That’s insulting

1 May

As my religions class is winding down for the semester, we’ve been participating in class debates. A topic that has come up several times is what to do about something that some people find offensive. We’ve talked about controversial art work, cartoons, songs, books, and even about just verbally criticizing a religion.

Usually when the religious people in the class see something that is offensive to them they think it should be banned or censored. But why? Why should they be given special treatment? What about people who they offend? What if their entire religion offends me? Can I ask for it to be banned? What if the image of the crucifix offends me? Can I say that it is obscene and should be banned?

They see a symbol of their savior, I see a Roman torture and execution device that signifies their belief that all human beings are wicked sinners who need to buy their product if they want to be saved. It offends my intelligence and my views of the essential goodness of humanity. It’s insulting.

But no, for some reason they feel they deserve preferential treatment.

2 Responses to “That’s insulting”

  1. Graham September 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Hi. I’m a Christian – better establish our ground rules before we start. I believe in Jesus Christ, saviour, only begotten son … and all that, the trinity, and the Holy Spirit.

    I find myself continually embarassed at the antics of many of my co-believers. The bus driver who refused to drive his bus because of an atheist ad – you know the one “there is probably no god, so enjoy your life…”. A great ad, I thought – provocative and attention-grabbing. If there is any truth to our beliefs, then what have we to fear from an advert on the side of a bus, for goodness sake. Then there’s the evangelical right, especially in the US, although increasingly over here in the UK. The odour they give off is to me at least, not that of sanctity at all, but of something rather less palatable. On the issue of homosexuality, I was at least encouraged by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, when he said “FGS theres more to worry us with AIDS (in Africa a heterosexual disease), wars etc, lets shut up about gays” (my transliteration!). Tell your religious students to get a life. Truth has nothing to fear from slander. Actually I have a good argument for religious freedom, and freedom in general which few Christians seem to accept. It goes like this:

    What does God want from us ? Our love. Love is only possible where it can be freely given – you can’t coerce love. Ergo God _needs_ us to be free to be able to love Him.

    Blaspheme away (OK, I’d rather you didn’t, but who am I to impose my views on anyone else) – and if someone objects, they have the option to _ask_ you to stop, and to shut up if you don’t. We Christians have much to apologise for ourselves, and should all be looking at the logs in our own eyes before we condemn others.

    Graham

  2. godlesspaladin October 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    Great comment. 🙂 I love hearing from sensible people who have something constructive to say, rather than the usual “you’re going to hell” crowd. Thanks again 🙂

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