Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Russian Government, Barack Obama Hate Free Speech

Obama's Unconstitutional Acts - Flopping Aces
Oct. 2, 2012 - What do Russia's government and Barack Obama have in common? For one thing, they have very little tolerance for freedom of speech. Let's look at a few recent ones: Russian punk band Pussy Riot and critics of the prophet Mohammed.

"The Duma, Russia's parliament has proposed a new law that would punish anyone who insults the feelings of religious believers," reports Worldcrunch.com, "with up to three years in jail. Insulting a holy site would carry a penalty of up to five years." 

Granted, Obama's statement was not a direct call for banning such speech. It can reasonably be taken as a tacit all for it, however. Let's be clear: Those who "slander the prophet is Islam," or any other religious figure for that matter, are exercising their internationally recognized right to free expression of speech, thought and opinion. "Slander" can be interpreted so broadly by ordinary people and opportunistic politicians that its legal meaning - which varies from nation to nation - becomes secondary to its emotional importance.

Later in the same speech, notes Elisha Maldonado ("Publius") at IBTimes, "Obama offered an example of those whose opinions should be marginalized: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated..."

Maldonado asks a question that many of us asked we heard Obama's bizarre U.N. speech. "Is Obama calling on world leaders to join him in ridiculing non-violent people whose speech he does not like?" In my own opinion, mere ridicule would be relatively benign. Politicians, after all, have a right to freedom of expression, too. Maldonado goes on to ask, "Or by 'marginalization' does he mean something worse than tough words from the bully pulpit?"

 "Something worse," of course, would be a law such as the one that Russia's Duma is considering. The Duma is justifying the proposed regulation as a measure that would “protect the rights of religious people.” Is that not the same reason given by Muslim governments when they arrest and punish infidels? Is that not how Obama himself would justify what he said at the U.N.? After all, to "slander the prophet of Islam" is certainly offensive to Muslims, and don't they have the right to not be offended?

Nobody has the right to not be offended, actually, not in the United States. The First Amendment of our Constitution guarantees your right to make offensive statements, whether they offend my religion, politics, or sports team loyalty. That's why obscenities such as the "Piss Christ" were allowed to be displayed. Since the founding of the United States over 200 years ago, notes Moldanado, "our presidents and other leaders have defended the rights of individuals to say unpopular things, as long as they avoided imminent violence."

What Obama said to the U.N. that is frightfully contrary to our American tradition of free speech. Whether or not he meant to do so, he legitimized the kind of proposed anti-free speech laws that Russia's parliament is considering. He gave moral support to the immoral human rights violators worldwide who suppress freedom of expression.

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