Skip to comments.Nazi See, Nazi Do
Posted on 01/25/2005 7:00:03 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy
When I was a wee lad in beige corduroy pants with a fro for a mop, I was taught the concept of freedom of speech. I was told freedom of speech meant tolerating speech with which you vehemently disagree. Specifically, I was given the analogy of a Nazi or Ku Klux Klan rally which, in spite of its extremely offensive nature, must be tolerated so long as the participants are lawfully assembled in a peaceful demonstration, peaceful referring to their actions if not their rhetoric.
So it was with mouth agape that I heard the news recently that the European Union is seriously considering banning the swastika in the wake of the Prince Harry costume party fiasco. Granted, the European Union is not the United States and, to the best of my knowledge, makes no guarantees regarding the freedom of speech. But still, as someone who believes wholeheartedly that the rights recognized in our constitution are granted by God and not the state, it troubles me to see one of those rights being so overtly attacked by a regional government that fancies itself an American rival. I tend to agree with the reaction of British Liberal Democrat Chris Davies, who stated, banning symbols cannot ban evil and risks playing into the hands of those who would seek to subvert the very liberties we most champion." Indeed, it is somewhat ironic to attempt to combat what the swastika represents by engaging in one of the oppressions once committed under it. One must wonder if any distinction would be made, under such a ban, that would allow for display of the swastika for educational purposes. Or will they just stop teaching that part of history in the twenty-two EU nations?
Aside from the obvious free speech considerations, another troubling aspect of this story is that such debate has spawned from a tabloid incident. Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party may have been in horrendously bad taste, but was hardly cause for rallying legislation. Its so silly, its serious. It is sad to see any government at any level anywhere behaving in such a way, sadder even than the incident that has motivated it. Prince Harry is a young man whose judgment is yet developing. The European Union Justice Ministers are grown men who cannot be as easily excused for blatant stupidity, if indeed this is the result of stupidity rather than an opportunistic attempt to set a precedent for banning other forms of speech.
What's your take?
How about school prayer, pledge of alligence, and "The Stars & Bars"?
It's just another sign that Europe will never achieve political maturity.
Once the present crop dies off (may the Lord call them soon), we may be able to get that worked out a bit better.
Hardly a day goes by that there isn't an example of one or another being banned from schools across the country.
Please, don't get me started. :)
I am far more concerned with incitement to terrorism practiced in mosques. If an Imam suggests blowing up Jewish children will help you achieve heaven, should a government intervene?
In the most twisted of ironies, prayer in school is considered a violation of the First Amendment, which specifically prohibits Congress from making laws about it one way or another.
Given that fact, and the fact that a Marxist religious jihad has been given the green light by the Supreme Court, I have a hard time getting worked up over whether the EU is going to ban swastikas.
Because in my country, it is already considered illegal to practice free speech and freedom of religion in schools paid for with my tax money.
Considering how the devil's been busy in our backyard, I really don't give a rat's posterior about the crabgrass growing in Europe.
We should remove the beam from our own eyes before criticizing the mote in the eye of another.
It's best to let social pressure and ostracism do the job without creating more court cases or putting more people in jail. But it's an interesting dynamic: Germans felt they had to impose such rules to get clear of Nazism or to be accepted in the world community, and now that they've gotten used to those laws they contemplate imposing them on the rest of Europe. So the patient imposes therapy on everyone else or the paroled prisoner on probation now makes other people check in with him every month or so.
You probably mean the Confederate Battle flag or Naval Jack. Most folks don't recognize the S&B or first national.
The CBF has been banned from schools, removed the SC courthouse, GA state flag was redesigned, etc. What has changed? Some fatcat politician filled his coffers from backroom deals - that's it.
Banning symbols is not the answer. Education is.
Ban drugs, demand goes up. Ban alcohol, demand goes up. Ban video games, kids want them more. Ban music, everyone wants it. Ban symbols, people will get them.
The Nazi party is dead for all practical purposes, even if its ideology is alive and well in EUrope and the so-called Arab world. Does the fact that Islamists didn't hijack an ancient good luck symbol while killing innocent people mean that the real and present Islamist terrorists are somehow less dangerous than a dead political party?
If they're REALLY so offended by Hitler's hijacked symbol, why didn't each member state ban swastika T-shirts years ago? Will bin Laden T-shirts also be banned? They really need to get their priorities straight in the EU.
The reaction to Prince Harry was ridiculous. The Nazi act has been a joke since we and the Brits made fun of those ranting Hitler speeches and the goose-stepping seen on the movie news. The kid was just having fun. The PC crowd has no sense of humor at all.
Well said, brother!