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View Diary: Pressuring Chick-Fil-A on LGBT equality, some politicians overreach (129 comments)

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  •  I've changed my mind on this (2+ / 0-)
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    BleacherBum153, vcmvo2
    Free speech belongs to the gays and atheists, and Chick-Fil-A and the Klu Klux Klan and Fred and Margie Phelps, or it belongs to no one.
    I used to believe this fervently, but after forty some-odd years of watching the rising tide of bigotry and intolerance whipped up by a relatively few rabble-rousers, and seeing the bloody violence it reliably produces as a matter of statistical certainty, I've had to rethink my position. It seems to be almost inhuman to take a position that boils down to accepting innocent victims as a fair price for what is actually a fallacious and superficial conclusion of logical consistency.

    Inciting hatred isn't an ideology or a philosophy. It is an act with material consequences, not an opinion or belief. It is -- or should be -- viewed under the First Amendment in much the same way as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. When what someone says produces panic -- including moral panics -- it is reasonable for the speaker to bear the extra burden of demonstrating its factuality.  Failing that, I believe our responsibility to prevent the inevitable murders and abuse outweighs our responsibility to protect the right to cause them.

    Scott's quite noble good intentions here unfortunately boil down to a First Amendment version of a familar Second Amendment tautology, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." Only in this case, it reads, "If inciting hatred is outlawed, only outlaws will incite hatred."

    You know what? I think I can live with that.

    Yes we can! The president, however, I'm not so sure about.

    by eodell on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:55:17 PM PDT

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