Stabbed in the back by Conservatives
Just in case anyone mistook me for aligning with the political right.
Honestly, what the hell? For years I have put up with being called a Nazi/racist/bigot because I have stood up for conservatives on the issue of free speech only to find conservatives are just as anti-free speech as progressives.
In recent times I feel it has been those on the political right who have been on the defence when it comes to free speech. It was clear to me that conservatives had less free speech than liberals, whether it be the government cracking down on the peaceful protesters of January 6th, social media companies shadow-banning and removing conservative voices, or even speakers being shut down by violent protesters - I have stood up for them every step of the way. I chose to endure the name-calling from the binary leftwingers because my principle is simple: free speech for all.
I have been quite critical of the left in recent posts because they're the ones who have waved goodbye to the idea of free speech, it is them who have been mainly responsible for finding ways to restrict speech - legally or otherwise. I found solitude knowing that at least conservatives still believed in such a critical concept, or so I thought. Now it’s time for me to have a go at the other side of the spectrum because they’re just as spineless as the left on this issue.
I stuck my neck out for conservatives, only for them to be the ones to bring down the axe.
What’s kicked this off?
The satanic temple put up a display of a half-man half-goat Baphomet statue in Iowa’s state house, doing so under rules that permit religious installations. This was open to all religions, no one was getting special privileges. It was all kosher and fell under the First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of religion.
The idea of a statue dedicated to Satanism might induce feelings of disgust. Satanists. Worshipping the embodiment of evil. Child sacrifices. Drinking blood and summoning demons.
None of these happen in the Church of Satan.
I’ll clue you in on Satanism as it seems like an astounding number of people know nothing of the religion. Satanists do not believe in Satan. They do not believe in God, or anything supernatural. They are atheists. If you look at the tenets they hold to, you’ll struggle to disagree with them. I find I have far more in common with Satanism than I do with Christianity. Regardless, the point is that Satanists do not worship evil, and they are a legitimate religion recognised by the US government.
Anyway, after this statue was erected, some people had their feelings hurt. They didn't like it. They felt offended (their words, not mine). Mind you, nothing was illegal here. It was simply a display of some weird half-man half-goat.
Michael Cassidy, someone who has demonstrated no respect for the law or constitution took a sword to it and destroyed it. He committed vandalism because he was offended on God's behalf.
Michael Cassidy said that it offended him so fuck free speech, right? Instead of going through any legal channels to get this statue removed, he took the law into his own hands. This is PRECISELY what the right has been criticising the left for for YEARS. The left will cry that hate speech is offensive and therefore is not free speech. Conservatives know this argument well, they know that hate speech is legal. They understand the long-term potential repercussions of criminalising speech. Yet they suddenly use the same reasoning for speech they find offensive. Sorry conservatives and liberals, free speech doesn’t work that way. It’s either for everyone, or it’s for no one. You don’t get special privileges just because your feelings are hurt. Grow up.
I’m just utterly perplexed that conservatives have flipped so quickly when it was their turn to be offended. After everything they have been through they should be the ones to know why limiting speech can be dangerous. Maybe I was naive to think that they cared about free speech. It did cross my mind at some point, but I usually give people the benefit of the doubt because that’s how I want to be treated. I assumed they believed as I did, turns out, it was only until they found something offensive.
These people need to grow out of their bronze age beliefs. Satanists don’t believe in Satan. Statues hurt no one. Demons aren’t real. Free speech means the right to offend.
***Do I need to point out that when I say ‘conservatives’, or ‘liberals’ I don’t mean every single conservative or liberal but it’s more of a generalised feeling toward that group? Some conservatives will condemn this - of course you will find exceptions to the rule, well done, I'm just speaking to my experience of what I've seen as of late.