Free Speech and Responsible Speech: Is There a Difference?

Does the right to free speech include the right to be offensive? Does the nature or the intention of the speech matter? If we take steps to block certain kinds of speech, do we jeopardize our 1st Amendment rights?


  1. Below is part of the developing story from The, a sarcastic news source that lampoons politics and society. Then you'll see a You Tube news story reaction and a news story pondering whether this particular bit of satire "went too far." 

    One of the questions here I think is: What is too far? Does the sarcastic nature of the organization automatically excuse it from responsibility? Are people being over-sensitive? 
  2. Congress Takes Group Of Schoolchildren Hostage! Outrage Over Story By "The Onion"
  3. Sarcastic language, joking language may be in a different category from hate language. The intent of hate language is to evoke hatred and violence toward a particular group. Below are a couple of stories about Terry Jones, a pastor in Gainesville, FL, who tried to organize "Burn a Koran Day," on September 11, 2010. 
  4. 9/11 Quran Burning Cancelled by Pastor Terry Jones
  5. This is a vlogger named Dan Brown, who was asked to talk to his audience about his views of free speech. See what you think of his views. 
  6. So... we have the freedom to say or write whatever we want, but what is our responsibility toward our society in saying and writing what we want? Does the well-intended attempt to be inoffensive get in the way of real discourse? 

    Start with some journal entries and look for some additional sources, then you'll be turning in an essay/story on this.