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-Is the First Amendment In Danger of Being Overridden For the ‘Greater Good’?

by Dr. D ~ August 5th, 2011

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...

(Bill of Rights via Wikipedia)

In liberal circles, one of the current issues under discussion involves conflicting ‘civil rights’ and the idea that for the ‘greater good’ lessor rights may have to be overridden.

In the view of some progressive proponents, freedom of religion and conservative free speech certainly qualify as ‘lessor rights’ in the face of the ‘greater good’ of a progressive agenda.

One case in point is Secretary Clinton’s apparent support for UN resolution 16/18, called ‘defamation of religions’, which would restrict religious conversation and regulate what one might say about Islam, the Quran, and it’s founder Muhammad.

Implementation of this resolution would affect free speech and religious freedom –all contrary to the First Amendment of the US Constitution. However, the rationale is that the ‘greater good’ would be served if there was some way to override the First Amendment in this case because Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims is supposedly on the rise.

Therefore, for the ‘greater good’ the civil rights of Muslims need to be protected even if the ‘lessor rights’ of others clearly defined in the Constitution are overridden.

In Monday’s USA Today there was an opinion column by a Muslim woman, Asra Q. Nomani, that argued for the United States government to force a nondiscrimination policy on gender in all religions and places of worship.

She also contended that the IRS should take away the tax-exempt status from any place of worship that holds to different roles for men and women. Nomani was specifically calling for the government to end discrimination and separation of the sexes in mosques. However, the same set of rules would also affect Orthodox Jewish Synagogues and Christian churches who do not allow for women pastors or leaders.

The article doesn’t even mention the First Amendment which would preclude the government from taking this kind of action. Nevertheless, Nomani is arguing that it should be done for the ‘greater good’. Dr. Albert Mohler responded to the article with concerns about how the First Amendment was completely ignored in the conversation.

Another case in point involves the Gay agenda. In a number of major cities across America, Catholic and other Christian ministries have been involved in providing adoption services for years. Many are now being sanctioned or dropped because they do not provide children for same-sex couples.  This is a case where gay civil rights is now considered more important than freedom of religion.

Since prayer was eliminated from public schools, there has been one case after another challenging any trace of religion in the public square. Actually our First Amendment rights have many times been turned upside down as judges protect the public ‘from religion’. In the process, a ‘separation of church and state’ has been established in case law that was never defined in the Constitution itself. Now there seems to be some ‘greater right’ not to be offended by prayers, crosses, nativity scenes, and Christmas carols.

There are many other examples that can be given but the principles are the same in any case. Some constitutional rights are deemed to be more important for the ‘greater good’ than others. For instance- a woman’s ‘right to choose’ is now legally given precedence over a baby’s right to life.

What does the future hold for the First Amendment? Will our freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country be trumped by some ‘greater good’ in the future? Only time will tell but the current conversation among many progressives is not encouraging.              *Top

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4 Responses to -Is the First Amendment In Danger of Being Overridden For the ‘Greater Good’?

  1. Vincent P. Lacey

    This article was refreshing to read. Though the Constitution does not address “separation of church and state” there are numerous references to the Founding Fathers’ concerns about role of government and and religion. I do agree with important premise that which is religious in nature belongs to religion. The concern for some is whose prayers are correct? Whose doctrine is right? I hold that government does not have role in establishing religion. But, two elements can be precarious for man, the carryover of religious interpretations of doctrine or scripture on the conduct or discrimination of individuals in the public arena. Second, the use of religion as a divider among men and members of society. The First Amendment was crucial in protecting faiths that were not sanctioned by individual states. Political Correctness is not the solution to the social, religious and ethnic problems we face. Only a Free Press, honest communication and respect will work.

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks for your fine contribution to the conversation.

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