Thursday, September 09, 2010

I'm never in favor of book burnings

A few thoughts which probably don't qualify as full-fledged opinions:

  • That crazy pastor in Florida has every right to burn whatever book he wants, just as I have every right to criticize him for it and publicly ask him to not do it.
  • Just as Park51 has a right to build a community center wherever they want, as long as it meets local zoning ordinances.
  • The difference being that Park51 is not, in fact, an attempt to thumb anyone's nose at anyone.
  • It's sad that the 300+ million people in the US will be judged internationally based on the actions of a 50-member church.
  • Except that, clearly, this 50-member church is expressing an opinion condoned by a lot more than just 50 people.
  • Free speech is hard. Tolerance is even harder.
  • Also, don't expect a lot of thanks from someone because you tolerate them. Tolerance is the bare minimum for civil society. Tolerance is the least you can do to not impede justice.
  • Working toward justice is an entirely different thing, and something we need to get better at.