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Vatican Statement on Offending Religious Sentiments
Catholic Online ^ | 2/7/2006 | Unknown

Posted on 03/11/2006 2:34:03 AM PST by HarleyD

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 7, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the issued Saturday by the Vatican press office on reactions to the publication in several Western newspapers of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed.

* * *

In response to several requests on the Holy See's position vis-à-vis recent offensive representations of the religious sentiments of individuals and entire communities, the Vatican press office can state:

1. The right to freedom of thought and expression, sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers. This principle applies obviously for any religion.

2. In addition, coexistence calls for a climate of mutual respect to favor peace among men and nations. Moreover, these forms of exasperated criticism or derision of others manifest a lack of human sensitivity and may constitute in some cases an inadmissible provocation. A reading of history shows that wounds that exist in the life of peoples are not cured this way.

3. However, it must be said immediately that the offenses caused by an individual or an organ of the press cannot be imputed to the public institutions of the corresponding country, whose authorities might and should intervene eventually according to the principles of national legislation. Therefore, violent actions of protest are equally deplorable. Reaction in the face of offense cannot fail the true spirit of all religion. Real or verbal intolerance, no matter where it comes from, as action or reaction, is always a serious threat to peace.


TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: ecumenical; vatican

1 posted on 03/11/2006 2:34:08 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
The right to freedom of thought and expression, sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers.

It does, and it should.

This principle applies obviously for any religion.

How about cults who claim religious status? Lot of 'em to go around, and one of them is extraordinarily popular, comprising 1/5 of the world's population.

2 posted on 03/11/2006 2:51:22 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo

Not to address your point number 2 to which I disagree with. But I am thinking that the Vatican viewpoint on the Rights of Man come from a natural law viewpoint. From that perspective they have a case.


3 posted on 03/11/2006 2:56:39 AM PST by bayourant
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To: HarleyD; NYer; Salvation; Knitting A Conundrum; Coleus; Pyro7480; Jaded; Flavius Josephus; ...

The problem with denying others their freedom to their own religion is that they will deny us ours.

Ever hear about the Know Nothing movement?

In theory, I should love a situation where the official religion of the US would be Christianity, but then one needs to ask, which brand of Christianity?

In Maryland's past history, there was a time that Catholicism couldn't be openly practiced. Priests had to dress in street clothes, rather than clerical garb. Mass could only be celebrated in private homes, rather than churches, leading to an interesting architectural phenomenon, the 'home church' (the entrance to the church was always through a private home, thereby making it a private home, rather than a church). I'm certain that in Europe, after the reformation, it would have been likewise difficult for a Protestant group to worship publically as they'd like in a 'Catholic region,' as well.

IMHO (and YMMV), it's far better to allow a open marketplace (which really doesn't exist today anywhere) and allow people to make their own choices on how they choose to worship. [Note: that's different than the ACLU vision of supressing all religions other than that of secular humanism]

In the meantime, if you want somebody to respect your freedom, you need to allow them theirs. It doesn't work one way without the other.


4 posted on 03/11/2006 3:19:30 AM PST by markomalley (Vivat Iesus!)
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To: bayourant

Before I go t obed I think the Vatican is hitting these areas as to the Vatican II Document I believe they are referencing
"
Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed."


and

"Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word. However, in spreading religious faith and in introducing religious practices everyone ought at all times to refrain from any manner of action which might seem to carry a hint of coercion or of a kind of persuasion that would be dishonorable or unworthy, especially when dealing with poor or uneducated people. Such a manner of action would have to be considered an abuse of one's right and a violation of the right of others"

and esp this
7. The right to religious freedom is exercised in human society: hence its exercise is subject to certain regulatory norms. In the use of all freedoms the moral principle of personal and social responsibility is to be observed. In the exercise of their rights, individual men and social groups are bound by the moral law to have respect both for the rights of others and for their own duties toward others and for the common welfare of all. Men are to deal with their fellows in justice and civility"

and this

"Furthermore, society has the right to defend itself against possible abuses committed on the pretext of freedom of religion. It is the special duty of government to provide this protection. However, government is not to act in an arbitrary fashion or in an unfair spirit of partisanship. Its action is to be controlled by juridical norms which are in conformity with the objective moral order. These norms arise out of the need for the effective safeguard of the rights of all citizens and for the peaceful settlement of conflicts of rights, also out of the need for an adequate care of genuine public peace, which comes about when men live together in good order and in true justice, and finally out of the need for a proper guardianship of public morality."

At least that where I am thinking they are focusing on as of 5 30 am


"


5 posted on 03/11/2006 3:25:42 AM PST by bayourant
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To: HarleyD
I think Catholics need to take another look at this document. We are bound to it since it was the teaching of the council. (Please all you Vatican ii is not valid folks please dont respond). We certainly can under the teaching of the Church support the current free speech laws that allow the "publication of cartoons" However it really doesn't get us off the hook as to how we deal personally with the issue. It also must guide our feeling to what sort of political action we cannot advocate. Interesting to read it again.
http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html
6 posted on 03/11/2006 3:34:58 AM PST by bayourant
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To: HarleyD
"1. The right to freedom of thought and expression, sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers. This principle applies obviously for any religion."

With all due respect, they are flat wrong here. Religious sentiments are no more protected than opinions about sports teams. My view is something I can express. If you are offended, state your case in rebuttal or shrug it off and be quiet.

Freedom is a tough game but that's how adults play it. If you can't play, find the bench.

7 posted on 03/11/2006 3:44:48 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
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To: muir_redwoods

ahh thats true in this society but do you have a nautral law right to offend a person religion. Now offense is I believe is a very defined term -Not broad. FOr instance instance today you can point out something you think is wrong and people yell "I am offended". I think what the church is talking about is do you have a right ot cause grivious hurt while offending with intent. Under natural law and Christian divine revelation they have a case there


8 posted on 03/11/2006 3:56:03 AM PST by bayourant
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To: HarleyD; bayourant

Actually, the cartoon response was not in reaction to the content of the cartoons, but simply that they depicted Mohammed in the first place. The reason that the cartoons were drawn was because the publisher could not find an artist who dared to illustrate a book on Mohammed because of the threats of Muslims against people who depict Mohammed. So we are technically not even talking about insults, but about the doing of something that is harmless and was not intended to offend in one culture, met by a violent offended reaction from another culture.

I don't think even the Vatican's non-offense policy would apply in that case.

While as simple courtesy it might be a good idea not to gratuitously insult people's religions - after all, the missionaries the Church used to send out treated the native religions with respect but still convinced people that they were not true or complete - I don't see how this could be used by the Muslims to justify their imposition of a religious taboo on the rest of us.


9 posted on 03/11/2006 4:06:59 AM PST by livius
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To: bayourant
I claim the right to say that mohammad was a child molesting a$$hole. I claim that right and anyone who wants to argue the point is free to debate me.

There can be no special case for religious opinions as they are no more grounded in fact that are allegiences to sports teams. It might offent someone if I said the Dolphins suck but that's tough. No one is guaranteed the right to get through life without being offended.

10 posted on 03/11/2006 4:28:40 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
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To: bayourant
I think Catholics need to take another look at this document. We are bound to it since it was the teaching of the council. (Please all you Vatican ii is not valid folks please dont respond).

Let me know when the Catholic bishops USA start feeling bound by having Gregorian chant and latin in the Mass per Sacrosanctum Concilium.

11 posted on 03/11/2006 6:27:55 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: Mr. Mojo
The right to freedom of thought and expression, sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers.

It does, and it should.

The ACLU and the NEA could use a good man like you.

12 posted on 03/11/2006 6:28:58 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: HarleyD
I respectfully disagree with the Holy-See.

As a Christian, I can only expect Jesus Christ to be revered and respected by other believers. We have no control over disbelievers treatment of our Saviour or attitudes toward our beliefs, whatsoever. We can only pray for them.

People are worshiping a very pathetic and helpless Deity when they feel they must violently attack those who they feel has disrespected their God.

TSK! TSK! TSK!
13 posted on 03/11/2006 6:48:02 AM PST by F.J. Mitchell (Liberal Democrats represent the main scheme.)
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To: F.J. Mitchell

"People are worshiping a very pathetic and helpless Deity when they feel they must violently attack those who they feel has disrespected their God."

Great Point!

BTW, how do we deal with a religion that is offended when everyone won't convert to it?


14 posted on 03/11/2006 7:57:03 AM PST by wmfights (Lead, Follow, or get out of the Way!)
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To: TradicalRC
lol....I call Islam a cult and maintain the right to offend religions in general and you believe that to be a quality consistent with the ACLU?

You're an ignoramus.

15 posted on 03/11/2006 9:04:35 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo
lol....I call Islam a cult and maintain the right to offend religions in general and you believe that to be a quality consistent with the ACLU?

You're an ignoramus.

I'm the Ignoramus?! Which idea do you think is inconsistent with the ACLU who would like nothing better than to see religion disappear? Oh yeah, you're a regular rocket scientist.

16 posted on 03/11/2006 10:50:34 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: Mr. Mojo

You don't get to define what makes a religion to others, anymore than others get to decide what makes a religion to you.

To anyone who does not share your religious beliefs, yours is a cult and not a religion.


17 posted on 03/11/2006 10:53:11 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: markomalley; NYer; Salvation; Knitting A Conundrum; Coleus; Pyro7480; Jaded; Flavius Josephus; ...
The problem with denying others their freedom to their own religion is that they will deny us ours.

In a way you have a point and I don't believe the history of the early church every sought to deny others their freedom of their own religion. Paul, in fact, was very polite in Athens when looking at all the Greek idols and used it as a springboard for his message. But that is not how I read this statement. I would point to #1:

Could you imagine Paul or Peter saying we shouldn't preach in the synagogues simply because it will offend someone? These are the very same people who were thrown into jail and eventually died because of their preaching. Certainly they must have offended someone.

Sorry, this "religious tolerance" is nonsense and the Vatican has made another error from the Chair of Peter. I'm sorry if this offends.

18 posted on 03/11/2006 10:53:16 AM PST by HarleyD ("A man's steps are from the Lord, How then can man understand his way?" Prov 20:24 (HNV))
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To: Luis Gonzalez
You don't get to define what makes a religion to others,

I see, so if Wiccans or Scientologists declare themselves a religion then they're a religion, no questions asked. ....and the Vatican's words would have to apply to them too.

19 posted on 03/11/2006 10:55:41 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: TradicalRC
ACLU who would like nothing better than to see religion disappear?

No, the ACLU would like nothing better than to see Christianity disapper. They couldn't care less about other religions.

The right to publicly criticize religion is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

20 posted on 03/11/2006 10:59:18 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: HarleyD
"In a way you have a point and I don't believe the history of the early church every sought to deny others their freedom of their own religion."

Excuse me?

The Albigensian Crusade.

The Medieval Inquisition

21 posted on 03/11/2006 11:00:23 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Mr. Mojo

Yep.


22 posted on 03/11/2006 11:00:56 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Mr. Mojo

Having the right to say something does not make what you said right.


23 posted on 03/11/2006 11:01:54 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Well, since those two groups have declared themselves to be religions, then I gather you believe no one has the right to "offend the religious sentiments" of their followers?
24 posted on 03/11/2006 11:06:50 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I wasn't very clear. When I stated "early church" I was thinking around the first couple of centuries. The Crusades came much later.
25 posted on 03/11/2006 11:08:46 AM PST by HarleyD ("A man's steps are from the Lord, How then can man understand his way?" Prov 20:24 (HNV))
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To: Mr. Mojo

Don't put words in my mouth and then attack for something I never said.

That's a loser's way to debate.


26 posted on 03/11/2006 11:22:56 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez

First of all I wasn't attacking, and secondly my post was posed as a question. .....and I'd appreciate an answer.


27 posted on 03/11/2006 11:24:19 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Luis Gonzalez
To review:

The Vatican claimed that "The right to freedom of thought and expression ....cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers. This principle applies obviously for any religion."

I asked you if this principle applies to fringe groups (like Scientologists and Wiccans) who claim religious status, and you replied (in post #22) with "yep."

Then I asked you point blank, for clarity, if you believe that no one has the right to "offend the religious sentiments" of the followers of those fringe groups.

Still waiting for an answer....

....lol...and no, you're not being "attacked."

28 posted on 03/11/2006 11:32:06 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo
That's not what you did at all, but I must commend you...you ability to spin is of liberal proportions.

I entered the "debate" here, in response to your defining other religions as cults.

You responded here, and commented that the Vatican's words had to apply to the religions mentioned in your post, to which I said yes here.

What you asked, was whether I believed that the Vatican's words should apply to those groups.

The Vatican said what it said, and their action should be consistent with what they said.

What THEY said Mojo, I did not say it, they did.

So again, don't put their words in my mouth, then attack me for what they said.

Here's your quote:

"Well, since those two groups have declared themselves to be religions, then I gather you believe no one has the right to "offend the religious sentiments" of their followers?

What both you ad I should gather, is that since the Vatican said that no one has the right to "offend the religious sentiments" of the followers of other religions, then the Vatican should not offend the religious sentiments of Wiccans and Scientologists.

So, my answer to the question you posted on #19, is still a resounding YES, the Vatican should stand by what they said, and not "offend the religious sentiments" of the followers of other religions.

29 posted on 03/11/2006 12:06:57 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: HarleyD

I would have preferred if they had made it clear that mutual respect would be a moral requirement, not necessarily a legal one.


30 posted on 03/11/2006 12:11:18 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: TradicalRC

I totally agree. The fact that the bishps have ignored the directives as to sacred music is obscene.


31 posted on 03/11/2006 1:17:17 PM PST by bayourant
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To: HarleyD

UNfort for a Catholic if its so easy. This was a Council of the Church. Therefore its free from error. Of course the immediate statement we see is not that but again is an interpretation of those documents. Some level of assent is implyed here Again I dont quite agree with your example there and I dont think thats what the Church is talking about at all. Paul was there but he was notstanding up ranting. Again there was still a connection between the Jews and Christians at that period so Paul was not some rabble there. Paul would not have insulted Jewish customs.


32 posted on 03/11/2006 1:24:20 PM PST by bayourant
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To: Luis Gonzalez
So, my answer to the question you posted on #19, is still a resounding YES, the Vatican should stand by what they said, and not "offend the religious sentiments" of the followers of other religions.

The question I posed in #19 was not whether the Vatican should offend the religious sentiments of the followers of other religions (the article made it made perfectly clear that the Vatican believes that no one has the right to offend the religious sentiments of followers of other religions, which as I pointed out in post #20 is a statement of sheer nonsense), but whether the Vatican should recognize fringe groups (like Wiccans and Scientologists) who claim religious status as religions.

So I'm asking YOU: Do you believe the Vatican should recognize Wiccans and Scientologists as religions, given the fact that both groups claim relgious status?

33 posted on 03/11/2006 5:29:13 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: wmfights

We just let them be offended.


34 posted on 03/11/2006 6:23:27 PM PST by F.J. Mitchell (Liberal Democrats represent the main scheme.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
Whether the Vatican does or not recognize a religion does not negate the fact that those people call it a religion. It's their religion, and not the Vatican's to either negate or approve of. Technically, as far as the Vatican is concerned, all religions other than Catholism are cults.

The Vatican should abide by their stated position on all religions, because they did not include a disclaimer or a qualifier in their statement.

Here's the Vatican's statement:

"1. The right to freedom of thought and expression, sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers. This principle applies obviously for any religion."

What part of that statement is not clear to you?

If the Vatican recognizes the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which include freedom of religious thoughts, by what right would they claim the ability to either recognize, or not recognize the right of freedom of religion as stated in the very same document?

35 posted on 03/12/2006 5:51:31 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
"The question I posed in #19 was not whether the Vatican should offend the religious sentiments of the followers of other religions..."

Really?

Here's post #19:

"I see, so if Wiccans or Scientologists declare themselves a religion then they're a religion, no questions asked. ....and the Vatican's words would have to apply to them too."

I know that English is a second language to me; but I don't any sort of a question in your post, I see a statement.

"...the article made it made perfectly clear that the Vatican believes that no one has the right to offend the religious sentiments of followers of other religions, which as I pointed out in post #20 is a statement of sheer nonsense..."

Let's see your post #20:

"The right to publicly criticize religion is protected by the U.S. Constitution."

Let's now read the First Amendment (I think that's what you base your statement on):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The U.S. Constitution forbids the Federal government from abridging your religious freedoms as well as your freedom of speech, I don' see where it forbids the Vatican from ITS freedom of speech regarding what it thinks about this subject.

You spin like a Democrat.

36 posted on 03/12/2006 10:09:35 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I know that English is a second language to me; but I don't any sort of a question in your post, I see a statement.

So why did you write this in post #29?: "So, my answer to the question you posted on #19, is still a resounding YES."

When I responded to your post #29 I took your word for it that I indeed asked a question. Obviously I shouldn't have trusted your reading abilities, as you shown time and time again.

The U.S. Constitution forbids the Federal government from abridging your religious freedoms as well as your freedom of speech, I don' see where it forbids the Vatican from ITS freedom of speech regarding what it thinks about this subject.

I doesn't, and I never said it did.

You spin like a Democrat.

You read like an idiot.

37 posted on 03/12/2006 12:43:53 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I don' see where it forbids the Vatican from ITS freedom of speech regarding what it thinks about this subject.

I realize understanding this might be tough for an ESL student, but I'll give it a go anyway. Here's the Vatican's statement:

1. The right to freedom of thought and expression ....cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers. This principle applies obviously for any religion.

They're talking about the right to offend the religious sentiments of believers, and they don't believe that right exists. I maintain that it does, as the First Amendment confirms. I said absolutely nothing about the Vatican not having a right so say whatever it wants.

Now hit those books, kid.

38 posted on 03/12/2006 12:53:28 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo
No, the ACLU would like nothing better than to see Christianity disapper. They couldn't care less about other religions.

Oh, really?

39 posted on 03/12/2006 2:23:08 PM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: Mr. Mojo
That's right brainthrust, they believe what they believe, and you believe what you believe, and your belief does not make their opinion wrong anymore that their belief makes your opinion wrong.

However, your having the right to say something, does not equate to what you said being right, or without legal consequences. There are acknowledged limitations to the First Amendment, and you are held liable for the extent of your "critizism" of others and the actions those words incite or intended to incites.

Plenty of case law concerning limitations on free speech available to "scholars" such as yourself.

40 posted on 03/12/2006 4:15:31 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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