Bass-Ackwards

BASS-ACKWARDS

I clicked the link from RCP, because I couldn't believe the text was an accurate description of the headline. I screencapped the headline because I couldn't believe it was an accurate description of the piece. But when Sally Kohn is the author, all bets on sanity are off -- so, yes, the headline and link both accurately reflect today's pravda from her perch at CNN:

This is why it is baffling that political voices around the world, especially conservatives, have argued that we must show our support for Charlie Hebdo and free speech by reprinting the magazine's offensive cartoons. Remember, this is a publication few outside France had heard of before it was targeted and even fewer had read -- and arguably one that many would have taken offense at in a different context.

In fact, in a line of thinking best articulated by New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Ross Douthat, the violent reaction to Charlie Hebdo's offensive cartoons not only justifies but also somehow demands that we not only continue but also ramp up that offense as a form of protest. "If a large enough group of someones is willing to kill you for saying something, then it's something that almost certainly needs to be said," wrote Douthat. In other words, the violent reaction to something offensive not only retroactively justifies the offense in the first place but valorizes its rationale going forward?

Let's clear something up: You know what justification is required to insult someone with whom you disagree, even mildly?

None.

Zero.

Zip.

Nada.

Here in the Western World, we enjoy -- if perhaps only temporarily -- a little thing called freedom of speech. We are protected in our right to speak our minds, even in forms other people might find offensive.

Let's clear up another thing: You know what justifies gunmen walking into an office building and shooting up a dozen people?

Nothing.

Zero.

Zip.

Nada -- not even insulting someone's conception of a prickly, intolerant, and murderous excuse for a prophet.