Recently, an evangelical group in Florida blamed TLC, an education TV Chanel, for its show All American Muslim, protesting that it was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.” Due to the pressure, Lowe’s, the home improvement company, withdrew its advertising from the show. Thousands of Lowe’s Facebook fans rightfully laid into them for their cowardly withdrawal, and a petition with roughly 200,000 signatures was delivered to their figurative doorsteps – to no avail.
How long can one go on pandering to bigots? It is one thing to have freedom of speech, although it’s quite another to use that freedom to claim that any television show which depicts Muslims as regular, law-abiding folks-next-door is telling a dangerous lie. But this move, perpetrated first by the evangelical wingnuts and secondly by a prominent corporation like Lowe’s, is abusing freedom of speech, while dealing a nasty backhand to our country’s vaunted freedom of religion.
I was heartened by all the major networks’ and comedy talk show host’s responses to the absurdity of the bigots’ claims.
The ability to speak your mind and follow your own faith are two of this country’s cornerstones of liberty. How can one right be the instrument of violating the other? How is this American?