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Excerpt from a speech "If Europe Hates Itself" - should people be fined for dishonoring a religion?

"In our present-day society, whoever dishonors the faith of Israel, its image of God or its great personalities, is fined. Whoever scorns the Koran and the basic convictions of Islam is fined, too.

"Instead, with regard to Christ and to what is sacred for Christians, freedom of opinion seems to be the supreme good, and to limit this would seem to threaten or even destroy tolerance and freedom in general. Freedom of opinion, though, finds its limit in this, that it cannot destroy the honor and the dignity of the other; it is not freedom to lie or to destroy human rights.

"The West reveals here a hatred of itself, which is strange and can be only considered pathological; the West is laudably trying to open itself, full of understanding, to external values, but it no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure..."

Answer Question

Asked by shellbyrne at 10:09 PM on Dec. 4, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I've never met anyone who was fined for saying things against Jews or Muslims. The other day when I picked up my car from a local mechanic I got to listen to him rant for about 5 minutes about the "damn Muslims" that are "ruining" this country and they need to go stick their heads back in the sand where they belong. He didn't get fined. Where are people fined for stating their opinions on religions?

    Answer by mommy_lisa25 at 10:58 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • He is talking about Europe in this speech. Apparently you can be fined for certain blasphemies against certain religions.

    Answer by shellbyrne at 10:59 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • interesting..... i never heard of this..... but the paragraph is like an unfinished blurb for which i can't gather to much understanding
    i can't imagine that in Europe chrisitanity would be scorned. but what the heck do i know about europe, zilch

    Answer by Aasiyah at 11:03 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • hey mom bet he used to rant and rave about other people too before the muslims became the field day targets of rants. lol

    Answer by Aasiyah at 11:05 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • Aasiyah, he briefly mentioned the Japs too. He was definitely older and I think he probably fought in WWII. I find it best to just let people like that say what they want. Lol, they're not changing my mind and it would do no good to try and argue with them.

    As far as Europe goes, it's a pretty diverse place, I don't think you can really group them together like that. That's including countries like Italy and the Vatican which I'm pretty sure don't hate Christianity or loathe themselves for their religion. In fact, I recently read that they were putting up crosses in some of the public schools in Italy.

    Answer by mommy_lisa25 at 11:22 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • i agree mom, you can't lump them all together.

    Answer by Aasiyah at 11:32 PM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • hmm where did this come from ? who wrote it ? it sounds very odd to me !!!!

    I'm not sure how correct it is !!!!!!!! whats the source ?


    Answer by zanzeebeel at 12:00 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • I don't know. I believe in freedom of speech but I know in Europe they have a lot of problems because so many people of different cultures are coming together and its their way of trying protect citizens from discrimination.  I think I would have to live there to fully understand why they feel these laws are important.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 5:45 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • The source is a speech from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict - entitled "If Europe Hates Itself" - pretty much about the decline of the Christian west, but specifically Europe. I think America hates itself too.


    Answer by shellbyrne at 10:20 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • OH !!!! LOL !!!

    I dont think that Christainity is excluded from the hate speech laws there,

    I'm not sure I agree with him with the self hate part, certainly in Britain there is a culture of the ability to laugh at yourself, and see the "funny side of things", it is only natural as a Christian culture that Christianity is the religion that takes the main hits. But he might be right in that other religions / cultures are less open to ridiculing themselves and their religion. As a muslim I have far more respect for Islam and its rituals, than I ever did as a Christian for Christianity .

    I'm not sure that it lies in self hate , more in a lack of respect, and an irreverant humour.

    That said where speech against a religion or a race is inflamatory to the point that it is harmful to the society, then yes, a method to limit the damage and discourage from unacceptable discrimination is useful.

    Answer by zanzeebeel at 12:21 PM on Dec. 5, 2009

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