Sunday, March 06, 2011

Free speech much more limited in France

We read:
"The US Supreme Court made an unpleasant call, but the right call, this week when it upheld the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to wage ugly protests at solemn events. The tiny Kansas-based outfit makes its name by showing up at military funerals and shouting anti-gay slurs and waving hateful signs. But in voting 8-1 that Constitution protects the group’s self-expression, the court wasn’t just acknowledging the far reach of the First Amendment. The ruling also reflects a faith in Americans’ ability, independent of any government action, to condemn loathsome speech.

The court’s decision is in marked contrast with the case of fashion designer John Galliano, the flamboyant creative director of Christian Dior, whose anti-Semitic rant at a Paris bar was captured on film. In France, where the law reflects a deep shame over the Vichy government’s complicity with the Holocaust, hate speech isn’t just unprotected; it’s illegal. Galliano was charged with the crime of making racist comments in public, which carries a $31,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

Yet time has demonstrated, over and over again, that official action isn’t necessary to punish those who grossly violate the bounds of propriety. Galliano lost his job, and his career is likely over. The Westboro Baptist Church, despite its court victory, is similarly isolated. Ugly rants have won the group next to no followers — just a string of condemnations, far louder and stronger than a few people’s ugly shouts.

Source

15 comments:

Stucco Holmes said...

If you say or do ugly things, there will be consequences. Free speech is not free.

Anonymous said...

I think that 'church' is full of scumbag hypocrites. However, I was glad the Court upheld the whole freedom of speech thing. This is really a slippery slope. Don't even go there. Now we have to get rid of the 'hate speech' BS

Anonymous said...

Correction:

I think that ALL 'churches' are full of scumbag hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Religion is the respectable cloak for hypocracy and bigotry.

Brian of Rochester said...

2:22 and 8:24,

You have never been to my church, which is full of tolerant people. Speak for yourself when you have no idea what others think or do.

You don't like religion, that's fine. Don't make judgment calls on entire groups you know nothing about.

Sounds like stereotyping and intolerance, to me.

Anonymous said...

So, I have to know every member of a group before I can pass a judgement on the group? Screw you.

Anonymous said...

In the United States, people are entitled to have a church if they want to. They are not, however, entitled to force their unwanted attentions onto others.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I (tsssss) wrote the comment at 2:11 am., but it was not me that wrote the 2:22 a.m. comment. I'm guessing it was some liberal suckwad that has to leech off of others.

Use the Name, Luke said...

" have to know every member of a group before I can pass a judgement on the group?"

If you're going to claim "ALL", then you need to know that "ALL" is true.

Robert said...

"I'm guessing it was some liberal suckwad... "

Perhaps if you used a name/handle instead of being a coward hiding behind an anonymous post, you would not have to clarify yourself. Just click the Name/URL button in the comment box. No login required. Simple.

Anonymous said...

"The proper time and place for free speach is EVERY FUCINKG PLACE AND ALL THE FUCKING TIME!"

Penn&Teller, Bullshit! (Season 2 I think)

The most important thing to remember is that freedoms aren't free. With the rights granted in the Bill Of Rights come responsabilities...
Being a loudmouth jackass is a right.
Being a liar is where slander and libal come into play.
Being a bigoted racist homophobe is a right.
Threatening to hurt people because you are a bigoted racist homophobe is a crime.
Believing in unsupportable bullshit (religion) is a right.
Trying to make it the law of the land (outlawing abortion, denying civil rights for homosexuals, teaching creationist crap as science in public schools) infrindges on my right not to have to suffer your delusions.

Free speack should always be free. It makes it easier to keep track of the nutloafs...

Spurwing Plover said...

Im glad im not living in FRANCE and the euroweenie union of weenies

Stan B said...

Trying to make it the law of the land (outlawing abortion, denying civil rights for homosexuals, teaching creationist crap as science in public schools) infrindges on my right not to have to suffer your delusions.

First, if you are an atheist, you cannot claim any "God Given" rights. All of your "rights" must flow from the agreement of your fellow Citizens, because the Universe sure gave you no intrinsic rights, nor do you have any basis for arguing that it did!

So, now that we have established that you have only the rights society grants you, and can claim no others on any logical basis other than your own self-importance, I want to know where you get off trying to impose your will on others?

Anonymous said...

"Free speack should always be free. It makes it easier to keep track of the nutloafs..." and people who cannot spell.

Anonymous said...

Stan B-aby : Divine rights are only academic if society doesn't give them backing - at least while you are here on earth - that should be obvious even to the religious.