November 29, 2012

"In the realm of religious faith, and in that of political belief, sharp differences arise."

"In both fields the tenets of one man may seem the rankest error to his neighbor. To persuade others to his own point of view, the pleader, as we know, at times resorts to exaggeration, to vilification of men who have been, or are, prominent in church or state, and even to false statement. But the people of this nation have ordained, in the light of history, that, in spite of the probability of excesses and abuses, these liberties are, in the long view, essential to enlightened opinion and right conduct on the part of the citizens of a democracy."

A paragraph from an old Supreme Court case that feels like something some people who ought to know better have forgotten. Boldface added.

18 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

When I first read it, I thought the bold part was referring to President Obama's reaction to Citizen's United.

Sam L. said...

Been seeing a lot of this lately; lately being the last 20-30 years.

bpm4532 said...

They may know the statement exists, but many don't believe in it.

traditionalguy said...

Beliefs tolerated by others are our unique culture.The Nicene Creed was hammered out to define Christian beliefs about the nature and life of Jesus the Christ.

It in effect builds a wall around the basic beliefs.

Today the post-Christian liberal tolerance of everyone trend is backing off using those proclaimed beliefs in services " because it boxes God in."

My question is why the unbelievers wont tolerate that Creed spoken out loud in their presence.

I suspect it is from a fear of Muslims' public proclamations against what is in the Nicene Creed.

rcommal said...

How inconvenient, yes?

bagoh20 said...

You can't just let people go around harshing your mellow. Shut them assholes up.

hombre said...

"My question is why the unbelievers wont tolerate that Creed spoken out loud in their presence."

For the same reason they won't tolerate memorial crosses on desert hills, nativity scenes in public places where they have appeared for decades and "Christmas" in department stores. They are religious bigots whose creed differs from ours.

kcom said...

This is the part that should have been bold-faced.

But the people of this nation have ordained, in the light of history, that, in spite of the probability of excesses and abuses, these liberties are, in the long view, essential to enlightened opinion and right conduct on the part of the citizens of a democracy.

With moves by governments in Australia and Great Britain to exert control over the press, and the ongoing attempt on American campuses to constrain free speech (all in the name of preventing "excesses"), it's apparent the lessons of history haven't been well-learned by everyone. But we tinker and nibble at the concept of true free speech (in Whoopi Goldberg terminology "free free" speech) at our peril.

David said...

Mr. Cantwell's conduct is interesting. He made his point but did not try to escalate the confrontation. Indeed he defused it.

Today the speakers are much more likely to want a physical confrontation. Among other things, it gets them on TV.

Yet we still do out best to defend their right to speak.

Or some of us do. For some speech.

Quayle said...

And sadly, in our modern society, it is a struggle for supremacy, to the death.

And I am quite certain which one is going to prevail.

The one that's seen instances of the other come and go.

So cheer up - the outcome is certain.

Though he make an end to all nations, yet will he not make an end to you.

Richard Dolan said...

Yes, old wisdom that ought to be recognized for what it is: wisdom.

Today, the assault on First Amendment liberties most often comes from good intentions gone bad (efforts to ban harrassing or offensive speech, e.g.) or preventive measures being misplaced (banning sharp, often nasty, speech under the guise of threat/incitement analysis). Both of those assaults on the First Amendment operate asymmetrically, depending on who is supposedly being harrassed, offended or threatened.

The larger disgrace is that the assault on First Amendment liberties is pressed most vigorously at institutions ostensibly devoted to free and open discourse -- the universities, primarily, where everyone knows that there are un-PC points of view that are dangerous and should be avoided by anyone seeking tenure or academic success.

All of this is old news, but like the old wisdom highlighted in Ann's post, still well worth noting time and again.

cubanbob said...

Problem is that the first and second amendments are being bastardized. I know its a stretch for the left to understand that freedom of religion isn't the same as freedom from religion and the concept of no state church isn't the same of religious beliefs being expressed in the public square. Equally difficult for the left to understand is freedom of speech is a duty on the government to not prior restrain speech and the amendment does not absolve the speaker of consequences arising from their speech.

Methadras said...

Nothing is more vilified than a conservative when it comes from from the faithful Democrat.

Pragmatist said...

Well said...of course everyone will think it is the "other guys" who are not living up to its ideals.

chickelit said...

Pragmatist said...
Well said...of course everyone will think it is the "other guys" who are not living up to its ideals.

First, let's separate the leaders from their followers. Followers on boths side will always berate and vilify.

As for leaders, do we have any recent examples of candidacies premised on vilifying the opposition or even generic groups contain the opposition? Again, I don't mean the followers of the candidates and I don't mean what some call de facto leaders. I mean leader leaders.

Did Mitt Romney's campaign vilify?

Did Barack Obama's campaign vilify?

Let's ask shiloh--rhetorical

And I know what deborah will say "Politics is not fair"

RichardS said...

The classic old wisdom is the religion and politics are ultimately inseparable. As John Adams noted, "there can be no philosophy without religion."
Any philosophy, or any positive argument about right and wrong (hence about what government should or should not do) is, ultimately, based upon some presumptions that may or may not be true. Believing things that might not be true is faith, ie: it is religion.

Saint Croix said...

A paragraph from an old Supreme Court case that feels like something some people who ought to know better have forgotteni

What this made me think of was Obama's promise that there is no future for people who slander the prophet of Islam .

From the article...

"As president of our country, and commander in chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day. And I will defend their right to do so."

Why is that considered a "laugh line"? Because Obama is reminding us of his power. That's why he's reminding us that he's the commander in chief. Subtext: I could kill you all!

So that's his humor. Kind of in the style of Al Capone. He's reminding us how powerful he is, and yet he has to hear all these attacks on his character.

It's like the IRS joke Obama made. "President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS."

That's another "joke" where the humor is based on Obama's power, and his ability to hurt people.

It's a joke that relies on you understanding how powerful Obama is. Really, he's inviting you laugh at his enemies. "Those people who say bad things about me, I could kill them all." Beat. "But I won't." Ha ha ha ha. Like that.

He's an asshole.

Dante said...

But the people of this nation have ordained, in the light of history, that, in spite of the probability of excesses and abuses, these liberties are, in the long view, essential to enlightened opinion and right conduct on the part of the citizens of a democracy.

Why should the individual right of free expression be justified that it's good for Democracy? How about, individuals ought to be able to express themselves freely (outside of the usual slander types of things)?

It's disturbing. If the guy felt it neither helped, nor hurt the Democracy, would he change his opinion?