Friday, May 21, 2010

Dr. Rand Paul and the Constitution

      The day after winning the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky, Libertarian Rand Paul suffered an attack of foot-in-mouth disease. In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, he was asked whether he believed businesses should have the right to refuse service to African-Americans.
      Yes,” Paul said. “I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form. … But I think what’s important about this debate is not written into any specific ‘gotcha’ on this, but asking the question: what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking?”
      Paul has previously gone on record as favoring the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the public domain, but believes that the government has overstepped its powers by extending non-discrimination to the private sector. In other words, government can require non-discrimination in organizations that receive public funds, but freedom of speech trumps non-discrimination for private businesses.
      I do not think Dr. Paul has thought this through. In the first place, even though freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, there are limitations. (The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic – Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.)
      But the issue here is not freedom speech, it’s freedom of action, which, although not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, is also limited. (The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins - Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.) In other words, actions are restricted when they cause harm to someone else.
      There are also other restrictions on actions. Assuming I do not collect insurance, is it OK to burn down my own house if I don’t like it? May I abuse my children? After all, they are mine.
      These examples illustrate that there is a vast difference between speech and actions. The KKK can have all the parades and rallies they want as long as they do not, repeat, do not harm anyone.
      Dr. Paul uses a restaurant as an example; if the owner decides not to serve a certain category of customers, they can find another place to eat. But what if it’s the only restaurant in town?
      Suppose I own an auto dealership in a small town, and I sign a contract for an African-American to buy a new car. When I send him to my bank for financing, the bank refuses to serve him because of his color. Now two people have been harmed by the banker’s stance. And assuming it is the only bank in town, where can either one of us find an alternative?
      But the biggest problem of all is that if Dr. Paul’s line of reasoning were to be followed to its logical conclusion, the United States would be returning to that shameful period of discrimination which was supposedly ended in 1964. I would hope that the citizens of Kentucky have better sense than to send him to the Senate in November.
      God simply considered the act of creation to be good. For God, the means (creating) justified the ends (creation). Because man had not yet been formed, mankind’s “good” and “evil” had not yet been invented.
      The Wisdom Of Genesis – The Spirit Runs Through It.

The book and/or a free look inside is available in paperback or on Kindle at Amazon.

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