Friday, November 20, 2009

Blasphemy Laws be Damned.

The recent push by Islamic nations to have a United Nations treaty to ban blasphemy is ridiculous - and unfortunately gaining traction.  It is a pressure to which the United States must never succumb.

I live in the United States were we have both freedom of religion and freedom of speech; two rights which I deeply cherish. Other countries do not always have these rights; however, I support anyone in those countries or the U.S. who demands them and fights for them.  While I am an atheist, I will strongly defend anyone to have whatever religious beliefs they wish.  I may not support how they act upon them if they result in oppression of others or cause harm, but I support their right to hold such beliefs.  But we must also have free speech if we are to have the freedom we require to express our religious beliefs.  This may involve expressing ourselves in ways that offend others of differing viewpoints.  Too bad.  You have the right to believe what you wish and to express those thoughts, but you do not have the right to not be offended.  Sorry, but that is the price you pay to have the right to freely express your religious beliefs.

As an atheist, I am constantly subjected to hate speech that could be taken as offensive.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I wouldn't want any government to stifle the speech of the theists that attack my morality - or lack thereof in their view.  My task is to quiet them by convincing them that they are wrong, not by legislating their silence.

In my opinion, any country that does not guarantee the right to free speech is not properly free.  We should never bow to the pressure of other countries, no matter what the risk, if it compromises the core principles on which this country was founded.

Related Quote:
“This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves” - Robert Green Ingersoll

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