Letter to the Editor: It’s a swear word – the f-word in free speech.
By the Rev. Dr. Thomas Mowbray, Nashua
On Sunday, Sept. 5th, my wife and I enjoyed a bike ride across the town until we passed the house at 174 Greenwood Avenue. One of the banners hanging on the porch read “F*** Biden and f*** you if you voted for him.”
I was personally offended by such hateful, profane and sinful language. The Big Four fair (was that) weekend, and the crowded fair grounds are just a few blocks east of that house. I wonder what visitors from out of town thought of the town of Nashua when they passed that house.
When we returned to our home, a brief search on my computer revealed quite a bit about “F*** Biden” signs and flags. A municipal judge in New Jersey misread a town law, and was accused of not understanding the First Amendment. A municipal judge in Roselle Park wrongly ordered a homeowner to remove signs with profanity, not realizing that the town’s law against obscene language does not abridge the property owner’s First Amendment rights.
I personally do not think that parents should have to explain what that sign means to their young children. As a grandfather, I should not have to explain what that banner means to my dear 7-year-old granddaughter. Such language is not illegal. Evidently, there is no local law concerning obscenity, and even if there was, it could not violate or abridge a person’s First Amendment rights.
Techdirt, an independent media outlet, writes about the f-word: “It’s a swear word” would be all the explanation most kids need. And most kids won’t need an explanation because they’re already familiar with the list of words not used in polite society.
Nevertheless, to the people who use or display such hateful, profane, offensive, and sinful language, I say: Shame on you! May God forgive you.