Connect with Point of View   to get exclusive commentary and updates

Hate Speech Law

CS Lewis Quote - Tyrannies
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

I’m not inclined to talk about legislation in other countries, but it is worth looking at proposed new hate speech legislation in Ireland so we can avoid the same mistake in this country. Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom wrote about this last month in Newsweek.

The context is something I’ve talked about on radio. The stabbing of children and others in Dublin by an Algerian resident sparked protests. Instead of addressing the issue of immigration, the government focused on the actions of the protesters as an excuse to criminalize free speech.

What is so surprising is the fact that this “hate speech” bill provides no definition of hate. In previous commentaries, I’ve documented that the word “hate” is a very difficult word to define in the law. We have seen this in previous attempts in this country to implement hate crime legislation.

This bill goes much further according to Kristen Waggoner. “As drafted, the law would allow police near-blanket authority to search and possibly find materials that are ‘hateful,’ rifling through text messages, emails, and personal effects to find prosecutable content.” She adds that the thought of police “raiding homes to seize devices and banned literature invokes thoughts of the novel 1984 and the darker moments of the last century.”

One of the supporters of the bill is a member of the Green Party. She defended the proposed legislation by arguing: “We are restricting freedom, but we’re doing it for the common good.” Yes, we have heard that before from totalitarians. It reminded me of the famous quote by C.S. Lewis: “Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

What is happening in Europe can come to America unless we work diligently to protect free speech.viewpoints new web version

Viewpoints sign-up