Free Speech: The Case of Intolerance v. Appreciation

The Secular Humanist Coalition has once again exhibited their intolerance for the free speech right that goes hand in glove with our United States Constitution. On December 20, the organization expressed outrage that the Arizona Legislature would have a prayer group. Their ire was raised when House and Senate members were invited to join the Arizona Legislative Prayer Caucus. The Arizona Legislature has joined 29 other state Legislatures and Congress to establish a forum for prayer. It seems that as long as Christians don’t say anything in public that insults their language sensitivities or social proclivities, we are tolerated. Heaven help us if we dare speak up and point out proven solutions that work to change lives, reduces recidivism in our prisons, help addicts kick their habits, and give a hand up to the grief stricken. Religious bigotry is nothing new, in 1947 the Everson v. Board of Education case, Justice Hugo Black used tortured logic when he abandoned centuries of jurisprudence to override the original intent of the Constitution framers themselves. Ever since, the secular community has worked to silence our free speech right with fictitious legal theory with voluminous proofs.

A Brief History of Free -and even religious- Speech in the United States

The original intent of the “free exercise clause” of our beloved Constitution is well documented.  While the Supreme Court of 1947 miraculous discovered meaning in the words “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” that inexplicably laid dormant for nearly two centuries, we are left to question Thomas Jefferson’s own intent, knowledge and wisdom.  The Court then tried to convince America that even the authors of the Constitution itself apparently did not understand what they meant, (translation: now can be reinterpreted) in spite of the context in which it was written.

Scholarly research has reinforced as fact, that the original intent of those words, was to hold the line on a separation of state from intrusion into the church, [emphasis added], not allowing the state to control a church or the people in it; and most certainly not to control what was said in religious doctrine. Jesus famously declared, “Upon this rock (Peter) I will build my church (Ekklēsia, Greek meaning, the body of people who follow, believers). To separate of the body of believers out of the operations of the state, which is not only quite literally impossible but an absurd notion, for to do so would disenfranchise citizens from the very rights that are their citizenship. So, the next best thing is to ridicule them, to bully them and to shut them up.

We see a bright line example of the demand that those who wrote the Constitution put upon government regarding their exercise of faith in Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution, known as the “Religious Test Clause.” This clause [protection] states, “but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” In their zeal to establish a secular state, which is not at all what our founders envisioned, secular attack personalities in Congress like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren can’t seem to get this plain letter of the law straight. But then again, Hugo Black also ignored two centuries of context that clearly defined the clause as a fence to keep the government out of religious direction. Public prayer is no more the establishment, and formal recognition of a state religion than ordering a Big Mac and saying “the act established a formal state sandwich.”

There have been many who stood up for this important civil right. Justice Potter Stewart in the Engle case wrote, “I think that the Court’s task, in this as in all areas of constitutional adjudication, is not responsibility aided by the uncritical invocation of metaphors like the “wall of separation”- a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution. It clearly never occurred to the founders that “free speech zones” would be needed, since in their context all of America was a free speech zone.  To punctuate the idea, Justice William Rehnquist in Wallace explained about the metaphor, “the greatest injury of the “wall” notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intentions of the drafters of the Bill of Rights… The “wall of separation between Church and State” is a metaphor based on bad history – a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.”

A Necessary Correction for The Record

In the same email, the Secular Humanist Coalition claims that, “Rep. Mark Finchem (Oro Valley), who admonished Representative Athena Salman for a lack of religious beliefs earlier this year, writes that the prayer caucus is needed to fight “the spirit forces of evil.”  The truth is I will never stand in the way of a member giving a point of personal privilege. I did not admonish Representative Salman for her words, but called a point of order in the scheduled business of the House of Representatives that had not been fulfilled. Representative Salman was not interrupted, and her speech was not shut down or interfered with. At the same time, it was admittedly not a prayer, making it by definition a “point of personal privilege.” Yet, the Secular Humanist Coalition calls for silencing my voice in their hate speech attack email, “Are you tired of our elected officials wasting time and taxpayer dollars on religious activities at the State Capitol? We sure are!” The premise of the question is absurd, while celebrating secular speech, at the same time they seek to silence the speech of others.

It is troubling to see such a call for silencing the speech of those who were elected because of what their constituents know they stand for. Do they also want to silence the constituents they represent? There has been no mention that not one Christian Legislator has called for the silencing of an opposing view.

Ridicule Alinsky Style

The Secular Humanist Coalition also calls into question the fight against evil in the world that no realistic individual will deny exists. Is the Secular Humanist Coalition asserting that man is little more than an animal, incapable of controlling his urges? Absent proof that spiritual forces for evil don’t exist, we see evil in many forms every day, but fail in the fight because we have not properly identified the adversary. Denial that evil is sourced outside of the mind of man, makes the case for the materialist worldview that evil is wholly inherent in man’s nature. It follows then, that the mind that created the problem is incapable of solving it.

We are all still waiting for the Secular community to advance solutions that solve for the root cause of evil. Programs come and go, and are generally measured by intent and not results. When results are used as the measure of success, programs like Chuck Colson Prison Ministries that change the hearts of men and women produce measurable results. While Christians endure ridicule, their efforts produce results in prison ministries, in shelters for the homeless, and hope for the battered and abused women and children. Yet the ridicule continues.

Our Communities Demand a Moral Government

With the rise of sexual harassment complaints, corruption of every imaginable kind in both the private sector and public, government officials engaged in insider trading and influence peddling, private sector leaders who steal wealth from shareholders like thieves in the night, why are we surprised?  Facts and history support the objective moral standard of a God centered worldview, the well documented view held by our founders. Preachers of the secular worldview seek only to push the God centered worldview out of every corner of public engagement. They seek to force a substitute upon us all, one that forces their own view that excludes God and those who believe in Him.

One of the most respected authors of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis, points out the argument that the Secular Humanist Coalition seems to miss, that there is a certain level of insanity when, “We continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible… In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour at and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful,” (The Abolition of Man). We demand a moral government, yet we have had taken away that which makes us moral. It is non-sense.

If people are the church snd not s building or a legal entity, how then can the people be forced from the government.  I do not advocate for any particular religion on behalf of the State of Arizona, it is a matter of personal franchise. I do not ask that a formal statement endorsing one religion over another, I only demand that government not stand in the way of my exercise of a God given right to engage in my faith without restraint, in so long as I do not interfere with another in their exercise.  I do not ridicule others for their faith or skepticism, that is their closely held belief.

Since the Days of Nimrod Man Has Sought Control.

Most of us have heard of the Tower of Babel and how the effort failed, but not as many know of what Nimrod, the leader of the day, sought to do. Nimrod sought to replace God’s wisdom with man’s knowledge and wisdom. He sought to have all men bow before him in stead of God, in essence replace an objective worldview with his own worldview, his vision and his morally relative standards. He justified his substitution as progression to the enlightenment of man.

Our nation has tried the road that the secular world has offered, and it has resulted in the pervasive, pernicious, expansion of the depravity of man.  If the Secular Humanist Coalition wishes to shut me up, to take away my free speech and the notion that it is somehow wrong that I serve God first, and then the cause of man, there will be a robust debate.  For those who fear I pose a threat to their belief system, I cannot assuage your fear. I can only urge you to ask yourself, what are you really afraid of?  A guy who laid down his life for others, and people who openly admire him for doing so?

When men demand singular recognition of subjective moral standards, they can justify to each other their own, shifting self-interests and rightness. After all it is what history’s bad boys like Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Radovan Karadžić have done to justify their behaviors. But to get what the people demand, a moral and just government, men and women with moral and just intent must populate it, men and women who answer to a higher standard than just each other. The outcomes are visible in every arena of American life.

Our teachers report that one of the big reasons they leave the teaching profession is the lack of discipline their pupils display in the classroom, and the lack of backing that school administrations give them when confronted with a disciplinary matter. We have elected officials who engage in sexual harassment and much worse, we have unelected bureaucrats who use their power to corrupt, confuse and intimidate, and we have private sector leaders who cheat, canine and misrepresent themselves, their products and their services. If the Secular Humanist Coalition wants to solve a problem, how about working on one of these? Bring solutions to the table that will drive results, build a track record of performance and credibility. Abandon bigotry toward those you do not share a belief system with you, show appreciation and respect for ideas other than your own, instead of contempt. Nimrod attempted to force the people of his day to believe in a Godless world and he failed miserably because it was all about him and not them.

3 Comments on "Free Speech: The Case of Intolerance v. Appreciation"

  1. Thank you Mark Finchem for standing up for your beliefs. A man who will not stand up for what they believe will fall for anything. Your worldview sustains you. May God continue to give you courage.

  2. As A kid I understood that the constitution did not allow the state/government to endorse ANY religion, but that all religions were able to stand for themselves. Since they are are on such a high horse they need to introduce measures that will limit the indoctrination into various religions while a person is in jail. No more muslim instruction, nor any christian teachings and see what that does to them. I guess the judges and the rest of the political lawyers and judges just dont or cant understand why people think so little of them and that the system is broken. Too many lib judges have unhinged the constitution and want to have it reflect their way or no way attitudes. Groups such as these in the article also need to start having some limits placed on their ability to cry ‘fire’ on everything so as to impede their teachings and see how they piss and moan then.

  3. I’m not a conventionally religious person, but I respect Christian principles. I also respect the constitutional protections of free speech and freedom of worship. Why is it that the same secular humanists that attack Christianity support a religion that condemns outsiders and enforces harsh control on personal autonomy? The only thing I can figure is that both share a commitment to tight control over the individual. People need to wake up or we will all find ourselves under the boot of a repressive philosophy or government.

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