The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Terry Jones' Quran-burning

There is a Protestant pastor in Florida named Terry Jones, who has announced plans to do a bonfire burning Quran books to commemorate Sept. 11. I wonder how he would react to someone holding a similar commemoration of the Spanish Inquisition by burning New Testaments. It's really about the same thing.

This blog talked about the plans to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero a few days ago. And what I said about that — they certainly have a right under the First Amendment to do so, but in view of the offense it would give to many people, it's in terribly bad taste — applies here as well.

Jones may dislike some of the ideas of Islam, but its adherents have just as much right as those of his own Christian religion to practice it. And there are those of us who find Christianity just as distasteful as he finds Islam. Yet, though it might be a legally permitted exercise of First Amendment rights to conduct a public burning of New Testaments, I think that it would certainly be a bad idea. And his proposal is just as bad.

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