A professor of law at the University of Miami will be giving a lecture at Drake University Law School on September 15 to discuss the alleged similarities between “constitutional extremists” and religious extremists.
According to the press release on the lecture:
In recent years, the Constitution has become an article of faith in the worst possible sense, t is increasingly invoked to justify irrational and destructive agendas in a way that strongly resembles the way religious extremists use the Bible to advance fundamentalist views. This constitutional extremism occurs on both ends of the political spectrum: in the Right’s obsessive focus on the Second Amendment and the Left’s equally obsessive focus on the First. Though their targets are different, constitutional extremism on both the Right and Left is united in the privileging of the powerful.
I am not a law scholar by any means, but I from my experience and study of the world, I believe this professor is mistaken.
As a layman, when I try to understand religious extremists, the basic philosophy seems to be:
Believe that I tell you to believe. Pray how I tell you to pray. Say only what I allow you to say. Do only what I allow you to do. Live exactly how I tell you to live. If you don’t, I will kill you, kill your family, kill everyone that doesn’t fall in line with my beliefs.
Religious extremists seek to control a population. The use whatever god they believe in, and the rules set down in their holy book to justify their control.
When I think about “Constitutional extremists” the basic philosophy seems to be:
Leave me alone. Don’t tell me what to believe, what I can or cannot say, how I should live, what I can own, or anything else for that matter. Don’t treat on me and I won’t tread on you. If you do start to tread on me, you won’t like it, and then shit will get real. So for you own protection, fuck off.
Constitutional extremism pushes the limits of small government, almost to the line of anarchy. It is defined by an almost complete lack of control.
I assume that this professor is going to try and link religious extremism and constitutional extremism by rhetoric of violence. But even then they are different. Religious extremism violence is (to coin a word) actionary. The religious extremist initiates the violence to get what they want. Constitutional extremists violence is reactionary. It is used to repel oppression, which generally manifests itself in the form of violence or the threat of violence.
These two philosophies are diametrically opposed to one another.
Keep in mind, I am not defending or justifying Constitutional extremism in all of its forms. The Bundy Ranch and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) stand-offs were stupid and dangerous. It is that this professor seems to have a bone to pick with the NRA, which is often considered to be a Constitutional Extremist group since it puts the 2nd Amendment and Constitutional rights over the feelings of anti-gun activists. I am concerned that her interpretation of Constitutional Extremism means any time someone says “my rights are more important than your feelings.” Which is not extremism. It is a foundational principle of our Nation. Then again, some on the Left go so far as to identify our Founding Fathers as extremist.
I guess what I am doing is defending a philosophy, not a group. The idea of parading around with AR-15’s in front of some Park Rangers over cattle is extreme for me. It’s stupid. If some Progressive president decides to go full Vichy France and try to appease the Iranian government by putting the boot down on the Jews, well… all bets are off. Extremism is a matter of degree. I’m not going to wage war over cattle. I will wage war over children in cattle cars.
I found it funny, however that this professor associates 1st Amendment extremism with the Left. Maybe once upon a time, that was true. Today, is the Progressive Left that tries to crush free speech with hate speech laws or diversity initiatives. We have seen the loss of free speech on college campuses, which are overwhelmingly left of center.
The Progressive Left has waged war on religion, forcing the religious to comply with their whims against religious doctrine. The desire of religious people to be left alone to practice their religion in peace is considered bigotry by the left.
This has led to the term Regressive Left. Liberals who fight against freedom. If this professor wants to talk about extremist political violence, she needs to focus on this area of politics. The philosophy of the modern Progressive Liberal is:
Believe that I tell you to believe. Don’t pray if you practice a “privileged” religion. Say only what I allow you to say. Do only what I allow you to do. Live exactly how I tell you to live. If you don’t, I will kill you, kill your family, kill everyone that doesn’t fall in line with my beliefs.
The modern left is a religious extremist who worships at the Church of Big Government Our Non-Gendered Person of Tyranny.
But i have a feeling that would cause this professor to take too long and too hard a look in a mirror, so she won’t.