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Thoughts on the News

JeffLogan's picture
JeffLogan's picture

Freedom of Speech and Religious Offense

Recently a prominent pastor of the Christian faith appeared to respond sympathetically to the outrage perpetrated on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. Perhaps he was merely trying to prevent further violence but his argument actually encourages more violence.

In what seemed like justification of the terrorist act in Paris he reasoned that if someone insulted his mother they could deservedly expect to be punched. His reasoning insinuated that the provocation justified the reaction. Of course, he was making the point that it ought to be illegal to mock, criticize, or poke fun at someone else's religion--that freedom of speech had limits and religions should be off limits.

Someone later asked whether this same pastor felt that a woman who wears provocative clothes 'deserves' to be raped. What about a woman who offends her husband. Does she 'deserve' to be beaten. The real question is, should we ever be justified in retaliating with violence?

Some wonder how the pastor understands Christ's words when He told His followers to 'turn the other cheek.' And did Jesus really mean for us to forgive 7 times 70? And if He did, for what purpose? Was it to reduce the violence that only feeds hatred and results in more violence? Or, was Jesus just a passing philosopher who spoke provocative words to insure His own fame? Speaking of Jesus' provocative speech; were the Jewish leaders justified in seeking His life? I wonder if this pastor has given any thought to his example?

What are your thoughts?

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV