Freedom of Speech as Religion

March 20, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

I think it should go without saying (but of course, nothing does) that anytime someone wants to protect something from “denigration” or other forms of criticism, we should all grab hold of our rights and hang onto them with a death grip.  To put this case most eloquently, I offer the following.

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Category: Censorship, Civil Rights, Communication, Culture, Current Events, Education, ignorance, Meaning of Life, Noteworthy, Politics, Religion, snake oil

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    While some of the remarks description of Muslims in GB seem bigoted, I find the general idea of working the system interesting. But a far better idea would be to improve the US's reputation as a champion of human rights (something we are not currently noted for) to improve our influence in the international community by standing as an example of democracy instead of as champions for despotism around the world.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I enjoyed much of this, though I agree with Niklaus that some of this chap's free speech veered off into over-generalized stereotyping of Muslims.

    Does anyone know who this is giving this talk?

  3. I understand that the ethical goal is to separate people from the beliefs that often characterize them as a group, but this is a hard thing to do when the beliefs in question are so all-encompassing and stringent as to constrain what we might call "reasonable consideration." Even moderate Muslims cannot abide anything that smacks of ridicule of their religion, hence the outcry over the Dutch cartoons a couple years back. Those pushing more extreme agendas rely on this reluctance on the part of the (presumed) majority to appear to run counter to what they believe in order to defend a broader ethic which results in, essentially, derision on occasion.

    Make no mistake, Christians do this, too. It's just that we have, much to the dismay of such faithful, successfully created a secular system that supersedes such faith-based reactions. In many countries in the Muslim world this has not quite succeeded. An effort like this is categorically destructive of the very machinery that permits such a resolution to be put before a democratic body.

    As to the apparent slurs mentioned…well, we've seen individuals do exactly that, haven't we? Take advantage of a system while condemning it. Does this characterize "all" people of certain background? Absolutely not. But recognizing this does not preclude recognizing the initial observation about individuals.

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