Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pope Francis Says that Freedom to Criticize Religion Should Be Limited

I am Catholic and a big supporter of Pope Francis when he speaks on issues of faith. But when the Pope starts taking on political issues he often knows little about, my support goes out the window.  Today, Pope Francis declared that the freedom to criticize religion should have limits.  Uh, no.
Pope Francis
Absolutely not.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Pope Francis said Thursday there are limits to freedom of expression, especially when it insults or ridicules someone's faith.

Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good.

But he said there were limits.

By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.

"If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."


[H]e said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone's religious beliefs.

"There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit."


Anonymous said...

is it "fire" in a crowded theater? Maybe, in some theaters?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 12:28, that theory might fly in some countries but not the United States. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

Strange, I thought that's where the "fire" concept originated...?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 10:52, that's a very, very narrow exception and only applies in situations where a person might say something that will immediately incite a riot. If it were to apply to allow the banning of speech whenever that speech might make somebody mad, then we pretty much wouldn't have free speech rights.

Anonymous said...

Not criticizing religion is a core Republican belief.

Republicans are the first to demand that curricula be changed so as not to conflict with Evangelical beliefs that run counter to Science.

Jews are also critical of any statement or person that rejects state teachings Israel, such as that the First Temple was on the same site as Dome of the Rock and that Jews of today have no bloodline connection to the Hebrews.

Shutting off uncomfortable discourse by hiding behind religion is quite common by the folks on the right.

Anonymous said...

Shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is one of the most basic obligations and rights of every person on Earth.

That's why every theater you visit has the exit signs illuminated so you can find an escape route in a fire.

The Fire Marshal will shut down any theater that doesn't have the fire alarms in good order and the exit signs illuminated.