Thankfully, there is some sanity in the U.N. The Obama administration has announced that it is strongly opposed to a resolution that would condemn negative speech against religions. Hillary Clinton said in a news conference that such a resolution would be a major blow against free expression and speech.
She’s right, of course. Everyone, theists included, should be opposed to any sort of limit to what can and can’t be said about religion. Protestants should be well aware that some of their very own doctrines could be considered defamation of Catholics. Many protestants believe that Catholics are heretics for praying to Mary. Are protestants everywhere prepared to leave it in the hands of a judge to determine whether one of the tenets of their religion is too defaming to be allowed?
It should also be noted that this kind of “protection” from criticism is completely contrary to the search for truth. If Islam, or Christianity, or Buddhism is true, then the way to find this out is to engage in unfiltered, unflinching dialog, and to respond to criticism.
Furthermore, consider the human rights violation inherent in a gag order on free inquiry and criticism of religion. Suppose that Christianity is true. Jesus is God, and anyone who doesn’t believe in him is going to burn in hell forever. Now, consider the implications if we lived in an Islamic country where it was illegal to criticize the Muslim faith. In effect, the law is sentencing people to hell, since it doesn’t give them a fair chance to learn that Islam is wrong and Christianity is right.
Of course, that goes for any religion. If we cannot have open, critical dialog about religion, then we cannot hope to reasonably discover the truth. There is no reason to allow one religion to strong-arm the rest of the world into silence.