The First Amendment

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 is one of the things that is bothering me about Proposition 8. I know it is a sensitive issue for a lot of people on both sides. But when people start saying hurtful things to those they disagree with, when people are physically attacked for their beliefs, and when we can’t even put up simple yard signs to express our political views on our private property without vandalism and theft, something’s wrong.

America was founded on principles of freedom. Our forefathers left European countries to embrace a lifestyle where they would have more freedom. Religious freedom, political freedom, freedom of speech. No one should ever be attacked for simply expressing themselves in a calm, concise manner. Disagreement does not justify disrespect.

I have a religious belief that homosexuality is an immoral practice. Under the First Amendment, I am free to believe that. It is part of my religious freedom. I also have the right to express my belief without fear of physical harm ensuing. I also have the right to raise my children to follow my religious beliefs, and not have contradictory beliefs pushed on them at school. Other people are free to make a different choice – to be gay, and to express their preference for that lifestyle. However, why should my daughter go to school and have to listen to her teachers telling her that her religion is wrong? We should be teaching tolerance at schools, but not affirmation of lifestyles that are considered by most religions to be wrong.

I’m not sure when we decided as a society that in order to be tolerant of our differences, we had to embrace and promote them. I can be tolerant of my gay friends’ choice without teaching my daughter that a gay lifestyle is a perfectly normal, acceptable lifestyle that is equal to my heterosexual relationship with my husband. I don’t believe it is equal, and I don’t think it is a behavior we ought to be promoting.

If Proposition 8 fails, then my religious freedoms will be infringed upon. As has been evidenced by cases in Massachusetts, parents will not be notified every time homosexuality is discussed in school. If classrooms are going to discuss sexual behavior, then yes, they have to notify the parents. But if they are simply discussing “families” and homosexuality as a social trend, then they don’t have to notify the parents at all. Don’t believe me? Check out the video in my previous post, where a father was actually sent to jail after requesting that he be notified when such things were going to be discussed in schools. And if California schools aren’t excited to be teaching about homosexuality, then why did the California Teachers Association donate $1 million to the No on 8 campaign? I’m apalled that $1 million, which could have been used for books, classroom supplies, and funding of school programs, was taken from teachers’ dues and donated to a political cause which many teachers don’t support. If I paid dues to a union, I would expect them to represent my interests; if people are bound to disagree on a controversial issue, then maybe that’s not someplace they ought to be donating their money.

And before people start commenting about their “right” to get married, go read the Constitution. There’s nothing mentioned anywhere about marriage. No one’s right to be married is guaranteed by our Constitution.

Published in: on October 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm  Comments Off on The First Amendment  
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