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Selective freedom of speech and religion suggested by Hannity?

by rescuetruth on July 23rd, 2010

Sometimes I wonder if watching Fox News is worth the ensuing mental anguish, but the importance of hearing all viewpoints has always been more important than avoiding the resulting temporary discomfort.  Typically, we can expect a certain amount of right-wing slant and lots of spin, but this specific segment of Sean Hannity’s show exceeded my expectations.  A few minutes into this video, my jaw literally dropped to the floor.

On Sunday, between inventing new words and otherwise butchering the English language, Sarah Palin tweeted the following:

Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing

Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real

Hannity claimed that Palin’s posts “did not suggest that [Palin] supports one religion over another.”  If that is indeed the case, I would ask Sarah Palin if we could build a church or temple on that site.  I think we undoubtedly know what the response would be.  I feel it is quite evident in Palin’s posts that she harbors negative feelings towards the Muslim religion.

Throughout the video, Hannity attempts to paint Michael Gross, a civil rights attorney, as an extremist.  Hannity used a classic spin technique in which the question is destined to elicit a very specific response, which is then used to denigrate that person’s character.  Sekulow called the planned mosque a “monument to terrorists.”  Under that line of reasoning, all of the 1.5 billion Muslims of the world would be terrorists, which we know is not true.  Of course, we are not talking about terrorists.  We are talking about the right of N.Y. Muslim people to practice their religion peacefully, unhindered by the United States government.

A person does not have to support the ideas of a religion to support free speech, which is a principle.  While we do not support groups like the neo-Nazis, KKK, and guys like Samir Shabazz, in the United States these groups have the right to free speech.  The important thing to remember in this situation is that we are not even talking about a hate group, nor are we talking about speech that brings immediate danger to the welfare of any person.  The Muslim community wants to build a mosque in New York City, and people like Sean Hannity and Sekulow want dangerously selective recognition of freedom of speech and religion.

  • What scale does Sekulow and Hannity use to determine the amount of free speech or religion a group or person may have?
  • Based on that scale, how would a person determine the proper distance from Ground Zero at which a mosque could be built?
  • What would that distance be for a Christian church?
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From → Civil Rights, Media