Sticks and Stones and Words will always Hurt me?

The Professor Brother: No Free Speech in Preaching – Christianity Today Magazine

My Brother points out the problem that Churches are facing with the new “Hate Speech” laws that are hitting the books. I of course, found it quite interesting that the Canadian law allows for “religious Hatespeech.” Go figure–they liberal elements of society are willing to protect the Church, but not willing to accept that perhaps they are pushing the definition of “hate” a bit too far.

I have for many years been opposed to “enhanced” punishment for hate crimes. Why? Am I an insensitive, unfeeling person? No–actually quite the reverse. I think if an action against another person is bad enough to be labeled a crime, then the punishment should be equally severe, regardless of race, or gender, or any other bias. Who cares why you beat someone up? Who cares why you killed someone? You did it, and you should receive the severest of punishments.

Perhaps this is my personal bias, having been on the receiving end of a bully’s pummelling more than once. It sure would aggravate me that “100 pound weakling” is not a protected class, unless I happened to also be a homosexual.

That being said, one would think I would want equal treatment of people who spew hate through words. Actually, I do–I want them to be treated just as anyone else, who spews any type of speech, hate speech, or loving speech. I don’t buy into the liberal view that sticks, stones, AND words hurt me.

This nation was built on, among other things, the notion that the free exchange of ideas is to the benefit of all. The First Amendment protects all political speech, which unfortunately for some at times is painful. In the article my brother cites, is the following:

“Soren Andersson, president of a Swedish federation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, said religious freedom is never a reason to offend people.”

Are we to make it illegal to use words that, as we see above “offend people?” Who is to determine where this line is drawn? Certainly today’s political discourse in the US should qualify as offending many. The “Left” has regularly announced the affront they feel whenever Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity speak. I for one have chosen listening to Janeane Garafolo as my personal Cardio-vascular exercise regimen. President Bush has been virulently attacked by Move-On dot org for many months now. These are “offensive” words to some, and in fact I would say many–but it is this discourse that makes America great!

Should we now cave in to those who wish to make it illegal to speak your mind? To share ideas, no matter how offensive?

How soon is it, until defending the offensive is in itself “indefensible?”

Place your homework on the desk, face down.


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