Later in the same day: Mary Elizabeth Williams comments at Salon on the "worldwide story" of the "crapstorm" Emmett Burns created when he sought to suppress Baltimore Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo’s right to free speech, and Minnesota Vikings' Chris Kluwe responded--about which I blogged earlier today.
As she notes, Burns has backed down slightly following the worldwide crapstorm that his action and Kluwe's response provoked. She writes,
Facing an increasing crapstorm, Burns told the Baltimore Sun Sunday evening that “Upon reflection, [Ayanbadejo] has his First Amendment rights. And I have my First Amendment rights … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds.” This is an elected official, who still has to figure out, “upon reflection,” that someone with a different point of view has First Amendment rights. As Chris Kluwe says, good luck in your next election, sir.
And I have my First Amendment rights … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. Isn't Burns's false equivalency argument here cute? And more than a little sick-making?
Who has written to anyone in authority over Emmett Burns--as he did to Brnedon Ayanbadejo's boss--and demanded that Burns's bosses "inhibit such expressions" on the part of Emmett Burns? When did this attempt to take away Emmett Burns's free speech take place? Where did it take place?
Who has ever told Emmett Burns he has no right to voice his views, either as a Baptist minister or a Maryland legislator, on anything at all? And I have my First Amendment rights … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions.
But only one of the two gentleman in this dyad of false equivalency sought to rob the other of his first-amendment rights. That Emmett Burns cannot see this, apparently, and that he wants--even now!--to depict himself as the victim of attempts to infringe free speech, speaks volumes to me about the lack of the most elementary moral insight among religious-right folks who claim they're being victimized when anyone contests their false and damaging statements about gay folks.
But who are perfectly willing to do everything in their power to suppress the free speech of anyone who disagrees with them.