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In a discussion on my SiriusXM program about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ attack on civil rights and free speech—from criminalizing drag shows to his war with Disney over its criticism of his “don’t say gay” bill—John from North Carolin called in to say I have distorted the First Amendment.
But he had nothing — truly—and was a textbook example of the ignorance we’re dealing with.
John claimed I ignore part of the First Amendment when I discuss it:
Why is it that you always ignore the second part of the religion clause in the First Amendment, which is “nor restrict the free exercise thereof?..
..Every time that you talk about religion and government, you say there's a separation of religion. The First Amendment, when it was written—
I jumped in, stating, “Let’s be clear,” and paraphrasing the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. Right. That's the part you're saying that I'm ignoring?
Yes, he said, I do ignore it. I denied that, saying it was a given: Of course you can worship whoever you want in your church, synagogue, mosque, wherever. But you can’t force your religion on others and use it to pass laws, I told him.
Then he claimed that that I say “people can’t do anything with their faith in public” and that I “shout down anyone who mentions God.”
That is preposterous, since many people of faith are regular listeners to the show and call the program, including pastors of churches who embrace full equality and work on behalf of the poor and the sick, and who talk about their faith.
John gave no examples, even after I said, “You have to give me an example.”
I then asked if he agreed with the bill Ron DeSantis signed into law in recent days that allows doctors and all medical professionals to turn away any patient, even in an emergency, based on their religious or any other “moral” or “ethical” beliefs.
I have to admit, I had not seen any of that.
“Well I’m telling you about it now,” I said. “He passed a law that allows doctors to turn away anybody who they believe is is against their religious faith. Could be an emergency. Someone needs a doctor. They can turn them away.”
John then just slunk away:
I come to take anything that you say with a grain of salt. I'll look it up. I will give you a call back. Okay.
This is a primary example of how most of what these people believe are distortions and conspiracies—and the rest is simply about not even knowing what it going on in the world.
Listen in and let me know your thoughts!