Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Violent Rhetoric, Deadly Results

Freedom of speech, according to the courts, is not absolute. Hate speech (like burning a cross across the street from a black family’s home) isn’t allowed. It’s an act of overt racial intimidation.

And the law also prohibits “fighting words.” In a 1942 case called Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously established the doctrine that "insulting or 'fighting words,' those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" are beyond the protections of the First Amendment.

These thoughts were sparked by today’s mail. The postman brought me an electioneering envelope from an organization calling itself “The Judeo-Christian View” that accused Senator Obama of promoting “child sacrifice.” With extremist rhetoric like that directed at the Senator, is it any wonder that the crowds at Republic rallies have recently been yelling “Kill him” and “Off with his head?”

“The Judeo-Christian View” was signed by a variety of clergy–Rabbis, Catholic priests, and Protestant ministers who explain that they abhor racism and slyly proclaim that “it is irrelevant to us that his father was Islamic, that he was enrolled in a Muslim school in Indonesia, or that his middle name is Hussein.” Very open minded.

But when the religious right equates abortion with murder (or worse, “child sacrifice”), they are almost inviting the trigger happy to take the law into their own hands.

That’s what happened with James Barrett, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, serving as a protective escort to clients at a women’s reproductive clinic in Pensacola, Florida in 1994 when he was gunned down by Paul Hill.

Defending his crime, Hill proclaimed, "If you believe abortion is a lethal force, you should oppose the force and do what you have to do to stop it." Vigilantes are only doing God’s will.

So the problem with “the Judeo-Christian view” that Obama endorses “child-sacrifice” is that another Paul Hill will draw the homicidal conclusion.

With Obama ahead ten points in the polls, maybe that’s their secret agenda?


Rev. Don Spitz said...

The real terrorists are those who murder babies by the thousands by means of abortion. Innocent children being ripped limb from limb. Your support for these babykillers is despicable and your pointing your wicked Christ rejecting finger at those who want to save their lives makes you a hypocrite. Innocent children deserve to live.
SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

Robin Edgar said...

Yes, I am not all that big on fighting words as a rule either Gary. If they do not actually lead to someone being killed or physically injured they often lead to other kinds of harm being done to the targets of "fighting words". Some people would prefer to suffer a certain amount of physical injury rather that the non-physical harmful effects of "fighting words". N'est-ce pas?

What are the chances that "witch-crazed" counts as "fighting words" Gary?

What about when the religious left, or at least a certain number of its religious leaders, engage in some modern day "witch-hunting" and equate an inter-religious celebration of Creation with a dangerous cult of the Solar Temple variety? AFAIAC Besides being a deeply insulting, and more than a little bit defamatory, four letter word "cult" is a "fighting word". I will continue to fight its false and malicious application to my legitimate religious activities by bigoted U*Us until such a time as U*Us in positions of responsibility at the UUA and Unitarian Church of Montreal responsibly acknowledge that it is both deeply insulting and defamatory, and thus harmful and damaging to my ability to freely practice my religion, for Rev. Ray Drennan and other bigoted Atheist Supremacist "Humanist" U*Us to falsely and maliciously label Creation Day as a "cult". Do you think maybe that it was their not so secret agenda to force me out of the Unitarian Church of Montreal?

For the record I have been physically assaulted by Montreal U*Us for peacefully protesting against that four letter word "cult", other fighting words that U*Us used to defame me, and other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. I have received threats of physical assault that a 911 dispatcher characterized as "death threats" launched at me by a U*U too and one person attending the Unitarian Church of Montreal once responded to my peaceful protest by asking, "Should a stop and talk with you, or should I go home and get my gun and shoot you?". Who is to say that a frustrated and deranged U*U might not kill me or seriously injure me one day Gary? I guess this vigilante U*U COP is only doing the will of the U*Us because it is rather unlikely that he is doing the will of God. . .

Bill Baar said...

I wish Obama had done something about the incredible number of kids shot in Chicago each year. It's well into the hundreds. We sacrifice our kids here each weekend and the indifference to it is astounding. The only institution that cares much is the Chicago Trib which publishes their pictures each year.