I’m Offended. . .

Thought of this the other day:

“I’m offended that you are offended and want to take away my right to offend you.”

Isn’t that circular thinking partly what’s going on with these “sensitive” issues of faith?

In that good spirit, here’s a note from Muhammad (I pretty much agree with The Friendly Atheist on the Geller and Hebdo non-comparison):

by Fawstin
by Fawstin

Note to my Muslim friends:  this is NOT Muhammad.  No one knows what The Prophet looked like.  Most of you don’t care what a cartoonist draws, just like most Christians don’t care if someone wants to draw a picture of Jesus, since no one knows what HE looked like either.  I wonder though:  Why are so many offended by an image?  Is idolatry the real problem?  If so, can you imagine ANYONE worshipping the cartoon image of the man?  That would be almost. . .cartoonish!

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4 thoughts on “I’m Offended. . .

  1. Most Muslims are offended because cartoons make a mockery of the most respected person in Islam. Why are blacks offended when are called sons of slaves or niggers. It is true after all. They are not offended with the truth but the negative connotation linked to such phrases. When there is so much hate in the world, why add fuel to fire.

    1. i agree with you that there is too much hate in the world. Yet, religion fuels a great amount of that hate. The words you mention are directed against actual human beings who exist. The cartoon image is poking fun at an “idol of the mind” and only people who are irrationally offended by their imagination would have any feelings about that.

      My main question: if idolatry essentially means “worship of idols. extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone” isn’t this exactly what the defenders of an imagined image are practicing? Just because a non-believer makes up a picture of anyone’s “respected teacher” that is merely a fiction, so why be upset?

      I often wonder, if someone drew an image of Allah, would that cause the same hurt or violent rage? Curious, since no one could ever draw a picture of someone or something that has no form. Christians and Hindus, for instance, continually make up pictures and statues of their “saints” and gods. Few would claim those pictures are actually those saints and gods. That would be silly.

      I think religious offense (“mockery” and even “blasphemy”) is in the mind of those who would rather defend their own mental images than defend true justice and human rights in our world. Does one’s god or anyone’s “prophet” really need defending or hatred in their name?

      Idols or no idols, these fights over “religiously correct” images (including beliefs and books) are nothing more than distractions from what people of faith or no faith should be doing to make the world a better place for all.

      Chuckle at the comics, or ignore them. . .if you don’t like them, don’t give them energy or be falsely “offended.”

      1. I am never offended my these images since other people’s actions have no impact on me. I am hurt by the insensitivity of these people. If someone feels upset. why not stop and do something else. It just feels insensitive. I am not taking sides here. I also get upset by the needless protests conducted over the drawing of an image. Just express your displeasure and move on.
        In Islam, prophet Mohammad is a revered figure. Muslims love him and consider him a role model. And when that role model is subjected to ridicule, they feel upset. If you ridiculed Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Lincoln, you would be upsetting people also. I am not telling anyone to stop, I can’t force anyone. I am just explaining a perspective.

  2. Glad to hear you are not offended by images and that people should just move on.

    Perhaps this brief exchange simply shows there is a need for people to find some middle way, some common ground, instead of the extreme polarizing. Using reason ought to be central in these issues where irrationality is pervasive.

    Role models are great, yet I don’t think they are beyond caricature or even ridicule. Even the most “sacred” and respected teachers of history were merely human. Gandhi, King and others have indeed been ridiculed and it may be “upsetting” to some. I may not like what someone says about someone I admire, but I would defend their right to say what they wish; it doesn’t at all affect my admiration or respect. Why would it?

    Having said this, faith seems to make some people extremely sensitive to offense. The rest of us can choose to be careful with people’s feelings, yet, larger issues such as human rights and freedom of conscience have to be the rule. Many religious people seem to think their religious beliefs should be respected above these more important societal standards. They think their “sacred” objects, prophets and beliefs are beyond question–literally. But nothing is beyond question, challenge, debate. My view is that “religious freedom” cannot take priority over Freedom itself.

    Thanks for your comment and perspective.

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