Can a convention trump the Constitution?
Posted by c. wagner on October 29, 2009
A new convention is making the rounds at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Put forward by Pakistan
It proposes “legal prohibition of publication of material that negatively stereotypes, insults or uses offensive language” on matters regarded by religious followers as “sacred or inherent to their dignity as human beings.”
Whoa. Hold the phone. Who is going to define this? Even more important, who can this be used against? Is Richard Dawkins going to be jailed for saying people who believe in a god are deluded? Are creationists going to be locked up for declaring their god built the world in 6 days? Where would this proposal draw the line?
“Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called antidefamation policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. I strongly disagree,” said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this week.
Now that’s a statement I can get behind. I may not agree with your religion, I may even try to convert you to my way of thinking, but I definitely don’t want to put you in jail or otherwise punish you. As long as you feel the same way, I have no problem with you and your beliefs.
Here’s hoping the UN agrees with me.