|Je suis Charlie?|
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.
Thursday, 8 January 2015
In the name of God
Freedom of speech may seem more precarious, fragile and precious today than it was yesterday in the light of the terrible murders committed in France. This is not to say that we should not be aware of and respect the beliefs of others, yet the right to criticise and challenge and express dissent without fear is a touchstone of a free society. Satire, in my view, also operates within a particular and understood context that should give it a greater freedom to "offend." I was thinking about free speech today and recalling that Jesus was never afraid to speak his mind and that he too was executed for blasphemy. I was also thinking about what we mean by blasphemy, and thought of how Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of our fellow human beings, we do to him. I also thought of taking the name of God in vain, and that there is no more terrible way to misrepresent God than to carry out atrocity against human beings made in his image while claiming that we do that in his name. This, rather than expressing an individual opinion, is surely the true blasphemy?