The recent horrors out of Afghanistan regarding the blowback from a certain U.S. pastor's unconscionable actions towards a different faith group of his fellow human beings have been hard to read about without slipping into the same disrespect and disregard for another's rights and dignity, regardless of whether one feels he deserves it or not. The fact that we should always treat people with the same courtesy and deference we would like shown to us is hard to fathom in situations such as these. The question remains however, is it correct and appropriate to forcefully, and justly, condemn this type of outrageous and hateful behavior as it happens, or are we in fact stepping on another's right to freedom of speech?
Our incredibly short attention span kept this resurgence of Pastor Terry's hate campaign against Islam far from being anything but a blip in the mainstream news media this time around. No presidential wrist slaps, no faith coalition's collective condemnation. Nope, nothing so important as that. Why? Well I suspect it's because we've become used to this kind of hateful, spurious rhetoric and disgusting behavior from the blowhards and talking heads on the TeeVee. Even (or is it especially?) from those who represent Christianity. Whether it's God fearing Americans protesting terrorism or states reacting to the horrors of Sharia, the very people who profess a faith in the God of Love have none of it. It is my opinion that as a Christians we have as special duty to denounce these misrepresentations of our faith. But the duty isn't only shouldered by us, we all have the responsibility as fellow humans to push back against hatred and intolerance where ever it rears its ugly head. Freedom of speech does not change hate into a rational viewpoint, or should it be treated with the same regard as a valid viewpoint and our media should not approach it as such. No, it should be justly condemned for what it is, even if the constitution allows one to spew it.
This is the main reason why our politics on a whole have degraded so much: just because one is allowed to voice an argument does not equal it's validity or the truth of its premises. When the fallacies and poisonous rhetoric go unchallenged in the MSM it secretly condones and justifies them. This goes for our personal lives as well. The very notion of a society where there are different versions of the Truth depending upon ones politics and/or religion is outrageous and shows a level of contempt for the Truth itself. In this type of society no one has rights because they will become suspect at the drop of an opinion poll. The only way to change this trend is engagement. Write or call your congresspersons, or write a letter to an Editor. Take to the streets if need be, but this intolerance in the name of religion must be responded to. If we cannot stop the bullying, the attacks, and the scapegoating then we will end up living in a society where everyone will lose the very American right to worship in the faith of our choice, even if it's the right to practice no faith at all.