Cherry-Picking the Constitution


Do some constitutional freedoms count more than others? The US Republican Party sure seems to think so. While they are giving their all to defend the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms, elected officials of the GOP are actively attacking the freedoms of groups that they believe pose a threat. In other words, they are attacking the freedoms of those with backgrounds different than their own. 

As of February 6, 2023, there have been 67 mass shootings in the United States in 2023 alone. These tragedies take place in schools, grocery stores, and gas stations at rates more than once a day. While these tragedies are done at the hands of the gunman, lawmakers share the responsibility for the countless lives lost and forever destroyed by the incident. In their philosophy, the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms is more important to protect than the lives of civilians, as it’s the person who kills others, not the gun, so the gun cannot possibly be the problem, right? 

While the right to gun ownership is to them an inalienable right, the freedom of religion is not taken nearly as seriously. In fact, several elected Republican officials have publicly expressed their beliefs that Christianity is the only religion that should actually be protected. Following their logic, limiting an individual’s ability of gun ownership rights is a heinous stripping away of freedom, but to limit an individual’s ability to practice their religion publicly or without fear is constitutional. Morals aside (which is a whole other problem in and of itself), this cherry-picking of the freedoms of the constitution is in no way lawful or free and ironically comes from the party which prides itself on ‘protecting the freedoms’ of the nation. 

Notorious for her bigoted thinking, Marjorie Taylor Greene, the congressional representative of Georgia’s 14th district, is the prime example of absurd Islamophobia and Antisemitism in the government. In a resurfaced video, the congresswoman showcases her islamophobia by spreading the false information that the congressional representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib could not swear into Congress on the Quran but rather had to do so on the Bible in accordance with the law. Seemingly not to her knowledge is the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, where the freedom of religion is a protected right, and representatives are free to swear in on any book they see fit. See here Marjorie Taylor Greene’s full profile on islamophobia. However, Congresswoman Greene is all too familiar with the 2nd Amendment, where she actively endorses the expansion of gun-ownership rights and condemns any efforts to impose gun control, with specific campaigns and actions found on the ‘Second Amendment’ tab of her website. If the 1st Amendment comes before the 2nd, it is quite strange that Congresswoman Greene is unfamiliar with what it entails. 

Another notorious cherry-picker of constitutional freedoms is Lauren Boebert, the congressional representative for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, who is apparently “tired of this separation of church and state junk.” She has publicly expressed her beliefs that the church should be guiding the government, saying that it was not in the Constitution, which was just a “stinking letter” anyways. Last year, a video of Boebert surfaced where she suggested that congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was a terrorist for the mere fact that she is Muslim, and later continued to call her a “terrorist sympathizer” in her memoir. In  familiar rhetoric, Boebert considers herself a ‘tireless advocate for the Second Amendment’, supporting a plethora of bills and acts to augment gun ownership rights in the United States. 

Elected officials of the United States GOP are picking and choosing the freedoms that they want to uphold. Or rather, they are picking and choosing whose freedoms they want to uphold. They believe that a Christian has every right to have their freedom of religion protected but that a Muslim does not deserve the same rights. Still, of course, they find the 2nd Amendment to be an inalienable right. They do not have the right to choose whose rights to uphold, and they better learn actual legislation before claiming to uphold it.

Featured image: Unsplash

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