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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Treason, Sedition, Anti-American, or Free--Speech?

Remember “Philosophy 101,” the class during first or second semester of college. It was the class where you questioned the relevance of professor’s endless bloviation and where your professor encouraged your thoughts to roam, calling that ‘progress’.

One topic your philosophy professor covered near the end of the semester, postmodernism, has been the emerging philosophy over the past 50 years; in fact, only now are its manifestations losing their creativity and ability to persuade. Postmodernism’s goal (briefly put, but nonetheless accurate) is to destroy everything. Your purpose, your thoughts, your reality, your words; everything our grandparents knew to be true, postmodern philosophers have targeted for rejection.

Its influence has been felt in media, courts, politics, and even your church. Manifesting itself as intellectualism, the victims/proponents of postmodernism ‘deconstruct’ practically everything. Deconstruction is the activity of parsing words to relieve the author of his or her original meaning to reveal the inherent discrimination and bias caused by the author’s patrimonial privilege.

Another manifestation of deconstruction is its ability to relieve an individual of the guilt or responsibility associated with speech. Bill Clinton’s, “depending upon what the meaning of ‘is’ is,” classically demonstrates the unsuccessful prosecution of the guilty. Or, for example, “the hidden meaning, or intent, of the law,” excuses judges who look past the plain meaning and allows them to rewrite the Constitution of the United States. Judicial nominations become much more significant when judges deconstruct the law based upon their privileged ‘judicial philosophy’. American’s perpetually refuse to prosecute the guilty when it is based upon testimony that can be explained away. “That’s not really what I meant,” or better, “I regret if you felt….”

So blurred have meanings become that American’s allow ‘free speech’ to explain everything from pornography to calling innocent victims of the World Trade Center, ‘little Eichmanns’. While, we know that something is wrong with both, we really can’t put our fingers on it. Therefore, I have attempted to clarify the differences between several genres of speech: Treasonous, Seditious, Anti-American, and Free, speech.

“Plainly,” as stated in the US Constitution, Section 3 Clause 1: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

Congress has elaborated on treason:

“Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason…”

Section 2384 Seditous Activities
If two or more persons in any State…conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States

Section 2385. Advocating Overthrow of Government
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof –

(Whoever Advocates the destroying of the government is guilty of sedition?)

Section 2387. Activities affecting armed forces generally
(a) Whoever, with intent to interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or
discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States:
(1) advises, counsels, urges, or in any manner causes or attempts to cause
insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States; or
(2) distributes or attempts to distribute any written or printed matter which advises, counsels, or urges insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States -

Speech that doesn’t fall into treason or sedition, and that which does not cause imminent danger such as yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, is protected . But let’s be honest, just because it is protected speech does not mean it is inherently neutral or pro-American. As we seem to be more sensitive to ethnic and racial minorities, let’s apply the same standard to Anti-American speech that we do to Anti-Semitic speech? Would it be appropriate to call for the death of 3 million Jews, directly or indirectly? Could we excuse that as ‘rhetoric’ and argue that it is anything but Anti-Semitic?

What if we called for the assassination of the Israeli government? If we suggested that the ideals of Palestine should trump and conquer the interests of Israel, would that be considered pro-Jew? What if we supported the defeat of Israeli forces in their defense of Jewish people? The answer is of course unconditionally no. Each of these destructive statements can be described as anti-Semitic speech. But listen to these statements that we fear to call “Anti-American”:

"On March 19, 2004, President Bush asked, 'Who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open?'" said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. "Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management." http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,119546,00.html

(How exactly does this influence our troops’ morale during a time of war? Positively?)

"Anyone who would blow up the Pentagon would get my vote," declared University of New Mexico Professor Richard Berthold. www.academia.org

(Be certain, this person is advocating violence against America and borders on giving aid or comfort to the enemy.)

U.S. patriotism is inseparable from imperial warfare and white supremacy," [Columbia Professor De Genova] said. "U.S. flags are the emblem of the invading war machine in Iraq today. They are the emblem of the occupying power. The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus." http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/03/27/3e82ec7193097?in_archive=1

(A million Mogadishus refers to when 18 American soldiers were killed in action in Somalia. So, this professor wants 18,000,000 Americans to die?)

For the sake of exposure, let’s apply these statements to the Jewish population (my apologies to them). “The Israeli military is torturing Palestinians. Anyone who would blow up Tel Aviv would get my support. The only true heroes are suicide bombers who find ways to kill 18,000,000 Jews.” Does this sound pro-Jew? It’s not. Any breathing Jewish person should become outraged at such hateful comments.

Where is the outrage toward similar Anti-American speech? Does America’s special feeling toward pretty words like ‘tolerance’ make all comments equal? Where is the outrage at Anti-American comments! Are American’s persuaded that its critics are rights? Are they too apathetic to fight those who would call them ‘intolerant?

Contrary to all of these, respectable people exercise their dissent from the policy of the government without Anti-American rhetoric. In a representative democracy, changes in government can be advocated not killing, implying the overthrow of the government, or by supporting the defeat of America’s military forces. The right to free-speech does not mean that all protected speech is equal. Because treason and sedition are noted by law, does not make all other forms of speech pro-American.

RIGHTFAITH believes that words have meaning and ideas matter; yet, it strongly values free speech and is not yet convinced that we should begin executions or deportations to France and the Netherlands. But, if nothing else, let us not be afraid to call a spade a spade. Anti-American comments should, at least, be exposed as such without fear of being called intolerant. Anti-American speech exists; where it does, RIGHTFAITH encourages everyone to expose it.

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RIGHTFAITH: Where everything favors the stewardship of patrimony. All content is believed to be correct but may be amended based upon new information. The content of this page may be republished with proper citation without the expressed consent of the author. This site is not, in any manner whatsoever, associated with the religious philosophism from the Indian penninsula. All comments or emails to the author become the property of the author and may be published or deleted without notice or reason provided. Copyrighted 2005.

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