And just to prove that my hatred of statists respects no party affiliation

by wfgodbold

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lindsey Graham:

I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.

Burning a Koran is a terrible thing, but it doesn’t justify killing someone.

Those two statements seem at odds with one another; if flag burning is speech, then surely book burning, however distasteful the idea of burning books may be, is speech, and is protected.

Some might say that this falls under the “fighting words” exception, but the Supreme Court ruled (with respect to flag-burning) that mere “offensiveness” does not qualify as fighting words. Presumably the same standard would apply to burning a Koran; no one has the right not to be offended, as that would infringe on the free speech rights of those who would do the offending.

Burning a Koran, or a flag, or a Bible, or the collected works of Shakespeare, or anything else, “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg,” (Jefferson regarding religion; I think it’s just as appropriate in this case); Terry Jones’s burning of the Koran did not kill any of the victims slain by rioting Muslims in Afghanistan. The responsibility for their deaths lies squarely on the rioters.

And finally, to cleanse the palate, I leave you with a pro-liberty flag-burning, courtesy of Penn and Teller.

Update:

You cannot punish one group of people for what another group of people might do; banning speech in the US because howling barbarians on the other side of the world will freak out and start chopping heads off makes as little sense as banning guns for the law abiding because criminals will use them to steal and murder.

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