Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How protected should Free Speech be?

Free speech seems to be the point of contention on multiple fronts today. First, Muslim leaders around the world, including Egypt's new president Mohamed Morsi and Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are calling for international laws forbidding speech that insults Muhammad and Islam. (I always find it odd that Muslims care more about insults to Mohammad than they do about insults to Allah.)
It's fair to note U.N. Resolution 16/18 already calls for the criminalization of any speech denigrating a religion that incites others to violence. That's right. If you say or do something that is offensive to anyone based on their religious beliefs, it's ok. If you say or do something that is offensive to anyone based on their religious beliefs, and they do something violent because of it, YOU should be charged with a crime. That little piece of brilliant legislation was helped into law by our very own President Barack H. Obama and Hillary Clinton. Luckily, the U.N. has no actual power to enforce the "laws" they pass...they just put it out there as a recommendation and encourage countries to follow it. Unfortunately, some European countries have adopted such laws and are currently enforcing them.

However, the freedom of speech is not as protected in other countries as it is here in America, where it has garnered special mention in the First Amendment. This has not stopped worldwide leaders from calling for worldwide "blasphemy" laws while speaking to the U.N. Assembly on U.S. soil. And particularly grating is the fact that so called "blasphemies" against Christians has indeed been deemed protected under the First Amendment. But the language is important in these discussions, because leaders are saying that if speech incites others to violence, then it should NOT be protected. While seemingly an insult to common sense, there are many, many people calling for just such laws. While I don't have to explain how stupid that idea is...I guess I do, since many seem to think it's a good idea. Basically, it allows people to cause violence. It gives them an excuse, and a right, to a violent reaction. Now my momma has told me that we cannot control what others say or do, but we CAN control our reaction...and WILL be held responsible for that reaction. If this resolution becomes law, all that goes out the window. As long as someone insults your religion, you get a green light to react with violence. Now that makes sense for an animal...but not a human being with the ability to think. So basically, the Muslim leaders calling for such laws are simply stating that Muslims are nothing but animals who can't control their reactions. Personally, I think that's a great insult to Muslims...yet this is what their leaders are calling for. Do they have the ability to think? Or what are they thinking about?

Another subject that's putting free speech in the crosshairs are a series of ads that have been put up in New York City subway terminals. The ads, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, say "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, Defeat Jihad."

These ads have apparently caused a great deal of consternation in the Big Apple, for a number of reasons. First, people are concerned that Islamic Jihadists will target such subway stations for terrorist attacks. To that I say: Shutup. Don't be moronic people! If a terrorist organization has a goal of killing Americans, do you seriously think they are holding themselves back until proper provocation emerges?? I'm pretty sure anyone desiring to kill people isn't working on the same kind of logic as everyone else. I seriously doubt there is some troubled Jihadi somewhere that wants to kill Americans, but just quite couldn't get up the motivation to do it until these ads incite him to. Please, people, think for a change.

The second issue is one of Free Speech. While a judge has issued that these ads are protected by the First Amendment, people are concerned that Free Speech has gone too far. After all, insisting someone is a savage is a vile, nasty attack that should have no place in human kind.....unless those people ARE acting like savages. My only question to those who think these ads should be forbidden due to their offensiveness is: So does that mean you AGREE that Israel should be wiped off the map? That 10 million men, women, and children should be murdered, as Jihadi leaders across the world have called for? Yeah, didn't think so. So again, use your brains, people. Think something through before you speak about it. I know it's no longer fashionable to do, but a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

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