Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's about freedom, stupid

Since the attack by two Muslim men on the "Mohammed cartoon" art contest in Garland, Texas earlier this week, pundits and other media types have, instead of siding with Pamela Geller's freedom of expression, been asking, "Why did she have to provoke Muslims? Does she not have anything better to do? She and her group got what was coming to them."
On Sunday, May 3, two gunmen strode up to the arena where the contest took place and shot a security guard in the ankle before both being shot dead by other members of the sizeable security force present at the event. Geller knew better than to leave herself or her guests vulnerable. Of course, in Texas, they don't mess around. If this event had taken place in a blue state such as Maryland, Massachusetts or Washington where they're proud to ban guns, there would have been a massacre.
With regard to Geller and her motives, let me spell it out for you. It's really quite simple: See, in the U.S. we (still) have something known as the First Amendment. It protects freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It grants a platform to those with a voice and penchant to use it. End of. Again, this is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Not the fifth, not the eighth, not the fourteenth. Numero uno.
If you value freedom, then you should not concern yourself with why Pamela Geller held this contest. Instead, you should be concerned with those that want to silence her, those that want to declare freedom of expression illegal if it offends those of a certain religion, those that want to kill others over what they perceive as an offence.
If Pamela Geller wants to invite the anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders over to help host a contest in which participants draw the prophet Mohammed, then she has the right. I don't want to hear about why she did it. That does not matter to me and, furthermore, it is irrelevant. She has the right, that's why, and that's all there is to it.
When that limp-wrist of an artist Andres Serrano stuck a crucifix in a vial of urine and called it "Piss Christ," all the academics, media and other assorted frappuccino-drinkers loved it. Of course, these people would attend the opening of an empty envelope if you told them they were good, tolerant people for doing so. If some radical Palestinian farmer had a cow in a field and charged people for watching it produce cow patties, then the wine-and-cheese crowd would make him a very rich man indeed. He could buy a keffiyeh for every day of the year while no doubt donating 15 percent of his earnings to Hamas. And the liberals would be saying that we need more immigrants like him.
Alas, I digress ... Serrano is a rude little man and I was personally offended by his work. However, the point is, me being offended doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared to Serrano's right to produce and offer to the public whatever he wants. The First Amendment protects the right to all forms and matter of speech. It's easy to protect speech you agree with; it's the neo-Nazis, to use a familiar example, that make you question your loyalty to such lofty free market of thought ideals. But in the end, you must give the neo-Nazis, the Westboro Baptist Church, hunting enthusiasts and other assorted toothless inbreds their day in the sun. If they apply for a permit, they have a right to march or protest.
The liberal elite wants to declare rioters, looters and arsonists "protestors" while ignoring the fact that their violence is spontaneous and that they never bothered to get the city's permission to demonstrate. Yet, we hear all the time about how it's all about protecting their First Amendment right, even though the amendment does not in any way sanction illicit and destructive protest. No, see, what the loonies of Black Lives Matter and other cowards engage in is what we used to call "disturbing the peace". Show me where in the First Amendment that is granted as a right to American citizens.
Peaceful, private expressions of thought and ideas, such as the cartoon contest in Garland, is what we have all have a right to. If someone is offended, then they are free to make whatever counterpoint they desire within the limits of the law. If anyone had told Andres Serrano that he was not allowed to produce his "art," then I would be among the first to rise up and say, "why not?" I woud have his back, though I find what he wants to peddle absolutely repugnant.
I would think that, regardless of how they feel about her stance toward Islam, Obama-bot Lefties who think rioters should be given space to destroy, as Balitmore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake put it, would defend Geller. But no, of course not. She is an uppity Jew who dares to mock the "religion of peace". We must therefore question her right to express her views—and anyone else who dares to think that we reserve the right to offend someone with pointed critiques of any religion.
Shame on anyone who thinks this way.


goddessdivine said...

Sheesh, my religion is paraded on a Broadway Stage....mocked for the whole world to see. You don't see any Mormons shooting up its dissenters. Quite the contrary.

This is very telling of our country when we are quicker to defend the jihadists for their anger than the artists who should be free to mock those extremists. (Also very telling that the same people who defend the "Piss Christ" are up in arms over a cartoon of Mohammed. A cartoon!)

Nightdragon said...

Just so you know, The Book of Mormon played here in London, but neither Squirrel nor I went to see it. I can't imagine that it's a good show, and I (we)disagree stridently with that sort of insulting rubbish, but still, if the producers of the show honestly think they're giving art to the world, then more power to them. They have the right.