Crisis in America – When Your Rights Are Violated

image Why in the world is our Constitution under such attack?  If you change it at all, America loses that which makes it unique.  But, our rights are constantly being challenged and by the most un-American of our citizens.

I find it ironic because American laws protect the very rights the un-Americans among us use to violate the rights of others.  I don’t know how people let it happen, but it happens all the time. 

There are people who have to have everything their way with no toleration for others who live among us.  They whine about the least little thing and actually that is their right to whine.  But, I just can’t stand when others bow down to meet their needs.

When a speaker says how he feels, he is attacked because it’s offensive to someone.  I don’t care if what someone says offends me.  The only speech that is limited is that by which people could erupt into chaos.  It is commonly known as shouting “fire” in a public place.  But, people use that as an argument that says chaos could erupt if someone’s speech is offensive.  I say we must measure the outcome and see if someone’s offensive speech did indeed erupt into chaos. 

It’s a simple fact.  Freedom of Speech is often attacked because people can’t stand to hear opposition to what they believe.  It becomes offensive and people use that as an excuse to stifle someone.  Yet, they never consider whether their speech is offensive to others.  And it doesn’t matter to them if the speech was accepted by the most peaceful audience who tolerated the opposition.  No riot erupted.  No damages.  Nothing.  Just offensive to one person or a few people and the legal battles begin.

One kid wore a shirt to school protesting a stand the school was making.  The teacher took it upon himself to send the kid to the office where he was told to remove the writing on the shirt.  Not one student mentioned being offended until after it was made a legal issue.  Only the administration had a problem because it was their policy getting protested.  It was a clear violation of the kid’s right to freedom of speech and it’s something we have to fight for every day or pompous community leaders will take that right away without any hesitation.

You wonder why you have to fight for these rights.  It does seem a bit redundant.  We fought a Revolutionary War to free ourselves from tyranny.  We have a Declaration of Independence.  We have a Constitution.  And we are still fighting for those very same rights that our forefathers guaranteed to us.

I watched a documentary about Freedom of Speech called Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech by Liz Garbus.  It was unique to see how people have been railroaded into submission because they chose to stand by their convictions.  Their freedom of speech was restricted after one level of government or another got involved.

Government often oversteps its bounds and it does so in two ways.  Government takes it upon itself to overstep its bounds.  But also, the people often ask the government to step in where they do not belong.  It’s been going on for years and now, I think that the government has simply developed a habit of doing it.

For instance, marriage is not a government issue.  Why do they insist regulating it?  The government will site such reasons as taxation and insurance just to be able to have their say.

Abortion on the other hand can more easily be construed as a government issue.  Because of the passionate disagreement between varying ideologies and the fact that it could be construed a crime, government had to step in and make a decision.  So, the court decides it is not a crime and that’s that.  Now, leave it alone.

But, the definition of marriage should never be a government issue.  There is no criminal element.  So, why do lawmakers decide?

The problem is that government often oversteps its bounds and the un-American citizens among us often get their way because most of the people aren’t aware of the issues and most of the time, people have too much faith in the system.  A journalist can get away with just about anything, even misquoting a person to make a story.  Often the media will respond quickly to a situation and start reporting on it before they have the story right. 

The most famous example I can give is when the media reported O.J. Simpson’s “High Speed” chase back in 1994 when he was accused of murder.  The “chase” was very slow, never reaching speeds of even 40 mph.  When the media got stomped for such misreporting, they started referring to it as a “Slow Speed” chase.

But it’s not just the false information or lack of information that actually reaches the public, it’s also the fact that most people actually have faith in a human-flawed system.  The system itself would work just fine if it weren’t for the tinkering of the morons who run it.  A clear and cut law case won’t even look the same after it’s splintered and tore apart by two lawyers fighting in front of a jury.  How in the world can people have faith in a system that lets a murderer go free on a technicality, but hammers an honest man for defending himself in an attack?

The people who have faith in such a system have never been up against it.  Also, they share a common trait.  They are likely to believe what they are told rather than research it themselves.  Now, I know that we can’t research everything ourselves and some things just aren’t that important to us to go that extra mile.  It’s reasonable that there is going to be a certain amount of false information that is going to get through.  But I would hope that for the critical issues, the controversial issues would inspire us to learn all the sides involved and do a little fact checking.

You know there is no law against calling someone even if you are across the country and you think the situation doesn’t pertain to you.  But, that’s where another problem exists.  It comes from living in a shell.  It comes from feeling a sense of security.  If you learn your world isn’t as tidy as you believe, you just might feel your world crash down around you.  And it will overwhelm you because it would have been your fault that you opened your own Pandora box and learned the truth by yourself.

This I believe is why education suffers.  I think it suffers on purpose.  I think it’s a radical thought, but lawmakers wouldn’t be able to handle a nation full of articulate, educated citizens.  So, funding goes to certain things like new police cars and bigger prisons while school books are beyond ten years old.  Most kids can find their parent’s signature in the back of the textbook.

It’s sad that we have come this far to be so backward now.

Examples of our confusion:

A murderer will hide behind the law and fight for his rights while he took no consideration for the rights of the person he murdered.

This is like the un-American citizen who hides behind the law to protect his own rights while using that same law to deny you of yours.

We allow people to place blame on everything else but themselves.  Instead of attempting to face the actual issues, a musician gets blamed when a kid commits suicide.  Kids killing on the streets blame video games…and we listen to them.

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Michael Allen is the author of A River in the Ocean, the heartwarming story of a single father who is separated from his daughter when an awful accident nearly takes his life. He comes out of his coma with amnesia, but something keeps pulling him to find what's missing in his life. He didn't know he was looking and she didn't know she needed found. Available now at Amazon!

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The Deeper Dark

the deeper darkMichael Allen’s latest novel…

The Deeper Dark is the story of a fighter pilot who spends a few years in a POW camp. When he returns to civilization, he realizes how much has changed as life just seemed to move on without him. His wife remarried and his daughter learned how to grow up without her father around. When he finds out there’s more to the story the day his jet went down, he finds himself in the middle of unimaginable corruption. Trying to keep their secrets hidden, his invisible enemies threaten the one person he has left in this world. But they have no idea how far he’s willing to go to save her life.

Available in print and on Kindle: The Deeper Dark