Conservative Corner: The Two-Edged Sword

No matter what political or social belief you cling to, one thing for sure, we live in a country that gives its citizens special rights and privileges. We are fortunate enough in this nation that we can listen to liberal talkers like Norman Goldman, Ed Shultz, or Randi Rhodes, if one is so inclined to, or we are lucky enough to have the option to listen to great Conservative minds like Rush Limbaugh, Lars Larson, or Bill Post. The beautiful thing about all these choices is, weather you are a liberal progressive or a Tea Party Conservative, we all have a choice of people we can listen to and we all have the right to voice our opinions no matter how patriotic or terrible it sounds. This comes from the 1st Amendment.

            The First Amendment says, that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This means any U.S. citizen can go anywhere in a public area and say nearly anything they wish, (within reason), and the 1st Amendment will protect their rights. These rights were tested or threatened this weekend by two different groups with very different views, but on the same side of the law.

            Last Saturday evening the group, Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment, Oregon Chapter, took to the Hwy 20 overpass at interstate 5 in Albany. They had American flags, signs, and banners expressing their dislike for the way the Federal Government is being run by Obama and calling for the impeachment of President Obama. The local traffic was very supportive of the protest; however, the I-5 traffic wasn’t as nice. The group did get many thumbs-up and horns from the freeway, but several gave thumbs-down or the infamous single-digit salute.

            It’s true that not everyone wants to see Obama impeached, however, exercising one’s rights of free speech is clearly American and Americans do it with pride. We see this with the anti-war protests of the 60’s, the protests during the time of the Bush presidency and with the more recent occupy movement. We as Americans seem to have no problem letting others know how we feel about our problems and the problems of the world.

            Unfortunately, our cherished freedom of speech can also be used for hate and evil sounding words. Amazingly enough, one thing that both conservatives and liberals in this county have in common is the dislike of the group who call themselves the Westborough Baptist Church. I don’t know of any Christian group, Baptist or not, who agree with them, but they do hold the attention of the nation with their protests and their disgustingly infamous signs, like “Thank God for dead soldiers”, and “God hates fags”. Last Sunday this hate group put their sights on Corvallis and the funeral of one of our local fallen heroes, U.S. Army Ranger Spc. Cody Patterson, and the community returned the favor.

            News of the protest of the WBC brought out the Oath Keepers, Patriot Guard Riders, and several Christian and non- affiliated Christian biker clubs from all over the area,( nearly all of which were veterans) to help protect the remains of Spc Patterson from whatever the WBC might try. Between 200 and 300 bikers, guards and supporters lined the street into the back of the LaSells Steward Center on the OSU campus to protect the remains from anyone who may try to dishonor the fallen hero. The support, however, didn’t stop there. Throughout the afternoon the bikers and well-wishers continued to pour in. According to more than 2500 people were there to help or just show support.

            The Westborough Baptist Church is, according to many, a vile and hateful group who should not be allowed to protest the way they do. I do not endorse the group by any means, however, as an American and a U.S. Army vet, I am sad to say I support their 1st Amendment right to free speech. After all, if they lose their right to free speech who would be next to loose theirs? We must exercise our rights carefully. After all, the 1st Amendment is a two-edged sword and someone could get hurt.




About D.K. Hummel
I am a dis-placed Alaskan, Ham radio operator, Broadcaster/DJ, Seahawk fan, Alaska Aces fan, U.S. Army Vet, and a conservative; but not always in that order.

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