I’ve already posted the YPS position on offending people, as brilliantly expressed by Mike Muir. I’m not going to discuss the fact that Muslims got offended by cartoons. More appropriately, some cartoons got published and cynical people who use Islam to further their own personal political agendas used the cartoons to whip up outrage in the Muslim world. However, the resulting furor has drawn into sharp relief the basic misunderstanding that too many people have about life in a tolerant, liberal Western democracy. Here’s an important life lesson for all you people out there, Muslims and pathetic Western apologists both:

You do not have a right to not be offended.

In fact, I’ll be even blunter: I have the right to say or do things you find offensive and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s the whole thing about living in a tolerant society. It doesn’t mean you approve of or endorse everything your neighbors do and say. It means you don’t set their house on fire and try to kill them as they run out. More importantly, it means you don’t get the government to do that. You have the right to use any non-violent means to express your disapproval, be that by speech, boycotts, or other peaceful activity. Oh, and lobbying your government to change the law so that speech you find offensive is banned? That doesn’t fall under the heading of non-violent. When you involve the coercive power of the state to settle your differences, you gave up on non-violent. State power is, and will be for the foreseeable future, the rods and the axe. Power flows from the barrel of a gun, baby, and don’t you ever forget it. Just because you outsourced the violence to the state doesn’t mean it ain’t happening.

Me, I’m offended that we take these flaming asshats seriously. So Muslims are offended about cartoons? So fucking what? Move your culture and your religion out of the 12th fucking century and maybe I’ll give a shit about your opinion. In the meantime, I find the rabid insistence that I’m supposed to respect your religion pretty goddamned ludicrous when a hell of a lot of Muslims live in countries where the practice of any other religion is punishable by law. Maybe I’ll be more liable to respect your religion when it gives up on being patently misogynistic. Maybe I’ll give you some respect when you quit issuing fatwas calling for people to be killed for writing books. Maybe I’ll care when state-run media in Arab countries quit pushing blood-libel against Jews. And maybe, just maybe, winged monkeys will fly out of my ass, too.

Pot, kettle, piss off now, Mo’. I’ll care about you and your religion getting offended right about the same time you care when your co-religionists are offensive murderers, which will be right about the time I start farting those winged monkeys.


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