Mark, i'm not sure from reading your blog entry on free speech if this is what you were getting at, but it was vague enough that i want to address it anyways: i never said people should be silent. rather, i asked people to share their concerns in a way that is useful. that is a very different request from "try[ing to] force people not to say certain things".
in a project such as kde there is no point in leveling complaints in a way that will not lead to resolution of those issues. doubly so when you use your free speech to harm, harass and belittle others for no other reason than to harm harass and belittle. just as with any act of violence, violence spoken should be met with resistance. (if you don't believe that there is such a thing as violence spoken, read up on the issue of verbal and emotional abuse.)
you say that the "best way to confront idiotic or bigotted (sic) views is through public debate where they can be reasoned with rather than ignored", but this completely ignores the effect such idiotic an bigoted eruptions have on the health of the community. i have no issue with someone finding something to complain about; i do have issue with someone bringing it to the project in a non-constructive manner. the cost to the project of having no social contract in play when it comes to such discourse is simply too high to bear.
i do completely agree with you on the matter of free speech being something to be protected even when we don't agree with the content of it, however there is the related topic of the responsibility that one needs to exercise when engaging in free speech out of respect for both the right itself as well as for others. when someone does not exercise that responsibility, it is completely my right to not listen to them and even to remove them from my personal areas.
this community of ours is a shared personal area. it is a choice to participate in a free software project, not a right nor something you are predisposed to at birth. therefore your right, as well as mine, to engage in free speech must be respected as a general principle in life, but it need not be allowed to infringe on the health and well-being of the project.
to put in practical terms: there is a good reason we flag things as off-topic on mailing lists, and even have lists that are moderated.