Le Blaspheme

Charlie Hebdo new cover

“Blasphemy”: the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk

“Sacrilege”:  from a “stealer of sacred things.”

I’ve worked for interfaith understanding for many years.  I respect people of various faiths and can work beside them usually without any problem.  If someone said to me, “It hurts me when you show a picture like that,” or “It really bothers me when you say that about my holy scriptures,” or “You need to cover your head and take off your shoes in our holy place,” I would hear that, respect that, and make my decision based on a relationship as well as how much I was being respected by the other person.

Respect for Religion is no greater than Respect for Human Freedom.

Faith Speech is no more protected than Free Speech.

If the Charlie cartoon really bothers you, I’d like to know why.

IS that Muhammad?  Just because someone says it’s Muhammad, that doesn’t mean it’s your prophet.  Who knows what he looked like?

I could draw an elephant or a camel and say:  “Look, the prophet Muhammad!”

People draw cartoons of many gods, including Jesus, all the time.

Bothers some people.  They may feel disrespected.  But why?

Do you truly believe your god or prophet feels dishonored or angry or offended by someone’s drawing (or words or headcovering, etc)?  Do you need to defend your god or prophet?  They can’t defend themselves?  Their Great Ego is offended?  Seems a small god to me.

My feeling is that we cannot live in a secular free society and make all decisions based on Who will be Offended.

It’s good to be sensitive to the feelings of others.  I’ll do that as much as I personally can.  But when it comes to changing what I think, say or do because someone else doesn’t like that. . .it is my choice. . .I need to stand by my own principles of free conscience and free expression.

What offends me most sometimes is when religious people want all the rest of us to conform to their feelings, beliefs and wishes.

I don’t want to “steal your sacred things” (sacrilege).  CAN they be stolen?  Really?  But I sure don’t have to believe they ARE sacred or treat them with the same respect, honor or reverence that you do.



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