Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Free Exercise of Stupidity: Dr. Laura, the 'Ground Zero Mosque,' and the First Amendment1

by Michael Shermer

Huffington Post
August 20, 2010

Last week's two biggest media story brouhahas were Dr. Laura's n-word gaff and the Ground Zero mosque, both of which commentators insist are First Amendment issues. They are not. Here's why. First, let's review the First...

"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."

(Most people forget that there are actually five freedoms protected in the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly, petition.)