Pope Francis Blunders

I actually like the pope. But this is just awful commentary:

Pope Francis said there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith, in comments that the Vatican later said Friday did not mean justifying the attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines on Thursday, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good.

But he said there were limits.

By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasbarri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.

“If my good friend Dr. Gasbarri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said half-jokingly, throwing a mock punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

Er . . . yes you can. That is what free speech is all about. Sometimes, it is highly offensive, but thus far, no one has come up with a way to restrict highly offensive speech that does not somehow lead to the restriction of other kinds of speech. The price we pay for living in a free society is that sometimes, we are offended by the speech of others. But we are willing to pay that price in order to be able to freely express our own speech.

It is remarkable that this basic point has to be made in 2015.

Oh, and if someone says a curse word against your mother, and you punch that someone in response, you are risking indictment for assault and battery. You may even get sued in civil court. Someone inform the pope of this, before he gets into a bar fight and lands in the slammer as a consequence.

Comments

  1. Problem with curbing free speech is that somebody has to be the judge (and jury). Once a judge is appointed, free will is no longer free.

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