Sunday, May 3, 2015
Free Speech is not an entitlement to insult: "Draw the Prophet" draws fire #GarlandTX
I'm sorry, but free speech doesn't grant us the privilege to antagonize other people. No one should be surprised about the shootings in Garland Texas tonight. After Copenhagen and then the Paris shootings, is anyone really surprised that Islamic extremists would attack an exhibit that acts like their beliefs (under the guise of free speech) or one that ridicules their beliefs is safe? I don't condone the gunmen's attacks, but neither do I think anyone should be surprised.
I'm a non-racist, committed Christian. Yet, asking for cartoon drawings of Muhammad for the sake of promoting "free speech" makes about as much sense as walking into a predominantly African-American neighborhood and chanting the "N" word..., just to practice your rights of free speech, or going into a White supremacist group and shouting out "cracker" and expecting everyone to bow to your rights of free speech.
We live in a diverse world, and a world that requires common sense. People who think that free speech has given them a pass on saying what they want to say without consequences are simply naive.
The gift of free speech is one that allows us to say or write our thoughts without retribution from our government. Free speech won't protect you from people who do not respect your rights. Practicing free speech is a wonderful liberty we enjoy as Americans, but is isn't a guarantee that others will respect you. That's why we need to be respectful in our use of free speech.
Attempting to rile up people or using free speech for "shock value" carries risks that have to be weighed out. What do we prove by antagonising any group... that we won't be repressed or bullied into silence? Perhaps? But when stunts like we saw in Garland backfire, please don't act surprised.
I do not think Islam is the correct religion, I'm a Christian, and as a follower of Christ I know that insulting Islamic people is not acceptable. I can't and won't excuse the gunmen who wanted to exact revenge in the name of Allah & Islam tonight, but I also do not think it is wise to hide behind free speech to make a point about rights.