U.S. Secretary of StateJohn Kerry, on his first overseas trip since replacingHillary Clintonas the nation's top diplomat, met with a group ofBerlin's youths on Tuesday and said that inAmerica"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 ourSupreme Courtallows 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. InAmericayou 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 counterpartGuido Westerwelle, ChancellorAngela Merkeland Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Presented by Adam Justice