• The Great God Pan

    “. And some Christians get upset over more extreme representations of Jesus…”

    Don’t forget the not-so-extreme representations of Jesus that have also sparked outrage from some Christians:


  • Sister Geraldine Marieck, OP, RN

    A true religion does not encourage the murder of ANYONE! What these terrorists did was misuse religion in the name of whatever “god” they say they worship.

    “…for violence is an enemy to justice.”

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN

    A true religion does not encourage the murder of ANYONE! What these terrorists did was misuse religion in the name of whatever “god” they say they worship.

    “…for violence is an enemy to justice.”

    (Please note my CORRECT name! It’s a shame there isn’t an edit function for the comment section).

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  • Looks like my previous attempt at a comment didn’t go through, unless you’re holding it for moderation. Here goes again:

    From the first, I’ve been troubled by the name of this column, The ‘Splainer. I’m old enough to have seen the original broadcasts of “I Love Lucy” from which originated Ricky Ricardo’s comment, “Loo-sy, you got some ‘splaining to go.” When delivered by comedian Desi Arnaz as a Latino spoofing his own accent, the line is funny, but when used in a mainstream context the line appears to me to be culturally insensitive, if not outright racist.

    I wonder if RNS tested this column title with any Latino or Hispanic readers to get their reactions. Might be a good idea.

  • Concerning “‘splain” … it might have originated with “I Love Lucy” … but it’s gone far beyond that. It has even evolved into other words, such as the portmanteau “mansplaining” (see e.g. http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/11/a-cultural-history-of-mansplaining/264380/).

    Its use is now much too wide to associate with racism.

  • Cliff Skajem

    Let me make it clear that I don’t condone violence of any sort, but is there really such a thing as unlimited freedom of speech? Doesn’t all speech come with inherent limitations and consequences based on its veracity or the listener’s receptiveness? Witness the legions chastened in America lately for what’s considered “politically incorrect” speech. You can say it, but you run the risk of a negative outcome. As for extremism, why do I not hear the word applied to Charlie Ebdo, which showed no judgment whatsoever and, in fact, went out of their way to ridicule various institutions including Islam? What was the moral imperative? Where was their sensitivity? Has the pursuit of sales overcome what used to be called good taste? Hypocrites. They demanded unconditional consideration of their views but offered none to the other side. The only heroes there were the two slain policemen assigned to protect these pompous asses.

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  • Julian Penrod

    Among other things, some points about protected speech. To be protected, essentially, something has to be worthy of protecting. In society, that can cover a wide range, but there are some things that are not protected by their nature. Protected speech must be pure, based on a good conscience, done in good will. It can be no less than innocuous. Which means that something done for vicious, malignant purpose, to harm others, to create gratuitous violence is not protected. To know where a car went off the road and give the police a completely wrong location is not “free speech”!

  • Julian Penrod

    The actions of Jyllands Posten, AFDI and other similar malimgerers is not intended for good purpose. They are not trying to promote free speech. If that was truly their goal, they could have approached the issue of the depiction of Mohammed by providing a respectful, dignified representation. But they’re afraid of Muslim lack of agitation! They want to promote the Final Solution of the Arab Problem. Their actions are those of individuals who would welcome Americans dying so they could “justify” genocide of the Arabs. They give every appearance of deliberately trying to engineer Americans being killed! They are the danger! They condemn Muslims for killing for the sake of Mohammed, but they are willing to see people killed for “free speech”!

  • Julian Penrod

    As with so many diseased “principles” espoused by so many Americans, drug addiction being a desirable condition; embracing mental damage created sexual deviances; discounting humans still in the womb and chopping them to pieces for convenience; treating those with fewer weapons with abuse, there is another important point to mention. All call for a form of mentality that extends no further than the nose, a sentiment, founded in inanimate philosophy that says there is nothing beyond the immediate and physical. Anything is right, as long as you don’t get caught. And their sentiments come from the nature of the “believer”. In this case, arrested development misfits and freaks, stealing money from their mothers’ purses for drugs, making false 911 calls to interfere with competitors on online games, no matter who dies as a result!

  • Willie

    Nothing done by the targets of the terrorist in Garland, Texas justifies the actions of the two Islamic Terrorist who attempted to kill them. Does Sharia Law call for the death of non-Muslims who live in a country that does not observe Sharia Law when they violate Sharia Law? I have lived in an Islamic nation under Sharia and while I was there I respected the laws of that country but also expect Muslim visitors to the US to respect our laws. Muslims could have protested peacefully as the organization behind the contest did when Muslims had an event in the same venue last January.
    As far as Protected Speech being worthy of protection, who decides what is worthy? You? Free Speech has to extend to speech we don’t like or it’s meaningless. Your example of lying to police to hurt someone is not the same as AFDI’s event in Garland.

  • pete

    lighten up.

  • @Sister,

    “A true religion does not encourage the murder of ANYONE!”

    For the record:
    “Better that he be drowned with a millstone around his neck….” – JESUS (Matt 18:6)

  • Cynthia,

    You have chosen to be offended.

    The statement,”It is offensive” is not an argument.
    It is a whine.

  • Kimberly,

    This is an excellent article – well researched. Thank you!

  • Bob in Maryland


    Jesus wasn’t encouraging anyone to be murdered in the passage you quoted (as you probably know quite well). He was using a figure of speech to show how heinous a crime corruption of the youth is.

  • @Bob in Maryland,

    All the innocent people who were burned to death as witches
    will be relieved to learn it was accidental – Jesus didn’t really mean what he said:

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and EXECUTE THEM IN FRONT OF ME” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “I shall kill her children with Death” – JESUS (REV. 2:23)
    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

    The way to become an Atheist is to read the Bible very carefully.