November 14, 2002 09:32am
A Libertairian Criticizes AINews and FSC
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Mark Anderson
We thank those of diverse views for sending in Letters to the Editor. In the name of fairness we try and run an accurate cross section of our readers views. This reader's comments are printed unredacted below.
"I stumbled across your web site when running a search on HR 2357, which is a bill to partially restore the lost free speech rights of those who attend and support churches.
As a card-carrying Libertarian, I find it to be absolutely breathtaking that this site aligns itself with a group called the, "Free Speech Coalition," while simultaneously arguing against free speech. The "Free Speech Coalition" also argues against free speech.
1)There is no greater way to curtail speech than by taxation. To illustrate this, how about if we tax 100% of every aspect of porn. See how long it lasts. Based on this alone, why is making a campaign contribution out of "tax deductible" revenue so bad? The only reason why one would suggest this is bad is because they see compulsory taxation, i.e., nothing different than what a thief does, as a righteous thing. How is this consistent with free speech?
2)I find it to be incredibly breathtaking that on one hand, churches, for being merely tax exempt, are prohibited from engaging in political activism. Yet, on the other hand, the two major political parties, whose sole purpose is to engage in political activism, are not only tax exempt, but receive millions in taxpayer subsidies. And many want nothing except totally government funded campaigns. Are you all protesting this?
3)Campaign finance laws curtail free speech. Let me give you an illustration. As candidates for office, we are bound by disclosure laws, contribution limit laws, expenditure limit laws, and so on. However, newspapers can deputize their editorial boards to write up editorials in favor, or against, a candidate all day long - worse yet, they favor candidates who want to keep the rest of the candidates in handcuffs with these very campaign finance laws, i.e., exercising their first amendment rights to curtail the free speech of candidates. This doesn't count as a campaign contribution, although it is nothing less than an in-kind contribution. Are we to write up laws curtailing this activity? Nobody would support this, because this is a violation of their first amendment rights. Alas! Once you see the nexus between the first amendment rights of a newspaper and that of a candidate, now it becomes transparent how the free speech rights of candidates are being curtailed with these campaign finance laws.
4)People justify these campaign finance laws because of "corruption" contributions breed, supposedly. An example would be the Keating 5, where, in exchange for campaign contributions, a U.S. Senator, at taxpayer expense, gave special favors to his donors. But remember this: A campaign contribution is good for nothing unless it can be converted into votes. Does voting corrupt politics as well? I also see politicians supporting un-Constitutional government programs and subsidies, at taxpayer expense of course,....in exchange for votes. Do you all want to ban voting next? The problem here is not the campaign contribution. The problem is that we have politicians who see the Constitution as toilet paper, and have given themselves un-Constitutional powers to return favors. In that case, the prostitute needs to be exposed and voted out of office.
In conclusion, HR 2357 is not the end of porn. What we need is less taxation, less campaign contributions, less government - this would be good for the churches and for the porn industry. It is amazing that, despite the difference views, these big government porn outlets see their interests as being odds with the interests of Christian conservatives - so much so, you are all willing to use the force of law to do the exact thing to churches that you are afraid will happen to you. Churches were allowed to donate freely to candidates right up until LBJ changed that. Somehow we managed to make it along just fine before that. And keep in mind that it is Christian culture that is the most tolerant and has extended the most freedom to mankind ever - so much freedom that us Christians are now the pariahs. Try what you do in an Islamic fundamentalist nation.