After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project

After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.

The Pew Research Center just released a poll on what Americans think of our constitutional right to free speech in light of the recent assassination of twelve French journalists by Muslims over the matter of a cartoon. The results are unnerving, to say the least. The Pew poll found that:

  • 24% of Americans are so self-involved and oblivious to current events they were completely unaware that Muslim gunmen entered the Charlie Hebdo Paris office and murdered twelve journalists because they were upset about cartoon having a bit of fun at Islam’s expense. That means about ¼ of American voters are so ill-informed they will likely make the wrong choice when going to the polls. No wonder Oregonians legalized marijuana.
  • Of those Americans who actually heard of Charlie Hebdo, only 60% believe that freedom of speech should extend to politically incorrect topics like criticizing Islam for their bad behavior.
  • What is worse, is that of the registered Democrats polled, only 55% supported freedom of speech, while a whopping 35% actually supported censorship of politically incorrect speech.
  • The only positive in the whole poll is that 70% of polled Republicans supported freedom of speech over the sensitivities of the most intolerant religion on the face of the earth. I think a mere 70% is a rather pathetic, milk-toast number, but it is the best in the poll.

Frankly, I am shocked that an America born and bred on JD Salinger’s once banned book, Catcher in the Rye, would be so flip about giving up our Constitutional Rights to satisfy the sensibilities of a religion that will not be satisfied until Judaism and Christianity are extinct and all the world is Islam.

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