The 1st Amendment limits the government, you idiots

With Twitter banning Donald Trump and Parler being limited and people losing their jobs over their participation in an armed rebellion against the United States, some idiots on the right are screaming that their 1st Amendment rights are being violated … which just goes to show once again that these people who claim to be patriots don’t understand the most basic things about the country they pretend to love.

Here’s an excerpt from my book HOW TO ARGUE THE CONSTITUTION WITH A CONSERVATIVE that explains it all:

The 1st Amendment says that the government cannot limit your rights. The government.

Every day there’s another article about someone whining that their 1st Amendment rights were violated because they lost their job or got kicked off Facebook or got criticized for something they said. All that does is demonstrate to the world that you have no idea what the 1st Amendment is.

One recent case involved a bank teller who was fired for saying “Have a blessed day” to her customers. She also criticized patrons for “taking the Lord’s name in vain” and talked to people about “salvation.” She was told by her boss to stop that, but she didn’t, because Jeebus demands her to do so or something. And she was fired.

An employer has the right to tell their employees not to discuss religion, or politics, or anything of the sort with the customers, in the same way they can tell you to not wear boxing shorts and tank tops to work.

There’s a place for everything, and that is not the place. It’s a business decision.

If the business fired her simply for being a Christian, she would have a wonderful case, because her rights were clearly being violated. For that matter, if the bank fired her for saying any of those things on her own time when she wasn’t working, then I would happily take her case and fight against such a clear violation. But reasonable work rules such as “Don’t piss off our customers” don’t get that kind of protection. (We’ll talk more about this kind of thing when we discuss Freedom of Religion next chapter, especially when dealing with idiots who think that they have the right to discriminate because their god tells them to.)

A few years ago, “actor” Rob Schneider was fired from a nice job doing insurance company commercials when they discovered that he had been arguing against vaccinations. Insurance companies like vaccinations—they save lives and save insurance companies lots of money. But Schneider—who gets typecast as an idiot in movies for a reason—screamed that his constitutional rights were being violated.

Look, Rob, you have every right to say whatever the hell you want to about vaccines. You can spout nonsense about the world being flat if you want to. No one has the right to stop you from doing that. You can continue to spout this idiocy forever if you so choose, because the 1st Amendment guarantees your rights there.

What you don’t have is the right to a job or a platform for your speech. A newspaper doesn’t have to print your opinion. A TV network can cancel your show if you are saying things that they disagree with (especially if it hurts their ratings). A public school can fire you as a science teacher if you’re trying to teach your students creationism. An internet discussion group can kick you out based on what you say. Facebook and Twitter can decide you’ve violated their terms of service. Your freedom of speech is not violated in any of those incidents. You can continue to say whatever you want, just not with an audience provided by someone else. Because the 1st Amendment prohibits the government from taking away those rights. The government. I’ll say it again. The government.

 

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