Debate and Discussion

Freedom of speech. When is it appropriate?
Product Placement at 11:16AM, April 27, 2010
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Hawk
What I find funny about the South Park situation is that they showed Mohammad clearly and in his entirety in an earlier episode back in the show's fifth season. He was your average guy in a turban, but he had the ability to shoot fire for some reason.

Now, they're in trouble for showing a mascot bear costume and implying that Mohammad was inside it. They didn't even show him!

I guess it's possible for Muslims to simply be angry that Mohammad is a character in an often tasteless cartoon, but it makes you wonder what they were doing eight years ago when Mohammad first made an appearance.
Probably because it passed under their radar. It wasn't a hot topic back then and the reasoning behind his appearance was to create representation for every mayor religion.

When the Mohammad cartoons were posted in that Danish newspaper, it caused a huge uproar and a wild debate about freedom of speech. South Park made fun of that event by hinting that they were gonna show Mohammad again but didn't do it in the end. Now that they did it again, they were in the radar, the topic was still alive and thus it became controversial. They were also aware of what they were doing, this time.

There's a difference between unwittingly doing something offensive and doing it intentionally. When I was a small kid I heard of a curse word that was derogatory towards Jewish people. I had no idea what it meant but all I knew was that it was bad word. I used it on my peers in order to insult them, not knowing the meaning, just like I would have done with words like “idiot” or “jerk”. Eventually I was informed of the meaning. If I had used the word from that point onward, it would have been considerably worse of me to do so, wouldn't you agree?
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Hawk at 2:41PM, April 27, 2010
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You're right, it does seem like they're intentionally rocking the boat this time around.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
DrBob at 8:06AM, April 28, 2010
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ozoneocean
Playing with Mohamed imagery is nothing more than teasing the rabid junk-yard dog behind it's fence, because you know you can. You're not proving how brave you are or how strong the fence is, all you're doing is increasing that dog's hatred of you and all like you, increasing its determination to get past that fence and rip your face from your skull….

Laws and rules are great lovely things, but they don't prevent wars and they can't stop you being killed. That's why we as human beings need to exercise our own discretion, tact, and compassion when dealing with people.
Is playing with Christian imagery nothing more than provoking an unnecessary fight? Should South Park take away the Jesus-as-talk-show-host character? Should Piss Christ be taken out of exhibits? Should Jon Stewart stop making fun of the Catholic church? I have a Satan character in my comic, is that insensitive of me toward those who think Satan is real and the concept of evil should be taken seriously?

If the problem is that there's a historical context of abuse, white males have a bad history of slavery and discrimination against gays and women. Should South Park take away the Token character, the Big Gay Al character, and any women characters?

Well, those characters weren't intended to be offensive, one might say. But it's not like South Park was portraying Mohammed in the same way as they did Osama Bin Laden, as some Daffy-Duck-like lunatic.

ozoneocean
There's a difference between unwittingly doing something offensive and doing it intentionally.
Very true. Me personally, I don't relish being intentionally offensive as some cartoonists and comedians do. But for those being ridiculed, being intentionally provocative is every bit the same as being intentionally offensive, although for others it's not. And in this case, Muslims say ANY depiction of Mohammed is offensive. Catholics have said the same thing about the Pope, Scientologists have said it of Hubbard, etc. If the goal is to be mature, tactful, and discrete and avoid being provocative, then comedy loses its bite.

Of course, comedy can go too far for many people's taste, and sometimes it is offensive and unfunny. Product Placement is right, though. The answer is to have more speech, not ban the speech we don't like. Death threats on cartoonists is never justified, no matter what the historical context has been. This is the sort of thing that makes me want to join in on Draw Mohammed Day, except I don't have anything particularly clever to draw.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:16PM
Product Placement at 9:37AM, April 28, 2010
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The difference between “Jesus on a talk show” and “Fire flinging Muhammad” is that Jesus is a celebrated figure that adorns every single church and numerous picture frames of religious homes, while efforts were made to distance Muhammad from divinity. He was merely a prophet, like Moses was to the Jewish. Making images of him could have been interpreted as a form of worship, which is a no-no for our overly jealous God, so such practices are considered to be blasphemous.

Imagine if you had been raised, believing that there's something you can't do. Something that's considered to be horrible if you'd ever do it. Imagine you truly believe this to be true. Now imagine if a group of people, who you really despise, for all the manipulative things they've done to your people, started to practice that forbidden thing.
You'd be pretty pissed off about it, wouldn't you?

I would like to say that they should just chill out and stop being so serious about it but what right do I have?



Well… I guess I have the right to say it.
DrBob
ozoneocean
There's a difference between unwittingly doing something offensive and doing it intentionally.
Hey, I said that! Ozone! Stop stealing my quotes!
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
kyupol at 9:58AM, April 28, 2010
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Its because Christians are the most tolerant of all religions. Sure. You can quote bible passages that show how God orders people to do evil things (Exodus 21).

But on average, the Christian believes in the good bible verses their preacher selects for them to read on Sunday morning.

On average, Christians are taught to love thy neighbor and to be forgiving because if you cannot forgive your enemies, how will you expect God to forgive you? (Matthew 6:12-15)

It is very rare that the Christian would resort to violence to achieve their aims. Most of the time, its those blabbering idiot types who cannot even put together a proper sentence. All they are is “Uuuh… God said this… DUUUHH… God said that! UUUGGGH!!!”

But if you speak to an intelligent Christian, even the extremist ones, they NEVER advocate violence.

I had a pretty heated debate with one of these extremist types in another forum. In the end, he revealed his good intention. He was like:

“Look, man. All I want is for you to be saved. All I want is for you to go to heaven and meet God in the end. I wish the same for all humans on planet earth. My duty as a Christian is to lead as many souls into heaven before the day of judgement comes. My duty as a Christian is to point out all the deception (these include atheism, islam, hinduism, buddhism, and especially ”The New Age“) out there that the Satanic New World Order puts out to bring your soul to hell. I hope you understand.”

(paraphrased version of 10 wordy paragraphs that included lots of bible scripture quotes and unnecessary rambling)
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
DrBob at 10:22AM, April 28, 2010
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Product Placement
Now imagine if a group of people, who you really despise, for all the manipulative things they've done to your people, started to practice that forbidden thing. You'd be pretty pissed off about it, wouldn't you?
Of course. But, at least in this country, they have the right to do it. I have the right to condemn it, to denounce it, to call their practice blasphemy, and tell them their mother was a hamster and their father smelt of elderberries. But what I can't do it threaten to kill them, and I *really* can't try to kill them.

=======================

By the way, there was a nice editorial in the Washington Post today:

Molly Norris, a reluctant phenomenon, wants to return to her quiet artist's life, the one she lived largely unnoticed until she drew the Prophet Muhammad – as a spool of thread, a box of pasta, a cup of coffee, a domino, a cherry and a doggie purse…..

“I have hit some kind of gigantic nerve.”

Indeed you have, Ms. Molly. But there's a reason you hit a nerve, and it bears further discussion. Gigantic nerves are repositories of truth. Once you've tapped one, exploding electric currents ricochet across the landscape of the human psyche. A light goes on in a Seattle studio, and suddenly the nation is illuminated by a bright idea.

The truth is that Americans love their free speech and have had enough of those who think they can dictate the limits of that fundamental right. Americans also love humor and the irreverence that underpins the joke.

You might say irreverence is our national religion. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously and from killing one another over differences of opinion. Cartoons get under our skin in special ways, driving past our defenses and aiming right for the heart of our self-importance. That's why we respond so emotionally.

Barring the occasional offensive punch line, humor is a mostly pleasant test of our allegiance to founding principles. Think of it this way: The degree to which one can tolerate ribbing about one's most deeply held convictions is the degree to which a society can remain free. We honor that notion through our laws and our sense of humor. We may not all laugh at the same things, but most understand that it ain't personal.


=======================

Product Placement
ozoneocean
There's a difference between unwittingly doing something offensive and doing it intentionally.
Hey, I said that! Ozone! Stop stealing my quotes!
D'OH! I copied the code, and didn't change the quoter. Ooops!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:16PM
JoannaSlinky at 11:54AM, April 28, 2010
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I suppose a lot of people going in for comedy or satire or critical comment feel they should have a certain amount of licence so to do… to the extent that, if you haven't offended someone, you're not doing your job properly!

I think of that as the 1980s Channel 4 approach… Brits will know what I mean, there.

Gratuitous attack or self-indulgent behaviour is crossing the line… but where that line's drawn is kind of hard to say.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM
JabberwockyJones at 1:27PM, April 29, 2010
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Freedom of Speech is something I definitely believe in and will always support.


While I disagree with extremist groups and the like, they have the right to say whatever they want no matter how offensive I think it is. It is well within my rights to ignore the bigotry they spout and denounce what they are saying, which is a lot easier than censoring.



last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Genejoke at 8:02AM, June 1, 2010
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posts: 3,031
joined: 4-9-2010
kyupol
Its because Christians are the most tolerant of all religions. Sure. You can quote bible passages that show how God orders people to do evil things (Exodus 21).

But on average, the Christian believes in the good bible verses their preacher selects for them to read on Sunday morning.

On average, Christians are taught to love thy neighbor and to be forgiving because if you cannot forgive your enemies, how will you expect God to forgive you? (Matthew 6:12-15)

It is very rare that the Christian would resort to violence to achieve their aims. Most of the time, its those blabbering idiot types who cannot even put together a proper sentence. All they are is “Uuuh… God said this… DUUUHH… God said that! UUUGGGH!!!”

But if you speak to an intelligent Christian, even the extremist ones, they NEVER advocate violence.

I had a pretty heated debate with one of these extremist types in another forum. In the end, he revealed his good intention. He was like:

“Look, man. All I want is for you to be saved. All I want is for you to go to heaven and meet God in the end. I wish the same for all humans on planet earth. My duty as a Christian is to lead as many souls into heaven before the day of judgement comes. My duty as a Christian is to point out all the deception (these include atheism, islam, hinduism, buddhism, and especially ”The New Age“) out there that the Satanic New World Order puts out to bring your soul to hell. I hope you understand.”

(paraphrased version of 10 wordy paragraphs that included lots of bible scripture quotes and unnecessary rambling)


That's hilarious. He was saying he wants to stamp out other beliefs because they are wrong because he is such a nice guy… yeah great. If there was any tolerance there he would not want to save you but accept that you are on another path.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
Reizard at 10:26PM, June 18, 2010
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Good topic. I also made fun of this on my last webcomic update..something about Apple if you wanna know check it out.

Anyways freedom of speech is sort of a tense discussion on my country (Portugal) since we had a horrible dictator a few decades back…it caused an army and civil rebellion..
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:04PM

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