Friday, February 10, 2006

Freedom of Speech

Every day I see or hear things that I find offensive. On TV, on the Internet, on the subway, on T shirts. My response? I'll send an email or turn the channel or walk away or , sometimes though rarely, make a comment myself.

The loony left, the rabid right, CNN "News", George W., the Liberal Party of Canada, Britney Spears, Fox News, the teenager who lives down the street. As I get older and crankier the list of people who drive me around the bend grows and grows.

But its part and parcel of the world we live in and while I can see why some Muslims may be offended by the cartoons published in Denmark its called freedom of speech. Write a letter. Boycott Danish products, whatever they may be. Or French wine or PEI potatoes or whatever products come from places where the cartoons were published. When the Philadelphia Flyers are on Hockey Night in Canada write CBC in protest because the Philadelphia Inquirer published them too.

As a Catholic, though lapsed, I have seen far more offensive images of Jesus published or created by so called artists. Piss me off? Sure. Despite my ambivalence when it comes to Christianity, sometimes it does. And I can see why Christians would be mighty peeved when some "artist" has a show based on pictures of Mary smeared with shit. Or of Jesus cavorting on South Park.

But you don't see buildings getting burned down or people getting their throats slit over that now, do you? And whether it offends me or not its part of living in a free society.

Extremists use anything to whip up hatred - and its for their own ends. To say that a cartoon blasphemes your religion, a religion of peace, and then to protest this drawing by burning buildings and threatening others is a disgrace.

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