All of You Who Harshly Condemn Anti-Homosexuality Religious Beliefs, Take NoteAt this link is the Blog Post by Law Professor Eugene Volokh, and a lot of pushback in the comments.
And same for all of you who mock young earthers, or devout Scientologists, or believers in miracles — and all who say that, for instance, racist or sexist religious beliefs are contemptible — and maybe even all those who, even politely, contend that rival religions’ views are wrong and will deny salvation to the holders of those views:
The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.So says the Secretary of State, in quite categorical terms. After all, in all the examples given above, you would presumably be intentionally denigrating the religious beliefs of others: saying that they are immoral and foolish. The U.S. government deplores your speech. It’s not just that the government doesn’t endorse the speech, not just that it deplores a limited and narrow category of blasphemous acts (e.g., burning a Koran, treading on a crucifix, and the like), but rather that it deplores any attempt to denigrate religious beliefs. Religious beliefs, which are routinely used by billions as a guide to private action and a guide to lawmaking, are supposed to be somehow immune from the denigration that is a commonplace and necessary part of debate about ideological beliefs generally.
I agree that Professor Volokh is probably a little over the top, but on the other hand, he is right on target about what the Department of State has said. But, this is the United States and if you think "young earth" believers deserve some mocking then you are free to do so, the Department of State notwithstanding. And, if you want to post on your blog the "Mohammed Cartoons" you are free to do that also. So, we consign the words of Department of State spokespeople to a special location, which holds diplomatic-speak.
Regards — Cliff