January 15, 2015

Who said "If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch"?

Pope Francis!

What about turn the other cheek?!

That's from "Pope on Charlie Hebdo: There are limits to free expression."
Francis, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion. Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
Unless you insult his mother?
"There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit."
Dr. Gasparri was just the man standing next to him. This isn't specifically about  Gasparri. It's the Pope saying free-speakers, insulting religion, are asking for it.

The Pope came very close to saying that the threat of violence is a good enforcer of the limits that he wants to see enforced.

ADDED: That's Regina Maria Sivori — front and center...



... in case you've got something smart to say and want to make Francis stop this Popemobile and come back there.

127 comments:

Jason said...

If he doesn't reinstate the Index Librorum Prohibitarium I say he's talking out of his ass.

Michael said...

People are really fucked up about this. Badly. But if the Pope is suggesting that Christians adopt an enforcement strategy of murder to cushion our sensibilities then who am I to argue? Now we only need to get the government to go along and we can pretty much gun down whoever insults us.

The Pope is a nice man from a very screwed up country with a lot of stupid ideas.

Jason said...

Scratch a liberal, you'll find a fascist.

Every time.

Even works when the liberal is the Pope.

Michael K said...

He is not doing much for the reputation of the papacy.

MadisonMan said...

It's hard to scale up from someone punching a friend because that friend insults your mother to killing people because they mock your religion.

Meade said...

The Poop.

AReasonableMan said...

I agree with the pope that in a civil society we should respect the religious beliefs of others, no matter how crazy those beliefs, as long as it doesn't involve damage to the lives of minors. This civility shouldn't be enforced by either state or private violence but I do generally respect the principle.

mikee said...

Behavior that is incentivized often occurs more.

The pope knows this, and knows the Church used to kill heretics.

The mullahs an imams and sheiks know this, too, but they haven't had a hundred years of relative non-violence to improve their PR among the world press and the public.

Only 100 years ago, Catholics in Ireland were a bit feisty, sort of like Muslims in France (etc.) today. How soon we forget.

Meade said...

Poop Francis.

Meade said...

*ducks*

Anonymous said...

It's hard to scale up from someone punching a friend because that friend insults your mother to killing people because they mock your religion.

Makes it a bit hard to figure out, then, why the Pope brought up the one in the course of talking about the other.

Beorn said...

At this point the pope (any pope) has about as much influence on my life as the proclamations of Nostradamus.

Now five hundred years ago...

Ann Althouse said...

Do I have to come over there?

So I have to stop this Popemobile and come back there?

rhhardin said...

The pope has gotten into the wine.

Expat(ish) said...

I hate to keep referring to my out-of-country friends, but try having a "there is not such thing as hate speech there is only speech" conversation with someone from a country w/o a 1st.

-XC

Skipper said...

Pope Barack, I fear.

Rob said...

This statement by Pope Francis is so dumb, so provocative, it makes me want to give him a smack.

jr565 said...

This is fine as far as it goes. Only then I demand retribution when they call us the Great Satan. Those are fighting words.

jr565 said...

So did the pope send out assassins from the Vatican when Piss christ came out?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

This marxist idiot is worthless. A real Pope would be raising armies to defend the christians getting slaughtered for their religion across the middle east instead of worrying about the feelings of a bunch of savages who worship a pedophile.

John Paul took a bullet from Communists, this asshole excuses bullets and endorses communists.
But to the liberal idiots Francis should be the Saint.

MayBee said...

What if your wife says something insulting about your religion?

And what if your religion is football?

Renee said...

"So did the pope send out assassins from the Vatican when Piss christ came out?"

No, but someone destroyed it.

traditionalguy said...

This Argentinian dude is anti freedom. He seems ready, willing and able to legitimize and de-legitmize governments like the old Roman Empire used its wholey owned Church to do for Ceasars. He declares a world religion's power and he wants to take his place inside a world government that has the monopoly on violence.

His first principle seems to be that famous old arrogance that the traditions of Mother Church alone has reunited Church-State power and the Reformation shall now be ignored... or else.

jr565 said...

I'd agree that saying defamatory things about religion is incensitive and defamatory. Only the response when you insult christianity is different than the response when you insult Islam.
Maybe then christians should be more like Islam. If you put out something that is derogatory except a fatwah.

Renee said...

The story here from 2011

Sebastian said...

"The Pope came very close to saying that the threat of violence is a good enforcer of the limits that he wants to see enforced."

Well, the threat of violence is always a good enforcer of the limits anyone wants to see enforced. Any state threatens violence to enforce whatever limits it adopts. The real debate is about the proper limits and who gets to set them.

Even the French appear to have decided that mockery of a religion's violent tendencies does not exceed their limits and that believers inclined to punch/shoot in response do not get to set the limits.

Big Mike said...

A punch, yes. Hosed down by 7.62 bullets, no.

damikesc said...

I'm less than enamored by the Pope.

lgv said...

Clearly the pope has decided that the old testament is not to be used for anything other than a historical document.

"Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence."

And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit."

So you can't justify violence through religion, but if you insult religion there is a limit at which point violence is justified. Which is it.

How about those Crusades and the spread of Catholicism in South America? How about the spread of Islam eastward to Indonesia at the end of the sword. Aberrations.





Beorn said...

So does the pope also believe that provocatively dressed women can expect to be sexual assaulted?

buster said...

He addressed two separate issues.

1. Can religious belief ever justify the use of violence? The answer is no.

2. Is it right to mock the religious beliefs of others? The answer is no (and doing so invites trouble. But if the trouble is more than a punch in the nose or a slap in the face, it is as wrong as the mockery.)

William said...

The Pope gave a human response. Sadly he doesn't have the moral grandeur of those who comment here. Maybe if someone gave him a good punch in the nose, he would come around.......I wouldn't expect the Pope to believe that toleration of anti religious zealots is the highest and best ideal that a civilized society should strive for.

Anonymous said...

He's got a new Popemobile on order. One with a trunk.

jimbino said...

Popes murdered Jan Hus and Giordano Bruno for things they said, and hounded a priest for decades for posting 95 repetitious theses on a chapel door. They even set up several official church institutions to torture and kill folks for something they said.

chuck said...

As a matter of common sense, the Pope is correct. Likewise, women shouldn't walk down unlighted streets in bad parts of town and Democrats should not discuss Obamacare at Thanksgiving meals. As a personal choice, avoidance of contentious topics allows people to work better together. As a government or church policy, however, it tends towards tyranny.

Eustace Chilke said...

As this event and the debate around it settles into perspective, what strikes me is the extent to which religious people of all sorts line up with the murderers to one extent or another. If you say that free speech means I can say anything I want for any reason or no reason and you've got no recourse except to talk back you will find people who would cheerfully shoot one another in the face lining up together and against you. Bill Maher, for once in his irritating, collectivist-bullshit life, looks most correct in this light.

Anonymous said...

I think this sort of thing always works to the left's advantage and against the right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words

So far, our constitutional protections have held sound against such volleys, but, I wonder today what might be considered fighting words.

If you walked around town wearing a sandwich board with a picture of Mohammed on it, and a Muslim punched you in the face, would that be fighting words?

I bet if you did it with the N word emblazoned on it, the courts would rule you got what was coming to you.

Ann Althouse said...

Serrano only made one print of "Piss Christ"?

Hagar said...

The Jylland Posten's cartoon of Mohammed's head as a bomb with the fuse lit was offensive to Moslem's - at least Sunnis - but there was nothing crude about it, and it was valid criticism with a point.
Much of Charlie Hebdo's stuff seems to have been crude and offensive just to be crude and offensive, and that is different.
Which does not mean that you should approve of sending a crew to invade their offices and kill the employees, but that someone did that does not make Charlie Hebdo's work any less crude and offensive.

buster said...

@ Jimbino at 10:34.

The Roman Church is two thousand years old. It's not outside history. If you're of European descent, it's virtually certain your ancestors perpetrated or were the victims of religious violence.

Fen said...

The Pope just told Christians its okay to "punch back" like Islam does.

Interesting.

Renee said...

"So does the pope also believe that provocatively dressed women can expect to be sexual assaulted?"

No, but would men with use their freedom of expression to come up to you and creepily ask for sexual favors? Yes.

Renee said...

Nothing like Islam

""But you cannot kill in the name of God, This is an aberration. Killing in the name of God is an aberration against God. I think this is the main thing with freedom of religion. You can practice with freedom but without imposing or killing." -Pope Francis

traditionalguy said...

The Pope is second generation Italian Catholic that living in Argentinian society, which is a transplanted European society based on class and ritual appearances before the Godfather lords of the estates who have the money. The Argentinians do not understand American ways anymore than Europeans do

Jose Mario Bergoglio just understands that in such a society Mafia threats and hits on those not obeying are necessary to keep order.



BuckIV said...

I wonder if the pope believes it's a bigger sin to say something disagreeable or to murder someone for saying something disagreeable?

Owen said...

Render unto Caesar, etc.

Pope is a liberation theologist, i.e. socialist.

Scratch a socialist, get a totalitarian.

Owen said...

A Reasonable Man: "I agree with the pope that in a civil society we should respect the religious beliefs of others, no matter how crazy those beliefs, as long as it doesn't involve damage to the lives of minors. This civility shouldn't be enforced by either state or private violence but I do generally respect the principle."

But the Pope is not advocating respect or civility. He is advocating violence in response to speech.

What kind of non-linear logic do you use?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The American understanding of freedom of speech is not shared by most other nations/peoples.

Ann Althouse said...What about turn the other cheek?!

Probably the Pope is describing what would likely happen, not what would happen were he (or people generally) perfect followers of Christ's teachings and examples. I'm relatively sure the Pope would say it's morally wrong to strike somoene else for an insult and that Christians should strive to turn the other cheek, but given the Pople's belief in the fallen, sinful nature of man he'd likely make a distinction between how people ought to act and how we should expect (in a probabalistic sense) people to act.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Altouse said...Unless you insult his mother?

If he punched someone and said "I am justified in doing this, it was morally correct and in keeping with Christ's teachings" your point would be correct. If he punched someone and said "I'm sorry, I should not have done that and it was sinful but my (weak) human emotions overcame what I know to be the proper course of action, please forgive me (to the person and to God)" then you wouldn't really be right. Based on the excerpt I don't see evidence that the first scenario is more likely than the second if one gives the Pope the benefit of the doubt.

Richard Dolan said...

It's a useful reminder that free speech, as we understand it from the First Amendment context, is a uniquely American legal right. In the rest of the world, the idea of free speech already comes burdened with limitations that strike Americans as outlandish and unacceptable. In England, for example, an athlete can be charged criminally for using racial epithets to get an opposing player to commit a foul. All of the European countries accept the notion that no one can utter speech that threatens social cohesion ('hate speech' being the usual example). You'll never guess who gets to decide what speech falls afoul of that line. Canada too has had episodes of the same thing. The only analog in the US is the 'speech code' mania one sees occasionally on university campuses -- speech limitations that fare badly when challenged in court.

Pope Francis comes from a culture where those limitations on free speech are taken for granted. His comments reflect that reality, as do the criminal charges in France against holocaust deniers, rabid anti-Semites and others following the Charlie Hebdo attack. They don't see it as contradictory at all. The fact that speech of that sort invites violence, as it sometimes does, is the basis for the European view that Americans are hopelessly naïve about the need for limits on freedom of speech in the interest of maintaining social peace.

Just another indication of the exceptionalism that defines the American experience.

Fernandinande said...

Popes be goofballs cuzza their goofy religion, or vice-versa?

pm317 said...

It's the Pope saying free-speakers, insulting religion, are asking for it.

Asking for execution-style assassination?! Really? That is where lot of the people are making a mistake, blaming the victims in this Paris situation. Nobody deserves to die that death for saying/writing something/anyhting. And, especially when the writers were comics/satirists who went after a lot of the people from all walks of life.

Richard Dolan said...

BTW, the Pope's example about someone cursing his mother, if done in his presence, would probably qualify as 'fighting words,' which is a recognized exception even to the American notion of legally protected speech. In the European context, his example makes sense. But less so in the American context.

Sigivald said...

He seems to be saying that speech perceived as a deep, personal (and the religious is personal to many people) insult will cause a reaction, right or wrong.

Which is ... simply true.

Given that he also says that killing people in the name of God is plain wrong, he is not saying that killing people is a good enforcer of the limits he says exist - not that he says he wants to see enforced.

Saying that X happens and will happen because that's how people are is not saying that X is good or that he wants X to happen.

It's important to read what people say, closely, rather than just glossing over it to what we'd like it to mean.

This is especially true when reading the words of theologians (and every Pope is a theologian), who tend to make exactly the kind of subtle distinctions that are easily gotten wrong.

(And I say this as an atheist who thinks the Pope should shut up about everything that isn't doctrine, because whenever he talks outside of his expertise, say on economics or general policy, he's incredibly wrong.

On the other hand, Francis has been very good on doctrine and showing a Christian example in his personal actions; being an atheist doesn't prevent me from appreciating that.)

Renee said...

By way of example he referred to Alberto Gasparri who organizes the papal trips and was standing by his side on the plane. The Pope said if “his good friend Dr Gasparri” says a curse word against his mother, he can “expect a punch”, and at that point he gestured with a pretend punch towards him, saying: “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-says-there-are-limits-to-freedom-of-e

garage mahal said...

I've always said scratch a Christian and find a fascist.

Quaestor said...

Catholics have never been too strong on this free speech thing. You can go back as far as you like and find them practicing persecution and murder against anyone with the temerity to speak his mind. Back in the eighties when free speech in Poland was an issue the Vatican was on side with the West, but it was not but a few years later when Salman Rushdie got fatwa'ed over "The Satanic Verses" Rome sided with the mullahs. I suppose it's because religion can't take the heat.

It's the same old totalitarian playbook, isn't it? The Church (or the Mosque) must have total freedom to spread their bilge, and do it tax-free because of our sacred Bill of Rights, but turn it around on them and you get a punch... If I were God I rather not have fascist bastards like Pope Frankie speaking for Me.

I seem to recall somebody getting nailed to something over a free speech issue.

Quaestor said...

Meade wrote: Poop Francis.

This assault on our Constitution should be called The Poopish Plot.

Where is Titus Oates when we need him? Oh right... my ancestor threw him in the pokey. Oops.

Quaestor said...

Yeah, you mackerel snappers heard me right. Jesus got himself nailed over his words, not his deeds. Jesus is one of history's free speech martyrs, so Pope Frankie is sullying his Lord by not defending the absolute right to insult someone's religion. So what if the gospels don't contain any anti-Semitic jokes? The only reason Jesus didn't make fun of the Sanhedrin is because the poor guy had no sense of humor.

walter said...

via Hoodlum:
"I'm sorry, I should not have done that and it was sinful but my (weak) human emotions overcame what I know to be the proper course of action, please forgive me (to the person and to God)"

Very convenient..always an out.

Someone needs to introduce The Pope to The Dozens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dozens

"..the Dozens serves as a substitute for physical aggression, advancing the goals of social competition while sparing both sides the injury and economic hardship associated with violence; in the case of the Dozens, this practice is rooted in the pre-Shaka Zulu military custom of using physical posturing and verbal insults to forestall combat.[6] In any event, The Dozens is a contest of personal power: wit, self-control, verbal ability, mental acuity, and toughness.[5]"

Anonymous said...

Sigh. He was illustrating a point which makes perfect sense in context. Nothing to see here:

"If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," Francis said half-jokingly, throwing a mock punch his way. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."

His pretend punch aside, Francis by no means said the violent attack on Charlie Hebdo was justified. Quite the opposite: He said such horrific violence in God's name couldn't be justified and was an "aberration." But he said a reaction of some sort was to be expected.

michael chellman said...

This is really a terrible thing for the Pope to say. Most of our university administrators,professors, media people, and others agree with him, but this doesn't make it right. We have to stand for free speech, even free speech that we disagree with or offends us.

Renee said...

Did Jesus mock or insult anyone?

Fen said...

"Francis by no means said the violent attack on Charlie Hebdo was justified."

Sure. He just compared the massacre to a punch. And told us to do the same.

Fen said...

"hey now, if you're going around burning American flags, you can expect to be set on fire"

Fen likes this new age. Object lessons are not only allowed, they work. Now where did I put that enemies list?

Michael K said...

"This civility shouldn't be enforced by either state or private violence but I do generally respect the principle."

Agreed but the other side should not be trying to force you to accept their system. Live and let live.

Fen said...

"You insulted the nativity scene, you had it coming"

richard mcenroe said...

What was his reply to his own bishops in Venezuela who told him the country's problems were the fault of its Marxist leadership?

ELC said...

@ Renee "Did Jesus mock or insult anyone?" 1/15/15, 12:33 PM

Please see Matthew 23:13-36.

richard mcenroe said...

There is a spectrum of response between "a punch" and machine-gunning 17 people. People do not get that the papal doctrine of infallibility (only established in 1870) refers only to theological issues, not secular ones. His Holiness is as allowed to be wrong about secular issues as the lowliest of us sinners.

And to extrapolate from "a punch" to endorsement of mass murder is just a tiny bit of a stretch here.

Quaestor said...

But he said a reaction of some sort was to be expected.

Bullshit. The proper reaction, the civilized reaction to an insult to Islam is to either applaud, counter the insult with one of your own (Muslims are at a severe humor disadvantage, unfortunately for them) or look away.

Jesus had something to say about being offended: If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out. I don't know what the hell he meant by that except that it clearly does not mean one should pluck out someone else's eye.

Renee said...

Harsh condemnation & admonishment, not insulting or mocking.

Gerrard787 said...

This is too much. Rome never supported the Rushdie fatwa. Who believes (and writes) this stuff?

TreeJoe said...

How many of you are responding to the Pope's speech vs. the sound bites taken from that speech?

The sound bites sound poor. The speech was good.

There is such a thing as provocation. For example, insulting the Pope's mother is something the Pope does not respond well too.

However, there is such a thing as going too far in response to provocation - which the Pope also addressed.

Quaestor said...

Renee asked if Jesus every mocked or insulted anyone.

If if were a 1st century AD Pharisee or scribe I'd be pretty damned insulted (Note that the insults aren't funny. An ancient Don Rickles that Jesus guy was not.) So if Pope Frankie's ethics are any guide the Catholic doctrine must be Jesus had it coming. Too bad they'll never put that in the catechism; it would solve a lot of ecumenical problems.

walter said...

"to extrapolate from "a punch" to endorsement of mass murder is just a tiny bit of a stretch here."

I don't think anyone is. But it is odd to rationalize a physically violent response to mere words...an act likely to escalate the situation even further. Word has it he is allowed to be as wrong as everyone in "secular" matters. Well..then he can be prosecuted for assault like us too.

Lydia said...

Pope Francis is not a theologian. His background is as a pastor. Watch him making these comments to the journalists on board his plane; he looks every inch the parish priest instructing his flock on practical matters.

gerry said...

Remarks out of context to a media system that wants to make of Pope Francis a renegade socialist advocate cannot be trusted to convey what he really meant.

Discount, discount, discount. I don't believe the press in other things without questioning the veracity of reports (about stuff in which I am an expert, MSM reports always get something significantly wrong), so why believe this so readily?

Quaestor said...

L'Osservatore Romano:

''The very attachment to our own faith induces us to deplore that which is irreverent and blasphemous in the book's contents.

It should not, however, be difficult to understand that the sacredness of the religious conscience of every individual cannot be set apart from the sacredness of the life of other men.

The solidarity of those who have felt wounded in their dignity must be accompanied by a pressing vow to abandon attitudes of hate that also sound like offenses to God.

It is certainly fair to ask what kind of art or liberty we are dealing with when, in their name, people's most profound dimension is attacked and their sensitivity as believers is offended."

A ringing endorsement of free speech, no? /sarc

A foreign power suborns the murder of someone who not even a subject of that power, and this is all the Vatican has to say. If the fatwa involved buggery of the offending novelist instead of murder, I suspect the College of Cardinals would have gotten in line behind the Ayatollah.

The Vatican loves the First Amendment, especially the part about tax-free churches. They're still looking for the pederasty clause, however.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Will Charlie Hedbo insult the pope's mother on its next cover?

Revenant said...

Punching someone for insulting your mother might be an ordinary human reaction, but it is neither Christian nor right.

Quaestor said...

Renee wrote: Harsh condemnation & admonishment, not insulting or mocking.

Weasel words. If harsh condemnation doesn't amount to an insult then what is the Poop talking about?

I agree it isn't mocking. Jesus evidently didn't have the wit for mockery, so crude insults were his only weapons.

Quaestor said...

Will Charlie Hedbo insult the pope's mother on its next cover?

Facilement fait, mon ami. Just publish the Poop's latest comments about free speech. Any decent mother would be insulted.

Quaestor said...

Same Harris kicks Poop-ass.

reCAPTCHA must be prescient: SOCRAP CONGREGATION

walter said...

What could be more offensive or insulting to someone of a supreme faith, (maybe even chosen ones)..than someone else saying theirs is?
Why..that should rate a higher response than "Yo'mama"

Thorley Winston said...

Punching someone for insulting your mother might be an ordinary human reaction, but it is neither Christian nor right.

It’s also neither unchristian nor wrong. A Christian might “turn the other cheek” when you attack or insult them but I'm not aware of anything in the Bible or Christ’s teachings that says they are to do the same when you attack or insult an innocent third party such as their wife, their mother or their children.



walter said...

Doesn't matter. Knock 'em out..then ask for forgiveness. Easy.

richard mcenroe said...

Walter, yes, but a physical response to insult is neither uncommon, nor, in many cases, not understandable.

I have shown someone the wall over their behavior towards my wife in the past. It's not something I'm particularly proud of but I don't apologize for it. Doesn't mean I would have gunned them down in the street. Again, there is a spectrum of behavior. I didn't stop at "I'm not a violent man, but there will be a strong letter in the Times in the morning," and neither did I escalate to "Go ahead, make my day."

richard mcenroe said...

As to l'Osservatore Romano:

We could ask the same question regarding followers of Zeus or Odin or Wakantanka...oh, wait, no we can't.

walter said...

Richard, are you discussing this within the Christianity or machismo?

Quaestor said...

It’s also neither unchristian nor wrong.

Try that one in court and get back to me. There's lots of bastards I'd like to punch.

Skyler said...

Hey Frankie, your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries. And if you wish to put your pugilistic skills to use on me, then be sure to leave your guards behind. You stinking callow immoral craven apologizer for murderers.

richard mcenroe said...

Within the Christianity, I suppose. I have never done a "machismo" thing in my life I didn't absolutely have to. And I don't pretend there was any "moral" improvement arising from what I did except that an asshole stopped bothering my wife. But then again, the Temple doubtless smelled better after Jesus whipped the moneychangers and sacrifice-sellers from the premises.

traditionalguy said...

Interesting contrast about the result of insulting gods:
1) Jesus said it's forgivable to insult Him, but never the Holy Spirit.
2) Pope Frances says it's not forgivable to insult his mother.

So is the Pope's god his mother or is it the Church and the Church's immaculately concieved Mother goddess?

richard mcenroe said...

Quaestor: yes, the law is the law. But as I'm sure you know, the law and real world do not make a perfectly overlapped Venn diagram.

richard mcenroe said...

"Renee asked if Jesus every mocked or insulted anyone."

Quaestor, don't you remember the Parable that begins, "Two Midianites walked into a bar with an idol of Baal..."

Renee said...

Full transcript
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-transcript-of-popes-interview-in-flight-to-manila-96471/

Renee said...

Part 1

Sebastien Maynard (La Croix): Holy Father, yesterday during Mass, you spoke about religious liberty as a fundamental human right. With respect to other religions, how far can the freedom of expression extend, since this latter is a fundamental human right, too?

Pope Francis: Thanks for the question, that is smart, it is good. I think that both are fundamental human rights, religious liberty and liberty of expression. You can't … Let's think, are you French? Let's go to Paris. Let's speak clearly. You cannot hide a truth. Everyone has the right to practice their religion, their own religion without offending, freely. And that's what we do, what we all want to do.
Secondly, you cannot offend or make war, kill in the name of your religion, in the name of God. What has happened now astonishes us. But always, let's think to our history, how many religious wars we have had. Think of St Bartholomew's night (when Catholics massacred Huguenots during the French wars of religion in 1572, editors note). How can we understand this? Also we were sinners in this. But you cannot kill in the name of God, this is an aberration. Killing in the name of God is an aberration against God. I think this is the main thing with freedom of religion. You can practice with freedom without offending but without imposing or killing.

walter said...

" I have never done a "machismo" thing in my life I didn't absolutely have to."

Really? There was no way to tell the guy to knock it off? Get away from the a-hole? Physically backed into a corner with him physically attacking your wife? No exit?

Machismo by any other name.

If the law doesn't help you maybe this will.

"A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult"—Prov 12:16

Renee said...

The freedom of expression… Every one of us has not just the freedom, the right, but also the obligation to say what he thinks to help build the common good. The obligation. If we think of a congressman, a senator, if he doesn't say what he thinks is the true path, he doesn't collaborate in the common good. We have the obligation to freely have this liberty, but without offending. It's true that you cannot react violently. But, if Dr. Gasbarri, my great friend, says something against my mother, he can expect a punch. It's normal. It's normal. You cannot provoke, you cannot insult the faith of others, you cannot make fun of the faith. Pope Benedict, in a speech, I don't remember which, he spoke of this post-positivist mentality, of the post-positivist metaphysics that brought people to believe that religions or religious expressions are a type of lower culture: that they are tolerated but that there's not much to them, that they are in not part of an enlightened culture. And this is a lecacy of the Enlightenment. So many people speak against others' religions. They make fun of them. Let's say they "giocatalizzano" (make a playng out of) the religion of others. But they are provoking, and what can happen is what I said about Dr. Gasbarri if he says something about my mother. There is a limit. Every religion has dignity; I cannot mock a religion that respects human life and the human person. And this is a limit. I've used this example of the limit to say that in the freedom of expression there are limits, like the example I gave of my mother. I don't know if I was able to respond to the question. Thanks.

Jason said...

Garage: I've always said scratch a Christian and find a fascist.

That's because you're an idiot with no grasp of Christianity nor fascism.

Quaestor said...

Quaestor, don't you remember the Parable...

Oh, yeah, that one.

The Book of Schtick, 3: 7-11
Two Midianites walked into a bar with an idol of Baal.
Yahweh in the guise of a bartender says, "We don't get many talking stone images in here."
To which the idol replies, "And at these prices you're not likely to get any more."
Enraged by its arrogance, Yahweh smashes the idol to smithereens and smites the Midianites unto the seventh generation just for kicks.


It's an old story, but the inspired writer couldn't resist the commentary in Verse 11, thus showing that a good time had by all is inimical to religion.

walter said...

Ann,
Given your linguistic bent, are you wondering about the curious choice of "aberration" here? Maybe a translation issue?

befinne said...

Why so serious? The Pope was making a joke when he said he'd punch Gasparri; an absurd aside while saying love one another.

Quaestor said...

Renee wrote: Every one of us has not just the freedom, the right, but also the obligation to say what he thinks to help build the common good.

Quoting the Poop without attribution, are we? I assume you find his words agreeable. If so...

Complete and utter nonsense. No one is obliged to speak for any reason. Nor is freedom of expression contingent in any way on whether said expression advances or is in the interest of the common good (whatever that means). Show me someone who thinks he knows what the common good is and I'll show you either a moral idiot or a fascist, possibly both. Since it's Poop Frankie talking I'm sure it's both.

If we think of a congressman, a senator, if he doesn't say what he thinks is the true path, he doesn't collaborate in the common good.

What makes this "we" you invoke an authority on the "common good"? And what the fuck are you going to do if the congressman or senator doesn't excerise their free expression (by your lights it's hardly free at all, btw) in a manner that meets your approval? The law gives you only a few options, and none of them can silence him, or compel him to say something more to your liking. And even if you do compel him to speak what have you accomplished? Have you advanced truth, or just given the world another sad example of might making right.

I surmise that you thought that by quoting Frankie's words at length you might mitigate the effect. Unfortunately it just makes it worse. The absolute monarch of the Vatican opining on free expression is just sickening.

Let Frankie repudiate the Counter-Reformation. Let him apologize for burning Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes. Let him beg forgiveness for imprisoning Galileo. Let the Vatican do penance for every martyr of conscience who suffered torture and death under it auspices. Then and only then will he have standing to criticize Charlie Hebdo.

walter said...

The Pope..coming to comedy club near you.
Well..his audience laughs..but he looks pretty serious..."This is normal.."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqPHohn-lAw

See what he did there?

Renee said...

@Quaestor

Your argument, due to you insults, carry very little weight.

That's the problem when you're a jerk, people just tune you out.

walter said...

Better than knocking him out.

Quaestor said...

Your argument, due to you insults, carry very little weight.

On the contrary, my arguments are so weighty your pathetic little brain can't cope or even counter them with evidence or logic. I don't expect to convert you to the "true path". This is the place where charlatans like you get their rhetorical asses kicked.

traditionalguy said...

Jesus liked to come back at the Pharisees for opposing his miracles and for using Sabbath rules to hurt folks instead of help them.

His best insults were calling them "white washed tombs pretty on the outside, but full of dead men's bones," or for short, "A Brood of Vipers."

Krumhorn said...

It seems odd to me that the libruls who preach this free-speech-but-be-civil crap are the ones most likely to be willing to mock and scoff while talking about the flying spaghetti monkey, supernatural superhero, mindless myths and the magic sky god.

It's pretty safe to do so, since these days, Christians are not terribly likely to show up with AKs and conduct beheadings.

- Krumhorn

The Godfather said...

“You cannot hide a truth.” “[Y]ou cannot offend or make war, kill in the name of your religion, in the name of God.” “"It's true that you cannot react violently.” “I cannot mock a religion that respects human life and the human person.”

You keep using this word, "cannot". I don't think it means what you think it means.

One "can" do all these things, and people do them all the time. The word you are looking for is "shouldn't". Try it again that way. See how much better and truer it is that way?

Also, you need to make clear that your advice about conduct does not imply that governments should punish people who act in ways that you believe they "shouldn't" act. And you also need to make clear that people who are offended by other people acting in ways that you believe they "shouldn't" don't have the right to resort to violence, not even punch-in-the-nose violence, much less mass murder. That such reactions may be expected doesn't mean that they are right.

If you read the comments on Althouse. you will see that your sloppy use of language has worried those who love and respect you, and forced them to go to a lot of trouble to defend you. You have also furnished ammunition to those who seek to denigrate the Roman Catholic faith, and indeed all faiths. That's not what you want, is it?

buster said...

Quaestor: "Jesus is one of history's free speech martyrs."

Never thought of it that way, but you're right.

buster said...

If the Archbishop of Canterbury had said it instead of the Pope, the comments here would be just as dismissive but less vehement.

Revenant said...

It’s also neither unchristian nor wrong.

It is both un-Christian and wrong.

A Christian might “turn the other cheek” when you attack or insult them but I'm not aware of anything in the Bible or Christ’s teachings that says they are to do the same when you attack or insult an innocent third party such as their wife, their mother or their children.

I like how you slipped "attack" in there. Nice attempt at changing the subject.

The Bible, in both Old and New testaments, forbids violence against other people except in certain limited circumstances such as war. "He dissed my mom" didn't make the list.

Also, you are reading the "turn the other cheek" passage rather stupidly. If a person badmouths your mother to you, he isn't harming your mother. Your mother doesn't even know he said it. The only person "harmed" by it is you -- and you are quite explicitly told to turn the other cheek in response to far worse harm than that.

Dan Hossley said...

Pope Francis swims at the shallow end of the pool.

Revenant said...

Try that one in court and get back to me.

Prisons are full of people who resorted to violence because the other guy said something they didn't like.

Yeah, I get the whole macho "protect yer wimmin" thing, but the law doesn't.

Milwaukie guy said...

Speaking as a Presbyterian atheist in good standing I try to understand the leader of this odd yet familiar religion and parse his words because he is important.

I kind of hear him say that if provoked sufficiently a reaction can almost be expected. That is just human. I feel the same way. Maybe if you poke the French too much they will go all Napoleon on your ass.

I feel it. I often wish America would go all Andrew Jackson on some peoples ass because this shit is real.

Big Mike said...

So according to his Holiness, the biggest and strongest person gets to say anything they want? I mean, that's where he's going with this isn't he? Say something bad about his mother and he'll punch you. But I'm bigger than he is so I'll return his punch and pretty soon he's in a brawl, probably losing unless his Swiss Guards join in. Only the biggest and meanest can thrive in that social structure.

The West addressed this a long time ago. You respond to insults with a punch (or a bullet) and you will be arrested and tried (maybe for manslaughter or murder, if your reaction was too extreme). His Holiness needs to get on board with civilization in the 21st century.

Fen said...

Yeah, I get the whole macho "protect yer wimmin" thing, but the law doesn't.

The county coroner does.

traditionalguy said...

This amazing Pope has now joined Comrade Obama and the worshipers Nature. He finds that any Mother Church which he controls must defend Mother Nature against modern life that is slapping Gaia in the face by using an energy system that emits trace co2 gas as it supports all modern life itself.

This dude is a serious and dangerous manipulator trying to get us stuck in 1600s deceptions he claims to be love.

What he does not have any of is the Holy Spirit who is the spirit of truth who deals in reality and not in convenient myth.

Hyphenated American said...

"If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch"?


This raises an interesting question - how many pedophile priests did he manage to punch in the last few years? If none, then I question his priorities.

Rusty said...

Whaddayaget for insulting the prophets mother?

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

He was restating the thoughts of an earlier blog post(s) in which the Professor argued against insulting Muslims everyday with repetitive pictures of Mohammed out of 'common decency.' Voltaire said something like 'if religion can demand that you believe things that are ridiculous then it can make you commit atrocities.' Interestingly, he was putting morality above religion. So what the Pope said is good though, for a lot of us, our religion is 'Don't insult my intelligence.'

furious_a said...

I kind of hear him say that if provoked sufficiently a reaction can almost be expected.

"Turning the other cheek" is not a rite of assisted suicide.

furious_a said...

If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.

It commands one to set aside or step away from whatever it is that leads one astray.

Shawn Deny said...

Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
that girl