President Barack Obama recently stated that there is a need to balance the right of freedom of speech with a respect for religion, going on to chastise groups that have committed any terror act in the name of their faith.
Obama spoke to his audience stating it was time to push back against anyone who is distorting their religion as an excuse for their behavior. He also specifically mentioned some of the actions of the “death cult” Islamic State, in addition to the Paris terror attacks and Pakistan school massacre during his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Obama stated that it is important to rely on basic principles, including humility, for protecting everyone’s rights to freedom of speech, religion, as well as the rights that others have to do the same. According to the remarks made by Obama protecting these rights calls for everyone to exercise restraint, judgment and civility.
Those in attendance included the senior adviser to the Dalai Lama, Valerie Jarrett, as well as faith leaders and politicians. He stated that the right to free speech needs to be used for defending others. Just because someone has the right to make a statement, it does not meant that everyone else should questions anyone who insults others just because they can.
He also stated that the Founding Fathers got it right when outlining the distinction between government and faith. They understood the need to allow freedom of speech, but that there was also a relationship between free speech and religion and no one should infringe on another person's rights.
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