Posted on February 2, 2006
Offered the opportunity to avoid the fate of the Danes by going softly into the good night of self-censorship, Europe says “No, thank you. This is my stop.”
In support of the Danish position, newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland reprinted some of the cartoons on Wednesday. A small Norwegian evangelical magazine, Magazinet, also published the cartoons last month.
And nearly everyone got away with it, with the exception alas, of the perfectly named Jaques Lefranc, of France Soir, who got sacked by his paper’s owner, “French Egyptian” Raymond Lakah in a “a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual.”
Wouldn’t want to challenge anyone’s intimate beliefs.
As a person of faith myself, I’ll admit to being a little bit steamed whenever some taxpayer supported “artist” stretches the boundaries by putting a crucifix in a bowl of urine, or paints the Virgin Mary with cow dung. But my general point is that tax dollars shouldn’t be used to support offensiveness in the name of “art,” not that the artists themselves ought to be burned at the stake, or whatever. And if I raise my voice (or write a letter) on that issue and the sense of the elected representatives is that I’m in the wrong of it, well I’ll go along my merry way, continue to pay my taxes while working for their defeat.
Because the answer to bad speech is always more speech.
That’s the way of the West, anyway.