It’s pleasant to hear reasoned commentary in the face of what I consider faux outrage. In this case we’re back to the UK where free speech doesn’t exist. I say that because you can literally go to jail for saying offensive things. The reasoned commentary comes from Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean and Black Adder fame. He says a couple of things I enjoyed hearing. A politician in the UK said that women wearing burkas look like letter boxes. Of course he’s getting pilloried for the comment int he press.
Mr. Atkinson said, “As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson’s joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one.” And because he thinks it’s a good joke he thinks that Boris Johnson has no need whatsoever to say sorry. “You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required.”, Said Atkinson to that.
Finally, He makes the comment that I like to hear the most.
The one that is well-reasoned and intelligent, “All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them”. Indeed. Some will say that only means we should never make jokes about religion. I find it hard to believe that the left want us to hold religion in such high regard that we cannot ever joke about it or make comment. If you want to create a world where religion is the single most powerful thing on the planet, the thing that rules all people’s lives, the thing that people go to war over, then create a world where we cannot make fun of it.
Imagine a world where religious ideas couldn’t be questioned and imagine what power that would give to religion.
I’m in favor of religion but that doesn’t keep me from seeing how this would be a very bad idea. Really, it’s true of any ideology. If we can’t speak out against something then it will never change. If we believe in something and people never speak out against it, then we never have to examine it. There is growth and strength in the opposition. So even those who are faithfully religious should want to allow criticism, if for no other reason than to give them something to parry and counter.
Yes, if you believe in something, and especially if that something drives and guides your life, it’s going to hurt your feelings when someone says something bad about it. That’s true of religion, and it’s true of yo mama as well. It’s going to hurt. But you don’t have a right not to get your feelings hurt. I realize we’ve all heard that before but I think it’s time people believe not only that but that sometimes getting your feelings hurt is actually good for you and makes you stronger and wiser.
I just read an article about Cro Magnon man. The article postulated that this sub-species of human went extinct because it was not under pressure to expand or innovate. When it came to making tools, Cro Magnon just picked up what was close by. There is no evidence that they quarried stones or searched for the best ones. They just grabbed what was there. It’s the man who learns how to get all the fruit that thrives over the man who is satisfied with the low hanging fruit. Being offended is the low hanging fruit. It is the intellectual equivalent of going extinct.
All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them