Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On free speech (a response to Roundhead)

I was surprised to see that a fellow Salon.com reads came over to my blog and posted a response to my comments on Salon in response to Amanda Marcotte article Why I had to quit the John Edwards campaign. In my comments, I took exception to claim that other reader's offense to Marcotte's comments about the Holy Spirit were justification for the threats of violence she received.

I had been laboring under the delusion that the crowd that reads Salon were uniformly smart enough to get their facts straight. The key fact in this incidient is that Marcotte was NOT fired by the Edwards campaign. She quit the campaign both because she felt she was becoming a distraction to the Edwards campaign AND the threats made against her. Those who thought she got what she deserved uniformly overlooked the fact that Marcotte quite the campaign and were either implictly or explictly condoning the actions of the right wing virtual lynch mob.

Now we come to Roundhead's comments:

With regard to their free speech rights, they haven’t been violated. One of them is free to publish in Salon, and I wonder if that’s a liberty granted to her opponents?

The threats of the violence directed at Marcotte were certainly intended to discourage her from expressing herself. I'm glad these abominal actions did not discourage Marcotte from publishing in Salon. Her opponents are free to publish to anywhere that will have them and I most strongly condemn anyone who would threaten them. It is unfortunate they are enough to cause Marcotte to leave the Edward's campaign.

Roundhound goes on to ask me:

But since you are so enraged by about what you call “religious bigots”, I’m sure you were at the forefront of the campaign to ensure that certain cartoonists in Denmark to have the freedom to, as you put it, offend anyone they wish to?

I fully support the right of the Danish publication to publish those cartoons. In a society with freedom of expression, there is guarantee that someone will say something that offends you. Cheney constantly offends me with both with deceipt and his underhanded slanders against Democrats. People who claim I'm going the hell for not believing in the right God(s) really offend me. Even worse, are the intolerant bigots like Jerry Falwell and Pat Roberson who claimed 9/11 was God's retribution for America's tolerlance of gays. I happily accept that having to tolerate this odious speech is the price I pay for freedom of expression. Those who think certain types of speech offensive to them merits a special response either by the government or by lynch mobs, virtual or otherwise, are unpatriotic because they are undermining the ideals of this country.

1 comment:

Roundhead said...


I'm glad, at least, that you support the right of Danish cartoonists to offend Islam...

but I notice, no comments as to how the death threats directed at these individuals have hampered their freedom of speech...

did I miss them?