Thursday, September 27, 2012

Limit Free Speech? Here Come the Professors

Leave it to two dopey professors to lead the charge in America for taking away free speech. In this article by Robert Shibley, which appears in Daily Caller, two university professors, Eric Hosner and Anthea Butler suggest that free speech in America should have its limits.

University of Pennsylvania Religious Studies Professor Anthea Butler has already been the subject of a previous post on this site when she stuck her foot in her mouth on this topic.;postID=8499199938148287517

Let me paint a scenario for those of you who tell me that the First Amendment clearly protects freedom of expression-including the type that is in the headlines these days. In Europe, certain types of speech are already illegal. One example is Holocaust denial. Another is incitement to religious or racial hatred. The problem is distinguishing between  genocidal rhetoric, such as by someone like Hitler, and an honest and open discussion of problems that are staring us in the face every day. This is why you see figures like Geert Wilders and Elisabeth Sabaditsch -Wolff prosecuted in Holland and Austria respectively, the former was acquitted, but the latter convicted and fined.

Now we have the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) , which was already  trying to push  a defamation of Religions law through the UN. Hillary Clinton has already had two closed door meetings with the  OIC in Istanbul and Washington to discuss the issue. The OIC demands can only increase now in the light of recent events.

In the past days, the Islamic Society of Kansas City sent President Obama a letter asking that he put an end to anti-Islamic expression in the US.

In his speech before the UN, President Obama stated that he cannot enforce laws against freedom of expression in the US. (He also said he would reduce unemployment, cut the deficit, and stop the rise in the seas if he was elected in 2008.) Let's just say I don't take Obama at his word.

If the President is re-elected, it is quite possible that he will get his chance to put a 5th ultra liberal on the Supreme Court, as well as another 4 years of liberal judges to the federal bench. It can happen. Who is to say that we may not see a law against so-called "hate speech" a la Europe?

"But," you say, "If all groups and religions are protected, doesn't that work equally for all?"

Sure, just like it does in the Middle East, where Christians are persecuted and Jews (who were driven out in 1948) are damned daily; just like it does today in Europe, where Jews are harassed daily and nobody dares enforce the law; just as it works in American academia, where Jewish students are harassed and intimidated on campus and administrators don't dare take action. We already see that Muslims get special consideration, while the rest us just have to grin and bear it.

It is called intimidation.  And we are the ones being intimidated.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I don't know whether to call your puerile fantasy paranoia, cowardice, or treason.

Who cares what laws Europe has? This isn't Europe. We were founded on breaking with many precepts of European law.

The UN doesn't pass laws. It can produce proposed treaties, which would become the Supreme Law of the Land if approved by two thirds of the senate, and if the Supreme Court doesn't find a violation of the constitution rendering the senate's action null and void.

While I would worry about Elena Kagen accepting this "free speech has limits" argument -- she offered such an argument as solicitor general -- I doubt any other justice would do so. Roberts slapped her down smartly for it.

Bottom line: Obama didn't CHOOSE not to enforce such laws, he has no power or jurisdiction to do so.

(I do understand why Germany and Austria might take a harder line specifically against Nazi expression than the U.S. does.)