"Persecution for opinion is the master vice of society."
by:
Frances Wright
(1795-1852) Scottish-born lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, abolitionist, and social reformer
Source:
Lecture, 1829
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Reader comments about this quote:
As long as your opinion is not confused with inciting violence and hatred. If you say 'in my opinion we should harm this group or that group because of race, color or sexual orientation" then this is wrong and should not be called an opinion - you are inciting action to harm another person and this should be prosecuted.
 -- RBESRQ     
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    True RBE...but drawing a line in the sand in defense of individual rights is, to me, a different thing.
     -- J Carlton, Carlton     
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    Speech is not persecution. Ever heard of 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me'? It is only true if you believe it. Hate speech is a con. I have an absolute right to hate you! In America, you have the right to say 'go to hell!' We are not free from the consequences of our actions or our words, but the responsibility for them is the basis of our freedom. If we are not accountable for our actions, we are but wards of the State. Not only do I have a right to hate, but dare I say a duty to hate all that is evil. Damn the lies and the liars who foist them upon us!!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    RBESRQ----Where is your evidence that those words incite or incited anyone to act upon the words? Where is the crime other than your promotion of restrictions on the right of free speech? I do see how in the example of a lynch mob where there is evidence of the words of one or a few causing an injustice but it is ultimately the reponsibility of every individual who acted upon the words and not the man/men who said them. It was their choice to do so and so their responsibility. If the man who said the words placed the rope and kicked out the stool then the responsibility falls on him for the lynching causing the unjust without a trial death but until that death there is no crime. In the case of Hitler who galvanized a whole country based on his words, why wasn't he arrested for crimes before the fact of any action based on his words? We know the effect his words had on the people then but those who acted upon them are much more responsible for all the death than he was or ever could be. All he did was speak and as evidenced by the fact there are people out there who promote and say what you've said and they continue to do so proves free speech still exists to some extent in America and that's the way it should be. Would you take their right away? Archer said it well, I have the right to speak and he has the right to choose to act or not based on what I said as he also has the right to tell me to go to hell. Again, well said Archer!
     -- Anon     
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    So, it's OK in a speech to say 'I'm going to kill whoever' - I suppose then we should wait for it to happen and then society can have the person arrested - you guys make me laugh. Archer that is double talk. Anon you live in your cozy world dictating freedom of speech while innocent people are killed - Unless the law can protect society from the evil and inciting speeches there is no law and without law no freedom of speech. If Hitler in his speech said we must kill all Jews because they are an abomination, in your eyes this would be acceptable - well I'm sorry but we obviously live on different planets.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    RBESRQ, You would convict a man for his words wouldn't you? Where is the victim? Thanks for insight into your controlling mind.
     -- Anon     
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    I am surprised RBESRQ -- you are proving the quote. Why invent new distinctions for existing facts in common law? A threat is a threat -- it is not 'hate speech'. To threaten someone is criminal. Excuse me, but I have not heard ANYONE on TV or radio say "I am going to kill you" so please enough with the exaggerations. How about "I am going to rob you" or "I am going to take 35% of every dollar you have earned this year" -- are these not threats or hate speech? The vice of persecution is not reserved for religionists and politicians only. For someone that is supposedly 'compassionate', how can you condone the persecution of views? To hate is not a crime!! And when it becomes one, look the f%ck out. This is the slippery slope of leftist ideology -- they don't like to be shown for what they are and therefore try to define any exposure to the fraud of socialism as 'hate speech'. Sounds more like communist China -- grow up, man. No law can make people love each other -- not everyone is going to like you or me -- deal with it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Robert, you confuse justice and law. Natural law simply describes that which 'IS' (the law of gravity, physics, fiscal law, that law which describes perfected allodium/absolute ownership, etc.) Justice is the actuator that sets in harmonious order the act to its actuating actor, the appropriate work to its subject principal worker, the creation to its pertinent creative creator, etc. The current perspective of justice is to punish with only a sometimes concept of making whole or restoration. Ancient Greek justice was perceived as education. Educate the ignorant law breaker (whether that be by rock pile work, books, or what ever the desired education called for). You are referencing a despotic legal positivism where, man as god, can create what ever law he perceives is morally enforceable. The realm of reprimand falls under a jurisprudence of justice, not law. No victim - no crime; each individual is personally responsible for their own actions. - think Nuremberg Trials. The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land, along with its slaves / patrons persecute those who are not of their collective / societal faith.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Check out the current Kangaroo courts in colleges today. Free speech is fine unless you have a different opinion. Then the little darlings raise hell.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    Human beings are creatures of faith and
    belief.

    Accordingly, the pride and fear born defensiveness, illiberalty and intolerance of contemporary "liberals" is rooted in the rootlessness of their figmentary, fragmentary, belief systems.

    Any who have wholly invested themselves in beliefs that are inherently indefensible will, necessarily, be militantly defensive, and offensive, in their defense of them.

     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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