Whatever Happened to 'Perdicaris Alive or Raisuli Dead'?
The news about U.S. embassies being under attack keeps getting worse. We've now learned that Chris Stevens, our ambassador to Libya, is among the several who have been killed.
The claimed reason for this carnage is that some Americans made an anti-Muslim film. So in our response to Muslims who don't like the existence of this film, our leaders keep saying things that I'm sure are designed to calm the situation down. Here's Hillary Clinton yesterday, for instance:
"The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."
In President Obama's statement on Stevens' murder, he used this line:
"While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."
The Bush administration used to issue similar statements when Muslim mobs caused death and violence during their time in power. It's difficult to write these statements but it is a lie that the United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. We do not officially deplore any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
Our government has no right at all to deplore the criticism of another religion. In this country, the freedom of religion must always include the right to criticize other religious views. Without it, the freedom means nothing.
If your understanding of religious freedom and freedom of speech does not cover the right of people to make anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish or anti-Buddhist films or books, your understanding is wrong.