The left’s blaming of Terry Jones, a Koran-burning Florida pastor who indicated approval of a badly produced anti-Mohammad film on YouTube, for the murderous rampage of radical Islam is not only off base, it is hypocritical.
What is the difference between what Jones did in burning the Koran and what the South Park kids do with their use of Jesus as a cartoon character who is constantly profaned, abused, and blasphemed? What about Bill Maher who made an entire documentary blaspheming the name of God? What do they say about Dan Brown’s novel’s attack on the Catholic Church and historic claims of Christianity? Or what about Jon Stewart, who has mocked the Virgin Birth and other aspects of the Christian faith on his program?
The left has no condemnation of these acts. Indeed, secularists are very proud that we’ve moved past the era of Hollywood self-censorship where religion was revered and ministers were excluded from being vilified or portrayed as comical characters. However, this celebration of impiety and disrespect makes the left’s own whining about anti-Islamic speech hypocritical.
Apparently, the belief of the left is that religion should be fair game for humor and ridicule unless its most extreme practitioners are likely to react with murderous rage. It’s not the position of tolerance and understanding, it’s the position of moral cowards. It is brave art to put a crucifix in a jar of urine. It is irresponsible provocation to do the same with the Koran. It is daring journalism to use Easter magazine issues to challenge the claims of Christianity. It is unacceptable and irresponsible to do the same with the claims of Islam around Ramadan. The left teaches us that the way a religion gains respect is by extremists murdering people in response to scoffers and thus incentivizes and honors murder and violence.
If we truly want a society where all religions are respected, then perhaps its time for Hollywood and the larger culture to truly return to revering Christ and Christianity. Its too much to think that even a less Christian society can disrespect the faith of its ancestry and honor foreign religions. A society that respects all faith and engages in discussions of faith respectfully will not engage in childish displays.
This will make us a better society, but it won’t stop the attack of Islamist extremists. As human beings we like to think we can control our lives, that we can avoid all obstacles through our own behavior. If spouses or children are abused, we like to think, “If only we’d be better, we won’t get smacked.” However, there are some people who are only looking for an excuse to attack and abuse others and they will find an excuse. This is the case with radical the radical Islamists behind the attacks on our embassies. There is no way to be safe from this menace other than by capturing or killing them.
We can and should have respectful debate with other religious viewpoints which will come when all religions (not just those whose practitioners blow things up) are treated with respect and this includes peace loving Muslims. We should avoid churlish and hateful acts, however if we think that will keep us “safe” from the murderous terrorist thugs of the Middle East, we have another think coming.