Our Values: Freedom of Speech or of Religion?

Friday, September 14, 2012

An American flag. An American flag. (bloomgal/flickr)

Jeremy Waldronprofessor of law and philosophy at the New York University School of Law and of Social and Political Theory at Oxford University, and author of The Harm in Hate Speech, discusses the use of the phrase "American values" in diplomatic and political rhetoric following the attack in Libya.


Comments [68]

mo from ark

Because of a misunderstanding of scriptures most people do not understand the word of God. The muslems call Christ a good prophet but he is not legetiment because he supposidly lied about being in the earth three days and three nights.

Neither do Christians believe the true statement as they assume the prepration day he was sacrificed on was for the weekly Sabbath. They are not familiar, because of their church teachings, with the holy days called High Sabbaths which are just as important as the weekly Sabbaths.

One scripture reveals this very plainly, John 19;31

Also most do not know the scriptures Christ were speaking were not his doctrine but his fathers Jphjn 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said,MY doctrine is not mine but his who sent me.

The word of God does not speak to any particular religion but to all mankind saying all LIARS shall have their part in the lake that burns witrh fire and brimstone. revelation 21;8. this includes all faiths.

Sep. 15 2012 03:56 PM

Mitt Romney takes a diplomatic communique and bends its content to further his own ambitions. Muslim extremists take an imbecilic and trifling clip of "bad" You Tube to support their own conspiritorial suspicions. The You Tube clip can't be taken seriously any more than the Romney critique can stand up to scrutiny. Some people simply have too much time on their hands - and that includes the media. There is no free speech argument in the current controversy. Crazy people do crazy things - it happens every day on the streets of New York and on talk radio. Legitimate free speech debates involve substance: like the writings of Salman Rushdie or the work of Bradley Manning. But blithering idiots are a dime a dozen. Confusing the two plays into the hands of people better left ignored, not rewarded for their artlessness. Terry Jones can burn all the Korans he wants to. Not because it's his first amendment right. But because he's a blithering idiot irrelevant to civilised discourse. I wish the media and wayward muslims could understand the distinction. Maybe someday. Hasn't Rush Limbaugh taught us anything?

Sep. 15 2012 02:09 PM

Wow, that Edward from Hudson Heights really goes out of his way to make a jackass of himself, doesn't he?

Sep. 14 2012 03:51 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@jg8912 --

>>Islam promotes violence.
>>Violence is bad.
>>Bad things should be banned.
>>Therefore Islam should be banned.

I see the problem. Your grasp of logic is not very strong.

Premise 1 is unbounded, therefore mostly wrong.
Premise 2 is also arguable. What about the Allies in WWII?
Premise 3 is just false. What about free will and the ability to choose between bad and good? Banning it outright is paternalistic. Okay for children but the point is that we are adults.
Conclusion is invalid. Try Logic 101 again.

Sep. 14 2012 01:05 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The "Religion of Peace" sure has a funny way of showing it.

There are no anti-blasphemy laws in the US Constitution.

There are laws against hijacking planes.

Sep. 14 2012 12:59 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

roseellen, If you really care about Arabs/Muslims then tell us why Arabs are killing Arabs. Explain the sunni/shiite blood feuds which have gone on for 1,000 years? The 8 year Iraq/Iran war. The public executions of gays in the self proclaimed Islamic Republic of Iran.

Islam needs a Reformation.

Sep. 14 2012 12:41 PM

It is a sorrow and a pity that persons privileged to have their views broadcasted daily by virtue of community support, both forced and freely given, take fatuous comfort in the incantation of the "you-can't-shout-fire-in-a-crowded-theater" Shibboleth to give any positive sanction to the murder and destruction that occurred this week.

Persons who do so are so illiterate that they would also be capable of inserting the slogan "Work Will Make You Free" ( in commercials promoting new programs "mandating" "public service" as the solution to general unemployment or as a means of populating unpopulated professions (e.g., military, medical, educational, "waste" collection and management).
(Given the general tone of the host and guest, I expect we will be seeing that use as a "gaffe" in the near future, and as an official policy shortly thereafter.)

Do you have to be reminded that the "crowded theater" ruse, was used to mask the censorship of speech in opposition to the military draft and the United States' entry into World War Two?

Would you like to see an example of the legitimate use of "fire" in a crowded assembly and a robust defense of free speech against "know-nothing" ignorance? ;

Oliver Wendell Holmes, the author of the "crowded theater" meme, is also well known for his "reasoning" in Buck v Bell:
". . . We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. . . "

Holmes concluded his argument by declaring that "Three generations of imbeciles are enough". ;

After listening to today's segment I'm not so sure we have outlived the third generation.

Sep. 14 2012 12:31 PM

Whoever it was who said there's no anti Christian or anti Muslim content in the bible/talmud = old testament? neglected to mention it was written before either of those later monotheistic religions existed. Monotheists have been fighting each other since the get go, and still do, though although Christians killed an unusual number during their only two centuries in Jerusalem, they're a small presence there now. Correct those facts if I'm wrong. It is true that Islam was enlightened in Andalusia, more than Ferdie and Isabella. But the fact is that now, many muslims like the Taliban, and the most dangerous group - Salafists, now connected with the embassy bombing in Libya, say overtly their goal is a caliphate, i.e. an Islamic world. Christianity's aim too: world Christianity. My feeling is that Jews should convert other peoples as well, to get beyond the "chosen people" curse. A lady down the hall reflected and agreed. Lubavitchers had a bus on Columbus Ave a few years ago, and i asked if I could get teachings. "Are you Jewish?" "No." "Sorry, you can't." "You have spiritual teachings that might help me and you won't tell me?" My WASP stepfather tried to become a Jew, and was turned down. All this mid east violence is dangerous for Israel. Almost as dangerous as Netanyahu. (See New Yorker online.)
America would be more popular if we didn't have 800 military bases around the world. How would we feel if there were an Afghan base or Chinese base here? Even a British base? We can't afford all those bases. We never really leave a country. Always a base and "trainers". How would we feel?

Sep. 14 2012 12:14 PM

A film is the tip of the iceberg.We've been killing muslims in their homelands for 10years now. Before that we propped up dictators who killed and tortured on our behalf. And of course our one sided pro zionist position fuels anti smericanism. But regarding egypt -seems like they responded to inflamatory speech[the film] with their own inflammatory speech! Unfurling alquada like banners, shouting pro Osama slogans ,burning US flags -on 9-11 of all days;what is that but responding with speech to speech?Just what we claim we value. Demontrations are also an expression of freedom of speech.Good that the egyptian government allows them their freedom to demonstrate. Our puppet mubarek would have arrested, tortured and killed anti-american protesters! This is progress; that the people can demonstrate. The world and its people do no belong to us -and they too have the right to their opinions!Tresspassing and defacing property notwithstanding.Democracy is messy as we are want to say.It is terrible that these noble american diplomats were killed in libya;the anti muslim /arab bigots are annoyed that the libyan people were out in the streets condeming the murder of these beloved american diplomats and that the libyan government also apologized for the terrorist act.It goes against their narrative and confounds their totalizing genocidal anti muslim/arab agenda!

Sep. 14 2012 12:09 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Listing passages in the Bible that are horrifying in the modern world, pales in comparison to reading reports in newspapers of Islamists killing people all over the world.

Sep. 14 2012 12:01 PM
Glork from Glen ridge

Dboy: Thank you for the very thorough list. Was thinking that perhaps Abraham should be mentioned since "God" told him to murder his son Isaac (?)
I don't know whose side Abraham belonged to -Jewish, Muslim or Christian- but I remember learning this story in second grade. The boy next to me burst out laughing "That can't be true! God doesn't tell you to kill people!" at which point Sister Lucy backhanded him into silence and a black eye. On the other hand, the story was told to uphold the example of "fidelity"- so whose values should we be faithful to in order to avoid getting killed?

Sep. 14 2012 11:58 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Islamists are offended over a movie?

I'm offended over 9/11/01.

As for the movie, it is preceded by other films on Youtube which ridicule Islamist values.

It is no coincidence that Ambassador Stevens was murdered on 9/11/12.

Sep. 14 2012 11:39 AM
Amy from Manhattan

The timing of not only Mitt Romney's remarks but the statement from the US embassy in Cairo. Defending his initial remarks, Mr. Romeny said, "It's never too early to condemn attacks on Americans." Really? I think condemning them before they even happen is too early.

Sep. 14 2012 11:06 AM

The Israelites LOVED their rape, murder and pillage!

GE 34:13-29 The Israelites kill Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children.

EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside.

EX 17:13 With the Lord's approval, Joshua mows down Amalek and his people.

EX 21:20-21 With the Lord's approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the perpetrator as long as the slave doesn't die too quickly.

EX 32:27-29 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay 3000 men.

NU 21:3 The Israelites utterly destroy the Canaanites.

NU 21:35 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay Og "... and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ...."

NU 25:4 (KJV) "And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun ...."

NU 31:9 The Israelites capture Midianite women and children.

NU 31:17-18 Moses, following the Lord's command, orders the Israelites to kill all the Midianite male children and "... every woman who has known man ...." (Note: How would it be determined which women had known men? One can only speculate.)

NU 31:31-40 32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside (to be sacrificed?) as a tribute for the Lord.

DT 2:33-34 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Sihon.

DT 3:6 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Og.

DT 7:2 The Lord commands the Israelites to "utterly destroy" and shown "no mercy" to those whom he gives them for defeat.

DT 20:13-14 "When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves.

DT 21:10-13 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites are allowed to take "beautiful women" from the enemy camp to be their captive wives. If, after sexual relations, the husband has "no delight" in his wife, he can simply let her go.

JS 6:21-27 With the Lord's approval, Joshua destroys the city of Jericho men, women, and children with the edge of the sword.

There is really no end to it...

Sep. 14 2012 10:57 AM
Christopher from Brooklyn

Our values are demonstrated often by how we spend our money. The House just voted to spend another $100,000,000,000 for war over the next 6 months. Most of the money will be used in Afghanistan. So the total military discretionary spending for the 2013 budget is $565,114,000,000 (56.94%). Now looks to me like the USAs values is KILLING people while food and agricultural is only 13.37 billion(1.17%). Budget deficit concerns, yeah right!

Sep. 14 2012 10:47 AM
jim from nyc

semantics. Values vs rights. we don't have the value of free speech and our american values are not reflected by what any person or persons say at random. freedom to worship is a right, not a value. i was raised catholic but i do not value the politics of that religion and my values don't reflect it. the KKK can do what they want on their own time, gather and such with their silly capes and hoods, but that doesn't reflect a value. it is just a right. romney likes to jump on buzz words that can get the simple minded(teabaggers) riled in his favor. buzz words. romney and clan are doing the country and the world a disservice by sing this as a bashing tool in their campaign.

Sep. 14 2012 10:43 AM
The Truth from Becky

Silence from the ridiculous right!

Sep. 14 2012 10:39 AM

The slaughter of the "infidel" is an equal-religion activity.

jaggerbuttz are you really that ignorant of history, particularly biblical so-called "history"??

Geezus save us!!

Sep. 14 2012 10:37 AM
Michaelanthony from Rego Park

The religious are constantly condemning secular values, and aren't criticized.

No one would even dare suggest that a Christian, or Muslim is crossing a line by publishing a film depicting "sinners" suffering endless agonies in Hell.

The United States government should neither ban nor promote fanaticism in any form, whether religious or anti-religious.

Careful diplomacy is wise, but we must never bow to the demands of the rabid.

Sep. 14 2012 10:35 AM
ellen from Manhattan

Let me correct myself: The book's title is "The Nature of Prejudice." Among other things, it discusses how legislation can and cannot affect freedom of speech and prejudice.
And a quote I like from Booker T. Washington: "I will not let any man reduce my soul to the level of hatred." It's Americans who should always be setting the example for this, whenever and wherever and however we can.

Sep. 14 2012 10:35 AM
richard hokin

From Wikipedia's discussion of Holmes: ""Shouting fire in a crowded theatre" is a popular metaphor and frequent paraphrasing of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.'s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919. The paraphrasing does not generally include the word "falsely"...

The article also suggests that Holmes had a change of heart later in his tenure on the Court.

Sep. 14 2012 10:35 AM

Is it just me or are wikipedia quoters as stupid as religious nuts??

Sep. 14 2012 10:33 AM
BK from Hoboken

Unfortunatey, many of the conservatives views are being validated by the reactions of Muslims in Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. At
Some point, even the most liberal apologists (yes I recognize they are rioting for more reasons than just the film) need to recognize that a large percentage of Muslims accept violence as part of their religion. The proof is in the millions marching in the street. Their response was just as the filmakers intended.

Sep. 14 2012 10:31 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Seth

Show me a single quote from the Bible against Muslims or Christians. However,it does say in one place that the progeny of Ishmael will be an "ass of a man, with his hand constantly raised against his brothers." I will grant you that.

Sep. 14 2012 10:30 AM

First, this is a problem of globalization and the internet. Freedom of speech isn't understood in many Islamic countries. A film like that is considered to be countenanced or promoted by the US government. I recall a Madonna smeared with feces in the Brooklyn Museum? which created a lot of opposition but was left in the exhibition. If the same happened to a Jewish object, the ADL would jump on the case. All of that is relevant if Salafists searched the web looking for such a piece of media to create furor. Easy to do. Plenty of Anti Christian, but mostly anti semitic material online. And other anti muslim hate groups pointed out in the SPLC. Free speech is our most important value.

Sep. 14 2012 10:30 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@MartinC -

Whatsamatter, Martin? Your candidate opens his mouth too soon on a topic for which he is unprepared and *you* wanna blame BL for picking on him? Are you serious?

There's an old saying about heat and staying out of the kitchen...

Even you must be smelling the flopsweat that surrounds the GOP ticket.

Sep. 14 2012 10:30 AM
Howard from Brooklyn

I find it interesting that when a film denigrates Mohamed, then we talk about freedom of religion and freedom of speech and say that others are overreacting. However, when a film denigrates Jesus, the response is an uproar about human rights.

This is the same attitude that can accept the burning or flushing of a Koran. Would they feel the same if someone else did the same to their holy book?

Sep. 14 2012 10:30 AM
Laura from UWS

P.S. Note how well violence worked. If it bleeds, it leads in the news.

If I were Secretary of State I might have given protesters suggestions about writing letters of complaint instead of violent protests. Now all we have to do is get the media to give more weight to written complaints than to violence.

Sep. 14 2012 10:29 AM
ellen diamond from Manhattan

Gordon Allport's "On Prejudice" supports the theory that prejudicial and hate speech qualifies as shouting fire in a crowded theatre. It was required reading in sociology classes when I was a college student in the 60's and remains a book that answers questions like this better than any other.

Sep. 14 2012 10:28 AM
Elaine from balimore

If it's a tolerant religion, Brian, as you stated during certain times in history, please be more specific & explain what dhimmī law is.

Sep. 14 2012 10:28 AM
Laura from UWS

Please clarify about free speech: Why was Oprah Winfrey sued by the meat industry for saying she didn't want to eat beef?

American values from George Washington = religious tolerance but giving no quarter to bigotry [GW letter to Newport, RI synagogue].

Please continue this topic.

Sep. 14 2012 10:27 AM
Nick from UWS

Apparently God and religion is powerful enough to create existence itself, yet too weak to withstand the assault of some idiot's film. Another example of how religion completely addles people's brains, destroys simple common sense and rational thinking, and turns everyone who is involved in it into a total blithering idiot.

Sep. 14 2012 10:26 AM
jg8912 from CT

@James L - you calling it bashing, I call it stating the truth. Islam promotes violence.

Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī (d. 1624) was an Islamic scholar and a prominent Sufi. He wrote,

“Shariat can be fostered through the sword.
Kufr and Islam are opposed to each other. The progress of one is possible only at the expense of the other and co-existences between these two contradictory faiths in unthinkable.
The honor of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects kafirs, dishonors the Muslims. To respect them does not merely mean honouring them and assigning them a seat of honor in any assembly, but it also implies keeping company with them or showing considerations to them. They should be kept at an arm's length like dogs. ...
The real purpose in levying jizya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya, they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam...

Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam”

—A. Sirhindi, Excerpted from Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Agra, Lucknow: Agra University, Balkrishna Book Co., 1965), pp.247-50; and Yohanan Friedmann, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: An Outline of His Thought and a Study of His Image in the Eyes of Posterity (Montreal, Quebec: McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies, 1971), pp. 73-74."

Sep. 14 2012 10:26 AM

Has anyone seen this "film"???


What kind of IGNORANCE gets offended by something so completely WORTHLESS??

Let's talk about the stunted capacity of the adherents of fundamentalist religious ideology... eh, Dimmzlewit?


Sep. 14 2012 10:25 AM
Sydney from NYC

While the american produced by an American was, yes, I cannot understand the outrange and actions of the protestors around the middle east. In conjunction with American's right to free speech -- we must also learn how to act rationally when someones free speach offends us. There is absolutely no excuse for violent protest over a video made by an American. Quite frankl- it is immature.

Sep. 14 2012 10:24 AM
Ian from Northern New Jersey

I don't understand why listening to the news yesterday I only heard one show bring up the fact that the attacks in Libya were most likely retribution for the killing of Ya Ya al-Libi. He was killed on the 5th of June this year, and on the 6th there was video of explosions being set off near the consulate that was attacked on Tuesday. Furthermore, al-Zawahiri, on the morning of the attacks that led to the deaths in Benghazi, released a forty minute plus video praising al-Libi and calling for attacks on American targets.

The protests in Cairo and Yemen seem to be a reaction to 'the video'; the seemingly planned and coordinated attack in Libya should not be seen as equal or even related. So why do we have discussions about free-speech as it related to retaliatory violence? Reactionary rock throwing/flag burning protests do not equal planned militant attacks on a consulate and not releasing offensive videos will never change that.

The media is frustrating and the obfuscation of this story so it can be used to discuss the value of free speech is maddening.

Sep. 14 2012 10:24 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yo, this is 1964 (if not 1861) all over again, replete with a Southern Strategy (and self-negating blacks treated as credible by a clueless media). Romney and Ryan are racing to the sludgy bottom, thereby sacrificing any credentials (if they existed) for leadership of so diverse a populace.

Sep. 14 2012 10:24 AM
John A.

There must be racks of laws against absolute free speech: slander and disturbing the peace for some examples. It's just not All OK all the time.
"Muslims don't believe in freedom for infidels."
Most representatives of Islam that reach the Brian Lehrer show say the exact opposite. Are they liars?

Sep. 14 2012 10:24 AM
bernie from bklyn

are you kidding me brian??!!! yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater and an anti-religous are comparable? you're really gonna let that fly on your show? you can't see the difference? shocking.

Sep. 14 2012 10:22 AM
jg8912 from CT

Brian, your caller is saying that we should self-censor! Why don't you challenge that?

Sep. 14 2012 10:22 AM
Seth Pickenstiff

jgarbuz, there are equally hateful quotes that could be pulled from the bible. what's your point?

Sep. 14 2012 10:21 AM

Yelling fire in a crowded theatre is an inane argument.

Sep. 14 2012 10:21 AM
jg8912 from CT

I find it offensive that Muslims react with violence to any perceived insult.

Islam promotes violence.
Violence is bad.
Bad things should be banned.
Therefore Islam should be banned.

Sep. 14 2012 10:21 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@jg8912...Are you muslim? If you are, teach us how this is true. If you are not, STFU.

Looks to me like this is a terrorist attack using the 'Innocence of Muslims...' trailer as a ruse for their attacks. BHO has shown very well where there is no doubt about the motive, the likely response from the American gov't will be a drone missile strike. It may not be tomorrow but it will happen. Ask plotters of the Nairobi bombings, USS Cole attack, 9/11. If you can find one...

Sep. 14 2012 10:21 AM

But religious people are INSANE!

Sep. 14 2012 10:20 AM

the Video did NOT cause all this trouble

Sep. 14 2012 10:19 AM
Mark from New York

SOS Clinton is a marvel. Her explanation, tone and clarity on free speech was remarkable. Romney is a disaster.

Sep. 14 2012 10:19 AM
Edward from NJ

Will the same people who lined up for chicken sandwiches last month now feel compelled to buy DVD copies of "The Innocence of Muslims"? know, "to support free speech."

Sep. 14 2012 10:18 AM
John from NYC

Oh, I see.

We can no longer criticize “other” religions, even if their beliefs and practices are
- Medieval
- Barbaric
- Sexist ????????

(Unless of course that religion is Christianity and the critics are the American and European left!!!!)

Some are highly educated academics who may be able to couch their criticism in ways that are “permitted.”

But not Bridgette Bardot – who was sentenced to prison for criticizing Islamic sexism.

Such imprisonment may soon be coming here????

Sep. 14 2012 10:18 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I have no idea why Mrs. Clinton is wasting her time. Fanatics are fanatics. Who's mind is she trying to change.

Sep. 14 2012 10:18 AM
Ron Fletcher

Seems like we have been told over and over that not all Muslims are these fundamentalists with their screwed up ideas AND actions...but when it comes to our own screwed up religious types, we are all getting painted with this brush by the Muslim world.

Sep. 14 2012 10:17 AM
James L


Clearly if an islamic backed group made the same video denouncing Christ or Israel and western "values", Romney and conservatives in general would not seek to protect the rights of the filmmakers, but would absolutely and wholeheartedly denounce it.

Bashing Islam is very acceptable these days in the Western world.


Sep. 14 2012 10:17 AM

Brian, you and your guests are falling for the mendacious "red herring" nature of ALL of Romney's comments. He is doing nothing more than trying every way he can to insinuate that Obama is a socialist, appeaser, sympathizer, apologist, Muslim, etc. without actually saying so. He has NO true conviction about any of the stammering stumbling platitudes he's putting forth. Including the right of free speech or freedom of religion. Did I mention mendacious? His comments and stance are disgraceful.

Sep. 14 2012 10:17 AM
Edward from NJ

People have the right in this country to say horrible things. Other people, including government officials, have the right to call those people out as hateful. Until someone actually tries to legally prohibit a type of speech, it's *all* free speech.

Sep. 14 2012 10:17 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

This is also free speech:

"The time (Day of Judgement) will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews [and kill them]; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: Oh Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!"[38]

An Islamic hadith quoted in the Hamas Charter.

Sep. 14 2012 10:16 AM
BK from Hoboken

No problem with free speech, and I think it is right for an embassy, whose duty is to maintain understanding and relations with its host country. Of course we all know Romney attacked the message, even though it was released BEFORE the violence started. The film was offensive, but of course they are entitled to thee offensive opinion.
I don't see any equivocation on the administrations position. Not sure what the big brouhaha is about. Mitt trying to sound tough? I just don't think liberals are looking to muzzle free speech as Martin suggests. I think many liberals are just ticked that Romney has lied and twisted the situation around.

Sep. 14 2012 10:16 AM
john from office

I am voting for Obama just to not have to hear Romneys voice for 4 years. I think he is really a robot, built by Adelson in a lab in California.

Sep. 14 2012 10:15 AM
larry roth from manhattan

message by the cairo embassy... supporting free speech..

That was made while first PEACEFUL demonstrations were going on...
perhaps made to calm the crowds.. .. clarifying that in the US the govt is NOT behind ALL writings/ movies etal.

It was a serious mis statement by the R campaign..

which they then .. did not back away from..

Sep. 14 2012 10:15 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian- Why is this segment becoming another one about Romney?
Good Lord, ... give it up.

Sep. 14 2012 10:15 AM
bernie from bklyn

a civilized society can have both. the faction of the muslim world that behaves like those scaling walls of embassies, burning american flags and murdering innocent people is a faction that can be considered SAVAGE.
if you're willing to murder because of a cartoon or a film, you are a savage.

Sep. 14 2012 10:14 AM
jg8912 from CT

Muslims don't believe in freedom for infidels.

Sep. 14 2012 10:13 AM

Does the date 9/11 ring a bell? The movie was irrelevant to the timing. It is flabbergasting that the calendar date is not being offered up as the likely motivation for the attacks.

By the way, free speech and free thought are fundamental to rational existence.

Sep. 14 2012 10:09 AM

did he just say the value of non-violence?....

Sep. 14 2012 10:09 AM
Jeff Pappas from Dumbo

Free speech is being attacked very much these days. Including news stories, films, books and photographs. We have the the right to be offended by what we dont like but we dont have the right to use censorship, violence, arrest to stiffle that speech.
What happens on the other side of the world in this digital age will have to be dealt with in a calm thinking mannor.
American values are often Hypocrital and oxymoronic when applied overseas...

Sep. 14 2012 10:09 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I don't know why you can't have both, if fact, you need the former to have the latter.

Sep. 14 2012 10:05 AM

Are we gonna talk about rhetoric again. They attacked the embassies because we kill their people. the Video has NOTHING to do with it.

Sep. 14 2012 10:04 AM
Tara from NYC

What the hell is happening to the left?!! People better wake up and get back to remembering their roots and what the left is supposed to stand for! I am beginning to hear very dangerous sentiments expressed that to me seem like a slide toward fascism. Freedom of speech must remain an absolute. If I am offended by something a person says then I speak out against it. I do not make attempts to legally silence the other person, nor do I feel validated in murdering them!

Sep. 14 2012 09:38 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

What left wing suicidal nonsense !!!
"American Values" is a hurtful or an unhelpful word ??

What's next... "GAY RIGHTS" is offensive to Muslims, so we should refrain from using it publicly??!!!

The LEFT HAD BETTER WAKE UP to the corner it is painting itself into. This is the suicide of western liberal thought.

....and please do a little research in the next few minutes...Waldron's book has received plenty of well deserved criticism for the contorted intellectual acrobatics he performs in order to carry this premise.

Sep. 14 2012 09:17 AM

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