A respectful rant on the reaction to the Danish Mohammed Cartoons.

Clarence Sutton has a Respectful Rant up on his blog. Here’s a snippet:

Americans do not disrespect Islam. To disrespect a religion is impolite, and our mothers raised us to be polite. However, Americans also do not particularly respect Islam either. We Americans believe religion is a matter of personal choice, not a matter of respect.

Americans respect people, not religions; and we respect them for their actions, not for their religion.

Americans respect education. We respect societies that value education. We don’t respect societies who intentionally hinder some in their midst from getting an education. We respect women. We don’t respect those who do not respect women. We respect self-reliance. We don’t respect those that fail to achieve and then blame others for their failures. We respect Free Speech. We don’t respect those that attempt to limit, block, or intimidate Free Speech.

Have to admit that I pretty much agree with the whole damn thing. Go read it all.

6 thoughts on “A respectful rant on the reaction to the Danish Mohammed Cartoons.

  1. The author is a saint, with extra-points awarded specifically for this line:

    “We don’t respect those that attempt to limit, block, or intimidate Free Speech.”

    It’s hard for most in the world, even Europeans, to embrace that too oft considered “radical” ideaology of total-laisez-faire-idea-governance.  One limit, no matter how minor and “necessary”, is like a run a silk-stocking, a very quick run, all the way to..

    “Civil Peace At All Costs!”

    A society that falls under the weight of FreeSpeech has far greater fatal issues than that.

    rob@egoz.org

  2. Great essay.

    The biggest problem that many folks will have with it is that these are generalizations.  Folks will read about Israel then pull out all the various nastiness that Israel has done (implicitly asserting a moral equivalence between, say, Israel and Syria, or Israel and Hammas, similar to those who asserted a moral equivalence between the US and the USSR).  Folks will read about “We respect truth, and those that speak the truth,” then bitch about how George W. Bush got elected twice, or how “We respect Free Speech. We don’t respect those that attempt to limit, block, or intimidate Free Speech,” and then bitch about the various civil liberty threats from the current Administration, using all this to simply toss the entire essay.

    Which would be a horrible mistake.  Because, frankly, it’s as spot-on as any short essay can be regarding the general gestalt of these matters.  The world is a complicated place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make generalizations, just that generalizations aren’t going to address every case.

  3. The biggest problem that many folks will have with it is that these are generalizations.

    Agreed, that would be the only issue I have with the article, otherwise it makes some very valid points and makes them well.

    Americans respect people, not religions; and we respect them for their actions, not for their religion

    I feel the same way about respect, you cannot really respect a whole religion or race of people, as respect is earned by the individuals actions in my eyes. For every member of a particular race or religion you may have respect for, there are normally just as many you don’t have any respect for due to their actions.

  4. I don’t respect any people who murder other people over a fucking cartoon. I don’t respect any people who lie, cheat, steal and kill—like those in Bush’s administration.

    The clearest example of human evolution over the last few thousand years is all the fucktards who voted for Bush and who actually think he’s a smart guy.

    All extremists suck.

  5. How is it that poking fun is 100% disrespecting (seems like people are “too sensitive” – make one wisecrack and we’ll send a nuke your way, it’s that black or white) anything or anyone? Ok, that’s coming out of the mind of an individual who grew up in a (generally) free country with an “aspiration” towards “no state-prescribed religious belief,” now how about expanding the world view to include those people who didn’t grow up in such a place and see if it could still hold true? Hmmm, how does the addition of people who (we don’t know in advance about capabilities – weapons, willingness, morality, etc.) could harm or injure someone alter this picture? If you believe that fear should not be allowed to rule our lives you might say “nothing,” not one single thing. If you would lie awake nights worrying about what might take place and “oh, my gosh, if it did then it would be all our fault and …,” you might insist on reigning in the “all too human” tendency to perform social commentary through visual or literary means. Would you be right to fire someone for using their voice to express an “opinion” in the clear of a supposedly “free” and open society? What have we really learned since 9/11? Is the best that we can do in response to these scenarios just to stick our heads in the sand and say that we’re not going to do anything that might offend anyone ever? How is that “courageous?” True that the cartoon may be viewed by others as – if not inflammatory of international tensions then – a bit too insensitive, but would it truly call for “suppression?”

  6. I rather liked this one;

    the rest were pretty dumb.

    I felt sorry for the illustrators. At some level they probably felt like some of that blood was on their hands.

    A lot of that violence came from sources hopelessly deprived on any information that isn’t shoved in front of their faces; a source that equates celebration with the discharging of an automatic weapon. Poor bastards (not as poor as the dead guy who was watering his plants some 3km from the site of a wedding in syria)

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