A number of blogs and editorials have commented the last few days about the thwarted burning of a Quran in Texas. This entry from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA is typical. I made the following comment to a similar post on Will Shetterly's blog: I've been thinking about this for a while. I was applauding like everyone else yesterday when I saw the video, but this morning I woke up with a nagging thought. Another way of describing this incident is that we showed up in large numbers and physically intervened to prevent a man's constitutional freedom of expression, intimidating him into leaving the park. Mild, as shows of force go, but is this really a slope we want be slipping on?
The reason I decided to post about it myself is the last line from the UUCVA post: "Thought I would share the story that all the YA's in my community are excited about right now." In other words, they are excited about the use of force and intimidation to counter protests. Yes, as I said above, it's a mild show of force- but in that very counter-protest some were carrying signs saying "Where they have burned books they will end in burning human beings". Shouldn't we be warning those YA's that a slope is slippery from both sides?