Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bradlee Dean’s application for martyrdom


bdeanIn a recent demi-polemic (that’s a small polemic) blog post, Bradly Dean Smith rails against his unfair treatment at the hands of the media. While the media in question are not named, he’s pretty clearly referring to Karl Bremer who writes at Ripple in Stillwater and Andy Birkey who writes at the Minnesota Independent. These two have been raising questions about the tax exempt status of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International and ministerial “housing allowances” given to members of the staff, including Smith and Jacob MacAuley.

He even seems to suggest – although, truly, it is hard to tell – that Karl and Andy are part of the “state-run media.”

Smith says that the state-run media don’t understand the First Amendment:

The state-run media has [sic] been taught that to say whatever you want is “freedom of speech.” Not true. Freedom of speech lies within the confines of our “empire of laws,” as president John Adams defined it, not outside of them. In other words, you have the right to say that which promotes freedom and liberty, not lawlessness and an anti-American sentiment. Isn’t that why our forefathers stood against King George? Yes, it is.

How much will the American people tolerate before they figure out that freedom of speech does not destroy, but promotes freedom, liberty, unity and looking out for the other guy? True Americans do not try to destroy one another. Here lies the state-run media’s problem.

You will never read a shorter description of the causes of the Revolutionary War, nor one so entirely uninformed.

Here’s a translation of Smith’s definition of freedom of speech:

You may say what you want, so long as it is not critical of anybody who claims to be a patriot [or a spokesman for God].

If you can’t say something nice about Bradlee, don’t say anything at all!

I mean, who really needs the First Amendment when somebody like Smith is prepared to tell us the facts every week, without shading or opinion:

As the American people know, I am not offering up my opinion week after week, but rather I am speaking from our two pillars, “religion and morality.” Though I am on national radio, I do weigh myself in the light of my responsibilities before God and man, in which I must stand up and give an account on that final day. This, by the way, is the reason that I do not give my opinion, but rather, the facts. “Facts are stubborn things” - and I am sticking to them, like it or not!

One can imagine the theocracy that Smith would be happy to usher in, and the treatment of dissenters in it, if his view of freedom of speech held sway. His views on gays and non-Christians (other than his brand of Christians, that is) are well known.

Who are these “American people?” Well, they’re people who agree with Smith, not the rest of us:

What defines an American anyway?  Just because you were born here does not make you an “American.”  To be an American is to line up with who we are as a people and as a nation.

Goose step to Bradlee’s drum or you’re not an American. (It’s either line up, or it’s up against the wall!) This is poisonous, eliminationist rhetoric; it needs to be called out and condemned at every opportunity.

There is much more in Smith’s ill-considered and perhaps panicked apologia. I’ll have more in coming days.

Graphic by Avidor.

Update: Here are part two and part three of the series.

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