I started out as a First Amendment absolutist. I remain as pragmatically attached to the notion as life will admit: there ARE no absolutes on the terrestrial sphere. But an issue came up (I dare you to figure out WHICH news story this was occasioned by) and this was my response in various public fora:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” ~ The First Amendment
The unfortunate corollary to the First Amendment is that butthurt, no matter how well-intentioned, has been sacrificed to the right to express one’s self freely.
There may be consequences, but butthurt NEVER trumps the First Amendment as a priority in our republic. In our plutocracy, however, butthurt seems to reign supreme. Alas.
I didn’t spend my twenties and thirties in the First Amendment front lines just so that perceived emotional grievance would rule public discourse. This may not be popular, but, factually, neither has the First Amendment been.
You cannot choose both sides of the dilemma.
But remember, censorship for offending delicate sensibilities rapidly leads to censorship for offending the powerful. Rather to endure some true boors than be waterboarded by them.
It’s one thing to believe in imaginary lines;
quite another to stand in them. ~ author