Dr. Dawg

Humane limits on free speech

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Carleton University is in the news again—it’s being sued by a so-called “pro-life” campus club for alleged infringements on free speech.

The publicity-seeking “Carleton Lifeline” is demanding the right to trivialize the Holocaust and stick its revolting message in other students’ faces.

According to Lifesite News (which will get no link from me) the club “is asking that they be allowed to ‘openly promote their beliefs on campus’ pursuant to university policies respecting freedom of expression, academic freedom, and discrimination. They’ve also asked for $200,000 plus costs for punitive damages, wrongful arrest, damage to reputation, and breach of contract.”

Who is funding these people?

For the Speech Warriors™, meanwhile, I have several questions:

  • Does “free speech/expression mean that I can go wherever I want to speak and express whatever I want?

  • If a pro-porn club wants to plaster graphic photos of sexual acts all around the campus, must that be permitted in the name of freedom? If not, then why should fetal and genocide porn be allowed unfettered access?

  • Does free speech negate the notion of causing a disturbance? Does it give someone the right to shout in my face? Force me to look at images I would prefer not to see?

“Freedom from” is just as important as “freedom to.” I’m all for both, but sometimes a balance needs to be struck. Tolerating dissenting or unpopular views, the very lifeblood of a university, isn’t the issue, so don’t be fooled: Carleton offered venues for the Lifeline folks to display their revolting wares. But that wasn’t enough: Lifeline wanted to force people all over the campus to receive their unwanted messages.

That’s crossing the line. No one should have to be victimized by such grossly offensive behaviour, any more than students should have to put up with campus flashers. Carleton is right to resist this anti-choice lawfare, and any reasonable judge will toss this vexatious suit right down the courthouse steps.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on February 25, 2011 1:28 PM.

The futility of prison was the previous entry in this blog.

Time to juxtapose is the next entry in this blog.

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