A day ago I got involved in a discussion regarding free speech and how it can become abusive. I was responding to an email concerning one of the groups I belonged to on Linked-In, a popular business networking site.
A gentleman of Asian ancestry was complaining about the anti-Islam posters which were scheduled to go up throughout the New York City Subway System (http://www.businessinsider.com/extreme-anti-islam-poster-in-nyc-subway-2012-12?goback=%2Enmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1%2Egde_2012010_member_197493407). His comments were acknowledged by another professional of Eastern origin, judging from the sound of his name, and expanded upon to include the recent event in Newtown, Connecticut.
The following is a brief excerpt of my commentary on the matter:
“One really has to take a moment and examine these “amendment abuses.” We have the 1st amendment concerning freedom of expression. When used in an extremely offense manner it drives us all further apart and diminishes people’s support for it. We also have the 2nd amendment, which regards the right to bear arms. In extreme cases, this resulted in the Sandy Hook massacre two weeks ago and the Sikh killings in Wisconsin earlier.
While I support both of these rights, I think the issue, which should become a litmus test for both should be their “reasonableness and intent.” Should we use these rights to offend, incite and abuse?
We must also consider the timing of when these events occur. Christmas time? What happened to “Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Men?”
In time, the Supreme Court will have to deal with both these issues. It is a shame that we have to rely a higher body to mandate for us because we can’t or refuse to as human beings apply the God given trait of commonsense to resolve this.”
There were obviously some people that did not like my commentary. I was subsequently told that the purpose of the group was not to address such issues (to which I later agreed), what bothered me was one of the later commentators chose to label my words as “nonsensical idle chatter or political ramblings.”
While I agreed with the fellow regarding the erroneous placement of my submission, I did question his authority to characterize them one way or another.
What is happening in this country where goodwill and peace towards others seems to be becoming a phenomenon? This is something that will require much thought and contemplation as we get ready for 2013, God (SWT) willing…