Tag Archives: First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Simple responses to common objections

contradiction.jpgMy guess is that if you have any conversations about abortion or the definition of marriage that you encounter these objections.  They seem to have lasting rhetorical force, which is why they are used so often.  But they crumble under a little bit of analysis.

Here are some easy and bullet-proof responses.  Don’t expect answers, though.  I can almost guarantee that they will change the subject and/or attack you personally.  When they ignore them a second time you can be sure that you are dealing with a dishonest debater.

Use them politely and hopefully you’ll plant a seed.

1. Objection: “You are just forcing your beliefs on others!”

Response: Do you think murder and theft should be illegal?  If so, are you forcing your views on others?  By that definition of “forcing” all laws would be wrong.

2. Similar objection, with bonus anti-religious bigotry: “You are forcing your religious beliefs on others and we have the ‘separation of church and state.’”

  • Since the Bible says murder and theft are wrong, does that mean I’m forcing those religious beliefs on others?
  • Must I vote the opposite of my religious views, such as requiring that stealing from and murdering atheists should be legal?
  • Why are you trying to suppress my First Amendment rights?  The First Amendment explicitly protects religious and political speech, it doesn’t restrict it.
  • How does opposing the destruction of the unborn or stating that the definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman qualify as forcing others to join my religion?
  • Do you speak as consistently to silence the opinions of theological liberals who share your views, or do you just try to stifle those who oppose you?  (The latter would be hypocritical of you.)

3. Objection: “You pro-lifers only care about children in the womb and you don’t care about them once they are born.”

  • Protesting an immoral act does not obligate you to take care of its victims.  
  • If the government wanted to solve the homeless problem by killing homeless people, could you object to their destruction without having to personally house them?  In the same way, we can object to the killing of innocent human beings without having to feed, clothe and house them for life.
  • Your statement is false.  Pro-lifers help women and children before and after pregnancies with their own time and money.  There are more pregnancy centers (which offer services for free) than their are abortion clinics (which make huge profits).
  • Unless you are insisting that poor people must have abortions, the same obligations of support and care that you require of pro-lifers would fall on you.
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Confronting fake concerns about religion in the public square

Friendly reminder: Many people advancing liberal arguments will try to dismiss the views of religious people just because they are religious people.  Too often people let them get away with that truly bigoted, prejudiced anti-religious argument.

These responses specifically address the marriage debate, though they also work when they try to dismiss your pro-life or other views that align with your religious convictions.  Feel free to use them as responses when people try to shut you up just because you trust in Jesus.

Here’s why I am free to support real marriage in the public square:

1. That First Amendment thingy.  We’re allowed to let our religious views inform our political views whether you like it or not. It doesn’t inhibit religious freedoms, it protects them.

2. My religion tells me that stealing, perjury, gay bashing and murder are also wrong.  Do you object to me letting those views inform my political views, or just the views you don’t like?

3. Lots of churches are thoroughly pro-gay, such as the UCC and the Episcopals.  I don’t recall you objecting to their advancement of the pro-gay cause.  If you were being consistent and if you really opposed any religious beliefs in the public square, shouldn’t you be objecting to their views just as strenuously?  Why do you just use that argument against views you disagree with?

4. You are begging the question by assuming what you should be proving.  You claim that we are denying “rights” to gays but you must change the definition of the word in question to draw that conclusion.  But the whole debate is whether to change the word and give them a new right.  You cheat and pretend that we’ve already changed the word and given them the right and then insist that we’re denying this existing right.  Sadly, pro-gay apologists commit this fallacy so reflexively that I doubt you realize what you are doing.

Ironically, the “rights” talked is best founded by a Christian worldview.  The Declaration of Independence notes this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But most of the world – religious or not – doesn’t regard those truths to be self-evident at all.  They make sense in our culture because we are still running on the fumes of Christianity.

5. Did you ever notice how China, the former Soviet Union and other communist countries hold explicitly atheistic views yet all recognize the timeless truth that marriage, by definition, is a union of one man and one woman?  Implying that those who oppose government recognition of same-sex unions are trying to establish theocracies is silly –unless you are trying to claim that atheistic, Christian-hating communists qualify as religious-right Christian extremists.

6. Finally, and most importantly, I didn’t bring up religion.  You did.  I can argue this topic without it — though of course, if you want to know Jesus’ views on it I’ll be glad to share the biblical view with you.

Free speech and video games

Stan got me thinking about recent Supreme Court case about free speech and video games in his post about Free Speech.  For the record, I’m certainly opposed to these violent video games.

Briefly, the story is that the Supreme Court has struck down a California law that made it a crime to sell violent video games to children. It wasn’t even a close vote. The court ruled 7:2. The court made a stunning decision: Make parents responsible for their children. Is there any doubt that our court system (and the nation that supports it) has lost its mind?

This comment will probably reveal that I’m not a lawyer, but doesn’t the 1st Amendment specifically say that “Congress shall make no law . . .” and not “the States . . .?'”  Also, wouldn’t this get in the way of the 10th Amendment?

More importantly, I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the headlines noting that the responsibility to regulate this would now fall on parents.  That’s one of the major problems of people looking to government to solve all their problems.  The government solutions are usually counterproductive, but like drinking salt water the people just look to the government to solve even more problems.

This is just another example of the slippery slope of government intervention.  Countless parents have come to expect the government to feed their kids multiple meals per day, even if it means wildly wasteful programs.  But what could be a more basic responsibility of parents than to feed their kids?

Even though I thought the court’s view of this as a 1st Amendment issue was an overreach, I’m glad to see them err on that side.  It may mean we’ll have just a little more time before any criticism of the LGBTQX agenda is considered illegal.

Easy responses to those dismissing your political views because they align with your religious views

Congress shall make no law .... abridging the ...
Image by gnuckx via Flickr

You will often find skeptics and theological Liberals trying to dismiss your views because they are driven by or merely align with your religious views.  They invoke the oft-misunderstood “separation of church and state” notion (for the 237th time, that phrase is not in the Constitution).  But the 1st Amendment protects religious speech, it doesn’t restrict it.

Aside from that, here are some quick and easy replies when people try to dismiss your pro-life, pro-real marriage, etc. views.  You are simply pointing out that the issue isn’t religious views, it is them being unwilling to argue the issues on their merits.  They are trying to dismiss your views without having to respond to them.

1. “Do I  have to vote opposite of my religious views or be silent about them?   Christianity teaches me not to kill atheists and steal their stuff.  So am I “forcing my religious beliefs on you” if I support laws against theft and murder?”

This argument shows how they are just dismissing your views because they disagree with them.  They have no issue with your religious views in principle, just the ones they disagree with – which means religion isn’t the issue.

2. “Do you protest the religious speech of theological Liberals?  I can point you to countless false teachers and religious types who insist that God is pro-abortion, pro-gay theology, pro-open borders, pro-wealth redistribution, etc.  Can you show me where you are just as active in dismissing their religious views as you are mine?”

This points out their hypocrisy in claiming to oppose religious views when they really just oppose religious views they disagree with.  Again, it shows that religion isn’t the issue.  I’ve yet to find one person crying “separation” against theological Liberals.

3. “My arguments (for pro-life, pro-real marriage, etc. positions) didn’t even mention religion.  But if you want to bring Jesus into this I’ll be glad to.”

I can and do argue for many of these issues without using “religion.”  I save the biblical arguments for those claiming to be Christian, or I am at least very careful in keeping the arguments separate.  For example, to advance the pro-life view I just need the irrefutable scientific fact that  the unborn are unique, living human beings from conception and some simple philosophy (we shouldn’t destroy innocent human beings for 99% of the reasons given for abortion).

When opponents will reflexively use the anti-religion card I have fun pointing out that I haven’t used religious arguments.  But hey, if they want to talk religion that would be great!  This argument shows them that they are mired in stereotype-land and are just trying to dismiss opposing views without doing the hard work of responding based on facts and logic.

—–

Have fun with these!  Use them gently.

Better news coverage through blogging

One of things I love about blogs and my Google blog reader page is that it is like getting a custom newspaper where you can actually trust the columnists.  With normal media the bias is astounding, not just in slanting what they report but in what they don’t report at all.  They did their best to mock Christine O’Donnell over her accurate statements about what the 1st Amendment actually says, but they completely ignored the countless people on the Left who were so eager to criticize Sarah Palin that they didn’t realize that here 1773 reference was tied to the date of the Boston Tea Party instead of the Declaration of Independence.

But it isn’t just that the mainstream media is wildly and notoriously biased, but that they are so error-filled as well.

When I was the controller of the Portable Division at Compaq there was an article in the Houston Chronicle about one of our new products.  There were so many errors – none significant, but it just showed how sloppy the journalism was.  An article about a ballet performance of the girls was equally error filled.  There have been many examples of this.

And with the Liberal media being 90+% wildly pro-abortion and 18-1 negative on Sarah Palin, for example, how could you hope to make informed decisions on controversial topic if you only consumed their views?

Sloppiness + rampant bias = massive train wreck.

Yet with blogging you can get perspectives and news from across the spectrum.  You can figure out over time who is reliable and who corrects any errors they make.  It results in you being much, much better informed and confident in what you are reading.

But you already knew that, right?  You’re a blog reader!

Roundup

Study: Gay Parents More Likely to Have Gay Kids – This is important on several levels.  It demonstrates the rather obvious implications of gays adopting children, it refutes the “born that way” myth and it shows how much ideology drives “science” (just as it does in Darwinian evolution and global warming).  Read it.

Democrats get TWICE the amount of foreign contributions as Republicans – sorta puts the nail in the coffin of the pathetic and false accusations against the Chamber of Commerce, doesn’t it?

Many people behave ethically when it profits them or costs them nothing, but true ethical behavior is displayed when there is a risk associated with it.

Hilarious: Left tries to ridicule Governor Palin for “don’t party like it’s 1773 yet” tweet but doesn’t know that’s when the Boston Tea Party happened — I assume those same Lefty history buffs mocked Obama’s “57 states” comment until their throats were raw.  Still waiting for the MSM to publicize this with half the energy they used to distort Christine O’Donnell’s 1st Amendment comments (while ignoring all her direct hits on Coons).

Farcebook is just a little inconsistent on their guidelines

The social networking site facebook has allied with GLAAD to fight anti-gay references on the facebook site. You will get no argument from me when someone tries to prevent juvenile harassment and bullying of gays (I agree with Andrew Wilcow that gay people should exercise their second amendment right more frequently when faced with physical bullying and intimidation).

The wonderful people at facebook have a “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” for all facebook users. But, this is where it gets a little farcical. There are a variety of facebook groups that deal with the topic of Rush Limbaugh, and when I say “deal”, I mean things like “waiting for him to die”, hoping he “should die slowly”, etc. You get the picture.

Peer review: How much more believable than fortune telling these days? – No, that can’t be.  Scientists are the only professionals untainted by original sin and would never, ever mislead for the sake of personal gain (or to avoid losing tenure, employment or reputation).  Right?!

Wise Latina Update – elections matter.  McCain would have never put such an awful judge on the Supreme Court.

James Cameron: Green For Thee – What. A. Hypocrite.  Watch the short video and see what not-so-incredible sacrifices he’s making compared to what he expects you to do.

The abortion nurse’s daughter: Inside minds at the mill – all this and more.  Tragic.

I asked Abigail if the clinic aborted women who weren’t pregnant. Yes, she said, adding the clinic owner often joked “anyone who wants an abortion can have one, whether she’s pregnant or not!”