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Hate speech and the First Amendment

September 28, 2017
Richard Morasci
San Francisco

I read the letter to the editor by P. Roscelli from Sept. 14 (“Hate speech and the First Amendment”) and was confused. What was the desired response by the Catholic Church that the writer wanted? I never read anywhere that the Catholic Church wanted the Nazis, KKK or white supremacists banned. Isn’t that enough to support the First Amendment? (I wonder how anyone can’t quickly “rush” to condemn the members of these groups as haters. After all, we are talking about Nazis (remember WWII, the Holocaust?), the KKK (burning crosses, lynching?), and white supremacists (the white race above all others?). The Catholic spokespeople were exercising their First Amendment right of free speech by criticizing or even condemning the ideas and the behavior of these groups. I would not have expected less. Wouldn’t it have been a good idea if the Catholic Church had spoken out earlier in Nazi Germany when the real Nazis were coming to power?

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