In a speech that claimed to be about “tolerance” Obama attacked speech that “targets” people.
The President is certainly entitled to express his opinion on what kind of messages are true or kind of helpful. But the way he handled differing views lead me to conclude that Barack Obama attacked speech as it is protected in the First Amendment.
I conclude this from the way The Hill reported on his speech. Here are the opening lines of the article:
President Obama stressed religious tolerance during an Iftar dinner to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, linking the murders of nine black Christians in South Carolina with the killings of three Muslims in North Carolina earlier this year.
“Our prayers remain with Charleston and Mother Emanuel church,” Obama said Monday night, using the nickname of the historically black church in Charleston where nine people were killed Wednesday night after a gunman opened fire in a Bible study.
“As Americans, we insist that nobody should be targeted because of who they are, or what they look like, who they love, how they worship. We stand united against these hateful acts.”
OK, just hold on, but nobody should be “targeted” with guns, for any reason at all, or for no reason. Murder is a crime—a basic violation of God’s law on how we are to treat all humans. Or, if you insist on making this secular, gunning a person down is a violation of a basic right to life which all humans possess (at least after they have been born and aren’t near a drone strike, etc).
But “as Americans,” Obama tells us, “we insist that nobody should be targeted for race or sex or homosexual practice or religion.”
(By the way, the President just told us that adults have the right to commit incest and I guess adopt children as incestual couples. Just throwing that out there. That’s what he said. As Americans, “we insist” that mothers and sons or fathers and daughters having sex are to be given the same rights as everyone else, including—of course—the right to marry each other. Of course, if “targeting” means actual shooting at someone with live ammunition, then his statement would be true but too trivial to mention. He meant something else.)
And the story gives us this as further context of what President Obama means by “nobody should be targeted” as he explained himself.
He shared the story of protesters outside of an Arizona mosque who held up “offensive signs against Islam and Muslims. But when the congregants invited the protesters in to pray, some completely changed their minds.
“One demonstrator, who accepted the invitation later, described how the experience changed him; how he finally saw the Muslim American community for what it is — peaceful and welcoming,” Obama said.
So “nobody should be targeted” is explained by a story of people exercising their First Amendment rights of protest and those people are plainly guilty of “targeting” Muslims.
President Obama attacked speech as it is described in the First Amendment. I don’t see any other way to interpret what is described in the article. Tolerance would mean that the Muslims still got their mosque and were free to worship there whether or not anyone else liked it. Tolerance would also mean that people who didn’t like it were free to say so. That concept is completely alien to the way the current President of the United States speaks and often acts. Protesting may still be tolerated, but he is laying the groundwork to end such tolerance by pretending it is indistinguishable from shooting people. What tolerance really means, for Barack Obama, is mandatory acceptance.
He even practices what he preaches. Time and again Barack Obama has claimed to be a Christian. A Christian would celebrate Christian days—especially the Lord’s day every week!—and refrain from practicing other religions. But not Barack Obama. Somehow, being an American does not allow him to be simply a Christian who happens to be president. Instead, he must actually celebrate “the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.”
This is the new way of life that Obama is promoting. Freedom to accept people and marginalization or punishment if you merely tolerate them.