Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Free Speech censored by the United Nations?

Posted by jaystile on February 27, 2009

I was watching a news article on youtube by CNN. This (shallow) report is followed by the commentary of Lou Dobbs and Christopher Hitchens. They talk about the actions taken by the United Nations to move toward a binding resolution of member states to make it a crime for defamation of religion. As a side note, I dislike listening to Lou Dobbs and other talking heads on the news. Also, if you’re going to read a book on atheism, read ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins which discusses why religion is unnecessary. Christopher Hitchens attacks religion in his book ‘god is not Great’ and is very hostile with his words.

People really do need to stand up for their rights and the rights of others. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. I’ll protect your freedom to practice religion, if you protect my right to reject religion. I’ll protect your right to speak/write freely, if you protect my right to listen and read the media that I want to. I’ll protect your right to bear arms if you protect my rights against warrantless wiretapping.

The commentators do focus heavily on Islam since the resolution is promoted by Pakistan and backed by other Islamic nations. But ambiguous language leads to a litany of lawsuits. I’m sure every religion would be crawling out of the woodwork with claims of defamation of religion. My question is, when did it become a right not to get offended? I understand wanting rules regarding hate speech and race/religion based threats because that makes sense. You do NOT get to threaten people just because they are different than you. But a law regarding blasphemy? I believe that to be a terrible idea. I think it is appropriate to criticize bronze age ideologies that have long outlived their usefulness and do great amounts of harm in society.

The initial concept of the United Nations was great. Trying to stop the destruction of the world by another world war by using diplomacy and the aggregate power of the world against rogue nations is a noble prospect. But the U.N. is impotent because of special rules made just for the super powers like the United States and the former Soviet Union allowing one to undercut the other. And like all democracies, if the ‘crazies’ have the majority or people just stop caring the ruling body breaks down. (i.e., how the 43rd President of the United States got elected and the aftermath)


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