 72 virgins. Free speech (and good guys with guns) won that round.

But you wouldn’t know it from the media.

Instead of lauding the averting of tragedy and the heroic cop, and standing up for freedom of expression, the mainstream media immediately began piling on to blame—yes, that’s right—the victim.

Pam Geller should supposedly know better than…to tell the truth about Islam. And she should be more sensitive….to the feelings of those who murder cartoonists, behead American missionaries and journalists, rape little children, shoot babies in the face, and want to kill all Americans….?

Maybe I’m misunderstanding this. Surely no American worth the name could ever possibly justify attempted murder based on perceived insult. Surely not. Not here, in the nation where provocative art has always been the norm. Surely not here, where blasphemy is itself considered a form of high art!

The wise owls of MSNBC, the mainstream news networks, and even Fox News Channel cannot POSSIBLY be trying to tell me that freedom of speech is bounded by insult, provocation, blasphemy, offense, unpleasantness, or disapproved perspectives, can they? I expect this garbage from the mainstreamers—but et tu, FNC? Yes, there they were–Greta Van Susteren, Laura Ingraham, and Bill O’Reilly–lining up to tsk-tsk at Pamela Geller (the woman the jihadists want to KILL) for being so provocative.

I suppose she shouldn’t wear her Constitution so short. Maybe she should know better than to walk down free speech alley in the darkness of Islamic thought, when bad people might be tempted to “teach her a lesson” about the limits of freedom. (Kind of a tortured metaphor there, but you get my drift. It’s classic victim-blaming, and it’s totally un-American.)

Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity rode to the defense of Pam Geller, free speech, and the Constitution, insisting that offensive speech is the only speech worth protecting–a sentiment historically and consistently endorsed by the Supreme Court. To his credit, liberal faux-newsman Jon Stewart even did a segment clarifying that you cannot KILL people. NEVER, EVER OKAY to KILL people.

Megyn beat me to it, but it’s worth repeating for those who seem to think “hate speech” deserves unlawful retaliation.

The Supreme Court has ruled, time and again, that free speech is protected, even when—especially when—it is offensive. Even when it is extremely, undeniably, hatefully, horribly offensive. And if you think that is “old” thinking, try again.

There could never be a more perfect storm of a hate speech case than Snyder v. Phelps. It involved the most hated defendants in the country (the Westboro Baptist Church) shouting the worst hate speech phrases we can imagine today (the gay “n-word”), claiming God hates somebody—and picketing the funeral of an American soldier.

This case is the worst-case scenario of hate speech. It’s like trying to fight the death penalty using Jeffrey Dahmer as your sympathetic defendant.

Yet the Court ruled 8-1 they can do it. In 2011. Four years ago.

Just like Americans can draw Mohammed. And insult a religious cult that advocates the suppression of offensive ideas, champions beheading, and pursues violent jihad.

Because, freedom.


Dr. Mom
Dr. Mom is a married mother of three boys and the author of Souls, Bodies, Spirits: The Drive to Abolish Abortion Since 1973. The hills she chooses to die on are the Bible and the Constitution, in that order. In addition to her American Studies doctorate, she also holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and is, therefore, perfectly equipped to interpret the current Administration. She also tweets as DrKC4.