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1
Dark_Falcon  Aug 2, 2015 • 9:29:12am

The US should answer this crap simply, non-insultingly, but very firmly:

“The Saudi demand to criminalize criticism of religion is wholly at odds with the American tradition of Free Speech. It would lead not to peace but tyranny. Accordingly, we have opposed it in the past, we oppose it now, and we will always oppose it.”

2
CuriousLurker  Aug 2, 2015 • 12:26:17pm

Yeah, I’ll start concerning myself with free speech in Saudi Arabia just as soon as we stop kissing their ass due to our dependence on their oil and, even more importantly, as soon as we get our own religious fundies the hell away from the levers of power in the United States.

3
CuriousLurker  Aug 2, 2015 • 1:01:54pm

re: #1 Dark_Falcon

The US should answer this crap simply, non-insultingly, but very firmly:

“The Saudi demand to criminalize criticism of religion is wholly at odds with the American tradition of Free Speech. It would lead not to peace but tyranny. Accordingly, we have opposed it in the past, we oppose it now, and we will always oppose it.”

I agree, but you know what else the US should do? Explain very firmly to the wingnuts that, likewise, our First Amendment tradition of religious freedom was intended to protect everyone, NOT to grant special status to members of the dominant religion giving them the right to use their personal religious convictions to override federal anti-discrimination laws and treat compatriots whose lifestyle choices they disapprove of as second-class citizens.

That’s a tyranny we should always oppose since disagreement with the dominant religion/sect is the very thing that caused the Puritans—who, not being particularly tolerant themselves, were “dissatisfied with the limited extent of the English Reformation, and the Church of England’s tolerance of practices which they associated with the Catholic Church”—to become radical separatists, fleeing their native country & culture for the more tolerant Netherlands.

But the Pilgrims were nevertheless heroic in their way. There were a great many Puritans in England at the beginning of the 17th century who wanted to purge Christianity of what they considered the laxity and corruption introduced by Rome and by the insufficiently rigorous Church of England. But only a few hundred of them felt strongly enough to become separatists and emigrate to another land.

What they objected to in the established church may seem fussy and trivial today: the wearing of surplices, the exchange of wedding rings, making the sign of the cross at baptism. But at the heart of their convictions was also a radical political thought: that the state had no business in the running of religion, and that congregations had the right to elect their own leaders. […]

nytimes.com

Eventually deciding that the Dutch were overly tolerant, they left Holland and made their way to the New World as colonists. The Puritan colonists then turned around and proceeded to brutally persecute the Quakers. Our historical (and very human) tendency towards excess and intolerance is something we need to be wary of.

4
De Kolta Chair  Aug 2, 2015 • 5:12:45pm

To lessen confusion, you might want to change the headline to read “Saudi Arabia.” As it is, it sounds like this pertains to all of the nations of the Arabian Peninsula.

5
The_Mess  Aug 3, 2015 • 3:22:25am

Because this will so work like all the other times they’ve put this forward in the past.


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