Freewill, Free Speech, and Blasphemy

If we were robotic machines simply executing a program, we would have no real choice when we take moral decisions. But we do take moral choices. We do decide between right and wrong. In doing so, we exercise freewill, and I believe the existence of our freewill is one of the proofs that God loves us. You see, the decision to love is a choice, and God has given us the right to choose not to love Him. He loves us enough to refrain from forcing our choice.

If God loves you that much, it would be the height of arrogance for me to attempt to force you to express love for Him according to my understanding. Of course, it’s reasonable for me to try to convince you that my understanding is correct, but that’s persuasion—not force. Indeed, so long as you aren’t hurting anyone except yourself, you should be free to choose to hate God.

This is why I support freedom of expression even to the extent of allowing blasphemy. Certainly, blasphemy offends me, but if God is Who He says He is, He is capable of dealing with it on His own terms. He doesn’t need me to avenge Him. In the end, God will not be mocked. After all, the message of the book of Revelation is: God wins/Pick a side/Don’t be stupid.

Charlie Hebdo has published cartoons that offend Christians as well as Muslims. They should be free to do so. I view their choice as unwise, and I choose not to reproduce some of those cartoons here at Hogewash!, yet I still support their right to publish them.

Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.

That’s this morning’s Quote of the Day. It’s by Erwin Rommel, and it’s usually seen as an exhortation to bravery. More often, it is, in fact, a description of the cause of cowardice.

Too many folks have fixed ideas about such things as freedom of expression until the threat of firebombs or Kalashnikovs becomes real. Too many writers, editors, and publishers collapse when faced violence. (Some will cave in to a bogus lawsuit.)

The important question is not whether Charlie Hebdo has conducted itself with good manners or in good taste or whether or not “they had it coming to ’em.” The question is whether the heckler’s veto should be allowed to include Molotov cocktails and full metal jacket ammunition.

loaded magazineRommel also observed that in a man-to-man fight the winner is he who has one more round in his magazine. In this fight between cultures, it may get down to which has the  last brave man. While they attack with a 7th-century mindset and beheadings, we should be responding with modern free expression—and laser-guided bombs.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Charlie_Hebdo_Mohammed_Returns_.0Most likely, the Gentle Reader has heard about yesterday’s terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The publication has targeted Islam with its rather coarse humor. For example the front-page cartoon on the left is captioned, “If Mohammed Returned.” The dialog translates, “I am The Prophet, fool!” and “Shut up, Infidel!”

After killing a dozen people and wounding several more, the gunmen were heard to say that they had avenged The Prophet.

If one reads the letter The Dread Prophetphile Kimberlin sent to law enforcement (see the exhibit attached here) in the context of his actions in outing the anonymous blogger “Aaron Worthing,” it almost seems as if TDPK was hoping that Aaron Walker might suffer the same fate as has befallen Charlie Hebdo. The fact that Aaron Walker was SWATted the same day that he beat TDPK in a court hearing over the unconstitutional gag order Kimberlin had as part of (later thrown out) peace order, …

One theme that keeps recurring in TDPK’s rants against Aaron Walker is his connection to the Everybody Draw Mohammed blog that posted all those “vile” depictions of Mohammed.

Here’s another interesting factoid: As of 11 pm last night, there was nothing on either the Justice Through Music Project or Velvet Revolution US websites about the Charlie Hebdo attack. There was nothing on Breitbart Unmasked either.

The Gentle Reader may draw his own conclusion.

Barbarian Thuggery


The issue shown at the left got the offices of Charlie Hebdo firebombed in 2011. (Mohammed is saying, “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing.”) Today, gunmen murdered a dozen members of the publications staff.

Barbarian thugs have struck a blow against the free expression of ideas.

They must not be allowed to win.

UPDATE—A first-hand account from the scene.

Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin Keeps Using That Word …

… I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

Hate. TDPK keeps referring to Aaron Walker’s now defunct Everybody Draw Mohammed blog as a “Muslim hate blog.” Indeed, he uses that term several times in his Motion to Dismiss in the federal Walker v. Kimberlin, et al. lawsuit.

<fisking>Regardless of how one parses the phrase, it doesn’t make sense as a description of Mr. Walker’s blog. The blog clearly isn’t run by a Muslim, so it isn’t an Islamic run hate blog. The blog clearly does not incite hatred of Muslims, so it isn’t a hate blog aimed at Muslims.

The blog isn’t about Islam so much as it is about freedom of expression and the separation of church or, in this case, mosque and state. In the United States no religion has a superior legal standing vis-à-vis any other. In the United States no person, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or whatever, has the legal right to forbid anyone else from an otherwise legal act because the act transgresses that person’s religious beliefs. Telling someone to mind his own business in matters of religion is not hateful per se. OTOH, shooting and beheading infidels on the street, firebombing their offices, and the like, could be considered hate crimes.</fisking>

<mockery>TDPK is an avowed atheist. Atheists, are regularly subject to discrimination and persecution in many Islamic countries. According to popular interpretations of Islam, denying Islam and thus becoming an apostate is traditionally punished by death for men and by life imprisonment for women. That a lot worse than only 50 years for bombing.</mockery>

As mentioned in an earlier post, a motion to dismiss is not the place to argue one’s case, but if TDPK wants to put his specious stuff out for the world to see, he needs to be ready to have it examined and to watch nonsense called by its name.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE–The dialog in the talk balloon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo translates as “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing.”

Fire Insurance

I’ve heard preachers who dwell on the unpleasant prospect of Hell for sinners referred to as fire insurance salesmen, but one religion is developing a reputation for punishing sinners in this world as well. The offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have been firebombed after an Islam-themed issue was published.

The Islamists are getting to be more than a bit like the “insurance” salesmen whose marketing approach goes “Nice business you have here. It would be a shame …”

Charlie Hebdo probably offended some with its issue, but that’s what satirical magazines do. We allow such magazines in western culture, and our culture has a history of being outraged when our tradition of free expression of ideas is attacked. Yet this universal outrage seems to be fading. Why would an organization such as Time not view their French colleagues as martyrs to the cause of the free press? The mind boggles.

“Nice culture you have here. It would be a shame if it burned to the ground.”

UPDATE–Allahpundit has a comment posted. Read the whole thing.