The shooting victim at the center of the debate about politics, religion and free speech
by Hailey Branson-Potts
Nicholas Thalasinos wasn't shy about his beliefs.
He took to Facebook and Twitter several times a day to opine about radical Islam, President Obama, abortion and Israel.
Thalasinos was one of 14 people killed in the Dec. 2 attack at a holiday party for the San Bernardino County Public Health Department. One of Thalasinos' co-workers at the department, Syed Rizwan Farook, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire in what is the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11.
And in the days after the slaughter, Thalasinos has become the focal point of an incendiary debate about free speech and the use of social media as a tool for persuading and proselytizing.
A conservative Messianic Jew who believed in Jesus Christ as his savior while adhering to traditional elements of Judaism, Thalasinos enjoyed initiating spirited discussions about politics and religion with anyone who would listen.
He was seldom seen without his tzitzis — Jewish tassels — and was known for bright shirts, suspenders and a star of David tie clip. His social media persona was even less inhibited.
Facebook administrators suspended his account so many times — he called it "Facebook jail" — that he created an alter ego to continue posting.
Thalasinos took to Twitter too, using the handle @LeastServant. "The OBAMA ADMINISTRATION keeps INSISTING ISIS ISNT Islamic — HELLO, the I in ISIS stands for ISLAM!" he tweeted Nov. 16.
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