Be Careful About What You Say Or Write

Is this a harbinger of things to come on our soil, affecting the first amendment?

Read article/commentary.

This has nothing to do with the First Amendment or free speech. It concerns the right of a business to decide what materials are distributed on its grounds. The free weekly newspaper is not being censored by government.

Essentially, the article’s viewpoint is similar to people who whine about censorship when a moderator deletes or modifies their comments in an online forum. The newspaper is free to publish, and distribute to anyone interested, in the public. That is free speech. Free speech does not mean that private businesses are required to provide space to all viewpoints.

I disagree. Please read to the end of the article. I am interested to hear other readers’ POV.

The 1st Amendment protects us from government censorship. The government isn’t involved at all. The man has every right to publish his newspaper and the private businesses have every right to decide what will and will not be in their stores. Would it be a 1st Amendment violation if a store owner refused to sell pornography?

This is not a matter of freedom of the press. It’s merely a matter of Kroger bowing to the intimidation of some one individual who thinks that anything critical of Islam must be “hate speech.” Apparently no instance of “hate speech” could be pointed out.

I suppose that if Kroger is worried about losing the business of persons who don’t like the free newspaper, they might also be worried about losing the business of those who do.

In the meantime, for a true and personal look at Islam’s influence on a society, read this book by someone who’s experienced it from the inside.

Conspiracy, Slander, and Defamation are illegal in most States. Conspiracy charges could be brought at the Federal level, if Obama/Holder were not in office.
Civil and criminal prosecutions could be brought against all those who unjustly are trying to put him out of business. However, civil cases would be very expensive, and the paper owner would have to be able to prove his case which could take several years.

The Muslim militants are very organized and well financed, no doubt about it. Why do you think the liberal media is afraid of them?

I would suspect they would fear for their lives… Insulting Islam is dangerous to your health.

I think it’d be great to publicly curb hate speech against Muslims the minute they curb their hate speech against… everyone else.

It is a sin to be tolerant of the intolerant.

Okay, I am persuaded by the argument that Kroger or Distributech did not violate freedom of speech or the first amendment in featured story in Tennessee.

But just wait for the next demand by this minority group even in small town America. What does it hurt if we accommodate each demand as long as it is within the legal framework and in the name of multiculturalism and pluralism? Especially with organizations like CAIR and its backing in high places.

What played out in Europe in the last 20 years shows us. The Muslim population there also started with minor demands, probably not unlike that made by the customer or customers of Kentucky Fried Chicken or grocery stores in this case, who do not wish to see any printed newspaper article unfavorable to Islam.

Although everyone in the EU has the right to freedom of expression, the countries there are now at war with the exercise of free speech. See here.

I hope we do not get complacent, like letting in a blasphemy law in favor of Islam that would modify if not challenge the first amendment.

The U.S. and its constituent state governments may not prosecute blasphemous speech or religious insults and may not allow civil actions on those grounds. Our hate crime laws already protect minority rights. As far as hate speech goes, it is not a crime in itself (not yet, anyway!), unless the speech constitutes conspiracy or solicitation for violence.

We should keep it that way.

Precisely. There is no reciprocity from followers of Islam. The Koran has 109 verses calling for violence against non-Muslims, and imams preach it in mosques. This is hate speech. Are we intolerant about this? But Islamists explode in anger and violence over criticism of Islam or their Prophet.

Some forms of Islam are ideology rather than religiosity and they have the nerve to condemn the Crusaders who were fighting back against Muslim aggression,hegemony and forced conversion.Viva El Cid.

Dale’s right. Free speech and free press mean exactly what they say: you can do it (libre). It doesn’t mean that anyone is required to support you or give you free space or advertising or print your story (gratis).
And just to be clear, the 1st Amendment starts with the words “Congress shall …”

As they say, vote with your dollars. Although, in this day and age that phrase is probably close to meaningless.

This event is a prime example of why I prefer international news. One person complaining is not enough to shut down the internet.

It is not an example of a First Amendment. It is an example of people being overly touchy. If newspapers got banned because one person complained, the First Amendment would be obsolete because there would be no more papers. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you have to say.

My gut reaction was that someone had a bad reaction involving one case of “Islam bashing,” yet “Christian bashing” by the media is standard operating procedure. Sad, very sad. :frowning:

“The American Government has done something that if they did it in their own country it would violate the Constitution. They have co-sponsored a UN resolution that puts a limit on freedom of speech because the Islamic countries don’t like free speech.

Now the problem with the new touchy-feely American administration is not that they want to be friendly and respectful towards everyone; that’s very laudable. It’s just that when you have a moral agenda like that it can be tempting to cut corners, especially when it comes to inconvenient things like… constitutional amendments. And if they are doing this now outside the United States, where they can get away with it, it’s only a matter of time before this is allowed to become international law, and then you know they’re going to start trying to do it inside the United States as well; in the name of ‘community cohesion’ …

As long as America’s First Amendment remains inviolate there will always be an oasis of freedom on this planet that Islam cannot touch. But as soon as anyone is allowed to interfere with it, to water it down, to reinterpret, to chip and chisel away at the First Amendment for reasons of religious or cultural sensitivity then we wave our civilisation goodbye. [emphasis mine]

Watch what’s happening in Europe America, cherish that Constitution and don’t let Islam anywhere near it for all our sakes. Remember the words of Mr Omar Ahmad, co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations, who said that Islam is not in America to be equal to other faiths but to become dominant and that the Koran should be the highest authority in America. That would be higher than the Constitution.

If President Obama is serious about showing respect to the Muslim world, then he should pay them the compliment of telling them the truth – that their religion is entitled to as much respect as it gives – zero! And that with their record no Islamic country has any business even holding an opinion on human rights, let alone serving on a legislative body. Then asking the people of the free world to compromise their fundamental values is far, far more insulting than any set of cartoons or any book could ever be. “

Sometimes individuals we do not agree or we have little in common with are sources of useful information. The above are excerpts from “Wake Up America” by British Internet personality Pat Condell, atheist and former Catholic.

You may have already come across this 6 minute video clip. For those who have not, and if you can just ignore the “God does not exist” reasoning, take a listen here,

or just read the full transcript here.

Btw, I wish to thank those who took the time to read and analyze the article cited in the OP. I agree with the distinction made by posters that the article is not about free speech or the first amendment.

Isn’t Pat Condell a comedian? Of course, that doesn’t invalidate his opinion, but I am wondering why you think his opinion is especially important?

I read to the end, I would consider at least some of these to be controversial…

*Islam is evil, dehumanizing, defiling.
Muslim immigration should be halted.
Islam is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.
Recent Reader front-page headlines read:
World’s most dangerous Islamist in Pennsylvania.
Secretary Clinton helps Islamist terror supporter enter U.S.
Spitting in the face of everyone murdered on 9/11. *

However they have the right to produce whatever they want but as another poster said, people and business owners also have the right to refuse to allow it on their property.

If someone said Catholicism is evil, dehumanizing, defiling to you think we would stand by and host that in a business we ran that we frequented by Catholics? No…


I have not yet arrived at the conclusion that Mr. Condell’s opinion is especially important. Yes he’s a comedian (you already knew that), also a writer, who seems to have exploded in the video website sharing arena, reportedly with a youtube channel that has had 20 million views as of last month.

Perhaps he is not like Dawkins from a strong academic background or the heavyweight intellectual Hitchens. Hmm … come to think of it, all are British. But what atheists say interest me, especially those who are former Catholics. Now we are going OT, so I will leave it at that …

The beauty of the Internet is that everyone can be in the room to discuss, debate, or just to read, including opinion of someone such as Pat Condell. “Important” people do not have a corner on worthwhile news or ideas.

I am curious what readers would say about this relatively fresh incident in Dearborn, Michigan, during the Arab Cultural Fesitval, June 20, 2010.

It is claimed that Christians were arrested for handing out copies of the Gospel of John outside the festival.

Sean Hannity / Fox News also aired a news segment about it tonight.

Is this a first amendment violation or issue, in your view?

The Sixth Circuit issued a ruling permitting leafleting only in a “buffer zone” or around the “outer perimeter” of the festival. From the video there is no way to know if the leafleters are in or out of the prescribed bounds. See The Volokh Conspiracy.

Also from VC blog:
First Amendment Clash Brewing Over Gay Pride Festival in Minneapolis

The basic claims are these. On the one hand, Johnson claims a First Amendment right to enter a park ordinarily open to the public in order to express his views condemning homosexuality. He says this includes the right to move around the permit grounds among the crowd distributing literature and displaying signs. He cites some appellate and lower court decisions that have indeed allowed persons with anti-gay messages, under some circumstances, to enter the areas of gay-pride celebrations.

On the other hand, relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Hurley v. GLIB (allowing permit-bearing Irish parade to exclude gay contingent), TCP claims that it cannot be forced to include speech from an active participant — one who distributes literature and displays signs — whose message is diametrically opposed to its own within the boundaries and during the times in which it has obtained a permit to craft its own message of acceptance of homosexuality. His active presence on the festival grounds may mistakenly be perceived as reflecting TCP’s judgement that his religious views are worthy of presentation as part of a range of views about homosexuality or to express a liberal tolerance for messages of condemnation. It would be impractical to disclaim the message of one or more moving counter-speakers. (Disclosure: I have advised Twin Cities Pride on the matter.)

As much as I’m a free-speech knee-jerker I don’t think I’d appreciate someone crashing my parish festival to hand out Chick tracts, or Korans, or Dianetics.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit