Reason, common sense and an understanding of mission is rearing its head at the University of California-Berkeley.
University administrators are declaring that liberal comedian/pundit Bill Maher will be allowed to speak at a campus event despite protests from students who are angered by his recent comments about Islam.
Students have circulated petitions seeking to rescind Maher’s invitation to speak at Cal-Berkeley over comments he made that said, essentially, that Islam fosters terrorist acts.
The effort to pull back the invitation is silly on its face and is offensive at many levels.
Maher’s freedom of expression is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. His comments, while controversial and (to some folks) offensive, do not rise to the level of something that should be censored. Finally, universities should be a place where all ideas are heard, discussed and debated.
Finally, Cal-Berkeley is known around the world as a sort of Ground Zero of progressive thought. By definition, progressives should be open to all points of view. Let’s not take some namby-pamby view that allows thoughts that don’t rile us up, get our hearts started, cause us to hyperventilate.
Cal-Berkeley issued this statement: “UC Berkeley administration cannot and will not accept this decision, which appears to have been based solely on Mr. Maher’s opinions and beliefs, which he conveyed through constitutionally protected speech.”
So, let the man speak. Those who don’t want to hear him are free to do something else … like study.