Criminalizing Speech

Below is a video clip that I’ve seen referenced a couple of times lately. It’s an exchange from July between Representative Trent Franks and Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez about the criminalizing of speech that’s critical of religion. It’s not necessarily new information, but in light of recent events, I think you’ll understand why it’s relevant.

I’ve seen enough footage from Congressional hearings to recognize someone grandstanding to make a political point when I see it. Frankly, I’d like to see the Representative shut up and let the AAG answer the question. His answer would probably do more to make the Representative’s case than all the theatrical demands for a yes or no answer.

However, the exchange is still instructive, because it’s a question that shouldn’t have to be asked in the first place. Forget the part about speech “against any religion”; just the idea of criminalizing any kind of speech should be laughable. And yet, we all know the question now has to be asked.