On Sunday, October 7, pastors around the country will try to bait the federal government into investigating them by preaching explicitly partisan sermons. As part of a conservative movement organizers call “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” some religious leaders will endorse Mitt Romney from the pulpit. Others may refrain from an endorsement but vigorously criticize President Obama. And some will tell their congregations that a good Christian can only vote for a candidate who opposes gay marriage and abortion.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly this morning, President Barack Obama vigorously defended the freedom of speech, noting that even if the U.S. government could prevent the dissemination of offensive statements and images, it would never do so. “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression,” said Obama. “It is more speech—the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.” Obama began his remarks with a tribute to U.S.