I am in the process of developing this little thought process and thought that I would let you readers into the mix. I have accepted the fact that anything and everything said or written will be taken, twisted, perverted, warped, changed, misquoted, interpreted, searched for ulterior motives, chopped up and fed to the dogs that we call American society, but it doesn't really make it any easier to swallow; I am tired of also knowing that there is nothing that I can do about it.
The object of today's little discussion is one that would make what Conservatives heroically refer to as "The Founding Fathers" (to fall to an abhorred cliche) roll over in their graves: the first amendment to the Constitution. This is, for those waiting in their traps to ensnare the cynic inside of me, the sentence that declares that "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." This is a statement that was written in excess of 300 years ago, so, like any proper reading of an old text, demands an aspect of understanding of the context surrounding the words.
Still buzzing from the high of rebellion and the insatiable need for reform, a panel of men assuming leadership positions in the infant country recently dubbed the United States of America felt the need for a few addenda to the newly written Constitution. Sparing you the boring details, nothing about the words has changed to this day, except for the people for whom it was written. The fledgling nation at the time was in a state of heightened unity, following the split from their mother country, and they were all breathing the fresh air of "freedom," in a time when it was more than a buzzword passed around by Fox News. This amendment was an assurance that the Government would not establish a nationwide religion, would not pass a law stripping you of yours, gave you the right to report whatever you wanted, and said that you could peaceably gather together for whatever reason that they wanted. It demanded a unity between the governing power and the body being governed, the very basis of the Republic that had been created.
The amendment still stands today, and is one of the major (and, arguably, few) things that separates us from a totalitarian society, thank God (Although it's interesting to note, as Noam Chomsky said, "In the totalitarian society, the leader says 'We're going to war' and everybody marches." Makes you think, huh?). What I don't think these men had in mind when they penned the first amendment, however, was the extremes to which it would be misused 300+ years down the road. It assumed a measure of fairness, of justice, of what was right in the eyes of the people, for it has always been "We the PEOPLE." If they had known that after the Monsanto situation with Bovine Growth Hormone being found in the milk we drink causing the unsettling consequences of it being ingested by humans and Fox News brushing it off that the court would rule, because of this amendment, that the media is allowed to say anything they want, even if it is a lie, it surely would have been reworded, at least. If they knew that because of this amendment, pornography distributors would drop materials off at schools and fight for their rights of "free speech," they surely would have thrown down their fuzzy wigs in disgust.
In an extremely long winded way, I think I am trying to say that I am sick of all of this "I'm protesting because I'm a free thinker and I have the God-given right to do so" mentality. For goodness sake, stop having your Tea-parties and your Gay rights marches and stop holding up your signs that say "Bush lied, men died" and put Clinton's Blue dress situation away and quit announcing that you save the whales in the uncharted regions of the Pacific and stop being fooled by all of the absolute nonsense that is political divisiveness. It's that time where absolutely nothing that you see on TV or in a movie or read in a book or a magazine or hear on a special news report, no matter how "fair and balanced" they pretend to be, can be accepted at face value, yet we live in a generation where everything is accepted as it comes to us. We have not just the power but a mandate to test everything we see and hear, whether it be from a teacher or from the pulpit, and anything less than that is cheating yourself and making a mockery of the One who gave you, among all of the animals that He created, the power of reason.
In an age when very little can be trusted, I find it all the more necessary to trust what we know is valid, not speculative or slanted. Throw away your political views, your religious affiliation, your divisive attitudes, and understand that it is completely illogical to believe that those things are the end-all to your existence. What were we created for if not to bring an Eternal God praise and adoration, to the end of time? Surely the mess that this world finds itself in, this competitive capitalist dogma and period of moral sludge, is reason enough to believe that when we try to do things ourselves, we fail. The more we stop believing in God, the closer we inch towards absolute destruction. As soon as you put your trust not above, but in the talking heads on the screen in front of you or in the man behind a podium with the Seal of our country at his back, the true horrors of what we can become unfold.