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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Palin clarifies-- that she still doesn't understand freedom of speech

From The Daily Caller:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin clarified remarks posted on Twitter this week in response to a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a church that demonstrates at military funerals, saying she was making a point about a double standard on free speech, not that the group shouldn’t have the right to protest.
Her quote was interpreted by many news outlets, including The Daily Caller, to mean that she disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling, although in a new statement exclusive to TheDC, Palin said she agreed with the ruling in favor of the church.
“Obviously my comment meant that when we’re told we can’t say ‘God bless you’ in graduation speeches or pray before a local football game but these wackos can invoke God’s name in their hate speech while picketing our military funerals, it shows ridiculous inconsistency,” Palin told TheDC. “I wasn’t calling for any limit on free speech, and it’s a shame some folks tried to twist my comment in that way. I was simply pointing out the irony of an often selective interpretation of free speech rights.”

Oh, of course. Obviously when she said that "common sense and decency" were absent on the occasion of the SCOTUS ruling, that didn't mean she disagreed with the ruling.  How silly of us to think that.  No, Sarah Palin doesn't want to limit free speech-- she wants more of it!  You know, the kind of free speech that allows public school officials to speak on behalf of students to express their religious convictions, whether the students actually hold those convictions or not.  But only Christian convictions, I assume-- not to put words in Palin's mouth, but I would tentatively guess that she wouldn't be so enthusiastic about school officials offering Muslim prayers at graduation or before a football game.

The students, of course, retain their freedom to pray to whomever and invoke whichever god's name they want on these occasions.  So yes, I suppose you could call that a "selective interpretation"-- it selects in favor of the freedom of students rather than the "freedom" of government representatives (which is what public school officials are) to speak on their behalf.  It's a pretty clear distinction, one would think.  But I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Palin doesn't quite get it, considering that she said Dr. Laura Schlessinger's cancellation of her own radio show meant that Schlessinger's First Amendment rights had "ceased to exist."

So, for those keeping score-- criticizing someone's speech means that their right to free speech has ceased to exist.  Unless you're Sarah Palin criticizing someone, in which case you are exercising your freedom of speech to question why there isn't more freedom, including the freedom of governmental officials to make religious pronouncements on behalf of children, which for some reason is the same as "invoking God's name in the public square." Got it?

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