Freedom Of Speech

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by Carrera, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Seems like nobody has commented yet on the dreaded cartoons. My own view is they were clearly offensive to Moslems worldwide but here is the catch 22: Moslems in the U.K. are requesting a law that will prohibit making fun of religion (something that carries the death-penalty in Pakistan apparently).
    If the Labour Party buckles to this demand (I believe it will), my honest belief is people should start taking this pretty seriously and not allow Blair to stifle the media.
    As a liberal I believe people have a right to insult myself and my particular beliefs and that I have a right to insult their views. Sometimes it may be unwise to say certain things or maybe somebody will even pelt you with eggs, but this has nothing to do with governments.
    What's worrying is that a journalist in France has actually lost his job after publishing. Many journalists are taking career risks to publish not because they get a kick out of mocking peoples' beliefs and values but because they disagree with government censorship and believe we have a right to be insulted or insult by word or in print. I think it's a case of testing the waters -how will the reaction be or legal consequences if I publish something religious folks find offensive?
    Final point: I don't know how this relates to the U.S. Does the press have total freedom to mock Christianity in the American press or would there be social unrest or violence? Would Congress intervene and introduce laws on blasphemy? Are we slowly drifting towards theocratic rule in the western world and are our freedoms of expression going up in smoke?
    (P.S. it's valid point moslems make that there isn't total freedom of expression in Germany where it's illegal to deny the hollocaust (not my view but I accept people have a right to hold any view they wish.)
     
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  2. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    Several years ago some boob took a painting of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and put human feces on it. He said it was art. People complained (very few riots, lynchings, towns burnt to the ground, as I recall.) and, of course, the ACLU spents a lot of someone's money to protect this guy.
    There are now a couple of adult cartoon TV shows (The Simpsons, Family Guy, SouthPark) that poke fun of God, Jesus, Satan, etc. Some people complained, most, including me, laughed at the funny stuff.

    If the press cross the line that makes people upset, people get mad, write emails and letters. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Whichever, we don't riot because of cartoons.

    Islam is a religion of peace, understanding and tolerance. If you don't agree with this, I kill you, your family, and your dog. Interesting interpretation of the religion.
     
  3. Hypnospin

    Hypnospin New Member

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    some random obsevations and thoughts;
    -a french magazine put all these on the cover plus more and flew off the newsstands, record sales.

    -an arabic press media has solicted for cartoons on the subject of the hollocaust.

    -in the us, with it's inherent self censoring corporate sponsored media, these sorts of things are unlikely to be seen, as they could adversley affect the sponsors.

    -if demand is great enough, who knows? we may indeed see these things on prime time, and even children's programming!

    after all, it was not that long ago george carlin (davidmc, ya listenin'?)
    performed the then-shocking "seven dirty words" comedy routine/ social commentary regarding words then prohibited by this same self censorsed media structure. we of course hear these regularly now...without so much as a raised eyebrow.

    perhaps what it comes down to is will the consumer/ corporate relationship be affected, if the demand is there, the floodgates may well open...

    after all, just lookit all the swill of questionable merit and veracity the media dishes out daily, in terms of both news and entertainment.


    seems like some subjects are more perimissable to focus questionable or outright inflammatory humour than others, for instance, much of the parody you see as acceptable by the commercial media would be considered offensive if the target was symbolic of a certain group, be it nationality, ethnicity, belief system, color, garb, or political affiliation.

    it was don rickles, famed insult comedian, who termed himself an equal oppurtunity offender, as he steadfastly remains to this day.

    groucho marx is credited with the "you know what them" if they can't take a joke line.

    perhaps the real joke is a cartoonishly bumbling bush, yet again contradicting himself by spouting some gibberish to the effect of beleiving in freedom of speech, but with this comes responsbility (read limits?)

    what a hypocrite, whatcha sayin', you gonna go on more flag wavin' verbal propaganda offensives from the podium that far surpass the slander of this cartoon issue or not
    "mr. president"?

    a real tosspot calling the kettle black, he is.






     
  4. wolfix

    wolfix New Member

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    People need to wake up. The Muslims are what they are. They are angry and they despise the countries and the cultures they move to. Europe has it's hands full and America has had it's problems.
    .
     
  5. FredC

    FredC New Member

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    For the UK read 'Public Order Act 1986 (and amendments).
    For USA read the 'First Amendment', and the 'Ninth'.
    Sorted.
     
  6. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    You succeeded, so you did! :) You actually replied to one of my posts without insulting me for a change. ;)


     
  7. stevebaby

    stevebaby New Member

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    Christianity is a religion of peace,understanding and tolerance.If you don't agree with this,I bomb your country,fire cruise missiles at it,destroy its infrastructure and kill thousands of civilians.
    "Love thy neighbour"?
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Freedom of speech : it's loaded terminology.

    My own view is that the cartoons, and what they depicted, were created and published to cause offence.

    However, I note that certain other publications are retaliating by depicting anti-semitic cartoons.

    In both instances, the publishers are wrong.

    I would prefer to see a self regulating media and I would hope that it does maintain self regulation.

    But I cannot help wondering about the timing of the publication of those cartoons in Denmark.
    It seems that they went under the radar when they were initially published in November 2005 : so why were they republished in February 2006?
     
  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Yes FredC, you are slipping go on and insult Carrera so he won't feel neglected.

    Christians do not get insulted as easily because we have a sense of humor as does our God.
    He must have a sense of humor, he created you guys.

    There FredC, I picked up the slack for you.
     
  10. FredC

    FredC New Member

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    It won't last.
     
  11. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    Please cite an instance where christians have rioted, burned, and destroyed because a newspaper printed a cartoon of Jesus?
     
  12. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    To be fair I could quote many instances.
    I recently wrote an article about ancient terrorism which would surprise you. It was qute possible that radical Christians set fire to Rome at the time of Nero in order to bring about God's Kingdom.
    This was a far worse event than 9/11. The Romans lost priceless works of art, ancient monuments, buildings, archives e.t.c. and many people died or were left homeless.
    It was a similar situation to today since you had peaceful Christians but there were also Christian fanantics or Christian terrorists.
    There was retribution too. Nero rounded up all Christians and had them crucified in public, torn apart by dogs or thrown to wild beasts.
    There was also a time when Jews were equally troublesome and intolerant. There are case of Jews forcing their religion on others and persecuting non-believers. Circumcision was a big issue and the Romans tried to make it illegal.
    All the three main religions, I'm afraid, have a very nasty history of intolerance. I'm totally in favour of secularism.

     
  13. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    To be fair I could quote many instances.
    I recently wrote an article about ancient terrorism which would surprise you. It was qute possible that radical Christians set fire to Rome at the time of Nero in order to bring about God's Kingdom.
    This was a far worse event than 9/11. The Romans lost priceless works of art, ancient monuments, buildings, archives e.t.c. and many people died or were left homeless.
    It was a similar situation to today since you had peaceful Christians but there were also Christian fanatics or Christian terrorists.
    There was retribution too. Nero rounded up all Christians and had them crucified in public, torn apart by dogs or thrown to wild beasts.
    There was also a time when Jews were equally troublesome and intolerant. There are case of Jews forcing their religion on others and persecuting non-believers. Circumcision was a big issue and the Romans tried to make it illegal.
    All the three main religions, I'm afraid, have a very nasty history of intolerance. I'm totally in favour of secularism.

     
  14. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    One moslem made a good point in the Daily Mail the other day in a letter. He pointed to the way Prince Harry had been forced to apologise over wearing the Hitler costume at a fancy dress party. That's a difficult one to answer.
    I suppose my view is that if a newspaper wants to print disrespectful articles about either the hollocaust or relgion, there should be no interference from the authorities. The issue is between the puiblication and those who are offended.
    If Blair starts banning cartoons e.t.c., this is one more step towards religious control in a supposedly secular democracy. What will it lead to? A ban on criticism perhaps followed by a ban on being an atheist? :confused:
    It sounds absurd but history tells another story. In former times those of us who didn't believe in Christianity were threatened to stop saying the world was round or we could be executed.

     
  15. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    In which newspaper did Nero print the Jesus cartoons? Yes, terrible things were done in the name of religion, all religions. This is the 21th Century and moslems are burning and destroying because of a cartoon.
    People of this forum will argue the pros and cons of freedom of speech, religion and the press, until they are blue in the face. Where do these actions fit in to the thinking of those who preach freedom and civil liberties?
     
  16. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    My view is fairly simple:
    There are many sincere Christians, Moslems and Jews who are a credit to their religion and show tolerance and respect for others. Muhammad Ali, for instance, was noted for his tolerance of other faiths, generosity to charities and keeping his sense of humour.
    But then you have nutters such as David Koresh and Bin Laden who justify violence and hatred in the name of religion. I don't think such people have anything in common with religion per se and only discredit it.

     
  17. Colorado Ryder

    Colorado Ryder New Member

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    Any contemporary instances of it happening?
     
  18. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    These protester wouldn't last long in the SoapBox, would they.
     
  19. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    David Koresh was pretty nutty. I read all about that incident and there was child abuse going on in that ranch at Waco. This was a really bad character who justified his abuses on the Bible. Of course, I agree the authorities shouldn't have set fire to the building and killed all the cult members, especially the women and children who died.
    I don't think you can argue that only one religion breeds extremists. Islam has had a better track record than Christianity for tolerance in historical terminology and it's only recently that Islam has somehow become more aggressive and political.
    Even the Nation Of Islam was reasonably non-violent - especially when Malcolm X led the factions.

     
  20. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    Your views are good and well taken. I think your mention of history is also relevent. We, the western world or first world, have opened our minds or at least learned to accept or tolerate things that we don't agree with or find offensive.
    If you grow up with Islam, in the Mid-east, there are hard and fast laws that have not change in centuries. Freedoms and civil liberties, that we in the west take for granted, do not exist in their culture. Now, bring some of these people to the west, where we have freedom of religion, speech, and the press. When cultures collide, there is a good chance of an explosion.
    There are extremists in every religion and culture. But Islam seems to have more than their fair share.
     
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