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i'm with katrin about using political protest in churches, people deserve a place where they can get some peace and quiet in today's world. there are plenty of situations where PR's (valid) protest could have been staged without offending 'innocent bystanders' who are communing with their faith.

like outside the church! just as effective, probably more, and doesn't scare the horses.

i bet jake has some situations where he would like to be protected from the likes of PR from barging in and creating chaos where he was enjoying the serenity of a peaceful gathering of like minded people. economics class maybe? some economics classes are probably as riddled with prejudice and error as a patriarch's, voodoo under a different name...

as for the cartoons, i think that's yelling fire in a crowded theatre. stupid and socially destructive.

if your opponent gets crass or aggressive, it doesn't mean you have to double down the provocation, that's escalation.

there are smarter ways to unite people than mocking what's important to them, and i think we're way past the point of needing to evolve those.

freedom needs to be handled responsibly or it's just carelessness.

thing is, jake argues his case so well, it's impossible to refute it... intellectually. a textbook moment for emotional intelligence, methinks.

also i would guess katrin and jake are probably in fundamental agreement about most of the really important issues, and this is an exercise in reviewing what free speech really is, and if (like a free market), it's realistic to expect some regulation to be of benefit, even though there will always be absolutists and professional decriers of any regulation in both fields.

the core issues are the social and political valence of religion in secular societies, the freedom to gather and practice some form of worship in peace, and whether deliberate polemicising is truly free speech or just plain stupid, or worse, shit-stirring, flame baiting, playing with matches at a refinery. jake's totally right that these religious leaders who meddle in politics should not be protected by some sanctified imitation of respect, any particular reverence. katrin's totally right in that the left will never have significant power in politics unless people of faith are perceived as worthy of understanding as anyone else, and welcomed, or they will continue to create unholy alliances with the right, with the bad outcomes we are used to from that combo.

free speech is one of the only tools left for bettering our reality, so i'd be the last one to want it gone, but it should be used with taste, otherwise it has a backwards effect.

PR are just loudmouth kiddy prankster/attention hounds trying to win the outrage olympics, or possibly some kind of even-more-deranged-than-usual psy-ops.

they may well be backfiring more people into putin's arms with this puerile acting out. of course without a stupid media they would be insignificant.

lady gaga they ain't.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good. The essence of this thread. Why did we need so many words?
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:43:49 AM EST
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Because neither you nor melo has as yet articulated a legal standard by which Pussy Riot's video (or the Muhammad cartoons) are criminal, but selling a t-shirt with religion is the opiate of the people on it could not be credibly argued to be legal.

Unless you want courts of law to judge artistic or literary merit. Which is about the dumbest legal proposal I've heard since the last revision of the Danish terrorist law.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:05:28 AM EST
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i guess it would have to be hammered out in court, where that line be drawn.

how many trampled to death in unfiery thetres did it take before we realised absolute anything is bad news?

straw man, yes, but so is the opiate tshirt lol.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the opiate t-shirt is based on long experience with American fundagelicals - this is one of the Marxian adages that they go totally apeshit over.

(It's also a severely contextectomized Marxian adage, but that seems to be standard practice for religious outrage.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:58:39 AM EST
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Oh no. Do you really believe that it was ever legal to shout fire in a nonfiery theatre? The quote is from Justice Holmes' awful ruling against someone who was campaigning against the draft in WW1, which he compared to shouting fire in a theatre. To be fair to Holmes, he spent much of the rest of his career making up for this verdict (which was unanimous anyway), but whenever I hear someone use this quote, my instinctive reaction is to think him a hypocrite.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:02:32 AM EST
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The line between the two is difficult to hit, that's why. But it's there, because it is two different concepts.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:39:59 AM EST
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The loudest bigot? The most extremist bigot? The millionth most extremist bigot? The most violence-prone bigot (as you have suggested elsewhere)? A comparison to the standard set by an impartial (and therefore, by definition, secular) observer?

I'm fine with laws that create edge cases. I'm not fine with laws that allow the most hateful bigots in society to impose their views on the rest of us.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:46:38 AM EST
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I don't think there is a danger of that. What should make them so influential?
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:44:41 PM EST
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A law empowering people to demand prosecution based on nothing more than wounded pride would do that. Maybe not the single most intolerant bigot. But certainly the millionth most intolerant bigot.

Which is still way the Hell and gone over on the wrong side of the bell curve.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:50:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so many words?

that's how ET rolls!

because these issues are nothing if not nuanced, and we have been puzzling, litigating and warring over them for millennia, so 500 comments is another tiny dent.
what's fascinating about this thread is how articulately -and passionately- the arguments are being re-laid out, on all sides.

discordant? sure...

but anthropologically riveting.

:)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:50:52 AM EST
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Well yes - but there's a wider issue about who gets to define public morality for the public.

Generally, religions - closely followed by capitalists - like to feel they have a monopoly on that.

And you do - absolutely and reliably - get protests, sometimes violent, often legal, whenever anyone who isn't in one of those groups tries to challenge those 'rights.'

I'd perhaps be more inclined to give religions a pass if there was a counterbalancing institution that explicitly encouraged positive public morality in a non-religious way.

The closest thing we have is TV and the media, which are too chaotic and contradictory to count.

And of course if such a thing existed, it would be protested by the religious and the powerful, because it would be an explicit challenge to their power.

(Realistically - or perhaps cynically, I can't decide - it would probably soon become corrupt anyway.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:46:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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