Thursday, October 07, 2010

Two reasons why the First Amendment is so important...

The first is this story, reminding us that what goes around, comes around. Today's favored or disfavored religious views may be seen quite differently over time.

The First Amendment that we enjoy here protects the less-favored from those who would suppress those views in some way. Over time, the wisdom of that becomes apparent to most if not all.

The second is this editorial that comes down on the right side of a painful case, also tied in some bizarre way to religious views. But what we need to remember, always, is that once we empower any element of government to filter and decide what ideas we hear, we lose some of our ability to make fully informed judgments.

Our system of freedom of expression is designed to protect the free exchange of all ideas - and religions - and we cannot subject it to compromise decisionmaking in the name of purportedly competing values, however obnoxious that may be. We have seen too often that we are very bad at deciding what thought, which ideas, what beliefs are bad and should be restricted; the First Amendment is the best antidote for this that anyone has ever devised.

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