And though I in no way shape or form feel reasonable right now I agree with them

The fact is that the First Amendment, no matter how embattled, protects a range of expression unthinkable even in Western Europe. Because of that unique position, and because the U.S. seems doomed to play an outsized diplomatic and military role in the tumultuous Muslim world, it behooves the State Department to constantly explain the vast differences between state-sanctioned and legally protected speech in the so-called Land of the Free. If the U.S. government really was in the business of “firmly reject[ing]” private free-speech acts that “hurt the religious beliefs of others” there would be no time left over for doing anything else.

It’s really not that hard. The values in that film (or “film”) are not our values; our government respects religion, religious expression, and religious pluralism (including and especially that of Muslims, even in the wake of murderous Muslim-led attacks on American soil); and we are not in the business of approving or (for the most part) regulating the private speech of our citizens. To the extent that that message is not sufficient for rioters, the problem is theirs.

Some liberal Tweeters this morning are pointing out that, hey, the Bush administration condemned the Mohammed cartoons, too!, but this mostly goes to illustrate how bipartisan cravenness can be. We know that this issue will keep coming up; maybe it’s about time the American government, and the rest of us, develop a more American response.

8 Responses to “Reason”

  1. Skyler says:

    I seem to remember a bunch of people from other countries offending my beliefs and I never killed their ambassadors. Strange behavior, I guess.

  2. JeffS says:

    …maybe it’s about time the American government, and the rest of us, develop a more American response.

    A few suggestions:

    “It’s an American thing, so learn to love it, or ignore it.”

    “Maybe America isn’t the best country in the world, but that Third World s**thole you’re from certainly isn’t either.”

    “I am offended that you find American freedoms offensive.”

    “I really don’t care about the feelings of a bunch of murders and thieves who can’t even read the Koran for themselves.”

    “I understand completely. If I were an ignorant lout, looking to piss off my neighbor, or maybe start a fight in a bar, I’d pretend to be offended as well.”

    And so on.

  3. Kathy Kinsley says:

    I suggest that the American response include a large middle finger raised high.

    For those of us who are just too tired to use JeffS’s more…civilized…suggestions.

  4. leelu says:

    “…maybe it’s about time the American government, and the rest of us, develop a more American response.”

    I thought Krauthammer’s was pretty good.

  5. Mr. Bingley says:

    aelf, I saw that. Pretty funny stuff.

    Skyler, don’t you remember joining me as we stormed and burned down the Italian Embassy in NY after “The Last Temptation Of Christ” came out? Good times.

  6. Ave says:

    One of the freedoms we Americans have died for and continue to die for is the right for other Americans to act stupidly.

  7. Mr. Bingley says:

    Exactly right Ave. And that is a glorious thing to be cherished.

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