Candied Ginger:"That may be one of the more horrendous things I have
heard recently."I thought it was hilarious. And you didn't
'hear' it... you 'read' it."The presumption,
that god agrees with you and votes with you..."I don't
recall god ever voting. But, if he did, he certainly would not have voted
Democrat.Wonder:"If I don't like what Sterling said,
and I tell the world I think his remarks are horrifyingly racist, I am not
violating Sterling's 1st Amendment rights."It's called
libel and slander... both civil wrongs, torts.
It's all about the "market place" of ideas (paraphrasing former
Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes)Free speech is a zero sum
proposition (comedian D.L. Hughley defending Tom Imus on the Tonight Show with
@wrz: "I would think it'd be OK to pray for the pres so long as the
prayer says something like... 'help to realize what a mess he's
causing and help him to stop ruining this country...'"That
may be one of the more horrendous things I have heard recently. The
presumption, that god agrees with you and votes with you and wants your team to
win... Hubris. And not a small touch of pride. "But
the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven
as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be
merciful to me, for I am a sinner.'"
Oh wrz, wrz, yes I know the 1st Amendment says "Congress." The point is
that when people complain that so and so doesn't like what I just said so
he's violating my 1st Amendment right of free speech, they are wrong.
Individuals cannot violate your right to free speech. By definition. If I
don't like what Sterling said, and I tell the world I think his remarks are
horrifyingly racist, I am not violating Sterling's 1st Amendment rights.
wrz, That is not what the Mormon Church teaches, at least not what you said.
That is really shameful and makes me wonder about your religious education?
Utefan60:"My mother sent a message to the First Presidency that no one
prayed for the President of our country anymore."I would think
it'd be OK to pray for the pres so long as the prayer says something
like... 'help to realize what a mess he's causing and help him to stop
ruining this country...'Something like that.
As bad and hurtful as some speech can be, I worry much more about laws and
punishments for such. I think it is better for a person to speak what they want
and suffer whatever public consequences there are. Donald Sterling and that
rancher in Nevada are good examples. The right to say what you want, (exception
of course in certain very restricted environments like an airplane,) should be
the default position instead of more and more PC laws that require legal
punishment for a persons unpopular speech. I thought that was supposed to be
one of the great freedoms guaranteed in the American Constitution. And, you
don't have to look too far in todays world to see what the other side of
that freedom can result in. People being thrown in jail for an offense against
a religion for instance. That can even happen in non Muslim countries. Not a
world I want to see coming to America.
We sometimes pick and chose who we pray for. My mother sent a message to the
First Presidency that no one prayed for the President of our country anymore.
It had been common practice in her area that a prayer was often offered
supporting the President of the United States under the previous administration.
I wonder why? If we are to honor the Articles of Faith should we not pray for
the support of our duly elected President? Or is there a double standard?
Wonder:"@wrz -- By definition, no one but the government can violate
your First Amendment rights. Nothing I or anyone else does can violate your
First Amendment rights."I think you'll find that the First
Amendment says 'Congress' (Congress shall make no law...) not
'government.' And there are more parts to government than just
Congress... the courts for example."Before you argue, read
it."Ditto.Furry1993:"The First Amendment
applies only to government action."See above.
@Mike RichardsI have experienced people using public prayer to
belittle and bully. Didn't like it then, don't like it now. I'm an American and I live under American laws, not Canadian or Mexican.
Likewise, I'm a Taoist with ties to Buddhism, not a Christian
or Mormon. I don't live under your religious rules. And, in America, you
don't have a right to force your rules on me. In fact, because
we are not a theocracy, "God said" has no place in crafting our laws.
The rules of your "tribe" are the rules of your tribe only, and the
difference between ancient and modern times is that both of our tribes have to
get along within American society.You actually seem like a person
who is genuinely concerned about others. But I already feel bruised and battered
by other Christians, and you just add to that - I want to scream "stop
beating me with your Bible, it doesn't help."Meanwhile, I
live very properly by Taoist standards of conduct. I taste life as it comes,
without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort. I think this
is #4. Have a good evening.
Re: Ginger,Picking and choosing which of Christ's commandments
should be disobeyed and then hurling insults at others who have also picked and
chosen which of Christ's laws to disobey seems a little hypocritical -
don't you think.Christ is the God or the Old Testament and of
the New Testament. He clearly told us how to live and how to use our bodies.
He spoke clearly against those who "perverted" the use of their bodies.
If you're going to cite Christ, please be respectful of Him and cite His
warnings against homosexuality. Even though God told us not to be
judgmental, that does not excuse violating His commandments. To the woman
caught in the act of adultery, he told her to go and sin no more. His
forgiveness was based on her compliance to His directive.Government
cannot speak for God, but it would be foolish to ignore God's directives on
proper conduct. Doing that would put government against God and government
Applying 1st Amendment rights selectively does require shredding (or at least
segmenting) the rights outlined in our Constitution.When we say you
have 1st Amendment rights, but somebody else doesn't... or this segment
does, but that segment doesn't... or you have it when you say this... but
not when you say that... it is fragmented and weakened.
Hi, Mike Richards. You asked "Is prayer really an abomination?"My parents were married in an Episcopal church but did not keep going. I was
raised to respect others and sometimes I went to services or events with
friends, but by high school I was being bullied by Christians for being Lesbian,
so I saw most of them as just mean.My wife was attending a Unitarian
Universalist church when we met, we are members there now. One of our ministers
is Buddhist, the other is Christian and we have humanist, Christian, Buddhist,
Wiccan and other members. As an adult I don't mind public
prayer at all. Unless the prayer is used to condemn or exclude some
groups and people - like in high school when some would pray really loud for the
gays and Jews and Muslims to all find Jesus and not be condemned... You know,
bullying disguised as prayer.Yes, I do think Congress could use some
higher-power guidance. But the corruption, scandals and refusal to
help the poor or end the wars... It feels like the prayer is for show only.
My parents were friends with a woman who owned a day care. One weekend some kids
found an unlocked door and tore the place up. Knocked over shelves, messed up
the fish tanks, poured paint on the floors and walls. The owner was
really upset, so were the parents of the children who went there. The vandals
were caught and charged with trespass and destruction of property and such. It
was upsetting, but it was strictly a property crime. In college I
dated a Jewish woman for a while and we visited her family. The previous week
somebody had vandalized the Jewish community center, painting swastikas and
anti-Semetic phrases on the walls, defaced some art and did unspeakable things
to a Holocaust remembrance. My girlfriend was upset. Her parents and
their friends were grimly watching each other's property and had regular
contact with the authorities. Her grandparents were hysterical with fear, as
were the others in that generation. It was a hate crime because the
terroristic nature went far beyond vandalism - they targeted the Jewish
community on purpose, with malice. That day I understood hate crimes.
Is prayer really an abomination? Each Supreme Court session begins with prayer.
Should America be incensed when their Supreme Court justices call upon Deity to
guide their decisions? Each Senate session begins with prayer. Those who post
against "public prayer" have told us that praying in public is basically
an affront to them and to society. Are they offended that Senators would invoke
God's blessing on this nation and upon them as they struggle with laws and
policies that affect this nation? Christ offered a public prayer that millions
of people recite many times each day. Should He be censored? All of my life, I
have been asked to offer prayer in civic events. Did the prayer that I offered,
giving gratitude for the blessings that we enjoy in this Country, for the
freedoms that are ours, for the opportunities that we have, for the friends and
neighbors with whom we associate, did that type of prayer "cross the
line"?People who are grateful, pray. People who realize that
they have opportunities that few people in earth's history have enjoyed,
pray. I pray in private and publicly. Should Congress censor
@dmcvey"Hate crimes" are crimes committed against a defined
class of "victims." To enhance punishment for something that is already
a crime, because it was committed against a certain "class" of people is
to say that certain classes of people are more deserving of protection than
other classes of people. Is this not classest? Is not justice intended for all
people, regardless of their "class?"
@Mike Richards:Sounds to me like that principle was a godly woman
who understood and believed the words of Jesus according to St. Matthew 6:5 and
6, ""When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray
publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I
tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you
pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in
private."The young man in question was asked to not pray during
a public event. He decided to violate the request. He got his reward - a lot of
attention and adulation from a certain section of the general public. According to Jesus, that was all the reward he could or would get.
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahThose who claim that anyone can pray
in school are absolutely mistaken. Several years ago, the Senior Class President
at the High School just across the street from where I live, offered a
"prayer" as part of his speech. The Principal was livid.======== He could pray all he wants to, but addressing the
student body and invoking a prayer is "Forcing" others to participate in
HIS prayer.Tell me Mike -- Was it an LDS, and you are OK with
that, orIf it was it a Muslim Prayer, are you still OK with that?I've read your one-sided biased comments.I serious do not
believe for one second that you'd be just as supportive of the entire
School praying to Allah or Baphomet.
Freedom of speech doesn't mean that you get to say whatever you want and
everyone else has to shut up. It means that you get to say what you want but
have to face the consequences--which, sometimes, are public scorn. The
Government hasn't punished any of these free speakers and we need to be on
guard to make sure it doesn't, but the public can react to people saying
I thought we came to grips with this a long ago.... and figured out that you
can't restrict BAD people's free speech rights without the unintended
consequence of infringing on good people's free speech rights... so we
decided not to do it, and not infringe on anybody's free speech rights.That's why we have pornographers, KKK, SDS, and other people out
there saying and doing things we otherwise would not allow. Things that we know
are harmful. But we must tolerate them in order to keep the GOOD parts of free
speech rights and a free society...===Race seems to be
the exception to this rule. Why it became so elevated above every other taboo
in society... I don't know.IMO we should be consistent... and
not even try to ban these people, or infringe on their rights, not even their
right to freedom of expression (especially in private).We don't
have to accept what they say... we can totally reject it. But we need to
understand that they have the right to say it (especially in private). Otherwise none of us really have freedom of expression (outside the
Those who claim that anyone can pray in school are absolutely mistaken. Several
years ago, the Senior Class President at the High School just across the street
from where I live, offered a "prayer" as part of his speech. The
Principal was livid. She did everything that she could to keep him from
receiving his diploma. Since that time, a remote switch was placed on the
microphone to "cut off" anyone who prayed in public. No "public"
praying is allowed in the classroom. Prayer is speech. It is
protected by the 1st Amendment."Hate speech" can easily be
defined as one person attacking another person with speech. Read the posts on
this thread and you'll see several instances of "hate speech" when
posters attack other posters by name. By definition, that is "hate
speech". They claim the "right" to use that speech, but they want
legislation to outlaw "hate speech". Those posters want the government
to protect the rest of us against them. I'm against that legislation. Free
speech means that they can hurl insults in their posts - if the moderators
disregard the DN's own rules.
@wrz 9:08 p.m. May 4, 2014The First Amendment applies only to
government action. Please show me where the government did anything to Sterling
or his rights. From everything I've heard, it was a private organization
-- the NBA -- that is acting against Sterling.
@wrz -- By definition, no one but the government can violate your First
Amendment rights. Nothing I or anyone else does can violate your First
Amendment rights. Before you argue, read it.
UtahBlueDevil, you are right, words can hurt, violently, more so than sticks and
stones. Anyone who knows what "gaslighting" means in a psychological
sense understands that. So, to Macfarren and others, who have mentioned that
phrase, with all due respect to the idea behind it, let me suggest this to those
(no one here, I'm sure) who would be tempted to rattle off some unwarranted
phrase such as the kind we are discussing. It's another motherly kind of
advice; if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
Had our least favorite ball club owner said this to himself, he may have stayed
out of hot water, and kept his cool 2.5 billion...ya think?
This, and most of the U.S. political discussions on the web, amount to the
following:Our country has no cultural norms, America is
higv"The NBA is a private organization so they can censure what people
say. Same as this newspaper can."It's not the same. I
would guess employees of this newspaper can say what they wish even though what
they might say may not qualify for printing."Private
organizations can do what they want disciplining them as well."Not without facing the possibility of being brought to justice for violating
first Amendment rights.
I love how some pretend that words have little significance.... what's the
phase used, "...words will never hurt me"? That is wonderful for the
second grade playground, but in the real world, words have consequences,
sometimes deadly consequences.If you really think words can't
hurt... you haven't been around or seen enough. Someday, that bubble will
get burst. Wrongly used words can cause you lost money or opportunity, lost
employment, a relationship, a marriage, or your reputation.... Words surely do
have impact in very real ways.
@DarellYou are absolutely correct, but as it becomes more and more
acceptable in our society to punish persons for their freedom of speech it is
truly a matter of time before we have government leaders that will try to
legislate our speech. Who am I kidding they are trying now!!! We are on a very
slippery slope and our liberal government has made such a flip flop from the
'60's when it was considered acceptable to say anything and I mean
anything and not fear any retribution at all from society or the government.
Again I think that the racist comments of these individuals are awful. But the
fact remains we all have the right to have an opinion and we all have the right
to speak that opinion without fear of retribution. NBA protecting their
interests?? Really?? Let the people and the players make that decision. The
protest that the players staged that night was completely appropriate and the
fans should just not show up and then he would have been forced to sell. But
the fine he was given was retribution that was akin to Hitler.
I say No! the government should never have control over our opinions and how we
express them. If some guy wants to say rude and hurtful things that that is his
right and no one should be able to stop him from expressing that right.
Hey Gary O. Follow your own advise!
Dear American Citizens,If you have ever wondered what living in a faciast
society would be like...well you almost know. Shredding the first ammendment is
the first step to a facisim. Nothing can be said unless it is "for" the
uplifting of the state. While I think that the comments of racists individuals
are deplorable they are still protected under the first ammendment to be able to
say them and not fear retribution. I'm sorry but when our right to free
speech is taken away our consitution is literally hanging on for dear life! Very
scary and very sad!
It is claimed you are no free from the consequences of your speech,while
that may be true, it is only true to a point.What rights do you have
to hurt sterling just because he made terrible comments?Don't
your rights end when it hurts another?Do you actually understand what
freedom of speech means?Or what freedom of conscience means?You are not free to hurt or punish others just because you disagree with them.
or are offended by them.Your rights end when they hurt the other
person, including sterling.
Hey Thid Barker" - "On the other hand, just honestly
criticize Obama's policies and it gets called "hate speech"
everyday."Barker?Whining puppies who can't play
with the big dogs should just stay on the porch.
I find it pretty ironic that the DN prints these words in their editorial:"... the best way to combat hatred and falsehood is to do so
head-on, with logic, reason and persuasion."I believe it is time
for the Deseret News to begin to practice what they preach.@RBB;Pray in secret and your god, who sees all things will reward you openly.
Pray in front of the student body, and you have your reward via their
adulation. Prayer is personal and should remain such (iow, keep it
to yourself).I don't know how this conversation turned to god,
probably Mike Richards from who all things like this seems to flow.
There are those "that make a man an offender for a word" and "turn
aside the just for a thing of naught".Isaiah 29:1; 2 Nephi 27:32)
@ Florien WineriterI appreciate your restrained, thoughtful, and
polite comments."Their (the leaders of authoritative
organization's) thoughts are subject to evaluation, discussion, and
criticism the same as thoughts expressed by everyone"On this we
agree. In a First Amendment sense, you are spot on. For those who are not
members of the organization (I'm guessing you mean The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day-Saints), who have not made covenants to follow it's
leaders, I suppose evaluation of the leaders' words IS understandable and
natural. But please be aware, one cannot come to the knowledge of apiritual
truth (see below) through a debate contest. Actually, evaluation is
what we ask investigators of the church to do: to prayerfully investigate and
discuss the church's doctrines and words. Criticism of church leaders from
members of the church is inappropriate.I invite real searchers to
truly investigate, with a sincere heart, prayer, having faith in Christ, and
remembering his goodness. See Moroni 10:3-5, page 529 of the Book of Mormon. I
assure you that with those attributes in your search, you can come to a
knowledge of the truth. It is an invitation.
Donald Sterling never had his Freedom of Speech hindered. He was not, is not
and will not be prosecuted for what he said. The government cannot and has not
done anything about his hateful comments.However, what the NBA did
was to protect its assets. It was a business decision made by the free market
that he willingly entered into. The NBA has every right to perform the actions
it took. It is similar to firing an employee who gets on National TV and says
negative things about your company.
What does the phrase 'hate speech' even mean? It's
ridiculous.Everyone should grow up and follow what their
mother's taught them in elementary school, "Sticks and stones can break
my bones, but names can never hurt me."
@Mike Richards 8:44 a.m. May 4, 2014Nobody is trying to keep prayer
out of school. The students can pray any time they want, and about whatever
they want to pray about. They can use whatever form of prayer, from whatever
religion, that they want to use. Or not pray if that is their choice. The
decision to pray or not pray, and how to pray, is and should be in the hands of
the students. What can't be done is for the government to create an
establishment of religion (the act of establishing a religion). That is
specifically contrary to Amendment 1 to the US Constitution.But --
say you get your way and prayer is allowed in school. To what god should the
students pray? What form of prayer should they use (there are many different
traditions of prayer among the Christian denominations, and lots of other forms
of prayer in non-Christian faiths). How would you react, for instance, if your
grandchild was required to pray to Mother nature in the wiccan tradition? Or
bow to Allah as the Muslims do?Hopefully you can see the problems
inherent in what you want.
There was reference made to the "older" portion of society being the
source of bigotry, not so. You will hear and read younger people speak and
write bigotry as well. They have been taught in school that it is acceptable to
portray certain groups in a derogatory light, to paint all with a broad brush
when a Q-tip for a few is more accurate. We see where some in the younger
generations portray those older in less complementary terms simply because of
age. In short, don't point the finger at others until you have
examined your own motives.
I thank heaven for this opinion. I am from the "older bigoted"
generation. I grew up in the "segregated" world. We can also thank
heaven that a lot has changed, for the good, since then. I think that acting in
a bigoted way is wrong. I think that our ball club owner knew that because he
was know to have donated large amounts of money to black groups. He may not
have wanted for people to bring black people to his events, but he did not act
that way. His comments certainly had the expectation of privacy since he made
them in private. I disagree with them totally, but I will defend his right to
say them in private to the death. I shiver to think of the government bugging
my bedroom to see if I happen to say something that is not politically correct
-- this week.
Has anyone ever read "Animal Farm"? You should read it to your children.
Incorrect about Obamacare Mike Richards. It was fully discussed and the
information was readily available for people if they wanted it. The problem was
that people didn't think they wanted it because it comes from the Democrats
(actually, with many Republican ideas). People did not want to admit that there
was a problem except those like me, that were uninsured. We are not the majority
in the country, but we are here (and eight million of us have signed up to get
the healthcare we need). If the majority of the country didn't really want
it, it was because the majority may not have needed it. But the main thing
everyone needs to know now is that it will also help those that have not had any
problem with insurance previously, to not have those problems in the future
(such as pre existing conditions).
Liberals were all for free speech during the 1960s when they were protesting
against the Draft or the Vietnam War. (People in a certain age range nay
remember the Free Speech movement at U.C. Berkeley, led by Mario Savio and
others). More recently, when people started disagreeing with the liberal
community and advocating other perspectives, it's interesting how the
liberal commitment to free speech seems to have mysteriously disappeared, only
to be replaced by a concern with "hate speech." As "blasphemy"
is defined in some Muslim countries by whoever happens to be in power, similar
type of situation may be developing here. "Hatred" is simply any opinion
that the politically correct community doesn't happen to like.
rw123 -- I agree with you that the closer people live to the gospel the happier
they will be. But in a society where different people have different
interpretations of what is the right way to live, we have to be very careful
when we pass laws that enforce God's laws. I probably happen to agree with
you on what God's laws are and I believe that I should live those laws.
However, my friend who isn't LDS has a different opinion of what God's
laws are (and another friend might not even think God has any laws). I
don't think I should try to enact laws that "force" my friends to
live in compliance with my religion, even though I completely believe that I
should live in compliance with my religion. There are general societal norms
that we all agree on -- no murder, no theft, etc. because violation of those
norms harms other people. God's laws that only harm the individual should
be the individual's choice to obey or not, at their own peril or to their
In view of the obvious facts that people are born with varying amounts of
freedom, some are born into slavery and die before they even realize what
freedom is and that a persons freedom depends more on where he is born, it is
very hard for me to not think that "Freedom comes from God. Restrictions on
freedom come from government", is a lie.
Gosh "Conservatives" like to whine and snivel.And I'm
all for it.If that's the only way they know how to exercise
their first-amendment rights, then they should have at it and just cry those big
ol' Right Wing tears.
Markey's proposal would require recommendations for addressing hate speech
"consistent with the First Amendment." Who would define hate speech?
And who would decide if recommendations for addressing what may-or-may-not be
hate speech are consistent with the First Amendment? The opinion of an Edward
Markey would undoubtedly be much different than the opinion of a Mike Lee or
@ high school fan.The NBA was not the least bit interested in fairness.
The NBA was interested in protecting the NBA brand and the substantial profits
that flow to the team owners. Professional basketball is hugely popular among
blacks. Not only are 76% of players are black but a large percentage of the fan
base is black. And the fan base is what drives the TV contracts that are by far
the major major source of income for the teams.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that in the DNews even a simple article
about speech devolves into a discussion about god. Sorry Mike Richards but it
just gets old. Anyway, I fully support the different movements to
get rid of hate speech but I am totally against passing any laws to accomplish
this. As a parent of a child with disabilities I am a huge supporter of the
Special Olympics movement to eliminate the r-word from our everyday speech
(please see www.r-word.org for more info). However, I would oppose any law that
would try to make it illegal. The way to handle hate speech is not by passing
laws but by educating people about how mean these words are. That's the
key, we don't pass laws, we let people use this horrible speech if they
want to, but we educate people how awful it is and how it hurts people; then let
them decide for themselves if they will use these words and be mean to people or
Oh brither, here we go...1. Donald Sterling was punished by the
Billionaire's club LEAUGUE, BTW -- You can call me when he gets throw
in jail by the Government.2. These same conservatives would not
allow a Muslim group to build a Cultural center in New York, a Satanist group to
erect a statue of Bophamet in Oklahoma, or allow even some Christian religious
the right o wed gay couples.3. I find it odd that the Deseret News
and other conservatives are fine with Bush's Patriot act - willfully spying
on U.S. citizens, cheer the Citizen's United decision granting Corporations
PEOPLE'S rights, and the McCutcheon decision granting unlimited legalized
Bribery of Government officials...and getting so bent out of shape
over some imaginary boogieman who is stipping away the individuals rights --that
just is NOT happening.
Modifying the constitution regarding free speech is a dangerous path to go down.
The way to tackle this is by "educating" people, we have been making
great progress in this for years, we can teach people to be more tolerant of
others who are different and/or have different beliefs and lifestyles. Secondly,
we need to create an understanding that what someone says, only effects you as
much as you let it. One man making some unpleasant racial comments in his own
home, is really no big deal, unless we allow it to be. I mean look at the guy,
do you really care what he says in his own home?, personally I'd be more
concerned if someone like him, liked me - what would that say about me?I've had abuse shouted at me and been physically assaulted for being
white. Have I allowed the words and actions of a few ignorant and unpleasant
individuals to shape my life and opinions? We need to accept that there will
always be people in the world with distasteful beliefs and attitudes, and just
focus on the positive, that the vast majority of people out there are decent
Everyone should be allowed to express their own thoughts. Every action has a
consequence. I think what happened to sterling was poetic justice. You cant say
those things about another race and not expect anything to happen.
@rw123: "but in the case of the General Authorities of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, their statements are spiritual law in that they
spell out God’s will and commandments."Warren Jeff's
spells out God's will to his followers. The Pope spells out God's law.
The Dali Lama spell's out the law of the universe. Miriam Starhawk spells
out the law of the Goddess. Various imams spell out the laws of Allah. Fred
Phelps spelled out God's laws. David Koresh. Jim Jones. Rick Warren. Ellen
White. Mary Baker Eddy. David Duke. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Louis
Farrakhan. Master Li Hongzhi. Benny Hinn. Pat Robertson. The list of
those who "speak for God" and "spell out God's law" is long
and varied, comforting and scary, and totally depends on the neighborhood you
live in and the faith you follow. Confusing the rules of religion
with the laws of the land puts us far down the slippery slope into theocracy and
the loss of freedom for all.
Its easy to forget that the First Amendment wasn't designed to protect
Three decades ago I heard of the first rumblings of laws against hate crimes and
those laws were predicated around the state of mind of the person committing the
crime. I said then that this was the beginning of the loss of the "freedom
of speech," the First Amendment. And it is now coming to fruition.Exactly what the Founding Fathers were trying to protect against is coming to
pass. Expression of opinion somehow changes a murder to a *MURDER*. And now,
expressing the opinion of dislike is extrapolated into the crime itself.Canada has laws on the books that bring ministers up on charges if they
preach that homosexuals are sinners. Here in the US, criticism of the
President's policies are termed "code" thus racial, and you get
audited...or worse. Such as being put in prison because you made a movie
criticizing the President's most favored religion!
@Stormwalker,There are numerous groups, including the Freedom From
Religion Foundation who have tried to outlaw voluntary prayer by student
athletes and the like. I agree no one should be forced to participate in a
prayer. Likewise, no one should be prevents from participating. Likewise, people should be able to stay stupid things. You will be hard
pressed to find any student at a major university who has been disciplined for
making statements which are anti-christian, and few who have been disciplined
for making anti-semitic remarks. There are numerous students, however, who
have been suspended, expelled or otherwise disciplined for making comments which
were perceived as anti-women, anti-gay or anti-muslim. That is the
problem with "hate" speech regulations. They are almost always applied
unequally by those in power. There are many who cry racism if you oppose any
policy of President Obama, but had no problem getting vicious in their comments
about Herman Cain. Speech restrictive regulations are a weapon - usually
yielded by the left.
I agree that the govt. can't really do anything about hate speech.
"Hate Crimes" are a different matter. They are punishing someone who
commited a crime with the intention of sending a message to a targeted minority.
We already put extra punishments on people for their motivations--hence, first
defree, second degree murder and manslaughter--these categories all have to do
with what the felon was thinking.
Teka,Yes!Who, of the young, do you consider the most problematic as
far as bigotry?I am one of the old ones who constantly hears, first hand,
all the disgusting bigoted speech from other old ones.
We should all remember the saying about sticks and stones. It is actions and
not words. We can never change what one thinks by curtailing what one says.
In my opinion, government main role is to ensure every man and women is able to
express the fullness of their freedoms, and pursue their own destinies. The
only role of government under this context is that one can not gain their
freedoms through the denial of another their freedoms.Government can
not ban racism in one owns heart. What the government can do though is
preventing that racism from denying another their own rights, freedoms and
liberties. When ones attitudes spill over to actions that impact others, that
is the right and just place for government to insert itself.You can
think anything you want. You can say anything you want. But in the latter,
please don't expect that you can do so without impact and consequences.
If you free speech is an attempt to deny another of their freedoms, it is
absolutely the propagative of government to put consequences to that speech.
Hey Mike Richards –“Restrictions on freedom come from
government. Therefore, God and government are at odds with each other.”WRONGLet’s say you feel like flying to Hawaii.
What??! God didn’t give you wings?!Well, the Government gave
us the FAA, the FCC, and a common monetary system to help make your desire a
reality. Because of government, you CAN fly to Hawaii.Your argument
is specious.BTW, Jesus loves good governance.
“Let [truth} and falsehood grapple, who ever knew truth put to the worse,
in a free and open encounter.”Milton has a good idea, but in
America now there are very few “free and open encounters,”
especially in Right Wing Circles. Do you think Rush Limbaugh would allow the
lies that proliferate on his show to be challenged? Ever since the demise of
the Fairness Doctrine during the Reagan administration, Right Wing Radio has
proliferated specifically because these “Conservative pundits” do
not allow dissenting opinion in the form of “free and open
encounters.” Consequently, the baseless ideas and prejudices of their
Right Wing audience go unchallenged, to the detriment of America.I
agree that an anti-hate-speech law would be unworkable. An anti-slander law
(where a candidate cannot slander an opposing candidate) makes a lot more sense.
First Amendment:”Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
grievances."For me it is a hard stretch of the English language
to see any protection or rights for the individual American citizen in the First
Amendment. Further, if it was applicable to individuals, there are many
standing American laws that violate that intent that are not being addressed.
If a person expounds, out loud, something that does harm to other
people, is that different than yelling Fire in a theatre?
re: Mike Richards"Freedom comes from God. Restrictions on
freedom come from government."What about commandments (the big
10, the word of wisdom, chastity, yada yada yada) Mike. Where do they come from?
re: Stormwalker"Too often, Christians seem to think
first amendment religious freedoms are only for Christians, and maybe for Jews.
Not for those of other faiths and who are not religious."Why am
I thinking of Ned Flanders & Apu from the Simpsons?
@Florien Wineriter“Freedom of speech is a cherished right but
leaders of authoritative organizations must make it clear to their followers
that their uttered thoughts are not ‘the law’, neither secular nor
religious.”I beg to differ. If I understand your point, I
agree that indeed, religious leaders’ uttered words are not secular law,
but in the case of the General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day-Saints, their statements are spiritual law in that they spell out
God’s will and commandments. Their words and revelations may
not be binding in the same way as secular or man-made law that man can enforce
in the ways he feels fit. But if you want to have the spiritual blessings of
obedience and avoid the consequences of disobedience, they are just as binding
or more. To both members and non-members, the consequences of breaking these
laws are spiritual but just as real. If man can issue laws, why
can’t God. And the closer the society’s laws are to the
Lord’s, the happier the society will be. I don’t claim it as
gospel, just my opinion.
@Mike Richards: "Government tells us that we cannot even pray in
school."Government does not restrict you from praying in school.
It does restrict you from forcing me to be part if your prayers. It also says
that if you are going to insist that your prayer be part of a public spectacle
that you have to make room for others to also pray - not just Baptists and
Methodists, but also Muslims and Wiccans and others. Too often,
Christians seem to think first amendment religious freedoms are only for
Christians, and maybe for Jews. Not for those of other faiths and who are not
@RiverOfSun:"When the hate speech, particularly from the older,
bigoted population of our society gets out of control, simply, consider the
source."How about hate speech from the younger bigoted
population gets out of control, should we consider the sourcwe of that too.Just because you throw out the term 'bigot' about others,
doesn't mean that you are not a bigot in your own opinions. Don't
TELL me. SHOW me.
Years ago there was an employee at the University of Utah who would use the
student newspaper to state the most close-minded intolerant views. He thought
their should be quotas on Mormons because he felt they were stealing from
others. He thought that the Jews deserved what they got in the Holocaust
because the Old Testament condemns homosexual behavior, etc, etc. In
today's climate he would have been fired immediately. But I thought that
it was beneficial for him to have his freedom of speech and the freedom to say
what he did.If not, I would not have learned that such views exist
and that when looking over a cultural divide that we should be open-minded and
not misinterpret based on our own cultural paradigms.
Fortunately enough people abhor racism that it is not socially acceptable to be
supremacist of any kind. The NBA is a private organization so they can censure
what people say. Same as this newspaper can. The 1st amendment does give
people a right to be foolish though. Private organizations can do what they
want disciplining them as well.
Every one of us has said things that we regret or do not honestly reflect our
true sentiments. If every conversation in our lives was recorded, then all of us
would be condemned. How long until people start coming after you?
No "liberal" wants to do away with free speech. The government should
not control speech. However, it doesn't violate anyone's First
Amendment rights if I say I don't like what you said. In fact, I am
exercising my First Amendment rights when I do. I don't know if you
understand the Constitution, procuradorfiscal. It only applies to government
suppression of speech. So who cares if a liberal says something is hate speech.
Maybe they are being rude and hurting your feelings when they tell you your
speech is hateful, but they are not violating your First Amendment rights, which
is what this discussion is about.
@Thid Barker: "For example, disagreements with liberal ideology is called
"hate speech"."And disagreements against right-wing
ideology are called heresy and blasphemy and unAmerican and socialist and a
whole range of other condemning words and phrases designed to shut down thought
instead of engaging in discussion. The right uses religiously coded
words to identify "unacceptable" speech. As society moves away from
religion those code phrases have lost general impact. The left uses
"hate" which is more universally recognized and gets a visceral reaction
across more segments of society. Neither is accurate, both sides use
code to identify actions they want shut down. Currently, the left is more
successful in the general deployment of their code phrases. Not all that long
ago the right was ascendant by labeling every disagreement as part of the
"godless communist conspiracy." For reference see: HUAC, Red
Scare, Hollywood Blackball list, and the history of conservative religious
leaders during the civil rights. See also the condemnation of the anti-war
movement during Vietnam. Lots of code words there, and all couched
in religious and pseudo-patriotic terms.
Freedom comes from God. Restrictions on freedom come from government.
Therefore, God and government are at odds with each other. God commands us to
worship Him before doing anything else of importance. Government tells us that
we cannot even pray in school. Not only has government restricted free speech
but it has legislated our right to be religious. Both freedoms, the right to
worship and the right to pray (speech) are clearly guaranteed in the 1st
Amendment. Freedom of speech allows all ideas to percolate until
the "truth" is found. Honest debate causes people to think.
Unfortunately, many people follow the example of "leaders" who attack
the person instead of discussing the message. We learned in kindergarten that
only an insecure bully attacks others. We learned in high school debate to
study both sides of an argument. If ObamaCare had been openly
discussed - in full detail - it would never have been passed. Because speech
was restricted our freedom and responsibility to care for our personal welfare
is in jeopardy.If NSA spying had been discussed, no complex would
have been built and our email would be secure.
Re: "The natural inclination of most people in power is to suppress dissent
and put an end to ideas that might threaten their power."And
that's particularly true of liberals. They know they'll never win
using their foundational, existential "liberal man's burden"
doctrine, so they attempt, instead, to suppress any dissent, calling pretty much
anything they don't disagree with "hate speech."Even
when they know there's no hate involved in it.
Some old adages still apply in this day and age.When the hate speech,
particularly from the older, bigoted population of our society gets out of
control, simply, consider the source. That explanation helps put the
problem into perspective.
In 2010 my son graduated from Syracuse University. World renowned biologist
(and Utah native) Craig Venter gave the commencement speech that included those
words:"We just celebrated the 10th anniversary of our first
decoding of the human genome, and from that, we learned some rather simplistic
things—we learned we have about 20,000 genes instead of the hundreds of
thousands that people had expected. And from our reading the DNA from an
African American, two Hispanics, two Caucasians and a Chinese individual, we
learned that we’re all extremely similar to each other, and that race is a
social, not a scientific concept."That statement should be part
of our dialogue relating to race and whenever we hear anyone making derogatory
remarks about anyone, we should quote this gifted scientist.
Freedom of speech is a cherished right but leaders of authoritative
organizations must make it clear to their followers that their uttered thoughts
are not ‘the law’, neither secular nor religious. Their thoughts are
subject to evaluation, discussion, and criticism the same as thoughts expressed
"Hate speech" is arbitrary and is politically driven. It depends on who
says it and about whom it is said. For example, disagreements with liberal
ideology is called "hate speech". When liberals disagree in the most
vile terms with any conservative its NEVER called hate speech, only free speech.
For example, when Harry Reid lied about Mitt Romney that was "free
speech". On the other hand, just honestly criticize Obama's policies
and it gets called "hate speech" everyday. Therefore liberals invented
hate speech to denigrate and silence their critics!
The implications of being punished for having said something in the privacy of
your own home ought to scare everybody. As for the NBA, this has all the
appearance of an old western with judge, jury and executioner all being the same
guy and happening the same day. They could have got to the same spot but could
have appeared to be more fair by imposing a temporary punishment and then
letting the dust settle just a little. After time and a more thorough
evaluation would have given off the appearance of fairness instead of what we
The problem is that those who perpetuate hate speech also want to shield
themselves from the consequences of that speech. You have a right to say what
you want, but you don't have a right to control the reaction of others.
Plain and simple - the restriction of Free Speech and the abuse of First
Amendment rights is a step toward the legalization of all forms of control in
the country by government. Whenever this has happened in history, the citizens
have been enslaved. Many who read this will be familiar with the quote: "We
have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of all men,
as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they tend to exercise
unrighteous dominion." This characteristic of "almost all
men" is why the founding fathers were pressed to include the "Bill of
Rights" as an addition to the framework of the Constitution. With insight
from the freedoms so vigorously fought, they knew that our Rights must be
guaranteed by an immutable governing document. And so it is. Those who seek to
change it, are traitors to all of us who seek to maintain the freedoms of this
land. There are those in government who are seeking to exercise unrighteous
dominion in so many venues that it boggles the mind that people are so willing
to stand idly by and observe this unrighteous demolition of our freedoms.
How many think we actually still have freedom of speech in America? Better pay
attention to current events to note that the first amendment is dead in America.
We are closer to Communism than our Constitution in 2014.
Much speech is disconcerting and uncomfortable. However, the First Amendment
was established to provide for the right to express our thoughts - even the ones
that sting and reveal ignorance. It is unfortunate that there are those that
advocate restriction of speech - for to do so leaves the empowered to decide
what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Objective standards would go out
the door and the subjective would become the rule. Subjective opinion is
subject to change at the whim of the governing. The right to speak is much more
important than the right not to be offended by speech. I agree with this
editorial that basic understanding of these principles are not be understood,
because they are not being taught. Rather, political correct thinking is the
flavor of the times - leading to less principled thought.