Thursday, September 20, 2012

OK, Look...

Outraged Christian extremists firebombed a theater showing Martin Scorcese's "The Last Temptation of Christ", so don't go telling me it's all about the Muslims. It's not. It's about religious tolerance and standing up for free speech, even if you personally detest a particular message. Religious extremists of whatever denominations are to be shunned and ostracized and tolerance shouted from every soapbox if we are going to have a peaceable world.

Where is the consistent message of tolerance from our leaders and news media? I want to hear the message on every news show and read it on every opinion page. We must make the case that any religion so small that it cannot stand against perceived insult is weak beyond redemption and should be turned away from. Violence is not a religious tool that a sane world can tolerate.

America stands for a number of freedoms, and foremost among these is the right to express opinions in our media and our art...even bad art, such as the recent movie that seems to have offended certain  Islamic extremists. Every religion on earth can find some artistic expression that it can be offended by without looking very hard. In America we stand behind the right of others to offend you. We also stand behind your right to express through any form of free speech why others should share your opinion and emotion. What America will not do is allow a violent act in a foreign sovereignty goad us into suppressing American freedoms codified in the tenets of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We condemn and oppose violent religious extremists of all ilks and will use the force of domestic law and international diplomacy to oppose anyone who uses violence in the attempt to suppress what we in America believe is the fundamental human right to free speech.

We believe in everyone's right to make their opinion known and we believe in everyone else's right to oppose that opinion in speech of every form, including a crappy movie.

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