On Blasphemy

The riots over the Danish cartoons that mock the prophet Muhammed got me thinking about the nature of blasphemy and public tolerance.

Perhaps to nobodies surprise, I am pro-blasphemy. I've never thought that a religion should have the power to dictate how it is criticized, represented, or have any 'right' to force others to abstain from mocking it.

If you are silly enough to believe in invisible things, than you should be brave enough to put up with our laughter at your choices.

Either your faith is big enough to accomodate dissent (especially from non-believers - but internal heretics count here as well), or it isn't sufficiently robust enough to warrant belief.

To the Danes feeling the pressure to recant and to censor themselves for the benefit of a religious element not used to criticism, I say 'you were behaving like jerks, but I support your right to be jerks'.

To those who would support the restrictions of free-speech for any reason, I quote Ben Franklin;

'The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either.'

Lastly, let me say, that blasphemy itself should be protected speech.

Allowing any religious group to place itself above criticism - fair or not - is to give in to Theocracy. To have real freedom means having the freedom to think and speak outside of the normative. Without the power to criticise, to mock, or even to blaspheme, we are all incontrovertibly lost.

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