14 September 2012

Free speech...with a price

The events of the last several days in the Middle East have left me just a little sad.  American diplomats have lost their lives, senselessly, and at least seven Arabs have been killed in protests.

This whole thing is senseless to me. America's ambassador to Libya did not need to die. That seven people have died in protests over an anti-Islamic movie produced by a convicted felon (financial crimes and drug charges) and promoted by an extremist (ah, the irony) Florida pastor, is senseless.

What is it about the freedom of speech that empowers people to think that the things they say have no consequences?  It is insane to me to think that your words have no consequences.  They do.  Their is a price for free speech.  In this case, it's being paid in blood.  Not good.

It's been interesting to see the blogosphere light up on this one.  Somehow the violent reaction of a small minority of Arabs to what they perceive as blasphemy makes it OK to paint an entire group as blood-thirsty hate fiends.  Glenn Beck is weighing in, which is almost as frightening as the protests, and can only mean that he will use broad brush strokes of tired stereotypes to blame the entire Arab population for this and somehow tie the President to it as well.  Thanks, Brother Beck.

What's happening in the Middle East is not simply about this film.  It would be naive to think so.  There are many other issues at play that are causing the ongoing unrest.  Many of those reasons are ones that we will never understand. Calling for a swift and violent response will solve nothing.  Talk about adding fuel to the fire...

Words can sometimes be the most deadly weapons of them all.  Choose them wisely.

1 comment:

Monty Newlin said...

Right on point again, Michael. See James 3:5-9:

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."