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Friday, February 22, 2013

Cracking down on Blasphemy

The vile anti-Muslim video and the First Amendment: Does the U.S. overvalue free speech? - Slate Magazine


"The problem with arguing that blasphemy shouldn't have First Amendment protection lies in defining blasphemy. If I were to say "Jesus Christ is the Son of God" I have just committed a rather foul blasphemy by both Jewish and Muslim standards (to say nothing of the Atheist view of such a statement). But if I say "Jesus Christ was just another preacher of no special significance" then I have committed a Christian blasphemy. And those three religions all worship the same God. Either statement is blasphemy to a Hindu, and Hindu polytheism is blasphemous to Christians, Jews AND Muslims.

For that matter, you cannot teach a comparative religion class without committing blasphemy or bias, since you either have to start with the presumption a given religion might not be The One True Way or you have to declare one religion is right and that others are wrong. Bias and/or blasphemy.

"I feel that you have no right to write this article. I am offended and thinking about setting things on fire."

"There is no reason at all why we should allow the sensibilities of other people to define our rights. But Mr. Posner is free to go live under Sharia Law if he holds freedom of expression in such poor regard."

"So, Posner, you'll be happy for us to censor your articles?"

"Your view seems to be that we should reward violence... When Muslims react to mockery with violence liberals seek to accommodate them. When Christians react to mockery with turning the other cheek liberals mock them even more and accuse them of all manner of crimes and fanaticism."

"Sharia is not a comprehensive legal code. The word translates roughly to "justice." Many Muslim countries have recognized that it is incompetent in criminal law because it lacks procedures for investigation and discovery and that it is severely limited in civil law because it has not adapted to modern necessities of contract law. It is widely used for family law, in much the same way that many modern religions have turned to counseling as the hearing of first resort"
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