Friday, February 03, 2006

"Volunteering for Dhimmitude"

I know everyone is posting on the State Department's cowardly response to Muslim demands for an apology for the Danish cartoons. I feel a need to add my two cents.

The right of free speech gives people the right to disagree using symbolism. If any religion cannot handle free speech, its practitioners don't need to come to America.

America only asks one thing of any and all religious persons: swear off the initiation of force against your fellow man. If any person cannot make that commitment, they need to go back to their homeland, they are not ready for modern civilization.

Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters
is posting on this now. I especially like the way he began his last sentence: "Volunteering for dhimmitude"... for that is exactly what the State Department and other world leaders are doing when they apologise for exercising their right of free speech.

2 comments:

the real Jim said...

Religon,religon, religon...Mike, while I absolutley agree with you on the free speech stuff, I have to say when practicing my freedom I often try to gauge the ability of my listener to hear what I am saying. for example while in the Detroit I have the right to speak ill of Rosa Parks (I have no ill remarks for her) and I would probably get my ass kicked - I have the right but that would just be crazy. Sure these guys have the right, but wasn't it crazy. a truly creative person could have delivered the same message with the same humor poking fun at the same religion in a way that didn't slap the muslims in the face.
A few years ago a very talented preformer (Snead O'Conner was on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest- at the end of her performance she decided to demonstrate her displeasure with the catholic church (or the head there of) by tearing up a photo of the pope. She had the right, but as a result of exercising her right she ended her career or at least shut it down for the last 10 years- I think people need to balance their rights with some common sense. A thing I always tell my wife and sisters is to make sure that what comes out of your mouth gets you closer to what you want - The cartoonist had the right, but neither the creator or his editors had the sense to see the their error.this brings me to my curious question of the day- We all have 'rights'. Americans' are spelled out for us in our constitution and bill of rights - should we not have in balance a bill of responsibilities?

Mike N said...

real Jim:
I agree with your contention that while we're free to speak our mind, we cannot expect to be free of all consequences of that speech. But we are protected by law from the use of force to silence our speech. If someone clobbers me for speaking my mind he will usually do some time. I will press charges. The proper response to the initiation of force is retaliatory force. And I agree that people exercising the right of free speech should use a lot more common sense.

However, what's happening now between Islam and the western world could be called Civilization 101. If Islam is to survive, one of its first lessons is to get used to the idea of free speech by right and not by permission.

Before 911 no one cared a lick about the middle east. A once civilized culture was allowed to disintegrate into the savagery of a primative past. Like the spurts of an awakening volcano there were warning signs--embassy bombings, the first WTC bombing, the Cole and others. But the world looked away. The volcano erupted on 911.

What's happening in Denmark and other places isn't happening because some people didn't use enough common sense or weren't polite enough. It's happening because Wahabi Islam does not recognise free speech at all. If it wasn't these cartoons it would have been something else. It was bound to happen over something.
This clash of cultures is a good test of loyalty to one's values.
If one values free speech one will defend that right even for those with whom one disagrees. This test is being failed miserably by our State Dept and our MSM.

As for the idea of a bill of responsibility, absolutely not. When a government decides what is and is not responsible, you have censorship. Actually Jim, a bill of rights which includes property rights, ruthlessly enforced, is a bill of responsibility; it makes people responsible for their own life, their own liberty and their own happiness. It also rewards people for respecting the rights of other people. Individual rights sets up a social structure that rewards responsibility and punishes irresponsibility.

You said you try to gauge the ability of your listener to understand what you say. So do I. That is why I hope these words will help you see where I'm coming from.