Peter Johnson Jr.'s confusing standards for what constitutes an attack on constitutional rights

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Yesterday, Fox News legal analyst and Fox & Friends guest host Peter Johnson Jr. joined the conservative chorus claiming that opposition to the Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan does not constitute an attack on Muslims' freedom of religion.

Johnson Jr. stated that he didn't "think anyone is talking about" restricting "the free exercise and practice of religion," which he categorized as an "unassailable, black-letter, red-line rule in American constitutional history." As we pointed out, despite Johnson Jr.'s claim that opposition to the community center does not constitute an attack on freedom of religion, numerous mosque opponents have openly advocated for government intervention to stop construction of the center.

While this apparent attack on constitutional rights did not bother Johnson Jr., he did discover a troubling assault on our freedoms today. This morning, the Fox & Friends crew reported on posters for Will Ferrell's latest movie that, in accordance with the San Francisco MTA's policy of not depicting violence in advertisements, were altered to replace a gun with a can of mace. Johnson Jr. got to the real heart of the issue: whether this was a "backdoor" attack on the right to bear arms.

So, just to recap: according to Fox News' "legal analyst," preventing a religious group from building a place of worship is not at all an attack on the "free exercise and practice of religion." However, photoshopping a can of mace into Will Ferrell's hand on an advertisement may very well constitute a "backdoor attack on Americans' constitutional right to bear arms." Good to know.

Peter Johnson Jr.
FOX & Friends
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