Friday, January 16, 2015

Freedom of Speech and of the Press

These are foundational principles upon which this great nation was founded.  It is not mainstream speech that needs protection, saying what everyone else is saying, doing what everyone else is doing, and believing what everyone else is believing is fairly safe, it is only the speech of the outliers, the obnoxious, those swimming against the stream that require the protections offered by the first amendment.

Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, these are the things that put the David Dukes and Westboro Baptist Churches of our world on your evening news.  The man in funny shoes, hat, and a dress (Pope Francis) says "You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others, You cannot make fun of the faith of others."  That's funny, considering his primary job is to preach the gospel of a man that was provocative and insulting to the powers that be, It's not readily documented but I'm pretty sure he made fun of the Pharisees too.  Under the rules outlined by the Pope I'm sure Jesus would have been jailed for "hate speech", he certainly would have been jailed today for vandalizing the money-lenders in the temple.  I certainly found it surprising that the #1 disciple of Jesus today would (half-jokingly) punch you for insulting his mother, but he's Latin American so culturally I suppose we need to forgive him for his machismo.

But this isn't a post about religion, it's a poach about speech.  I wonder if those of you willing to restrict the speech of those offending Islam would be willing to toss Arne Niklas Jansson and the members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti monster in jail?

Fair Use: (c) Arne Niklas Jansson

Are they not making fun of someone's religion?

The Creation of Adam: Michelangelo

I made fun of the Pope above, should I be jailed? My speech restricted?  Is it a hate crime?  I certainly don't hate the Pope or the Catholic Church. Now my intent is certainly different from Charlie Hebdo, I poke my fun good-naturedly, their intent is to ridicule, to expose as farcical not only Islam but the aforementioned Catholic Church, and all religion. Many Christians found this offensive, to the point of vandalism and death threats.

Piss Christ: Andres Serrano

Indeed many Christians found this next film offensive and it was banned in Ireland, Norway, and by several UK town councils. 

What is offensive is quite relative, I find none of the works displayed here offensive, I'm sure some of you will find some, or all of them offensive. Are you willing to ban them? 

There is a fine line between Freedom of Speech and oppression.



No comments: