Sunday, June 15, 2014

Free Speech Zones?

I'll probably get hammered by some people for some of the things I say in this post but that's OK. It is my opinion and my opinion only. No one has to agree.

I read an article this morning about someone burning Qurans in front of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, Michigan, on Friday. It is believed the books were burned in relation to the upcoming visit of Terry Jones, the controversial Florida pastor who advocates burning Qurans on a regular basis.

Jones was the featured guest speaker at the Dearborn Freedom Rally yesterday. A man with a questionable relationship with God (to say the least), Jones regularly makes the news by publicly calling for the burning of Qurans. As a Christian and an American I cannot support Jones' hateful actions, regardless of how I feel about Islam or the Quran. The Bible does not teach us to degrade others and destroy books simply because they disagree with what we believe. Such actions take us in a direction similar to those of the Muslims who cannot and will not tolerate people who do not believe as they do.

But this post isn't about the burned Qurans. It's about one line in the article that I find frightening. "Jones planned to speak in front of the Islamic Center of America on Ford Road but, because he did not obtain a permit from the city, he will be speaking in front of City Hall, one of Dearborn’s designated 'free speech zones.'”

When did America become a place that has to have designated free speech zones? Certainly city governments require permits to have a large gathering of people. That's pretty common. But 'designated free speech zones'? Does that mean the citizens of Dearborn do not have freedom of speech if they are not in those designated areas?

Dearborn has had problems with Muslims in the past. Two years ago a group of "Christians" protested outside the Arab International Festival in that city and arrived with a pig's head on a stick and signs saying that Muslims are going to burn in Hell. It matters not what you personally believe about Islam - people who do this type of thing, particularly outside a Muslim festival, are intentionally stirring the pot of hatred. And please don't say "Well, Muslims display their hatred for Christians all the time." Does that mean we have to stoop to their level? Really?

On that particular day, some Muslim young people took offense to the pig's head and signs and began throwing things at the protesters. Some news media edited the video to make it look as if the entire incident was caused by Muslims who hate the "innocent Christians" who were simply making a statement. That wasn't true then and it's not true now. Those "innocent Christians" went there with the intention of insulting attendees of the Arab Festival. That's not Christianity - it's human malice.

Don't get me wrong - the Muslims who began throwing things were absolutely wrong. There is no excuse for violence during a public protest. But the protesters went there looking to cause problems, which is also wrong. 

I believe in the teachings of the Bible and I believe that Islam is more of a political ideology than a religion. I too believe Muslims will go to Hell if they do not turn from Islam and follow Jesus Christ. But Jesus would not advocate the displays of hatred that sometimes come from "Christians." 

Anyway - back to free speech zones. Americans have always had freedom of speech. It's what sets us apart from some of the other countries in the world. Liberal progressivism often seeks to limit that freedom. They want laws preventing hate speech - basically to prevent people from saying anything that might offend someone or that disagrees with the liberal agenda. They want laws requiring radio stations to air liberal talk shows equally with conservative talk shows - just to make it fair. It's not happening now simply because liberal talk shows don't command the large audiences that conservative show do and thus bring in less advertising revenue. So liberals want to mandate it by law.

Liberals want to prevent people from speaking badly about Islam. In their thinking it's OK to disagree with Islam as long as you don't say it out loud. Muslims, specifically the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) have been asking for this for several years. And the way things have been going lately in this country it won't surprise me to one day see it happen. 

We need a President and elected officials in Washington who still believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. What we don't need is another President who, as the current one does, sees the Constitution as  hindrance to his/her agenda. November is coming. I urge everyone to vote your conscience. But think about what's best for everyone, not just yourself, when you do. 

One thing is certain in this nation...  whatever freedoms we lose we will never get back.

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