Tag Archives: Free Speech

United States Presidential Elections Continued (Part 2)

So this morning I left you with some thoughts on the current Presidential Election here in the United States of America, in this post: I Attended The President Clinton Impeachment Trial.  I’ll continue that discussion here.

The point I was trying to make when I left off this morning, was people are quick to impose their own self-righteous, moralistic views  on others, but they don’t want to consider others views in their own world view.

Which is EXACTLY what they accuse Christians of.  I’m accused of wanting to impose my moral values on everyone else (Which of course, is absolutely not true.  I simply want to exercise my freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  AND – I actually am an ordained minister and thus at least somewhat qualified to do so.  If it just so happens that I, in correctly filling my God-given mandate to proclaim his word, you are convicted by the Holy Spirit of God that you are in sin, well I am sorry.  I hope before God I fulfilled his will correctly, and accurately represented his word, as I am called to do.  But your conviction is between you and God.  I personally expect nothing from it.  You are free to go about your business as you see fit.  But I digress.)

So, Mr. Anderson Cooper.  YOU want to play the moral card?  I’m the one that should be outraged here.  Why do you get to decide that when I speak the truth about God’s word and homosexuality that it is hate speech, and then turn right around and decry Mr. Donald Trump for his use of language regarding women?

It isn’t conservative Christians that have taken away free speech in America, it is duplicitous liberals who want to control the very essence of our lives.

For most of my entire adult life, I’ve had to sit in the workplace and listen to people take the name of my Lord and Savior in vain.  I’ve had to silently sit by while people swear by God, ridicule God, make God out to be something he is not, and yet I cannot even say that God’s word says that homosexuality is wrong.  That is hate speech.  That is hurtful.  That is demeaning.  Really?  Well all of the speech I’ve endured concerning my religion and my faith, is equally hurtful.  Equally as hated.  And equally demeaning to me.  I’ve endured it for decades.  Why doesn’t the other side step up to the plate and do the same?

Alright.  I perceive you’re screaming at your screens about now that you get my point on the speech, but that the question was concerning actions that the speech described.  I also perceive (based off my current word count), that there is going to be a third blog post continuing my current diatribe.

You can decide for yourself as to whether Donald Trump’s words were vulgar, hurtful, disrespectful, and language that should not be used.  And I would probably agree with most of you.  However, if we are going to analyze Donald Trump’s words and parse them through some special moral parser, then it is only fair to do the same thing with Hillary Clinton.  But when that is done, suddenly free speech goes out the window.  Suddenly there are protected categories.  You see, I believe that Donald Trump is free to all the vulgar language he wants to use.  Because if I am free to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then lives are changed and vulgar speech is changed.  But if we start deciding in this country what can and cannot be said, then we might as well just move to North Korea, or the old Soviet Union, or Iran,  because our freedoms will have been lost regardless.

But the question (and current allegations) concerns Donald Trump’s behavior more so than his words that were used.  So I’ll move on.

Suddenly, after the scenario at the debate I described in my last blog post played out, women have been coming out of the woodwork to say that they indeed, have had their space violated by Mr. Trump.

As near as I can tell, from the current set of allegations, the stories are ranging from supposed incidents in 2007 all the way back to 1986.  A span of 9 to 30 years.

And my question is Why now?  Why at this point in the election cycle are we suddenly hearing from you?

Let’s consider the fact that within days/weeks of the Oval Office incident, Monica Lewinsky had confided in her friend Linda Tripp.  And it wasn’t long before Linda had told someone who had told someone else, and suddenly someone is coming into the Oval Office saying “Mr. President, We have a problem.”  Bill Clinton’s charges were while he was still in Office.  As near as I can tell, Donald Trump’s charges are at least a decade old (and in a few cases multiple decades old).  What happened?  Why did it only take a few days for Monica Lewinsky’s story to grow legs and leave the compound but for Mr. Trump the stories have been tightly locked away for decades?  You’ll pardon me, but I am highly dubious.

I might also inquire as to the nature of the alleged altercations.  I mean, for all I know, if they really did occur, they could have been consensual.  Isn’t that the claim that was made about President Bill Clinton?  Hey, it was consensual so why do we need to go sticking our nose into it?  And before you trot out the former Apprentice contestant all in tears and visibly shaken over her ordeal in 2007, let’s go check with Monica Lewinsky, because perhaps the passage of time has brought her to her senses as well.  I’ll bet that Monica Lewinsky now realizes, that as a young woman she was taken advantage of by the most powerful person in the world, and was made to believe that she was OK with it.  But now, 28 years later, she probably realizes just how horrible and demeaning it really was and is ready to break down and cry before the cameras.

And with that equally controversial thought, I’ll leave you once again until my third post on this line of thought, this evening.

TO BE CONTINUED ……..

I Attended The President Clinton Impeachment Trial

I opened this can of worms, and now I’m stuck with seeing it through to the end.

When I started this blog site, I looked at areas of discussion that would interest people and keep them engaged.  These are generally the areas we are most passionate about.  Politics is one of those areas.  However, when I originally added politics, I was not necessarily thinking of political races for office.  I was considering discussions that were political in nature.  That is, discussions that revolved around the governance of society.  Our laws, our freedoms, our methods of meeting needs as a society.  This is the broader and, in my view, more important discussion.  We all live in a society in one form or another.  There are very few, if any, people on Earth today that are a society of one.  And societies, by necessity, must have rules and regulations, and governance of those rules and regulations.  And that is the important discussion.

However, given my previous post, I Am No Saint, and given the latest news reports, it would be disingenuous of me to leave things hanging as they are.  So I will continue on down this path no matter how ugly it gets.

First of all, I actually did attend the portion of the President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton impeachment trial that was open to the general public, for the period of time I was allotted (and that was allotted to each person seeking to attend).  I attended the trial for several reasons.  First of all it was historical.  President Bill Clinton is only the second U.S. President in history to be impeached.  Neither of the two were removed from office (both were acquitted after Congress failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote).  Secondly, I was interested in the proceedings.  It is not often in one’s lifetime that the opportunity affords itself to see government in motion in real-time.  I was fascinated with the process and wanted a glimpse into the inner workings of the congressional process.  And, as a bonus (if you can call it that), there were a lot of celebrities in the audience.  We got to sit on the same row, about five or six people down from where Whoopi Goldberg sat (I’m pretty sure her views on the trial were the exact opposite of mine).  Funny side story about that:  We watched Whoopi come in and sit down.  The person she sat next to greeted her when she arrived and they shook hands.  After a couple of minutes she got up and left the chamber for a few minutes.  While she was gone, the young man sitting next to the person that had shaken Whoopi Goldberg’s hand leaned over and whispered something to them.  The person chuckled, nodded, and then shook the young man’s hand.  I pointed it out to my wife at the time, commenting that obviously the young man wanted the opportunity to say that he had shaken the hand that shook Whoopi Goldberg’s hand (right after Whoopi had shook that hand).

So I was at the Bill Clinton impeachment trial (for a few minutes of it anyway) and know first hand, how seriously (or not so seriously) those proceedings play out.  And it was serious.  President Clinton was charged with perjury concerning his testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.  And while he was acquitted of both charges (and thus not removed from office), the dividing vote (50 – 50 in the Senate on the Obstruction of Justice charge) speaks to the highly political nature of the proceedings.

It is a simple question.  Did he willfully give false testimony while duly sworn before an appointed body concerning his relationship with a White House intern?  I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, he did.  And you can either agree or disagree with that, but the legal system spoke and we have our justice (or lack thereof) today.

The interesting thing to me is the political rhetoric at the time.  The feminists who supported President Bill Clinton came out of the woodwork to decry the proceedings.  They claimed that the President’s personal sex life was private, and of no concern to the people.  They claimed it was consensual and that what two adults do is none of the business of the rest of us.

Today, Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump is getting his own impeachment for perjury trial in the general media and free press of the United States of America.  This stems from an answer he gave in the second Presidential debate with Former Secretary Hillary Clinton.  When pressed by moderator Anderson Cooper about whether or not he had actually done the things referred to in his comments to Billy Bush, he replied “No, I have not.

And, obviously in response to those words, several recent claims have been leveled against Mr. Trump that would seem to suggest that he was being somewhat less than honest (one such story here).

In effect, Mr. Trump is being tried in the media for perjury (interestingly enough, just like President Bill Clinton was tried before Congress for the same charge).

Now I personally find these charges to be ludicrous and comical in nature, but I will do my best to treat them as seriously as they possibly can be given the circumstances.

To begin with, I am actually shocked at the outrage over Donald Trump’s comments.  I thought what a couple of guys talked about in private was between themselves and not any of the business of the rest of us, correct?  Why is it that Mr. Trump’s talk concerning women is so far out of line as to be considered grounds for public persecution and Former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s words are not?  And yes, I know, if it weren’t for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

We allow flag burning in the United States of America.  Protected by the courts (some of the highest in the land), as a right of free speech and expression.  And flag burning means, the flag of the United States of America.  The National Flag.  Try that in North Korea, without getting shot.

And before the language police go to far, consider the fact that the inevitable outcome of limiting free speech, is to eventually restrict your own freedoms and liberties in the future.

And with that controversial thought, I’ve reached my self-imposed limit for a blog post.  I purposefully set out to make my blog posts, readable, digestible, posts that one can read and contemplate in about five-minute sittings.

So ….. TO BE CONTINUED ……. In another post this afternoon.

May We Have A Rational Discussion?

Apparently not when it comes to atheists who are adamant about stamping out all religion in society and within the daily lives of ordinary citizens of the United States of America.

I’ll explain in a minute.  First let me say this was not the topic on my mind this evening.  For the last day or so I have been gathering my thoughts on Seattle, Washington’s new minimum wage.  I had planned on writing a political discourse on the pros, cons, and ethics of the whole minimum wage concept.  The minimum wage is an item that impacts us all (at least economically).  It may not be an item of interest to a wide audience, but it is something that most have feelings one way or the other on and I thought it would be an interesting side-bar to tackle.

However, as I sat down this evening to add this entry to my BLOG, this article caught my eye and I was completely astounded.  The article, for those unwilling to follow the link, is about a Missouri High School principle, Kevin Lowery, who used several off references to “God” at the commencement proceedings of the graduating class.  His remarks may be found in this YouTube video.

My first thought was “This is news?  Why?”  And as my curiosity peaked I read the article in amazement.  NOT at Principle Lowery’s remarks, or the reaction of the students, nor even the report that the YouTube video has garnered over 84,000 views in about 5 days (I’m not sure what constitutes going viral these days, but it is considerably more views than the few hundred hits I get from the stats on this BLOG).  No, the thing that captured my attention is the anti-religious organizations that crawled out of the woodwork to soundly denounce the commencement address.  For me this is the height of irrational behavior within the story.

The first group cited within the FOX News Story is the American Atheists (which, ironically enough, is a 501(c)(3) – the majority of which are religious organizations)whose spokesman Dave Muscato was quick to condemn the speech by citing that it “… violated the spirit of the First Amendment separations of religion and government.”  In other words it offended his perceived rights.  It is interesting to me that the front page of the American Atheists site has a headline that reads: “STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS”.  What rights?  There is no meaning, no value, no outcome in the atheist world view, so what does it matter?

But as I have previously argued, rights must come from somewhere and I’d seriously like to know where Mr. Muscato derives his from.  I know where my inalienable rights come from.  God.  As did the framers of the U.S. Constitution.  Mr. Muscato, as a stated dis-believer in a supreme being (or beings) clearly has nowhere upon which to draw his foundation of rights.  Given his world view, any rights he possesses, whether real or perceived, must clearly come from within the system and are thus subject to the rules of the system.  Which would clearly follow that they are then subjective and subject to change.  I could then argue that the perceived right that Mr. Muscato is clinging to was framed by what were clearly religious individuals and is therefore tainted.  I speculate that Mr. Muscato might argue that the framers of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were actually trying to stamp out religion in the country by putting that amendment in.  But if he were to argue this (or anyone else for that matter), I would have to go back to Dr. Richard Carrier’s question of “Are Christians Delusional?” and ask “Who is delusional now?”  Because most historians today would not argue along those lines.  And presented with clear and rational lines of reasoning to the contrary, one would need a convincing argument to bolster their case.  Without such would be to act irrationally.  No, Mr. Muscato is using a framework to defend his position that was put forth by individuals that meet his definition of flawed.  I would then ask “Why is not the amendment then flawed?”  Or why wouldn’t the rights he believes he has be subject to interpretation or change?

The second group that was cited with a comment is The Freedom From Religion Foundation who also stated that the commencement speech was a “serious constitutional violation” in a letter to Lebanon School District Superintendent Duane Widhalm.  Here we find a similar argument in that once again an atheist group is worried about their perceived right to not have God mentioned at a commencement address at a public school.

The two questions I’d like to ask about this particular event are: (1) Why are these groups even in existence?  Atheistic individuals and groups should be the epitome of the don’t care attitude.  After all, it doesn’t really matter anyway.  I realize they argue that they are trying to set others free, the Freedom From Religion Foundation even promotes a quote from Miguel Moore, Cleveland Artist… Humanist Chaplain that states as much: “Freedom comes from within, not without.”  But I still ask “To what end?”  What is the purpose behind it all?  In the grand scheme of things it means absolutely nothing.  So why be so adamant about a fight, that at the end of the day, doesn’t really matter who wins or who loses?  You can argue that you are trying to better peoples lives, progress society or humanity, or any number of other worthy causes (some of which religion would argue as well) and it still doesn’t really mean anything because there is no purpose behind the universe.  It is simply a cosmic accident given their world view.

And the second question I must ask is: (2) Who is the irrational party here?  I mean really?  Those who have a reason to promote an argument because they have a grounded belief that there is something more to what we see and experience and know of the physical universe and who believe that our existence will continue on sustained by a God.  Or those whose very world view precludes any real meaning or outcome and whose propensity to argue the inane would be explained in their paradigm as the results of minute and complex chemical and physical reactions set into motion eons ago and are being played out by a set of physical laws of which we have no control over and can do nothing about.

Isn’t it interesting that the Atheistic Organizations want to argue vehemently against the voice of Theistic individuals amongst us and yet few Theistic Organizations want to argue that the Atheist individuals need to remain silent in any venue in society.  Public, private, or otherwise?

Who is the TRUE defender of free speech here?