He did WHAT?!

Blasphemy and free speech.

Saturday, October 24, 2009 by k10w3 | Discussion: WinCustomize Talk

This is going to be a political rant, but I think it's important to discuss, being as most of us are artists, or those who appreciate art, and art is about expression, and this is about the freedom of expression. 

It has come to my attention that President Obama has partnered with Egypt at the United Nations Human Rights Council in backing blasphemy laws--laws that would limit free speech, in order to not offend those engaged in delusion, a/k/a people of faith.  To say I'm agitated by this, being as I am an atheist, is an understatement. 

I voted for Obama in the hopes that our ailing health care system in the US would be healed.  He's let me down big time on that one, and I have to admit I feel like I was tricked.  I loathed the "stubborn cowboy" image that George Bush portrayed, but this "compromise at any costs" crap that Obama has been yielding is beyond nauseating, and now it's jeopardizing my right to mock delusionists, which was a right that is protected by the first amendment to the constitution. 

Don't get me wrong.  I've grown out of the stage where I claim allegence to Satan because Satan is a symbol of rebellion and independence, and I've tempered my selfish glee of actively tormenting Christians about the paradoxes of their faith, first because it's pointless and second because I've realized a lot of the downfalls of being an atheist (you can't comfort anyone whose grieving for a loved one, you're powerless when someone is ill; there are certain situations in life that beg the ability to manipulate the future, and simple science just will not provide that ability).  But the fact that if taken to full fruition, siding with Egypt in upholding blashphemy laws, means that I won't have the ability to defend myself in arguments of faith without opening myself up to the possibility of imprisonment has me livid.  I thought this guy was going to make my life better...instead, he's taken the few things I have left (free speech) and made my life worse! 

Nobody wins in a compromise, and all Obama has been going is compromising.  I don't believe McCain would have done much better, but I could have written in "Mickey Mouse" for president or voted for whomever was running as the Libertarian candidate (yeah...forgeiting my vote, which I've done in every other election except the one Reagan won) but at least I wouldn't be feeling so gullible and naive right now.

I'm an artist, and I've been fortunate to have been born in a country that was founded on the idea that people should be free, where freedom to believe as one wishes and is free to express that is a guaranteed right.  If I want to create a wallpaper that mocks Islam, in this country I should be able to do that without fear of imprisonment.

I can't determine if Obama truly believes that free speech should be throttled when it comes to religion, or if he's sided with this UN resolution to trick the Muslims in Afghanistan into thinking that he's their friend to put them off guard when it comes to the conflict that we're waging there.

First Previous Page 1 of 3 Next Last
tazgecko
Reply #1 Saturday, October 24, 2009 5:13 PM

I would not worry about it.

A bunch of over paid diplomats getting together to have unproductive meetings which gives their governments something to crow about. "Look at us, we are solving the world problems by writing down words on paper which no one has to enforce".

It's so a government can complain to another about infringing on their "human rights", it can't be enforced and it's a bit of a wank.

It can't supercede US laws in the US as with any other country.

Egypt also has signed the human rights charter which they don't abide to, the UN keeps complaining about torture and the lack of political "freedom" but no one does anything about it.

Keep creating good art k10w3, make people think and experience emotion, it's what makes us alive

 

vStyler
Reply #2 Saturday, October 24, 2009 5:31 PM

It's pretty darned obvious that there is a huge battle on free speech on the horizon, what would u expect from a whitehouse that employs idiots that praise Mau and Chavez.....lol

 

Some of us warned of this before all the stepped up and put this guy into office following along like lemmings behind the pied piper and his band of 'change' artists.

 

Well, they are definitely changing things.  I hope everyone is enjoying the mass of new taxes already implemented with tons more coming down the road.

 

 

Phoon
Reply #3 Saturday, October 24, 2009 5:32 PM

Ahh, Obama showing once again that he is nothing more than a politician wearing a false mask. Delightful.

 

vStyler
Reply #4 Saturday, October 24, 2009 5:39 PM

Btw Karen... not believing in God will definitely cost you a ticket to heaven.

Believing in him.. will at least give you a better opportunity. Why take the chance?

Ever thought the paradoxes were put there on purpose to test our tiny human human brains.

You should follow your heart, all the brain does is cloud the truth.

k10w3
Reply #5 Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:31 PM

vStyler
Btw Karen... not believing in God will definitely cost you a ticket to heaven.

Believing in him.. will at least give you a chance. Why take the chance?

Belief isn't something that can be willed.  Once belief is gone, it's gone.  I used to believe in Santa Claus, (as most people did when they were children) and when I quit believing in Santa Claus, that was it -- it's gone.  Could you believe in Santa Claus again?  Also, aside from "a deep feeling" nobody who "believes" in their particular deity has proof that their's is the only one, or that their's is the RIGHT one!  (Hence the birth of the Flying Spaghetti Monster -- to illustrate to believers how delusional creation science is).  What if, (as per Bertrand Russell's analogy), "God" were a huge China teapot orbiting the sun, and "He" was a jealous god--now the fact that you believe in the Biblical God, has put you at odds with his holiness, the China teapot, and you've angered him because of this. 

What you propose, the "why take a chance" argument, has a name.  It's called Pascal's wager, and it's flawed, because it makes the assumption that there is only 2 possibilities, that there is the Christian's god versus atheism.  On Pascal's own premise, God is infinitely incomprehensible, therefore there would be an infinite number of possible ideas about what that god is, all of which are equally probable.  Nobody has the "hook up" on God.

Ever thought the paradoxes were put there on purpose to test our tiny human human brains.


I used to think that when I believed.  When I lost my faith...actually a little bit before I lost my faith, I started to wonder "what if"....what if the "God" depicted in the Bible were really Satan, and Satan was really God.  Since the Bible (according to Christians) was written by God -- tooting His own horn, so to speak, creating his own propaganda, He could claim anything about Himself that He wanted to delude people, including the fact that HE'S the only way, when in fact he's the straight way to damnation; and the REAL God (who in this supposition is the persona depicted Biblically as Satan) left the propaganda out there because he only wanted reasonable people in his eternal afterlife, people who were intelligent enough to know right from wrong and evil from good, thereby reading the Bible and recognizing that the "god" depicted in it's pages is cruel, arbitary, a mysogenist, a racist, mean, psychotic, and not to be trusted...in essence "knowing Him by his works" -- anyone who creates a place of eternal damnation for it's own creatures and sends their chosen people in to destroy whole nations, men, women and children who will then go directly TO eternal damnation even though they just had the misfortune of being born into a nation that does not know "the truth," isn't good!, no matter how supreme they may be!

Look, Romans 1:20 says "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." - this says, even if someone has never heard about the "good news" the fact that nature exists and by observing nature, people will know who God is and how He works.  Well, in nature, the fittest survive -- weak things that don't use logic, that aren't selfish, that are easily swayed by "tricks" (like those angler fish use, dangling that thing in their mouth that looks like a worm to entice smaller fish into their mouth) are the ones that "win" -- so by observing nature, it seems to me that the people who use their logic and intelligence and self preservation skills will be the ones who are rewarded with "life," and those that just follow their feelings (which aren't based in evidence but on an ancient tale that has been told for many generations that puts ultimate power on the one telling the story) would be the ones to be destroyed.

You should follow your heart, all the brain does is cloud the truth.


Every time I've followed my heart it's cost me dearly.  My heart is an idiot.  My brain is a bitch, but at least she knows how to keep that idiot from walking into certain destruction.

This is not the point of my thread--the point of my thread is that as artists and lovers of free speech, we need to be firm in preserving that right.  Obama made the statement that at times "free speech has been abused" - (i.e., in the instance of the Danish cartoon depicting Mohammed's head as bomb) -- I think that statement is absurd!  Free speech cannot possibly be 'abused' -- to throttle free speech means there is no such thing as free speech; speech is either free or not; in order for it to be free, it must be USED; and to throttle it means that it is not being used! 

It's totally frightening for me, because there are places in Europe that have now kowtowed to radical Islam and are punishing those who exercise free speech.  Actress Bridget Bardot was fined $23,000 for stating (factually in my opinion) that Muslims were destroying France.  Geert Wilder of the Netherlands was not allowed entry into Great Britain, due to the fact that he created and produced a short film factually stating the hateful things in the Koran.  It just seems to me that it's time to take what comes out of this guy's mouth a little more seriously than I had intended, and I am now on alert.

Hankers
Reply #6 Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:39 PM

It just seems to me that it's time to take what comes out of this guy's mouth a little more seriously than I had intended, and I am now on alert.

Amen! ..... er..... I mean I agree.  

vStyler
Reply #7 Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:50 PM

Trying to outsmart God.. won't ever work. There is no proof.. he can't be proven to exist or not exist..no right or wrong God.. it's all in each of our hearts I believe.

The Bible for the most part is a series of life lessons, you can chose to follow them or not but I'm willing to bet that if you do, you would be better for it.

Good luck anyway.

DrJBHL
Reply #8 Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:53 PM

Karen, I think that what that resolution was about was not criticizing a religion (any religion) for acts of those professing belief in it. I think that's a reasonable approach. It also insists on freedom of expression as a basic right.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iRHXSIoJJdXQpG3kPrRO2LWMnWTAD9B2UIIG0 

This is a report from the Associated Press.

As for religion, faith, heaven, hell and politics....I'll leave all that stuff for others.

k10w3
Reply #9 Saturday, October 24, 2009 7:24 PM

That article did not calm my fears, Seth.  We should condemn religions for the acts of those professing those religions, because it is the evidence of what those religions are provoking.  To not condemn the religion for the acts of its followers, is like not condemning the Taliban for the acts of 3 pilots that flew the planes into the World Trade Center. 

If the religions whose followers commit atrocious acts don't want to be criticized, then they better clean house!  NOT ONE mosque, not one Imam, denounced the acts of 9-11; not ONE had the courage to say "these men do not represent what Mohammed brings to us."  Individual Muslims in this country said they don't represent what they believe, but no one with authority in Islam stood out against these acts of terrorism.   

If an idealogy is the catalyst to horrific acts, then that ideology should be held responsible. 

And what ever happened to the old adage "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me"?  If somebody has the hookup on "truth," they don't need to throttle free speech to have it proliferate.  The Danish artist who created that cartoon should have been adored by anyone in the free world who loves freedom.  If Islam offers it's believers a better life, words against it and it's followers who act abominably should not dampen the power of that better life. 

Seth, you know I'm all about playing nice on the playground, but if that means that we all have to tiptoe around and keep our thoughts to ourselves because of the powerful bully and not irritate or annoy him, then we're not free, and I'm not willing to play nice on the playground if we're not free.

DrJBHL
Reply #10 Saturday, October 24, 2009 7:41 PM

you know I'm all about playing nice on the playground, but if that means that we all have to tiptoe around and keep our thoughts to ourselves because of the powerful bully and not irritate or annoy him, then we're not free, and I'm not willing to play nice on the playground if we're not free.

Karen, this is not about fear nor anger. Peoples' belief systems should be left alone. If a person deviates from normal/legal behavior...then that person should be dealt with using the justice system. If that person claims the act was based on religion, that should not be recognized as a positive defense. No person or group has the right or privilege to break the law. That should be the response.

This is a country of law. Lashing out against belief systems is pointless and incorrect. Punish the individual. To turn into an anti-Islamic society is intolerable to me.

If Islam can be attacked, then Christianity, Judaism, etc. are all fair game as well. That is not America.

Freedom of Speech does not entitle one to shout "Fire" in a crowded movie theater. Attacks on a religion is not free speech. It is hate speech.

k10w3
Reply #11 Saturday, October 24, 2009 9:27 PM

Religion (for me anyway) is an ideology.  We tolerate all sorts of attacks on ideologies that are distasteful, such as the Ku Klux Klan, and the Nazi party.  I don't see any reason why all religions shouldn't be fair game when it comes to attacks, INCLUDING NO religion.  To say we're going to make attacking religion "off limits" is a lie!  It's the elephant in the room.  People are going to do it, whether it's "off limits" or not!  It's what they believe, and when what ONE person believes is in juxtaposition to what another person believes, then hate is going to happen.  Pretending it doesn't exist is a facade!

Besides that, there's the issue that the texts of ALL the faiths you listed advocate inciting violence against those who do not believe what is in those texts. 

Seth, people's beliefs will be left alone, when the people who hold those beliefs quit using them to achieve a higher status and more power by forcing them on others.  There aren't a whole lot of people attacking Buddhism, now, are there?  (A few, but not like the Hatfields and the McCoys feud that goes on between Islam and Christianity).  Islam is not content to just "not be attacked" -- Islam (like Christianity) has an agenda, and that is to make converts, BY FORCE if need be. 

Why the heck should people in the Middle East give a rat's @ss what some Danish artist thinks of their religion?  That cartoon was chocked full of metaphors and nuances of what the world was experiencing -- it wasn't an attack, it was an expression of the fear and the repression that Westernized countries were experiencing about the growing unrest brought about by Islam, and in retaliation for that expression.  We should not be afraid to speak our minds in a free country! 

Islam is not a tolerant religion...it just isn't!  Mohammed was not a peaceful prophet, he was a warrior.  (Metaphorically, a cage match between Mohammed and Jesus would be like throwing a 12-week-old kitten in a ring with a 70-pound pitbull!)  I won't judge someone who practices nonfundamental Islam, but I WILL judge someone how practices fundamental Islam, because it's existence equates a threat to all other forms of religion! 

Read up on it, Seth.  It's not just a belief system...it's a belief system that demands it's followers act on those beliefs and those acts are not peaceful! 

Despite what you may think, it's totally okay to shout "Fire" in a crowded theater if, indeed, the theater is on fire.

messiah1
Reply #12 Saturday, October 24, 2009 10:09 PM

I've realized a lot of the downfalls of being an atheist (you can't comfort anyone whose grieving for a loved one...)

^ Bunk

What?  Why can't you comfort someone who's lost a loved one if you are an atheist?  Does being an atheist make you incapable of love and compassion?  Of feeling sorrow?  Of feeling pain?  I'm an atheist and I feel love, compassion, sorrow, pain, happiness and every other emotion that somone that believes in a supreme being feels.  You know why?  Because I'm human.  Those feelings are not exclusive to religious people.

 

tazgecko
Reply #13 Saturday, October 24, 2009 10:14 PM

k10w3
NOT ONE mosque, not one Imam, denounced the acts of 9-11; not ONE had the courage to say "these men do not represent what Mohammed brings to us."  Individual Muslims in this country said they don't represent what they believe, but no one with authority in Islam stood out against these acts of terrorism.

This is far from the truth.

The majority of Islamic leaders have denounced the 9-11 attacks. Zealots get most of the air play so you will find the the same people with a bit of authority keep popping up saying the inflaming words over and over again.

Questioning and debating about issues is a part of  Islamic teaching. When something as horrific as 9-11 happens they will question why it happened. The problem is a lot of the answers don't fit our view of the world and comes across in western eyes as supporting it. We tend to see things too black and white.

DrJBHL
Peoples' belief systems should be left alone.

Within reason. History tells use, beliefs can impose on culture, lifestyle and freedom. People should be able to challenge beliefs, within the law, otherwise we should just go back to the dark ages.

 

k10w3
Reply #14 Saturday, October 24, 2009 10:38 PM

messiah1

I've realized a lot of the downfalls of being an atheist (you can't comfort anyone whose grieving for a loved one...)
^ Bunk

What?  Why can't you comfort someone who's lost a loved one if you are an atheist?  Does being an atheist make you incapable of love and compassion?  Of feeling sorrow?


No, of course not.  What I meant was that I can't say "he's in a better place now" and I can't say "you'll get to see him again in heaven."  I can empathize, sympathize, listen, cry, hug, and visit, but I can't offer any hope that the loss is temporary, or that the loss is just physical, and spiritually the deceased are still there.

zakai1369
Reply #15 Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:45 PM


No, of course not. What I meant was that I can't say "he's in a better place now" and I can't say "you'll get to see him again in heaven." I can empathize, sympathize, listen, cry, hug, and visit, but I can't offer any hope that the loss is temporary, or that the loss is just physical, and spiritually the deceased are still there.

In other words what you meant to say is that you can't comfort people in a way that most people expect or think of as "the proper response"?


I don't get into politics at all but the idea of..

 

recognizing exceptions to free speech for any "negative racial and religious stereotyping."

...is ridiculous.

And these .....

Peoples' belief systems should be left alone

Lashing out against belief systems is pointless and incorrect.

If Islam can be attacked, then Christianity, Judaism, etc. are all fair game as well. That is not America.

Attacks on a religion is not free speech. It is hate speech.

 

while they may be true, they are definitely not practiced by any of the hypocrites who try to use them to defend religion.If they were then I wouldn't have had to waste my time getting dressed this afternoon and going down stairs to answer my door just to realize my time was being wasted because someone wanted to tell me I was going to burn in hell if I didn't believe in their god.

If a law is to be passed that prohibits people from criticizing any and all religions then a law should also be passed that prohibits the teaching/preaching of any religion outside of the walls of anyplace where people go specifically because they want to hear it. To do otherwise is to say that people who believe in their delusions have rights that the rest of us don't have just because we aren't delusional.

 

 

 

starkers
Reply #16 Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:50 PM

It's totally frightening for me, because there are places in Europe that have now kowtowed to radical Islam and are punishing those who exercise free speech. Actress Bridget Bardot was fined $23,000 for stating (factually in my opinion) that Muslims were destroying France. Geert Wilder of the Netherlands was not allowed entry into Great Britain, due to the fact that he created and produced a short film factually stating the hateful things in the Koran.

I won't comment from a religious standpoint here because this ^ has dangerous political/social consequences that bother me more.  While it is preferable not to offend others, the creation of 'politically correct' laws and imposing penalties for breaches is not going to greatly improve relations between groups of different beliefs.  If anything, it creates enclaves into which groups will retreat, and from there (historically speaking) they become isolated from their origins (extremist at times) and seek to assimilate rather than integrate.

The idea of moving to another country is to start anew and create a new beginning, but when migrants do not intergate into the mainstrean of society, preferring instead to maintain 'old country' values/ideals, you end up with nations within a nation... often ghettos into which many locals fear to tread.  And being extra nice, kow-towing to displaced, disenchanted migrants will not necessarily foster better relations.  It may appease some, but to those who are frustrated and angered (those these ridiculous PC laws are intended to appease), it just empowers them and gives them feelings of righteousness and supremacy.

So no, sanitising 'language' and forcing mainstream society to conform to 'correctness' will not stop extremist groups/individuals from being angered and.. er, extremist....and not serving pork on flights will not prevent British Airways being a target of terrorism.

To put it bluntly: "When you're in my country you can have your mosque/temple/synagogue/whatever, but you will integrate into mainstream society and respect our ways or you bugger off home!"

And NO, that is not being intolerant... it is being realistic and saying; "I'm sick of the intolerance... so fit in or eff off!"

Vampothika
Reply #17 Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:09 AM

The Bible for the most part is a series of life lessons, you can chose to follow them or not but I'm willing to bet that if you do, you would be better for it.

saying the bible is nothing more than life lessons is pretty...ignorant, the bible is proof that god does exist, ask any full on christian. it was written by prophets,(especially the second testiment which is mostly about the accounts of jesus's life and his words) as well as  men and woman who had first hand accounts with god the father and jesus christ himself. (and or had visions from god) if the plagues in eygpt and the dividing of the red sea, and Jacob wrestling with an angel all night,  isnt enough proof that god exists, then nothing is.

I know god is up there, but i dont follow his commandments anymore, so i am a heathen, and proud of it.

plus the resurection gives everyone a second chance (so ive been told) so even murderes in this life get another go if they want...

 but any topic about religion causes grief.......

 

zakai1369
Reply #18 Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:18 AM

the bible is proof that god does exist, ask any full on christian. it was written by prophets, as well as men and woman who had first hand accounts with god the father and jesus christ himself. if the plagues in eygpt and the dividing of the red sea isnt enough proof that god exists, then nothing is.

I could spend ten years sitting around reading all the books out there about vampires and werewolves but that doesn't mean I'm going to pack my pockets with silver bullets, crosses, and garlic before I leave the house at night or try to convince people they're really out there

vStyler
Reply #19 Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:53 AM

saying the bible is nothing more than life lessons is pretty...ignorant

 

Calling people ignorant in public is ignorant.. especially when it concerns their religious beliefs. Also get your facts straight when you paraphrase someone, that is not what i said... the words 'nothing more' are not in my comment.

 

WTF is your problem ?

 

kiss my ass and learn how to spell testament.

 

please don't quote me ANY more, refer to anything I say or comment in my submissions if you want to continue to act like a spiteful child.

starkers
Reply #20 Sunday, October 25, 2009 1:10 AM

vStyler

saying the bible is nothing more than life lessons is pretty...ignorant
 

Calling people ignorant in public is ignorant.. especially when it concenrs their religious beliefs.

 

WTF is your problem ?

 

kiss my ass and learn how to spell testament.

 

please don't quote me ANY more or refer to anything I say if you want to continue to act like a spiteful child.

V, the quote was used to say that the Bible more than just life lessons, that it IS also God's word.  I doubt very much that it was used to criticise you (or that you were even in mind at the time of writing).

So yeah, such an angered response was unnecessary, uncalled for and something the forums can do without. 

Let's please keep it civil.

Please login to comment and/or vote for this skin.

Welcome Guest! Please take the time to register with us.
There are many great features available to you once you register, including:

  • Richer content, access to many features that are disabled for guests like commenting on the forums and downloading skins.
  • Access to a great community, with a massive database of many, many areas of interest.
  • Access to contests & subscription offers like exclusive emails.
  • It's simple, and FREE!



web-wc01