There's been a lot of talk in the past three days about how the Muslim terrorists are trying to muzzle free speech in the West, how free speech is the cornerstone of democracy, etc, etc.
The prevailing attitude seems to be: those backward, touchy Muslims can't take a joke. The cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo mocked Christianity and Judaism as well, and no Christians or Jews ever felt that they should die for it.
The conclusion: any group with such sacred cows is pathetic.
I couldn't agree more. Free speech should be a cherished value in any self-respecting democracy. We certainly don't have any truths so taboo that they must not be mentioned here in the West.
Or do we?
Ask James Watson, discoverer of the double helix. He lost his job as director of the Cold Harbor Lab on Long Island when he mentioned that there are racial differences in intelligence.
Ask John Derbyshire, who lost his job at the National Review when he wrote about warning his children that groups of young black men can be dangerous. (Eric Holder and Bill de Blasio both famously warned their sons that white cops can be dangerous, though neither of those men lost his job on account of that.)
Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich lost his job for having donated money to the successful passage of Proposition 8 (which stated that marriage should only be between a man and a woman) in California. This was a position not only favored by the majority of voters, but also by Barack Obama as recently as 2010. Yet Eich was fired because of it.
The Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended by A&E for having voiced his opposition to gay marriage.
Anthony Cumia, of Opie and Anthony radio show fame, lost his job when he described the black woman who attacked him for taking her picture in Times Square, and the black men who joined in the beating, and the fact that he couldn't respond for fear being called racist.
In this country, you don't lose your life because of loose talk. You merely lose your job, your livelihood, and your position in society.
That, no question, is far better than being murdered. Absolutely no comparison.
Nonetheless, isn't losing one's livelihood enough of a threat to effectively muzzle free speech?
While the mainstream media prattles on about our cherished free speech, it does its best to insure we don't really have it by acting horrified ("Offensive! Offensive!") whenever anyone violates their standards of political correctness, and calling for their heads (metaphorically).
These high priests of pc are, in their own way, just as backward, narrow-minded, intolerant, and touchy as Muslims.