Just Say No To Blasphemy: U.S. Supports Egypt in Limiting Anti-Religious Speech

stone-1Here is today’s column in USA Today on the Obama Administration’s decision to join the U.N. Human Rights Council and support Egypt in recognizing limits on free speech for those who insult or denigrate religion. While the exception was included in a resolution heralding free speech, it was viewed as a major victory for Muslim countries seeking to establish an international blasphemy law.

Around the world, free speech is being sacrificed on the altar of religion. Whether defined as hate speech, discrimination or simple blasphemy, governments are declaring unlimited free speech as the enemy of freedom of religion. This growing movement has reached the United Nations, where religiously conservative countries received a boost in their campaign to pass an international blasphemy law. It came from the most unlikely of places: the United States.

While attracting surprisingly little attention, the Obama administration supported the effort of largely Muslim nations in the U.N. Human Rights Council to recognize exceptions to free speech for any “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” The exception was made as part of a resolution supporting free speech that passed this month, but it is the exception, not the rule that worries civil libertarians. Though the resolution was passed unanimously, European and developing countries made it clear that they remain at odds on the issue of protecting religions from criticism. It is viewed as a transparent bid to appeal to the “Muslim street” and our Arab allies, with the administration seeking greater coexistence through the curtailment of objectionable speech. Though it has no direct enforcement (and is weaker than earlier versions), it is still viewed as a victory for those who sought to juxtapose and balance the rights of speech and religion.

A ‘misused’ freedom?
In the resolution, the administration aligned itself with Egypt, which has long been criticized for prosecuting artists, activists and journalists for insulting Islam. For example, Egypt recently banned a journal that published respected poet Helmi Salem merely because one of his poems compared God to a villager who feeds ducks and milks cows. The Egyptian ambassador to the U.N., Hisham Badr, wasted no time in heralding the new consensus with the U.S. that “freedom of expression has been sometimes misused” and showing that the “true nature of this right” must yield government limitations.

His U.S. counterpart, Douglas Griffiths, heralded “this joint project with Egypt” and supported the resolution to achieve “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” While not expressly endorsing blasphemy prosecutions, the administration departed from other Western allies in supporting efforts to balance free speech against the protecting of religious groups.

Thinly disguised blasphemy laws are often defended as necessary to protect the ideals of tolerance and pluralism. They ignore the fact that the laws achieve tolerance through the ultimate act of intolerance: criminalizing the ability of some individuals to denounce sacred or sensitive values. We do not need free speech to protect popular thoughts or popular people. It is designed to protect those who challenge the majority and its institutions. Criticism of religion is the very measure of the guarantee of free speech — the literal sacred institution of society.

Blasphemy prosecutions in the West appear to have increased after the riots by Muslims following the publication of cartoons disrespecting prophet Mohammed in Denmark in 2005. Rioters killed Christians, burned churches and called for the execution of the cartoonists. While Western countries publicly defended free speech, some quietly moved to deter those who’d cause further controversies through unpopular speech.

In Britain, it is a crime to “abuse” or “threaten” a religion under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. A 15-year-old boy was charged last year for holding up a sign outside a Scientology building declaring, “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult. “In France, famed actress Brigitte Bardot was convicted for saying in 2006 that Muslims were ruining France in a letter to then-Interior Minister (and now President) Nicolas Sarkozy. This year, Ireland joined this self-destructive trend with a blasphemy law that calls for the prosecution of anyone who writes or utters views deemed “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.”

‘Blasphemy’ incidents
Consider just a few such Western “blasphemy” cases in the past two years:

• In Holland, Dutch prosecutors arrested cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot for insulting Christians and Muslims with cartoons, including one that caricatured a Christian fundamentalist and a Muslim fundamentalist as zombies who want to marry and attend gay rallies.

• In Canada, the Alberta human rights commission punished the Rev. Stephen Boission and the Concerned Christian Coalition for anti-gay speech, not only awarding damages but also censuring future speech that the commission deems inappropriate.

• In Italy, comedian Sabina Guzzanti was put under criminal investigation for joking at a rally that “in 20 years, the pope will be where he ought to be — in hell, tormented by great big poofter (gay) devils, and very active ones.”

• In London, an aide to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was arrested for “inciting religious hatred” at his gym by shouting obscenities about Jews while watching news reports of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.Also, Dutch politician Geert Wilders was barred from entering Britain as a “threat to public policy, public security or public health” because he made a movie describing the Quran as a “fascist” book and Islam as a violent religion.

• In Poland, Catholic magazine Gosc Niedzielny was fined $11,000 for inciting “contempt, hostility and malice”by comparing the abortion of a woman to the medical experiments at Auschwitz.

The “blasphemy” cases include the prosecution of writers for calling Mohammed a “pedophile” because of his marriage to 6-year-old Aisha (which was consummated when she was 9). A far-right legislator in Austria, a publisher in India and a city councilman in Finland have been prosecuted for repeating this view of the historical record.

In the flipside of the cartoon controversy, Dutch prosecutors this year have brought charges against the Arab European League for a cartoon questioning the Holocaust.

What’s next?
Private companies and institutions are following suit in what could be seen as responding to the Egyptian-U.S. call for greater “responsibility” in controlling speech. For example, in an act of unprecedented cowardice and self-censorship, Yale University Press published The Cartoons That Shook the World, a book by Jytte Klausen on the original Mohammed cartoons. Yale, however, (over Klausen’s objections) cut the actual pictures of the cartoons. It was akin to publishing a book on the Sistine Chapel while barring any images of the paintings.

The public and private curtailment on religious criticism threatens religious and secular speakers alike. However, the fear is that, when speech becomes sacrilegious, only the religious will have true free speech. It is a danger that has become all the more real after the decision of the Obama administration to join in the effort to craft a new faith-based speech standard. It is now up to Congress and the public to be heard before the world leaves free speech with little more than a hope and a prayer.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY’s board of contributors.

USA Today: October 19, 2009

60 thoughts on “Just Say No To Blasphemy: U.S. Supports Egypt in Limiting Anti-Religious Speech

  1. Who will be the “blasphemy” police in the US who will determine what is/or is not anti-religious speech? Will there be any consequences for those who dare to “insult or denigrate religion?” Will all religions be safe from blasphemy and criticism? Or just certain specified religions?

  2. Well you know the Northern Baptist say there ain’t “NO HELL” and the Southern Baptist say “The Hell there Ain’t” now is this Blasphemy? I am guilty as charged…..

  3. Elaine,

    Those are all really good points. Most certainly it would only be wrong to “blaspheme” against certain religions, thus violating not only free speech but the establishment clause.

  4. Do you suppose the Pope’s comments when he quoted a 14th Century Byzantine emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things, would be covered?

  5. Why is this wrong?

    Is the whole world now to adopt American culture and morals?

    What next, those damned evil Egyptians just won’t allow porn to be sold in their newsstands?

    I agree that the West has its own moral-legal; code which allows blasphemies, but it’s vile to try to impose that on other countries.

    Why not invade and occupy them, so as to teach them the great value of “Western liberal secular democracy”?

  6. On its face it seems that this would outlaw a robust secular statement that all religions are cults and all religious adherents are delusional. This seems to be an assault on free speech that favors all religion and shields it from disparaging comment. Having hate speech being extended to religion (a matter of choice) in the US and this position makes me agree with Jill and wonder along with Gyges, who will protect my speech when I liken religious belief to mental illness?

  7. It is wrong only if one supports the principle of freedom of speech and its corollary, the freedom of thought.

    We sure wouldn’t want the rest of the world to adopt the principle of free thought. That’s a slippery slope that could lead to … (I’ll have to get back to you on that.)

    Either you believe in the principle that humans are endowed with certain unalienable rights, or you don’t. The best way to teach the world about that great principle is to stand up for it.

  8. Cultures and individuals within a culture don’t exist in a vacuum. They possess morals and traditions.

    You seem to think that the America’s “freedom of speech” beliefs are divorced from any moral foundation, but rather than being an amoral practice, freedom of speech represents an affirmation of certain morals, namely those of America.

    In other words, most Egyptians value religion, most Americans don’t think religion plays to an important a role in their lives. If “freedom of speech” were to gbe imposed on Egypt than that would represent an imposition on the American view of religion. It would be America telling Egypt “you think religion is sacred enough that it shouldn’t be insulted,; we don’t, therefore you shouldn’t either”.

    Same with porn. Allowing porn would not be simply some amoral freedom, but rather would represent an imposition of a certain value or belief, namely that modesty and chastity are out=moded and you should adopt our views of the human body and sexual relations”.

    I hope I have been clear. “Freedom fo speech” isn’t some neutral universal tool, but does represent a specific (and Western” philosophy.

  9. Dar–

    You wrote: In other words, most Egyptians value religion, most Americans don’t think religion plays to an important a role in their lives.


    I would have to disagree with your statement that “most Americans don’t think religion plays to (too?) an important role in their lives.” Just check out cable television here. You’ll find plenty of televangelists talking and singing about God every day/night of the week. The ranks of fundamentalist Christians seem to be growing by the minute. These same Christians want to impose their religious views about creation science on the rest of us–and on our public school students. They want certain types of books banned from school and public libraries and school reading lists. I think I should have the right to speak out against any religion that wants to prescribe what I should believe…what kinds of movies can be screened in public theaters…what kinds of books other people’s children should be allowed to read, etc.

    Maybe freedom of speech does “represent a specific and Western philosophy.” I would like that freedom of speech not to be encumbered with a “watch what you say about religion threat.”
    I’m not a proponent of porn–neither am I a proponent of “honor killings” or eight-year-old brides.

  10. Dar,

    Who’s religion is important in Egypt, the individual’s or the state’s?

    The thing is, religions wax and wane. Today’s State Religion is tomorrow’s oppressed minority and today’s oppressed minority is tomorrow’s rulers. Look at the history of England, or Rome. Freedom of Speech doesn’t just protect the majority, it protects the minority, today you might favor your religion’s laws, tomorrow you may protest the tyranny of another’s.

    That’s sort of a moot point though, the proposal isn’t to spread American “Freedom of speech” it’s to spread Egyptian anti-blasphemy laws.

  11. So, you don’t believe in universal human rights. You seem to be arguing for moral relativism. Now that’s a slippery slope.

    While a diversity of values should be tolerated, there should be limits to what is acceptable behavior. Thoughts are the real target of the blasphemy laws. Criticism is merely the manifestation of thoughts. Freedom of thinking is a universal human right.

    The very fact that religion uses violence, or the threat of violence, to suppress criticism, is evidence of its moral bankruptcy.

  12. To Elaine M.,

    Christian fundementalists, or atleast people who value religion as an important moral guide in their lives, make up a minority in this country.

    Further, “honor killings and eight-year-old brides” are a different issue.


    To Gyges:

    Egyptian anti-blasphemy laws have been a part of Egyptian, and indeed much of the regional and world history, for centuries and even millennia.


    To nal:

    First of all, “moral relativism” and “moral absolutism” are vague terms that don’t reflect real-life conplexities.

    One can be am moral “absolutist” and still accept that other cutlures have different standards.

    One should ask, IF there is to be one absolute moral standard globally,why should it be America’s? More specificalyl, why should it be that of some 30-40 year old mind-set born from drugged-up hippies and pseudo-marzists, over the centuries- and millinia-old ones of the Old World?

    Most societies through-out history showed respect to religion, only recent American/Western societies have decided other-wise. Fine, but why should that be now the new “normal” in global moral standards?

    Sorry, but “freedom of speech” as defined by America is just “American urban cultural values” in disguise.

    Fine for urban Americans, not so for 5,000+ year old societies.

  13. Dar: “One can be am moral “absolutist” and still accept that other culture’s have different standards.”

    And that’s fine, so long as such standards are left to the superstition riddled countries and cults that actively practice their religions as extensions of government policy elsewhere. The point that several posters are making is that when respect for religion reaches into other (specifically this one), secular societies and threatens the legally codified civil rights of non-believers there is a problem. That vague edicts from world bodies or specific decisions like the ones cited in the Professors article further degrade the Constitution’s protection of citizens speech here in America is unacceptable and such ‘respect’ should be rejected in favor of free expression.

    Also, when child brides, stoning women to death for adultery or for being raped, honor killings and a structure of laws prohibiting civil rights to women is so pervasive as to reduce them to chattel are built on a religious framework which is the foundation of a government then such things are not different issues. They are a direct result of religion as government structure- a theocracy. America is not a theoracy and should not entertain such notions as workable trade-offs with the Constitution under the banner of respect or hate speech laws.

    The issue isn’t exporting the western template to others (you will find serious opposition to the concept of ‘nation building’ on other threads and topics here) the problem is importing such pre-intellectual values here under the guise of respect.

    DAR: “More specifically, why should it be that of some 30-40 year old mind-set born from drugged-up hippies and pseudo-marzists,…”

    I can’t cop to drugged-up these days but if by ‘marzist’ you mean a particularly strong, nearly irresistible attraction to the dark chocolate Mars bars, well, mea culpa. A thick dark creamy coating of chocolate over a silky, melt in your mouth whipped nougat center- like biting into a chocolate covered cloud… yea, I’m a marzist straight up; no ‘pseudo’ about it. And damn proud of it. You insult my Marzism at your own peril sir.

  14. Dar–

    I’m not sure how you’ve determined that people who value religion as an important moral guide in their lives make up a minority of this country’s inhabitants. Many people go about worshiping their God quietly. They don’t wear their religion on their sleeves.

    Regarding fundamentalist Christians: Even if they aren’t a majority here, they have become quite an influential minority. If I object to some of the things some of the fundamentalists do, I think I should have the right to speak out against their actions…in my own country.

    You say that honor killings and eight-year-old brides are a different story. How so? If such things are allowed to occur in my country, I believe I should have the freedom to speak out against them.

    Christian heretics were once tortured, drawn and quartered, burned at the stake. That was hundreds of years ago. That happened in an “older” European society. Some “old” societies may believe slavery is okay or treating women as chattel is acceptable. You may consider such moral. I do not. Let’s just call that a difference of opinion.

    BTW, I’m not an “urban America.”

  15. Eliane M:

    “I’m not sure how you’ve determined that people who value religion as an important moral guide in their lives make up a minority of this country’s inhabitants. Many people go about worshiping their God quietly. They don’t wear their religion on their sleeves.”


    You have encountered the moral smugness and persecution complex of those who believe with intense fervor that they know the “way,” the demographic facts notwithstanding. Note the value laden implication that while there might be more Christians among the populace, only a chosen, morally enlightened few consider their religion “an important moral guide.” Their “way,” of course, is dictated by their magic books and the often-time illiterate interpretations of their soothsayers. There is no arguing or discussion with them because their books tells them so and equate non-believers with the devil. Good luck in this debate!

  16. I’ve yet to see any denial of the fact that “spreading American freedom of speech” is really spreading “recent modern American urban liberal secular values”.

    Every society in history technically has “freedom of speech”, in the sense that people are allowed to talk about most subjects. Even in Stalinist USSR people generally could talk about food, family, sports, etc….

    At the same time, all societies place certain limits on that freedom, based on its own particular moral standards and traditions.

    So, when one society goes to another and states “you must adopt (our version of) freedom of speech” it’s really stating “you must adopt our morals and traditions (which are the reason for our current definitions and standards of freedom of speech)”.

    So I ask, based on what? Why is that particular version of American freedom of speech now the “right” one?

    Yes there are certain truly universal rights, such as a life to life and eating/drining/sleeping through one’s own means.

    But otherwise most of the “rights” that America has are pecular to its own history and traditions and whose imposition over-seas cannot be defended.

    Take abortion. TO many left-wing Americans it is a “right”, based on the notion that “women have rights over their own bodies” and ofcourse “fetuses are not alive”. Fine.

    But if America were to try to impose abortion over-seas because it believes in a “woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body”, and that it’s all about “women’s rights”, it would in sense be assaulting that other culture’s moral views on life and trying to impose its own vision on when/where life starts.

    The poster “nal” wrote of “moral relativism” and a”slipper slope”.

    Now let us suppose another society/nation, where notions of sexuality are different.For them nudity and sexuality is an innate human trait found from birth. As such, pedophilia, prostitution and open displays of sex/pornography (such as on basic television) are all acceptable to them. To them is is part of one’s behavioral/speech rights.

    Is such a nation were to come to the US and proclaim that it has more freedom (which it does, in a sense), and as such America should adopt its freedoms, it would in sense be telling America to adopt its views on sexuality/modesty. And just like with this Egyptian-blasphemy case, it would have no real argument in favor of such as imposition other than that it is “more freedom” (which in a sense it is).

    I cannot support such actions. Unless one can make a solid rational/moral argument, not for the some vague “freedom of speech”, but for the actual would-be imposed cultural values that lie underneath it, then no on thise Egyptian case.

  17. Dar,

    Oh, where to begin! This might sound harsh but IMHO (brace yourself Dar), it would appear that you have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe reading this before your next post will be of some help. Enjoy Dar, facts are wonderful things.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Freedom_of_speech

  18. The free speech debate is not about the imposition of “American” values. It is about the clash between western secularism and middle eastern theocratic traditions. The idea that blasphemy is a crime has long since been abandoned in this country. If Egypt wishes to retain religious offenses in its criminal code, it is free to do so, but I have no duty to respect such laws unless I am present in the countries which have adopted them. No American president should attempt to make this country a party to any resolution which seeks to give international legal recognition to principles which are contrary to fundamental rights guaranteed in our Constitution.

  19. Dar,

    Slavery has been around for thousands of years, art has been around for thousands of years, glass windows are relatively new, as is wide spread pollution. Age is not an indicator of inherent worth.

  20. Carol Ackerman, I think Elder Oaks majik underwear is cutting off the circulation to his brain. The following from the linked article:

    “Elder Oaks also said religious freedom is being jeopardized by claims of newly alleged human rights. As an example, he referred to a set of principles published by an international human rights group which calls for governments to assure that all persons have the right to practice their religious beliefs regardless of sexual orientation or identity. Elder Oaks said, “This apparently proposes that governments require church practices to ignore gender differences. Any such effort to have governments invade religion to override religious doctrines should be resisted by all believers.”

    The Elder is so so blinded by his righteousness that he does not even see the irony of an Elder of the LDS (of Prop 8 fame and bankroll) complaining that the government might meddle in religion. LOL. What is that quote about taking notice of a mote in the eye of a neighbor while ignoring the beam in ones own?

  21. Gyges,

    Are you making graven images that offend MY GOD? To HELL you shall go. Wait a New Yerk Minute. If memory serves me correctly IT IS NEVER NAMED HELL. CALLED HELL. OR HELL IS NOT MENTIONED.

    So right now you are safe. I am recalling the KJV.

  22. To Mike Appleton,

    I wrote only of imposing American “freedom of speech” onto Egypt, anything beyond that, namely American agreeing to Egyptian morals or principals, I am not.


    To Gyges,

    No, but it its persistance gives it a greater authority than new ideas, UNTIL those new ideas and values can prove themselves superior, which I have yet to see with regards to America’s version of “freedom of speech”.

    American society is not happier, not smarter, nor more peaceful, nor more socially stable, than that of Egypt, due to its “freedom of speech”.

    Even America’s political structures have not been necessarily well-served by its “freedom of speech”. Its almost as propogandized as Egypt, with the difference that most Egyptians atleast know that their government is b.s.-ing them, while most Americans are more gullible in believing their government (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan all being good examples of this).

    My views are simple: everyone mind their own business. And just as I am opposed to America invading another country to impose “democracy”, tso too am I opposed to pressuring opther countires to adopt America’s ways.

    If they see America’s way and like it, so be it, but otherwise to each his own.

  23. Reading the posts (especially those of “Dar”) leaves little wonder as to what is happening to this once great country (pre Socialist takeover circa November 2008) and why a blog of this nature even could exists at all. Habitual bloviation seems to be the “new” norm of the the uninformed / understudied mind these days.

    America’s freedom of speech has absolutely NOTHING to do with societal behavior (and yes, we surely have lowered ourselves, values, etc, on the back of freedom of speech as it has been used as a very powerful tool by the left-wing scum of our society) and EVERYTHING to do with a hope, a vision, a want if you will, for every man to have a fair and unencumbered voice as to what happens in his life and community / country.

    There should be no fear in publicly voicing one’s opinion when it comes to matters of religion. I am a Christian and have to fight my own personal battles with things I find “impossible” that are found within the Bible (unfortunately starting at the very beginning) so I do not wish harm, or silence, on someone who thinks the whole idea (Christianity / God) is lunacy. At the same time, if I feel like protecting / enlightening someone against the terrors of Islam (too many to list) in a public forum I should be able to do so.

    “Exporting” these freedoms is not a new concept or idea and actually is not even an “American” idea. It is because OF America’s “construction” that these freedoms have been able to mature and “live”. Man has always wanted to be free to say, to do, to live … to assist other countries / cultures / people in being able to realize these personal freedoms is a human effort, not an American effort. And surely even “Dar” must know that humans are far older than America.

    Hate crime laws are for the weak minded, can I get a handout, somebody owes me something, scum that has permeated our society and of which is a propaganda tool employed by the liberal machine of death.

    This joint effort of which Barry Soetoro (a.k.a. obama) has become a party to should be a surprise to no one. This is only a very small step in his grand scheme to incrementally destroy this country. Anyone who denies that this is the case should just continue to keep his head far beneath the sand’s surface … don’t worry little fella, it will all be over soon!!


  24. DAR,

    I find your stated views confusing given the greater context of this conversation. Your argument seems to be “I want everyone to mind their own business, so one group of people should be able to tell another group what it can’t say.” I’m sure you see the conflict inherent in saying that different cultures should be allowed to have their own standard of “moral behavior,” but that individuals within those cultures shouldn’t.

    On the other hand you pose a seemingly false dichotomy between having a religious society and one that values freedom of speech. Deep seated religious beliefs manifest themselves in many ways, not just adherence to cultural and theological taboos.

  25. To Gyges:

    There is no contradiction between personal beliefs and societal/cultural ones.

    Think of the legal system. Each nation has its own laws, yet within that nation all individuals obey that law.

    it’s not a case of either total individualist anarchy (every person with his own morals), or total one-world morals.

    Further, i never stated that religious sentiments and freedom of speech as inherently opposed, but it is the case that America’s version of freedom of speech is inherently opposed to a religious social structure.

    This is fine, but I am opposed to imposing that system on others.

  26. Gyges, Thanks for the lesson on scripture, If my upbringing in the church had been that entertaining I might have turned out very differently. :-)

  27. DAR,

    There are other kinds of religious social structures than those that have the State enforce their rules. I know pious people of all sorts of religious stripes, from Christian to Pagan to Buddhist that would never dream of trying to legislate their particular religious codes. It’s actually contrary to their beliefs in a few cases. So while your idea of a society that puts great importance in their religion may be contrary to Freedom of Speech, it’s certainly NOT the case in all deeply religious societies.

  28. To Gyges,

    I disagree on the idea of a deeply religious society that follows a religious social order not needing a state, for who shall defend that order?

    Even in secualr non-religious socieites like those in the West, or even Communist USSR, social mores were enforced by way of the state.

    Let me re-use an earlier example: most Americans are opposed to child pornography and other such extreme forms of erotic material. This is standard belief, that is, a “moral” among most Americans.

    But who enforces these morals when they are disobeyed?

    If there is a very religious traditional society that does not believe in certain behaviour or acts or speech, and regard them as both an affront to both the divine and to social order in general, then naturally they would expect the state, as the supreme guaranteer of order, to be the enforcer of these morals as well.

    If there is a deeply religious person for whom the state should not interfere, then that person probably holds a very individualistic faith with little to no social bearing (that is, no “group/community commandments” as it were, things to apply to the whole of the people), and thus has no problem with others disturbing that order.

    But I figure most religions hold both personal and communal values. The former is up to the individual, but the latter is to be held by the community via the state.

  29. Whelp, you know what they say about overzealous pedants residing in grammar/spelling glass houses?

    I fear nal, you have caught that which you have been trying to correct and prevent.

    Typeoid Fever.

  30. FFLEO,

    I’m sure that cat was just throwing out a bone to JT to make him feel better! I’m so glad I never make grammar, spelling or typing errors of any kind!

  31. nal,

    Is this administration play both sides?


    nal, It is nice to see that you are human. I have had numerous ARGGGG moments as well. I am sure that the professor will even overlook this slight “keyboard alignment” issue that has occurred.

  32. I always considered the “Comments” section off-limits to typo correction notification. Thanks to Jill, I will now have to reconsider.

  33. Thanks Jill,

    So are we now going to have a corrections page to the post that shows the corrections? Or is nal not going to post on the Comment side? Which is it nal?

  34. I can’t post the correction of a comment in the “Corrections” area because that’s only for corrections to posts.

    If I post the correction of a comment in the “Comments” area then it’s a comment and not a correction.

    I’ve obviously not thought this threw.

  35. Well of course Obama caved, he is a leftist who hates the Constitution as evidenced by his habit of trying to trample it at every turn.

    He’d like to stomp out freedom of speech here, and so would most democrats. He already demonstrated that with his intimidation of private citizens on the internet.

    The only way Islam can grow is IF freedom to criticize it is suppressed. That is how it always grew in the past. And now that communications are worldwide and fast, Islam is, for the first time in history, threatened by open debate. It would like to nip that in the bud.

    Please, go ahead and criticize my religion. I am not a sissy panty-waist who demands you stop saying things I don’t like to hear. I’m not a coward in the face of criticism. I relish the criticism of my faith and the opportunity to defend it.

    This is because I’m know that my faith is the true faith, and the true God, and I have nothing to fear.

  36. Where I reside, as I type these ASCII characters, it is Monday morning, April 4, 2011 CE.

    Oh, dear me, surely that is a blasphemous hateful religious statement for anyone who does not religiously accept the notion of the Common Era?

    What speech, or writing, or other human doing cannot be labeled as hateful blasphemy by someone?

    For myself, I object to the intentional burning of books and people and such.

    Surely, for those who “believe in the death penalty,” my objection is hateful blasphemy.

    Is not “belief in blasphemy” itself inextricably blasphemous?

  37. […] que no eran precisamente pérfidos aduladores del Anticristo. Igualmente ceden la palabra a Jonathan Turley, profesor de leyes en la Universidad George Washington: A menudo se defiende la pertinencia de […]

  38. […] Notably, reports indicate that Elbayomy called police because he thought it was a crime to be disrespectful to Muhammed. The judge appears to reference this by noting that in some countries you can be put to death for such an offense. Those countries are called oppressive countries. This is a free country where it is not a crime to insult someone’s religion — despite a counter-trend in some Western countries. […]

  39. This disgraceful governmental act of thuggery is the fault of the following:

    1. Christians, who have made it their habit for over 2,000 years to denigrate the U.S. Constitution at every turn so that they can sell more crosses to the unwary travelers in Bohemia;

    2. Jews, who are behind the banks that finance the cross-trade, for the specific purpose of drinking the blood of American babies who were conceived in Third-World countries;

    3. Muslims, who run all the brothels in the world and have therefore used carefully controlled STDs as biological warfare to destroy the manhood of American men and are promulgating promiscuity even in Heaven;

    4. Jains, whose main tenet of faith is to create electromagnetic waves that scramble the directions on trucks, causing accidents that raise the rent in the moderate-income housing of all the big cities;

    5. Buddhists…
    6. Alloverians…


  40. […] on this front are not just conservatives. Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley wrote back in October of 2009 in USA Today that:around the world, free speech is being sacrificed on the altar of religion. […]

  41. Free speech vs. No free speech is a moot point. As long as we look at each other as separate individuals and not apparent parts of one thing we will argue/fight/kill till we learn what our most respect science/religious teachers teach. WE ARE ONE. Read Niels Bohr, David Bohm. Our dualistic belief system has no corroboration with reality. We are all (self most included) idiots. We would be working 6 hours a year for middle class existence (Bucky Fuller) without the dissapearance of 600 trillion which dwarfs the big national debt scare. Lying Philosopher Crooks run the world and so far there has been nothing any of has done to change it. Even the brilliant and religious Einstein gave the bomb to the same leaders are liars world. Read Plato how it is the duty of the leader to lie and our duty to free as slaves to follow. What has changed in 2,400 or 10,000 years back to the Kurgan power myth? We speak another countries language here can’t expect much.

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