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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Take Note!

Via the InstaPundit we have a link to The Volokh Conspiracy.  The blog post title and first couple of paragraphs read:
All of You Who Harshly Condemn Anti-Homosexuality Religious Beliefs, Take Note

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.
At this link is the Blog Post by Law Professor Eugene Volokh, and a lot of pushback in the comments.

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


Renee said...

I think the word, 'deplore' is the right term to express the United States values. We have rights, but we do not want discussions among individuals and public protests to become passive aggressive pissing contests. It happens, but as a country we encourage speech that disagrees to have a level of respect to others who do not agree.

For some reason, I think of anti-bullying rules in school. Bullying and disagreeing (even not liking someone) are two different things, but a seven years old needs some guidance in discerning the two.

Just because I disagree with someone on religion or anything else, doesn't mean I want to make their life miserable or hate them as individuals. Currently Internet Memes have been an issue for me, many are crude and mean, and make no sense. Do I respect the personal space on their FB wall or do I let them know I think they crossed the line?

The 'hide' feature is awesome on FB, I do not have to give someone the satisfaction of martydom of being unfriended for their speech.

Anonymous said...

The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.

Not entirely true. "Piss Christ", the Maplethorpe painting depicting a crucifix in a jar of urine was subsidized by an NEA grant.

Maybe the govt. subsidizes it and deplores it as well.

Renee said...

Separation of Art and State?

C R Krieger said...

I kind of like Renee's idea.

Regards  —  Cliff

Renee said...

Without cable, I rely too much on PBS for quality programming.

Everyone knows religious institutions are better at the arts then government.