Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Iran's President: 'We don't have Homosexuals'

That was the tagged headline of the CNN article updating the world on President Ahmadinejad speech to Columbia University. Thanks to J, I was able to follow the Speech and Q & A through the NY Times. Some one was blogging 'live' from the auditorium.

That statement of course is one of the many controversial responses that Mahmoud said today in response to students' questions, as Human Rights Watch Groups will attest. (Most homosexual activity - i.e. those that are caught - is punished with death, and many of the 'perpetrators' are teenagers)

My only real response is - Only in America. And I'm coming to believe whole-heartily today that because we let this person speak the First Amendment, despite its most recent erosions, is alive and well today in America.

Yes, it's true - at first I was wary of Mahmoud visiting NYC - and yes I found it repulsive that this person, who we're told leads a country of terrorist, dare defile our shrine and tomb that is the WTC site. But you know - this is a wonderful testament to the American Experiment and Experience - truly America is a place of the free exchange of ideas.

He had his chance to speak, and guess what, so did we. Protesters lined the street and the students, the Students! They had the chance to ask the hard hitting questions to grill him and demand honest answers, and they did - well at least they got answers, time will tell if they were honest or not. Let's see if Mr. Ahmadinejad means what he espouses or if this was just more political bloviating.

I say congratulations to New York City, congratulations to Columbia University, and Congratulations to its students for standing up and exercising this hallmark of the American Tradition in a way that was not unbecoming of truly civilized society, of what it means when we say that there was a "free exchange."

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St. Izzy said...

Do you think that maybe the way homosexual behavior is dealt with in Iran would be the reason why they've run out of gays?

Just a thought.

Mattheus Mei said...

Yes, I agree. I'd say every time a gay surfaces and you put them to death, or when someone appears to be gay or show the tendancies you put them to death - that is why you don't have any gays. :-P