Friday, May 8, 2015

Free Speech and Self Righteous Speech

We've said this before, and probably more often than it needs to be said. Yet some things bear repeating just the same. This is one of those times. As we are most certainly not Charlie Hebdo, we are also not the people who organized and participated in the draw Mohammed contest last week in Texas.

Yes, we get it. It was to prove that we in these United States have freedom of speech. It was to show that we can say whatever we want (or in this case, draw whatever we wish) whenever and however we want. Thank you for the lesson. We hadn't understood it before your grandstanding play.

What is it that so many people, even many of our conservative brethren, simply must do something just to show the world that they can do it? Surely a rational being knows perfectly well what he can and cannot do before he takes any given action. But if that's the only reason to depict Mohammed, isn't it actually a bit childish? Isn't is in fact self-righteous, and perhaps even the signal of a feeling of inferiority? We know we can do it yet we've never felt a strong desire to draw Mohammed. Why? If you're comfortable where you are and with your rights, what's the point?

Think what you want about Islam but what are you proving by lowering yourself to insult it? Further, why are you handing a match to someone who wants to start a fire? Because you can? That's not particularly rational. It is, however, arguably irresponsible.

The war on terror, as with the war on all real and serious wrongs in this world, is difficult enough without fanning the flames ourselves. Charlie Hebdo? The Texas cartoonists? You're out of line morally even if within the lines legally, however necessary that legal right might be.

At times we wonder who the real jerks are in this land.

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