Posted on | April 2, 2011 | 12 Comments
An interesting discussion came up today regarding the idiot in Florida who burned the Qur’an, and the resulting deaths in MeS, just north of me by a couple of hours.
Burning anyone’s scripture is deplorable. Double deplorable for anyone nominally a follower of the Christ. Do you really think He’d do such? Really?
And so then you have horrid depictions of other sacred objects, connected to public figures. The image is far enough out there that I don’t care to embed it in this blog post.
The discussion went in the direction of the Florida pastor being held responsible for the Afghan deaths. While not defending the goofball pastor in the slightest, I cited the 2005 Newseek story about Qur’an flushing, which fiction cost 17 Pakistani lives. The causality gets to be challenging. The Florida pastor and the LA artist both merit public derision for tastelessness. But is the threat of a Heckler’s Veto by citizens willing to undertake violence sufficient justification for government restrictions on freedom of speech?
My counterpart in the discussion felt that the Pastor had behaved immorally. Now, from a Christian standpoint, you can build that argument, but what about a secular legal vantage? Playing the slippery slope card, I told him that we could equally decide alcohol is immoral, and outlaw beer. He said “Fine by me, I hate beer.” Great, we can outlaw all alcoholic beverages, then.
The argument concludes around the notion that we all have things we don’t like, but which others cherish. The least-worst answers here are:
- Never actively offend others’ faith.
- Strive to minimize passive offense of others’ faith.
- When someone of your own stripe runs amok, regulate them.
- Ensure the regulation is kept at the social level; attempts at codifying good taste as secular law are doomed to failure.
And may God have mercy on the creep in LA who depicted Sarah Palin getting spiked. Not asking him to like the lady; just for a modicum of decency. As art, the style isn’t completely without merit. The subject matter is the problem. Also, I’d put forward the same objection if BHO was enjoying the nine inch nail. If the artist had gone that route, the media would probably call the artist a raaaaacist.