Pope Francis Doesn’t Seem to Realize Where “Limits” on Free Speech Lead

According to Pope Francis, “You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, a blogger named Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam.”

Obviously the pope isn’t calling for laws restricting speech, at least in these remarks, but perhaps he should consider what his logic ultimately leads to before trying to yet again discuss a topic he doesn’t understand. His remarks do not answer any pertinent questions, such as who gets to decide what constitutes an insult.

It might have been more appropriate – and more libertarian – if he said violence can only be used to defend one’s right to practice their religion, not violate the right of other’s to mock it. Or, he might have called for people to be tactful when discussing religion as a social etiquette, yet add that one is not bound legally to be polite when critiquing other people’s beliefs.

Food for thought.

 

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2 Responses to Pope Francis Doesn’t Seem to Realize Where “Limits” on Free Speech Lead

  1. tiffany267 says:

    Yeah I found the Pope’s comments rather horrifying… “If my friend insults my mom he should expect a punch” (so therefore all insults should be repressed by some special authority aka govt). As an atheist I don’t follow the Bible, but I thought the Christ character said something about letting your enemies have with you as they want, and turning the other cheek if you were slapped. Kind of makes Christ’s earthly representative look like a hypocrite?

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    • Yes, for a man who claims to be the “vicar” of Christ on Earth, I find it ironic that he didn’t use the opportunity to recite a single Bible verse, like the ones you’re referring to, which specifically prohibit retaliation or revenge, as well as retribution for petty offenses, i.e. getting slapped in the cheek.

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