E Pluribus Unum—Out of many, one—the motto of the United States found on the Great Seal, which can be found upon our currency. This was the great hope of our nation’s Founding Fathers. They wished for a great pluralistic society which they had named the United States of America. The Founding Fathers were the prime example of this wish in its application. Many had differing viewpoints when they gathered for the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and didn’t finish until 1789—two years they had gathered to create a new document that would be called the U.S. Constitution and would guide our nation for the next 200+ years. Originally, they gathered to amend the Articles of Confederation, but upon further discussion of them, the delegates realized that the Articles would not be able to suffice to keep the nation alive and free—the Articles of Confederation did not provide for a national government, but their biggest fear was that a national government could trample upon the citizens’ rights like Great Britain had done. This was the ultimate goal of the Founding Fathers—to create a national government that would maintain the nation and protects the rights of its citizens while at the same time, limiting the power of that government so that it could not be used as a baseball bat to put people in line when they refused to go along with it.
Out of this convention came one of the most influential documents history had ever seen. And in it, the First Amendment. The First Amendment says this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This has been commonly translated in meaning that everyone has the right to freely express themselves how they see fit—aka Freedom of Expression. And this has been the sacrosanct right of every citizen since its inception. Even Founding Fathers considered it the must-have cornerstone of every free society. Without it, no one can truly be free and the government is allowed to do what it wants to its citizens.
Now fast forward to April 2016.
Today, to give a few examples, we have stories of colleges—University of Michigan and Emory University—where students are “traumatized” by chalk messages supporting Trump, and wants the people who support him silenced. In Philadelphia, PA we have a high school senior, Michael Moroz, writing an op-ed for his high school paper on the topic of Michael Brown—in it he said that “at best he was a thug.” Once this was published, the rest of the student body started issuing death threats against him—and apparently with some approval of the high school teachers. This forced him to withdraw from the school and complete his school work from home. Isn’t that outrageous?! Schools aren’t teaching the importance of what TRUE diversity means—that it means there are a plethora of different views, beliefs, and people coming together and respecting the different views and beliefs. At least, that’s what I was taught growing up and going to school in the OPS system. Beveridge Magnet Middle School taught this really well! But no—the people in these stories who claim they want diversity but want these people silenced are really defeating their own claim of wanting that diversity—because by silencing one view or upholding one over the other, you are, in fact, killing diversity!
The people of the Liberal-Left will hate me for saying all this because they wish to silence my kind of voice. Why? Because they know that what I am saying is true—but for them to admit it means to abandon something they want—complete and utter capitulation of all conservatives and Christians and anyone else who agrees with what I am writing here. For them, there is no middle ground. Anything that disagrees with their point of view must be silenced or go unnoticed. They have resorted to using the powers of the federal government, who just so happens to agree with their views, to do this. President Obama has threatened to pull Title IX funding from the schools in North Carolina because Governor McCrory signed into law a repeal of a city ordinance in Charlotte that would have required any and all businesses to allow their patrons to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with—Can you believe that? The President of the United States threatening to pull Title IX funding, which would only serve to punish the children, because they disagree with his point of view.
Dear readers, this is the expressed reason of why the Founding Fathers created the U.S. Constitution, not to just create a government and give us rights, but rather to enshrine our rights in something that would prevent the government from becoming tyrannical. The federal government under the Obama Administration is a prime example of that.
Some will call me a bigot and full of hate—I’m okay with that. Not because I am one, but because that is their opinion, which they are guaranteed to have underneath the First Amendment. Understand this—regardless of whether or not I agree with a person’s point of view, I will always, and I mean ALWAYS, stand for their First Amendment right to have and express that point of view.
On March 23, 1775 at St. John’s Church during the third Virginia Convention in Richmond, Patrick Henry stood up and began to give a speech on the relations of Great Britain with the 13 Colonies—he closed his speech with the famous statement, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” It has taken me forever to realize what he meant by that. I believe this statement is a fitting title for what I am writing—why is that? Because Patrick Henry believed that a society without freedom is not a society worth living in. In our country, the very foundation of our freedoms is found within the First Amendment—so I ask these questions of everyone:
Do you want to live and breathe free?
Live in a society where the government and society tells you what you can say and believe?
If your answers was yes to the first and no to the second, then I invite you in joining with me in telling everyone else…
Give me Liberty or Give me death.
-Written by T. Bird