Must-Read: Billings Gazette Editor Schooled on Free Speech

Look, I get it that there’s a lot of newspaper editors in Montana that may be further to the Left than you and I.  However, there is one issue that broadcasters, newspaper editors, reporters and civil libertarians should remain united behind:  Free Speech and the 1st Amendment.

Unfortunately, many folks in the media only see Free Speech as, “good for me, but not for thee.”  

That being said, a good pat on the back for The Billings Outpost editor David Crisp for standing up for the 1st Amendment in a must-read piece posted at ‘Dark money,’ free speech and a long way to go

In a routine Sunday column about things the Montana Legislature did right in the recent session, Billings Gazette Editor Darrell Ehrlick wrote this sentence: “Free speech is not the right to say anything to anyone without having to sign your name to it.”

Actually, the right to say anything to anyone without having to sign your name to it is pretty much the definition of free speech. That’s why questions about campaign spending have become so tortured in Montana and in the nation as a whole.

Crisp also shared some recent remarks from former Rep. Krayton Kerns (R-Laurel), who says that a recent bill to crackdown on so-called “dark money” will be used to target Christian conservatives. 

Crisp added:

Kerns’ opinions are nearly always good for a chuckle. If ISIS wants to target Christians in Montana, there are easier ways than poring over campaign finance reports. But the fears Kerns expresses are not so removed from reality as they may appear.

In case you missed it, this is the piece by Kerns that has been making the rounds on social media:  Montana Bill Will Require Every Church Donor To Be Listed In Political Database

Christians are a shared enemy of Islamic fundamentalists and progressives with the former eliminating their adversary via violence and latter using the vicious personal attack techniques outlined in Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” There is a quiet Christian majority who disagrees with progressives, but chose to protect themselves via anonymity; portraying a public persona of “no opinion” while letting other patriots act as bullet sponges to the shots fired from the left. These Christians are the group the left finds most difficult to identify and neutralize, but Montana’s Disclose Act erases the bulletproof anonymity; suddenly making the invisible visible.

Nicknaming SB289 the “Dark Money Bill,” rather than the more accurate “Conservative Christian Identification Act”, made it an easy sell to casual consumers of the news. If dark is bad, then regulating it must be good, but nothing could be further from the truth. Here is the issue: Scripture tells Christians tithing should be done in anonymity and with a cheerful heart, but the Montana Disclose Act removes the very first qualifier by requiring all church donors be identified if the church takes a position on political issues. If your pastor has ever expressed scriptural views concerning abortion or homosexuality they have crossed the new advocacy threshold and the church suddenly becomes an incidental political committee fully regulated by Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices. To comply with SB289, every church donor will be listed on a political database. Suddenly, all Alinsky operatives and Islamic fundamentalists can access the name and address of every Christian with a simple click of their mouse.

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