The controversy swirling around "Holocaust Denial"— and its first cousin, "Hate Crimes"—makes news every few weeks when intellectuals, university professors and writers who deny the 1940s event occurred are actually imprisoned in Germany, Italy, Canada, France and throughout the world. Many countries have specific laws making it a criminal offense to publicly deny that the Holocaust occurred in Europe during WWII, with prison sentences from six months to 20 years. Just minimizing the Holocaust can earn you hard time.
Some questions: Do we in America agree with those countries and their laws? Does not the existence of a hate law violate itself? Don't denial and hate laws impinge on one's freedom of speech and free will? Is not the law sometimes a jackass? Am I skating on thin ice just by writing that sentence?
"Holocaust Denial" laws are mentally invasive, controlling and scary; that they were even enacted is astounding. If it's wrong to deny an historical event, then should not the authorities arrest every member of The Flat Earth Society for denying that our planet is round? Or atheists for denying the existence of God? Or people who deny that H1N1 vaccines work? There should be no dearth of criminal suspects.
The day may come when electrodes are implanted in your brain at birth allowing its content to be downloaded and printed out—then if your adult thoughts and opinions conflict with the accepted dogma of the moment, you'll have just convicted yourself. The First and Fifth Amendments will soon be sick jokes.
Whatever you think ... might be a felony ... so don't even think.
George Orwell would sigh.
Because of our First Amendment rights, it would be easy to think there will never be laws in America to criminalize the denial of a popular issue—but simple citizens in Europe and around the world at one time probably thought the same thing.