Monday, June 09, 2008

Freedom of Expression?

what exactly is protected by the First Amendment

1) The right to question our war effort?
2) The right to call homosexual behavior a sin?
3) The right to say that the CIA created the HIV virus?
4) The right to say that the moonlanding was faked?
5) The right to say that Mohammad was a liar and false prophet?

The fact is that the First Amendment gives one the right to tell the truth and state honestly held opinions, regardless of what the government or society wants to hear. If the statement interferes with what the state wants people to believe, then the state cannot suppress the opinion, but must answer it and prove it wrong. All of the above statements are protected by the first amendment provided the person who says them genuinely believes them to be true and no government agency may censor them; it may answer them and try to prove them wrong but cannot censor them. (For the record I agree with two of the statements, find one to be understandable but wrong, and find two of them to be ludicrous.)

Now we go to another question of free speech and freedom of the press.

Some would argue that there are no limits and that areas such as kiddie porn or bestiality are permitted. Would the same people allow "snuff films" or such things since there should be no limits. Sadly the right to make pornography sometimes seems to be more valiantly protected then the right to tell the truth and state honestly held opinions.

Others believe in freedom of speech for me but no for thee.

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) there is no line in the Constitution that guarantees the right to never be offended.

Of course there are limits but some of them are hard to define. You don't have the right to knowingly lie about someone and you don't have the right to reveal military secrets during a time of war. You don't have the right to call for someone to be killed (though you do have the right to say someone deserves to die - - which is not a subtle difference.)

What brought this up? Freedom of Speech and the Press is restricted in Canada due to excessive hate-crime legislation.

We need to be vigilant.

8 Comments:

Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I couldn't agree with you more. FREE SPEECH means precisely that. Just check with Mark Steyn on steynonline.com to see his dealings with Canadian BC courts regarding his book. What is there is already here and growing.

Just wait until Obama is seated. You thought the Fairness Doctrine was oppressive??

BZ

10:42 PM  
Blogger dons_mind said...

lol - sad but true BZ

good post shoprat...

8:32 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

It is a good post, Shoprat, and free speech is already being intefered with, so evidently we are not being vigilant enough. I am very interested in seeing the movie "Expelled" by Mark Stein.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

In Ferndale they tried to stop a guy from holding up a cardboard sign saying "Honk if you are against the war" saying it interfered with traffic. It really is just a way for the govt. to shut people up. I think the rightwingers are at least as bad as the lefties on this score.

I noticed that the title of the article was "the future belongs to Islam". It reminded me of the Hitler Youth song "Tomorrow belongs to us". This, too, was a failed prophesy.

I think that mixing religion with politics has always been a disaster. If there was no such thing as organised religion, there would be a lot less hate in the world.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

important subject; good post.

9:59 PM  
Blogger benning said...

BZ's right. The impulse, as well as the attempts, to stifle our speech is already here. It's growing. And the MSM is going along with it for all the PC reasons.

Good reminder, ES!

8:08 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Just remember who controls the "MSM". Corporations (IE: Republicans).

8:46 AM  
Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

so which one was ludicrous?

I'm guessing #4

11:32 PM  

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