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That’s not how the First Amendment works

1st amendment

Every single one of us is guaranteed the Freedom of Speech by the First Amendment. It’s a wonderful thing and allows us to saw what ever we want, whenever we want. But sometimes, something happens to our freedoms. Recently, we’ve had two martyrs of the first amendment, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, and Corey Feldman of every movie you loved growing up, and then not much else. Phil has lost his TV show, and Corey has lost his YouTube channel. Now, since I don’t care about fake rednecks with a reality show, let’s start with Feldman.

For those that don’t want to watch the video. Corey had his channel suspended because YouTube doesn’t believe that he is who he says he is, and they want him to jump through all the hoops that their bureaucratic mess of a customer service department can come up with to fix it. This upsets Corey, which it should, he put a lot of hard work into his videos, and to have them just taken down like that really sucks. While Google’s reason for taking the videos down is pretty lame given that their content pretty much featured Corey himself talking about his channel, is it really a First Amendment issue?

Phil Robertson has claimed that losing his job for speaking out against homosexuality is also a First Amendment issue. Let’s take a quick look at the First Amendment, shall we:

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.

Did Congress pass any laws that kicked Corey and Phil out of YouTube and A&E? Do you remember Obama declaring that if either of them opened their mouths again, they would be thrown in jail? No? Then how is this a First Amendment issue? Only the government can actually impinge on your Freedom of Speech. When GLAAD called out Robertson, people were saying that they were trying to take away his rights, when in fact, they were actually just using their own Freedom of Speech.

likewise, while the First Amendment give you the right to say what ever you want, you DO NOT have the right to use my stage or microphone to pass on that speech. You may have the right to say what ever you want on public property, or on your own private property, A&E and YouTube are both private companies, and their bandwidth and airwaves are privately owned. You have no rights to them.  Your rights stop where someone elses begin.  You have every right to practice your religion, but no right to force someone else to practice it as well.  You have your Freedom of Speech, but no right to actually force people to listen to you.

Don’t like Jehovah’s Witnesses, feel free to slam the door in their face, they are free to practice their religion, but they don’t have the right to do so on your property.

KKK want’s to put up a sign in your front yard, you can tell them to go to Hell. If they want to put up a sign, they can buy their own damn property.

Since both A&E and YouTube are private property, they are essentially no different from your home. You can deny someone entrance to your home, or even kick them out at any time. Which brings up the other half of the problem. You may have the freedom to say what you want, but you are not protected from the repercussions of your actions.

If you say something stupid, be prepared to have someone point it out.

If you say something damaging to the reputation of your employer, then be prepared for your employer to take negative action against you, including the termination of your employment.

Neither of these celebrities is actually having their First Amendment rights taken away.  Phil opened his mouth without a PR filter, and Corey just fell victim to Google’s awful customer service.  This is of course, barring the possibility that someone in the government is a member of the pedophile rings that Corey has talked about, and was scared that his burgeoning popularity may bring more unwanted attention on their actions, and as such had him silenced…

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