The Spectacle Blog

Not Just the Media: First Amendment Under Attack

By on 5.22.13 | 5:10PM

For the University of Mobile's Center for Leadership, I put the current media-chilling narrative in broader perspective

    But now it's not just freedom of the press that seems threatened by a government that some people fear is becoming too powerful. As I've written herebefore, freedom of religion also has come increasingly under attack. Fortunately, the federal courts so far seem to be keeping government in its place more often than not - and the Supreme Court in a strong, unanimous decision ruled that churches and faith-based institutions do indeed enjoy First Amendment protections against government interference in their choices of "ministers" (and other employees who perform faith-related functions).

    Alas, (moving back to free speech), one Supreme Court Justice actually has written that speech rights are to be "doled out" by government, presumably at the government's discretion. And a recent Alabama columnist even opined, in admiration but obvious confusion, that "governments g[i]ve ... rights and demanded obligations." This is precisely backwards: The American creed always has been that we already own our rights, and we demand obligations from government to help secure those pre-existing rights from outside attack.

And I didn't even discuss how the IRS abuses are, in effect, an attack on the freedom of groups to petition their government for redress of grievances.....

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