Saturday, January 29, 2005

Hate speech vs. free speech

Thanks to Bad Catholic for pointing out this article in the Washington post about the Swedish pastor who was arrested for hate speech.

"Our country is facing a disaster of great proportions," he told the 75 parishioners at the service. "Sexually twisted people will rape animals," Green declared, and homosexuals "open the door to forbidden areas," such as pedophilia.


In Sweden, like much of Europe, this kind of speech is illegal. In the U.S., speech like this is protected under the First Amendment.

Where do we draw the line? Are statements like these violent in and of themselves? Do they incite people like Aaron James McKinney and Russell Arthur Henderson, who murdered Matthew Shepard? Or more recently, David A. Higdon, a self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi "Skinhead" just convicted of first degree murder for beating Philip Walsted to death because Walsted was gay? Speeches like Rev. Green's may well be exactly the kind of thing that people the McKinneys, Hendersos, and Higdons use to justify their lethal violence. Then again, I doubt people like this need a whole lot to justify violence. They were violent to begin with and didn't need someone else's hate speech to push them over the edge. The Bible itself, when read literally, can be used to justify all sorts of insidious violence, including genocide. Should the Bible be banned as hate speech?

Personally, I come down on the side of free speech. Most intelligent people, even those who think homosexuality is a sin, can make the distinction between two consenting adults of the same gender in a mutally loving relationship and pedophiles and people who would "rape animals." Speeches like this tend to show the speakers for the idiots they are and do a lot more harm to the anti-gay agenda than rational conservatives who don't use ludicrous non-sequitors to state their case. Take a look at Fred Phelps, who creates gay rights supporters every time he opens his mouth. No offense to Sweden, but I'll take free speech because I think it does the job better than any statute can.

Actually, there's an irony here, since Phelps claims "God hates Sweden." I think he and Rev. Green would probably get along fabulously.

6 Comments:

At 2:44 PM, Blogger catholic_girl said...

Like you, I'm not sure where I fall on this. I hate that people say these things and I wish they didn't; but unless they are encouraging their parishioners to pick up rocks and head to the local gay bar for a good old-fashioned stoning, I don't think they should be put in jail. I just wish people would be more aware of the consequences of their words.

 
At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, there's an irony here, since Phelps claims "God hates Sweden." I think he and Rev. Green would probably get along fabulously."

Actually I think this guy's arrest is one of the things that riggered Rev. Phelps' feelings about Sweden.

 
At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, there's an irony here, since Phelps claims "God hates Sweden." I think he and Rev. Green would probably get along fabulously."

Actually I think this guy's arrest is one of the things that riggered Rev. Phelps' feelings about Sweden.

Summer

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'll take free speech because I think it does the job better than any statute can."

I aggree, with the cavat that if what Green said is illegal in Sweeden his ass should land in jail. If speech is regulated pulpits should not be exempt

http://www.livejournal.com/users/the_methotaku/

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger mynym said...

"Most intelligent people, even those who think homosexuality is a sin, can make the distinction between two consenting adults of the same gender in a mutally loving relationship and pedophiles and people who would "rape animals." Speeches like this tend to show the speakers for the idiots they are..."

It is ironic that you are trying to speak of "drawing the line" and so on with respect to this issue.

Anthropology indicates:
"From a clinical perspective, rape, incest and homosexuality can convert into one another and lead from one to another (cf. Myers 1982). Such transformations can extend to bestiality as well.

...Animal categories can intersect
with sexual abuse."
(Definition and Violation: Incest and the Incest Taboos
By Dorothy Willner
Man, New Series, Vol. 18, No.
1. (Mar., 1983), pp. 134-159)

Homophilia, pedophilia, zoophilia, necrophilia, etc., have always had some association in perversion of basic natural categories of life. The blurring or perversion of basic natural categories such as male and female, child and adult, human and animal, life and death, etc.

This is to be found at the end of any civilization. Then there will typically be another civilization not so morally degenerate, decadent and dissolute that rises up to replace the ending civilizaiton. That is the general pattern.

Most social Leftists who wax eloquent about free speech will work to censor such basic knowledge about natural categories and their perversions, as is proven in Sweden, etc.

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger mynym said...

"Like you, I'm not sure where I fall on this. I hate..."

Hate? Hate speech!

And don't you just hate that?

 

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