Freedom of speech comes with responsibility

Does “freedom of speech” grant us the right to be hateful toward people with different values?

To the editor;

Let me begin with this: I do not agree with the murder of human beings under any circumstances and I am as shocked and disturbed as everyone else by the recent slaughter of 12 innocent people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

The point I would like to make, however, is regarding the issue of freedom of speech.

The story of the killings prompted my curiosity as to what those killers could have possibly been so offended about, so I looked up the contents of the magazine in question.

I must say I was shocked and offended by it.

The contents are extremely vulgar and display a blatant disrespect and scorn for any religion and various political opinions.

So, I ask this question: Does “freedom of speech” grant us the right to be hateful toward people who have values different from our own?

Is it right for anyone to use this much-valued freedom to condescend others and sow division among groups of people?

Shouldn’t freedom of speech always be coupled with a sense of responsibility as to how it is used and to what ends?

Audrey Turnbull

Kamloops