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-Large Support for a Ban on ‘Hate Speech’ and for the Primacy of International Law?

by Dr. D ~ May 29th, 2015

‘Hate Speech’  ‘Islamophobia’ ‘Homophobic’ Bible Passages

Yesterday we posted on Sen. Rubio’s claim that traditional Christian and Catholic teaching might be labeled as ‘hate speech’ in the future. For those who think that might be a long shot or an over-blown fear, here are some recent figures on how large the support is in America for limiting anything that might be characterized as ‘hate speech.’ From YouGov:

YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups.

<Read the whole article>

Response: When I was in college in the 60’s ‘free speech’ was supported and encouraged all across America. Which meant that everyone was allowed to share their views and space was given for the process. Now there are reports every week that conservative speakers supporting unpopular non-PC issues are being banned on campuses and others are being drowned out by protesters if they are even allowed at all to come.

Now there is a growing idea in America that speech opposing any kind of PC progressive groups or issues should no longer be heard. This is particularly strong among so-called ‘progressives’ who mostly populate the Democratic Party in America.  51% Democrat support for banning ‘hate speech’ in the poll above is representative of that frightening trend.

But exactly what is ‘hate speech’? That is where the rub comes in. The designation of ‘hate speech’ is quite subjective and open to interpretation.  If one is speaking in defense and support of Israel is that ‘hate speech’ against Palestinians? Many on college campuses today believe that it is. If one is supporting traditional marriage is that necessarily ‘hate speech’ against the LGBT community. If a preacher continues to teach on the Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality will that be labeled as ‘hate speech’ in the future? If one is addressing their concerns about the rise of radical Islamists around the world is that ‘Islamophobic’ hate speech against Muslims and Islam the ‘religion of peace?’

Can the truth ever be considered as ‘hate speech’? Maybe. Among intellectuals and progressive academics today many question whether there is even such a thing as ‘the truth.’ Here lies the real danger in the future. Many progressives view their agenda to be more important than anything that might be identified as truth. Therefore one person’s ‘truth’ could well be designated as ‘hate speech’ by another. Who decides?

Already in the UK and in Canada the governments have passed laws curtailing free speech in the name of stopping hate. There have been several cases where street preachers were arrested in the UK for teaching passages in the Bible which oppose homosexuality. Frighteningly the support for similar provisions is now growing in America. 46% of American Muslims support laws opposing any kind of ‘blasphemy’ against Islam.

But how could laws against ‘hate speech’ even be legal in America? We still have a Constitution that supports freedom of speech and in the past even the kind of unpopular and outrageous messages given by the KKK or Nazis were considered protected. But what if a future SCOTUS ruled that International Law trumped the Constitution? Sounds far fetched?

President Obama’s justice Department has already come before the current Supreme Court proposing that international treaties signed by the president should over-ride US law and the Constitution. In that case they were supporting international gun laws and trying to have them apply to the USA. The current court fortunately did not accept that argument. However, the idea that International and UN laws should over-ride the US Constitution is being floated and supported by many in major law schools all across the country and has been for some time. Our current president, who taught Constitutional Law in the past, supports that idea.

Our rights to free speech are probably safe with the current makeup of the court, though Justice Kennedy, who seems to be the swing vote most of the time, is said to be enamored by European and International court precedence and law. But that could all change if President Obama was given the opportunity to name another replacement in his final two years in office or if another ‘progressive’ was elected in 2016.

The current administration would support a ban on ‘hate speech’ if they could find a way to make it stick. President Obama tried to shut down the ‘anti-Muhammad’ video that supposedly caused the violence in Benghazi but was only able to have the producer jailed on probation violations. On other occasions both the President and Hillary Clinton have voiced their support for UN resolutions that would ban ‘blasphemy’ against Islam

If a future more liberal/progressive Supreme Court agreed to the principal of the ‘primacy’ of International laws and treaties over the Constitution, than it would be all over for our constitutionally defined freedoms and America as we know it would be forever changed. Enacting ‘hate speech’ laws would just be the beginning of our sorrows.                *Top

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