So can I really say anything that I want? Anything? Let’s see…According to the SCOTUS, doing a satirical advertisement depicting a religious figure getting drunk before he preaches and losing his virginity to Good Old Mom in the outhouse is coarse but acceptable parody. So absent any personal standard to leaven my own content; I’m pretty much able to offend whomever I want.
According to Pope Francis, not so much. Soon after Muslim desperadoes shot twelve staffers at the satirical French Magazine Charlie Hebdo, Pope Francis offers us the following homily.
“It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”
He goes on to clarify. He wasn’t saying it was perfectly normal to shoot people, but the context in which he said this makes me wonder whether he believes his own qualifier. Why wouldn’t it become normal SOP if it works so well that the Pope kowtows to the demands of the cutthroats soon after the killings? Reward violence and basic economics suggests that you’ll keep getting more.
Reverend Falwell gets slandered in a porn magazine. Reverend Falwell takes the magazine to court and loses. Court rules that portraying Christian Ministers as drunks who fornicate with their mothers is acceptable speech in America. The Vatican sez: “ ”. Obviously Jerry Falwell wasn’t violently homicidal enough to get his needs attended to. You pretty much get what you tolerate.*
Charlie Hebdo publishes similar garbage about The Prophet Muhammad and Islam in general. Twelve of their workers get assassinated. Now Pope Francis takes notices that people say unpleasant things about religious figures. Now this becomes a problem. Now, after the bodies hit the pavement, we need to watch what we say.
So why doesn’t Francis just publish a Papal Bull announcing that terrorism works like hell? Al Capone was somewhat lapsed as a Catholic but he explained the theology behind what happened to Charlie Hebdo quite succinctly. You can always get more with a kind word and a gun.
If Pope Francis is truly this much of a moral coward in the face of naked, thug-like violence, than he justifies it in the minds of the killers and those who sent them. By telling us now, after terror was used to silence Islam’s critics; that we can’t go around offending religious people Pope Francis rewards the killers. He sanctions the violence and gives them prima facie evidence that they are tactically correct to shoot up any Christian or atheist that gets uppity and flaps their garbage neck.
There are entire intellectual movements dedicated to silencing, marginalizing and eliminating the influence of Christianity around the world. They claim that Christians spout off a lot of crap about good behavior and good intentions that is really just designed to control people and not let them have any fun. When The Vatican is totally silent on behalf of Christian leaders who are accused of getting jiggy with their mom in the outhouse; but then tells us not to offend radical Islamic terrorists who kill anyone who offends Allah, we can justifiably wonder who Pope Francis has more respect and commonality with.
The Atheistkulters over at Less Wrong or IFLS will always tell you the real point of religion is to run a con game to get power over people. It’s just a way to pass around the collection plates and steal from the gullible. Did Pope Francis just provide evidence these obnoxious cranks and parlor pinks were correct? Do we as Christian believers now have to pay a Dane-geld every time some Muslim gets “offended?” I can’t help but wonder about Pope Francis. As French Enlightenment Thinker Voltaire famously said. “We are ruled by those we are not allowed to criticize.”
*-Which is why your local BDSM parlor will always extol the higher virtue of tolerance. It’s all that stands between them and the pitchforks.