Thursday, September 13, 2007

freedom vs. 'correctness'

The king sent me the link to an article about the results of a recent survey on the 1st Amendment. You know the one: the amendment that promises the government won't do anything to restrict freedom of religion & practice thereof, free speech, free press, freedom to assemble and freedom to petition for redress of grievances. It turns out that more people can name the characters on the Simpsons than can name the freedoms included in the 1st Amendment.

They didn't ask me. I would have given their numbers a run for the money. All I know are Homer and Bart, and I've never actually seen the show. I take some pride in this.

What I found interesting, however, was a rising correlation between a so-called freedom of religion that seems to include the right not to be offended by the T-shirts that others wear.

So let's say that I'm a Christian - with a big capital "C" - and I go to work and am subjected to a co-worker who wears a T-shirt that comments on Jesus' supposed sexual proclivities. . . . Where does that leave us? Is that a violation of my freedom of religion? And if so, does telling the co-worker she can't wear it anymore violate her freedom of speech?

I was going to post a picture of an example of an offensive T-shirt but at first found only pretty tame ones: the Jesus deliver me from your followers type. But that wasn't really something to get worked up about. Jesus was a crossdresser was a bit more to the point. . . . but then I found one really nasty site that sells T-shirts saying things (and with pictures!) I wouldn't have wanted to see said under any circumstances, about anybody! (and no, I am NOT going to post their address. barf.) I can't believe anyone would want to walk around wearing something like that.

At the same time, I don't find it a violation of my freedom of religion. All I can say is that I'm glad pornography laws might prevent some of the worst of it. . . .

The bigger dispute seems to be between not wanting to "censor" somebody, but at the same time, wondering about what kind of society contains members who want to broadcast really nasty stuff. In the name of freedom.

You've got to wonder about someone who just can't see "freedom" without first testing it by degradation.

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