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Right to insult religion

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
British Prime Minister David Cameron defended the right to speech that gives offense to others’ religious beliefs, in a rebuttal to Pope Francis who said there should be limits.

British prime minister rebuts Pope Francis: In a free society, we have a right to insult religion
The pontiff doesn't think you should be able to mock, insult or provoke other peoples faith. I disagree with that. I think it falls under freedom of speech. I think its your right to insult religion if you want. I don't have to like it or agree with it and I have a right to say that. I'm afraid if you start limiting some peoples free speech you will ultimately limit your own.

Should there be limits on insulting religion?
 
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Sim

Registered Member
The pontiff doesn't think you should be able to mock, insult or provoke other peoples faith. I disagree with that. I think it falls under freedom of speech. I think its your right to insult religion if you want. I don't have to like it or agree with it and I have a right to say that. I'm afraid if you start limiting some peoples free speech you will ultimately limit your own.

Should there be limits on insulting religion?
I agree with you, there should be no limits. Although I applaud every satirist who voluntarily decides not to deliberately hurt the feelings of people (religious or not).

It's freedom of speech -- if you don't like it, don't buy and read it, it's really simple. Nobody is forced to read Charlie Hebdo, i.e.

And if you feel insulted, you can write a letter in return. Or draw your own cartoons. Fair enough. But if you instead respond with violence, 100% of the blame is on you.


The only case when satire becomes tasteless, IMO, is when it starts attacking the weak. When satire allies with power (think of the many anti-Jewish cartoons made in favor of the Nazi government, for example). But most religions are not weak. Christianity and Islam certainly are not.

Besides, where do you draw the line? If you say it should be illegal to make cartoons of Mohammed or Jesus -- should it also be illegal to do scientific research on these people? Should any kind of suggestion that they were different than most believers think, be illegal? What about the Pope? Shouldn't he be just as much target of scrutiny as any other powerful human being -- especially considering the questionable, very worldly decisions Popes in the past were responsible for? It's a slippery slope.

In my experience, 99% of cartoons and satire targeting Jesus or Mohammed don't make fun of them as divine revelators -- but of the image many people make of them, the images they have in mind. And that should not just be illegal, but is important, IMO.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I agree with you, there should be no limits. Although I applaud every satirist who voluntarily decides not to deliberately hurt the feelings of people (religious or not).

It's freedom of speech -- if you don't like it, don't buy and read it, it's really simple. Nobody is forced to read Charlie Hebdo, i.e.

And if you feel insulted, you can write a letter in return. Or draw your own cartoons. Fair enough. But if you instead respond with violence, 100% of the blame is on you.


The only case when satire becomes tasteless, IMO, is when it starts attacking the weak. When satire allies with power (think of the many anti-Jewish cartoons made in favor of the Nazi government, for example). But most religions are not weak. Christianity and Islam certainly are not.

Besides, where do you draw the line? If you say it should be illegal to make cartoons of Mohammed or Jesus -- should it also be illegal to do scientific research on these people? Should any kind of suggestion that they were different than most believers think, be illegal? What about the Pope? Shouldn't he be just as much target of scrutiny as any other powerful human being -- especially considering the questionable, very worldly decisions Popes in the past were responsible for? It's a slippery slope.

In my experience, 99% of cartoons and satire targeting Jesus or Mohammed don't make fun of them as divine revelators -- but of the image many people make of them, the images they have in mind. And that should not just be illegal, but is important, IMO.
I believe that free speech should be exercised with good judgment. A certain level of censorship is ok but generally speaking I don't think that free speech (even in the case of religion) should be limited or regulated.

The basic rule here. Just because you can say something doesn't mean that you should.

I'm absolutely with you on the violent responses to free speech.
 
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Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I have to agree just because you can say something that doesn't mean you should. I just don't think there should be laws regulating free speech. Just use common sense before speaking. I've seen cartoons depicting Christ I thought were outrageous and demeaning but I didn't feel it gave me the right to kill someone over it. I have the right not to look at it or voice my anger over it.

There is this religious group in Idaho right now that won't take their kids to the doctor. They let them suffer and die of curable illnesses. I think they are nuts and don't mind saying it. Bet these same boneheads are against abortion. Some religious or religions need poked fun at because of their stupid interpretation of the religion.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I disagree with Pope Francis and agree with Cameron. The right to insult religion should be protected.

Muslim Immigrants Smash & Urinate on Virgin Mary Statue in Italy | The Gateway Pundit

This made me very angry. As a practicing Catholic I find this repulsive, nevermind hypocritical from the religion condemning people for urinating on the Koran or publishing pictures. I do however believe people have the right to insult religion, although in this instance we're also talking about destroying public property.

When one studies eschatology, specifically Islamic Eschatology, one would find these kinds of actions curious, and one would have to wonder if these inbred hooligans have even read the eschatology of their own religion, but that is a separate matter.
 
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Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I disagree with Pope Francis and agree with Cameron. The right to insult religion should be protected.

Muslim Immigrants Smash & Urinate on Virgin Mary Statue in Italy | The Gateway Pundit

This made me very angry. As a practicing Catholic I find this repulsive, nevermind hypocritical from the religion condemning people for urinating on the Koran or publishing pictures. I do however believe people have the right to insult religion, although in this instance we're also talking about destroying public property.

When one studies eschatology, specifically Islamic Eschatology, one would find these kinds of actions curious, and one would have to wonder if these inbred hooligans have even read the eschatology of their own religion, but that is a separate matter.
Looks like to me they think their religion is the only one that deserves respect. In many Islamic countries Christians and people of other faith aren't treated well.

"We Need Your Head": Muslim Persecution of Christians, July 2014
 
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Sim

Registered Member
When one studies eschatology, specifically Islamic Eschatology, one would find these kinds of actions curious, and one would have to wonder if these inbred hooligans have even read the eschatology of their own religion, but that is a separate matter.
Obviously they haven't. (As you certainly know, Jesus is considered a sacred prophet in Islam too, and so does His mother deserve respect in the eyes of Muslims -- even when they condemn pictures/statues.) As you say, they're just inbred hooligans who use their religion as an excuse.

The criticism of many teachings of Islam aside, it's not uncommon that many people who claim to follow a religion, don't really respect all of its teachings and/or fail to do so despite intention (is it the fault of the respective religion when its adherents are still sinners?).

Not to equate Christianity with Islam, but I doubt that the way certain Christians behave matches Jesus' teachings -- fueling hatred by burning Quran copies, or attacking gay people (as opposed to just hating the sin) or bombing abortion clinics.

You find radical nuts who claim to act in the name of their religion everywhere, who in the process do things their teachings hardly condone. The problem with Islam, as I see it, is that the number of these nuts is much, much larger than in case of other religions (in this day and age, at least).

That matters of identity and politics are mixed in too, certainly doesn't help. Islamism (as opposed to "Islam") is not just a religion, it's also a political ideology.
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Looks like to me they think their religion is the only one that deserves respect. In many Islamic countries Christians and people of other faith aren't treated well.

"We Need Your Head": Muslim Persecution of Christians, July 2014
Agreed.

Maybe the main problem is that Islam, unlike Christianity and Judaism, has never gone through the historical change of enlightenment/classical liberalism and is thus not up to the needs of a modern world.

When you look at Quran, you find that it isn't any more cruel than, say, the Mosaic Law in the OT. Yet I've never heard of Jews still stoning women to death who weren't virgins in wedding night.

Christianity was different insofar as it supposes a seperation of worldly power and religious power in the first place ("give the king what's the king's"), unlike Judaism or Islam, but even Christians didn't exactly behave very peacefully a couple of centuries ago.

But Judaism and Christianity were transformed by modernity. Islam is still stuck in a Dark Ages mentality (although I guess it can be transformed too, in theory).
 
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Doc_Fearless

Registered Member
I'm all for freedom of speech but I also believe freedom of speech comes with a degree of responsibility for every individual. I usually do not enter into discussions of religion for a few of my own reasons. First, I'm passive agnostic. 2nd, I think of people of faith like say someone who loves cars or even guns. Either can be fun, enlightening and even dangerous if improperly used just like religion and just because you like cars I would never try and talk you out of liking them, just caution you to use it wisely. Last, like most things in life religion should be a personal experience and who would I be to tell you a personal experience of any kind is wrong?

So I guess I can only speak for myself on my right to insult religion, I wouldn't.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Muslim scholars are trying to get the UN to outlaw defamation of religions, they want the prophets protected. Hope the UN doesn't do this but if they do screw them.

Muslim scholars urge UN to outlaw ‘contempt’ of religions
I want to just come right out and say that this idea is stupid, however, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see this happen in the UN. It seems that most Western countries are getting into this strange thought process of appeasing our enemies in hopes that it will help peace. In reality, it's setting a dangerous standard.

Here's where their argument falls short of any logic. Many Muslims KILL those who aren't Muslim and won't convert. They are literally commanded to do so in the Quran. Regardless of all of the peaceful Muslims out there, that's what their scriptures say to do. Doesn't sound like the type of Religion we even want to affiliate ourselves with.
 
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