First Amendment, ‘First Freedom,’ & Right of Conscience Remedial Education

When important points are argued well they shouldn’t be left to fall deep into the archives of website, but should regularly be brought forward so they can be read again and remain available to new readers. Repetition is good, as most of us don’t learn instantly.

The three examples I’m highlighting today aren’t buried deeply under some dusty stack in a virtual library, and the oldest only dates back to the first of the year. Nevertheless, with the Hobby Lobby case in the news this week, combining the following lists (there are many more to be found out there) into one is warranted.

In January, Concerned Women for America’s Brenda Zurita published “Whose Conscience Should the Government Violate Next?” (Barbwire re-posted it here.) Zurita summed up the Little Sisters of the Poor’s refusal to abide by the the Obama Adminstration’s contraception mandate: “One party’s mandate is another group’s loss of freedom.” “Can you imagine,” Zurita asked, “the reaction of these groups if the government forced them to comply with made-up mandates?”

Here is Zurita’s list in full:

  • Animal rights activists must hunt and kill animals to make fur coats they will be forced to wear.
  • Vegetarians and vegans must eat meat.
  • Feminists must promote patriarchy.
  • College professors must campaign for Tea Party candidates, earnestly.
  • Global warming activists must take a cruise to the Antarctic, get their ship stuck in ice, and have fossil-fuel-burning ships and helicopters rescue them (oh wait…)
  • Planned Parenthood affiliates must donate money to crisis pregnancy centers to promote adoption.
  • Teachers’ unions must pay their dues to charter schools.
  • Labor unions must pay union wages and benefits to the homeless they hire to protest businesses that won’t unionize.
  • U.S. presidents, congressmen, and senators must send their children to D.C. public schools.
  • Hollywood stars supporting “climate change” legislation must drive their Priuses cross-country for appearances and premieres; no more flying domestically or internationally.
  • Tax-and-spend advocates can no longer take deductions on their tax returns; they will send in more money than is due from them.
  • Celebrities advocating for more gun control cannot have armed bodyguards.
  • GLAAD activists must denounce marriage for homosexuals and promote heterosexuality in schools.
  • All movie and television show producers will espouse conservative principles and ideas, and the bad guys must always be heartless, greedy liberals.
  • Greenpeace activists must hunt whales, eat them, and use the blubber to provide heat and light on their ships.
  • Occupy Wall Street protestors must get jobs.
  • Billionaires decrying the fact they pay a smaller percentage in taxes than their secretaries must declare their investment income as a salary so they pay a higher percentage and take no deductions (see above).
  • Atheists must donate (even tithe?) to a religious institution, weekly.
  • MSNBC hosts and anchors must attend re-education classes taught by Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Mitt Romney, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
  • Abortion advocates have to reconstruct an aborted baby to make sure all the parts are there and not stuck inside the mother.
  • “Pro-choicers” will be mandated to become daycare providers.
  • Wind farm owners must also be bird and bat breeders to replace all the birds, especially eagles, and bats killed by the wind turbines.
  • People opposed to coal-fired power plants will no longer be allowed to charge their electric cars, iPhones, iPads, or coffeemakers with electricity from coal-fired power plants.

In February,’s Erick Erickson wrote about “An Upside Down World“:

In December of 1865, the several American states ratified the thirteenth amendment constitutionally ending involuntary servitude in the United States. In the twenty-first century, Americans are coming full circle. In a number of states, a black man can again be forced by the government to work involuntarily for a white man.

Not since the nation eliminated Jim Crow laws during the civil rights era have we seen such a bizarre conundrum. But if the black man is a Christian and the white man is gay, a court can forcibly order the black man to serve the white man or drive the black man from business. A number of states have been working to pass laws to prevent this weird conundrum, but in an irony that knows no bounds, gay-rights activists are comparing these religious freedom laws to Jim Crow.

The issue boils down to one question — should a Christian who believes a wedding can only be between a man and a woman be forced to provide goods and services to a gay wedding? Despite the histrionics of some, no one suggests that anyone be allowed to simply deny service to any class of people, be they black or white or gay or straight. The issue only arises in the context of gay weddings.

Read Erickson’s entire article here.

Then in March,’s editor-in-chief Matt Barber explained the “Absolute Right to Refuse Service.” “I have a few questions,” Barber writes, “for those who would presume to compel religious business owners, under penalty of law, to ‘provide goods and services’ to homosexuals in a way that violates that business owner’s conscience.”

To wit (and here is Barber’s entire list and his follow-up):

  • Should a homosexual baker be forced to make a “God Hates Fags” cake for Westboro Baptist Church, simply because its members claim to be Christian?
  • Should a black printer be forced to develop and print thousands of “White Power!” flyers for a skinhead rally just because the potential customer is white?
  • Should a Christian florist be compelled to create and provide black floral arrangements to a hell-bound customer for her upcoming Satanist ritual?
  • Should a “progressive” environmentalist sign-maker be required to design and manufacture “Global Warming Is a Farce” signs for a Tea Party rally?
  • Should a Muslim photographer, commissioned by San Francisco’s “Folsom Street Fair,” be forced to document that vile event — rife with nudity and public sex – simply because the customers identify as “gay?”
  • Should a “gay married” lesbian hotel owner — a card-carrying member of GLAAD – be required, under threat of incarceration, to host and cater a fundraiser for the “National Organization for Marriage,” a group that opposes so-called “marriage equality?”

If you said no to any of the above, and you opposed Arizona’s cowardly vetoed SB 1062, then you’re logically inconsistent and need to re-evaluate your position.

To clarify — liberals, I know you have a difficult time understanding the Constitution, with its outdated Bill of Rights and all — I’m not talking about refusing business to someone just because he appears effeminate or she appears butch, or even when that someone is an “out and proud” homosexual.

I’ve never even heard of a case where a Christian baker refused to provide baked goods, such as a birthday cake, to any homosexual, absent a scenario in which those goods endorsed a message the baker finds repugnant (rainbow “pride” cupcakes, “gay wedding” cakes and the like). I’ve never heard of a single instance in which a Christian business owner arbitrarily said to a homosexual: “We don’t serve your kind here.”

And neither can the left provide such an instance. Because it doesn’t happen. If it did happen, it would be front page news for a month.

It’s all about education, which almost always involves repetition, especially when what is being taught is remedial in nature. Americans should have learned about the First Amendment and the “First Freedom” and the right of conscience at least by the time they were in high school — preferably sooner. The fact that few have been taught properly is why continuing education has never been more important.