Sure, Free Speech Is Awesome, BUT…
Do you dislike Pamela Geller? Do you think she’s annoying? Do you disagree with her message? Do you disagree with the way she presents her message? Do you wish she’d just go away?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, that’s way more important than the principle of free speech. Just ask our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters:
Free speech applies even to people you don’t like. In fact, practically speaking, free speech applies only to people you don’t like. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even have a concept called “free speech.” It would just be “speech.” Nobody ever tried to silence someone else for agreeing with them.
Pamela Geller isn’t responsible for anyone’s actions but her own. Those religious zealots chose to plot and execute a terror attack against her, and they suffered the consequences. It’s nobody’s fault but theirs.
Imagine if the owner of Memories Pizza, instead of merely saying he wouldn’t cater a gay wedding if asked*, went out and shot up a gay wedding because it’s against his religion. Would any of these pundits blame the victims for offending him? Would they say to gay-marriage enthusiasts, “Hey, just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should“? Would they blame the victims for “inciting” such an attack? Would they insist that everybody else needs to watch what they do and say, so as not to anger religious people who might kill them?
Of course they wouldn’t. That would be stupid and awful and un-American. And, more importantly, they can easily defy and criticize devout Christians without worrying about being murdered for it.
This is different, though. These religious objections must be heeded. The good guys don’t like Geller, and they’ve decided that the people she’s criticizing are the designated victims, and hey, better safe than sorry. So all logic and reason and principles go out the window.
I don’t care whether you call yourself a liberal or a conservative. I don’t care if you watch nothing but MSNBC or nothing but Fox News. If you make a stirring defense of free speech and then say “But,” you’ve just proven you’re full of crap.
I hate big “buts” and I cannot lie.
*He was not, in fact, asked.
Pamela Geller says she has no regrets about Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in 2 deaths: http://t.co/3QabvaBs4w
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 8, 2015