Khan and the Constitution
An important point that has been lost in all the controversy over Khizr Khan's DNC speech and Donald Trump's response to it is that Khan's main point was shockingly wrong. He suggested that Trump's proposal to temporarily halt Muslim immigration is unconstitutional. He even brandished a pocket copy of the Constitution to punctate his point and accused Trump of never having read it. It was an amazing moment. Khan's suggestion that it is unconstitutional to limit immigration based on religion may be taken for granted by the left and most journalists, but it's incorrect. The response often heard last week in the wake of the speech was that the Constitution says religious tests are not permissible. The religious tests provision appears in Article VI of the Constitution. It states that no officeholder or government employee can be required to adhere to a particular religion.
An important point that has been lost in all the controversy over Khizr Khan’s DNC speech and Donald Trump’s response to it is that Khan’s main point was shockingly wrong. He suggested that Trump’s proposal to temporarily halt Muslim immigration is unconstitutional. He even brandished a pocket copy of the Constitution to punctate his point and accused Trump of never having read it.
It was an amazing moment. Khan’s suggestion that it is unconstitutional to limit immigration based on religion may be taken for granted by the left and most journalists, but it’s incorrect. The response often heard last week in the wake of the speech was that the Constitution says religious tests are not permissible. The religious tests provision appears in Article VI of the Constitution. It states that no officeholder or government employee can be required to adhere to a particular religion.
That provision has been misinterpreted in several ways, including to suggest that a voter may not take religion into account when choosing whom to vote for. But that’s not what the article says. It says that the government cannot take religion into account, but voters certainly can. More to the point, the provision says nothing about whether lawmakers can take religion into account when deciding who may enter the country.
For example, during the Iranian hostage crisis, the U.S. banned Iranians from entering the country unless they opposed the Shiite Islamist regime. Who issued the order? Oh yeah, it was that radical right-wing demagogue Jimmy Carter.
It is amazing that liberals now seem so concerned with the Constitution, a document they have long dismissed. (Can anyone forget Nancy Pelosi’s response — “Are you serious? Are you serious?” — when asked by a reporter about the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate?)
It is also amazing how much of the left’s strategy is based on distorting the Constitution. Sadly, they know they can get away with it because so few Americans are familiar with what the Constitution actually says.
The Growing Leftwing/Big Tech Alliance
No doubt you have noticed the increasing efforts by big tech to stifle conservative viewpoints. You’ll remember Mozilla Firefox, a search engine whose CEO was forced out of the company for donating to Proposition 8, California’s marriage amendment.
Here’s the latest example. Siri is a computer program that acts as a personal assistant on iPhones. Ask Siri a question, and she will give you an answer. She can tell you where you can find a cheap meal in your area or who ran for president in 1952. She knows a lot, but she apparently doesn’t know where the movie “Hillary’s America” is playing. The film by Dinesh D'Souza examines the history of the Democratic Party and what he thinks are the true motivations of Hillary Clinton. If you ask Siri where the film is playing, she says she’s sorry but she doesn’t know. It seems she’s never heard of the film.
Another example: When conservative talk show host Michael Savage took to Facebook to express his views on the link between illegal immigration and crime, he was blocked from doing so. He was told his post violated Facebook’s policies.
You may recall that this spring, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg met with a group of conservatives worried that their viewpoints were getting suppressed. Facebook assured them that changes would be made. Similar complaints have been made against other tech companies, including YouTube. Meanwhile, when it’s conservatives or Jews who are being attacked, nothing happens.
Throughout most of history, businesses have existed to provide consumers with goods and services. But increasingly companies, especially technology firms, are peddling political views along with their wares, and often those views run counter to the Judeo-Christian values that made this country great.
Houston, We’ve Got A Problem
Speaking of Facebook, shortly after the shooting in Dallas in which five police officers were killed, a student at the University of Houston took to Facebook and posted, “Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like AllLivesMatter.”
As you might expect, the roof caved in on her. The student was an officer in the student government at the school. She was suspended from student government for 50 days and forced to attend sensitivity training and several other culturally approved events. Her suspension likely means she will forfeit the stipend she gets as part of her work in the student government.
This is absurd. One of the primary missions of higher education is to teach children about the nature of liberty and free debate. Universities are not supposed to be “safe spaces” that protect fragile snowflakes from every perceived slight or micro-aggression. Rather, the entire point of higher ed. is that students should be exposed to ideas that may challenge them and even make them uncomfortable.
ACTION ITEM: I urge you to call the University of Houston’s president, Renu Khator. According to the university’s website she can be reached at: 713-743-8820. Ask for the office of the president and firmly but politely remind her that as a university president she should be working to ensure that students are taught to debate and listen to other viewpoints, not suppress them. If you’d prefer to email, you can do so here.