January 16, 2015

The right to disrespectfully disagree

Culled from the articles on HotAir, a recent Allahpundit entry discusses a poll that indicates only 36% of Americans believe that they have the right to blaspheme religion.

The problem? Of course you have the right to blaspheme. The real question is whether it's a good idea or not. The real problem as Allahpundit points out is the high number of "I don't know" answers. Yes people could be interpreting the question to mean should you do it.

Other than that Allahpundit does his level best to try and interpret the results. The problem is, there's too little information - about how the question was asked, the wording itself, respondents' views on religion and on civics, their knowledge of their rights - to explain it.

My takeaway from the survey is that it is a single dot in the snapshot of the American political and/or moral and/or civics landscape and as a standalone exercise it means and explains very, very little and can be disregarded. For now.

That aside, everyone has the right to disagree with the precepts of any religion. They have the right to do so respectfully or disrespectfully. The decision to do so disrespectfully should be carefully considered and not undertaken lightly. To insult someone has consequences. Those consequences should come in the form of counter argument, boycotts, perhaps even shaming. But to voice your opinion is, pardon the reference, a God-given right. No terror group can take it away from you. ISIS and Al Qaida believe they have that right, indeed obligation to do so. It would appear a number of Americans require a reminder, or a lesson, that such is not the case.

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