Must There Be a Winner

Must There Be a Winner June 17, 2008

I have avoided commenting upon the Human Rights Tribunals occurring in Canada.  One of the more notable ones involve Mark Steyn being accused of making derogatory comments upon Muslims.  Other cases involve people accused of making derogatory remarks about homosexuals.  Previous readers of my commentaries know that I hold a pretty low view of the First Amendment.  More recent comments on homosexuality have probably been seen to belie my view that a number of acts including speech acts should not enjoy legal protection.  I would prefer the remedies to such actions to be simple torts but I’m understanding of efforts that allow governments to impose non-criminal penalties.

In the wake of 9/11 there has been plenty of poorly written material on Muslims and in particular conflating various terrorist acts to being basically an essential trait of the Muslim.  There is probably not much value in arguing this point except to cue particular choirs.  I for one don’t see particular value in men inciting the lower appetites of other men for profit.  While some will strike the pose that their purpose is truth and perhaps even ecumenical dialogue, the claim is rendered ridiculous by the forums the authors choose.  There are forums available for engaging Islamic scholars on points of Jihad.  When people exploit Muslims by using the 9/11 tragedy for profiteering, they should be condemned in the strongest of terms.  It is for similar reason that I look askance when people treat homosexuality as the greatest issue affecting the family.

And yet often I find myself looking askance at those making grievances public matter.  People should be able to disagree over whether increased Muslim immigration is a good thing.  People should be able to disagree over the appropriateness of various sexual acts.  In both cases, people should even be able to do so stupidly.  People who go around waiting to be offended are offensive.  Rather than proposing all or nothing dichotomies, perhaps I could be so unreasonable as to suggest that government institutions exercise prudence.  Perhaps we could attempt to live in communion without necessarily living homogenously.

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