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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Vatican and Freedom of Speech

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh posts on a Vatican statement regarding the Mohammed cartoon rioting. From a Reuters report:

The Vatican on Saturday condemned the publication of cartoons lampooning Mohammad which have outraged the Muslim world, saying freedom of speech did not mean freedom to offend a person's religion.

"The freedom of thought and expression, confirmed in the Declaration of Human Rights, can not include the right to offend religious feelings of the faithful. That principle obviously applies to any religion," the Vatican said.


The Church has been working through its relation with the state for centuries now, perhaps its entire history - what is Caesar's and what is God's? Blasphemy has always been taught as wrong, for instance. You shouldn't do it. But how one reacts to another's blasphemy, or how one's government should react to another's blasphemy are separate questions. One could leave the punishing to God, or insist Caesar punish as well.

Unfortunately, various diplomats in the Vatican seem to not be properly making this distinction. Of course one should treat other religions with respect. But the Vatican seems to be going further and stating that one should use the government's power (which comes from the threat of violence) to ensure this. Are we seeing vestiges of "error has no rights"?

Blogger Air Marshall said...

We are seeing vestiges of "everybody is scared out of their minds of the Muslims". And as long as everbody is, the Muslims will feel free to riot their outrage over everything and anything untill freedom of speech, or of anything else for that matter becomes meaningless.

10:47 PM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger festivus said...

Via OpinionJournal.com comes this absolutely fantastic quote on this issue.

We'll Take That as a 'Yes'
"They want to test our feelings. They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and to their newspapers."
--"protester" Mawli Abdul Qahar Abu Israra in Afghanistan, quoted by the BBC, Feb. 6

THEN I read that the Strib won't publish the cartoons. I won't comment on this decision other than I expect that they will keep to this standard when faced with printing anti-Christian propaganda "which [is] crude and amateurish, [and doesn't] meet the standards of effective commentary".

11:23 PM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Holding your breath are you, festivus?

9:03 AM, February 08, 2006  

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