Friday, July 18, 2008

A comment on a comment.

I earlier posted my response to a post at Dispatches. I had a couple of direct responses. The first one - from DingoJack (always appearing to be good-humored, yet pointed, commentary) was:
Furthermore, Umlud, what if someone set up the "Church of Dopesmoking Sexfeinds" then moved thier operation to Mecca? Could the Saudis sue this church? If they did could the CoDS counter sue? Remember this would be an international court probably in the Hague or somewhere. Such laws would not foster co-operation between faiths, it would drive wedges between them, with totally unpredictable consequences. A Hobbesian war between the faiths is just what the world doesn't need now (or ever) -DJ
Posted by: DingoJack | July 18, 2008 10:19 AM
I really find this one funny and explanatory, and again, quite exemplary. A war between the Church of Dopesmoking Sexfiends and Saudi Wahabbists? I wonder who would win? :)

Of course, I also get direct responses like this one, too.
Gretchen, you quoted this:
But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them.
Jim Babka said this:
That doesn't happen often, but in this instance, from this very blog post, you can see that they both agree that the ability to defame religions is free speech, and that a ban prohibiting defamation of religions is bad.
Umlud said this:
Why should religions get an anti-defamation allowance?
For the record, I do not think that religions should be immune from criticism. In fact nobody should. Now, I would be interested to hear all your opinions on this:
Is this where we are headed? Gays get to be insulated by the law from criticism? Would you all support or oppose what this guy said?
Posted by: mroberts | July 18, 2008 5:01 PM
This was my answer:
mroberts - instead of linking to a summary of a knee-jerk bigoted reaction, why not link to the story that caused that knee-jerk bigoted reaction? Are we to respond to the reaction or the original piece? Are you one that agrees with the reaction, or stands against it? If so, on what grounds are you making your argument? So many murky questions, so little actual information from you... However, I'll humor your question (apologies to all for going off-topic).
"Is this where we're headed?" If by "this" you mean protecting those inherent things that a person cannot choose - their social, racial, and sexual identity - as opposed to those they can - their belief systems, economic decisions, and personal actions - then I would say, "I hope so."
My reasoning goes a little like this:
Can one choose what one's own belief system? I believe one can. I've done it and, I've seen others do it. These therefore fall in my general category of "personal decisions," and thus are not something that should be protected against, viz anti-defamation legislation. Can one choose one's own sexual orientation? I believe one cannot. Therefore, bigotry against one's sexual orientation - much like one's ethnicity - should be protected against viz anti-defamation legislation.
Now, if a homosexual is bigoted against heterosexuals, then I would have as little sympathy for that bigot's POV as I would if the roles were reversed. Bigotry against inherent characteristics (such as those outlined above) should not (imho) be tolerated. (And please don't accuse me of being intolerant as I preach tolerance. I never said that I was universally tolerant - which is itself an untenable position.)

Now that I've answered your question mroberts, why not follow Wes' advice, and return your questions and statements to the posting at hand (or go back and show how King Abdullah's hypocritical and dangerous call for anti-defamation based on one's personal actions and choices is tied to your posting of a link to a bigoted knee-jerk reaction to President Lula's actions to protect inherent identity, and therefore civil liberties)?
Posted by: Umlud | July 18, 2008 7:31 PM
It turns out that several other people have answered mroberts (in addition to Wes' original response) during the time I was writing back to mroberts. Now that I've made a statement on where I stand on this, I get to disregard feeling like I would have to answer mroberts on this topic again.

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