• First, glad to see a return of the old daily format.

    Second, this is a remarkable piece of journalism. It’s just excellent.

    The whole purpose of blasphemy laws is to stiffle debate and critical thinking. Surely if religious ideas are worthwhile they are also worth discussing and discussion suggests the possibility of differing views.

  • Doc Anthony

    Kudos to Pope Francis (on this issue), and also kudos to the 5000 protesters in Lahore. They get it.

    Also kudos to the New York Times. Even though it is world-famous for its liberalism, they had enough journalistic ethics, enough journalistic courage, to NOT show **any** of the offensive, insulting, dog-vomit cartoons of that rag Charlie Hebdo.

    In other words, the secular and liberal New York Times clearly has 100 times more journalistic ethics and courage than the religion-oriented Religion News Service. RNS apparently still doesn’t quite get it.

  • Fourth Valley

    ‘A sheikh told thousands of Muslims gathered to celebrate the life of the prophet Muhammad, “blasphemy and vulgarity must stop,” but “we support free speech.” So we’re cherry-picking now.’

    Not sure why this notion is so hard to understand. You can respect someone’s right to be an [expletive deleted] without condoning it. Supporting an [expletive deleted] right to spew vile nonsense is not the same as agreeing with that vile nonsense.

    You can support a person’s right to identify with the Nazi Party, their right to speak positively about it and hold that political viewpoint legally, while at the same time calling for the non-coercive end of Nazism. Just because you think someone can be allowed to be a Nazi doesn’t mean you think being a Nazi is GOOD. Nazism SHOULD end, but you should also be allowed to be a Nazi. It should end peacefully and without coercion.

    Likewise a person can call for the non-coercive end to blasphemy while still maintaining that people have a right to blaspheme. Insulting others (their religion or other aspects about them) SHOULD end. But you should also have the right to issue those insults.

    I don’t get why people think that supporting someone’s freedom to do something is an approval of the thing they should be free to do.

    It’s possible that this sheikh advocated forcibly ending blasphemy, but he did not in the two quotes provided. He says you should be able to blaspheme, yet blasphemy should come to an end. Just like you should be able to be a racist, yet racism should come to an end.http://brianpellot.religionnews.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form

  • MarkE

    So, Doc–who decides what is “insulting”? There are few, if any, clear authorities for any religion. Some sheikh in Saudi just proclaimed as “haram” the building of snowmen after northern Arabia had some snow and locals had a little fun. Somw say that any non-muslim using the name Allah is blasphemous. Whacko Christian pastors burn Korans, spray medical offices with red paint (or bomb them) all in tne name of religious belief.

  • Martha Osgood

    What a wonderful collective noun!
    A hypocrisy of global leaders …

  • Eoinkenobi

    Pope Francis’ remarks were disgraceful. He equated insulting an abstract idea (faith or religion) with insulting an actual person, and then said that violence is a reasonable response. Kind of the opposite of the message Jesus was perportedly selling.

  • Fredso


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