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U.S. Secretary Of State Says Americans Have A Right To Be Stupid

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Published on Feb 26, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on his first overseas trip since replacing Hillary Clinton as the nation's top diplomat, met with a group of Berlin's youths on Tuesday (February 26) and said that in America "you have a right to be stupid" when he spoke about religious freedom and tolerance in the U.S.

"We live and breathe the idea of religious freedom and religious tolerance, whatever the religion and political freedom and political tolerance, whatever the point of view. I mean, you know, some people have sometimes wondered why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it's the most provocative thing in the world and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another," Kerry said.

"And the reason is that, that's freedom, freedom of speech. In America you have a right to be stupid, if you want to be, and you have the right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be. And we tolerate it and somehow we make it through that. Now I think that's a virtue. I think that's something worth it fighting for," he added.

The comments were made hours before Kerry was due to hold key diplomatic talks with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

After Berlin, the U.S. Secretary of State, who is on an 11-day trip of Europe and the Middle East, will travel to Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha before he returns home on March 6.

The centerpiece of Kerry's European tour is a visit to Rome where he hopes to meet members of the Syrian opposition as well as a wider group of nations seeking to support them in their nearly two-year quest to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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