The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from abridging the God-given, unalienable right to freedom of speech. The ability to freely express oneself should not, as stated in the Constitution, be prohibited by a government.
But neither should the God-given right to freely express oneself by limited by a murderous mob.
We have a rich tradition of vigorous, often caustic and mean, debates. Sometimes those debates descend into ad hominem attacks.
However, we don’t murder or kill someone because of their opinions, however stupid, wrong, outrageous or offensive.
Apparently radical Islamists disagree. As widely reported today, an American ambassador, Christopher Stevens, ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff were killed in an attack on the Benghazi consulate and a safe house refuge, stormed by Islamist gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.
This mob represents the antithesis of Western civilization and American culture.
And radical Islam is that mob.
President Obama made a Rose Garden statement today that contained this sentence: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”
I am troubled by that sentence because it implies a restriction on freedom of speech. To denigrate is a verb defined as criticizing unfairly; disparaging. While I don’t condone denigrating religious beliefs, I believe everyone has the right to criticize and challenge religious beliefs.
The President’s sentence sounds like an apology because Muslims were offended by a cheap and cheesy film about Mohammed. The makers of the movie have every right under our laws and traditions to make that movie. But making that movie does not extol any right or justification on an angry mob of offended Islamists to kill American diplomats or anyone else.
The making and distribution of that movie is the absolute right of the filmmakers.
But it’s not only radical Islamists failing to recognize the right of free speech. Astonishingly, some boneheads in the United States think that free speech should be suppressed.
A pair of MSNBC’s liberal commentators suggested this morning that prosecution is in order for those involved in producing the film that is being blamed for the attacks in Egypt and Libya.
MIKE BARNICLE: Given this supposed minister’s role in last year’s riots in Afghanistan, where people died, and given his apparent or his alleged role in this film, where, not yet nailed down, but at least one American, perhaps the American ambassador is dead, it might be time for the Department of Justice to start viewing his role as an accessory before or after the fact.
DONNY DEUTSCH: I was thinking the same thing, yeah.
You can watch this Constitutionally-ignorant commentators here.
Someone needs to remind them the First Amendment is what allows them to make such ridiculous suggestions.