1. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35519
    15 Jan '15 23:23
    I've been observing this phenomenon in the media since the killings in Paris hit the airwaves. There seems to be mainly one camp of thought on this, and it has the well-meaning umbrella of "freedom of speech" especially among journalists. I, for one, do believe in "freedom of speech", since I am American and this is spelled out in our First Amendment to the US Constitution.

    That being said, I'm also a firm believer in the concept of "living peaceably with your neighbors" and that you don't go around just doing everything you can to piss people off just "for the lulz". Charlie Hebdo, on its cover, even calls itself "Irresponsible Journalism". They are admittedly an atheist organization, a "mouthpiece", if you will, for the atheist cause. Apparently this also involves making fun of every other religion under the sun, "just because they can". Mohammed is just its latest victim in this regard, and they paid a very serious price for "pissing off" the wrong people.

    Even though I do believe in "freedom of speech", and more to the point, "freedom of the press", I also believe there is a fine line here involving basic respect for your fellow man. Religion has long been one of those things that people are taught not to denigrate in polite society. Another is race, another is gender. Race was probably the first of these to fall by the wayside; now calling someone a "racist" is usually considered "fighting words", and you better have a good reason for calling someone out for this, witness the common phrase "I can't believe you used the race card." As women know, feminists have been calling men "sexist" for years now, even to the point where men now seem to ignore this label, or to even wear it with pride, but we're getting closer all the time. It is slowly but surely becoming socially unacceptable to be a "sexist".

    Pope Francis recently went on record on the Charlie Hebdo issue. This is a piece of an article that appeared in The Huffington Post:

    Pope Francis On Charlie Hebdo: 'You Cannot Insult The Faith Of Others'

    ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Thursday there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it insults or ridicules someone's faith.

    Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good.

    But he said there were limits.

    By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.

    "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.

    Many people around the world have defended the right of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in the wake of the massacre by Islamic extremists at its Paris offices and subsequent attack on a kosher supermarket in which three gunmen killed 17 people.
    Others, though, have noted that in virtually all societies, freedom of speech has its limits, from laws against Holocaust denial to racially motivated hate speech.

    Recently the Vatican and four prominent French imams issued a joint declaration that, while denouncing the Paris attacks, urged the media to treat religions with respect.
    Francis, who has called on Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further Thursday when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion.

    "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."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What I'm saying is that we need to show a little more respect for others. We've made serious strides in earlier decades, first regarding race, then gender, then sexuality, now we need to do the same for religious choice.

    While all the leaders of the free world getting together in a rally showing support for freedom of the press is a good thing, putting a similar effort behind religious freedom and not treating others as somehow less than human just because they have a different religion than you is an issue whose time has finally come.

    I find it just too bad that in order to get our voices heard, we have to rally behind a magazine who has made it their business to make fun of others because of their religion.
  2. Joined
    16 Jan '07
    Moves
    93394
    15 Jan '15 23:501 edit
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I've been observing this phenomenon in the media since the killings in Paris hit the airwaves. There seems to be mainly one camp of thought on this, and it has the well-meaning umbrella of "freedom of speech" especially among journalists. I, for one, do believe in "freedom of speech", since I am American and this is spelled out in our First Amendment to t ...[text shortened]... ehind a magazine who has made it their business to make fun of others because of their religion.
    i think you are missing the point of satire.

    charlie hebo is a satirical magazine. its purpose is not to "make fun of others because of their religion." that would be crass, base humour. the point of satire is to use humour to make salient, topical, points about culture.
    the point is not to make fun of the whole of christianity, or the whole of islam, its not cheap humour.
    satire has always been a key part of the political and cultural landscape in europe from ancient greece to mordern day france and britian.

    you might as well say jon stewert should not have made fun of bush or palin just in case all republicans get offended.

    satire is important. sometimes people will get offended, but as long as there is an ideological point being made and there is no incitement of hatred or violence then people with just have to be offended.
  3. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    16 Jan '15 01:21
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    ... calling someone a "racist" is usually considered "fighting words", and you better have a good reason for calling someone out for this, witness the common phrase "I can't believe you used the race card." As women know, feminists have been calling men "sexist" for years now, even to the point where men now seem to ignore this label, or to even wear it wi ...[text shortened]... g closer all the time. It is slowly but surely becoming socially unacceptable to be a "sexist".
    And yet only recently we saw you trying to browbeat whodey here into silence by smearing him as a "racist" with no justification except your political disagreements with him, and you have on more than one occasion attempted to smear male posters as "misogynists" with no justification except that you disagreed with them or didn't like them or whatever. If you cheapen the meaning of words, you cheapen freedom of speech. If you are forever trying to inhibit the freedom of speech of others with your "fighting words", Suzianne, you cannot really cast yourself as an impressive or persuasive advocate of free speech.
  4. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    bigdogghouse.com/RHP
    Joined
    26 Nov '04
    Moves
    110624
    16 Jan '15 01:32
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I've been observing this phenomenon in the media since the killings in Paris hit the airwaves. There seems to be mainly one camp of thought on this, and it has the well-meaning umbrella of "freedom of speech" especially among journalists. I, for one, do believe in "freedom of speech", since I am American and this is spelled out in our First Amendment to t ...[text shortened]... ehind a magazine who has made it their business to make fun of others because of their religion.
    If the situation were reversed, I'd stand up for a publication that mocked the hell out of atheists. To me, that is the epitome of free speech. I would never suggest that they limit their criticism, or that they had 'crossed a boundary'. (I might respond in kind, but I'll never deny them the chance to say their piece.)

    The key is that it does not bother me that some people think I am full of shyte because I am an atheist. Why? Because there will always be those people, somewhere, no matter what belief you hold.

    When you think about it in detail, it's actually a position of strength to remain unbothered in the face of severe ridicule. It says that I am confident in my beliefs, and that I have the strength of will to maintain them even if many people disagree.
  5. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    16 Jan '15 02:151 edit
    Out here in parts of the world that are rather different from the justifiably outraged and grieving France, when it comes to struggling for and coaxing a recognition of basic human rights from those in power, if you will forgive us, we will not start with “the right to be offensive”.

    There is also the freedom to speak out without fear of reprisals in court cases, in land rights disputes, in demanding transparency in government, demanding accountability of officials and legislators, in traditions that have a degree of since-year-dot deference not seen in the West, in speaking out against domestic violence, against the misuse of resources, against the degredation of the environment, the destruction of livelihoods, against corruption and against injustice generally.

    Are all these things simply trumped by “the right to be offensive”? The hard fought and culture-bending concessions on issues of Power v Rights listed above are not 'cosmetic only' unless they are underpinned by “the right to be offensive”, as some suggest.

    The struggle to promote freedom of speech is a cultural struggle. It involves transformation and empowerment. It is the more enlightened people, in countries with reactionary cultural norms, who champion freedom of speech and sell it as a way of making our human interactions better and not worse, and for this, these kinds of champions are closely associated with Western norms and values, and they can easily be smeared for their 'enlightenment'. And yet progress is made. And is being made, steadily.

    Despite the suspicion of the West and its 'alien' promiscuity and disrespect and other depravities, freedom of speech is spreading and backwardness (so often devout religious backwardness) is being rolled back. Inch by inch. Injustice is being fought day-in-day-out, gradually, doggedly, step by little step, all over the world. Progress is being made. And without question, the most vital tool in this ongoing and gradually successful struggle is the freedom of speech.

    High profile people in the West ostentatiously exercise their “the right to be offensive”. Yes, I support their right to freedom of speech. Yes, I deplore and condemn the atrocious violence and mass murder that has ended their lives and is part of an effort to inhibit freedom of speech in the future and promote what I see as backwardness. I say this even if their exercise of it are calculated cases of brutal misanthropy, seeking to mock and insult as many people as possible. Having said that, I believe they set back the cause of freedom of speech ~ in other more fragile places ~ with their use of it. And I believe it is their right to do so.

    But the carpet gets pulled from under the feet of countless heroes and champions of freedom in parts of the world that don’t have Western protections; champions whose corpses end up in the boots of unmarked cars and who go largely unmourned or unheard of by many "heroes and champions of freedom" in the West. These kinds of day-in-day-out activists and their perceived Western norms are discredited and kept at a longer arms length for that much longer. And that is tragic too.
  6. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    16 Jan '15 02:21
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    When you think about it in detail, it's actually a position of [b]strength to remain unbothered in the face of severe ridicule. It says that I am confident in my beliefs, and that I have the strength of will to maintain them even if many people disagree.[/b]
    This works for me. You are absolutely right.
  7. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    16 Jan '15 02:372 edits
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I've been observing this phenomenon in the media since the killings in Paris hit the airwaves. There seems to be mainly one camp of thought on this, and it has the well-meaning umbrella of "freedom of speech" especially among journalists. I, for one, do believe in "freedom of speech", since I am American and this is spelled out in our First Amendment to t ...[text shortened]... ehind a magazine who has made it their business to make fun of others because of their religion.
    I already have posted something like this in the Debates forum.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/09/paris-hijackers-hijacked-islam-no-war-between-islam-west

    Tariq Ramadan (who wrote this article) met Charlie Hebdo's late editor,
    Stephane Charbonnier (aka 'Charb' ). They argued, and Tariq Ramadan,
    a Muslim, told Charb that he respected his right to publish freely even if
    it offends many Muslims. But he also noted some apparent hypocrisy
    at 'Charlie Hebdo' about whom it considered important not to offend.

    "In 2008 his magazine ('Charlie Hebdo' ) *fired a cartoonist who made a joke*
    about a Jewish link to President Sarkozy's son. Where was the freedom of
    expression there, I asked the satirical magazine. I was told (by Charb) that
    *when it comes to freedom of expression that there are limits, not everything
    can be said*. The double standard is troubling, to say the least."
    --Tariq Ramadan

    So, on one hand, 'Charlie Hebdo' believes it's appropriate to publish things
    that it would expect many, perhaps most, French Muslims to find offensive
    and it defends that practice as a glorious expression of free speech. But,
    on the other hand, when a veteran employee produced a controversial satire
    that some people perceived as anti-Jewish, he lost his job at 'Charlie Hebdo'.
    Evidently, 'Charlie Hebdo' regards it as more important *not* to offend
    some groups (e.g. French Jews) than others (e.g. French Muslims).

    "To have a sense of humour is fine, I told them, but to target an already
    stigmatized people (Muslims) in France is not really showing much courage."
    --Tariq Ramadan

    Of course, being a hypocrite does *not* warrant being murdered. Yet it's
    possible to condemn the murders of Charlie Hebdo's employees and support
    the magazine's right to publish freely while not necessarily approving of
    everything that it has published or will publish.
  8. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
    Joined
    24 Jan '11
    Moves
    12694
    16 Jan '15 05:342 edits
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    If the situation were reversed, I'd stand up for a publication that mocked the hell out of atheists. To me, that is the epitome of free speech. I would never suggest that they limit their criticism, or that they had 'crossed a boundary'. (I might respond in kind, but I'll never deny them the chance to say their piece.)

    The key is that it does not b ...[text shortened]... my beliefs, and that I have the strength of will to maintain them even if many people disagree.
    It is not often that I agree with a declared atheist, but in this case I do agree. Even though it would be nice to respect other's beliefs, the respect of truth is more important. But it is difficult to know the truth anymore when there are so many lies out there and we all are guilty of lying.
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    USA
    Joined
    24 May '04
    Moves
    148425
    16 Jan '15 06:12
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I've been observing this phenomenon in the media since the killings in Paris hit the airwaves. There seems to be mainly one camp of thought on this, and it has the well-meaning umbrella of "freedom of speech" especially among journalists. I, for one, do believe in "freedom of speech", since I am American and this is spelled out in our First Amendment to t ...[text shortened]... ehind a magazine who has made it their business to make fun of others because of their religion.
    I agree with you about respect it should be our goal, but I have to say that
    everyone should have the right to opine, complain, and belittle. Now that
    said we also have the right to do the same to those that do that to us. If
    we do not allow for it we leave free speech! It is not free speech because I
    like everything that is said, it is free because we all can speak our minds as
    we see fit.

    I'm the first one to complain when I think someone is dissing me, and I
    have no problem calling people out on it. I also except them to call me out
    when I let my nasty side come out in the fresh air so everyone can see how
    bad I can get too.

    I think the only time we would or should rally to get our voices heard is
    when someone's voice is being attacked with an attempt to get then to
    be shut down. I wonder why more were not upset with the IRS going after
    people for their points of view?
  10. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    16 Jan '15 06:301 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I wonder why more were not upset with the IRS going after
    people for their points of view?
    The IRS goes after people who haven't paid their taxes or who should be paying their taxes in accordance with the actual nature of the institution in question. In this framework, they have pursued left leaning outfits just as they have pursued right leaning outfits. There was ample evidence of this at the time Obama's opponents claimed that the IRS was going after right leaning entities but the urban myth persists that left leaning organisations, that should be paying taxes when they are in fact not, are somehow not being investigated by the IRS. Tell that to the ones that have had the IRS come down on them. As a taxpayer you ought to welcome the truth of the matter, rather than the shabby retail-politics-mythmanship that surrounds it.
  11. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    16 Jan '15 06:33
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    What I'm saying is that we need to show a little more respect for others.
    Most of us do show respect for others most of the time. The question however is what to do about those who do not, when they do not. Do we punish them in some way, or do we just ignore them? Should people be afraid of offending others, or should they merely give respect out of politeness?
    It is a well known fact that globally, most people are quite willing to insult Christians when they feel like it, but are very reluctant to insult Islam or Muslims out of fear of reprisals. I see this as a very bad thing.
  12. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    16 Jan '15 06:35
    It is notable that many people are significantly less polite on the internet when they believe there will be no bad consequences to their behavior.
  13. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
    Joined
    24 Jan '11
    Moves
    12694
    16 Jan '15 06:45
    Originally posted by FMF
    The IRS goes after people who haven't paid their taxes or who should be paying their taxes in accordance with the actual nature of the institution in question. In this framework, they have pursued left leaning outfits just as they have pursued right leaning outfits. There was ample evidence of this at the time Obama's opponents claimed that the IRS was going aft ...[text shortened]... e the truth of the matter, rather than the shabby retail-politics-mythmanship that surrounds it.
    What are some of these left leaning outfits that the IRS under the Obama administration have been investigating for not paying taxes?
  14. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29835
    16 Jan '15 06:562 edits
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    What are some of these left leaning outfits that the IRS under the Obama administration have been investigating for not paying taxes?
    If I take the time to dig out the investigative analysis that was published when this "scandal" erupted, you will blank me out or respond with facetious throw away remarks. (There were some environmental groups for example who were feigning tax free status whereas they were really political organisations, that much I remember). I am not trying to change your mind or Kelly's. Just registering disappointment with your partisanship. So I will settle for: if I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and those who think I am wrong, they are welcome to think I am wrong. Meanwhile, if you can give some examples of ideas, arguments, proposals, complaints ~ free speech ~ that hasn't been heard or has been censored from the public domain because those propagating them were cheating on their taxes, go for it.
  15. Donationbbarr
    Chief Justice
    Center of Contention
    Joined
    14 Jun '02
    Moves
    17381
    16 Jan '15 07:13
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I agree with you about respect it should be our goal, but I have to say that
    everyone should have the right to opine, complain, and belittle. Now that
    said we also have the right to do the same to those that do that to us. If
    we do not allow for it we leave free speech! It is not free speech because I
    like everything that is said, it is free because we ...[text shortened]... own. I wonder why more were not upset with the IRS going after
    people for their points of view?
    I love the fact that although we disagree on quite a lot of the "big topics", I'm completely confident that if anybody were to try to shut me up, you'd be on my side. This is something very American and very important; also, personally, moving. We have the right to belittle! But, you know, maybe we should only rarely exercise that right...
Back to Top