Tell any reasonable person out there that there are some ideas that should be controlled, and they will likely have some sort of an opposing reaction to your statement. Especially here in the West, we detest the idea of controlling who says what and where. There is the cliché of not yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater, of course. But, for pretty much other ideas and forms of speech, we very much like it when the government stays out of our way. I certainly would not like it if they shut down this blog.
But being free from government interference does not mean that you are free from the consequences of your thoughts and actions. For example, the idea that a child is “lost” or “dead” due to autism can and has had serious consequences. When a mother and a caretaker viciously murdered an autistic boy, they were defended by certain individuals to the point where the murder was whitewashed. They tried to reason that the mother and the caretaker had no choice but to, in a sense, put the boy out of his misery. Only that, it wasn’t the boy that was in misery, per se. It was the mother and caretaker. They couldn’t take the hand that they were dealt and they committed a most brutal act of savagery. Who knows if they thought their actions were justified because, hey, the autistic boy was already “good as dead”.
Today I read yet another story where someone was fed an idea and they acted on it:
“An Oregon mom has been accused of beating her 4-year-old son until his intestines ripped in two places — just because she thought he was gay.
Prosecutors say Jessica Dutro, 25, repeatedly subjected three of her children to traumatic beatings at the Washington County homeless shelter where they lived. But little Zachary Dutro-Boggess bore the brunt of his mom’s volatile temper, Oregon Live reports.“
She thought her 4 year-old was gay, so she killed him? Yes, and she left plenty of evidence:
“In a Facebook message that is now being used as evidence against her, Dutro reportedly told her 24-year-old boyfriend Brian Canady that Zachary had made her mad. The boy was “facing the wall” as punishment.
Using a slur, Dutro wrote that her son was going to be gay.
“He walks and talks like it. Ugh,” the mom wrote.”
Now, where would someone get an idea like that? An idea that states that a child of that age could display homosexual tendencies? An idea that states that a homosexual person is less of a human being than the rest of us and, thus, killing them is justified?
Well, unfortunately for us as a society, those ideas are out there, and they’re loud and well-propagated. James Dobson, a so-called “Christian”, has pushed the idea that children can display homosexual tendencies at a young age:
“In one study of sixty effeminate boys aged four to eleven, 98 percent of them engaged in cross-dressing, and 83 percent said they wished they had been born a girl.
The fact is, there is a high correlation between feminine behavior in boyhood and adult homosexuality. There are telltale signs of discomfort with . . . boys and deep-seated and disturbing feelings that they [are] different and somehow inferior. And yet parents often miss the warning signs and wait too long to seek help for their children. One reason for this is that they are not being told the truth about their children’s gender confusion, and they have no idea what to do about it.
Perhaps you are concerned about your child and his or her “sexual development.” Maybe your son or daughter is saying things like, “I must be gay,” or “I’m bisexual.” You’ve found same-sex porn in his room or evidence that he has accessed it on the Internet. You’ve found intimate journal entries about another girl in her diary. The most important message I can offer to you is that there is no such thing as a “gay child” or a “gay teen.” [But] left untreated, studies show these boys have a 75 percent chance of becoming homosexual or bisexual.”
Ah, my bad. There is no such thing as a “gay child” in this man’s understanding, but children who act “that way” have a high chance of being homosexual or bisexual when they grow up. Maybe the mother in question feared for her child’s future? Because, you know, being gay is a horrible, horrible thing:
“These kids often recognize very early in life that they are “different” from other boys. They may cry easily, be less athletic, have an artistic temperament and dislike the roughhousing that their friends enjoy. Some of them prefer the company of girls, and they may walk, talk, dress and even “think” effeminately. This, of course, brings rejection and ridicule from the “real boys,” who tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag,” and “gay.” Even when parents are aware of the situation, they typically have no idea how to help. By the time the adolescent hormones kick in during early adolescence, a full-blown gender-identity crisis threatens to overwhelm the teenager. This is what Mark was experiencing when he wrote. And it illustrates why even boys with normal heterosexual tendencies are often terrified that they will somehow “turn gay.””
Could they be terrified because people like Dobson (and his “Focus on the Family” group) have made homosexuality sound like a curse, a disease? Could it be because there are others who say things like:
“I’m guessing the majority of American parents don’t want their little boys turning into sodomites, at this point. if you were to interview, stick a microphone in front of most parents dropping their kids off at the average K-6 school in Colorado where they’re sporting their GLSEN signs everywhere, but if you just interview them and you ask them: “Is your vision for this little 6-year-old boy, 8-year-old boy, 9-year-old, 10-year-old boy that he turn into a sodomite?” My guess is that 60 to 70 percent of them would say, “that would be my worst nightmare.””
That would be their worst nightmare? Not that their child may be dragged away and beaten to a pulp in a field because of something they cannot control? If that’s the case, then I don’t want to live in that society.
Thankfully, we don’t live in that society much anymore. People in the United States are coming around and accepting of people who are not completely heterosexual. Unfortunately, homophobia is on the rise in other parts of the world like Russia and in some countries in the African continent. And for what? What is the fear? That we’ll all turn gay?
We’re all a little gay:
I hope that Pedro (not her real name) and I are the kinds of parents who would not be “shocked and depressed” if one of our children turned out to be gay, because real parents don’t do that. Real parents make the home the safest place for their children, a place where their children can be anything and anyone and not have to fear the big bad world out there. It’s already a scary world as it is.
I have a child who might be gay – even she’s not sure yet. But from where I’m standing, you love your child no matter what.
I’m actually researching this very issue for a Uni law essay, looking at the intersection of free speech and anti-vaccination propaganda.
Australia operates under the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This document states specific circumstances where the limitation of free speech may be necessary;
“… freedom of expression may be limited as provided for by law and when necessary to protect the rights or reputations of others, national security, public order, or public health or morals”.
Perhaps we should have an epidemiological study on those who read, listen or watch extremist tripe both adopt and cause harm upon others. I suspect the results would be dismaying.
Especially considering the recent cattle roundup of cattle illegally grazing upon both public and protected federal lands that resulted in the thieving rancher denouncing his own government and the sedition and near insurrection that followed.
Free speech does is a right, but rights have both limitations, consequences and duties.
For, one *is* permitted to shout fire in a crowded movie theater, as the justice had said in that free speech case so long ago, but that freedom does not absolve on from the results of harm one causes by the abuse of one’s right.
The limitation is when imminent lawless action may be caused by free speech, speech is made to encourage, plot to or cause others to plot to overthrow one’s government within the US, Conspiring to actually do so or to actually do so and encourage one’s peers whilst in the midst of that effort.
For, those are not protected free speech, but inciting a riot, sedition and treason. All serious crimes that have significant prison sentences attached. For the latter examples, those are physical acts that are coupled with speech, for the former, simply making unprotected speech.
You’re still free to do so, but at the risk of your own freedom.