Here’s footage of the actual press conference about Buttars:
As with any ranter and raver and radical homophobe, Buttars is undoubtedly gay and spews anti-gay hatred to cover up his own queerness.
It’s rather surprising (and not surprising) at the same time that he was disciplined by fellow Republicans in the Utah State Senate. Surprising because his views made him a liability, and not surprising because Utah conservatives tend to bend over backwards to avoid situations that aren’t nice or pleasant to them. It’s easier for them to avoid talking about something taboo entirely than to have very public positive or negative discussion about it.
Thank goodness I dont live in Utah! All of those dreadful Republicans and oh so “NICE” Mormons! The poor Mormon lads from the USA have to troop around Australia’s secular suburbs with little reward. So naive and so little knowledge of the real world. Poor darlings!
Ivan G – you quote Voltaire a lot.
“An often cited quote that describes the principle of freedom of speech comes from Evelyn Beatrice Hall (often mis-attributed to Voltaire) “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” as an illustration of Voltaire’s beliefs”. This is what wikipedia says on that. He isn’t the only philosopher who covered the thorny issue of freedom of speech. John Stuart Mill also published quite a bit on the subject. This is what Wikepedia says about it…
“In “On Liberty” (1859) John Stuart Mill argued that “…there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered.” Mill argues that the fullest liberty of expression is required to push arguments to their logical limits, rather than the limits of social embarrassment. However, Mill also introduced what is known as the harm principle, in placing the following limitation on free expression: “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”
Now in all your arguments you appear to favour Westboro Baptist’s freedom of speech over ours. In fact you’re just as guilty of attempting to shout us down as you say we are of shouting you down. Now I have to ask, what harm do you consider the gay community does and why does this warrant Westboro picketing our funerals, and funerals of those who aren’t even involved in gay rights?
WBC’s tactics are intimidatory, more so than the placard-waving nutcases that you find at gay pride rallies. Their message is incitement of hatred and violence against gay people, and as such, falls foul of the harm principle that John Stuart Mill, whose general principles as Flapjack points out, we use in civilised societies to define when speech should be free or not.
Also, tolerance in and of itself is not a virtue. We value ‘no tolerance’ approaches to school bullying, just as we do not tolerate unreasoned bigots, who do cannot provide any evidence for their beliefs. Tolerance has to be reciprocated and ‘respect’ has to be deserved – which is why Ivan gets neither.
(Ivan, presumably coming from Putin’s sphere of influence, would not understand much about free speech, since many who do exercise it there end up with either polonium or bullets in their bodies.)