Letters to the Editor

Bridges letter: First Amendment

How depressing to hear a BSU official say that college kids — supposedly high school graduates — don’t understand the First Amendment. Such a simple, yet vital, right.

In 2014, Mozilla CEO Brenden Eich lost his job for supporting California’s Prop 8, which opposed same-sex marriage. In 2005, Harvard President Lawrence Summers was ousted for suggesting that, due to biological differences, men and women might learn science differently.

In both instances, defenders of the firings said that neither man’s First Amendment rights had been violated, indicating that employers have the right to terminate employees who embarrass or reflect poorly on the employer. You’re free to express yourself, but have no “right” to keep your job if that expression is deemed harmful to the employer.

Bingo. Correct. On all accounts.

Yet many of these same folks today are saying, if the National Football League fines or suspends players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem on game days, the league would be depriving players of their First Amendment rights.

How can people so well-versed on the First Amendment one day be so ignorant on it the next? That’s what happens when emotion and unquestioning ideological loyalty trump logic and reason.

Phil Bridges, Nampa

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