Remember a few days ago, when, in response to the controversy about the Ground Zero Mosque, liberals were reminding us of the First Amendment and -- at an even higher decibel level -- the value of tolerance, even for religious expression some might find hurtful and offensive?
Now there's a new controversy involving a minister for a small congregation in Florida. The minister is planning to burn copies of the Koran to protest Islam (or something -- I confess I don't understand precisely what he has in mind).
Are the liberals reminding us of all that tolerance stuff that was so important last week?
Not exactly. Here's what a leading liberal, who also happens to be our chief prosecutor (and thus in a uniquely menacing position to chill speech) has to say. Fox News reports:
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder is calling the planned burning of the Quran at a Florida church idiotic and dangerous.That's the word from religious leaders who met with Holder for nearly an hour Tuesday to discuss recent attacks on Muslims and mosques around the United States.
The meeting was closed to reporters, but a Justice Department official who was present confirmed that Holder said that the plan by the Rev. Terry Jones to burn copies of the Quran at his church in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday was idiotic.
'Lan sakes alive! Not a word about tolerance, pluralism, the First Amendment or any of that.
For the record, Mr. Holder is correct on the merits. Burning the Koran is idiotic and dangerous (as General Patraeus has noted). To treat all Muslims as terrorists, and the Koran as a terror manual, is, for starters, factually wildly incorrect, not to mention disgraceful. But the point to remember is that our Attorney General appears to be quite selective in his appreciation of free speech rights. Some conservative extremists might worry about this.