On February 4, 2006, I joined with a host of other bloggers in solidarity with Danish journalists and artists by reposting one of the cartoons of blasphemy:
I once again choose to stand up for freedom of speech and thought, and add to that cartoon this one cheerfully stolen from Michelle Malkin:
Freedom of speech is under attack as never before. Be it through murder and mayhem and threats of same, attempts to stifle discourse by declaring anything that does not agree with a set response as hate speech, or -- most insidious of them all -- self-censorship for fear of the mere possibility of offending someone resulting in penalties of any sort, the end results are the same as freedom is lost.
I swore oaths long ago to protect and defend this and other freedoms. Today, I do so via words, audio, video, photography, and art on this and other blogs and outlets. Today, I reiterate my stand and repost some of that which has earned a death sentence against those who create or publish. I reaffirm my oath and my commitment.
Freedom of speech is just one part of it, however. One reason we in this Republic have that freedom is a concept called the marketplace of ideas. As citizens, we have that right and the right to express our opinions. We have the responsibility to debate ideas and concepts on merits and facts, not on pure emotionalism. As has been noted here before, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism, constructive or otherwise, contempt, or even side-splitting laughter. It does not mean freedom from consequences. It simply means you have the right to express yourself, not that everyone must agree with you.
I continually get a good laugh from trolls and others who state that any alteration or deletion, much less banning, shows an unwillingness to tolerate dissent and a lack of commitment to free speech. Bull. Your ability to say what you want is still there, for you can (and should) start a blog of your own and see how it fares in the marketplace of ideas. Good ideas will get lots of recurring readers, discussion, links, and dialog. Bad ideas tend to get the ratings they deserve. There is no requirement (yet) that any newspaper, broadcast station, blog, or other has to pay to host your ideas or random spewings -- unless it is your own.
Since few if any newspapers in the U.S. (much less broadcast outlets) see fit to stand up for and with those who are literally putting their lives and the lives of their families on the firing line for true freedom of speech, I will step forward. To all those who are true enemies of freedom, no matter what country, religion, or party I have but one thing to say: Bite Me.
LWAlso posted at Laughing Wolf