Put a Sock In It

Put a sock in it.

That's what I'm advising any and all out there who feel compelled to instruct us all on the evils of Islam. It being a religion, I'm sure it contains its fair share of what some folks might construe as evil - at least as much as any other ol' time religion. I don't think I need to mention proving one's allegiance by knocking off one's son or stoning this, that and the other guy for this, that and the other thing. And then there's that little incident of blaming the Jews for what was obviously a public relations ploy that got out of hand.

Our brave new world has brought on brave new problems, one of which is this instant communications thing. Whatever you say is going to go around the world. Unless you write something in invisible ink and send it via courier with a privy seal, and even then, Wikileaks will probably getcha in the end.

There are people out there who have not had much experience with free speech. Who over the last few years have felt their culture and religion to be under attack. Where there is a long tradition of responding violently to perceived insult. Our culture used to have that too. Remember duels? It took us a few centuries to learn that sticks and stones can break our bones but words can never hurt us.

We who value the concept of free speech have also put strictures on variations of shouting "Fire" in a crowded theatre. The theatre is much, much bigger now, and it is more than a roomful, a city-full, even a country-full of people who can hear you.

It's been some time since we outlawed dueling. We've forgotten that sometimes words can kill.