Monday, September 6, 2010

On Hate, Insensitivity, Dissention and the Constitution

Let’s just lay it out on the table; I fully support the right to hate. Yep, that’s right, I am coming out for the freedom to express hate for anything, anyone, anytime no matter how irrational or how unjust. If you don’t share that perspective check your citizenship

By now you may be thinking: “Hey, the camel has been grazing on loco weed. Where’s he going with this?” Bear with me, this trip won’t take long.

Fred Phelps is a homophobe and the poster boy for hate. Everything he stands for, every sign he holds up, every word out of his mouth and those of his followers is pure hate which he justifies with Judeo-Christian scripture. As far as I am concerned, he’s a “True” Christian. It’s not illegal to be a hater, it’s a right. Fred Phelps is a despicable human being, and I fully defend this man’s right to do what he does because it is protected under the 1st amendment.

Irrespective of on what side one may come down on a postion right to express ones feelings is unalienable. Neither has a scintilla more right than the other under the law of the land. As long as speech does not become “action” that violates the law or impedes the rights of all citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution, it’s all good.

I hate the concept of eminent domain. But I accept that it is constitutional. I’ll even say that I understand and accept that it has value to society as a whole. But there are times, conditions, where the right of the government to take private property and use it for the public welfare is ill advised and despicable. When those instances occur, I dissent and express my distain with vigor to my representatives. Not to over turn the law as a whole, that's not my objective. I speak my mind to appeal to those who can see beyond the lawfulness and into the insensitivity, injustice, of a particular eminent domain decision.

Bottom line is this: dissention with the opinions, beliefs, positions or actions of an individual or group -- even though those opinions, beliefs or actiona are totally within the law and protected by the Constitution -- is not only legal, it’s just, ethical, and a fundamental American right. To remain silent when you are aroused by the unfairness or insensitivity of an act or speech, even those fully protected by the Constitution, implies agreement with and support for that act or speech with which you dissent.

I’m an American; I’ll stand for all of your 1st amendment rights. But don’t expect me not to let you know how I feel about the way in which you exercise them. Hear that Fred? Hear that Glenn? Hear that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf?


Momma Moonbat said...

You nailed it. Hate is a fully supported Constitutional right. This is not to be confused with certain acts prompted by said hatred. For example, it would have been Mohammed Atta's right to say "Death to all American infidels." Plowing a jumbo jet into a skyscraper to bring about that death to all American infidels is NOT protected by the Constitution. The KKK has every right to stand in the street in front of my house and express their opinions about interracial marriage. I have every right to stand on my front porch and flip the the bird. As long as they're not crossing my property line, the Constitution protects their right to run their mouths. Of course, should they cross the property line, their rights to run their mouths end and my rights to protect my property begin, but that's a different matter.


Anonymous said...

As someone, somewhere said:

Yes, absolutely, more speech, more, more, more. Unfortunately, the recent SCOTUS ruling does not increase speech, it only increases the volume. This old fart says: "TURN THAT CRAP DOWN!"

longhorn believer said...

Freedom of speech is a street that runs both ways, and through all kinds of neighborhoods. I'm glad it is my right to say that I completely agree with your post, AND thank you for having the guts to stand for something that is not the majority opinion in this country, like atheism - actually ESPECIALLY because it's not the majority opinion. It's even more important for those of us considered to be iconoclastic to stand up for what we think and DON'T believe! I thank my lucky stars (I don't meant that literally) that I was born here in the good old USA in the 20th century. In another place and time, I would've likely met with an untimely end! And if idiots like Phelps had their way, we would probably still be burning people at the stake!

NewEnglandBob said...

Right. There is nothing to discuss about this. It is an inalienable right.

Apply for a VA Loan said...

While hate is a constitutional right, you have to take into account the herd mentality and how it can be detrimental. As hate is encouraged and broadcast to the masses, we too run the risk of being attacked.

Rastifan said...

I always felt that letting loonies like Fred Phelps and his ilk spew their insanity is assisting rather than obstructing.

I think it is useful to let them take advantage of the right to free speech to expose them selves and their followers who so eagerly comes running when there is someone to be hated.

But Phelps is a toothless old fart who is of little importance. There are worse religious threats out there whom I hope will commit the same tactical error in their eager to spew their hate. Here we are. Hear and see us hate.

Know thy enemy and all that.

Infidel753 said...

Yep. The proper response to speech is more speech.

It is rather striking, though, that not only do some people fail to understand that free expression must apply even to evil ideas, but that also there are many who do not grasp the difference between reply and censorship -- they claim they are being silenced when in fact they are only being criticized.

Anonymous said...

I agree, and I suppose Hump also has the right to misspell all the words he cares to!

(It's "dissension.")

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks for your input all
. ..and Early: "dissention" is a varient of dissenion, I looked it up first :)

NDO said...

Hear, hear. I completely agree. The issue of religion spreading hatred, which is it's most common characteristic or attribute is wholly a moral/ethical problem which requires the non-nutjobs of the world to step up and squelch. It has nothing to do with constitutional freedom. We all have the right to hate. Acting on that hatred to cause harm to others is immoral and unethical.

The only thing I would question is, however, given the world's history of the death and mayhem caused by organized religions, I question the freedom to practice any religion than preaches hatred of anything. This is the only area where I would reluctantly vote against a constitutionally guaranteed freedom on the grounds that, collectively, humans do not have the emotional maturity to handle this much freedom. But how do you prove that other than through historical evidence?

On the other hand, being a person who believes in the balance of nature as a universal force, I could argue that organized religion came into existence to keep our population down, much like AIDS. If we, the "enlightened" ones cannot get the nutjobs under control, or make the effort (like your blog) to enlighten others, we are all doomed. There was a movie called Idiocracy which was at the same time, amusing and frightening. Perhaps it is our nature of humans to create societies that are born, rise to greatness, then collapse in on itself ("Collapse - How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" by Jared Diamond.

Thought-provoking, to be sure. For myself, I know the nutjobs will not lose power within my lifetime so I plan to move to the country and cut myself off from society to the extent possible in hopes of finding peace for the remainder of my years.

longhorn believer said...

What to do when recognizing the rights and sensitivities of one group causes us to trample on another group's rights? That's why the New York mosque is such a divisive subject. There's really no correct answer. This article is good on the sensitivity issue: