WEB-EXCLUSIVE: America the fallen

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By David Hurtado

Once upon a time in America we were free to speak and express what we believed without fear of persecution. However, after 236 years, our freedom of speech is beginning to be crushed under a dark maelstrom of political correctness.

Kirk Cameron, whom many know as the former star of “Growing Pains,” came under fire for expressing what he thought of homosexuality. In his words, Cameron described homosexuality as “unnatural and destructive” to the foundations of civilization. Almost immediately, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, issued a statement condemning Cameron for exercising his freedom of speech.

I don’t know about you, but did Cameron sound like he was calling gays abominations or that he had a lack of respect for them? No, he did not. Cameron merely shared his beliefs on the subject and why he held them.

The Constitution clearly affirms the right to free speech for all Americans in the First Amendment. It does not matter whether you agree with Cameron or not, he has and always will have the right to say what he wants about homosexuality. There is zero need to apologize to GLAAD just because his opinion is different than theirs.

Like Cameron, I do not support gay marriage either. However, I firmly believe homosexuals should be treated with the same respect I would give any other person. And I can promise you I will never apologize for the beliefs I hold. I would rather die than give up the rights so many brave men and women who came before me gave their lives and blood to protect.

If it wasn’t bad enough that the federal government is actively trying to diminish our rights, now we have special interest groups trampling on the Constitution as well. GLAAD needs to understand that tolerance of others works both ways; it’s not some special privilege you get for being different.

We live in the United States of America, where all men are created equal. Last time I checked, that did not mean that some people are more equal than others. Unless you’re the federal government, of course.

Speaking of the federal government, our wonderful, Constitution-abiding president recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Sections 1021 and 1022 of the bill give the president power to detain any individual for an indefinite amount of time if they are suspected of terrorism. This so-called law is a serious and direct violation of Habeas Corpus and the 6th Amendment.

Even the ACLU is up in arms about this, saying it “violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war,” according to NextGen Journal. A great American once said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.”

If we don’t start speaking out against this kind of injustice, the America the Founders envisioned will cease to be. Perhaps the best way to summarize the silence echoing across the nation at these infringements is a poem written by Martin Niemöller when German citizens began to lose their rights just before the darkest years in human history.

“First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Contact David Hurtado, reporting correspondent, at dhurtado@jccc.edu.

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