Alexandria Shooter and Dangerous Politics

Congressional baseball practice shooting
Police put up tape to clear journalists from the outfield area of a baseball field where shots were fired during a congressional baseball practice, wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), in Alexandria, Virginia on June 14, 2017. |

The disturbing shootings on the Alexandria ball field are the result of a certain kind of politics.

It is one thing to disagree with one's opponent or an opposing viewpoint. It is quite another to deny the right of your opponent to speak or even exist.

Michael Farris
Michael Farris, who heads the Home School Legal Defense Association, speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council in 2013. |

The shooter is clearly in the second category.

Who else is in this dangerous category?

1. Those among the "alt right" who call for the racial supremacy of whites.

2. The college professor in California who directed students to erase prolife messages chalked by other students on campus sidewalks.

3. The progressives who violently oppose conservative speakers on college campuses.

4. The Southern Poverty Law Center who equates simple political disagreement with "hate" and urges their supporters to eradicate hate. (The shooter yesterday was a FB supporter of the SPLC. The shooter at Family Research Council a few years back, was following a hate map published by this same extremist organization.)

5. Bernie Sanders when he said last week that people who believe that Jesus is the only way to God (while fully advocating for full legal rights for all faiths) are illegitimate and cannot serve in our country.

6. Those voices in the "mainstream" media who continue to denounce the legitimacy of the election results in November.

The real test for civility is one's willingness to affirm the following statement:

I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.

Many so called tolerant progressives refuse to practice that principle. Such progressives are just as much deserving the label of "extremist" as any on the right wing alt-right fringe.

The call for today is this: all legitimate voices need to rally behind the cardinal principle of religious and intellectual freedom. People who oppose my views have just as much right to speak as I do.

The dangerous voices in this country are those who wish to silence their opponents.

Michael Farris is CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom.

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