Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Don’t limit free speech

Pope Francis said, “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity ... in freedom of expression there are limits.”

And I can’t help but think that he is wrong. The Western world is founded on freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and there are no limits to those.

With those principles comes freedom to offend.

I have the right to offend; Charlie Hebdo has the right to offend; the Islamic extremists who attacked Charlie have the right to offend; everyone has the right to offend.

Faith is no different from anything else. If you can’t make fun of it, it’s above criticism.

If we have learned anything from history, it’s that when a person or an idea is above criticism, they are led inevitably toward corruption. We saw that with the Catholic Church’s child sex abuse scandal; we saw it last summer when Israel bombed Palestinian schools; and we see it once again with Islam and its extremists.

There are no limits to freedom of speech and there are no limits to freedom of expression. Pope Francis is wrong. We cannot censor ourselves in order to cater to those who do not appreciate someone’s right to voice their opinion and their thoughts

Ben Wheeler

Bellefonte

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