Saturday, March 31, 2007

Defamation of Religion

The UN Human Rights Council voted 24-14 to urge a global ban on public defamation of religion, specifically, Islam. Now I think it is rude silliness to poke sharpened sticks at people's religion, but I was also under the impression that Human Rights involved some little items like freedom of speech. I'm real sure there are Christians who will get their panties in a knot because Islam is mentioned, even though they'd applaud this as applied to their brand of god. Fortunately this sort of short sighted stupidity doesn't make anyone do anything, it is, however, illustrative. Quite frankly if your religion is soooooo fragile that it can't withstand some ridicule your god ain't worth spit. If you want to talk to me about creators of a universe that wilt because I thumb my nose at them, I'm entirely underwhelmed. It might be fairly rude to publish a picture of Mohammed with a bomb for a penis, but it would be funny and it would make a point and if Mohammed can't take it, well, he's a pussy. Oh yeah, Christians, there are things that could be done with your god as well and be just as funny and make just as good a point. No, I wouldn't expect you to like it either. So what?

It sure isn't hard to find all kinds of political/religious stupidity to poke fun at...


t.a. said...

Chuck, i'm sure you're old enough to remember Pogo -- or perhaps it's just that i used to read my dad's books of Pogo. but Walt Kelly, Pogo's creator, used to write how little imagination he needed given the way people are.

that said, you know that free speech has its limits -- and that the extremes must, to some extent, but defined by law. i am not free to write in BlueOregon that you support the terrorists and have been known to frequent NAMBLA meetings. i also can't publish articles saying how jolly good it would be if people (not you, dear reader, nor i) would preserve the purity of our land and kill these bad people.

banning the public defamation of religion is problematic, but given what the "free" American media is doing with things like "24" and every other terrorist movie, i'm not sure i can disagree with this. plus, one of the ways we make progress in society is to over-react to a situation and then, after we see the problems the over-reaction caused, scale it back to a more appropriate level.

unfortunately this will have a side-effect of opening the door for a different kind of anti-Islam speech: people attacking those who seek to block the attacks, which lets them attack Islam by proxy. so possibly the best thing, as my Mom might have said, would be to consider the source of the speech and ignore it. but under the circumstances, and given the consequences of the hate speech, it's hard not to see that these rules might be necessary.

Chuck Butcher said...

As Pogo used to say,"We have met the enemy and he is us."

Chuck Butcher said...

Oh, actually you are free to write those things about me since I'm a public figure, courtesy of my 06 primary. And this Blog (which reaches considerably fewer).

As long as you couch your hate speech in theoretical terms, not stand at a lynching egging it on, you can pretty much say that also. Don't publish specific names and addresses with your exhortations and you should be fine. The government is very hamstrung when it comes to speech.

I cannot write falsehoods about my quiet non-public neighbor without facing libel.

KISS said...

A politician can: Lie, Cheat, say terrible libelous things about an opponent, and embezzle campaign money for his personal doings and receive not an iota of criminal pursuit by the law.
On the other hand if I say a cattle feeder farm stinks I can go to jail.
Just goes to show our experiment in representative government is a failure. I wonder what a Democracy would be like?