Friday, August 20, 2010

Dr. Laura and the First Amendment

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, no stranger to controversy, has come under fire in recent days for a radio program where she repeated the N-word multiple times, and defended the concept of people saying it freely. Her comments were in response to a call from an African-American woman, married to a white man, who was hearing this language from her husband’s family. Dr. Laura’s spin was that since some African-American men call each other the N-word, then everyone else should be able to shout it with impunity as well.

Does anyone wonder what her response to the caller would have been if the caller’s family were using epithets against Jews or Christians – or bleached blondes - as opposed to African-Americans? She would have rushed to the caller’s defense and lambasted the in-laws in no uncertain terms.

Numerous groups have expressed entirely understandable outrage over Dr. Laura’s comments, to the extent that she made a half-hearted apology the next day. Following this latest media circus, Dr. Laura has stated she’s ending her radio program to defend her First Amendment rights, which she claims are being oppressed. Sarah Palin, that Constitutional scholar, agrees with her.

Let us review the text of the First Amendment:

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[

Dr. Laura (who is not a psychologist but has a degree in physiology – in essence, she’s qualified to be a gym teacher), is perfectly free to say whatever she wishes, no matter how offensive, misguided, or just plain wrong. And those who disagree with what she says are free to picket her appearances and call for boycotts of her advertisers. Her sponsors are free to withdraw their support – although in this case she voluntarily is ending her radio show (and will probably relent and stay on the air).

I, under my First Amendment rights, will now state my opinion: I despise Laura Schlessinger. She’s a phony doctor who promotes ignorance and intolerance against anyone who doesn’t fit into her narrow paradigm of acceptable behavior: Republican voting Judeo-Christian heterosexuality. Given her own spotty moral history, she’s in no position to moralize toward anyone, and is a hypocrite par-excellence.

There. Don’t like what I wrote? Feel free to boycott my advertisers.

And now, time for that perennial favorite, an open letter to Dr. Laura:

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev.24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging. Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

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