The Limits Of Free Speech And Public Monuments

by | September 1, 2015

Recently there was a lot of disgust expressed against a “Man charged after ‘fornicating the statue,’ police say

Yes, this is the same monument Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was murdered at and, the same monument that saw teenagers in 2006 charged for urinating at.

In all the above cases the charge was ‘mischief’.

In the CBC video, the CBC commenter (About 1:30 in if you watch) refers to the monument and says “And Canadians gained a new sense that this is a hallowed place.”

Definitions for ‘hallowed’ include ‘sacred’, ‘holy’ and ‘consecrated’. Is this monument now a religious object? How so? and must we as a secular society respect the supposed ‘hallowness’ of an inanimate object?

A not dissimilar outrage was expressed against a teenager in Pennsylvania a few years back. Jerry Coyne discussed it on his website.


Obviously a statue on church grounds is a ‘hallowed object’.

And from the recent Huffington Post video on Ottawa by Chris Hau, I made this still.


Is this also public mischief? Go watch the video; he’s obviously ‘fornicating with a statue’ why wasn’t this actor charged with public mischief as well? I suppose the reason is this statue is not ‘hallowed ground’. This statue is of a ‘Metis fighter fighting in the war of 1812’, so I suppose that’s not holy enough.

If we are to become a secular nation, will we have honoured monuments that we must respect? Who gets to decide which monuments are honoured? Would ‘giving the finger’ to the concept of war in the form of the war memorial count as disrespect? Instead of ‘fornicating’ could one simply give the finger to a Jesus statue? (Blasphemy!) Could one be arrested for giving the finger?  Do people have a right to not be offended after all? Where are the limits to free speech to be drawn then? Must we have limits? It’s certainly obvious to me that religious reasons are not sufficient.

5 thoughts on “The Limits Of Free Speech And Public Monuments

  1. Corwin

    I’m opposed to hallowedness in general, and definitely opposed to punishing people for getting frisky with statues (as long as they don’t damage or deface the statues in the process). In any case, this article seems relevant here.

  2. Delbert Godon

    If you are an atheist who believes in “free speech”, then you are in the impossible situation of defending people who advocate exterminating you. ” Free speech ” is a red herring and the content of speech should be scrutinized and that scrutiny is often muted by the term “free speech”.

  3. True Tech

    I think some monuments have a lot of good value to them, however, ones that are related to religion$, are not any of those.
    I have a lot of respect for the motto on The Statue of Liberty, and do think that it should be respected rather than ones related to any of the religion$.

    I am choosing to copy and paste a comment here just made on a youtube channel, as i get shadowbanned so nobody else can read my comments by various channels there, typically ones that are by providers of the mainstream daily news providers, and they more than only do seem to affect votes for politics.

    It’s a humbling comment, and helps explain why i prefer to fly under the wire, because i don’t want to end up missing in the night really.
    We really only do live just once, there’s no Disneyland in the sky nor lake of eternal fire waiting for anyone, at the end of life’s road.
    Thankyou for reading this, if and when you do.

    3.5 years ago i returned to this rural fixer upper after 11pm and turned on the 11oclock news and began eating my drivethrough meal that is a bit of a luxury to me being 20 miles away from that ability, and at the commercial break when the screen darkens, the lighting angle in my kitchen revealed something near the middle of my tv screen, so i stopped eating and stood up and looked at it, and it was a fingersmudged word: “Cry”, i can’t prove it though, but it worked, i began to do as i was instructed to do, and my eyes are watery now as i type this in indoor wintercoat mode in this kitchen that only has running water when it rains through the ceiling that needs repairs. Dammit, i need repairs it seems, though there is no cure for being an atheist, with a rare neuromuscular challenge that the govt wont even provide medical mj for, even though it helps take the edge off the neuromuscular storm, even though its legal now in this country.
    Finding that fingersmudge was done a few years after the fingersmudger pulled into my driveway and smiled as he said that bad people can become good, as he walked along with his new girlfriend at the time who is now his wife towards the metal barn to check on his display cases being stored for free. I know he left that fingersmudge, because of the shapes of the lettering were similar to that of a Christmas card he once hand delivered to my roadside rural mailbox, and from a note he taped to my front door another time, and he wasn’t happy with me when i didn’t pick up the phone when he called once and told me that i was supposed to be there at his beckon call. The water well pump stopped working about 10 days after not letting one of his long time drinking friends he grew up with, rent the upstairs portion of this rural fixer upper for half of the previously agreed upon price, and do remember hearing the biggest hulking one of the 3 of them yell out their vehicle window at me that he was going to return, and that it wasn’t over yet. That was after the local oil delivery person told me that he wasn’t going to refill my oil furnance tank, unless i spent 7 grand on a new furnace. Gee, my fingers feel cold while typing this, but it’s nothing new really, at least at this time of year wrapped in blankets on a beanbag chair with a small space heater on low, with the red glow of a French fry/English atheist heating lamp. Maybe i should not have mentioned that i dont celebrate Christmas to the fingersmudger after he called and asked me about the Christmas card he wanted me to have as a token of his appreciation..
    They say its the most wonderful time of the year, but they are delusional. Reindeer don’t really fly, and Icarus never flew off the pages and into the sun. Wish that religious narcissists who exhibit the hallmarks of Stockholm syndrome knew that though, then the world news would not always be so violent, with their war$ selling bullets bombs bonesaws etc to the highest bidders.. That’s why there is homelessness and starvation on this watery planet, that isn’t flat, nor only 6000 years old, and bullets bombs bonesaws toxic nerve agents ‘nor’ hijacked 9/11 jets have ever once produced even a single afterlife, though they induce Stockholm syndrome no doubt, as religion$ continue to grift a TRILLION+ yearly dollars each and every $unday! $unday! $unday!, tax exempt-like even. Notice how atheism is considered a swear word not to be heard on social media and on mainstream media? You never hear that word mentioned by any news reporters, they only mention the damages caused by those bullets bombs bonesaws toxic nerve agents ‘and’ hijacked 9/11 jets, as they send out their ‘thoughts and prayers’.

    Guess now you know why i get death threats from creepy delusional cult members who’d sooner want to stand around my open coffin saying that i went off to a better place, on this watery not really flat much older than 6000 year old world eh?

    This comment got rather long, so, i’m probably going to have to make it into two uploads, and it may end up being shadowbanned anyways so other people can’t read it. I’m used to being shadowbanned by politically influencing types of houses of journalism, though i should upload a few copies of this to a few atheist based publications just the same, prior to my returning to Fault Lines Radio on YouTube 7-10am EST where i call out junk-journalists on their usually politically influencing collusive mixing of the truth with their enabled by sociopathic billionaire little overcompensating putin’s complete bullsh*t. You remember him? He’s that unapologetic marginalizer who murdered the ex Ukrainian president, uses toxic nerve agents, makes cartoon depictions of Florida getting wiped off the map, via his nuclear tipped cruise missiles or as he likes to refer to them as being unstoppable nukes. He’s that creepy unapologetic sociopath who was observed high5’ing that other billionaire sociopath at that UN meeting, Mr Bonesaw. Even the pope made a reference to suggesting that people should not piss off those delusional creeps that run around stabbing people randomly in the UK, while he maintains a pedo victims fund padded up with donations.
    Feel free to stop by Fault Lines Radio channel on YouTube there and boost their view numbers ratio, let em know what you think of em in real time mode via their livestreaming chatroom feature. At this point in time, I certainly do, and you really should too, during the November Rain.
    YouTube, if you shadowban me, i will write a nonviolently write a song about you like i’m going to do for Andrew Scheer of the conservative party in and those dangerous sociopathic white nationalists that he is less than 1 degree away from. I’m not impressed with what i keep seeing, and you trying to own the Alphabet with your gOOglely offshore banking eyes. You too Facebook, or is it really MetadataSelloutToHumanityForCorporatesTaxEvasionBook, with your billionaire wannabe trillionaire swiss alps offshore banking white nationalist enabling crypto desires? Gonna keep a very peaceful nonviolent atheist pair of eyes on you too if i dont go missing in the night buried 5 miles away or something sad like that, in this information age, that’s definitely getting less and less bronze every day.
    Be safe, be healthy. And can you help others including myself, by please asking Health Canada to provide medical mj free of charge to people who have humbling forms of disabilities who are on low income disability pensions. It helps calm things such as neuromuscular storms, for people such as myself who are typing this with neck and upper torso muscles that seem to keep wanting to shake side to side.
    Health Canada responded to my request earlier this week with a generic templated returned reply, basically sweeping mine on the topic of empathy under a rug.


    #TheStatueOfLiberty motto
    The #DigitalLifeguardProject -_-

  4. True Tech

    The New Colossus
    By Emma Lazarus, 1883
    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Be on the correct side of history, in the information age. It’s getting less and less bronze everyday.
    Repair the planet.

  5. True Tech

    The 1st part of the 2 part comment posted here:
    Brightside, in today’s world, with the things i read from people who want to pretend that bullets bombs bonesaws toxic nerve agents and hijacked 9/11 jets result in the production of afterlives, from people who want to pretend that atheists burn in a very painful sounding eternal lake of fire, that uploaded title “What If You Lived for ONLY 24 Hours” resembles yet another one of those veiled threats. I actually get death threats from religious narcissists and seemingly moreso lately for pointing out that the u$a president trumpstein suicided deadstein. Even the NYC police chief twittered to president trumpstein that he’s a criminal just this week.

    In 2007, moved 4 hours away from a violently threatening older brother who left me with memories of punching me in the face repeatedly at age 7 while whispering to shut up in-between though painful punches after he walked into my bedroom without provocation, because at age 30 after our sadly missed arts and sciences loving parents passed away within 6 months of eachother back in Y2K, one of his long time drinking friends drunkenly called me while she was going through a messy divorce with some tall wealth exec who i from the back seat of a small car once observed that tall previously nice life of the party type executive reach up from the drivers window to punch a complete stranger in the face without provocation on a cottage country road one night around 11pm, after he pulled up alongside of that nice stranger who was wearing a tshirt when being asked what time it was, who replied back by saying sorry, and held up his wrist indicating that he didn’t have a watch, and her now ex husband stared at me in the rental cottage kitchen as i tried to eat some toast and jam the following day, and he said that i did it, when he was being asked by my mom’s long time friend since their school days, when he scratched a long dent up into the side of the borrowed vehicle of my moms best friend’s car. His ex wife that was going though that messy divorce used to call me periodically when she drank, and i dont drink much, though always made sure to lend an ear and be a shoulder to lean on, and she said that the older brother was being meaner to his younger brother moreso around then, and he told her that he wished i wasn’t around anymore in that illegal always cold and isolating feeling basement apartment below him that his new live in girlfriend upstairs began stomping her feet around a month after she moved when she walked above me, that resulted in my shaking with lost of neck muscle control upon being woken up, and that was exactly the time he began frauding me for over half my parkinsons/ms variant type of disability pension for years because he wanted to pretend that his live in girlfriend was only a roommate on paper to the govt. I could report him for it, though i dont want anything bad to happen to him really being my remaining family member in respect to my parents who i really miss a lot, even though he has a poker playing friend who refused to shake my hand at my sadly missed stepfathers funeral wake, because a month before that i told him that what he did was wrong after my brother described a local drinking bar’s bathroom as resembling a bloodbath after he beat someone in a game of pool and that person didn’t want to pay him for a pool game bet. My brother plays poker with that violent class A mechanic, and he seems like he is the type to help dump a body if his long time poker playing friend since highschool years asked him to..
    A year after moving to this rural run down fixer upper, someone 5 miles away that i first met while buying used furniture, called me to drive over there to help unload some building supplies off his trailer, and while standing in his driveway i mentioned that its so nice and peaceful since moving away from the big city, and he chose to respond to hearing that by telling me that he buried a body in his backyard, and then smiled and nodded at me. I can’t prove that, but it made me very nervous hearing him say that to me, and i think about it each day ever since hearing his creepy voice and how matter of factly he sounded.
    Before that, he recommended i buy a woodstove and a through wall chimney kit, so i did, as he mislead me into thinking he was going to get around to installing it because he knew i was afraid of heights. After several years of periodically nicely asking when he was going to get around to it, he responded over the phone with a happy tone in his voice that it’s awfully high up that ladder, so i stopped asking anymore.
    Helped him rebuild his bathroom and a bedroom and helped move his new girlfriend into his rental home for free, helped him move a long time friend of his out of an apartment another time for free, and after he closed his used furniture store across the road from his place, I’ve been letting him store the display cases from it in my metal barn for free, in a barn that used rent to the farmer next door neighbor who lives a mile away to help supplement my low disability pension i get for this painful shaking and stiffness that I’ve had for 30 years now as the result of a high-rise construction employer who felt he didn’t have to invest in a 3rd proper breathing apparatus for applications of DOW FireStop D2000 in subzero cold weather, so he only offered me a dustmask being the newer 3rd person hired by him to work with that cancer in lab mice causing chemical according to the material data safety sheet that DOW mailed me after I called them and they said sorry. Anyways, i was 22 then and that was years after my nose was broken in my kitchen at age 17 without provocation, and years after without provocation at age 13 was beaten up by 5 bent badges in my hometown worldclass city 10 days after leaving sick kids hospital after having a leg surgery and could barely walk but was trying to for therapy reasons one night down near the local park, so I’ve kinda been preconditioned to just be taken advantage of in ways, wish it wasn’t the case really, i’m not entirely a moron i know that, though get called names from people who want to pretend that atheists do burn in hell.


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