Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

    [Content Caution]

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Freedom of Speech (Not)

Posted by Dale Kuehne on May 3, 2010

Can we agree to disagree anymore?



One Response to “Freedom of Speech (Not)”

  1. Lauren Fithian said

    I am continually amazed by the apparent differences in what we in the US understand as the scope of our free speech rights and the narrower scope in other “western” societies. In the US full-out hate groups can stand around with signs that claim gays, “feminists” and Muslims are evil and responsible for all of the world’s ills. The KKK can march in support of white supremacy. We understand that the donning of a burqa is protected freedom of speech and religion–even if we are unhappy about the historical origins of the practice. When freedom of speech sinks to the level of inciting violence it is no longer protected. This UK case just seems absurd. It would not even come close to fitting our narrower parameters under specific “hate-speech” laws. Week after week preachers across the US proclaim the supposed evils of homosexuality.

    As for “agreeing to disagree”: We are not talking about deciding what’s for supper here. There are many categories of issues in life upon which we can agree to disagree. But these don’t have the kind of potential negative fallout that the topic of homosexuality can have. When our “leaders” preach that being gay is intrinsically disordered, an abomination, etc… and that gay sex is evil/sinful/the cause of worldwide natural disasters, one of the potential results is hateful and even violent acts perpetrated against gays. Mere preaching that the Bible says homosexuality and/or gay sex is a sin sits ever so narrowly outside of the next level of reckless and dangerous condemnation of gays on the spectrum.

    Should we agree to disagree that it is okay to hit children because the Bible condones it? Should we agree to disagree that women are second class humans and subjects of their husbands because we can find some reference to that in the BIble or the Quran? How about capital punishment? When injustice, hate, violence, repression, fear and rejection of the “other”, etc… are the unfortunate results of a viewpoint we cannot just sit around “disagreeing” with each other. There are countries on our earth where laws have been passed or have been proposed that make it a crime to be gay, and call for imprisonment or worse of our gay brothers and sisters because of who they are. Where does this start? My moral conscience does not allow me to agree to disagree on this one.

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