Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Free speech, or merely discounted speech?

This peckerwood Koran burning preacher in Florida has created a problem for the ruling political class. Clearly what he did is protected speech under the First Amendment, but they so want to make it illegal because it offends Muslims. Sen. Lindsay Graham compares it to flag burning, which he would also like to make illegal. Both actions may be repugnant, but that is the point isn't it? Free speech is irrelevant if it is only innocuous and inoffensive.

James Allan opines in The Australian:

The only valuable sort of freedom of speech is the sort that allows people to do or to say what others find wrong-headed, offensive, distasteful and intolerant.

Being free to say and do what everyone else wants you to say and do is not a liberty or freedom you will ever have to fight for; it will make little difference to anything . . .

I think any good, well-functioning democracy requires its citizens to man up and grow a thick skin. If you’re offended, tell us why the speaker is wrong. Don’t ask for a court-ordered apology and some two-bit declaration.

That seems about right to me.

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