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Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech

I've gotten a number of emails asking me to make a comment on a particular issue and so I decided to do that. 

You probably have heard about the group that set up a contest in Texas, a contest of cartoons making fun of the Islamic prophet, Muhammed. The point of this, according to the people who set it up, was to show we have freedom of speech and part of the Muslim world doesn't permit it. 

It's interesting -- there has been tremendous debate on this. I think what was done was wrong. I was brought up at a very early age to know simply because something is true, it doesn't need to be spoken.  And simply because you can do or say something, doesn't mean you ought to. I remember in San Francisco some museum displaying all kinds of repulsive art, like taking a Christian cross, turning it upside down in a bowl of urine and calling that "art".

We have the freedom to do things like that. But what kind of person takes advantage of a freedom like that? To "dis" somebody else's deity? Are we going to have a contest on cartoons saying bad things about Buddha? The truth is, yes, in our country we have freedom.  The whole concept of freedom of speech was to take us away from what used to happen in other countries -- you spoke against the king or the queen and you could end up with your head chopped off. So we started a country where you could talk against your president and not get your head chopped off. 

But the whole concept of us being free to say whatever we want here has been taken to a repulsive extent. We've seen Nazis marching through Jewish neighborhoods or the KKK marching through black neighborhoods because they can. We have the freedom to do that, but, to me, that is an abuse of a freedom.  I think what that group did in Texas was wrong. There are other ways to make a point. The point is already made.  We watch videos of Christians being beheaded in the Middle East. We already have proof.  We don't have to have a contest making fun of somebody's deity. We already have a serious problem in the world. 

So the reason I think it's reasonable for me to talk about this is because we talk about morality all the time. Just because you have the freedom to do something doesn't mean it's morally right to do it. So, that group was wrong. The group in San Francisco that takes pictures of Christian crosses in urine is wrong. They're morally wrong. That's my opinion on this. We're taking the concept of freedom of speech into petty, vulgar, mean places. Don't abuse our freedoms.  

Tags: Behavior, Character-Courage-Conscience, Religion, Social Issues, Values
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