FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Free Speech and Criticism of Religion
You Can Say Anything You Want About Christ – Not So Much Mohammad
Boy! That was a knee-slapper. The REVERAND Jerry Falwell getting drunk and just a-wailin’ on his momma in the outhouse. Larry Flynt made him look sillier than Sheriff Ros-cooo P. Coltrane. It just doesn’t get any funnier than that.*
That was free speech, not libel. In Falwell v. Hustler Magazine the US Supreme Court told us all how funny and satirical a parody this truly was. French Wise-man Voltaire tells us that we are ruled by those we are not allowed to criticize. I guess we can all lighten up and not worry about the coming religious theocracy. I’m sure Hustler Magazine will be doing a similar parody involving The Prophet Mohammad next month. It worked so well for Salmon Rushdie.
Of course nobody in Hollywood or the publishing industry will dare do such a “parody” or refer to any leader in the “newly democratized” Middle East with a slightly less than technical term for the female reproductive organ. We apparently have no 1st Amendment Rights to criticize people that will willingly rip someone’s intestines out to voice their displeasure over such “comedy.”
This unwritten rule was demonstrated as Mike Barnicle and Donny Deutsch discussed Pastor Terry Jones on MSNBC. Apparently, if Muslims kill people over how the Prophet Muhammad is portrayed in a film produced in the United States, The Department of Justice should now prosecute them.
MIKE BARNICLE: Given this supposed minister’s role in last year’s riots in Afghanistan, where people died, and given his apparent or his alleged role in this film, where, not yet nailed down, but at least one American, perhaps the American ambassador is dead, it might be time for the Department of Justice to start viewing his role as an accessory before or after the fact.
DONNY DEUTSCH: I was thinking the same thing, yeah.
The US Embassy in Egypt demonstrated just exactly how precarious 1st Amendment Rights can truly become. The embassy has been editing it’s Twitter Wire vigorously, but the bottom line remains that they said what they said. Here’s what they had to say regarding the recent “comic” portrayal of Mohammad.
Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
So it’s perfectly cool to describe a Christian Minister getting drunk and losing his virginity to his own mother in the outhouse. It’s deplorable and according to our embassy in Egypt “We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” If I were a more cynical man I would condemn Jerry Falwell for failing to shoot enough people to properly defend his personal honor.
We are now living in a “modified” democracy where you have a right to free speech as long as you don’t “abuse” it. That is, you can talk smack about anyone who doesn’t have the guts to smack a few people around. As soon as an assailant is willing to greet vocal or written criticism with automatic weapons fire, you are abusing your universal right of free speech if you criticize them. The reaction of the American Media and The US Embassy in Egypt has done more to threaten Democracy and human rights than Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson at their gay-bashing, 9-11 Truther worst.
*- Unless you read above a 4th Grade level and think with something other than your sexual genitalia.