Friday, April 23, 2010

To Hell with Babe Ruth--and all religion too

So Comedy Central has allowed South Park to have fun with Christianity over the years--Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and an American flag springs to mind-- but God forbid they mention Muhammad.

Will the cowardly quitter of a corporate CEO now become an equal opportunity censor as long as the group complaining threatens violence?

And of course the irony weighs heavier than Muhammad's mountain: the beyond-bullying threat emanates from a radical extremest website based in New York where the World Trade Center Twin Towers once stood tall and proud, like a beacon of American entrepreneurial spirit.

Freedom of speech is a precious, delicate thing. If not protected at every opportunity and defended against all threats, it loses its lifeblood--one drop at a time. And then we are all lost.

Free Speech is good enough for these Radical Muslims


Anonymous said...

They didn't approve my comment.

Not suprised.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, me neither.

But look at the bright side: now you don't have to worry about them tracking you down and blowing up your house.

LarryK4 said...

I tried to leave the comment: "Next time you see Osama Bin Laden tell him for me to go to Hell--the sooner the better."

Anonymous said...

Some things just should not be up for joking. If a group finds it offensive enough that that are willing to kill to protect one's name I think we should respect that. I'm sometimes amazed at what someone like Howard Stern puts up to ridicule. He would joke about a plane crash and 206 people dying. Again I don't think everything is up for ridicule and some good taste and good sense should prevail.

LarryK4 said...

Then don't listen--change the channel. Or challenge them with your speech.

The way to counter bad speech is with good speech--not censorship (or violence).

Who decides what is in "good taste?"

Anonymous said...

Clearly not you.

TomG said...

Speech that objects to South Park's representation of Muslims is fine as long as it does not include death threats, which it did.

That is the lesson that must be taught about free speech and debate in a Democracy.

Ed said...

Some things just should not be up for joking. If a group finds it offensive enough that that are willing to kill to protect one's name I think we should respect that

OK. Let me give you some specific examples from American history and tell me if you think these killings were worthy of respect:

In 1644, the Puritans in Boston consider the Quaker faith offensive and were hanging Quakers on Boston Common for being Quakers.

A couple centuries later, there was Father John Bapst, the Catholic Priest of Ellsworth, ME. Now the locals detested the Catholics (peace between Protestants and Catholics is a very new thing) and they burned down his church and forced him to flee to Bangor for his life.

A couple of centuries later, there were three young men driving through Mississippi and they were murdered by folk who couldn't deal with black and white folk riding in the same car.

And then twenty years later, there were three boys who tossed a guy off a bridge because he was gay. (The Charlie Howard case was far more complicated, not the least being that he drowned in less than 3 feet of water, but I am trying to make a point here.)

And my point is this: the fact that fascist people are willing to murder to silence viewpoints is not something that I can respect.

F*** Mohammed. The only way to deal with a bully is to confront him and these people are bullies.

Anonymous said...

I think human decency decides what is in good taste. It's more than if you don't like don't listen. You don't publicly make fun of one's religion. Or for instance Larry say someone should make fun of your children in a public forum. Do you then say if you don't like don't listen. This is an issue that goes beyond censorship.

LarryK4 said...

I would hope if someone disparaged my daughters in a public forum that those in the forum would shun that (no-doubt anonymous) person.

If someone in a public forum makes false claims about you, then you have legal rights to suit for defamation of character.

The law also recognized "fighting words," that could result in a kick to the head.

You can't yell fire in a movie theater.

People who fly commercial airplanes into civilian buildings or set off bombs among public crowds have no "human decency," so THEY are going to have a hard time deciding "what is in good taste."

Anonymous said...

"like a beacon of American entrepreneurial spirit."

such a glossy world you live in

LarryK4 said...

It became infinitely less "glossy" on the morning of 9/11.