Really, France? The country that prides itself on its liberté responds to an unfunny, hateful and stupid Facebook comment by arresting the idiot who posts it? The week after holding a march honoring free speech as well as those killed over exercising free speech? France does have a long tradition of conditional liberty. I think we all know the famous quote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, unless you post it on Facebook, in which case you deserve to be arrested.” (This quote is really, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It is misattributed to Voltaire but is actually a phrase used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall to describe Voltaire’s position.)
On Wednesday, French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who goes by his first name only, was arrested for being an “apologist for terrorism” over a post he wrote on Facebook on Monday: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly,” mixing the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan in solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting with a reference to Amédy Coulibaly, the man who killed four people at a kosher supermarket last week.
WWJD? What Would Jesus Do? Well, according to former Governor and current Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.,) he would let his fiancee know it was over through a Facebook post heavily steeped in Christianity. He cites Jesus once, Christ twice, prayer twice, and “God” five times.
You may remember Mark Sanford from back in June of 2009 when, as governor, he went AWOL for six days. No biggie. His spokesman stated he had gone to hike the Appalachian Trail. But that wasn’t true. Or the spokesman is a big fan of sexual innuendo. Either way, it turned out Sanford had redeemed his frequent flyer miles and flown to Buenos Aires to spend some much-needed quality time away from his wife and children and with his girlfriend, journalist Maria Belen Chapur.
The fallout for Sanford wasn’t bad. Because only democrats get in trouble for infidelity even though they don’t legislate people’s love or sex lives, he remained governor. In 2012 the by now divorced Lothario became engaged to Chapur and in 2013 he won a special election for Tim Scott’s seat in congress.