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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I still believe in the First Amendment

The crown jewel of being an American is our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. This is a precious freedom that is guaranteed by our constitution, but that freedom is currently under attack.
A movie ridiculing and insulting The Prophet Mohammed that was broadcast on You Tube, was blamed for the the violence and horrible tragedy in Lybia that claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and four former navy seals on September 11, 2012. There is now good evidence that this was a premeditated attack rather than a spontaneous one as result of the blasphemous video.
Muslims all over the world were outraged at the video and since then have demanded that it be removed from You Tube.
I have many Muslim friends that I love and respect. As a result of this offensive video, I put a post on my Facebook page pointing out some of the positive contributions of the Prophet Mohammed. I have no respect for anyone or any group that intentionally insults and bashes someone's religion. Words are very powerful. They carry the forces within themselves of life and death. We should be very careful of the words that we speak.
However, a famous Philosopher made a statement that I agree with and I believe brings common sense and balance to this very heated issue. The Philosopher Voltaire once said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it."
This is in a nutshell sums up my feelings and convictions about this controversial issue. I'm an American. I love my country and the freedoms that I have because brave soldiers have shed their blood to protect these cherished freedoms. I love the privilege of publicly saying what's on my mind, to get angry, to speak out, to disagree!
This indeed is the blood-bought privilege and crown jewel of being an American. I am outraged at the ridicule and insults hurled against my Muslim friends and yet I will defend that person's right to say it! If certain special interest groups are allowed to pass legislation against so called, "hate speech" and they succeed, watch out! Then very soon, you and I will be silenced. We will no longer be able to speak our mind without fear of arrest and imprisonment  This is exactly the state of affairs for my friends in Iran. They don't have the luxury of free speech as I do and whenever they speak out, they are in fear of arrest and imprisonment.
I think what Voltaire said is exactly right! I am offended, but I will defend the rights of the person who offends me. The freedom of speech must be protected at all cost!

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