Newly elected Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been targeted by Congressman Jimmy Gomez (D-CA34) in his “Resolution to Expel” her from Congress. He says, “Her very presence in office represents a direct threat against the elected officials and staff who serve our government, and it is with their safety in mind, as well as the security of institutions and public servants across our country.” 

On Wednesday, an unfavorable CNN article stated she “indicated support for executing prominent Democrats” before running for office. According to the report, she “liked” a comment that quipped “a bullet to the head would be quicker” in the comment section on a Facebook post that displayed her petition to “Impeach Nancy Pelosi for Crimes of Treason” in January of 2019. The petition seeks to impeach her because, in Taylor Greene’s opinion, Pelosi’s policies and world view give “Aid and Comfort..to illegal aliens are enemies that invade our country with drugs, human trafficking, and terrorist causing death and crime to American citizens.” She contends that Pelosi’s support for open borders and Sanctuary Cities and refusal to fund a border wall are threats to the sovereignty and safety of the American people. Many agree.

Petition to Impeach Nancy Pelosi/Marjory Taylor Greene

Taylor Greene’s rebuttal to the CNN article:

Rebuttal to CNN/Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

It might be argued that liking and/or posting angry or sardonic banter on social media is off-color, inflammatory or maybe subtracts from constructive conversation. One could also argue that potential candidates should shy away from controversial exchanges to avoid present or future political or personal damage. However, none of the above seems to objectively rise to the level of being a “direct threat” to those who disagree with her—also, context matters.

In June 2020, Politico featured an edited Facebook video of candidate Taylor Greene discussing several issues; poverty in the black community, gay rights, women’s rights, and Muslims holding office in our government. In the video, she says she thinks black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party.”  She also says she would feel “proud” to see a Confederate monument if she were black because it symbolizes progress made since the Civil War. Neither statement seems to be particularly dangerous.

The context of her statements on Muslims is her concern over the beliefs associated with Shari’a Law. She discusses “Muslims who believe in Shari’a Lawand want to be sworn into office with their “hand on the Koran,” as people who we do “not want in our government.” Arguably, there could be risks to our liberties if Shari’a Law were to seep into our institutions, starting with the misconceptions that it is not a legal system at all but a way of life. However, most would probably agree that the adherents to the more radical belief systems often associated with Shari’a Law may not be easily assimilated in our particular country. Taylor Greene clarifies that she feels that belief systems like those that brutally oppress women and throw “gay people off buildings” do not jive with the American ethos. Ask Malala.

If dismantling the system of oppression is the goal of those who are threatened by Taylor Greene, then some of the messaging seem to be ripe with hypocrisy.

Gomez cites Taylor Greene’s Facebook likes and commentary as evidence of the “direct threat” she apparently poses. The posts most certainly communicate a specific point of view, one grounded in the Constitution and the tenets held by our country’s founding fathers. Our country’s founding is rooted in Judeo-Christian values but did not seek to form a theocracy.

Our founders sought to create a country that is hospitable not only to Christians but to all religions. Taylor Greene refers to that in her Facebook video above. She clarifies that freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right, as stated in the First Amendment. Her posts discuss freedom of religion, women’s rights, poverty, among other subjects. Millions of Americans share her viewpoints. She is merely exercising her First Amendment right to free speech. Taken out of context or perceived from a more progressive perspective, her statements can easily be misinterpreted. But do they warrant expulsion from Congress, or is this a witch hunt because her views do not align?

It is increasingly evident that there is a deep rift between the left and the right regarding acceptable speech in politics and culture worldwide. It shouldn’t be true that a small, powerful contingent gets to decide what all get to see, hear and vote for. In America, freedom of speech is still an important right. People worldwide still look to this country to be a beacon of freedom and justice. Perhaps it would be better to engage in dialogue like the one here to suss things out when colliding world-views converge and then decide whether the threat to life and limb is a clear and present danger.

“Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.”

—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo