The utter gutlessness of Americans intolerant of anyone with whom they disagree may have hit a new low this week with feminist lawyer Gloria Allred's call for the criminal prosecution of radio talk host Rush Limbaugh for his radio show diatribe attacking Georgetown Law School student / reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke.
(Interestingly, Allred relies on a 19th Century Florida misdemeanor statute that criminalizes the act of impugning the integrity of a woman. This statute surely was designed and used to criminalize all sorts of undesirables -- specifically, African-Americans -- and such a statute drafted today would probably be rapidly declared unconstitutional. I would expect -- and predict -- its swift appeal. But note how a feminist activist uses a tool of racists to achieve the objective: oppose the feminist agenda at your own risk, that of your freedom.
George Washington Law School professor Jonathan Turley also chimes in on the Western world's criminalization of speech here. Before you dismiss his claims as covering just other countries without our Constitution, consider the current New Jersey criminal trial of Dharan Ravi, who may end up going to jail for hypertechnical violations of cyberspying statutes, when his real crime (unstated) is the arguable and debatable intolerance of a gay dormmate, Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide last year.
The use of criminal statutes to intimidate one's opponents or competitors into silence or surrender has chilling implications for our society. A society is not free when the exercise of basic constitutional rights carries the risk of the loss of liberty.
One final point: The Rush Limbaugh / Sandra Fluke controversy is not about women's rights. That is an artful deception, designed by feminists who understand that using something -- the health issue -- which one cannot rightfully oppose, as a cover for a bigger objective of forcing religious insitutions to ignore their own doctrine and endorse (not merely accept or obey) activities they oppose as a matter of doctrine and conscience. The controversy stems from the ObamaCare mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance to employees which covers the entire cost of contraceptives, irrespective of the institutions' religious doctrine.
Such a mandate clearly attacks religion. The only way for a religious institution to avoid the mandate is to cease the activity that requires employees. This would require the institution to close, to withdraw from public life and from service to the community. In short, to avoid the mandate, religious institutions would have to close and confine their activities thereafter solely to worship. You can see how the mandate is part of a plan to attack religion in general, to either compromise religious teachings conflicting with sexual and feminist dogma or to punish religions which do not retreat from public life and surrender their spot to those who do advance the feminist agenda.
The attack on religion is clear.
Moreover, the demand that others pick up the subsidy for others' use of contraception dissolves at its core into a demand for an entitlement, that some people receive an entitlement for recreation that is paid for by a corresponding obligation picked up by others.
In light of this, I have disagreed with those advertisers who boycotted Rush Limbaugh's radio show. I personally took out an advertisement on his radio show this past week, to show support both for the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion, and to criticize this woman's greed which personifies the toxic culture of entitlement that is drowning our society in a $15 trillion national debt.
The clip of my ad on the Limbaugh show last week follows.
Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer.