…….Or should that read Papal bullshit? Pope Francis waded into the debate on free speech and firmly ploked himself down in the camp of the Jihadists who kill to silence opinions. By telling people that religion should be off limits for free speech, the Pope gave succor to the various Islamic lunatics at home and abroad, along with their left-wing allies, who want to restrict people’s rights to comment on matters of religion.
The Pope has failed to see or understad that free speech about religion, although it may offend, helps to protect religious freedom. A society that goes down the route of criminalising criticism of all religions could quite easily, if circumstances change in that society, criminalise criticism of just one. Making religion excepted from free speech is a slippery slope, if you allow religions to censor one type of criticism then you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be back to censor something else. Free speech about religion is vital for the existance of a society where religious freedom exists, in Islamic countries where there is no free speech about religion,the position for Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and seculars, is very precarious indeed. In Pakistan for example, Christians live their lives in fear, the Jewish community has been all but eradictated and Hindus and Sikhs have either been driven out, murdered or forced to convert to Islam. Does the Pope admire societies like Pakistan,because that is what you get when you allow religion to trump free speech? None of the minority religions in Pakistan have the right to safely air their greivances or criticise the Islamic ideology that oppresses them. That is the result of letting religions hold the blue pen of censorship.
Whether speech about religion be accurate as in for example detailing Islam’s nastiness, Catholic problems with child-sex abuse or about how some Progressive Jewish organisations have a suicidal attachment to the wilder shores of Leftism, or even horrific old wives tales, it is imperative that we all, whether we are religious or not, speak freely on all issues including religion. On this point there should be no compromise with the forces of censorship, from whatever quarter they come from.
This Pope has scored a spectacular own goal and his words and actions will be siezed upon by Islamists eager to criminalise criticism of their own troubled and troublesome ideology. The Pope may be, with his words, trying to curry favour with Islamic nations that have Catholic minorities in order to protect these minorities, but such appeasement only works for a short time, the appeased wolf will come alwas back for another feed. However, the Pope’s words have emboldened the oppressors who see the freedom to ask and yes,criticise religion, as a sin.
Pope John Paul II was on the right side, both morally and historically, when he opposed the oppression of Communism, the same thing cannot be said for his successor, Pope Francis.