Oh grow up
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed his predecessor’s line on cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday, saying free speech should respect religious sensitivities. “The Secretary-General strongly believes that freedom of expression should be exercised responsibly and in a way that respects all religious beliefs,” his spokeswoman Marie Okabe told reporters.
That’s asking a great deal too much, even as a ‘should.’ Freedom of expression should be exercised in a way that respects all religious beliefs? If that advice were heeded there wouldn’t be any free expression at all. How can we respect all religious beliefs when we don’t even know what they are? We would miss that slightly mildewed guy in Toadback, Arkansas who believes a can of peaches he bought at the Piggly Wiggly in 1957 is the Messiah. And then of course how can we respect all religious beliefs when they don’t respect each other? How can we respect all religious beliefs when they contradict each other? And then apart from all that, why the fuck should we? Why should our freedom to say things depend on our respect for particular kinds of beliefs without regard to whether they are well founded or not? Why, in fact, should our freedom to say things depend on our respect for beliefs that are by definition not well founded? Why do people keep singling out religion as an entity to which we all owe unconditional respect? When in fact religion is the set of ideas that does the least to earn respect? Is that perhaps why? Religion is the spoiled child of the world, whining and pitching fits and demanding everything in sight because no one has ever summoned up quite enough gumption to tell it to grow up and get its own damn dinner? Other, grown up, low maintenance beliefs are expected to take care of themselves; only religion gets to demand the baby treatment. Well, the hell with that. I don’t respect beliefs more the more unwarranted they are; I don’t believe in affirmative action for beliefs; religion should just wipe its nose and pull up its horrible dirty shorts and go compete with all the other beliefs like an adult.