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Barack Obama v. Simon Corbell

By johnboy - 26 September 2012 26

Last month Labor’s Simon Corbell decided to legislate against religious villification.

Last night the US President Barack Obama spoke to the UN General Assembly about why Simon Corbell is wrong:

Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. 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 — (laughter) — and I will always defend their right to do so. (Applause.)

Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views, even views that we profoundly disagree with. We do not do so because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities.

We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

barack obama

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
Barack Obama v. Simon Corbell
steele_blade 1:11 pm 26 Sep 12

Truthiness said :

Everyone should be able to post bile, its up to us to put on our big kid pants and not be so mortally offended by words.

Even if those words whip a mob into a frenzy? And we finish with riots like Cronulla or the CBD? (I’m not arguing against you, I’m still just looking for the line in the sand, if there is one.)

On a related point, what about shouting obscenities at a person? Shouldn’t that be free speech too?

Truthiness 12:41 pm 26 Sep 12

Everyone should be able to post bile, its up to us to put on our big kid pants and not be so mortally offended by words.

Holden Caulfield 11:31 am 26 Sep 12

MERC600 said :

Well said Prez , now I wonder what his opinion would be on Simons banning of plastic bags, and light rail

😆

steele_blade 11:24 am 26 Sep 12

Heard O on the news this morning, followed by the story of ADF members posting hate speech on Facebook. I can’t decide where the line should be drawn. Is O saying that the citizens should be able to post such bile? I’m looking for some universal truth here, not some technicality that the ADF should be treated differently to civilians.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 11:07 am 26 Sep 12

Obama is the man. Wish he was running this place.

pirate_taco 11:03 am 26 Sep 12

Pirate Party Australia is committed to free speech, and I am very concerned that Corbell’s legislation will have unintended consequences.
If it were limited to religious vilification that incites violence, I think it could be tolerated.

Glen Takkenberg
Pirate Party ACT

Chop71 10:51 am 26 Sep 12

So Simon, will you reply?

johnboy 10:43 am 26 Sep 12

Truthiness said :

I’d be surprised if he’s ever even heard of Mr Corbell.

That was my point.

Truthiness 10:37 am 26 Sep 12

The choice of words and venue seem like an attempt to quell the global tensions over that movie.

I’d be surprised if he’s ever even heard of Mr Corbell.

johnboy 10:30 am 26 Sep 12

he probably didn’t have Simon directly in mind, it’s just the shoe fits.

Truthiness 10:26 am 26 Sep 12

Oh I agree with his point, I just think he is being a massive hypocrite.

I have been speaking to some Muslim friends about the global riots over that movie, since the media had been painting them as against free speech. They agreed freedom of speech was important, but they also pointed out how many sites, videos and articles the American government has silenced everyday. If Obama or the media moguls had wanted the anti Muslim video gone it’d would have disappeared silently like countless others. So claiming there is freedom of speech in the west is clearly counter to the evidence.

It seems the yanks have no problem defending things that offend other people, but as soon as you offend them, you’re silenced.

I don’t agree with Simon’s stance, but hearing the counter argument from such a censorship junky as Obama rather undermines the message.

Its scary that Obama has to resort to dissing foreign small scale politicians to make himself look good.

MERC600 10:23 am 26 Sep 12

Well said Prez , now I wonder what his opinion would be on Simons banning of plastic bags, and light rail

johnboy 10:06 am 26 Sep 12

Truthiness said :

I learned a long time ago to ignore everything Obama says, and to instead focus on his actions. How many gag orders has his administration sent out to Google and the media? How many ACTAs and SOPAs has he supported? What about Bradley Manning? Is that freedom of speech?

Obama talks good game, but half his cabinet is Goldman Sachs and the other half is Monsanto. Defending freedom of speech is great, pretending America has freedom of speech is contrary to the evidence.

None of which is relevant to the situation in the ACT which is what we’re talking about.

When the US President and his speech writers devote their attention to explaining clearly why a local pol is wrong it would be foolish not to avail ourselves of their words.

Truthiness 9:53 am 26 Sep 12

I learned a long time ago to ignore everything Obama says, and to instead focus on his actions. How many gag orders has his administration sent out to Google and the media? How many ACTAs and SOPAs has he supported? What about Bradley Manning? Is that freedom of speech?

Obama talks good game, but half his cabinet is Goldman Sachs and the other half is Monsanto. Defending freedom of speech is great, pretending America has freedom of speech is contrary to the evidence.

Diggety 9:33 am 26 Sep 12

+1 to Obama.

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