Amit Ghate has provided a wonderful statement of the underlying meaning of "Freedom of Religion" or "Freedom of Speech: as much as these principles mean protection from a state outlawing certain ideas, they also mean protection from a State extorting money from its citizenry to promote anyone's agenda, whether by regulation that suppresses certain points of view (via vehicles like campaign finance laws), public schools that propagandize controversial ideas (like Global Warming or environmentalism in general), or even government advertising campaigns to promote righteous behavior ("This is your brain on drugs... [picture of fried egg]").
More people need to take notice that the protection of individual rights (the only proper function of any State), if it means anything at all, means protection from the State in all forms of advocacy. Not just protection from the State putting a gun directly to your head to do something -- but protection from a State indirectly forcing you to pony up your hard-earned cash so they can put you -- or your kids -- into a locked room, strap you into a chair, clamp your head in a vice, tape your eyelids open, and force you to look straight ahead at a screen projecting a stroboscopic kaleidoscope of caricatures of humanity screaming their "message" with the sound system cranked wide open into an incoherent din.
That is the ultimate expression of and real meaning of a State that doesn't separate itself from the promotion of ideas -- legalized brainwashing.
Here's an exercise: over the next week count the number of times you are subjected to some kind of government advocated point of view -- ie, a point of view promoted by some advocates who have seized control of the government.
-- Count the number of "Ad Council" ads on TV, for instance. (If you watch 20 hours of TV a week and come up with less than 20 government ads, you've fallen asleep.)
-- How many times did you scan past NPR on the radio while they condescendingly promoted their contempt of capitalism by nothing more than a sneer at all businessmen from a guest who never earned an honest buck in his life?
-- Or maybe Barack Obama just preempted your favorite TV show for a 2 hour speech on his notions of subsidized health care.
-- Maybe you were prohibited from eating some kind of food at a restaurant because of all those publicly funded "public interest research groups" (CalPIRG, MPIRG, US PIRG, Iowa PIRG, etc, etc, pick your flavor) -- who get much of their funding from federal grants and automatic "donations" by students at state-run schools;
-- or, less obvious, you ate something containing an ingredient promoted by government farm subsidies, which made it impossible for alternatives to be made available.
-- or you couldn't get salt on a meal because of Michael Bloomberg's never-ending quest for moral supremacy and power.
-- Maybe your kid was required to have a flu shot to attend class (are flu shots necessary or good or even safe? That's an idea);
-- Or did your kid just come home with a math problem about recycling or conserving energy?
-- But it might have just been those obnoxious NEA brochures sent home with your kid to promote "diversity" -- meaning, cultural relativism; meaning, relativism; meaning, all ideas are equal -- meaning, no ideas are better than any other; meaning, there's no truth or falsehood, right or wrong, good or bad -- meaning, your ideas are wrong and bad because you don't have the power (or income) to promote them, and their ideas are right because they seized the power: a union granted a government monopoly over every public school in the nation by legislative fiat, with government funding to oppose the emergence of any competition (ie, charter schools, vouchers, or, best of all, tax credits for tuition).
Then estimate how much money was spent to promote those points of view -- multiply by 52 -- and divide by 300 million. There's your share of the cost to pay for your own destruction -- if you didn't agree.
It's time to get the government out of the propaganda business. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, the purpose of government is protect rights, not to control the intellectual life of this country.