Volume 93, Issue 53

Friday, December 3, 1999


OPINIONS

Interpret the Charter correctly

Not allowed to make up own mind

Police force out of line

Study leaves should go

Right is independent of content

Looking at USC democracy

Simply stating his own beliefs

Poppies just aren't for everyone

Attack was personal

Toon lacked accuracy

Right is independent of content



Re: "Respect the freedom to preach" Nov. 26

To the Editor:

Freedom of speech is a right which is and should be, largely independent of the content of the speech. In the current debate about freedom of speech, the middle ground that most reasonable people seem to accept is that freedom of speech is as close to unconditional as possible, with the exception that there are a few subject areas that, reasonably, can be censored (i.e. child pornography etc.) for the sake of greater good. Those are few and often very extreme.

In his letter to the editor, Nick Moroz concedes that freedom of speech is desirable, however Mr. Moroz felt that Professor [Patrick] Brown's defence of Ed Wellein's right to preach was inappropriate because Professor Brown had not been there to hear Ed Wellein's speech. This argument implies that freedom to speak is conditional upon the content of the speech.

Mr. Moroz clearly articulates why he was personally offended by Ed Wellein's speech and takes issue with Mr. Wellein's preaching. The most offending position Mr. Moroz reacted to was Mr. Wellein's argument that only Christians would go to heaven and he likened "this brand of thought with that of hate oriented groups." Although it may be reasonable that Mr. Moroz was offended, it is not reasonable to portray any religion's claim to righteousness as hate mongering.

Saying "I hate you!" for example, is an irrational and unsupportable statement, whereas a statement such as "Only members of this religion will go to heaven" is supportable, albeit sometimes with dogma. Since all religions are a matter of faith, it is reasonable to expect them to claim righteousness above other faiths.

Righteousness is not hate-mongering. If one accepts the very western idea that only one truth exists, then one religion is in fact correct (but which one?). If one doesn't accept this idea then there are many truths and the truth of Ed Wellein's speech is no less valid.

Because Mr. Moroz took offence to Ed Wellein's speech, he denies him the right to speak. What Mr. Moroz should have done is exercised his own right to speak!

Jeff Gardiner
Computer Science III
English II



To Contact The Opinions Department:
gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1999