Charlie Hebdo and Piss Christ: On Fear and Self-Censorship and the AP's Dangerous New Precedent

Comments

1
Christians don't shoot up newspapers but they do shoot up abortion doctors because they violate their belief sets. And they have been known to shoot up Gay People for the same reason.
2
#1 nailed it.

As GermanSausage points out in the other thread, there's also Anders Breivik.

And arguably, Christians tolerate being satirized in large part because they live in a pluralistic society full of atheists and other non-Christians who don't wish to pander to their more extreme beliefs. There are plenty of Christians on the far right who resent that.
3
Yes, but those abortion shootings are few and far between compared to radical islam attacks.
4
The problem with your argument is that when you published the Danish cartoons you did so with an article by Bruce Bawer, who is an unrepentant racist SOB who advocates booting Muslims out of Europe. Bawer lives in Norway, home to Anders Behring Breivik, who took inspiration for his murderous attack from Bawer's writings.

The appeal of Bawer's xenophobic anti-Islamic bullshit has dramatically lessened in recent years, as some of his hysterical predictions of total collapse of European states under the assault of prayers and headscarves failed to come true. Events like this recent tragedy are unfortunately bringing those views to the fore again, and also unfortunately you are helping them along, Dan.

There IS a conflict within the West concerning their Muslim immigrants, but voices like Bawer's, and Pamela Geller's, and the other extremist cheerleaders for hate make events like this more likely, not less. You did the world a great disservice publishing Bawer then, and you do a worse one linking back to him today.
5
Half the time I mention Jews,my comment will be censored from Slog. And it's never hateful, usually just facts. The truth hurts.
6
Thank you for standing up for the freedom to create alternative religious art. Images showing Jesus as gay, queer or female have also been censored and destroyed. The queer Christ is necessary because conservatives are using Christian rhetoric to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people. Some denounce them as blasphemy because they differ from traditional images. Others, myself included, experience them as a blessing that enhances Christian faith by embodying God’s wildly inclusive love for all.

I gathered some of these images in “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More” (11 artists from US and Europe) and my new book “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” (with art by Doug Blanchard). Dan, I would be happy to give you a review copy if you tell me where to send it.

Everyone is invited to see queer Christ images by various artists in the online galleries at:
http://jesusinlove.org/art-that-dares.ph…
and
http://www.passionofchristbook.com/paint…
7
I think you're missing the point, Dan. When called on their refusal to show the Mohammed cartoons, the AP etc. did not say they were afraid. They said they were not showing the images because they didn't want to offend anyone. The Christians didn't demand that they take down Piss Christ. They pointed out that the AP's explanation was garbage because they were perfectly happy displaying images that offended people, as long as those people weren't Muslims.

Rather than own up to this, the AP doubled down and said, "Oh, OK, we'll remove Piss Christ too." But *that wasn't the point*. No one was demanding they take them down. They were pointing out the AP's bullshit explanation, just as you did.
8
As an Illinois alum, I'm kind of proud of the DI here. Will have to go back and look up the contest.
9
This is an important time for everyone to back up and remember Molly Norris. She was a local cartoonist for the seattle weekly, who PROPOSED a draw mohammad day the last time this stupid shit happened as a subtile american style protest for free speech.

She received so many credible threats to her life that the FBI put her in protective custody.

Freedom isn't free.
10
Another point about the difference between mocking Christianity and mocking Islam, in Europe: the former is punching up, the latter is punching down. Muslims in Europe are not just another religious group to take the piss out of; they're a subjugated racial minority, and there is a large contingent of white folks in Europe who think as Bawer does, that they should be exterminated (see the recent anti-Muslim mass demonstrations in Germany).

There is a context here. Excluded communities breed terror. And people in Europe with darker skin and Semitic features and non-approved prayerbooks have reason to fear Bawerism. Now they have more to fear, because there's going to be a backlash. Don't promote that backlash. Don't promote Bruce Bawer any more than you already have.
11
I'll add on to @7's point by saying that even if they had insisted on Piss Christ coming down they would have been operating within the bounds of civilized discourse. A demand that someone else shut up is free speech too. Which ironically is something that conservatives often get confused about.
12
" the images "[crossed the] line between gratuitous insult and satire,"

Bullshit. Irrational morons are offended that the dogma they try to push on the rest of us at every opportunity is shown for the risible fraud that it is.
13
How about a graffiti sticker campaign of Muhammad? Millions, no, billions of them. Eventually, maybe they will get used to it?
14
@13, "they"?

You've already got the disease, I see.
15
@12 The "Charlie Hebdo went too far", they were also "racists", etc commentaries are widely spouted on the intertubes today. Unsurprisingly it's always in vague terms. Nothing specific ever mentioned. it stinks of offended bigots who are hiding behind their lies.
16
I might be more willing to listen to Fnarf's arguments if Muslims weren't also attacking other Muslims in Muslim-majority countries. What's breeding the terror there?
17
I feel like a big part of the difference between Christians and Muslims is the age of the religion. Look at what Christians were doing 1300-1600 years after Jesus' life.
18
@14 Yeah, they, as in kooks who think Muhammad's image shouldn't be drawn or seen. Fool.
20
"The former is punching up, the latter is punching down." Sounds oversimplified, particularly in the context of Charlie Hebdo's well known satire of ALL religions.

Islam is a religion, not a race. It may be that European Muslims are also mostly Arabs, and of course religious and racial bigotry often go hand in hand, but that doesn't mean European criticism of Islam is an expression of European bigotry.
21
@17 I'd say it's more what they were doing in the 1500-1950 period. Some were colonials, others were colonized and many of the colonized never evolved out of medievalism.
22
@16 and @20, agree.
23
@fnarf (@4, @10, @14): Thank you for your wisdom, your eloquence, and your ever questing for peace on this little blue planet of ours.
24
@20, yes it most certainly is an expression of European RACISM, not just "bigotry". Ask a Pakistani or a Turk or an Indonesian. What do you think "guest worker" means? Why do you think young Algerians are penned up in the banlieues into the second and third generation? Why do the cartoons have Muslims with giant hook noses, just like the ones in Lustige Blatter?
25
@23 The problem is that Europe is full of "Fnarfs". Their leadership is composed of gutless placaters to political correctness. Get to know the name Geert Wilders. You'll be hearing his name again. Really, it is too bad that eloquence and tolerance doesn't prevent doc filmmakers from being beheaded in the street :(
26
@25 Europe is especially full of people sick and tired of xenophobia.
27
The AP has constantly been on the wrong side in just about everything. One of their no-no words now is homophobia even if it applies. The AP is a strange bunch.
28
7 & 11: Exactly right. AP got caught in their hypocrisy, and at least they're being consistent, if still full of BS. I don't think AP is seriously "afraid" of Christians declaring a holy war for storage of 25 year old images.
29
@ 24, are you specifically stating that about the Charlie Hebdo cartoons?
31
Yes exactly, @ fnarf. Thank you. The sad and devastating attack seems to be an excuse for many haters of Arabs and Muslims to show up and spew hate under the name of condemning what happened.
32
Holy shit. That Bruce Bawer article accompanying the reprint of the Danish Muhammad cartoons is repulsive. Who the fuck's idea was it to get some racist who clearly has an irrational hatred of Muslim people to write about them? Why not ask Tony Perkins to write about gay people, or David Duke to write about Jews? Jesus, I expect a lot better from a supposedly liberal paper.
33
@10,

You seem to know more about this issue than I do, so I'm genuinely asking: Why does criticism of and outright hatred of Muslims in Europe result in violence and terrorism when it doesn't in the United States? What's the difference between Arab and Muslim communities here and there? What's the difference between anti-Arab, anti-Muslim sentiment here vs. there?

My perception is that the U.S. mostly leaves immigrants the fuck alone, even though public sentiment is often racist, classist, and religiously bigoted. Does that have something to do with it?
34
I remember when that paper came out at UIUC...
35
Though I believe artists should be able to create whatever they wish (barring kooky things like killing). But I do think if you want to make the situation better. Mock the terrorists, mock the deluded imams, mock the hypocrisy they use to kill.
Crude cartoons mocking their prophet only shows society doesn't care about them. Society does, it just hates the hateful and should be the target of mockery.
36
@33: Here's my take. Immigrant communities tend to be more dispersed in the US - partly because it's such a damn big country. They also tend to be more assimilated. Many European countries, due to liberal asylum laws, massive immigration from former (Muslim majority) colonies, and tighter space, are host to huge immigrant underclasses. Systemic racism, a long, bitter history of colonial oppression, and lots of young people without jobs creates a volatile climate somewhat analogous to that of America's poverty-stricken "ghettos."
37
@36 great answer. The frontier phenomenon is my favorite explanation to many differences between Europe and America.
38
@24, Common Farnf, you should know by now the Stranger staff only cares about racist characters when it suits them (i.e. Mackle-gate) and ignores it when it doesn't (i.e. Kelly-o-gate).
40
*racist caricatures, is what i meant in 38.
42
"a relatively tiny but also terrifying minority of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims thinks the punishment for an offensive cartoon should be death": sure, a tiny 30-70% that give the rest a bad name: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statist…

Look at those stats; it's like the Midas touch in reverse, everything Islam touches turns to shit.
43
Were this tragedy not to have occurred, Charlie Hebdo's featured cartoons would stand as a course collection of crude caricatures whose explanatory power is predicated on morphological cues, if not blatant racism.

Also - I don't give much heedance to those who are manning the Occidental/Oriental barricades if they don't take into account the colonial histories of certain countries in question (France, in particular).
44
That said, I think you can navigate the chasm between advocating the principle of freedom of speech principle, wholeheartedly, while recognizing that we have and are bombing the fucking shit out the Muslim subject. No?
45
I was curious what?
46
Those like Fnarf who think that racial discrimination is at the heart of the Muslim problem in Europe might want to ask why the Romany and the Vietnamese etc etc etc -- very much descrmimated against -- are not shooting up newspapera and staff. So, why?

While discrimination is an issue in Europe, Fnarf's explanation is better left to SNL.
47
What so many of you miss is that there is no excuse whatsoever for any act of violence by Mulsims in response to any written word. In a free society, a writer should- and must- feel free to write that Mohammed f#*cks pigs, or that he is a whoremonger, or that he is in a gay relationship with Ronald McDonald. If such writings include incitement to violence, then we have laws and law enforcement to deal with this. This event can and should become a moment of testing for modern Muslims who profess to believe in Western rule-of-law and the freedoms they enjoy in our societies- they must just not condemn this murderous act (which they always seem to do in a perfunctory manner), but also reject any violent reaction whatever is written/said about Mohammed and/or Islam. Peaceful protests and appeals to decency and conscious are the way to respond to offending materials. Never violence, and until Muslims actively disavow EVER using violence is such a situation, the violent will always be allowed to hide behind the so-called moderate.
48
These apologists for the violence are just like men's "rights" activists who say things like, "Rape is wrong, but woman shouldn't dress sluty."

I'm sure there are bigots who hate Islamists because they think they are all Arabs. But I know it's a belief system and I think I can judge people on the basis of their beliefs. Just like I think a belief that women are responsible for rape is full of shit, I think people who believe an insult justifies violence are full of shit.
49
Maybe they realized that the problem here is not that Muslim's hate freedom, or that the truth of the matter is a story that goes slightly beyond radical Muslims being people with absolutely no sense of humor who would kill over the drawing of a cartoon

Maybe they realized that it takes an males-worth of denial of reality to simply see this as a "free speech" issue, and upon that realization they are no longer stupid enough to believe your bullshit claim of "...Dangerous New Precedence..." and maybe they decided denial isn't a good option and suddenly realized it might not be a good idea to do everything in the power to provoke violence using words and images

perhaps they are smart enough to not let some ignorants claims of how dangerous it is to not aggressively provoke violence with words, and are ignoring idiots -- no matter how many of you there be -- and realizing that people in outright denial of the real problem, probably might not have the best view point or rational ideas about wise strategy

How dare they !!??
50
Well, Australian Papers still did their cartoons, no Defaming images of the Prophet, to the point, none the less.
Art will always circumvent.. That's its Power.
51
I wish the problem of men in denial were as simple as simply not drawing derogatory cartoons of a religious groups Prophet

but even if it were, men would likely be too stupid to do it, call it a free speech issue and make statements as ignorant as "It's our duty to ridicule personal beliefs that other human beings hold sacred"

What the fuck?
52
Is Dirtclustit a robot meant to emulate offensive right wingers? It spits out some of the familiar phrases, but seems even more incoherent than usual.
53
yes McJulie, I am a right-wing robot because I don't I believe that NOT aggressively provoking violence does not hinder my right to freely speak.

and when a bunch of assholes are continually escalating the back and forth and some idiot murders a person over it, I am stupid enough to call it "muslim terrorists kill 11 over a cartoon"

as if drone strikes and Coalition forces waging wars that have been going on for decades, with a very expensive media team going around snapping staged pictures of Iraqies praising America armed forces and viewing them as heroes for saving them, and all the bullshit we do and all the wrongs we justify have absolutely nothing to do with the blood that was allegedly shed recently?

what the fuck?

why is it necessary to ridicule a person's spiritual beliefs to protect our free speech?

could it be more lashing out at culture because we deep down know -- despite our policy of refusing to admit any wrongdoing what so ever -- what we're doing is wrong?

no offense, by fuck you MJ, I don't like being a target for psuedo intellectuals for calling them on their bullshit
54
and Lava, I don't view ridiculing a person's spirituality or sexuality when they differ from my practices, as art

I don't think I can ever fit a verb like "abuse" into the context of a noun like "art" or "comedy"

I value my freedom and liberty to be able to make my own decisions about how I practice my spirituality and sexuality, I fully understand --- because I value those rights --- that I don't have the right to abusive, hateful displays of another persons practice of spirituality and sexuality simply because I label it "art"

and I fully understand my responsibilities that are due for choosing to exercise these most basic rights , and this after living most of my life taking these freedom's for granted

I understand why there needs to be a separation of church and govt bodies, and it is fairly pathetic that the situation are world has escalated to with the media's focus shifting from Communists to Muslims, that any half-wit could describe it a free speech issue as most of the "intellectuals" have here in the last two days
55
@7 and @11, correct. How the fuck did Dan so dramatically miss the mark?
56
Piss Christ is an idiotic piece anyway. It's not art, it's high school mentality LOL LOOK AT ME I'M SO EDGY dumbassery.
57
Was that the most offensive Islam cartoon you could find.... because I think you definitely paired it with the most offensive cartoon to Christianity??
58
Aah Dan, yet again making it about you. You are so "afraid". We should be so concerned. It's amazing how all global events revolve around our Dan. Why don't you stick to being the pointlessly annoying voice of Gaydom and leave the journalis to professionals.
59
I'm afraid of the millions of "Christians" in the United States who'd like to destroy this country.
60
Piss Christ is bad art, if one can call it art. Devoid of any insight, creativity, or meaning, it was a simple and cheap way to get attention and fake "edginess" cred.

It is not offensive due to Jesus being soaked in piss, it is offensive because it pretends to be an actual artistic statement.
61
Does anyone remember Dan Savage's piece on NALT Christians? "We're not all like that"?
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

Guess what -- it applies equally to Muslims.
All these moderate Muslims who lament on how Islam gets demonized in the public perception – don’t tell us! Speak the fuck up against the crazy fundies who are responsible!

Look at the Muslim world reactions to the killings:
http://www.rferl.org/content/muslim-pres…

How does that sound to you? Does not sound good enough to me.
62
Cartoonists, Dirtclustit are mostly irreverent.
They mock their targets. And to me, it is Art. And they sure as hell shouldn't be killed for it. A drawing, on a piece of paper.
I do agree that all of the countries who joined with the coalition of the fuckwits, share some responsibility with creating the monster humans, that are erupting.
I remember when Bush got it all going, after 9/11. The smell of revenge.


63
@62: Make sure you've got all your inoculations before you talk to Dirtclustit, or you might catch a bad case of fruitsy nutbars from her.
64
No one in American press will show Mohammed's likeness. Fear wins ever since 9-11. Home of d'uh brave (cowards)! Bush/Cheney murdered America and now only a decomposed corpse remains. Nice make-up job, huh? Nearly life-like, so far.
65
Also, remove your JE SUIS CHARLIE banner. If you're scared of published Mohammed pics, you have no credible claim of Charlie-ness. Charlie published.
66
Boko-Haram also up to some recent hijinks. This deserves as much attention as the white ppl killed in France.

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld…
67
10 muslims and 10 christians get invited to a gang bang with a dead cartoonist...wait wait my premise if full of holes...
68
While I agree that fundamentalist Christians don't use terror tactics --in the West-- in the present--that has not always been the case. Think of the following: the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the British Civil War, the slave trade, slavery itself, the Salem witch trials, the Holocaust, westward expansion and Manifest Destiny, the KKK, the Ugandan Kill The Gays law, and I'm sure I'm overlooking lots of other examples. Al relied to some extent on terror tactics (often state sponsored), and all were justified, at least in part, by spurious use of Christianity.
69
@At 54--actually, you do have the rit to be abusive of someone's sexuality, spirituality or religion. You may have an internal censor that prevents you from doing so, but it is still your right. I abhor all that Westboro Baptist Church stands for, but I still think they have a right to show up with their signs that say God Hates Fags. I equally support the rights of those who want to write books and make films like The Last Temptation of Christ, whether I think the works have any artistic merit or not.
70
The courageous Dan Savage - who helped make things worse for Molly Norris:

"Apparently Norris asked Dan Savage, who helped the image go viral, to withdraw the poster and replace it with a tamer one (he refused)."

http://harvardpolitics.com/online/hprgum…
71
Yes Clayton,

Nobody wants to be ruled by restrictions that fuckwits need in order to live up to the responsibility that cannot be separated from freedoms we choose to exercise.

The problem with the situation that allegedly occurred (I don't know I don't have contacts in France who are skilled at recognizing AP staged events, or French bullscript reporting that was only written about, as opposed to actual staged events, like the stuff slog is wont to do) is that once things escalate, nothing gets solved unless both parties put on their big boy underwear and can admit the truth of the matter instead of pseudo-intellectual handjob party and circle jerks of the neo-anarchist online journalist grammarians

I am not going to let either mirror image of the idiot male wreck Our World, the idiot males who escalate to violence and arson, is no different from those who intimidate with by implying or threatening such, which is only slightly more male then those who provoke an antagonize the threats.

And the bottom line is, it doesn't matter to me who escalates to violence, esp when after the fact the other male partner who willfully participated in the dance cannot refrain from picking another partner to do-se-do with again, they can all go fuck themselves

so while the AP is the abominable whore that the leaders are who us the church to indoctrinate hate to combat their whore cousin, I was glad to see them do the responsible thing and quit dancing

I don't give a fuck if they don't admit the part in it, but it doesn't really matter because there will always be some other ignorant fuck, or bunch of ignorant fucks like slog, who will continue the dance, employing denial, exaggerations and lies full time to play the part of

"I am just an innocent abuser of freedom of speech who didn't know any better"

what the fuck ever, I wish they would ban me so that I could stop reading this bullshit
72
@71. You wrote, "IWish ylthey would ban me so that I could stop reading this bullshit. If you really feel that way, you have the power to ban yourself.
73
@72

Do you think this type of mentally ill person has control over their own actions?
74
@72
If you are at all familiar with this blog, you'd know that Dirtclustit is obviously psychotic, believing, among other things, that the moon landing was faked. The only value in the question is to figure out how a severely mentally ill person (like Dirtclustit) perceives reality.
75
When did Anglo-Saxons turn into such a bunch of pussies?
76
If you believe someone or something should be immune to ridicule, you're ridiculous.
77
After reading your article, I went away feeling a bit conflicted. I realized, after a few days, that the conflict that Dan feels here is a reflection of the conflict our leaders showed after a similar incident resulted in the slaughter of 4 Americans, including our Ambassador to Libya in 2012.

Here's a direct quote from our President while addressing the U.N. If one substitutes 'Magazine' for 'Video', I think you can see that this is not by any means a ringing endorsement of free speech, but rather a confusing innuendo as to whether or not the attack might be justified.

"In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others.

That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

President Obama - Speech at the United Nations September 25th, 2012

I think that the AP was not afraid of Christians shooting up the place, but didn't like being called on their inconsistency. The AP realized that "the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam" (to quote our President). So, they decided that consistency means they should drop images that are offensive to Christians, rather than posting images offensive to Muslims.

So, you might be right Dan, they may be scared. Or, are they just trying to be consistent while living up to President Obama's suggestion?
78
@77: Um, that IS a "direct quote"...except for the last line, which is taken from much later in the speech and left without context. Here's a relevant excerpt:
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. (Applause.)
Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims. It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi: "Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit." (Applause.) Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, that’s the vision we will support.
It's part of a larger section on the unsavories to whom the future must not belong. (Source.)
79
Nice catch @77, you're good. I guess that's why you're @77 and I'm still @50 :-)

I think my point of feeling conflicted about the issue of free speech is still valid. In this article, Dan is still struggling with his natural urge to be consistent as a journalist.

Dan is correct that the AP is afraid. The AP didn't pull the pictures down because they were afraid that after all these years Christians would kill them, they were afraid that if they posted newsworthy images of this new historical event, they would offend some Muslims....am I correct?

Therefore, they feel conflicted, just as I did watching our country's response to Benghazi in 2012, as well as our response to the Charlie event. In this article, Dan also talks about his feelings of conflict on the subject. The AP decided to voluntarily cede their free speech in order to protect their comfortable lives and be consistent. I can't say that I wouldn't do the same, but I am not in media. They struggled for a bit, but then made a decision and the struggle is over for them.

In this article, Dan is still struggling. He chose to try to re-frame the issue in such a way as to shift the focus back to one of his admitted 'comfortable' targets of ridicule...right wing Christians. He's right to point out that "It is a credit to Judaism and Christianity that both are safe targets", but, by pivoting in the middle of the article, isn't he avoiding the real danger? Picking on a safe target, while avoiding (or tip toeing around) a dangerous one is not bravery. It's like teasing a dog behind a fence until it's running in circles barking, then delighting in the stress that was caused to the animal. Like the Stranger, Charlie Hedbo taunted the dog behind the fence, but (unlike the Stranger) they also provoked the untethered, charging dog. The faster the dog approached, the more they taunted. Call it bravery, or call it stupidity, it is not the kind of satirical journalism the Stranger practices in this article.

Reframing the issue to blame the old 'safe target' is just throwing a little red meat (or raw tofu if you prefer) to us out here in the Seattle Stranger crowd. Maybe a little something for us to choke on up front....But Wait! Look over there! It's the most horrible people in the world!

I'm not convinced that we are in full support of this type of speech in our country. I didn't hear unwavering support of free speech in our media, or from our leaders in 2012. There was only Rebulicans trying to club the Pres. over head with issue, and Democrats (and administration officials) using language to try to sooth offended Muslims. The media steered clear of any controversy except that controversy that involved "safe targets".

I'm sure you can find plenty of soaring rhetoric from both sides of the aisle about free speech, but that does not negate our medias avoidance of certain controversial images.

As to how we responded as a country vs. France:

The French sent police to protect Charlie (unfortunately not enough). We immediately distanced ourselves from "disgusting and crude" speech, then sent police to arrest the offending film maker (on un-related charges). Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/27/world/cali…

After the slaughter at Charlie, the French took a defiant stance and supported the "disgusting and crude" speech, held a rally that attracted world leaders and over 3 million people. Charlie issued another defiant cover, and the French have sent protection to any institution they feel might be the target of retribution. In the face of danger, they are taking a stand for free speech...in the media, in the government, and in the population.

After the slaughter of our citizens, the Americans took a conflicted stance. The President attended scheduled fundraisers and sent the UN Ambassador to 'kind of' blame a "disgusting and crude" video for that attack, while at the same time not exactly condemning free speech. The media avoided any 'dangerous' controversy regarding the issue, and there were certainly no marches held. They preferred instead to follow the horse race that was the election.

Dan, and the rest of our media state that free speech is important. Withholding certain speech out of fear is not really free is it? My rather longwinded point is that the AP has decided to choose safety over free speech in the name of consistency. Although I would like to see them act differently, I respect their consistency. I think that our government showed its commitment to "Charlie Hedbo style" free speech by neglecting to send anyone to the March in France. Again, not my favorite decision, but consistent to our official response to Benghazi.

In this article, Dan is still struggling with his natural urge to be consistent as a journalist. He'd like to be as brave as Charlie, but still feels more comfortable agitating the dog behind the fence. It's an understandable position, but it is not Charlie.
80
Dan,
Just admitting to Fear doesn't make you brave in the face of Islamist Terror. Cowardice, as Mikhail Bulgakov tells us, is the worst sin. Cowardice so admitted to stamps you in shame that flows into the past; whatever issues you took on, whatever barriers you think you broke through, well, they were probably issues and barriers much more contingent than you supposed; you've been hitting at some soft punching bags over the years; perhaps the largesse of our liberal democratic culture permitted you to believe you were more courageous than you really are. And into the future: how will you redeem yourself now that you've encountered a real enemy, Dan? Will 'The Stranger' stand up under Muslim religious threats? Like Charlie Hebdo?

As to your other point, Christians are not trying to have it both ways. Mockery and humiliation are built into Christianity. Joseph's neighbors didn't believe in the virgin birth and said so. Jesus' ministry was under constant pressure to validate it under the eyes of harshest skeptics and scholars of the day. Jesus was mocked on the cross with a sign that read: 'King of the Jews'. Mockery is wired into Christianity. As is courage: two centuries of believers standing up to torture and being thrown to wild animals for public entertainment made serious inroads into the un-belief of the Roman Empire. Islam on the other hand, well, no people or nation ever submitted voluntarily to Islam. So sure, Christians can be proud that they will not retaliate for mockery while laughing at the cowardice of the progressive left facing Islamic terror.

dexquire.com
81
Dan Savage and other gays need to realize there is a bigger enemy out there now.

Gays must learn the frightening truth about what it will mean when Muslims impose Sharia law:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_qxjocm5fCc

82
Dan Savage and other gays need to realize there is a bigger enemy out there now.

Gays must learn the frightening truth about what it will mean when Muslims impose Sharia law:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_qxjocm5fCc

83
Dan Savage and other gays need to realize there is a bigger enemy out there now.

Gays must learn the frightening truth about what it will mean when Muslims impose Sharia law:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_qxjocm5fCc