Did you ever notice how many lawsuits these days result from the core sentiment that someone was wronged because they they were exercising their right to express themselves? It takes different forms, but ultimately, that is what so many actionable wrongs come down to. I want to say and /or do whatever I want and you need to step back and stay our of my way (or pay for it in many instances -- like the Virginia Vaginas angry girls or Democratic spokeswoman Sandra Fluke).
First case in point today along this line today comes to us from across the ocean and the sea, in Israel. Without going into a lot of detail about the politics of the region, let me just summarize an Israeli court's decision this week.
Now, regardless of which side of the millennia-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict you come down on, I am at a loss to understand why anyone in her right mind would inject herself into such a situation, much less get close enough to a freaking bulldozer as to be run over by it. Apparently, the judge was of the same mindset as I am. "Explaining the district court's ruling, Judge Oded Gershon said Corrie 'put herself in a dangerous situation' and called her death 'the result of an accident she brought upon herself.'"
Second case in point, following on that idea that there are people and whole countries that are not willing to coexist, we heard this week from the all but forgotten saga of murderer Nidal Hasan. Remember him? He is the Muslim Army major who killed 13 people at Fort Hood in a mass shooting in 2009.
The story is that Major Hasan's case is on hold for now because he has grown a beard and refuses to shave it. What? A beard holding up criminal prosecution? That's right. Hasan claims that he is Muslim, and it is against his religion for him to shave. Forcing him to do so would violate his right to express himself in the way that his religious beliefs demand.
Some weeks ago, a military judge ordered Hasan to be forcibly shaved. This would have restored him to the code grooming standards that he sported prior to his murderous rampage three years ago.
The court on Monday also ordered [Judge] Gross, if he does order the forcible shaving of Hasan, to address whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to the court-martial and to spell out “why forcible shaving is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest.”