Basic rights not up for debate

First Amendment cases swarm the dockets of Supreme Court justices like locusts. Almost every day, someone new says his or her freedoms are being ignored in favor of someone’s political agenda.

 The world is changing, along with the way information is received and distributed. For the most part, it has changed already. Freedom of speech no longer just applies to what comes out of your mouth. Freedom of religion now encompasses hundreds of different paths to whatever holy being is at the end of the tunnel.

 Freedoms of assembly and press are cases many won’t even touch due to their complex nature. Can anyone really name four of the ways press can be censored? (Hint: Two of the ways involve denying access).

 Understanding what our freedoms really are is the best way to understand what we are not allowed to do. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

 In other words, “Say things, pray to things, write things, group up and don’t hurt people and complain to the government on occasion. We won’t stop you.”

 That is, until it becomes inconvenient politically.

 Hot-button issues like gay rights and video gaming have been at the forefront of First Amendment cases lately. “Life partners” want the same rights as married couples; gamers just want to be left alone with their simulated violence.

 The government wants to be popular with parents who believe their children are worse off with Grand Theft Auto and the Rainbow Coalition in their lives. The government does not really care either way. They just know that you care. Votes are to politicians what blood is to vampires.

 Putting aside our basic constitutional rights so that you feel better is foolish. If you don’t want kids playing violent video games, don’t give games with those “M” ratings to your kids. If you have such an issue with homosexuals kissing, don’t kiss one.

 The world would be better if everyone was concerned with their own ethics and morals and not everyone else’s.