Sunday, August 20, 2006

Is Madonna Going to Jail for Free Speech?

This post is pretty off topic for me. But, my partner is a huge Madonna fan, and he was telling me the other day that he read that some European countries are threatening to arrest Madonna for hanging from a cross during her current tour. You see, mocking religion is a crime in some countries, and is not considered protected speech.

Obviously this is taking place in countries whose free speech laws are not as strong as those we have here in the United States. And I bet very few of you would read such a story and think that if Madonna were arrested, it might lead to similar arrests here in our country.

But, the story reminded me of the anti-free speech case in Sweden where a pastor was tried, but acquitted, of hate speech charges because of his sermon calling gays "cancerous tumors." Many on the right were claiming that since this man was being charged in Sweden, people with similar anti-gay messages could seen be arrested in the United States. Basically the story was to let Americans know that if they don't find the "gay agenda" now, this could happen to them one day.

Of course, most realize that this type of thing wouldn't ever happen in the U.S. Even so, I wonder if anyone is worried that the possibility of Madonna's arrest may hurt free speech here in the U.S. just like they were worried about the Pastor's arrest. For the record, I'm not worried, but obviously some people aren't as trusting of free speech rights as I am.


At 20/8/06 4:02 PM, Anonymous Sparky said...

My favorite part of the article (and who knows if this is accurate) is where it says the prosecutors will rely not on actually observing the concert but on media reports after the concert takes place. Here's hoping a reporter doesn't say she also killed a man on stage and she gets thrown in prison for manslaughter.


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