Freedom of speech: What happened to American resolve?

By Angela Sanders

After the events of September 11, 2001; America stood still. We were one nation; united, crying out for justice! We were going to leave no rock unturned to seek out the terrorists who took the lives of 3000 Americans on that fateful day. Our patriotism was on full display. I remember seeing American flags on every street corner, vehicle; even random people standing in the streets proudly waving our flag as a symbol of solidarity. It was the most amazing display of American patriotism I’ve seen in my lifetime.

I was on recruiting duty in the US Navy at the time. We had people lined up outside the doors desperately wanting to enlist. Our phones rang non-stop and enlistments were at an all-time high. Men and women from all over the state came into our office just to say thank you for serving our great nation. It was like no other time in my career… Americans everywhere looked at one another with the same sense of pride and determination; We are Americans and we will NOT be defeated!

“The planes were hijacked, the buildings fell, and thousands of lives were lost nearly a thousand miles from here. But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an attack on the heart of America. And standing here in the heartland of America, we say in one voice: We will not give in to terrorists; We will not rest until they are found and defeated; We will win this struggle; not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace; So help us God.”

~Tom Harkin

Tom Harkin’s words still resonate with me today. “We will win this struggle; not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom and for peace [..]”. Freedom; what brave men and women have shed blood, lost life and limb for; has the definition changed since 2001? Have we as a nation forgotten the price of freedom? What our forefathers fought for? Are we willing to give it up so easily without giving it a second thought?

What happened to us? What happened to our great sense of pride? What happened to American resolve? Somewhere over the past 14-years, it’s been lost; transformed into a new culture where political correctness takes precedence over individual liberty and freedom. Americans are consumed with being offended and the need to shut someone or something down just because they disagree or it hurts their feelings. This isn’t freedom! It’s stifling freedom and individual liberty of others to appease “hurt feelings” and the perpetually offended.

We’ve seen several examples lately of American’s individual liberties and first amendment rights, trampled on, shut down or shut up altogether for the sake of political correctness. Government intervention, mandating business owners to go against their closely held religious beliefs, facing fines or worse; closing their doors for good…in the name of what? It’s not freedom. I call that tyranny and injustice!

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”— Harry Truman

What people fail to realize is silencing those who oppose them rides on a slippery slope. They’re essentially stealing God-given rights; individual liberty from one person or group to appease a minority. Do they ever stop to think that one day the government might impose those same restrictions upon them; stripping their rights as well?

Which brings me to Garland, Texas. On May 3rd, Pamela Geller, a well-known blogger, free speech advocate and President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, hosted a “Draw Mohammed” Cartoon Contest at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. Toward the end of the contest/free speech rally, 2 Muslim men, dressed in body armor, wielding AK-47’s, attempted to storm the building.

According to CNN:

“A traffic officer working after-hours as security for the event and armed only with a service pistol killed both men, who were wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles, Garland Police Department spokesman Joe Harn told reporters Monday. “We think their strategy was to get into the event center, and they were not able to get past our perimeter that we had set up,” Harn said. In addition to the officer, who used a .45 caliber Glock, four SWAT team members with high-powered rifles also fired at the suspects, according to a source familiar with the officers involved in the shooting. “They faced death head-on and, with incredible skill and bravery, were able to save a lot of people,” said Zach Horn, an attorney for the officers. An unarmed security officer working with the patrol officer was shot in the ankle, police said. None of the approximately 200 people attending the event was hurt.”

Later we learned one of the dead terrorists, Elton Simpson of Arizona, had ties to ISIS. Surprise! He announced it on Twitter hours before his failed attack. Sorry little guy. Your plan was thwarted by 1 officer with a pistol. Ouch! That sort of hurts your street cred as a strong soldier of Allah. The other piece of cow dung, ISIS wannabe, terrorist was Simpson’s roommate, Nadir Soofi. Both dead. Who cares, right?

Instead of focusing on the 2 men who attempted to murder Pamela Geller in the name of jihad, we’ve heard nothing but vitriol from the media, basically saying she provoked the attack by hosting the event with cartoons of the “prophet” Mohammed. Cartoons! She should have known this would provoke a terrorist attack, right?

Conservative and liberal media alike have chosen to blast Pamela for what they consider to be “provocative” action, causing these poor souls to take up arms and attempt to murder everyone attending the cartoon contest. The Associated Press even went as far as to headline a tweet:

“Pamela Geller at AP headquarters, where she said she had no regrets over TX cartoon contest that left 2 dead.”

Excuse me? Am I missing something here? “Left 2 dead”? It should read, “left 2 terrorists dead”! Heck no Pamela shouldn’t have regrets! She exercised her first amendment right, regardless if one agrees with her point of view or not. Should she sensor her God-given free speech because Muslim extremists might try to kill her over a drawing of their precious prophet? Oh and by the way, the winner was a former Muslim who drew a cartoon of Mohammed saying, “You can’t draw me”. How “provocative” and hateful! Someone grab the smelling salts…I might faint!

Last time I checked, we lived in America. We’re not governed by Sharia Law. We can draw Mohammed dipped in pig urine and call it art if we want to. Why not? A crucifix was dropped in a jar of urine, photographed and actually won an award for being “art”. The lefties hailed it as “great artistic expression”. We’re Americans and regardless of how much we despise what someone says or does, we have to respect their first amendment right to do it.

Alisyn Camerota from CNN’s NEW DAY suggested, “There are fine lines between freedom of speech and being intentionally incendiary and provocative.” Seriously Alisyn? Pamela should stop speaking out about Muslim extremists; how they rape, torture and enslave women? She shouldn’t say a word about the atrocities committed in the name of Allah or non-Muslims murdered simply because they’re not Muslim? How about the unspeakable acts of torture committed against gay men and women who are then murdered according to Muslim barbaric laws? NO! She speaks for those who have no voice! However, in this instance, it was a freakin cartoon drawing that got everyone’s undies in a bunch! Get over yourself! You, along with all the other media elites who believe truth to be the new hate speech.

Alison isn’t the only one. Of course there’s Chris “Tingles” Matthews from MSNBC, Bill O’Reilley, Greta, Martha McCallum, Allan Colmes and a slew of other “free speech, BUT” hypocrites from Fox News, along with many more news outlets.

The word “provocation” is being misused in regard to Ms. Gellar’s Cartoon Contest. If you think about it, many activists throughout American history used provocative speech to affect change in this country. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of them. He provoked a response and gave African Americans a voice to rise up and fight for equality. What if his free speech was stifled by a politically correct crowd before he led change that transformed America?

What are you afraid of America? Shutting down free speech or dictating what should be acceptable is not freedom? It goes against the very foundation upon which our great country was built. Pamela Geller stands for freedom, whether you agree with her or not. Call her a bigot, islamaphobe or whatever helps you sleep at night, but do not cast blame on her for the acts of 2 crazed lunatics acting in the name of jihad.

ISIS issued a fatwa against Pamela.

“The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy,” the message reads. “Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.”

Guess what? She hasn’t been contacted by the FBI, DHS or the Obama Administration with questions regarding her safety, additional threats, etc. If Pamela was a liberal media personality, President Obama himself would make the call. Instead, she’s ignored by the very people sworn to protect her from terrorist attacks. It’s truly pathetic and un-American! All of the so-called journalists and news reporters bashing her should be ashamed of themselves for not even considering her well-being. No. You’re more worried about hurting fragile relations in a chaotic Middle East or the millions of Muslims who probably wouldn’t give 2 squats if America was incinerated.

Here’s the London Imam Anjem Choudary calling for Pamela’s death according to Sharia Law:

Anyone in the media, other than Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly want to stand up for free speech and her life? Oh and Anjem, you can kiss my American a-double-s! I’ll draw pictures of your Mohammed every single day for the rest of my life if I want to and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it! I’m an American woman! I don’t live under your Sharia Law! I live by God’s law and the US Constitution I swore an oath to defend! We have freedom of speech in this country. May God have mercy on your soul for the cruelty you impose upon human beings who live under your barbaric laws.

I, for one, will not be intimidated into silence by Islamic extremists who want to kill us or the perpetually offended who only believe in free speech if it coincides with their ideology. This is America! We are free to offend, and equally free to be offended! My heart aches for the America I once knew; the compassion we had for one another and the willingness to fight for our freedom, no matter the cost. Wake up America before all freedom is lost!

Angela Sanders is also a Contributor at The Liberty Eagle and Rebooting Liberty. Follow Angela on Twitter @angelacarwile and @RNRKentucky

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