Blasphemy Vs Freedom of Speech?
There is much ado of late about a published comic depicting the prophet Mohammed in a less than formal, respectful way. Indeed, angry Islamic radicals have taken to burning a Danish diplomatic mission in Beirut and in Syria. Diplomatic relations are effectively severed. Demonstrations have occurred in many countries, some violent and some non-violent. All told, probably millions of Islamic people have actively expressed anger publicly, as they believe any form of disrespect of their prophet or any other aspect of their religion is grounds for punishment, indeed death. The Lebanese government has apologized to the Danish government, but that doesnít change the reality of Lebanon having thousands of uncontrolled militants.
Isnít that a hoot? Childish destructive behavior and threatened violence over a perceived insult are sure signs that such followers of that religion deserve little to no respect. You see, forcing the requirements of oneís chosen religion on others is nothing but bullshit. Yes, thatís right folks, and that is why we have a first amendment to our Constitution and separation of church and state Ö though at times I have doubted the latter with such foolish things as "intelligent design" and laws to limit stem cell research and other areas of genetic engineering.
The word blasphemy is well known within Christianity, and in the past the Catholic Church and the Puritans and others were all too happy to imprison or kill those who voiced objections to official religious policy. Indeed, our early religious fervor led to the killing of innocent people as witches. So, it isnít only those who practice Islam radically who have to be carefully watched and controlled. The communist Chinese must also be contained, for in their instance it is sick ideology instead of radical religion that is the problem in denying citizens free speech.
People, indeed all people, are free to choose whatever religion they want, and to practice it, provided they do not impede me or other people in what we want to do, or darken my doorstep uninvited. It is the very nature of our major religions to preach about unproved afterlife scenarios, and so they are unreliable to use as a basis for governments, because governments must be effective in the present, meeting the present physical and security needs of the citizens. Theocracies are thus seen as simply a convenient method of controlling the masses when living conditions are poor and ignorance abounds.
Does anyone recall the author, Salmon Rushdie? Do you remember all the death threats made against him for publishing his opinions about Islam in "The Satanic Verses?" Does any person, regardless of religious belief, have the right to engage in "terroristic threatening" and sometimes the actual act of murder? Does the history of severe punishments in Arab countries for small crimes evoke any respect from you? It certainly does not from me. They are ignorant and nasty and they need to be thoroughly subjugated so as not to spoil enjoyment of life by sane people who know how to follow the golden rule and practice laisse faire. Where I live, "terroristic threatening" is a felony. Adults watch what they say to those they do not like, or they go to jail, particularly if they threaten to do bodily harm.
Thus, there is a huge difference between choosing a given set of beliefs and behaviors and following them privately, vs. trying to force those beliefs on all people by threats of vengeance. Are we all to be blackmailed for being "infidels?" Do we really give a shit what those people choose to believe? I do not, until they attempt to export their terrorism. Then I believe they need to be subjugated in the same manner as we incarcerate or commit to institutions those individuals who canít seem to learn to let other people alone and respect other peoples rights to be who they choose to be. In this instance, the prison for the radical Islamic people is being forced to live and travel only within their own country.
I believe it is sad that our president and other politicians never speak frankly about this true basis for controlling Islamic nations bent on radical behavior. Yes, of course we are trying to assure our oil supply, and that explains our evil actions in Iraq. But our failure to be frank publicly about the necessity to squash any militant religious practices and practitioners is sickening. No one wants to be candid publicly because of that idiotic thing called political correctness. So we hide our motives and as a result we do a poor job in an essential function, that of controlling maniacs.
More than anything else, the dollars wasted in Iraq and the continuous pot-boiling political atmosphere there is proof that we have wasted our resources for lack of commitment to do the job properly. I say we should shit or get off the pot, for all the pussyfooting has led us nowhere good. We have lost political momentum within the USA; we have squandered close to $400 billion and see no value in doing that again. Hell, that money should have been spent on developing alternative energy sources. Imagine the overwhelming long term impact of that much money spent in Research and Development of solar cells, etc.
A large part of the answer to dealing effectively with the oil producing Islamic nations is to return them economically to the state they were in prior to oil field development. That means we have to develop alternative energy, period, and make certain all other nations of the civilized world have it too. Our historical efforts to support Israel to keep the more radical Islamic nations on edge and feeling powerless will not work much longer unless the Israelis do the unthinkable with nuclear weapons. Indeed, we have a very bad situation brewing with the Iranian nuclear weapon development program.
How bad is bad? Well, if you have a radical Islamic theocracy with nuclear weapons you have certainty of future nuclear war with Israel and other nations, directly or through terrorists, and in no particular order. All the major UN nations understand that future result if Iran is allowed to proceed, so there is obvious cooperation now between nations that frequently polarize from each other. The response to the Denmark comic caricature was most telling, and it served to bring reasonable nations together within the UN to halt nuclear proliferation.
The only question now is whether or not we will get over our sick case of political correctness and get on with elimination of terrorism, which is simply a euphemism for subjugating murderous radical countries. That is the real issue obscured by the disgusting and misnamed Iraq oil thing. And lest we forget, we brought all the trouble on ourselves by ripping off the Islamic people prior to the 1974 Arab Oil Embargo. What is worse, the greed of our oil giants and their investors or the radical behavior of ignorant people, or perhaps the culpability of our purchased politicians in abandoning their real responsibility to we common people?