posted on Apr, 5 2011 @ 04:49 AM
I think its important to make a distinction between freedom of speech and freedom from consequence. The law may not prevent the burning of religious
texts (although for the betterment of society I personaly think that such a law would be a good idea) and may well support such persons as would
partake in such an activity.
However, there is nothing in the constitution which frees a man from the consequences of his free speech. If some pastor in the states happened to
think that all British people were scum, and did something to antagonise Brits, and I happened to be in the vicinity, I would express my freedom of
speech, all over his face. Consequence is not something you can protect someone from in law.
Now , where those consequences are lethal , and happen in another nation, well thats terribly sad , and theres not an awful lot that can be done about
that. But there is one thing I think it is important to observe.
In burning that Qur'an, the pastor has taken a step, on behalf of an entire religion, because pastors speak as the voice of God, or so we are told.
He took a step, not just on his own, but has pulled an entire religion with him, into the brink of an extremely thorny sociopolitical problem. He has
done so without any regard for consequence, and now will be extremely butthurt that his actions will (rightly or wrongly) result in increased danger
for those who worship in the same way he does.
It may not be his responsibility that people are dying as an indirect result of his actions, but he certainly could have thought about it a little
harder , and maybe taken the moral high ground, by refusing to resort to such ugly tactics in the propeganda battle (entry into which is a pretty low
thing for a pastor to do in any case) between his faith and another.
Personaly I would just as soon shoot him for stupidity and leave it at that. Freedom of expression, freedom of speech, is EXTREMELY important, but
there comes a point where you have to respect that freedom of speech enough not to use it to callously enrage people. He knew there would be
consequences, and he knew people would probably be hurt, but went ahead anyway. Wether he was free to do what he did in law is one thing, but wether
he was moraly correct to do so is quite another. Regardless of the word of law, and speaking as a man of faith myself, I find him, his actions, and
his church community guilty of the worst faults of character and attitude as Christians. I hope that God will forgive him, because I personaly will
find that as hard as I always do when someone tarnishes the name of my faith .