My fellow MENSA member (from the previous post) commented: “But what about Freedom of Religion? Can’t I have to right to see my savior not mocked and made fun of? Have one of our most solemn beliefs respected?”

Absolutely not. You do not have the right not to be offended.

The magazine Charlie Hebdo is offensive. Horrifically so. It has been easy for them to mock, with obscenity, vulgarity, excrement and sarcasm, religious figures from Jesus to the Pope to rabbis. No threat here; Christians and Jews and so forth are not going to kill you for offending them.

To Charlie Hebdo‘s … credit, I suppose, they had the “even handedness” to attack Islam as well. For this, many of them were killed.

The right not to be offended is a tool of totalitarians. You are asking for exactly the same “right” that was asserted in the Cairo Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. This is the “right” that totalitarian governments around the world are using to execute people who fail to properly “respect” their “solemn beliefs.” More than 80 last year in Saudi Arabia alone, officially, and many more that don’t make the news. It is the “right” that ISIS claims when they behead, immolate and crucify for not properly respecting their “solemn beliefs.”

China has a fleet of dozens of execution buses, which are constantly on the move killing those that do not properly respect their beliefs. In North Korea, some 60,000 people a year are scooped off the streets and out of their homes for the ostensible crime of disrespecting the god-person of their Dear Leader. Or even of being related to a person suspected of this, since they could potentially spread “offense.”

In the United States, the culture has declined to the point that it seems to pride its collective self on being as offensive as possible. A young lady I know heads out her parent’s door to school wearing a shirt with a motto that is so grotesquely ugly that it astounds me that schools allow it. (Of course, she’s in California; wearing a picture of the US flag would get her official disapproval, but that’s another issue.) But her astoundingly vulgar slogan creates no backlash that I’m aware of, and I have asked her and her parents about it cialis preise österreich.

I would prefer that she develop the good sense to abandon such puerile rebellion. I am not in favor of empowering people to jail her for giving offense, or kill her for treading on the toes of the wrong deity. In other countries, she would be — if she dared to do this. (It would not happen; it is easy to be offensive here and requires no bravery to “shock” people.)

And yet, here, we are still hypersensitive (as you are) to insults to Islam. Tell me; had you ever expressed such a sentiment publicly with regard to the dung-covered and urine-soaked images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary? I’d wager the answer is no … and this is not a condemnation, simply a recognition that the real issue here is more self-preservation than principle.

So, no, you have no such right to have people who offend you arrested or jailed or killed. That way lies totalitarianism, and that leap has already been made around the world. It is not theoretical.

==============/ Keith DeHavelle