The widespread ignorance to the proper application of the First Amendment in this Republic has made it increasingly vulnerable to those who wish to eradicate its protections. Many Conservative activists are shamefully negligent in their constant rants of perceived infringements to Free Speech. More often than not, the “transgression” is really nothing more than a misunderstanding of whose First reigns supreme, where and when.
The pivot point is found in understanding to Whom or What is the First’s protections weighted in the Where the Whom is found. In the public arena, the First is weighted towards the individual. In the private arena, the First pivots its weight towards the private groups, entities, places of worship, and dwellings of private individuals.
Recently, this writer read a social media post of an individual bewailing the violation of their First because the private social media group, a gun owner group, had curtailed posts that were in violation of the group’s standards. But here, the First’s protections for private group outweigh the First of the individual. The private group can exercise their First to limit the First of an individual whose speech compromises the standards of their group.
Similarly, it is not a violation of the First for an entity, whose purpose is to raise funds for specific purpose under specific guidelines, to regulate the speech of those, who are members, when they are speaking under the banner of said entity to prevent a violation of the laws that govern them. In another instance, an individual can mock and ridicule the beliefs of a Religious organization in the public space but to go into the The First Church of the Debonair Deacon and present your disdain for edicts of the parish will probably earn you the “left foot” of fellowship, which is well within the First of the Church to toss your heathen backside out the door.
It is imperative that we realize that the Left is constantly looking for leverage into organizations protected by the First. Mismanagement of the protest of perceived violations of the First runs the risk of establishing a precedent that will create a chink in the armor that protects our Natural Born Right to Free Speech. Knowledge is power, yet through ignorance, we cede that power.
By Andy Torbett