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.
— The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Early this morning it was announced that Lowe’s Home Improvement had pulled their ad’s from the TLC cable network’s “All-American Muslim” after receiving pressure from the Florida Family Association. Since, the issue has made headlines and generated a mixture of comments and emotions.
The issue also brings to light the poor understanding and acceptance of the First Amendment by many Americans.
Many arguments state that “Muslims” cannot be Americans because they are not Christian, many believe this despite the First Amendment stating the “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therefore.” The First Amendment gives Americans the right to practice the religion of their choice; it does not state that by practicing something other than Christianity that you surrender your status as an American citizen.
Many are also arguing that Lowe’s should not have “given in” to what is being referred to as a “bigots” “hate group” and pulled their advertising from the TLC show which captures the day-to-day lives of five Muslim-American families living in Dearborn, Mich. However, the First Amendment also gives us the freedom of speech and press; Lowe’s has the freedom to speak, or make actions that speak, in which ever manner they wish to present themselves. Lowe’s does not have to keep their ads up or say sorry, no matter how many people think they should.
Lowe’s has chosen to let this light lay upon them, and while in some eyes they have stood in a negative spot light, others could not be happier.
One of the joys that the freedom of speech gives us American’s is the ability to state our minds and our thoughts, as idiotic as someone else may think they are. Along with that free expression, others are allowed to see our thoughts, expressions and reactions and because what one may view as an uneducated, ignorant and overall dumb comment made by the citizen to stand out, others can better judge their views of that persons statements for the future.
In other words, when someone makes racist comments online, to your face or where ever it might be, from that point on you may view that person as a racist or ignorant or take the things they say in a different light – and you are allowed to, the First Amendment allows us to make these comments and helps us distinguish between, well those who may be ignorant and those who may not be.
Lowe’s has taken this action and at this time has not publicly released any official statements, view their action as you want and view the company in that light in the future if you want. The First Amendment gives the company the right to say what they want, whether you agree with it or not.
The First Amendment also allows you to express your thoughts, feelings and opinions on this subject – however, it does not make you right, or force others to agree with you.
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