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February 23, 2006

Comments

Jim

"...where are the German-speaking libertarians ..."

Where indeed? I wasn't aware there was such a thing. This is not a culture that respects that kind of thing at all. In fact there's nothing very surprising in this at all.

dsquared

Printing the paper and even probably sending it to television stations would be protected under UK law, but sending insults through the post, like making insulting phone calls, is harassment pure and simple (in this case, specifically religious harassment) and there is nothing at all odd about the fact that this bigot and nutter has faced the consequences of his actions. Although the German statute (which also protects "philosophies of life" and has to be balanced against "the freedom of art" according to these types:

http://www.interights.org/page.php?dir=Publication&page=premingeramicus.php

) is a pretty bad one, this seems to me like the worst possible test case.

Chuckles

[...harassment pure and simple...]

Then why not jail him for harrasment? Why jail him for \"insulting religious beliefs\"? This is the point! Is there no law against harrasment in Germany? This is just judicial activism run amok. What a load of crap. Insulting religious beliefs? Yeah right!

dsquared

[Is there no law against harrasment in Germany?]

quite possibly not, as it was only passed in the UK in the 1980s IIRC. It doesn't look to me to be judicial activism, as the law on insults to beliefs is certainly there on the German statute books; it's not applied very often and it's not a very good law but it is there and I don't see any reason to believe it wasn't applied correctly in this case.

Jim

Germany has at least one very powerful law against insults, but IIRC it is the equivalnet of a civil case; ie, you have to sue the person who insulted you. Religious insult would probably fall under this law. And it functions as a harassment law. It's not all bad; the perennial discrimination in West Germany against black US servicemen was stopped by such a lawsuit. An American Captain was denied entry to a nightclub, and because this was done in a courteous manner, it isolated the denial of access itself as the actual insult. The court found in his favor. That was back sometime in the 80's.

Jorg

"The war may be 60 years in the past, but Germans clearly still have quite a bit to learn about freedom from the "Anglo-Saxons" who defeated them"

How very kind you are.
I am looking forward to your lectures...

Seriously, what is the difference between the German laws and anti-hate speech laws in the US???
It's not a rhetorical question. I just want to know.


Besides, I think the Austrian and the German courts made the right decision. I am not so sure if US courts made the right decision when they ruled in favor of someone who sued McDonalds for self-imposed (expression?) burns due to spilling their hot coffee. This isn't anti-hate stuff, but some crazy liability stuff. Would you call that Amerikanischer Wahnsinn?

Would you like to participate in our Carnival of US-German relations on March 11, 2006?

The idea is to promote dialogue between Americans and Europeans as well as liberals and conservatives from both sides of the Atlantic.

http://america-germany.atlanticreview.org/

dsquared

the USA does not have any "hate speech" laws; they would be unconstitutional. What you're thinking of are the "hate crime" laws, which define racial or sexual bigotry as an aggravating circumstance for many offences, plus the "speech policies" of lots of US educational institutions.

Pithlord

Chuckles, I don't think the phrase "judicial activism" means what you think it means.

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