Thursday, October 29, 2009

U.S. Strongly Opposed to Blasphemy Laws Maybe Sometimes

Responding to criticism over the United States' joining with Egypt in supporting a new, non-binding U.N. resolution calling for the outlawing of religious defamation in member states, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton came out fighting earlier this week. "Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation policies that would restrict freedom of expression and freedom of religion," she said. "I strongly disagree." Hey, that's great! Seeing as how the U.S. and much of the rest of the western world is based on the idea of free expression, it seems counter to human rights to outlaw any expression that might be offensive to a particular religion. But Clinton isn't on the U.N. Human Rights Council that supported the resolution in question. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner was. And what does he have to say about it? "...A resolution, broadly speaking, that talks about the defamation of a religion is a violation of free speech," he said. Whew! Hope he signed that thing in erasable ink! What's that? There's more? "There are limits to free expression and there are certainly concerns about people targeting individuals because of their religious belief..." he elaborated. Huh. So, people should be free to criticize religions but not individual religious people? Well, U.S. free expression policy can't possibly be more crystal clear than that. And by "crystal clear", of course, I mean "wishy washy". More details here.

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