Burning Flags & Flushing Books

I was alerted today of a story about a man charged in Pace University hates crimes. He is being charged with two accounts of putting a copy of the Quran in a toilet. Let me get this straight. Putting a book in a toilet is now considered a hate crime? As I read the story, numerous questions came to mind.

Since when does vandalism equate to hate crimes?

In Which country did this take place?

Was anything other than feelings hurt in this incident?

Since when do Muslims in Islamic countries care about my freedom of

Was there poo-poo in the potty?

If this is a hate crime, why do so many hippies get away with burning
American flags?

Why do Muslims burn American flags? Isn’t that just as much if not
more hateful?

Where is the Muslim outcry over the burning of the American flag?

Wait, let me back up. What the heck is a hate crime in the first place? Is it a hate crime because someone got offended? How do hate crimes relate to freedom of speech? If Muslims and hippies can burn American flags and be free from accusations of hate crimes, why can’t some misguided student have the same freedom to drop a Quran in a toilet? Mind you, I am not advocating the desecration of a Quran, I am just asking questions about hate crimes. Speaking of which, I have more questions.

Are there degrees to hate crimes?

Which crimes are hateful and which one are… well, just stupid?

Is burning an American flag stupid or hateful?

Do Muslim flag burners chant cries of, “Hey, you Americans are stupid!”
or do they really hate us and pray for our death, dismemberment and

If burning an American flag is protected speech, then why not drown a Quran?

The first amendment of the United States Constitution states; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I am not of the opinion that burning flags should be protected by the first amendment, but since this defense has been successfully used for flag burners, there is no reason why it should not also apply to acts such as placing a Quran in a toilet.

Of all of the freedoms we have in this country, there is one that we do not have. We do not have the freedom from being offended. This is an inherent feature of the first amendment. Someone is going to say something that someone else thinks is offensive. Those who wrote the constitution, and the amendments to it, knew that not everyone agrees on all things. It is best to hear as many views as possible on any given subject. Some of those views may be offensive, but they must be protected in the free marketplace of ideas. If one cannot freely express their opinions, exactly how free are they?

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