, Salem, MA

December 11, 2013

Letter: Hate speech in Salem?

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

In a recent reader’s opinion comment concerning street preachers during the Halloween season, it was noted that amplifiers were used to convey their message. While I do sympathize with the reader’s annoyance at the use of loudspeakers, I take umbrage at the use of the phrase “hate speech.” The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of love. It is an invitation to anyone and everyone to an eternity void of hate.

By the reader’s own admission the hate came not on the part of the street preachers but on the part of “the ugly mob that taunted and humiliated them.” Preaching love is not hate speech, but taunting and humiliating those who do is not only hate speech it is bullying. Bullying has become an epidemic in our schools and more recently in sports. Freedom of speech is our right, but harassment and bullying is a crime. Perhaps without loud taunting and mobs of bullies harassing their free speech, no amplifiers would have been needed.

Ty Friley