U.S. officially apologizes for and condemns free speech

Not a joke. Not even close to a joke. I wish it were a joke as I’d never imagined such a thing could happen. It has. The official statement from the U.S. Embassy website:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others

Sounds pretty. Here’s the deal, however: Free speech gives you the right to say things that offend others. Who says who is offended by what? As a Jew, I feel offended by and use my free speech rights to condemn those who deny the Holocaust, for instance. I’d also fight to my last breath to protect their right to espouse opinions and beliefs I abhor. Free speech means free speech. It doesn’t mean speech YOU, whoever YOU or I or ANYONE ELSE may be, agree with. Free. Speech.


14 responses to “U.S. officially apologizes for and condemns free speech”

  1. TDDPirate says :

    It is rather inconsidrate of deaf people who find themselves victims of others’ religious beliefs concerning accessibility provisions.

    Anyone remembers the filthy “Rabbi” Elyashiv with his anti-deaf prohibition against accepting to Haredi schools (in Israel) of pupils whose parents use “non-kosher” cellphones (cellphones which can send and receive SMS messages)? Thus forcing those parents to discriminate against deaf relatives and/or work colleagues unless they go through the bureaucracy of getting a specific exemption.

    Few weeks, when Elyashiv died, I fully exercised my freedom of expression in order to spread the word that the above prohibition is totally unacceptable by me.

    Will such speech lose protection of Freedom of Expression in the future?

  2. israeliminx says :

    Pirate while I fully support those who are deaf to have free speech (and text and sign), I would also support the right of whoever this Rabbi is (was) to say he opposed it. He has the right to say (write, what have you) whatever the frack he wants and everyone else has the right to say (write, what have you) that he is a fricking idiot to be ignored. Free speech does not mean speech you agree with or endorse, it means speech you may endorse or may abhor. It may be speech that encourages others to discriminate. Fine, so use your right to free speech to expose it, condemn it, and get others to not discriminate.

  3. Lynne says :

    I’d like to point out that there is a difference between free speech and speech which incites others to violence. Just saying. Nothing to do with the comments above.

  4. TDDPirate says :

    Yaeli, if Elyashiv (may his grave be pissed upon) were only expressing his opinion, I’d not condemn him.
    The problem is that the Haredi schools enforce his decrees. They are the instrument by which he forced his opinions upon the Haredi communities, even those who follow more liberal rabbis.

    • Larry007 says :

      I sooo agree with you !!!

    • israeliminx says :

      And your point is? People generally exercise their right to free speech in order to influence other people. Those holistic guru folks write stuff about how vaccinating your kids is bad. Lots and lots and lots of parents buy their arguments. 13 kids in California are dead from whooping cough and 25,000 caught the infection because their parents believed getting their kids vaccinated was worse than risking getting a deadly disease. And? Some people are stupid. There is no law against stupidity. You have the right to espouse whatever crazy idea you want so long, as Lynne pointed out, you are not explicitly inciting violence (or engaging in slander against a living person). But see, you have the right to say this dude is crazy and you people are stupid for believing this crap.

      • TDDPirate says :

        It is an interesting philosophical discussion.
        Where do we draw the line between expressing an opinion and ordering people around? In USA it was already established that speech which orders people around is not constitutionally protected (the example being shouting “Fire!” in a theater).

        Elyashiv did not exercise legal power so his decrees were, on one level, only an opinion. However a large group of people followed his sayings and accepted them as a law. This included the principals of the Haredi schools, where attendance is required by children whose parents wish to grant them high social status.

        Maybe his anti-deaf decrees can be legally considered as equivalent to inciting violence? They are damaging to those deaf persons, who are discriminated against whenever instant telecommunication is needed due to work or family reasons.

        • israeliminx says :

          Sorry but no not even remotely close. If he were calling for people to stone deaf people to death and the principals and parents complied then you’d have a case. These people choose to accept his view. They could choose to not accept his view. They wouldn’t end in jail, they’d only end as social outcasts from people whose respect they desire. they make a choice.

          People who followed the guy who said the end of the world was going to happen on day x a couple of years ago and that they were going to be raptured up to heaven quit their jobs, sold all their worldly possessions, gave away their kids college funds and so forth. It didn’t happen. Now they and their kids are poverty stricken. Boo hoo.

  5. Mac says :

    Is it even possible for this admin. to disgust me to a further degree?

  6. Lynne says :

    Pirate, it’s always a shame when a person such as Elyashiv has influence and followers.
    Mac, it just gets worse, doesn’t it? Obama is a weasel.

  7. 300 yrs in America says :

    The left be they marxist,socialist,communist,national socialist,fascist,et al,have always opposed any dissent by any method. The party line must be adhered to.islam is much the same. Both consider opposition evil. Both consider free speech an evil. The list goes on and on. They both hate Jews and Christians,i believe it isnt the Jewish people or Christians per sey but HaShem and all His rules. Of course islam claims the Jews changed the Scriptures erasing allah/ar rahman and putting HaShem instead.The early Christians did the same in their Scriptures. Both erased the prophecies about muhammad.obama was schooled in a madras and his brand of Christianity is a mix of socialism/islam/christianity. We must understand our enemies.

  8. WipeOutHamasOnceAndForAll says :

    Well, what do you expect from Obama who once bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, a behavior that is carried out only by Muslims to show respect for the King of Saudi Arabia who is officially the guardian of the “Holy” (evil!) sites of Islam and therefore he is supposed to generate respect from Muslims!!

    And the US repeated this behavior recently when one US official was killed recently at a US embassy that was invaded by fanatic Muslims.

    By the way, there is no Muslim extremists, they are just moderate Muslims that went “ballistic” for the latest bogus reason, opportunity to express their hate of anything civilized!!!

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