The freedom to offend

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  • Pippin Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    Dear Mr. Bennett,

    I usually only leave comments on articles whose themes interest me and whose angles puzzle or perplex me.

    So it is here. I am interested in all things FREEDOM including the Freedom of Speech, and I'm totally perplexed that such a terrific article appeared in the Deseret News. It was delightfully witty and a wonderful DEFENSE of freedom rather than the usual attack upon it.

    Congratulations and many thanks!

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 15, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    Re: RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    "What should we do with people who intentionally produce materials intended to offend and incite others to violence; knowing that will be the result of their actions?"

    You may be correct. Perhaps movies, books, and speech should be reviewed by a censor, and a permit issued before we allow offensive material to be published.

    Surly there must be some benefits to establishing a thought police task force.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 4:15 p.m.

    @casual observer -- I do not defend their violence in any way, but I don't think they are angry because they are being characterized as violent. They are angry because their respected prophet was characterized as a womanizing, evil person in that stupid movie. And, while I'm sure most Muslims don't like their prophet depicted in such a way, most are not violent in response.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 4:06 p.m.

    What should we do with people who intentionally produce materials intended to offend and incite others to violence; knowing that will be the result of their actions?

    Are they, or are they not guilty of crimes?

    We arrest people for yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.

    We arrest people for inciting others to riot.

    The film maker, in this case, is every bit as irresponsible as perpetrators of the other two examples.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 15, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    Casual Observer, it reminds ME of Americans so upset that they clamored for the destruction of so much of Afganistan and Iraq.

    They showed some lady dancing and happy about 9/11 over and over until everyone was so upset by Muslims happy about violence against the US that the people all supported two rediculous wars OF NEEDLESS VIOLENCE.

    Then for years, anyone that protested the wars was considered a traitor and fired from broadcasting or publically humilated and called a pinhead by Hannity and the "religious right". So much for freedom of speech in the American Christian Taliban

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 15, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    People think that freedom of speech relieves them of reponsibility of what happens afterwards, it doesn't.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    There is an irony in that those who object to the characterization of Islam as a violent religion are reacting by killing people.

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    Sept. 14, 2012 11:05 p.m.

    The US Embassy in Cairo did not "apologize" for the offensive Muslim film. It condemned it, which every decent person can and should do. That does not mean we are calling for censorhip, but in a free society people are free to spew bile and people are free to condemn it. The author of this piece has greatly misinterpreted the US Embassy's comments, which I copy verbatim below.

    "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."

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Sept. 14, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    Well said, recovering actor. The way for us to get rid of the garbage is to refuse to see it. The way for "offensive" movies to receive their just due is to avoid seeing them. None of those who are offended by the movie that has "sparked violence" were forced to see it (I'm assuming). Those who make terrorist violence happen operate by a set of standards that have no respect for principles of freedom.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    Condemning a movie that is bigoted against a religion is not an apology. The Bush administration embassies issued the same kind of statement all the time. It's really nothing new. Then again, I'm sure some feel obligated to defend Mitt Romney after his blunder of attempted politicizing of a tragedy through a statement that wasn't even factually accurate.