The media is up at arms with Pope Francis today over comments he made on the plane. The Pope said something to the effect that free speech has limits and that religion must not be insulted. Those on the left immediately took this as the Pope siding with the terrorists. As usual, they misinterpreted the Pope’s colloquial style of speaking and made all kinds of conclusions with his words.
“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity.. in freedom of expression there are limits.”
What the Pope was saying was what I wrote about in my post, “My Thoughts on Charlie Hebdo.” He was referring to respect. We must not go around insulting people just because we can. The Pope is for free speech, but informed and responsible speech. Catholic League president Bill Donahue said something similar and his words were taken out of context as an “attack the victim” statement. What both Pope Francis and Bill Donahue are saying is that if one is going to provoke others, then one must expect a response equal to or great than the original provocation. This makes sense.
The saying, “don’t start none won’t be none” is applicable here. There is no doubt that the publishers of “Charlie Hebdo” contributed in some way to their deaths. They knew they were targets of angry Muslims and insisted on insulting them. Who likes to be insulted? Who likes to be offended? I do not know of anyone who does unless it is someone who has some sick sexual masochism fetish of some sort. As the Pope stated, if you say something bad to someone else about their mother, expect a punch. The Pope was using an analogy of how things such as faith or religion are so strong in people’s lives that insulting them is like insulting their mother.
“If my good friend Dr. Gasbarri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch, it’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”
We live in a double standards kind of world where attacking religion is free speech, but speaking out against the homosexual lifestyle is homophobia; speaking out against abortion and contraception is misogyny, and calling attention to the black on black crime rates is racism. This is what happens when free speech is misused. No speech should be censored. What needs to be done is that people needs to use free speech responsibly. If your intent is to provoke or insult, then expect a response. This is just how human beings behave.
Some say the Pope was justifying the attacks on “Charlie Hebdo;” however, the Pope clearly condemned the attacks. His point was that if you are out looking for trouble, then trouble may find you. Everything should be open to critcism, even religion. However, it needs to be done with respect and charity otherwise enemies will be made instead of intellectual points.