First Amendment Voice Statement on Post-election Political Violence

January 15, 2021

SAN CLEMENTE, CA — First Amendment Voice stands with the many voices raised against the political violence at the Capitol building and other areas around the country on January 6th. While we steadfastly champion freedoms of expression, assembly and the ability to petition the government for grievance, we denounce those who would use violence as a weapon against the pillars of democracy due to an election outcome. As the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently announced, “We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.” The rioters, due to ignorance, arrogance, or some combination, have endangered the very rights they professed to defend. The First Amendment allows citizens to express themselves, assemble and petition the government for grievance. It does not afford the right to push through barricades, loot and destroy property, or endanger the lives of others. 

We mourn the loss of life, including police officers in the line of duty and others, due to violence and call on leaders to settle grievances at the ballot box and through legal means. The country faces myriad health and economic challenges without need for self-inflicted losses from illegal mob actions. 

We celebrate the thousands of heroes across the country who monitored the election, volunteered at the polls, served in the courts during legal challenges, and many other civic functions. These unsung citizens stepped forward during an international health crisis, despite the risks, to play their role in shepherding our democratic processes. Civic engagement is daily work, not something that occurs only  during elections. Thank you for leading by example.

We express gratitude to our elected leaders, military, first responders, and countless others involved in safeguarding our democratic process and our citizens. Stay resilient and keep moving our country inexorably toward the aspirations outlined in the Constitution. 

First Amendment Voice (FAV) is a non-profit, nonpartisan movement created to bring awareness, provide education and promote advocacy for citizens to exercise their First Amendment freedoms of religion, expression, press, assembly, and petition while encouraging citizens to understand, protect, and exercise those rights through ongoing programs and partnerships. Our board consists of veterans, lawyers, clergy, different ethnicities, genders, faiths, and three different generations.

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Citizenship is not a spectator sport!

First Amendment Voice National Symposium Album

First Amendment Voice National Symposium Album

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”2″ exclusions=”19,20,32,36,38,39,40″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_imagebrowser” ajax_pagination=”0″ template=”/home/content/48/10534248/html/777/FAV2/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/imagebrowser-caption.php” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]The First Amendment Voice National Symposium held on September 16-18 in Philadelphia, drew experts, political and religious leaders from all over the United States to address current challenges to First Amendment liberties. the symposium formally launched the First Amendment Coalition.

For symposium highlights go here.

View the special town hall session here.

In The Media – July 15, 2016

In The Media – July 15, 2016

In the News

The following article may help understand the current divisions within American society from a different perspective. Samuel Huntington was a famous social scientist who wrote important books that helped shape the thinking of intellectuals within American for decades. Jason Willick writes in the American Interest that one of Huntington’s lesser read theories may ultimately be playing out in today’s political environment. Read more at the link below.

The following piece is response from a police officer to recent shootings and protests about overzealous policing.


Here is an article about a local school controversy in Virginia over banning books from reading lists. Is this political correctness run amok or an instance of parental intervention to protect their children from obscene material? You be the judge.


Another instance of free speech getting denied on a California campus. See this article about Cal State University – LA Campus attempting to prevent a conservative speaker from addressing students.

In The News 6/20/16

In The News 6/20/16

A Newsweek article that describes a desperate state of affairs with respect to free expression on college campuses. To quote the article briefly below, this paragraph sums up the current climates on mangy college campuses.

“Graduates of the Class of 2016 are leaving behind campuses that have become petri dishes of extreme political correctness and heading out into a world without trigger warnings, safe spaces and free speech zones, with no rules forbidding offensive verbal conduct or microaggressions, and where the names of cruel, rapacious capitalists are embossed in brass and granite on buildings across the land.”


This Economist article discusses free speech getting repressed around the world and puts U.S. college campuses in that context.


This Christian Science Monitor article provides survey data indicating that students exercising the right to freedom of assembly is up and provides some rationale for why that might be.

This Seattle Times article provides a specific example of students protesting on a campus about a program’s curriculum. You be the judge of whether their grievances are justified.

Seattle Times: Too many ‘dead white dudes’? Seattle U students protest program’s curriculum


The following New York Times op-ed describes how many of our colleges may have journeyed to a state of intolerance with respect to freedom of speech.


The following blog describes another example of where only certain progressive ideas are being promoted while others rooted in the protection of family or religious conviction are disregarded.

In the Media 5/23/16

In the Media 5/23/16

Read this story for inspiration from youth in a high school near San Bernardino. Tolerance and inclusion are attributes that make our country strong and this story provides a shining example. Enjoy!

You’ve probably already seen the news reports on the Department of Justice suing the State of North Carolina, which countersued last week over religious freedom.  We won’t reiterate those stories here, but the following two articles touch on  the impact of the current bathroom debates. The third link provides analysis and commentary from Charles Haynes, Founder of the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum in Washinton, D.C. Lastly, an NPR report details how the Southern Baptist Church is dealing with changing societal norms.

This first article cites a current law suit brought about in Illinois over a mandated transgender bathroom policy.

This second article provides evidence to counter arguments from advocates of religious liberty laws who argue that allowing transgender people into the bathroom of their choice will open the door to predators.

This third piece is an analysis from Dr. Charles Haynes at the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum.

This last link is a NPR story (7 minute audio included) on the Southern Baptist Church and societal changes.

In the Media 4/18/16

In the Media 4/18/16

The following video link demonstrates a pervasive atmosphere on college campuses where anything goes. Most psychologists will tell you that boundaries are healthy in every relationship and can help maintain strong communication and trust between people. Kevin Ford and Dr. James Osterhaus devote an entire chapter titled, “Create Healthy Boundaries,” in their seminal consulting book about organizational health, The Thing in the Bushes. They have used the philosophy to help dozens of organizations, from churches to businesses and government agencies, to assess climate issues and develop healthy paradigms to make their organizations more inclusive and effective.
The following New York Times article describes the controversy on campus surrounding Trump supporters. While the above video demonstrates that almost anything goes, apparently not if you support Donald Trump. Now, FAV is nonpartisan and does not endorse any candidate, and in fact many of our supporters deplore the state of dialogue promoted by many of the candidates, including Trump. That said, in the spirit of free speech, supporters of any political candidate should be free to express their opinions, as long as they do so in a respectful and tolerant manner. This challenge is indicative of the state of political discourse across the country. Too many supporters on both sides vilify opponents and candidates in ways that demean participation in public dialogue. We should welcome diversity of thought to better understand each other and find areas of commonality. Too many people are offended if someone says something they don’t like, but also too many people are obnoxious in how they voice their opinions, intentionally meaning to be provocative and inflame others. Gone seem to be the days when two people could disagree over a substantive issue but still have dinner together afterward and respect each other. Many of Trump’s supporters do no favors in this regard. However, we should seek to understand the underlying issues that lead vast numbers of Americans to support candidates who wield radical ideas that don’t seem to reflect American values. Only then can we begin to address the grievances and move toward a society where E. Pluribus Unum is again a benchmark.
The article linked below describes Belgian parents of former jihadists, many of whom are dead, who have formed a group to help fight back against radicalization. There is a short video included on the CBS website. Germany already has a similar group of mothers, as does Canada. This is something that the U.S. needs in order to help sensitize community leaders to the indicators of radicalization and be preventive in nature. Currently, U.S. government efforts, much like in many European countries, only focus on intervening after potential radicals cross legal thresholds. Civic and faith leaders can play a role by learning about the indicators of possible radicalization and educating other community leaders in order to prevent someone from going too far and ending up in prison or inflicting violence upon innocent people.