Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Democratic response to Pope Benedict's recent threat of excommunicaiton for Catholic politicians who support abortion is typically revealing:

"The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America – it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution,"

As usual, the Democrats are tossing the word "freedoms" and "Constitutional" around without any understanding of the terms.

When people talk about the limits of freedom and free speech, we need to be clear about what we mean.

The example always used is “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” That, say the law and reasonable opinion, is not something that should be protected speech. But let’s be clear about what this means: Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is perfectly permissible if there is in fact a fire or if we honestly believe there to be one. The act is only a crime if we are lying.

And that’s the heart of it: The lie is not protected speech. While some forms are immediately actionable—such as the crowded theater example and of course perjury—others are only civilly actionable, such as slander and libel. But the legal traditions are clear: The lie is not protected speech.

And the standard Democratic mock-patriotism is as usual, nonsense. You are free to advocate for abortion all you want--you just don't have the freedom to lie and call yourself Catholic while doing so. There are no Constitutional protections from the consequences of lying--even for Democratic politicians.

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