To the editor;
Your recent correspondent, Audrey Turnbull, in reaction to events in Paris, suggested that freedom of speech should always “be coupled with a sense of responsibility” in its use and ends.
Absolutely! And absolutely not!
The problem is where one would draw the line of acceptability, and who would determine where that line was: a body of censors to determine what is politically correct; a sacred congregation from one religious organization or another; a Savonarola; an Ayatollah Khomeini?
I think not.
I can assure the correspondent that if “Charlie Hebdo” changed what was so offensive to those extremists, she would still find the publication shocking and offensive.
The humour of some, like Lennie Bruce and Howard Stern, I choose to ignore.
I prefer to have the choice, and would find both dangerous and threatening to the very freedoms we enjoy any attempt from political, religious and moral motivations to narrow those choices.
I am certain the correspondent would also wish to have those choices remain in her own hands.
I ultimately prefer the position of Voltaire who said, “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
Glenn M. Andrews