Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.Uh huh. He said all this, by the way, at "the annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner, which fetes people and organizations that stand up for freedom of speech." It’s cool how people who are short on ethics tend to make up for it by having no shortage of irony.
Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.
Newt then went on to complain about those daggum activist judges:
He also said court rulings over separation of church and state have hurt citizens' ability to express themselves and their faith.Not practice their faith; express their faith—which one might suggest has less to do with freedom of religion than it does with freedom of speech, if one didn’t know that what he really means is legislate their faith anyway.
In any case, one wonders how Gingrich plans to limit the rights of free speech and internet use to stop terrorism while simultaneously expanding the rights of religious expression, in the light of the fact that the terrorist groups by which the US is most threatened are religious in nature. And I’m not just talking about Islamic fundamentalists, but also about the Christian fundamentalists who enjoy doing things like murdering doctors who provide abortions and blowing up clinics. In spite of the fact that they’re also quite likely to complain about court rulings over separation of church and state limiting their religious freedom, is Newt ready to limit their speech? Ban protestors at abortion clinics? Bar vociferous pro-lifers from the internets, just in case…? What about these groups?
Oh right, I forgot. As long as you’re a Christian kook, an American kook, it doesn’t matter—which is why 9/11 "changed everything" but 4/19 didn’t.