“My theology prompts me to opt for a concept of liberty that includes the free choice not to exercise it. God may, indeed, be all-powerful but were the divine power to be always applied to the full, humanity couldn’t exist. We gain our freedom precisely because God holds back and allows us to act as mature beings. I know of no greater expression of such maturity than the desire to imitate God.
In the context of the cartoons, this may mean that though newspapers should have the power to publish such pictures at will, they should choose the path of prudence not to do so out of consideration for the feelings of the Muslim minority. ” — Rabbi Dow Marmur
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall are we (and don’t we know it). And Rabbi Marmur hopes that, while we are (as just noted) free to fall, he thinks we should imitate him, Rabbi Dow Marmur. Just as he manages to do, we should attempt in all things to imitate God.
And God’s first rule apparently is: don’t offend anyone when they claim that something really really offends them. Just get rid of it.
For example, showing “Show Boat” is wrong — because we should not, nowadays, have any historical sense about things (including the period in which they were written). And that means that the Antebellum South is simply off-limits, because you would have to depict black slaves. And if you had, furthermore, a musical, well, those black slaves would have to sing, and we couldn’t have that, could we? Because that would offend as a distraction from the matter of slavery.
And similarly, those Danish cartoons offend Muslims. Why? Because they do. And we non-Muslims have no right, therefore, to show them. And in this case the offense is rank. We know the offense is rank because otherwise they wouldn’t threaten to kill everyone involved, and indeed, everyone who shares the same nationality as those Danish cartoonists, would they? But Rabbi Dow Marmur is on the side of the angels. Or more exactly, he not only tries to imitate God, but I suspect he is well-pleased with his own attempts at imitatio Dei.
And he would be the first to tell us that he, Rabbi Dow Marmur, is not one whit morally superior to the rest of us. We too can imitate him, as I said, as he imitates God.
Oh, just two more questions, your honor, for Rabbi Marmur.
If someone were to suggest that “The Merchant of Venice” offends (and surely it does) and should be banned, Rabbi Marmur, would you support the banning of that Shakespeare play, the removing of it from school curricula?
Oh, you wouldn’t support such a ban? You would be totally against that? Yes, I thought you’d say that.
Now, for your final question, square your predictably morally-preening circle and tell us how the cases differ.
Meanwhile, the entire Western, no make that the entire Infidel press, should in a display of solidarity and defiance once again republish, possibly all on the same day, or during the same week, the cartoons that appeared in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten and the single cartoon of Lars Vilks, and then any other cartoons that have appeared that have elicited threats of any kind from Muslim states, Muslim groups, or Muslim individuals.
No commentary is necessary. Just the cartoons, reprinted solemnly in an act of worldwide defiance. Who is to decide what Infidels publish or write or say or think? Is it to be Muslims, or is it to be the Infidels themselves, exercising their own rights, rights which they acquired over centuries of effort by remarkable individuals — not one of whom could have been produced by, or could have lasted a minute within, any society suffused with Islam?
I feel like saying to the world’s press what someone who often comes to mind once told me in justified exasperation: “fais un petit effort.”
Danish papers did, in an intelligent and necessary show of solidarity and refusal to be intimidated, recently reprint the cartoons. But where was The Times (of New York, London, Los Angeles)? Where were the Washington Post, The Telegraph, Le Monde, Figaro, and a thousand other places? They should all have, on an agreed date, or perhaps in staggered fashion, have reprinted the cartoons. And kept it up, and kept it up.
Perhaps an international Committee For the Defense of Free Speech needs to be formed. Its purpose would be to explain the extent of free speech, and those limits on it that are proper, and those that are not. And among those limits that are not proper are those that Muslims demand.