September 17, 2012

"We never insult any prophet — not Moses, not Jesus — so why can’t we demand that Muhammad be respected?"

Asked a man holding a "Shut Up America" sign outside the American embassy in Cairo.
"Obama is the president, so he should have to apologize!"...
“We don’t think that depictions of the prophets are freedom of expression. We think it is an offense against our rights,” [said Ismail Mohamed, a religious scholar.] “The West has to understand the ideology of the people.”

Even during the protests, some stone throwers stressed that the clash was not Muslim against Christian. Instead, they suggested that the traditionalism of people of both faiths in the region conflicted with Western individualism and secularism....
Some commentators said they regretted that the violence here and around the region had overshadowed the underlying argument against the offensive video.
ADDED: We're not that far from criminalizing blasphemy in the United States, though it seems obvious to educated Americans today that these laws are unconstitutional. Here's a quick summary of the history of blasphemy law in the U.S. And here's the 1952 case Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson where the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that banned showing "sacrilegious" movies. New York's highest court had interpreted the statute to mean "that no religion, as that word is understood by the ordinary, reasonable person, shall be treated with contempt, mockery, scorn and ridicule." The U.S. Supreme Court said:
[T]he state has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to them which is sufficient to justify prior restraints upon the expression of those views. It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches, or motion pictures.
My point is: it took a Supreme Court case as recently as 1952, to establish that principle in our country, with its rich free-speech tradition. Lawyers even saw fit at that time to argue that movies shouldn't get free-speech protection at all because "their production, distribution, and exhibition is a large-scale business conducted for private profit."

Oh, wait, the President of the United States today argues that corporations don't have free-speech rights, and many Americans, including highly educated lawyers, are saying the Constitution should be amended to delete those rights.

Let's not be so quick to assume the man with the "Shut Up America" sign is thoroughly alien. The threats to free speech lie within. They always have.

257 comments:

1 – 200 of 257   Newer›   Newest»
Expat(ish) said...

I call BS on that statement about not disrespecting any blah blah blah.

The big lie lives.

-XC

Shouting Thomas said...

"Obama is the president, so he should have to apologize!"...

He already has. Numerous times.

Doesn't seem to have done any good.

YoungHegelian said...

Gosh, I seem to remember some guy who was dumb as a bag of hammers saying something like "They hate us for our freedoms".

But what the hell did he know?

clint said...

What about those of us who hold freedom itself to be sacred? You know, "endowed by our Creator..." and all that.

Rumpletweezer said...

Sure, we should all line up at the Mosque of Perpetual Grievance. I'm sick and tired of this. I don't believe I'm alone.

Lyssa said...

We never make demands to limit what you folks can or can't say. So why can't we demand that our rights to freedom of speech be respected?

Christian said...

What about Buddha? I assume they're happy to blow up statues of Buddha?

What they're saying is "we never insult people we think are prophets". Oh, how very enlightened of them.

These barbarians still don't understand free speech isn't about those you agree with, but those you don't.

dmoelling said...

This only works because they Include Moses/Jesus etc. as prophets earlier than Mohammed (the last and greatest Prophet).

Prophets outside of this canon are open game (Baha'i, Mormon, Buddhist, etc.)

By the way did anyone notice that the British Historian Tom Holland is getting the Rushdie treatment for his new book. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/may/04/in-shadow-of-sword-tom-holland

He's not the only one contending the much of the Koranic Story is fabricated or derived.

RecChief said...

because a picture of Jesus in a jar of urine is not insulting, right? nor a painting of Mary covered in elephant dung? Christianity has been under attack in this country for the last 40 years.

SteveR said...

Except it wasn't about the video

Christopher in MA said...

The "We never insult any prophet" trop itself is insulting. To Christians, Jesus is not a prophet - He is the Son of God.

Someone on another blog made an excellent comment: Insult Islam, go to jail. Insult Christians, get a prime speaking spot at the Democrat convention.

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse, I gotta disagree with your characterization of the video as "inept."

The video has been incredibly effective. And, the creator of the video has dared to do what no other filmmaker in the West dares... to lampoon Islam.

"The Life of Brian," had a budget and big names to work with.

This "inept" video maker packed the same (maybe greater) punch with nothing to work with except a few pennies and next to amateur talent.

You only have to watch the 13 minute trailer to see one of the major world religions brought to its knees with slapstick humor.

Quite an achievement.

Balfegor said...

In fact, denying the Holocaust is also protected as free speech in the United States, although it is prohibited in Germany and a few other European countries. But the belief that it is illegal in the United States is widespread in Egypt, and the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie, called for the “criminalizing of assaults on the sanctities of all heavenly religions.”

“Otherwise, such acts will continue to cause devout Muslims across the world to suspect and even loathe the West, especially the U.S.A., for allowing their citizens to violate the sanctity of what they hold dear and holy,” he said. “Certainly, such attacks against sanctities do not fall under the freedom of opinion or thought
.”

Really, there is nothing to be done here other than tell them firmly that we cannot do that. And maybe explain that Holocaust denial and Nazi imagery and so on are not banned in the US at all, but are, on the contrary, protected speech. They won't believe us, of course, but oh well.

Some commentators said they regretted that the violence here and around the region had overshadowed the underlying argument against the offensive video.

They shouldn't. The underlying argument is one which it is impossible for us to accept. But they can always hope that Americans, like other peoples, will yield to the threat of violence.

Colonel Angus said...

Seeing these barbarians riot over a stupid YouTube video makes me want to run out and by one of those COEXIST bumper stickers.

Sorun said...

Some commentators said they regretted that the violence here and around the region had overshadowed the underlying argument against the offensive video.

Yes, sympathy in the West is partly limited because the protesters act like such stereotypical crazy-ass Muzzies.

dmoelling said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/may/07/tom-holland-responds-glen-bowersock

Oops I forgot to include Tom Hollands response to Islamic Apologist reviewer of his book. (I've read many of Holland's books and he's a good writer and historian)

Tim said...

This only proves that not everyone understands what it means to be an American, or what American values really mean, or how to even think about a rational or to articulate a defense for American values.

But we didn't need to go all the way to Cairo to understand that - we need not go any further than the Oval office to see a more critical example.

Nonapod said...

That's cute, attempting to turn around the argument after assaulting and killing a bunch of people and causing property damage "We're the victims here! You should apologize to us! Or we'll keep burning and killing!"

Marshal said...

Instead, they suggested that the traditionalism of people of both faiths in the region conflicted with Western individualism and secularism....

This seems like a pretty good reason for these groups to live in different countries with different values. We don't insist they apologize for violating our values, nor should we apologize for violating theirs.

Paul said...

"This only proves that not everyone understands what it means to be an American, or what American values really mean, or how to even think about a rational or to articulate a defense for American values."

You have just described Barack Hussein Obama.

Nora said...

We don’t think that depictions of the prophets are freedom of expression. We think it is an offense against our rights,” [said Ismail Mohamed, a religious scholar.] “The West has to understand the ideology of the people.”

Yeh righ: if you do not respect our rights we have the right to kill you.

The Drill SGT said...

The most telling counter to his statement is the ongoing pogrom against Coptic Christian Egyptians.

as for the Mohammed, Jesus, Moses thing. Their religion's premise is that the Angel was sent to Mohammed, because the previous Prophets message were incomplete, and Mohammed's words are the perfect and final word of G_d.

AprilApple said...

All sorts of people mock Jesus. (just look at Hollywood) Christians do not go ape shit and kill people over it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Asked a man holding a "Shut Up America" sign outside the American embassy in Cairo.

Shut UP Islam!

Frankly, I'm sick of these whining baby assholes and our catering and caving to their tender sensibilities. Like a bratty child who is throwing a temper tantrum, giving in only encourages the bad behaviour. I think it is high time that they got thoroughly spanked.

Christians are expected to tolerate a Madonna covered in cow shit, Jesus in a jar of piss, Catholics being forced to go against their religion by being told to provide abortions. You don't see rioting from us...do you? Maybe we should retaliate IN KIND for the disrespect from the Muslims.

X said...

Jesus wasn't a prophet, but I don't feel like killing anyone for thinking he was.

MadisonMan said...

You see them repressing me?

damikesc said...

The video has been incredibly effective. And, the creator of the video has dared to do what no other filmmaker in the West dares... to lampoon Islam.

It was amusing --- but it is really poorly made in a technical sense.

It's not necessarily an insult. Woody Allen movies are frequently a mess. Spike Lee couldn't edit to save his life. And while Kevin Smith is great with dialogue, his actual directorship is usually terrible.

Ann Althouse said...

"What about Buddha? I assume they're happy to blow up statues of Buddha?"

It's Egypt. They haven't blown up those ancient Egyptian statues of gods.

Balfegor said...

Re: Sorun:

Yes, sympathy in the West is partly limited because the protesters act like such stereotypical crazy-ass Muzzies.

But think about what their concrete political objective is -- BANNING SACRELIGIOUS MOCKERY EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD. That's something no amount of "sympathy" could possibly get them in the US. If these commentators think it could, they're delusional about the political realities here.

If they're going to achieve that concrete political end, they have no choice but to employ violence. In some sense, the rioters understand this much better than these commentators.

purplepenquin said...

We never make demands to limit what you folks can or can't say

Unless they happen to be holding up a blank piece of paper in the State Capitol.

furious_a said...

Rage Boy has lots of demands, all of which boil down to "Submit or Die".

They murder their own at prayer, so why should Christians/Buddhists/Bahai'is/Animists/Jews expect to be treated any differently?

Beorn said...

I once made a YouTube video lampooning those who espouse Apathy as a religion.

Nobody cared...

SteveR said...

It's Egypt. They haven't blown up those ancient Egyptian statues of gods.

Yet

phx said...

Christians are expected to tolerate a Madonna covered in cow shit, Jesus in a jar of piss, Catholics being forced to go against their religion by being told to provide abortions. You don't see rioting from us...do you? Maybe we should retaliate IN KIND for the disrespect from the Muslims.

Retaliating in kind is, of course, one of the Christian virtues.

mark said...

Hollywood needs to man up. I'm sure the world wants to see the loving biography of Aisha and Muhammad. Directed by Roman Polanski (because real life experience is important for realism) and taken straight from Islam's holy texts.

Think of the tension as a 49 year old man proposes marriage to a 6 year old girl. And I'm sure Polanski will be ecstatic to help portray the consummation when she was 9.

And it is a biography. How can it be insulting to Islam and its prophet?

Michael Haz said...

Here's the problem. The muslims want to kill evereyone who isn't a muslim.

And if you say 'the muslims want to kill everyone who isn't a muslim' you are presumed to have balsphemed their prophet. And you will be killed.

The muslims want a world in which no human can ever question their religion. That way, no one can ever point out the horrible violence, misogny, and hatred that islam encompasses.

And of course, idiot liberals in America fall for it.

Ann Althouse said...

"That's cute, attempting to turn around the argument after assaulting and killing a bunch of people and causing property damage "We're the victims here! You should apologize to us! Or we'll keep burning and killing!""

Consider the people who are saying things like those quoted in the post but who reject the violence ... in part because it's a complete distraction from something they think is an argument that some of us in the West might be interested in considering.

Then look just at that argument and engage with it. They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them.

I would like this thread to get into precisely that zone... otherwise you're saying the same things you've already said a thousand times.

Note that these nonviolent voices are talking about Western laws against Holocaust denial. These violate our strong American free-speech principles, but many Americans would consider the validity of those laws, and Canada and Germany are Western countries have laws like that.

Granted, the moderates who want to say that are stepped all over by their fellow countrymen who riot and murder. They apparently know that, and they maybe should solve that problem before they try to appeal to us.

But could we focus on their argument for once?

Ironically, if you can't do that, you're exhibiting some of the rage and irrationality that you're trying to condemn.

purplepenquin said...

Retaliating in kind is, of course, one of the Christian virtues.

Seeing how so many preachers, priests, and pastors give far more attention to the OT laws and the writings of Saul than they do to the words of Jesus, a lot of church-goers actually beleive that "eye for an eye" is a Christian value.

Michael Haz said...

Muslims do not insult prophets because one cannot kill an already-dead prophet.

But try standing in Downtown Cairo and proclaming that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. You will be tortured and killed for speaking freely.

Or perhaps in downtown Dearborn.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I like to give any philosophy foreign to mine the benefit of the doubt. Even if their religion contains elements abhorrent to me, I think a people has a right to its own mores within its own sphere.

I simply fail to understand, however, how it may appear to masses of Muslims that their philosophy should be enforced in my country. I can think of no convention of nations or religions in the entire history of mankind where this has happened.

Bin Laden believed he would eventually win because people will back the "strong horse". To hundreds of millions of Muslims throughout the world the US now appears to be a weak horse. We have withdrawn support from Israel, a nation which has a right to exist. We refuse to give Iran an ultimatum on nuclear weapons. We don't even project enough force to protect our embassies. We continue to cede ground to the jihad every day.

Obama apparently has very little consciousness of history. If he did, he would have to realize that a policy of appeasement and apology has never served to maintain the peace and sovereignty of a nation. It is a measure of his immense ego that he believes that this time it will be different, that the strength of his personality can overthrow the weight of all history.

This is a critical moment in our history. Doomsaying at election time is a cliche, to be sure, but if Obama is reelected, I fear for the future of Western culture.

Ken said...

We think it is an offense against our rights

What rights and what people? What rights does this person think are being violated? And why should the people of America abide by the will of Egyptian people? Clearly, this Egyptian doesn't think Egyptians should have to abide by the will of Americans.

TWM said...

"Unless they happen to be holding up a blank piece of paper in the State Capitol."

Oh God, can you please give up on the whole "can't protest at the Wisconsin State Capitol" bullshit.

You guys OWNED that place for months. Everyone in Wisconsin and damn near everyone in the USA knows the bitches you had - have - against Walker and the work he has done.(which, by the way, has saved money and jobs). And you can still protest there if you like.

No one is buying any violation of your right to free speech whining anymore.




mark said...

@purplepenguin "a lot of church-goers actually beleive that "eye for an eye" is a Christian value"

Can you define "a lot"? I'd be interested in your method of finding how many Christians advocate this from the pulpit.

Thanks.

Seeing Red said...

--We don’t think that depictions of the prophets are freedom of expression. We think it is an offense against our rights,” [said Ismail Mohamed, a religious scholar.] “The West has to understand the ideology of the people.”-

"Rights" "Rights?"

Such a Western word.

TWM said...

"Can you define "a lot"? I'd be interested in your method of finding how many Christians advocate this from the pulpit."

He doesn't actually know any, but he heard someone told Harry Reid they exist.

AJ Lynch said...

Has this so-called scholar ever heard Achmadinnerjacket rant and threaten others?

shiloh said...

"otherwise you're saying the same things you've already said a thousand times."

Again, political blogging in a nutshell.

wef said...

“We don’t think that [unveiled women] are freedom of expression. We think it is an offense against our rights,” [said wef, a religious scholar.] “The West has to understand the ideology of the people.”

I demand the right to multiple wives and that women wear burkhas and that filthy homosexual perverts keep to themselves, and so on.

Of all the superstitious and religious fools in the world, mohammedanists have to be among the most dangerous of the fruitcakes.

This is moving in a bad direction, this sophomoric even-handedness, which equates the amish and the jains, on one hand, with the mohammedanists on the other, and this condescending tolerance of the violent and stupid. I never thought the day would come, but it's becoming almost a civic duty to throw insults at the delusional prophet mohammed.

Balfegor said...

Re: Althouse:

Note that these nonviolent voices are talking about Western laws against Holocaust denial. These violate our strong American free-speech principles, but many Americans would consider the validity of those laws, and Canada and Germany are Western countries have laws like that.

I don't think there's any controversy that such laws can be valid, is there? I think most Americans would even accept open anti-blasphemy laws, like they have in the Middle East (where we might object is where they apply the death penalty, but even then I don't think we'd object to the point of applying more than mild diplomatic pressure). It isn't a question of valid and invalid laws as a general philosophy-of-law type question. It's question of what laws we can implement in the US. And implementing those kinds of laws in the US would simply be impossible in light of our understanding of the freedom of speech (and religion).

To people who live with campus speech codes and corporate speech codes and other severe restrictions on their freedom of speech, it might seem that an accomodation is possible. But that's an illusion -- most Americans aren't part of that world at all. They are accustomed to their freedoms, even if they do not always choose to exercise them, and I cannot imagine that they would be receptive to that kind of dramatic limitation on their liberty. I think only violence -- violence terrible and widespread enough for them to weigh their freedom of speech against their safety from bodily harm -- could move them.

Colonel Angus said...

Seeing how so many preachers, priests, and pastors give far more attention to the OT laws and the writings of Saul than they do to the words of Jesus, a lot of church-goers actually beleive that "eye for an eye" is a Christian value.

Let me know when those Christian church goers start violent riots and dragging the corpses of heretics through the street.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
It's Egypt. They haven't blown up those ancient Egyptian statues of gods.


Well there is the Muslim defacing (literally) of the Sphinx in the 14the century

Ken said...

"...denying the Holocaust is also protected as free speech in the United States, although it is prohibited in Germany and a few other European countries. But the belief that it is illegal in the United States is widespread in Egypt, and the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie, called for the 'criminalizing of assaults on the sanctities of all heavenly religions. Otherwise, such acts will continue to cause devout Muslims across the world to suspect and even loathe the West, especially the U.S.A., for allowing their citizens to violate the sanctity of what they hold dear and holy. Certainly, such attacks against sanctities do not fall under the freedom of opinion or thought.'”

To clarify, this person, along with Egyptians, are ignorant of America and Americans. Due to this ignorance, Egyptians loathe us, and this is our fault? But even if they weren't ignorant, their beliefs in the "sanctities of all heavenly religions", which of course this man, nor most Egyptians, does not believe in, gives them purpose to loathe us and to excuse the violence as a distraction, rather than a cause to condemn the perpetrators of violence?

In other words, his argument is: believe what we want you to believe, regardless of whether or not your actions are peaceful, or the violence, which I "reject" but do not condemn, will continue, which is only natural to expect of us.

Ha! Fuck him.

PatCA said...

“To see the Islamic world in this condition of underdevelopment,” he said, “this is a bigger insult to the prophet.”

That's the key. In this shame culture, they are mainly ashamed of their country and culture. They can't stand that, so they fantasize that it's all someone else's fault.

They're tragically, fatally neurotic and they won't get over it until someone stands up to them. It won't be the Patronizer in Chief Obama.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Ann Althouse said...

"What about Buddha? I assume they're happy to blow up statues of Buddha?"

It's Egypt. They haven't blown up those ancient Egyptian statues of gods.



Give them time.


Ken said...

Balfegor,

I don't think there's any controversy that such laws can be valid, is there?

Uhhh, yes. "... congress shall make no law..." Get it? No law. It is uncontroversial that anti-blasphemy laws and anti-holocaust denial laws are indeed unconstitutional and are NOT valid here.

Shouting Thomas said...

They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them.

Yes, Althouse, I was trying to illustrate this issue with my reference to Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines.

The traditional cultures know that they are defenseless against the onslaught of the rational, scientific culture of the West that was grown in the soil of Christianity.

They feel absolutely powerless against the onslaught of modernity, which they know (correctly) will tear apart the family and institutional fabric of their society. The Islamic world sees itself losing its children to the materialistic, rationalist values of the West.

There seems to be no way to defend the traditional against this onslaught. And the West demands that the tradition justify itself in Western terms.

Ken said...

Balfegor,

To people who live with campus speech codes and corporate speech codes and other severe restrictions on their freedom of speech

These are NOT laws. These are privately owned spaces subject to the property rights of the owners of these spaces. After all, you can kick whomever you want out of your house for saying things you don't like. What you cannot do is call the police to have them arrest the people who are saying things you don't like.

creeley23 said...

It's Egypt. They haven't blown up those ancient Egyptian statues of gods.

Ann: You need to get up to speed on Islam: Calls to Destroy Egypt’s Great Pyramids Begin.

The aim of Islam is subjugation of the entire world by any means necessary.

Islam means Submission and they are quite serious about it.

If it is useful to Muslims to debate in seeming good faith, they will debate (though they are poor at it). If it is useful to Muslims to lie and deceive, they will lie and deceive. If it is useful to Muslims to threaten violence or perpetrate violence, they will do that as well.

TWM said...

"That's the key. In this shame culture, they are mainly ashamed of their country and culture. They can't stand that, so they fantasize that it's all someone else's fault."

I read an article on this recently and it's right on. Add in the fact that their leaders purposefully incite hatred towards the West (specifically the USA) in order to keep it from toppling their regimes (not always working now, but the religious fundamentalists taking over are worse, not better) and I don't believe there is any way to reason with them. It's always going to be someone else's fault.

Similar to Democrat politics actually.

Nonapod said...

OK, I'll attempt to engage the argument on the terms of the specific people, like you suggest.

First off, have these specific protestors strongly condemned the deaths that have occurred already?

If they have, that's something.

As to the argument itself, they're asking the POTUS to apologize for a obscure youtube video that he had nothing to do with. Putting aside that doing so would set a dangerous precedent, what exactly should the president be apologizing for? Is he going to apologize for our culture? "I'm sorry we have a culture that allows people to express an opinion even if it's offensive?". I mean what exactly are these specific protestors expecting from a presidential apology?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Certainly, such attacks against sanctities do not fall under the freedom of opinion or thought.'”

Ummm....Yes they do.

Get over it.

Balfegor said...

Re: Tyrone Slothrop

I simply fail to understand, however, how it may appear to masses of Muslims that their philosophy should be enforced in my country. I can think of no convention of nations or religions in the entire history of mankind where this has happened.

Not precisely on point, but close enough that I think it may be linked in some Middle Eastern Weltanshauungen: In the late 19th century, the Western Powers intervened directly in the Ottoman empire as protectors of various religious groups. The French defended the interests of Catholics in the Empire; the Russian, Eastern Orthodox; and the British, the Jews. And of course, the Egypt has its own experience of colonialism under the Caisse de la Dette Publique and the administration of Lord Cromer as a kind of shadow-ruler behind the Khedive of Egypt. The notion that one people might exercise a direct influence over the administration of another on issues of particular interest (whether religion or the use of tax revenues) is not exactly strange to the Egyptians.

furious_a said...

Althouse: Note that these nonviolent voices are talking about Western laws against Holocaust denial. These violate our strong American free-speech principles...

...not if they are not enforced in *this* country, "these" don't.

So, what you're saying is that these moderate voices are using the existence of speech codes in other countries to explain away murder and mayhem by their co-religionists against Americans?

Reads like just another form of hostage-taking (El-Al's too tough, let's 'jack a Sabena) to me.

nina said...

Like Ann (who noted this in an earlier post when she said -- some people do not accept the absolute supremacy of free speech), I think this does raise an interesting question. I used to talk about this in my comparative law class: when you have conflict between western or imported laws and traditional laws, when do you impose the imported ones? Because even if you tell me -- when traditional laws seek to hurt and diminish others, I'll give you examples how the absence of those laws can have dire consequences, especially when you do not have an established and functional system of governance nor welfare provisions for those without resources. So, I came to Ann's blog this morning to see if she caught this statement that appeared in the press and I was glad to see that she had, because it does raise interesting questions.

Christopher in MA said...

Seeing how so many preachers, priests, and pastors give far more attention to the OT laws and the writings of Saul than they do to the words of Jesus, a lot of church-goers actually beleive that "eye for an eye" is a Christian value.

Amazing. It's as if all of your knowledge of "preachers, priests and pastors" comes from bad Lifetime movies and old CSI reruns.

Balfegor said...

Re: Ken:

These are NOT laws. These are privately owned spaces subject to the property rights of the owners of these spaces. After all, you can kick whomever you want out of your house for saying things you don't like. What you cannot do is call the police to have them arrest the people who are saying things you don't like.

Never said they were laws. But what they create is an environment where there's no norm of free speech, in practice. That's very different from the rest of the US.

A. Shmendrik said...

I agree with the Egyptian dude - Obama should have to apologize. I just differ over what he should apologize for. Like the ineffective efforts to guide the economy to recovery, calling the Chrysler bondholders "speculators", the entire GM and Chrysler bailouts, etc. I could go on, and on, and on.

purplepenquin said...

Can you define "a lot"?

Here ya go.

I'd be interested in your method of finding how many Christians advocate this

If you're looking for a blind-test study or some sort of poll that some-how proves some churches spend more time on the writings of Saul and OT law than on the teachings of Christ, then I have nothing available for you.

My opinion is based on decades of personal observation while attending dozens of different churches spread across many different denominations.

For example, when people claim that gay marriage goes against "Christian values" they don't use the words of Jesus to justify their stance, but rather OT law and the writings of Saul.

For the record, I ain't "anti-Christian" at ALL. I truly beleive that our world would be a better place if more folks followed the teachings of Jesus rather than the mottos of "Punch them back, twice as hard!!" and "Civility? Bullshit!!"

William said...

The dogs that don't bark. The Soviet Union was militantly atheistic. China still is. Russia and China both have Muslim minorities that are not allowed the free exercise of their religion. Where are the protests against their embassies?

Pettifogger said...

This will never end until Muslims grow up. They feel free to call all non-Muslims infidels. Do they not think others find that insulting? Do they care? They need to be able to take it as well as dish it out.

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Peter said...

"We think it is an offense against our rights"

If just knowing that such a video exists is sufficient to generate murderous rage, how could appeasement ever hope to succeed in quelling that rage?

If there's no payoff for appeasement, why even consider it?

Icepick said...

“The West has to understand the ideology of the people.”

Towel-headed, pederast-worshiping camel-fuckers need to understand that we don't give a shit about their ideology but do care about our own sacred principles. As the Harlequin said to the Tick-Tock Man, "Get stuffed."

Dante said...

They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them.

What they are asking is for the US to violate the constitution of our country so their belief system is not attacked. I don't see anything reasonable about this, nor why we ought to consider it, nor do I see how these two proposals are even in same ballpark of thought.

The anti-Holocaust anti-free speech idea to me is of the same order as what's being asked for by some Muslims, and is equally unreasonable. You can't get rid of the nut-jobs. They have a right to be nuts, so long as they aren't violating established law. To trash a cornerstone of our democracy because it might hurt someones feelings is wrong. Much more is at stake, including supremacy clause in article 6 of the constitution.

Now the sensibilities of other cultures tops our constitution? Absurd.

Balfegor said...

Re: Ken:

Uhhh, yes. "... congress shall make no law..." Get it? No law. It is uncontroversial that anti-blasphemy laws and anti-holocaust denial laws are indeed unconstitutional and are NOT valid here.

Sorry to break the reply into two points. You need to think more carefully about what I'm writing -- there's two questions here.

The first is whether one can validly make a law that restricts freedom of speech. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Constitution -- it has to do with philosophy of law. I think the answer is yes, and while there's theories about law which would say no you can't (e.g. because it's an inviolable right, that cannot have been bargained away in social contract, etc.), I don't adhere to those theories. Practically speaking, when abroad, I view foreign laws restricting freedom of speech (e.g. no making fun of Ataturk) as valid laws. I don't obey them just because of the risk of punishment (which I would guess is fairly slight) but because they're the law.

The second one is whether it's possible in the United States. There, it's obviously not possible, as I wrote. We do allow some exceptions to the freedom of speech (libel/slander, copyright, etc.), but criticism of belief systems falls pretty squarely in the centre of protected speech as it is understood in the US.

furious_a said...

From Bernard Lewis, "The Roots of Muslim Rage"...

In part this mood is surely due to a feeling of humiliation—a growing awareness, among the heirs of an old, proud, and long dominant civilization, of having been overtaken, overborne, and overwhelmed by those whom they regarded as their inferiors. In part this mood is due to events in the Western world itself [the World Wars]."

Mary Beth said...

These barbarians still don't understand free speech isn't about those you agree with, but those you don't.

Considering how often I've seen people write on Facebook that they want to see Rush Limbaugh to not be allowed to broadcast, I think there are a lot of people here who don't understand that either.

Some commentators said they regretted that the violence here and around the region had overshadowed the underlying argument against the offensive video.

Overshadowed? That's a hell of an understatement.

The Crack Emcee said...

"We never insult any prophet — not Moses, not Jesus — so why can’t we demand that Muhammad be respected?"

Every time I read that, I think, "How cute."

I'd love to explain it to him sometimes,...

creeley23 said...

Granted, the moderates who want to say that are stepped all over by their fellow countrymen who riot and murder. They apparently know that, and they maybe should solve that problem before they try to appeal to us.

But could we focus on their argument for once?

Ironically, if you can't do that, you're exhibiting some of the rage and irrationality that you're trying to condemn.


Ann: It's like talking to Soviet Communists. Sure, there were "moderates" and you can dialog with them. But never forget, these "moderates" had little power and they were part of a remorseless ideology intent on subjugation, and such dialogs helped disguise that.

The Soviet Union went down because we recognized its evil and we ground it down. It was not because of all those wonderful exchange programs and peace missions that liberals organized.

Before we start focusing on the hurt feelings and arguments Muslims offer, I want Americans to understand what they are dealing with in Islam, because Americans, including you apparently, fail to understand what Islam is.

Read the Quran. Read a life of Muhammad. Read the history of Islam. These are not religious people who just want to get along.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Ann Althouse said...

Then look just at that argument and engage with it. They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them.



Correct me if I am mistaken here, Ann, but are you actually making the argument that we should consider abrogating a fundamental right because "moderates" peacefully ask us to? How does this form any kind of rational argument?

We hold out free speech as an example of the benefits an open society affords. We have yet to insist that Egypt, Libya or any other Islamist government afford the right of free speech to its citizens, nor have we threatened them with violence if they fail to do so. The way you pose this argument assumes a moral equivalency where there is none.

Muslims have demonstrated over and over that the definition of a moderate Muslim is one who gives you the opportunity to convert peacefully, but if you don't your subsequent execution will be your own fault.

CJinPA said...

Being "offended" is such a Western thing. We have groups in America that exist on nothing more than umbrage. Maybe these folks are in fact becoming enlightened.

TWM said...

"For the record, I ain't "anti-Christian" at ALL."

The other day you said something similar - "For the record, I ain't or I am. . ." when you were actually stating stuff that was in direct opposition to your "for the record" claim.

I just wanted to tell you that people pick up on that.

wef said...

Note that these nonviolent voices are talking about Western laws against Holocaust denial. These violate our strong American free-speech principles, but many Americans would consider the validity of those laws, and Canada and Germany are Western countries have laws like that.

ok, I'll take a flyer:

1. Holocaust denial is not a religious affront against judaism, christianity, or mohammedanism, or any other religion.
2. Complaining about the holocaust myth is usually a strained argument made to rehabilitate the good name of the German Workers' National Socialist Party. Suppressing it was more a political act than denigrating superstitious beliefs. In the USA, there were efforts to suppress the Communist Party, because state authorities believed it subversive.
3. Either the holocaust myth is entirely mythical - it is not - or based on objectively verifiable facts. How much so causes arguments, but at least authorities can argue with conviction (and strongly, I judge) that holocaust denial is knowingly pernicious nonsense.
4. The holocaust itself was a deep wound to the body of ideals that support the legitimacy of the state. At the same time it was taken as a brutal and almost sacred lesson to guide future government leaders and citizens regarding basic rights. Holocaust denial in Germany especially was both throwing salt into a horrible wound and an offense against a national commitment to the dignity and rights of all men. In this way, holocaust denial is indeed a blasphemy, but not to a prophet or a god, but to a national promise.
4. The focus on restrictions to questioning the holocaust myth is really a focus on supposed power of The Jews. It is a whine.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

I'd like to see if the Islamists can come up with anything even remotely similar to the sentiment of 1 Corinthians 13.

If they can, they should heed it.

If they can't, then they should understand why we all mock their so-called religion of peace.

traditionalguy said...

The Mullahs have a mind controlled population that memorizes the Koran and stops to prostrate themselves ti a Prphhet's words 5 times a day.

They are telling the world that they will never allow free thoughts among their mentally enslaveds property.

Specifically, the Prophet says to find every mind inside a human head that will not submit to its enslavement under the Prophet's words and then cut off the head it occupies.

The movie was a reminder that minds exist that are not yet submitted or killed. That alone is a cry to war (jihad0 until the killing or mind controlling is complete.

But have no fear, Obama say he can can trick them for us by playing dead.

John said...

Consider the people who are saying things like those quoted in the post but who reject the violence ... in part because it's a complete distraction from something they think is an argument that some of us in the West might be interested in considering.

If that's what they think, they've got another think coming.

Then look just at that argument and engage with it. They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them.

I already KNOW that our free speech ideology is not persuasive to them, and cannot be. And I care about that not a bit. Our free speech is inviolable, and they need to either understand and accept that, or else prepare to fight to the death--THEIR death.

AllieOop said...

The latest news I heard on CNN was that (just as I've been saying) the protests at the Embassies WERE about the movie, Al Queda may have used the movie to incite Muslims to protest outside the Embassies, THEN in the midst of the chaos of the protest and crowds AlQaeda was able to attack. 50 people have been arrested from what I heard and obviously they are talking. Can't wait to hear what names get spilled.

I still suspect that bad movie guy was involved in this plot. But hey that's just me, over active imagination, I guess we shall see.

lemondog said...

When Christians and Jews are killed for being Christians and Jews, are not their prophets being insulted?

Bryan C said...

"Then look just at that argument and engage with it. They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them."

I understand what they're saying. It's not an original perspective, after all. My view: Anti-Holocaust-speech laws, hate speech laws, blasphemy laws, and other variations thereof are immoral and an affront to human rights and human decency. Some Muslims or scientologists or Christians disagree? They're wrong. Nice discussion. Goodbye.

I realize that Germany, Canada, etc have such laws. They're still immoral and an abomination to the inalienable human rights of their citizens. I'm not a citizen of those countries and can't do much more than express my disapproval and point out how easily and often such laws are abused.

As far as my government's role, however, my government has no power to impose or enforce such laws. Not even if 100% of us suddenly decided that they were totally awesome. The Constitution places the suppression of religious (and other) speech outside the government's sphere of authority.

If any citizen or elected representative wants to change this, they can attempt to craft and pass a new amendment which revokes the 1st. The amendment process is clearly outlined in the Constitution. Until that happens, there's really nothing else to discuss.

purplepenquin said...

"Obama is the president, so he should have to apologize!"

Talk radio was saying that this film was made to look like it was produced & released by the US gov't, which is why there are demands for Obama to apologize for it...as well as so much outrage against the US Gov't.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Al Qaeda helped finance this film, but finding that out could require questioning the filmmaker and a lot of folks think it goes against "American Values" to bring him in for questioning.

TWM said...

"The latest news I heard on CNN was that (just as I've been saying) the protests at the Embassies WERE about the movie,"

You REALLY need to broaden your sources of information. That movie deal was slapped down two days ago by Libyan authorities.

Lyle said...

The problem in taking the non-violent Muslim anti-free speech argument seriously is that the West already recognizes that lampooning religion is okay today. It wasn't always like that in the West, but it is where the West is today.

So you can't make an exception for Islam without limiting speech for every other religion. And that's just not going to happen in the United States for sure, where picking fun at Christians, Mormons, (less so Jews), and whatever else has been acceptable for a long time.

The Holocaust denial criminal laws is a fair point, but it is only a fair point when talking about certain European countries. In America free to enjoy the words of Hitler whenever we want. And amen to that.

Balfegor said...

Re: Bryan C:

As far as my government's role, however, my government has no power to impose or enforce such laws. Not even if 100% of us suddenly decided that they were totally awesome.

Or 9 old men and women decided they were "totally awesome" or justified under exigencies of national security, Korematsu style. The Supreme Court aside, though, if 100% of us decided they were "totally awesome" we could just amend the Constitution. That's not going to happen any time soon, though.

TWM said...

"So you can't make an exception for Islam without limiting speech for every other religion. And that's just not going to happen in the United States for sure, where picking fun at Christians, Mormons, (less so Jews), and whatever else has been acceptable for a long time."

I'm not so sure. The MSM and other appeasers of Islamic fundamentalism/terror keep going on and on about how we need to be tolerant to Islam as if it is different from the rest. You do that long enough and over new generations and sooner or later it takes hold.

RonF said...

We never insult any prophet — not Moses, not Jesus — so why can’t we demand that Muhammad be respected?

Because the fact that you do not do 'x' does not give you any right to demand that we - or create any obligation on our part to - respect or not insult 'x'.

Obama is the president, so he should have to apologize!

I think he should apologize, too - for running for and getting elected President. But he is not responsible for what an individual does. He should lose his job for apologizing for this.

It was also a demand that many of them described with the word “freedom,” although in a context very different from the term’s use in the individualistic West: the right of a community, whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish, to be free from grave insult to its identity and values.

There is no such right. Freedoms in the West are owned by individuals, not groups. Despite the protestations of feminists, race baiters, etc., no one has a right to not be offended.

And from the other, the new winds blowing through the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, which to many here means most of all a right to demand respect for the popular will.

I admire them for overthrowing despots who flaunt the popular will. I despise the replacement of those despots with a tyranny of the majority.

We don’t think that depictions of the prophets are freedom of expression.

We do.

We think it is an offense against our rights,

We recognize no such right.

The West has to understand the ideology of the people.

Oh, it does. The ideology of the people is that they have a right, and indeed in some cases an obligation, to respond to free speech they don't like with murder. That's an inferior ideology, and is part of the reason why you live in such a downtrodden society.

Tim said...

"But could we focus on their argument for once?

Ironically, if you can't do that, you're exhibiting some of the rage and irrationality that you're trying to condemn."


There are several problems with this is: the first is, it calls upon us to first entertain the notion we might actually be open to redefining, or limiting, the First Amendment.

And, outside of some fairly bright lines already drawn, where might we do this without creating moral hazard for the slippery slope?

Second, this is America, and the First Amendment applies to Americans. Why the hell do we care, or even want to care what foreigners think about our First Amendment rights?

Why even concede the possibility of a concession?

Bender said...

The "We never insult any prophet" trop itself is insulting. To Christians, Jesus is not a prophet - He is the Son of God.
____________

From the Koran --
5:15, 72-75. O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary): There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book. . . . They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. Why turn they not to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him.

17:111. Say: "Praise be to Allah, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: Nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yea, magnify Him for His greatness and glory!"

19:35, 88-92. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is. . . . They say: "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!" Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son.
________________

It has long been rather curious that this all-knowing Allah should be so befuddled and confused as to be be wholly incapable of understanding the Trinity and how Jesus could be a Son of God.

purplepenquin said...

The other day you said something similar - "For the record, I ain't or I am. . ." when you were actually stating stuff that was in direct opposition to your "for the record" claim

???

Can you please point out exactly what I've said that shows me to be "anti-Christian"?

I'm always interested in learning more about other peoples' perspectives (especially in how they receive the message that I'm sending) and would appreciate knowing exactly what you have in mind.

Needless to say, if you're just trollin' for the sake of trollin' then feel free to ignore this simple request.

Dante said...

There is this odd inversion in the moderate Muslim argument. The old adage goes "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." But they have inverted it to be "Because we do unto you as we want you to do unto us, you should do unto us as we want you to."

This is some psychological game, where a claim is made that "I gave you something, so you have to give me something." But they didn't give us anything. It's not something we demand, the submission of the individual right to say what we think, to anyone. In fact, many of us do not think there should not be deference to whatever is deemed US cultural sensibilities from others.

In other words, They are not doing unto us as we want to be done onto. It is an asymmetric unreasonable request, that puts the moderate muslims in the position of asking for control over our constitution and culture.

Velocon said...

What Creeley23 said.

To respond to Ann's point, in the case of Islam, accepting speech laws against insulting it are no middle ground because moslems are insulted by anything critical of their ideology, or even by pointing out correct historical facts & theological beliefs intended to warn idiots in the West who want to view Islam as just another religion. As such, a gag law against "insulting Islam" is unconditional surrender to it. Which is exactly what Islam wants.

Study Islamic theology (which includes what we in the West view as "law" - in Islam there is one construct only) & history, especially its treatment of non-moslems in Islamic societies.

Colonel Angus said...

My opinion is based on decades of personal observation while attending dozens of different churches spread across many different denominations.

In other words you don't have proof to back up your claim, just personal anecdotes.

CWJ said...

Ann@10:34.

Not really a valid comparison. There are perhaps billions of Budhists in the world. It is not a dead religion. The old Egyptian gods are a dead religion and no longer a threat to Islam. If Egyptians still worshiped them, I have no doubt that their statues would be in danger.

PatCA said...

Yes, it is shame and humiliation and the futile striking out of child. What they need is capitalism and self-reliance--the things that sparked the American ethic. Tolerance would surely follow.

If Romney were smart, he would speak above the media and above the self-appointed grievance cabal of Arabist professors and imams and rent seekers and address the Arab street with tough love. He's a good father, he could do it!

RonF said...

Tyrone:

I simply fail to understand, however, how it may appear to masses of Muslims that their philosophy should be enforced in my country. I can think of no convention of nations or religions in the entire history of mankind where this has happened.

You need to read up on Islam. The world is divided up into two realms - the world of peace, where Islam and Sharia law prevails, and the world of strife, where it does not. It is the mission of Islam to bring the entire world into the realm of Islam - whether it wants to or not. Other religions think that this is only properly done through peaceful means. But a certain fraction of Islam that has armed itself with guns and bombs and rocket and grenade launchers believes that violent means to do so are justified and even obligatory.

Many Muslims believe that Islam does not recognize a separation between Church and State. The State should be based on Islamic teachings and such teachings should be enforced through secular law. That's pretty much written into most countries where the majority of the population are Muslims.

Bryan C said...

"Or 9 old men and women decided they were "totally awesome" or justified under exigencies of national security, Korematsu style. The Supreme Court aside, though, if 100% of us decided they were "totally awesome" we could just amend the Constitution."

I don't think that even the SC could pull that off. If they could, we'd never have needed any of the post-Bill Of Rights amendments. And if they tried, they'd be overidden, either via the seldom-used mechanisms in the Constitution, or via more direct means. And the rights still exist, of course, whether the government chooses to recognize them or not.

Hagar said...

BS.
In Egypt, the Egyptian government can run the placee in accordance with lights of the Egyptian people, and that is the way it should be.

In the USA, we do it our way, and we don't apologize for it.

So get over yourselves and deal with it!

Colonel Angus said...

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Al Qaeda helped finance this film, but finding that out could require questioning the filmmaker and a lot of folks think it goes against "American Values" to bring him in for questioning.

Well, absent any evidence that he has connections to Al Qaeda, bringing him in for questioning because he made a crappy YouTube video does kind of go against American values.

You know, that whole reasonable cause, due process thing. At this point all he's done is piss off Muslims which doesn't take much effort to do.

RonF said...

TWM:

The latest news I heard on CNN

Sorry, but there is an internal contradiction in this statement. If you were listening to CNN, you were not hearing the news.

TWM said...

"My opinion is based on decades of personal observation while attending dozens of different churches spread across many different denominations."

Plus, you sure seem to be bouncing around a lot which to might give you a broad superficial knowledge base that leaves you not knowing much about any religion in any depth.

Tim said...

"Ironically, if you can't do that, you're exhibiting some of the rage and irrationality that you're trying to condemn."

You may think it seems ironic, but within the context of the philosophies of liberty within the Western tradition, there is no irony.

People have every right to be irritated by free speech.

Other people, in turn, have every right to be irritated by those irritated by free speech.

Those advancing free speech rights knew this; yet they still protected the right in the Constitution.

We can tolerate most every form of free speech except speech intended to squelch free speech.

Just as the Constitution is not a suicide pack, it is also not the instrument of its own destruction or reduced power.

Even more critically, these people who are invoking their perception of what's permissible or not under "Free Speech" do not have standing because they are foreigners.

They can say any God-damned thing they want, but they cannot tell us, have no right to tell us, to limit our free speech rights.

TWM said...

"Sorry, but there is an internal contradiction in this statement. If you were listening to CNN, you were not hearing the news."

I was quoting someone else. I rarely listen to CNN and certainly wouldn't use it as a legitimate source if I did.

Bryan C said...

"I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Al Qaeda helped finance this film, but finding that out could require questioning the filmmaker and a lot of folks think it goes against "American Values" to bring him in for questioning."

"Mr. Filmmaker, are you now or have you ever been an agent of Al Qeada?"

Yeah, who would ever object to anything like that? We're just asking questions.

purplepenquin said...

In other words you don't have proof to back up your claim, just personal anecdotes.

Most of my opinions and outlooks..especially on issues such as being discussed...are based on personal observations.

Do you actually have a study/link/report that proves my observations are wrong, or are you simply relying on your own personal anecdotes to show my claim to be wrong?

RonF said...

“The message here is we don’t care about your beliefs — that because of our freedom of expression we can demean them and degrade them any time, and we do not care about your feelings.”

Close, actually. The message is that any individual can do so, and the State has no authority to stop them.

The lack of authority of the State in such a matter is an environment that none of those folks have ever experienced, so it's not incredible that they have such a lack of understanding of what goes on. In a society where it is not uncommon for a father or brother to kill a daughter because her actions are perceived to have brought dishonor to their family, the concept that an individual can have rights that neither the State nor the clan nor the family can violate is beyond their experience and perhaps their comprehension.

They do not have an experience where what the government would like to do is different from what the government can do.

Tom Spaulding said...

The latest news I heard on CNN was that (just as I've been saying) the protests at the Embassies WERE about the movie,

According to David Axelrod's Twitter feed, Obama is the bestest President ever.

Now, where were we...

TWM said...

"Needless to say, if you're just trollin' for the sake of trollin' then feel free to ignore this simple request."

I don't troll, but I'm pretty sure that the only reason for trolling is for the sake of trolling.

And I don't know if you are anti-Christian or not, but it seems to me that you feeling the NEED to tell people you were not anti-Christian is a good sign that what you said can be percieved as being anti-Christian and, in fact, probably IS anti-Christian. And you're just one of those folks who likes to attack things and then say, "But man, I don't hate (insert group here), I'm just sharing."

MadisonMan said...

The latest news I heard on CNN was that (just as I've been saying) the protests at the Embassies WERE about the movie

And how would CNN know this?

Certainly it is the excuse given by many many people around the Globe. It's a very convenient excuse, for many.

Very.

Colonel Angus said...

Do you actually have a study/link/report that proves my observations are wrong, or are you simply relying on your own personal anecdotes to show my claim to be wrong?

I'm an atheist and as such, don't attend many church functions, thus have no personal anecdotes.

Then again I don't rely on personal anecdotes to support my assertions.

Tom Spaulding said...

Instapundit:

SEPTEMBER 17, 2012
IT JUST KEEPS GETTING WORSE: MICHAEL TOTTEN:

The Obama administration’s Department of Justice official Edward Perez, who is the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, refuses to say that his department won’t attempt to criminalize blasphemy in the future.

I can’t imagine that the Department of Justice would ever actually try such a thing, and the Supreme Court would break it in half if it did, but that doesn’t make the spineless weaseliness from Perez any less appalling.

You can watch the video of the sordid incident here.

http://youtu.be/0wwv9l6W8yc

The President takes an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. This President is doing the opposite.


Who are these people?

purplepenquin said...

Then again I don't rely on personal anecdotes to support my assertions

Interesting theory.

Do you have a link to a study/report that proves that is a good method for all opinions/assertions?

cubanbob said...

Balfegor said... interesting observation on 19th century western gunboat diplomacy. It was for the most part pretty effective. We should revive the practice.

Colonel Angus said...

I still suspect that bad movie guy was involved in this plot. But hey that's just me, over active imagination, I guess we shall see.

If by chance he is, then Al Quaeda seems to agree that their fellow Muslims are an excitable lot that require little motivation to be driven into murderous rampages.

Ken said...

Balfegor,

You need to think more carefully about what I'm writing -- there's two questions here.

I love it when people say this. Especially when they have things like:

I don't think there's any controversy that such laws can be valid, is there?

followed by a sentence like in their next comment:

Never said they were laws.

Instead of saying I should think more carefully, you should write more carefully. If you're not talking about laws, don't lead off with a sentence about, you know, LAWS. If you're talking about an environment, use the word "environment", instead of "law".

I know, I know, it's easier on your ego to say that I'm an unclear thinker, rather than recognize that you're just a bad writer.

TWM said...

"Do you actually have a study/link/report that proves my observations are wrong, or are you simply relying on your own personal anecdotes to show my claim to be wrong?"

Whether Christians believe in "an eye for an eye" is really irrelevant. The vast majority of Christians also believe in the rule of law, and so, don't go about rioting and burning and murdering people over religious slights. And "eye for an eye" can, and is, interpreted by modern Christians as simply justice, which Western judicial systems usually carry-out fairly.

MayBee said...


Then look just at that argument and engage with it. They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them.

Do we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them? I say no. We aren't trying to win them over to our way of thinking and convince them to embrace free speech.
We are simply saying, this is the way things are for us, and you do not have to live by our speech laws any more than we want to live by yours.

Similarly, we don't live by Germany's laws or France's or even Britain's. It's a big world and there are many countries to live in, all with laws that one might find suitable for the way he wants to live.

Colonel Angus said...

Do you have a link to a study/report that proves that is a good method for all opinions/assertions?

An opinion is just that. Yours is no more valid than mine.

If you had said, its been my experience that a lot if Christian pastors and preachers were more OT and teachings of Saul than Jesus I would have just accepted that for what it is, your opinion and not a declaration of fact.

Ecclesiastes said...

I'm responding to the OP.

Of course I understand ideology of those people. Would I bother to mention that Muhammad was a gay pedophile if I didn't?

Michael said...

This is the gulf noted by Samuel Huntington: it is impossible to articulate our freedoms to someone who is informed by a culture that is hundreds if not thousands of years behind our own. The nice young man has reason to be perplexed and we have a reason to be frustrated. Other nations, as the professor notes, have very rigid speech codes that greatly limit the freedom of speech of citizens (less so, ironically, for the offended classes who apparently are not constrained by the same rules) and the young man, the reasonable but poorly informed young man, is rightly interested in why we do not employ these codes ourselves. It would do no good to explain that these codes do exist in our universities but not in our society at large, at least not yet. This would add confusion to confusion. He should be cheered by the fact that we are headed in the direction he would like to see.

In the meantime, we would be well served to better understand the importance of our free speech and to elaborate on its importance by action as well as word. We may not have it in its present form for long.

mark said...

@purplepenguin "My opinion is based on decades of personal observation while attending dozens of different churches spread across many different denominations. "

Sure. And my opinion that you are wrong is that I have attended dozens of different churches spread across many different denominations.

I win. You lose. Nah, Nah, Nah. Cause my observations outrank your observations.

You need to be able to defend your opinion with more than just opinion.

And your concept of "an eye for an eye" from the OT clearly shows you don't even understand the Hebrew text anyway. Vengeance isn't what it is talking about, rather it is about limiting punishment for wrongs. And that is well understood by Christian denominations and conferences.

My example of disproving your "a lot" is to simply ask you to look at the standard understanding of that quote among the two largest Christian groups in the USA. The Catholic Church and the Southern Baptists.

Revenant said...

They don't disrespect Jesus and Moses, they just murder and oppress Christians and Jews.

purplepenquin said...

The vast majority of Christians...

Do you actually know any or have you just heard someone tell Harry Reid they exist?

Christopher in MA said...

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Al Qaeda helped finance this film, but finding that out could require questioning the filmmaker and a lot of folks think it goes against "American Values" to bring him in for questioning.

A thought experiment - would you be so blase had the Bush Justice Department decided that they wanted to find out who helped finance Fahrenheit 9/11 and hauled Michael Moore in "for questioning?" And yes, it does go against "American Values" to insist he's being nabbed for a parole violation, when any dispassionate observer can see that is merely a fig leaf for his true crime - offending the de facto state religion of America.

TWM said...

"Do you actually know any or have you just heard someone tell Harry Reid they exist?"

I know quite a few, having been a practicing Christian for 56 years. That said, the fact that no Christians are blowing things up, burning buildings, and murdering people every time someone insults Christ, is proof enough that they do believe in the rule of law over the OT.

You're gonna have to work harder.





mark said...

@purplepenguin "Do you have a link to a study/report that proves that is a good method for all opinions/assertions?"

Sure. Google "Math and Logic".

A really good course to take would be Discrete Mathematics as well. And you should follow that up with Statistics. I recommend the courses that require Calculus as a prerequisite.

Paul said...

Islam says Jesus was 'wrong' and will break the cross. Now is the Son of God 'wrong'? Is that an insult?

Muslims call Jews 'sons of pigs and monkeys'. Is that an insult?

Muslims blow up statutes of Buddhist, Sikes, Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc... everywhere they go. Is that an insult?

go listen to the Arabs 'news' source, Aljazeera 99 percent HATE.

Is that an 'insult'?

purplepenquin said...

I win. You lose. Nah, Nah, Nah

Well of COURSE you win! I wasn't even aware there was a game being played between us, and instead was trying to have a good-faith discussion with ya about what I've personally seen and lived through.

Sorry about the confusion...I'll try not to let it happen again.

Oclarki said...

Purple Penguin,

I hve heard a refutation of gay marriage from Jesus' teachings on at least two occassions, which is exactly the number of times in over 30 years of church attendance I've heard any sermons on homosexuality at all.

Also who is this Saul fellow I'm supposed to be paying attention to? Never seen any of his writings.

Cedarford said...

We never insult any prophet — not Moses, not Jesus — so why can’t we demand that Muhammad be respected?"

Asked a man holding a "Shut Up America" sign outside the American embassy in Cairo...


Like it or not, the man has a point. Most countries have limits on Free Speech. America too has certain limits..the 1st Amendment is not Supreme in all circumstances here. We had limits on subversive commie speech. Cops can arrest people for disturbing the peace for doing nothing more than standing on a soapbox yelling "Nigger! Cunt!" in a public park or sidewalk. We regulate our public airwaves against offensive obscene speech and nudity. And so on.

The Egyptian is making the same argument the Japanese would if we had a film that slimed their Emperor. That Jewish activists would make as a legal case if some French filmaker did a flick strongly implying that by being so involved in Communism and the Red Terror, the Jews were hoist on their own petard in the Holocaust. And if the film maker said only 3 million died - that would make the Jewish activists seek criminal Holocaust Denier!!! charges.

The US has tried to make aid conditional on the Palis, Egyptians muzzling their own anti-American, anti-Jewish anti-Christian free speech in public and what is taught in schools and what is broadcast. Many Neocons claim what passes for Free Speech in Iran is so vile it is a separate reason to bomb and kill them.

Granted threats to with hold billions is not burning embassies, but it is still coercive threatening, even action over "free speech" that offends America and we deem damaging.

TWM said...

"Also who is this Saul fellow I'm supposed to be paying attention to? Never seen any of his writings"

Peter, Paul and Saul? Great folk rock group.

furious_a said...

Allie: The latest news I heard on CNN was that (just as I've been saying) the protests at the Embassies WERE about the movie, Al Queda may have used the movie to incite Muslims to protest outside the Embassies...

It would certainly be in the Administration's interests to spin it that way, to distract from the unfortunate optics of...

1>the President fundraising in Vegas while our embassies burned...

2>not attending daily Intell briefings in the week leading up to 9-11-12, and...

3>ignorning warnings from the Libyan and Egyptian governments on imminent attacks..

It's a sad day when Libya's President is more credible than our own UN ambassador, and we have to go to the UK press for honest news on the murder of American diplomats.

Dante said...

It's pretty obvious what is going on. If only the entire world would yield to Muslim laws about blasphemy, everything would be OK.

Obama said he was going to help our image in the ME because he spent a lot of time in Muslim countries.

Given even to moderate Muslims all that means is for us to give up our constitutional rights, how could he make that claim? Either he is intent on transforming the US to subordinate its rights to Muslims, or he arrogantly overestimated his understanding of Muslim culture.

Nathan Alexander said...

@PurplePenguin,
We never make demands to limit what you folks can or can't say

Unless they happen to be holding up a blank piece of paper in the State Capitol.

You know that thing in the middle of your skull that receives impulses from your eyes?

Try using it.

You even quoted the line you objected to, and then completely ignored what it actually said.

We never put limits on what people say.

Were the people in the Wisconsin capitol building really thrown out for what was written on a blank piece of paper?

There are always reasonable limits on when and how, but not on what.

The 1st amendment doesn't say you have the right to political speech anywhere you want it, at any time, and in any manner.

Merely that you can't be blocked on the basis of the content of the speech.

Thus, your whining is immaterial.

The content wasn't the problem. It was the inappropriate use of time and place that caused the protestors to be denied their soapbox at that time.

MayBee said...

Blogger Revenant said...

They don't disrespect Jesus and Moses, they just murder and oppress Christians and Jews.

9/17/12 12:15 PM


Good point.
It is really pretty gutsy for Muslims in Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt to try to paint themselves as the aggrieved.

Hagar said...

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Al Qaeda helped finance this film, but finding that out could require questioning the filmmaker and a lot of folks think it goes against "American Values" to bring him in for questioning.

Calling him in for a "chat," or even his parole officer going to see him about this alleged parole violation would have been in conformance with "American values," as you put it.
Sending a full squad of sheriff's deputies to roust him out at 1 o'clock in the morning after notifying the media to bring spotlights and advertising his name and address to the world, is not.

If anything happens to this guy as a result, whoever arranged for this to happen will be responsible.

edutcher said...

You odn't get it. The Moslems are always the victims.

It's like being a Lefty. It's so much easier than taking responsibility for your life.

shiloh said...

otherwise you're saying the same things you've already said a thousand times.

Again, political blogging in a nutshell.


Again, shiloh in a nutshell.

FI

rhhardin said...

Flag burning is always turning up as an amendment, the flag being sacred to these minds.

It always loses to a calculated single vote.

Every editorial is also against it.

I put it down to Islamic flag lovers.

mccullough said...

If we explain to him that everyone in America is free to deny the Holocaust and say anything bad about the Jews that they want, maybe he can get his moderate friends to agree to a truce.

rhhardin said...

An old definition: self-righeous, adj, being wrong at the top of your voice.

Pogo said...

Althouse: "Consider the people who are saying things like those quoted in the post but who reject the violence ...something they think is an argument that some of us in the West might be interested in considering."

Perhaps. More likely, however, is the idea that there are no moderates at all. Less personally violent, maybe, but not 'moderates' in toto. Others do their dirty work, while they wear the costume of the West.

They are color blind to free speech, and use our words, and beliefs, and Constitution not because they believe them or have any respect for them, but because we do.

They are arguing in bad faith, like purple penguin does here, changing the topic and distracting and trying desperately to appear all agreeable and 'concerned'. What you've found is an Islamist concern troll.

They use our culture as weapons against us, no more. Alinsky in Arabia. Once the West is conquered, there will be no more discussion.

It's like discussing philosophy with a serial killer. Better just to hang him and stop his bullshit words before they make you their next victim.

Reminds me of the snake in that tree, long ago.

DADvocate said...

You can demand respect for Muhammed all you want, but you ain't going to get it. People like, Ismail Mohamed, who proclaim that everyone in the world should respect what he says you should respect are one good reason not to respect. As we said in high school, "Who died and made you God?"

As Clint said, "What about those of us who hold freedom itself to be sacred?" I hold freedom to be as sacred as any god or religion. If you can't freely worship the god of your choice and practice the religion of your choice, it's meaningless.

purplepenquin said...

One fella has gone to church for 36 years, another says he has been a practicing Christian for over 1/2 a century...but neither of them are aware at all of who Saul was, let alone his role in writing the Bible and forming the Catholic Church.

I'd be happy to fill ya in about him, but I was just told I need to take advanced math classes before sharing my opinion about religions and beleifs...so ya'll will just have to google him up yourself if you're truly interested in learning more.

MayBee said...

Let's not be so quick to assume the man with the "Shut Up America" sign is thoroughly alien. The threats to free speech lie within. They always have.

Is anyone assuming that?

Some of Obama's greatest supporters have hoped for much of America to shut up in the past three years, an just let Obama do what is right. That was Tom Freidman's dream.
So you call people who oppose Obama (like tea partiers)"racist" and hope that will shut them up.

Oddly enough, if fundamentalist Muslims want their will imposed on the US, they will have to work with the progressive Democrats.

Hagar said...

Why the quotation marks around "American Values," Penquin?

You don't think much of them?

Oclarki said...

Purple,


I know who your are talking about, its just that everything he wrote was under the name Paul. It's kind of like someone talking about how great Lew Alcindor was when he played for the Lakers. It's technically correct but everyone would look at you funny. So here's me looking at you funny, for exposing your ignorance of Christianity both with respect to the Paul/Saul thing and the fact that there is a Christ based case against gay marriage.

Lem said...

It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches, or motion pictures.

Oh... I got a solution...
We should just tax offensive speech at a higher rate and pass the Roberts test.

Tax it... don't penalise it...

Wait.. the tax cant be too high because at some point it tips over to penalty... We cant penalise free speech... why, that would be unconstitutional.

Cedarford said...

Let's recognize too that much of the vile "free speech" directed at the Prophet is deliberate and done by emigre`s like the Copts, Zionist Jews that seek to advance their foreign cause by manipulating perceptions and events so that Muslims see America as just as much an enemy as they do the emigre`s people and causes.

Then when Muslims react against America, the emigre`s that orchestrated events pop up and say "Now you are all Jews, Egyptian Copts!! yourselves - and you must be with us, your bestest friends and allies, all the way.

It is warfare, and "free speech" being used to amp up the hostility and hopefully (in the eyes of certain activist Copts, Zionists, Cuban Exiles, rabid anti -communists of years long ago) produce some dead Americans from their propaganda. Then they can claim common cause against a mutual foe.

It was the stated attempt of the Copt film maker...He said his activity was aimed to bring America further to the Copt side by making America a target. Zionists have long played the same game by trying to show the Muslims that America (through their own orchestrations) ridicules the Prophet as a fool and illiterate and a pedophile

It is a preliminary phase of warfare that all too many in America are blinded to under it being in the guise of Sacred Free Speech we should Love seeing or hearing be expressed. But it is little different than a Jap in one Saipan trench yelling "Fluck Babe Roof" while the US Marine yells back "Your Emperor is a two-legged yellow dog!" from the opposing trench.

Methadras said...

My point is: it took a Supreme Court case as recently as 1952, to establish that principle in our country, with its rich free-speech tradition. Lawyers even saw fit at that time to argue that movies shouldn't get free-speech protection at all because "their production, distribution, and exhibition is a large-scale business conducted for private profit."

So speech in the pursuit of profit shouldn't get 1st amendment protection? How does that fly in the face of freedom of expression or even the freedom to associate? Is the beginning of the police state now official with Nakula being perp walked to a federal "inquiry" with a parole violation as the pretext for that inquiry?

Having Urkel apologize to these sub-human 8 year olds throwing their little temper tantrums never works. They don't care. They only respect and fear power and we are incapable of using it while we get to watch Urkel's foreign policy experience or lack thereof implode before our eyes.

chickelit said...

purplepenquin wrote: For example, when people claim that gay marriage goes against "Christian values" they don't use the words of Jesus to justify their stance, but rather OT law and the writings of Saul.

Ah yes, at long last the Penguin reveals his one true grievance with mainstream American: its resistance to his beloved gay marriage cause. Throw any other freedom under the bus.

Ironclad said...

I lived and worked in the middle east for decades - in the most conservative society that exists in that area. So I am talking from my personal experience.

In the time that I lived there I experienced a non ending series of lectures, newspaper articles and television programs condemning ANY religion other than Islam (and more specifically too, other than a specific sect of Islam). So the "we never insult" comment runs a bit dry for me.

They never "insult" our prophets because we have the story wrong! The Koran is a mash of Old and New Testament stories that always have a different twist - Ishmael instead of Isaac is the sacrifice, Jesus is taken to heaven (and some poor other bugger) gets crucified (sort of the anti-Barabbas version).

But they do destroy, deface and denounce anything that contradicts the narrative. I have a photo of a cross on a wall of a structure that was excavated in the area I lived. It was bulldozed to eliminate the history. Same as they did in Mecca and Medina to destroy ANY investigation of early history (that might contradict the narrative)

This whole controversy boils down to freedom of expression versus a religion trying to impose its rules on everyone. And it needs to be kept as simple as that. Freedom of expression includes freedom to question or offend. Freedom of Religion includes the right to believe what you want, but not to impose your beliefs on others.

I am waiting for a politician to stand up and clearly say that. I fear I will be waiting a long time

furious_a said...

Purple: I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Al Qaeda helped finance this film...

...and...

Allie: I still suspect that bad movie guy was involved in this plot.

Lots of Troofer Stupidity on parade today. AQ could have simply produced this film themselves (like the Danish Imams who provided their own phony Mohammed cartoons) without all the intricate silliness of some Troofer conspiracy acid trip.

edutcher said...

OTOH, the older I get, the more I think the British solution to the Sepoy Mutiny is the only way to handle these people.

Methadras said...

RecChief said...

because a picture of Jesus in a jar of urine is not insulting, right? nor a painting of Mary covered in elephant dung? Christianity has been under attack in this country for the last 40 years.


Did you see any christians burning down embassies around the world because of it? Nope. Did you see any christian calling for Maplethorpe's head because of it? Nope. Jesus is insulted on an hourly basis by people world wide from American leftards to Muslims burning bibles and killing christians and yet you don't see the outrage about that with mass riots and killings.

EMD said...

I still suspect that bad movie guy was involved in this plot. But hey that's just me, over active imagination, I guess we shall see.

Talk about a long walk for a shit sandwich.

Have one of your agents make a crappy movie in LA, upload it to YouTube in June. Wait until mid-September to translate to Egyptian TV, then sit back and watch all hell break loose.

Methinks it would be easier to incite U.S. hatred in the Benghazis of the world without resorting to such a convoluted plot.

wef said...

Let's recognize too that much of the vile "free speech" directed at the Prophet is deliberate and done by emigre`s like the Copts, Zionist Jews that seek to advance their foreign cause by manipulating perceptions and events so that Muslims see America as just as much an enemy as they do the emigre`s people and causes.

Ah, cedarford, and those superstitious, childish, violent mohammedanists keep falling for it every time.

Have to give those Zionist Jews credit for being able to manipulate stupid muslims. Arguing that islam is the religion of violent, gullible fools is a long-term winner.

Damon said...

Thanks for the reminder in your follow-up, Ann. I know lawyers are somewhat rare in looking to the action instead of the description. But as a lawyer I feel even more alone now that reporters report on what is said and not what is done. Reporting (even correctly and in context) on what someone says is not reporting a fact. Where are the reporters? Our free speech is under attack from within and we never hear a peep.

Tank said...

Methadras said...
My point is: it took a Supreme Court case as recently as 1952, to establish that principle in our country, with its rich free-speech tradition. Lawyers even saw fit at that time to argue that movies shouldn't get free-speech protection at all because "their production, distribution, and exhibition is a large-scale business conducted for private profit."

So speech in the pursuit of profit shouldn't get 1st amendment protection? How does that fly in the face of freedom of expression or even the freedom to associate? Is the beginning of the police state now official with Nakula being perp walked to a federal "inquiry" with a parole violation as the pretext for that inquiry?

Just FYI, freedom of association perished with the civil rights movement.

In addition, so-called "commercial speech" is not in fact accorded the same protection or reverence as "political speech." Of course, this makes the whole Citizens United controversy [which in fact involves political speech] all the more pathetic.

Rob said...

Fundamentalist Christians: Call you a sinner and pray for you.

The other guys: blow up your planes, your ships, and cut off the random head.

I see a big difference.

Bob Ellison said...

Smaller point than most of the above: the Stand By Your Ad Provision of McCain Feingold abridges freedom of speech and the press by compelling candidates to say that stupid "I approve this message" sentence.

I don't think this has been challenged in court, but I may be wrong. How did McCain and Feingold think it was consistent with the First Amendment?

TWM said...

"One fella has gone to church for 36 years, another says he has been a practicing Christian for over 1/2 a century...but neither of them are aware at all of who Saul was, let alone his role in writing the Bible and forming the Catholic Church."

Did I say I wasn't aware of who Saul was? I made a joke, which isn't the same thing. Did you mean King Saul or Saul of Tarsus, AKA Paul?

Many men wrote the bible, and all had influence. But I assume you know that.

X said...

We probably need to jail Kate Bigelow and burn Zero Dark Thirty.

Lyle said...

The U.S. Constitution does have an issue with some forms of symbolic speech.

You can't burn a cross on someone's lawn anymore.

A film isn't symbolic speech though.

wef said...

You can't burn a cross on someone's lawn anymore.

never could legally, without his permission

probably can now, with his permission

there are laws against disturbing the peace, however

Synova said...

"Then look just at that argument and engage with it. They think they are saying something that we might agree with, just as we think our free-speech ideology ought to be persuasive to them."

It's useful to identify fundamental divergences, but mostly to recognize where people are NOT persuadable.

Jews don't generally define something as a sin if it isn't acted on. They have a huge problem with forgiving punishment. A righteous God wouldn't *do* that. Muslims can't understand the idea of God allowing Jesus to be humiliated and killed. A powerful God wouldn't *do* that.

It's really not that hard to understand that a culture where one doesn't accept that God would allow the death and humiliation of Jesus, that God also will not allow blasphemy or insult now.

At a very basic level, down below almost all of our other assumptions, is the assumption that God DOES allow insult and humiliation to Himself. And since HE does so, we should follow that example. Yes, this secularizes quite well.

At no point is this ever going to be about finding the spot at which the other side is persuadable to our fundamentals or we are persuadable to their fundamentals.

It might be possible to explain the point of divergence so that people can understand the other side. I don't think it's hard to *understand* the other side.

But understanding isn't synonymous with common ground.

Ann Althouse said...

"Correct me if I am mistaken here, Ann, but are you actually making the argument that we should consider abrogating a fundamental right because "moderates" peacefully ask us to? How does this form any kind of rational argument?"

No, I'm asking you to understand the thinking of the people you might want to persuade. Also, as the post update shows, you should put away any smugness you may have about the depth of our commitment to free speech.

Colonel Angus said...

Because burning a cross on someone's lawn isn't free speech, its trespassing.

Ken said...

cedarford,

He said his activity was aimed to bring America further to the Copt side by making America a target.

This is a weak apology for violent moslems. If I posted a video of abortionists, then anti-abortionists went on to kill the abortionists due to my video, would you really care what my intent was when I made the film? Would you say that the killings were my fault or the fault of anti-abortionists?

The only reason that this film could have brought Americans further to the side of Coptics is if moslems are violent killers who would respond violently to a ridicule. The point of the film was to clearly show what thin-skinned violent killers moslems are. The recent events should bring Americans further to the side of Coptics. Moslems are thin skinned violent killers willing to go destroy things because of ridicule they received online.

Lyssa said...

Let's not be so quick to assume the man with the "Shut Up America" sign is thoroughly alien. The threats to free speech lie within. They always have.

Professor, I hope that you will make your addendum a second post. It needs to be said, as much as possible. These rights that are so fundemental are not so protected as we would like to think.

Dante said...

Oh, wait, the President of the United States today argues that corporations don't have free-speech rights, and many Americans, including highly educated lawyers, are saying the Constitution should be amended to delete those rights.

Well, Ann, I hope you aren't one of those lawyers. Not saying you are, just hoping you aren't.

I was dismayed some years ago to read tangled arguments from some big muckety muck Stanford lawyer about how it was desirable to ban so called "Hate speech" from Universities.

Nor does the President's position surprise me. While he attacks free speech from the political space (We need to get money out of our elections), the truth is he uses money to buy elections. He merely doesn't like free money influencing elections, and probably would love to change America into a more submissive country.

Man, you start chipping away at the cornerstone, and how long is it before the whole thing comes crumbling down?

I would say the President is a concern troll, only he is far worse, using concern and sensibilities to setup dismantling our freedoms. Same for the stupid Stanford Lawyer.

The constitutional freedoms aren't cheap, but they are invaluable.

Christopher in MA said...

One fella has gone to church for 36 years, another says he has been a practicing Christian for over 1/2 a century...but neither of them are aware at all of who Saul was, let alone his role in writing the Bible and forming the Catholic Church.

Possibly because we refer to him as "Paul." Saul was an Israelite king.

But if you're such a stickler for original names, in the future, please refer to Obama as Barry Soetoro.

Synova said...

Deciding to use the name "Saul" and deciding to blur the definition of NT and OT to imply that NT is the Gospels only but without saying so outright, and that the OT which many evangelical Christians formally teach is superseded by the New, grouped with what "Saul" wrote, which would imply that it was part of what was past and no longer valid... all of those rhetorical choices would make an interesting study for discourse analysis.

After I call shenanigans.

Rabel said...

The argument for consideration:

"Consider the people who are saying things like those quoted in the post but who reject the violence ... in part because it's a complete distraction from something they think is an argument that some of us in the West might be interested in considering.
Then look just at that argument and engage with it."

The engagement:

"We're not that far from criminalizing blasphemy in the United States, though it seems obvious to educated Americans today that these laws are unconstitutional."

You handled that quite well.

Dante said...

Also, as the post update shows, you should put away any smugness you may have about the depth of our commitment to free speech.

Smugness is not the right term. This whole PCism crap has been damaging to free speech, and for what? What has been gained? Well, it seems as if some Muslim Moderates now think they may have a wedge into our constitutional law!

Smugness is on the part of the superior elite "thinkers". Arrogance too, that they think they can diddle with something as fundamental as freedom of speech without consequences.

Nathan Alexander said...

AllieOop said:
The latest news I heard on CNN was that (just as I've been saying) the protests at the Embassies WERE about the movie...

And just recently you called me a liar for saying (responding back) that you blamed the rioting on the movies.

Is your real name "Debbie Wasserman Schultz"? Because you make easily-disproven claims about lies exactly like she does.

I guess we never could expect you to discuss issues in good faith. This just provides clear proof of it.

rhhardin said...

Jesus is protected from insult by nonbelievers mostly by their not giving him a thought.

Same with Mohammad, except when idiots start rioting.

DADvocate said...

the President of the United States today argues that corporations don't have free-speech rights, and many Americans, including highly educated lawyers, are saying the Constitution should be amended to delete those rights

The left always wants to eliminate free speech. Right now it's just those nasty corporations, next it'll be those nasty rich people, then those people who proselytize religion in public, then we go after those who support individualism....

Ken said...

Ann,

I'm asking you to understand the thinking of the people you might want to persuade.

Did you ever consider that the people you claim to be "exhibiting some of the rage and irrationality that you're trying to condemn" do understand the thinking of these people? Calmly thinking about the consequences of the rationale put forth by Badie will lead rational people to condemn him and those who think like him as nothing but apologists for violence.

And further, it is clear that people like Badie cannot be convinced that his way of thought is in err, that he is not the target of persuasion.

phx said...

Oh, wait, the President of the United States today argues that corporations don't have free-speech rights, and many Americans, including highly educated lawyers, are saying the Constitution should be amended to delete those rights.

I don't know what the President argues but I'm absolutely open to the idea that corporations, while they should continue to enjoy commercial speech, should not have political free speech. Bring the arguments on.

furious_a said...

Purple: ...when people claim that gay marriage goes against "Christian values" they don't use the words of Jesus...

Matthew 19:4-6...And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

"male and female", not "Michael and Stephen".

Balfegor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

I'm asking you to understand the thinking of the people you might want to persuade.

If you don't have any tools to persuade with (could be your ideas aren't so hot, could be you just don't have the gift of discussion let alone persuasion), you may have bypassed "persuasion" in favor of "bomb the fuck out of them."

I think that happens a lot.

Balfegor said...

I had a long comment ranting at Ken, but now that I think about it, the problem is just that he's conflating different points I am making, sometimes in different posts.

So -- yeah. My point about weak free speech norms is separate from my point about legal validity (not limited to US law in any way shape or form) which is separate from the trivially obvious point that blasphemy laws are not permissible under the American Constitution.

DADvocate said...

I don't know what the President argues but I'm absolutely open to the idea that corporations, while they should continue to enjoy commercial speech, should not have political free speech. Bring the arguments on.

Corporations are owned by people, sometimes just one person, they should be able to use their corporation to express their views and look out for their interests. If it's outlawed, there'll be a million work-arounds anyway. Most importantly, we're better off with too much free speech, if there is such a thing, than too little. The only reason some want to limit corporate speech is to muzzle the preceived opposition.

Nathan Alexander said...

Here's what I think:
This wouldn't have been a problem 200 years ago, right? No electric transmission of information at all.

It probably wouldn't have been a problem 30 years ago: no internet.

It most likely wouldn't have been a problem before YouTube was established.

So we have free speech, and have had free speech enshrined in our most basic law for more than 2 centuries.
They have blasphemy laws, and have had such enshrined in their society for almost 2 millennia.

Each society can stick to its own rules.

It is global communication that is the problem.

But the free speech was in the US, on US networks. It had to be accessed from overseas, or sent via email to overseas, translated, then rebroadcast to have any effect on their society.

Meaning, it had to be sought out, to a certain extent. If they want to keep their people from seeing what they consider blasphemous materials, the solution is simple: cut themselves off from the global communication web.

That way, we have our free speech, they have their insulated lack of offensive stimuli.

Win-win.

But if they want to live in an adult, responsible world, with adult, responsible accesses to unfiltered, uncensored systems, they need to mature to the point they can handle controversial material without an emotional reaction.

It is their choice: grow up, or don't look/access.

I am confident that if every person on the planet watched the video, the vast majority wouldn't be emotionally affected whatsoever, much less angry to the point of rioting or killing.

So the problem is clearly with them. Not with the video or the producers of that video.

bagoh20 said...

"Bring the arguments on."

I thought the argument was simple: citizens don't lose their free speech rights just because they form a corporation, or a union, or an organization. It's not that corporations have the rights, but rather that the people who comprise them just don't lose them when they speak together as a corporation.

Bob Ellison said...

I'm with Synova and Ken (if I understand their arguments correctly). "Understanding" the other side, in this case, is not difficult. The assumption that we MUST understand and respect it is kinda silly, though.

Deeds, not words, and not thoughts. I don't care that much, as a voting citizen, what thinking compels terrorists to commit terrorist acts. I hope that our government employs clever people who think carefully about terrorist thinking. My job as a voter is simply to stand by American rights and try to get competent people on the job.

Pogo said...

'Shut Up America,' Islam explained.

Synova said...

"...while they should continue to enjoy commercial speech, should not have political free speech."

Wasn't the defining case one where the "corporation" was an assembly of people who came together for the purpose of corporate political speech?

Government employees have limited political speech because of conflict of interests. Sebilis can't tell her underlings to vote for Obama. Etc. The conflict with public sector unions and money funneled to politicians that then funnel money the other way back again seems clearly questionable.

But don't private businesses, and corporations or any other organization for businesses, have legitimate "political" concerns? It would be better, actually, to have those concerns primarily expressed during the election process rather than so much in the lobbying process. And better to express them directly instead of behind doors.

creeley23 said...

Let's not be so quick to assume the man with the "Shut Up America" sign is thoroughly alien. The threats to free speech lie within. They always have.

Ann: Huh? Of course there are threats to free speech within. You just did a topic on a poll that 28% of Americans will not put free speech ahead of "offending other cultures."

Furthermore, by now all American conservatives have noticed how hard liberals work to shut down conservative speech.

The threats to free speech from within are not a mystery to us.

bagoh20 said...

The question is whether we deal with this through submission or coexistence. They would be wise to choose coexistence.

Quaestor said...

We don’t think that depictions of the prophets are freedom of expression. We think it is an offense against our rights,” [said Ismail Mohamed, a religious scholar.] “The West has to understand the ideology of the people.”

If Islamic history is any guide then this fellow's assertion are more than a bit suspect. There are Persian manuscripts dating to the 8th and 9th centuries with illustrations depicting Mohammad, Jesus, Moses and even Allah, though the god is shown as a blaze of fire with a human outline, so the injunction against such depictions isn't an ancient one. The practice of illustrating Qu'rans was common in the Islamic kingdoms of the Far East until the mid-16th century, and persisted here and there for much longer, the illustrations being useful for speakers of Malay and Tagalog dialects whose use and knowledge of Arabic extended no further than the Qu'ran itself.

The injuctions against depiction (there were many, issued by some caliphs and repealed by others) all took their authority from Qu'ranic verses which are direct borrowings from the Hebrew Torah, specifically the Fourth Commandment: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth... (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) However if read literally (and isn't that the whole philosophy of these barbarians?) the Commandment forbids all depictions of anything, which includes sculpture, painting and photography in all its forms. The shahs who commissioned the illustrations dealt with the injunction the same way the early Church Fathers did, they ignored it as a manifest absurdity. (What? No maps, no architect's drawings, no textbooks of anatomy?)

If the Arab Street wants to get exercised over something (What else have they got to do? Eat a bowl of barley gruel, and then go stone somebody is on everybody's appointments app in the Arab Street these days.) they should first burn down their own newspapers and TV studios, grossly and perpetually in violation of the Fourth Commandment as they are.

Rusty said...

purplepenquin said...
Retaliating in kind is, of course, one of the Christian virtues.

Seeing how so many preachers, priests, and pastors give far more attention to the OT laws and the writings of Saul than they do to the words of Jesus, a lot of church-goers actually beleive that "eye for an eye" is a Christian value.


Name three.

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