You know, I pretty much agree with a sentiment expressed by the many people who wish the perennial courthouse unpleasantness would just go away. That sentiment is commonly expressed something like this: I uphold the right of anyone to express any belief, no matter how offensive, because that’s what the Constitution guarantees – but it would be more effective and neighborly if the way people chose to express their beliefs was limited to inoffensive ‘positive statements’.
Consider the campaign, spearheaded every year by the American Family Association*, to get store clerks and others dealing with the public to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” I personally don’t care what people say to me; if someone says “Happy Holidays” I don’t have any trouble understanding what they mean, and if they say “Merry Christmas” I don’t jump to the conclusion that they’ve intentionally dissed some other holiday. However, this detail is important to the supporters of this group, and they have every right to advocate via legal means for the changes they want. Their campaign involves (in part) distributing buttons and stickers that say “It’s okay to say Merry Christmas.” So far, so good; that sounds like a positive message expressing their belief.
This (originally posted 08-4-10) is the funniest damn juxtaposition I have seen in a long time.
From closing arguments by Ted Olson, for equality:
The Supreme Court has said that marriage is the most important relation in life. Now that’s being withheld from the plaintiffs. Marriage, the Supreme Court has said again and again, is a component of liberty, privacy, spirituality and autonomy.
From closing arguments by Charles Cooper, against equality:
Marriage is to channel the sexual behavior between men and women into a procreative union.
Yesterday in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a brilliant, deeply compassionate speech in recognition of International Human Rights Day.
She begins by describing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted following the atrocities of World War II.
“It proclaims a simple, powerful idea: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And with the declaration, it was made clear that rights are not conferred by government; they are the birthright of all people.”
All people. Those are such straightforward, easily understood words that it seems silly to discuss the fact that some people don’t understand them. “Because we are human, we therefore have rights.” There are still some among us who actually advance the argument that some people are not really people, and that insisting that they are amounts to conferring upon them “special rights.” There are some who would – seriously – claim that this declaration of our universal humanity is merely a matter of “opinion.”
Update: After consultation with the author, I’ve changed the headline to more accurately reflect what happened here. Is the meaning different in this context? No. By telling the public that it was the lawful display, and not the unlawful vandalism of it, that “crossed the line,” Ken Reid gave his tacit endorsement to anyone who is offended by a future display to take the law into their own hands. Knowing that other displays would be going up in the near future, and knowing that angry citizens have already made their feelings about those displays known, his statement ‘calls for’ mob rule in all but the most narrow, legalistic sense. However, the term justified makes the same point without being needlessly hyperbolic. -Epl
If Supervisor elect Ken Reid’s comments to Darcy Spencer of NBC 4 portend anything, it’s that the rule of law is dead:
View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.
Just a reminder that all those people who came out screaming and crying that their First Amendment rights would be trampled if the Courthouse Lawn were not available for them to display their creches and menorahs now need to suck it up when others use their First Amendment rights to put up other displays on the same lawn.
The First Amendment requires that the government can not play favorites. If the Courthouse lawn is open to any, it must be open to all.
All. Or Nothing at All.
Deal with it.
I received my taxpayer funded campaign newsletter from Eugene Delgaudio.
The newsletter should have been titled the “Sterling District Newsletter” not “The Delgaudio Report.” Our tax dollars are for educating the community and not for generating political name recognition. Delgaudio should not misappropriate tax dollars for the benefit of his re-election campaign.