If you can’t beat ‘em, then sue ‘em to death. So seems to be the motto of at least one Catholic cardinal:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In the latest Vatican broadside against “The Da Vinci Code,” a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called “The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception.”
I always love it when people claim to know what offends Christ. I wonder how many protestants will get annoyed over the claim that Christ founded Catholicism? Apparently the cardinals are feeling left out after the Muslims got all the attention for their riots over the Muhammad cartoons so they’re advocating that Catholics get all uppity and ornery now too:
Arinze’s appeal came some 10 days after another Vatican cardinal called for a boycott of the film. Both cardinals asserted that other religions would never stand for offences against their beliefs and that Christians should get tough.
“Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget,” Arinze said in the documentary made by Rome film maker Mario Biasetti for Rome Reports, a Catholic film agency specializing in religious affairs.
Fortunately they’re not advocating for the fire bombing of local bookstores and cinemas. Instead they’re advocating for suing the hell out of anyone who disses their boy Biggie J:
“Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. So it is not I who will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others,” Arinze said.
“This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected,” he said, without elaborating on what legal means he had in mind.
What the cardinal fails to understand is that using legal means to suppress ideas you don’t like isn’t the same as forcing others to respect you or your silly beliefs. You might be able to legally restrict me from telling you what a fucking idiot you are and that I think the whole Jesus myth is just so much fiction, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still hold those opinions about you and your religion. Even if I’m compelled by law to remain silent that doesn’t mean you’re getting my respect.
Not that it matters, I don’t see what legal basis folks would have to sue over the issue. At least not here in the States. I suppose in other countries where church and state are more closely intertwined there’s probably laws on the books that they could make use of.
Link via my Pretend Internet Girlfriend.