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Obama Attacks Free Speech at Prayer Breakfast

President Obama used the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning to undermine one of the Constitution’s most fundamental rights, suggesting those who demean Islam are abusing the use of free speech.

While acknowledging that Americans have “a legal right” to attack another’s religion, Obama said everyone should question those “who would insult others in the name of free speech,” indicating such insults were a misuse of the right. Similarly, Obama’s called for “civility” – a demand he has issued before but not always abided by himself – suggesting a desire that people censor their own speech.

As has been often said, the Founders’ free speech protections were not designed to safeguard polite conversation. They were exactly meant for speech that might offend.

Obama said:

There’s wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that help found this nation the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility. They also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech, that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both.

But part of humility is also recognizing in modern, complicated, diverse societies, the functioning of these rights, the concern for the protection of these rights calls for each of us to exercise civility and restraint and judgment. And if, in fact, we defend the legal right of a person to insult another’s religion, we’re equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults — (applause) — and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with religious communities, particularly religious minorities who are the targets of such attacks.

Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t question those who would insult others in the name of free speech. Because we know that our nations are stronger when people of all faiths feel that they are welcome, that they, too, are full and equal members of our countries.

For Obama to lump himself in with other citizens who might criticize anti-islamist speech is also a dangerous precedent. Obama isn’t just any other citizen. He is the president of the United States, with vast law enforcement resources at his disposal, and his attacks on the speech of others, however offensive the speech is, can have a chilling effect on the right of free expression.

The remarks castigating those who attack Islam also are an indirect criticism of cartoonists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, who drew caricatures of Mohammed and were killed for it.

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38 Responses to Obama Attacks Free Speech at Prayer Breakfast

  1. This is exactly the kind of mindset our kids are being taught in college. I know, I took one of these “philosophy” classes back in the day.

    Oh, and when Obama talks about humility, he means for us to sit down and shut up. HE, of course, already understands the “modern, complicated, diverse societies”, so he is able to make all these decisions for us.

    • You’re right. Obama want US to be humble, and to shut up and pay attention when HE is lecturing us from his vast storehouse of experience and knowledge. It’s like listening to Pee Wee Herman explaining String Theory to us.

  2. I finally figured it out. Dictator Obama wants to take over as the leader of the Nation of Islam when that pond scum Louis Farrakan assumes room temperature and takes the express elevator to Hell.

    • AFVet I appreciate the information. As always this is another issue, topic I have not heard on msm. I am speechless at the moment, regarding a comment.

    • Good stuff, AFVet. Here’s another link describing what’s known as “The Project” within the Muslim Brotherhood, and stems from the Muslim Brotherhood Charter. In a nutshell, the aim is to establish a worldwide caliphate by any means possible. Now that Obama has appointed high level members of the Muslim Brotherhood in his administration, we have a clear view of what Obama’s agenda is all about. We know that the MSM won’t touch the topic.

      http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=4475

      • I just read another article that Sarah provided on the last thread.
        OT
        I am listening to Cavuto. Bill Donahue is stating o runs his mouth about christian religion. Does not do so with Islamac religion. No one wants to badger muslims like o feels.
        Cavuto said people are riled up of o’s comment on christian!!!!!! He will discuss it more on tonigh’s show.

  3. This is getting scary. I read today’s news thread earlier. The thought of him sticking his hands into the internet as well is scary. That happens I will no longer use the internet.

  4. How rich! the very man who used his bully pulpit and position to paint all of us as his “enemies, deniers, racists, gun-loving Bible-clutchers” is worried that someone might call out the Islamists as barbaric murderers for torching a living person, for burying small children alive, for stoning to death a woman accused of having sexual relations, and any other atrocities they can devise..
    What gall.

  5. “Obama Attacks Free Speech at Prayer Breakfast”…

    …and pretty much everywhere else as well.

    Obama and his ilk have no problem with the free exchange of ideas. You know, left, far left, extreme far left…the whole spectrum! I mean, there ARE no other legitimate viewpoints, right? Just sheep who need to obey their betters…

    It’s really sad when the folks who were such great proponents of “free speech” that they named a movement after it are now the ones busily shutting it down. Book burnings? Check out what happened at San Jose State.
    Calling for jail for disagreeing with the President? Ask liberal light Harry Belefonte if locking up dissidents is the right thing to do. Kicking kids out of school for wrong thinking? I REALLY like THIS one…

    http://www.examiner.com/article/texas-child-suspended-from-school-for-using-the-one-ring-to-scare-a-classmate

    Funny how the worm has turned. Liberals are now everything they ever accused conservatives of being. And to crown it, the one “acceptable” religion in their domain is the one that acts like they always (wrongly) accused fundamentalist Christians of being.
    You know, the religion that ACTUALLY kills homosexuals, stones women for adultery, and kills folks for disobedience…

    Sorry, I may have offended the President. I know, he just told us not to talk about it.
    I just don’t know, though, how these folks have this much cognative dissonance without exploding…

    Just remember; Christians, Hindus, and everyone non-Muslim have all had their moments. Somehow, sometime, some of them were mean to some Muslims somewhere. Just think of these current activities as some sort of “reparations” for past grievences, and you’ve stepped right into the liberal mind-set…

  6. Would have been a nice chance to say a silent prayer
    for the poor pilot who was killed in an inhuman way.
    But Obama a man with no compassion or soul decided
    better to say what he wants I do believe he’s batting
    on the wrong team not sports.

  7. Damian Thorn speaking at a prayer breakfast. It’s a wonder the skies didn’t split open with anger and throw thunderbolts all over the place.

  8. His ugly speech condemning Christians for the Crusades did what he wanted it to do: it created a smoke screen over the ISIS nightmare, the beheadings and burning of the Jordanian pilot and the King of Jordan’s immediate air attack on ISIS, killing 55 of the ISIS thugs. No, people are too busy criticizing his speech and condemning Brian Williams for his “misremember” of an incident 12 years ago…is a 12 year old story or another of Obama’s dumb speeches worth more than the ISIS story or his lack of any condemnation or action against ISIS?