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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Friday, January 10, 2003

 

Anti-Free Speech propaganda Anne Frank House
Ok, perhaps that's a bit harsh. In actuality, what is at the Anne Frank House (or just outside of it, or next to it, it was hard to tell--you get there after you're done with the self guided tour) is a display that sets up a tension between the ideals of freedom of speech and nondiscrimination. The propaganda of it all is the idea that speech itself can somehow discriminate. The fact is that there is no tension between the ideals of nondiscrimination and free speech, because speech itself does nothing but present ideas. if these ideas are somehow wrong, then they should be countered with correct ideas, not shut off entirely. Examples the display gave were the Ku Klux Klan spouting racist propaganda, and the American failure to silence them (dratted first amendment!), an Islamic leader in the Netherlands calling homosexuality a 'contagious disease' and the Dutch failure to silence him (dratted freedom of religion--though if a secular person would have said it, they would have been condemned as a criminal, of course), and failure of non-European states to censor racist propaganda on the Internet (again, the dratted first amendment at work). I find the attempt to squelch free speech, however despicable that speech may be, just as morally reprehensible as actual discrimination. The idea that people somehow have a right to not be insulted is absurd.
Part of the display was an informal poll of the audience regarding the subject, and the frightening part was that, nearly universally, the 'antidiscrimination' view won over, often overwhelmingly. At one point, I was the only person voting for freedom of speech, and the audience included several American friends of mine. This is immensely disturbing to me. Even more disturbing was the fact that the only time freedom of speech won over was in the tale of the Muslim cleric attacking homosexuality. Why? Because much of the room was filled with students from my Christian college, who agree with him. Do we only support freedom of speech for those we agree with? The fact that ideas like that were being passed around like candy at the Anne Frank House, which should be, not only the bastion of anti-discriminatory practices, but of free speech.
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!
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