Free speech is tricky. It is certainly controversial when the speech is hateful, divisive and separating. But our troops are supposed to defend our right to be hateful, divisive and separating. In the case of the tiny church in Florida who desperately wants validation via a book burning, I am wondering where the voices calling for National Security and supporting our fighting forces are. John Boehner’s silent gap when ask by George Stephanopoulos this morning if he would condemn the Koran burning this Saturday spoke volumes. The party that pushes hate and anger has shown their true colors again. Boehner responded by saying it was “unwise” hardly a condemnation. If I am at a meal and the meat looks funny and I ask my friend if I should eat it, then it is appropriate if he says “I think it would be unwise.” Haley Barbour on the other hand deflected taking a stand by saying that this book burning incident was a “distraction” from Obama’s policies. What the hell are they talking about?
Our nation was founded on religious freedom and tolerance, yet a man of the cloth wants to invoke memories of a not-so-proud history when a developing America didn’t want Catholics or Jews but did want slaves.
If the good pastor wants to protest something on the side of the righteous, I would suggest he divert his energies against the Rev. Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.
For the better part of this decade, Phelps and his followers have been protesting around the country at the funerals of fallen military members, carrying signs that say “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” He is now the subject of a First Amendment case scheduled before the U.S. Supreme Court next month. [Snyder v. Phelps]
The old adage comes into play here which is I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. That’s where it becomes tricky. I don’t agree with Glenn Beck’s psycho talk or Rush Limbaugh’s rants or even Michael Savage’s non-sequiturs, and I will continue to speak out against what I think are their looney presumptions and call their advertisers and urge people to condemn their words…but as much as I hate what they say, they have the right to espouse whatever lunacy that feeds the great uneducated. That’s free speech.
But I am disturbed by the silence from the “rightees” in my sarcasm here are a few quotes I gleaned from the net so far… (compliments of the Huff Post)
Here’s the maverick John McCain expressing his anger.
Here’s Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney supporting General Petraeus and saying no more hatred and bigotry.
The RNC is reaching out to its members demanding they help stop the hate. Here’s just one part of the email they sent.
Sarah Palin, the Queen of Twitter, chimed in with 140 characters of disgust. I enclose the entire message here.
Glenn Beck, I am told on a mission to help “Restore Honor” to our country, is leading a rally aimed at preserving our country’s honor of respecting all religions, here are the details.
and so it goes….