Thomas Mann once said, "Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil."
The Freedom of Speech is a guarantee to protect the expression of thought. It is not, however, a guarantee that all expressed thoughts will be respected. It also does not guarantee your "religious sensitivities" will remain unscathed. The Wall Street Journal may have lost sight of this concept.
WSJ author Peter Hoekstra seems to confuse that point in his opinion piece about Geert Wilders' short film "Fitna":
Reasonable men in free societies regard Geert Wilders's anti-Muslim rhetoric, and films like "Fitna," as disrespectful of the religious sensitivities of members of the Islamic faith. But free societies also hold freedom of speech to be a fundamental human right. We don't silence, jail or kill people with whom we disagree just because their ideas are offensive or disturbing.
To Hoekstra's credit, he does go on in the article to defend the freedom of expression and criticize some aspects of radical Islam. But missing from his piece is the most important part of free speech - the right to scrutinize other people's beliefs. At what point does distasteful truth go from "offensive" or "disturbing" to acceptable? Is it still "respectable" to protect 'religious sensitivities' even when that religion destroys the lives of others? Do "reasonable men" become unreasonable when defending the life and liberty of those imprisoned by a cult-like dogma?
I think not.
(On a side note, I would like to thank Brian for giving me this opportunity to blog here at SnappedShot. I've always been a fan, and I am honored to be a new part of the SnappedShot team.)