Friday, August 15, 2008

My Rights and Freedoms

I have been thinking about rights and freedoms more and more lately.

Specifically, I was wondering how to reconcile my belief in freedom of speech with the despicable actions of those who planned to protest a private funeral.

I think many people take for granted our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom of peaceful assembly.

The freedom of religion allows us to peaceful worship our God in our own way and not to be persecuted for it. If that worship begins to impose on the rights of others, it should be curtailed.

The freedom of speech was designed as a protection against the tyranny of the state as opposed to carte-blanche to rail against people or persons. We have hate laws in this country. We have libel and defamanation suits available to those who have suffered honest to goodness harm and loss of livelyhood for those who would be falsely accused. However, the statement of facts should always be a defense.

The freedom of peaceful assembly was supposed to ensure that people could assemble and protest peacefully the actions of our government without fear of reprisals.

The freedom of the press was supposed to protect journalists and newspaper owners who cover the news.

Somehow, the right not to be offended has been entrenched in the Canadian lifestyle somewhere.

Remove the Christmas tree from town hall because we may offend muslims or jews.

Remove the word "man" from "manhole cover" as we will offend women.

Complain to the Human Rights Commission when you are offended by ...... fill in blank here.


My take is that the government does have a right to restrict foreigners from entering the country for almost any reason. For foreigners, there is not right of entry.

Once allowed in, however, the religious nutters do have a right to demonstrate so long as they don't disrupt the funeral. They don't have a heckler's veto.

The acid test for whether you truly believe in individual freedom is...

Do you support the rights of those you despise?
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