January 24, 2017 My first Blog.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution assures the freedom of every American citizen in the areas of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition. Every citizen enjoys the freedoms outlined in this amendment. The freedoms are not given to us by the first amendment, nor by our government, but, rather, they are endowed upon us by our creator. The Constitution is merely a piece of parchment upon which we have written and agreed to its terms. The requirements for being secured these rights are fairly simple: If you are a citizen of the United States, then you are protected under the Constitution’s provisions.
A muslim woman, working in a grocery store, asserts her first amendment right to freedom of religion by informing her employer she can not touch pork or alcohol. It becomes incumbent upon the employer to post a sign at her register informing customers who have pork or alcohol products to go to another register. This seems to be okay with the masses as they do not protest.
A football player kneels down during the Pledge of Allegiance under the protection of his first amendment right to free speech in order to protest perceived injustices, and people argue that it indeed is his right.
But a baker in Oregon politely informs a homosexual customer she will not bake a wedding cake for her based on her freedom of religion, and the baker is sued, loses her business and her life savings, and is held up as a mockery of the Christian faith. Most people argue that her religious beliefs are not protected by the first amendment.
North Carolina passes a law stating that men will use men’s restrooms and women will use women’s restrooms and the entire entertainment boycotts that state under the protection of the first amendment.
Now, at least one state has introduced legislation that would allow health care providers to refuse to provide for patients whose choices of lifestyle are counter to their own religious beliefs. I will first state unequivocally that, as a professional, I do not know many in the health care profession who would let the zealousness of religion mandate that they refuse service to anyone in need; I certainly provide my craft to anyone who for I am charged to do so . I have witnessed outrage and fear from the possibility that this legislation might be passed by the state in question.
So I ask: Why is it any different in the medical profession than any other profession? And because I ask, I get called an obtuse ass.
I remember reading a book in school by George Orwell called Animal Farm. The significant line, for me, from that book was one of the rules laid down: “All animals are equal”. After things started going off track from the original purpose of the animals’ coup, they went back to read the rules they had established in the beginning, and the rule had been added to with some more words. Now the rule read: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. It certainly seems that this is the way our country is headed as far as determining whose rights should be protected and whose should not. Basically, we desire protection for those with whom we agree and not for those with whom we disagree.
I have recently had to defend a woman I can not stand and have not liked for over 35 years: Madonna. There is a series of memes calling for her arrest for her words at a women’s march at which she spoke passionately of her thoughts on Trump and the United States. Many intelligent people I call friends agree that she should be arrested. I do not. Her speech was repugnant, vile, and laced with hate and vitriol, but she did not violate any laws and the speech was, in my judgement, protected by the first amendment.
The argument has been made that doctors and cops are professionals and so should not let their personal faith interfere with their job duties. Well, a quarterback who makes $72 million is, by definition a professional. A cashier who gets paid for doing her job is a professional also. Bruce Springsteen can not be considered anything other than a “professional”. Does “professional” mandate that your rights are stripped away and you are not protected by the first amendment?
I am simply looking for some consistency in logic, some uniform thinking among people. I believe that the first amendment should protect every citizen: professional, entry level worker, unemployed, regardless of skin color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. The protections guaranteed by the amendments should protect every citizen. If the law does not protect every single citizen, then the law protects no one… If you can’t understand that, then maybe you are the one who is the obtuse ass…