Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OPINION: Freedom of Speech and the "doll & cross" Halloween display

This is the original display before it was vandalized.   This display was replaced with brown crosses, Barbie dolls and a sign that says "It's only Halloween!"  Photo By Katie Jones
 OPINION:  Long live freedom of speech. That some find this offensive and scary - too bad. I find it more disturbing that we need to involve our government in complaints like this for a holiday display. Also, the display, on private property, was vandalized this week. Vandalism is a crime. This is no different than art or messages or TV shows we find offensive. It's no wonder schools call it "Harvest Festival" now instead of Halloween. Political correctness and hypersensitivity abounds. If this display is found offensive, there are hundreds of others that the government should ban simply because someone found them scary or offensive or stupid or the wrong color. I will take a display like this over so-called 'haunted houses' put on by radical churches who show displays of abortion. I give full support to this property owner's RIGHT to display this display and the government can stay out of it.

Opinion by Brian Hansford
Education Hill neighbor

This opinion was posted from a comment made by Brian Hansford under the post "What kind of Halloween decorations are these?"


Anonymous said...

Completely agree! Great post!

Anonymous said...

It's displays like these which cause people to be overly sensitive and end up with stupid harvest festival nonsense. One person going over the top with a sick display ruins it for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right! What started as a simple Halloween decoration became a freedom of speech issue... Great job!

Paganne said...

First of all, there is no amendment that defines strictly Freedom of Speech. The constitution gives us the right to Freedom of Expression (unfortunately used interchangeably with "speech"). The 1st amendment reads: First Amendment - Religion and Expression

Amendment Text | Annotations

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.

As you can see, it is within this man's right to express his thoughts, beliefs and whims in any way he sees fit.

It is also a right of the community as a whole, and/or any individual to 'petition the government for redress of grievances'.

The display in and of itself is not offensive. The dolls, whether this resident agrees or not, are in poor taste and show his complete disrespect for the value of children.

Halloween is traditionally about gore and death and darkness. That being said, what else is one to think about a display that hangs dolls (of any variety) from crosses?

Bob Yoder said...

Thank you Paganne for sharing the annotated First Amendment - Religion & Expresssion. I forgot about the part that says "it is also the right of the community as a whole, and/or any individual to "petition the government for redress and grievances".