Let me start by saying that I know many people who visit this website are people of faith, and many of those people are likely to look to the Pope as a leader and guiding light of their religion. Naturally, those people have every right to hold the man on high. However, recent remarks from Pope Francis bring into question a basic freedom, and that cannot be allowed to stand without reproach. To wit:
Pope Francis suggested there are limits to freedom of expression, saying in response to the Charlie Hebdo terror attack that “one cannot make fun of faith” and that anyone who throws insults can expect a “punch.”
The pontiff said that both freedom of faith and freedom of speech were fundamental human rights and that “every religion has its dignity.”
“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” he said. “There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits.”
“Provoking” someone’s faith in essence is just the simple act of not agreeing with their beliefs or questioning them. Ample violence has been enacted under this exact premise throughout history. The colonists left England in order to find freedom from religious persecution. They left because others provoked them and they in turn could not respond without malice and violence being used against them. They had no freedom of speech, nor right to assemble, nor many other of the rights and liberties we enjoy today. Thus, the Pope saying there are limits to speech where religion is concerned is ridiculous.
It’s also hypocritical. The Pope, in his position as the leader of the Catholic Church, is always speaking his mind on matters that pertain to everything and anything, extending judgement and by extension the judgement of the church and almighty. Francis is more socially flexible than every one of his predecessors but the Catholic Church has a history of condemning people’s lifestyles as wrong and sinful.
More than any other entity, the Pope and the church overall have enjoyed freedom of speech and have directly impacted lives of millions via its statements as a result. Imagine if one hundredth of the people who have undergone persecution or had their well-being injured by the statements of the church decided to “punch” back. The Catholic Church would be in ruins, destroyed by acts of violence over and over and over again.
If the church can speak on any topic or issue, then anyone can speak about the church, or any religion for that matter. As soon as any topic is taboo, it destroys freedom. In the eyes of the Pope, would we not have been able to question or speak out about the molestation of young boys by priests? Is that conversation prohibited? Untouchable? No. Never.
The catalyst of freedom is the freedom of speech to discuss anything. That is how ideas form. That is how the human race evolves and progresses. When you stifle conversation, you stifle evolution. Whether it is comedy, news reporting, or any other means of communication, there can be no boundaries. The freedom to communicate in our preferred method is intrinsic to the very existence of a free society.
- Rand Paul would be perfectly fine dissolving the U.N. So would we. Article from MSNBC’s blogger for the unwatchable Rachel Maddow show, so expect unbelievably obvious bias and the labeling of Paul as a conspiracy theorist for questioning the U.N. and American support for it. And speaking of, here are several reasons to hate the U.N…
- Father of American Accused of Plotting Terrorist Attack Claims Son Was Set Up By FBI
- The easing of trade and travel rules against has begun.
- Riot training gone wrong: Elementary school kids tear gassed and cop cruisers destroyed
- Verizon is using un-deletable cookies to track its customers.
The Morning Roar – every weekday Monday-Friday right here at Lions of Liberty!