This is an absolutely brilliant brilliant analysis of the situation we're in from Varad Mehta writing in The Federalist, mixing insights from popular culture with an incisive understanding of the foundations of free speech:
The right to blaspheme is not a duty to blaspheme. We are under no obligation to desecrate the Host or draw pictures of Muhammad. But we are no more obliged to allow those who find either action blasphemous to forbid them or dictate our response to them. Choice is intrinsic to the concept of an “individual right.” We may choose to exercise a right or we may refrain from doing so. But this choice must be made freely and without duress or coercion.
Unless these conditions are met, one cannot speak of an individual right, for the choice is being made for one, not by one. I may carry a gun, or I may not. I may testify on my own behalf, or I may not. I may write this essay, or I may not. But none of these choices may be compelled. A person with tape over his mouth is not remaining silent, he is being kept silent. There is no right if it may be exercised in only one direction.
I urge you to read the whole thing. In fact, I wish every high school student in America would read the whole thing…oh wait…if it's for high school, it would have to be at a slightly less intimidating reading level:
"Have you killed an infidel?
Does it make you feel real swell?
Knife and gun and bombs in pockets
For drawing cartoons of the prophet!"
Okay, every college student should read the essay...oh wait...we'd need a puppy room the size of Mile High Stadium to keep the Special Snowflakes' little heads from exploding! Trigger warning! Trigger warning! Run and hide!
We dance on the precipice, people.