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?
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