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Sacré Pénis du Pape! 8 November 2006

Posted by Todd in Christianity, Democratic Theory, Gay Rights, Religion, Sexuality.
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The Vatican Joins Conservative Jews and Muslims in Hating Gay Israelis! Will the Miracles Never Cease?

The vatican has joined with the ultra-conservative wingnuts in Jerusalem (on both sides of The Wall) in denouncing the planned Gay Pride celebration, scheduled for this Friday. Apparently, the Pride celebration is offensive to believers of all three monotheisms, and should therefore be cancelled. Although the Vatican’s statement contains no overt call to violence, the mere fact that they are aligned with those who are promising to shed the blood of gay men and women this week speaks volumes about the fucked up values of one of the so-called “religions of peace and love.”

Among the more wrong-headed ideas in the Vatican’s statement, the Holy See insists on its apalling misunderstanding of free expression:

“The Holy See has reiterated on many occasions that the right to freedom of expression … is subject to just limits, in particular when the exercise of this right would offend the religious sentiments of believers”

I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it again: Offense is not a violation of the democratic harm principle. I must adamantly insist on this point: It is not a democracy’s responsibility to protect people from being offended. It is the democracy’s responsibility only to ensure the free exercise of an individual’s rights. The purpose of free speech is for individual’s and the society at large to vet ideas and evaluate them. Inasmuch as religion is, by its very nature, a truth claim, it must be subject to this public vetting process of examination and argument. It may be offensive to a Christian (or Jew or Muslim) when I tell them that they are simply wrong on the issue of homosexuality (and that there is no god, and that their religions are not divine); but it is not and must not be illegal to do so.

The right of “believers” to say that homosexuals are sinners must not be abridged; neither must the rights of those homosexuals to express themselves and fight for their rightful place as full and equal citizens in the democracy.

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Comments

1. Abu Sahajj - 1 December 2006

“It may be offensive to a Christian (or Jew or Muslim) when I tell them that they are simply wrong on the issue of homosexuality (and that there is no god, and that their religions are not divine); but it is not and must not be illegal to do so.”

It is not a very strong case you are making here… primarily because you are trying to make your case on equal terms, as if the comparison between religious supporters and gay rights supporters are on an equal platform, they are not.

The terms to which a gay rights activist will make a case is inherently inequal, because the acceptance of homosexual impetus as a social norm is a minority, particularly within the global sphere.

You must not make the mistake of many Americans or Westerners and assume that Western culture is immanent within the global socio-political sphere. Global politics is unavoidably plural, because everything we write and/or say can be accessed by nearly every corner of the world.

If one would make a case for gay rights it must penetrate more than just local or domestic politics. The U.S. will never accept being ‘the odd man out’ on this issue.

wasalaam


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