Overlooked Assault on Fundamental Freedoms
What Went Wrong
for Militant Left
As we write this, we are hours away from
Houston voters (hopefully mostly citizens) actually having a say over a
far-reaching law that openly gay Mayor Anise Parker and her militant leftist
progressives backers at the Human Rights Commission and elsewhere, tried to
sneak into law last year.
This battle has now gone national, and the
country is now watching what will happen.
Polls say a plurality of voters favor the ordinance, while recent
assessments of early voting trends say the opponents may have the upper hand,
despite being overwhelmingly outspent by backers of the Houston Equal Rights
And so as we write, we know that many
thousands across the country await with anxiety the final result of this
epic, yearlong battle over one of the most controversial city ordinances ever
passed anywhere. Yet, as remarkable as
this is, what is even more remarkable is how this has not happened before. You
see, the ordinance is not all that unique, as its proponents argue. However, something did go differently in
this case. You, like folks in San
Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and cities and states around the country, were not
supposed to even notice that anything had changed at all.
Ringing the Alarm
But, the terrible and depressing truth is
that in city after city, county after county, and even in some states, a
well-funded and well-organized traveling roadshow of highly focused people
have managed to put into law the most comprehensive restrictions on the First
Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of belief, and freedom of
association, as well as on their property rights, enacted upon free citizens
of this country in the last 100 years.
Never have we taken a public position on any
candidate or position on these pages as strongly as we must do so today. For as we have come to know this law and
its implications, we have moved from initial skepticism to serious concern,
and now to open alarm.
See next column >
World Forecast & Review
Project – ultrapolisproject.com
Editor: Marco Roberts
Editor: Michael Alberts
Our forecast record cannot be beat. One can follow the herd chasing the latest
hyperbolic, melodramatic, and soon-forgotten micro-trend, or one can be wisely
and judiciously in front of it with UWFR.
Valley Forge Initiative’s cover on their Facebook post
on their H.E.R.O. “concerns”.
< From column 1
Forest for the Bathrooms
Our reaction is not unlike that of someone thinking at first
that someone is trying to peddle some snake oil, then realizing that the
attempt is to actually poison, and finally discovering that many others
have already fallen prey, and are walking around without knowing what they
have already ingested. The more we have looked into this law, the worse our
opinion of it, and the discoveries continue to this hour. We cannot stay silent any longer.
heavy dust up on the bathroom (and locker room) aspect of the ordinance has
in some ways helped the advocates of H.E.R.O., by clouding the other
objectionable elements of H.E.R.O. that are truly corrosive to the
fundamental freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution
of the United States, and also proclaimed in the Declaration of
Silent Mortar Fire
its most fundamental, all our freedoms flow from the idea that each one of
us must be free to believe as one chooses, to speak as one believes, and to
own the work of one’s own hands and mind.
That no one may compel another into work or speech that is not their
own, and no one may be silenced or punished with the force of law for the
expression of ideas – no matter how much others may find those ideas
objectionable. Imagine the gay
rights movements fifty years ago without that freedom. Yet, H.E.R.O., and very alarmingly also
all the other ordinances successfully passed in the other major Texas
cities already named, is a bone-rattling hit on that concept of freedom
that few have noticed. This strike
comes in the changes in definitions of what constitutes unfair
discrimination, and in how we define public accommodations, and these
changes have been discussed almost nowhere except on these pages and
occasionally on the pages of Reason
it has been that under the banner of “equal” rights and the fight against
“discrimination” leftist activists have swayed people whose brains shut off
into blind compliance at the very mention of those words, or who cower at
the idea of being labeled a “bigot” and a “hater”. Others not so easily
swayed have accepted H.E.R.O.’s stiff price for reasons that at this point
we prefer to let them publicly explain.
this experiment. Go to any of the
far left sites or articles that attack H.E.R.O. opponents and then
substitute “bigot” and “hater” with “sinner” and “pervert”, and see then
how their screeds reek of sanctimony of the ugliest and most intolerant
kind. They are not the antithesis of
religious bigots – they are their mirror image.
< From column 2
The Music Man
ask yourself a question no journalist at the Houston Chronicle or the Houston
Press, or anywhere else for that matter, has cared to ask: How is it that all major cities across
Texas had very similar ordinances speedily passed at the same time, within
the span of a year? You know those ordinances that the activists have been
pointing to as evidence of how well those ordinances work? They were passed around the same time as
Houston’s. They are brand new. Talk about the art of mis-direction. The Music Man and his traveling road show
of Civil Rights have been busy. But something went wrong in one city:
Houston. Christian pastors got wind
of it, and brought the new law out into the open.
in their outrage over the very real assault on heterosexual morality and
modesty, often expressed in the worst possible way, they have overlooked
the more serious dangers to freedom posed by these new laws. Even now, as we move about Houston’s
political circles, we are shocked to find almost no one we encounter, for
or against H.E.R.O., knows what is actually in H.E.R.O., let alone
understands its full implications.
Win or Lose
we know. And we are sounding the
an account of many of the serious flaws with H.E.R.O., and the arguments
presented against it, visit the Valley Forge
Initiative’s list of H.E.R.O.
Concerns. Regardless of how one
feels about other ideas of the VFI, the listed concerns are legitimate.
H.E.R.O. passes or not, a long and difficult battle lies ahead for any and
all who care about the liberty of all more than the totalitarian,
close-minded safety of their own kind – however well-intentioned.
H.E.R.O. fails, and we desperately hope it does, a very brief window of
opportunity will open to quickly safeguard the most fundamental freedoms of
the citizens of all of Houston’s citizens, gay or straight, Christian and
not. But, even then, a long and
costly battle still must be taken up to undo the damage already done, not
just across the state, but across the country.
H.E.R.O. passes, the battle will be all the more difficult and trying, but
no less worth the fight. And, no
less worth the price we are prepared to pay.
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