Pamela Geller and the Heroes of the Garland Jihadist Attack

Pamela Geller deserves our gratitude for standing defiantly, against violent Islamic radicals and their supporters in the media who would force us to submit to curtailment of our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, press and religion.

On Sunday evening, May 4 two gunmen opened fire outside a complex in Garland Texas where The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) was hosting an art exhibit featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.  Both gunmen were killed by one heroic Garland police officer who was moonlighting as security for the event.

One of the gunmen was immediately identified.  He was known to the FBI for supporting Jihad.  His social media postings prior to the attack leave no doubt he intended to kill participants in the event, in retaliation for the cartoons that he called blasphemous.

On Monday night ISIS, the barbaric, Political Islam army raging through the middle east killing thousands of innocents claimed to have directed the attack.

Pamela Geller, flamboyant blogger and campaigner against political Islam is founder and leader of AFDI.  She has been widely criticized for “hate speech” against Islam but insists she is “anti-jihad, not anti-Muslim.” In an email she told The Washington Post:

We decided to have a cartoon contest to show we would not kowtow to violent intimidation and allow the freedom of speech to be overwhelmed by thugs and bullies.

Media commentary included more criticism of Ms. Geller, than of the gunmen. Some even blamed her for the attack.

Donald Trump took to the airways accusing Ms. Geller of starting the trouble!

Our country has a lot of problems at every level…the last thing we need is an obnoxious blowhard like Geller to go out and start trouble when there’s no reason for it…This has nothing to do with free speech. This is taunting and it just causes trouble…what’s the purpose of her doing this…All she’s a provocateur and this country has enough problems right now.”

A CNN opinion piece instructs us that:

“Democracy requires freedom of speech, but…there are other American values, too, which deserve mentioning: Exercising your freedoms with responsibility. Yes, we have the right to say things, even offensive things. But should we? Should we act with no consideration of the consequences? Should Geller have hosted an event she knew would draw a violent reaction?”

On Fox News Bill O’Reilly bellowed his disgust with Ms. Geller for insulting the religion of countries that are fighting fighting ISIS.

But we at Liberty Works side with Ms. Geller and thank her for a valuable, heroic service to the Constitution and to all Americans.

The authors of our Constitution and Bill of Rights were wise observers of history who understood that for millennia autocratic governments and kingdoms had imposed religious beliefs, by force upon their citizens.  Wars were fought to determine which religious doctrines The People would be required to comply with.

Our Founders enacted the First Amendment that brilliantly prevents violent confrontations over religion by repositioning government from dictator of religious beliefs to protector of each individual’s right to believe as he/she chooses.

The First Amendment also prevents violent confrontation over political ideas, which are often influenced by religious beliefs, by repositioning government not as the decider of what ideas are allowed or forbidden, but as the protector of the individual right to believe and express any idea, no matter who disagrees or is offended.

We are blessed to live in a place where we can say or believe or publish whatever we wish without fear of reprisal by the government or by factions trying to enforce their beliefs upon us.  The only price we pay for this blessing is that we can’t use government to stop others from beliefs or expression we dislike.

Ominously, these freedoms are being diminished a little at a time. President Obama and many of his supporters seek to shrink our freedom to live according to our beliefs by deliberately misquoting the first amendment as “freedom of worship” instead of freedom of religion. Thus, in Oregon a Christian, mom and pop bakery was forced to close down for practicing freedom of religion when they politely declined to provide a cake to a gay wedding – and this was before same-sex marriage was legal in Oregon! Last week, six years after they were forced to shut down the same couple was hauled before an unaccountable, administrative law judge and hit with a judgment of $135,000 because practicing their religion caused alleged “emotional distress.”

We must treat first amendment freedoms of religion, speech and press as non-negotiable, just as we treat the accused man’s presumption of innocence and right to a trial. Even though we know the guilty sometimes go unpunished we never hear calls for suspension of these rights.

Pamela Geller and her group put themselves a risk on Sunday, so the rest of us didn’t have to.  When our elites criticize her and demand that she stand down and shut up they embolden the violent radicals, making the rest of us less safe.  Be assured, if she and her group disappear the Jihadists will not bury their bombs and melt down their AK47s.  They will experience the intoxication of victory and will be emboldened to identify less overt resistance to their cause for violent attack.  Indeed, the ISIS army in the Iraq and Syria, kills thousands of Muslim men, women and children, not for perceived blasphemy agisnt the Prophet Muhammad, but merely for believing in a less militant form of Islam!

We must not surrender our liberty  just because these radicals threaten violence when they are offended.  By enduring Nazis, white supremacists, pornographers, and Islamic radicals calling for the death of our culture we are already paying the price for freedom of speech and religion.  We must not submit to demands that we refrain from any criticism of Political Islam because it’s most radical followers threaten violence. 

There may be tough times ahead but we owe it to our children and grandchildren to be strong and resolute until freedom prevails.

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