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Obama’s Craven Betrayal of the First Amendment

In the Daily Caller, Neil Munro reports that the Obama administration has asked YouTube to suppress the offensive film that is the pretext for some of the Islamist rioting. This is, of course, in accordance with the demands of the Muslim brotherhood.

It goes without saying that such government interference in speech protected by the First Amendment is uncomfortably close to a complete betrayal of the President’s oath to protect and defend the US Constitution. The “speech” to which the Islamists object is, true, offensive. So is “Piss Christ” and a variety of other anti-Christian (or anti-Semitic) rhetoric. But under our foundational principles, speech rights cannot be abridged by the government unless its purpose is to incite imminent lawless action. This doesn’t cover a film criticizing a religion (even if the film is tasteless and repugnant), i.e., something that might ruffle sensitivities enough to make people want to riot once they can get a riot organized. It means instead something like a person on the spot urging on an angry and hysterical crowd, say, to attack an embassy.

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