‘Oriented’ is a Weasel Word, and Understanding ‘Liberty’

In E. Jeffrey Ludwig’s post at American Thinker titled, “Who is Protected From Protected Classes?,” there are a few particularly interesting paragraphs. The entire article is worth your time — but here are some excerpts:

My freedom creates certain abilities for me to reject or infringe some of your freedoms. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press are four such freedoms that are most deserving under our Constitution, and were purposely included in the First Amendment to stress their unalterable and unmodifiable nature. They are unique. They are cornerstone freedoms. The freedoms of protected classes under affirmative action represent a Johnny-come-lately species of freedom that cannot be said to exist at the same high ethical-legal level as the other freedoms.

One reason for our lost sense of the meaning of freedom of religion is the demoting of freedom of religion in our law. It was one of the “big four” found in the First Amendment, but now it has been listed as only one of the categories in affirmative action. Religious beliefs and practices are thus to be considered an identity like one’s gender, age, or race, whereas in the First Amendment religion is seen as an expression of an ultimate, metaphysical category that transcends one’s identity. “Freedom” in the First Amendment is linked to ontology, not to identity. It is an ontological exercise of freedom not freedom conceived of as mere choice or preference. A religious person lives in God and for God. He or she is not merely “oriented” towards God.

People get the government they deserve, and the confusion that is rampant among Americans is reflected in how their government continues to make things worse. It’s amazing that in the “land of liberty,” liberty is not really all that well understood.

This last excerpt is wonderful to read — finally someone other than Laurie Higgins (and very few others) is actually talking about what we’re talking about:

Lastly sexual orientation originally came into affirmative action under the protected class of “sex.” But an interesting shift had taken place. Discrimination based on sex meant discrimination against women, a biologically defined category. Age is based upon biology. Race is based upon biology. But discrimination based on sex as it applied to homosexuals was based upon defending the right to certain behaviors or desires. The law bars discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, “oriented” is a weasel word. It is evasive insofar as it points neither to biology nor to ontology. It is protecting an undefined collection of actions and urges.

Read Ludwig’s article here.

Image credit: www.sodahead.com.