I came home from lunch, flipped on the television and faced an interview program with Dr. Anthea Butler, religion professor at University of Pennsylvania. She had tweeted that the so-called Sam Bacille, who did the controversial trailer of the Mohammed portrayal on film, should be in jail himself. This brought her a whole new set of Twitter un-pals.
She handled herself well talking about free speech vs. inciteful rhetoric. Where does one end and another begin. Who makes that judgement call? Sometimes individual rights have corporate consequences! This may be one of those cases. If so, should Sam Bacille (or whatever his name is) face the consequences for all the bloodshed which has been shed by the film and old quarrels inherent in the culture.
I can understand the cultural squeamishes of countries who have never even heard of "free speech". One does not go for free speech if your tongue can be cut out for saying something. But Sam Bacille lived, apparently, in this country but knew the repercussions that would not be long in coming if a trailer was introduced.
Actions have consequences for all of us. For us as Americans, we don't yell "Fire" in a crowded room. There is too much at stake for us, individually and collectively. I had the feeling that Dr. Butler has realized that words are as dangerous as actions for all of us.
It made me think of the Vacation Bible School motto I learned so many years ago in another world: Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord."