Letting People Get Away With Attacks on Offensive Ideological Expression

The incident in which a judge dismissed charges against a Muslim who attacked a “Zombie Mohammed” parader — possibly because of the judge’s expressed anger at the parader’s expression — reminded me of this episode from 1990 (New York Times):

The Louisiana House passed a bill today that would lower to $25 the fine against those who assault people who burn the American flag. The House voted, 54 to 39, to waive the normal aggravated-battery penalties of six months in jail and a $500 fine in cases in which flag-desecrators are attacked.

I’m glad to say that the bill was never enacted; excusing attacks on those who insult ideological symbols is wrong whether the symbols are religious or political.

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