Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dealing with fear of Christians

It’s instructive to see where some would like to categorize Christianity.  This is an important article in and of itself, discussing the result of fear on European society from Islamic anger.

      By canning its production of "Idomeneo," fearful of security threats because of a scene that might offend Muslims, Berlin's Deutsche Oper provoked front-page headlines across the continent and found itself fending off charges of cowardice.

Idomeneo has a controversial scene where the lead holds up the heads of Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad.  And this is important because we can’t live in a world where special interest groups attempt to get their way by force and threats of violence (and actual violence).  Once people start capitulating, the behavior is reinforcing, and more groups will attempt to control society through violence and death.

I am reading an interesting book (How Soccer Explains the World) which discusses the role of soccer hooligans in Serbia.  These gangs tend to get what they want because people know that they won’t hesitate to destroy property and beat people unconscious in the streets.  Due to the overt nationalism and hatred of many of the other cultures around them, these gangs have garnered a sort of legitimacy and whether due to fear or strategy, or both, the clubs give them offices and status.  Milosovic, the former infamous leader of Serbia, used the gangs as shock troops in the war to drive Muslims out of Bosnia and Croats out of certain areas in Croatia.  The heads of these gangs got rich looting and stealing and reaping the profits on the black market, and the government looked the other way (and in some cases helped).

All this to say that allowing groups to persuade by means of violence is wrong, and despite the gloom of the article in general, it’s a little encouraging to see European nations at least questioning themselves about their tendency to be politically correct and culturally over-sensitive in the face of Islamic brutality.

However, I had to roll my eyes at this paragraph at the end of the article.

      Last year London's Tate Britain museum removed a sculpture by John Latham which it feared would offend Muslims and a British tour of "Jerry Springer - The Opera" was temporarily canceled when conservative Christian groups complained.

They just had to lump Christians in there, didn’t they.  I’m surprised that the Madonna on the Cross thing didn’t make it into this article.  Taking that NBC television special as an example, I think that media executives don’t really give a hoot about offending people, as they do it quite often.  But they listen to money, and I think that people feel that Christian advocacy groups still wield a certain amount of influence on the general public.  When Christian groups complain, the threat isn’t violence, it’s viewership, and therefore money.

That’s a huge difference, don’t you think?  Influencing speech by violence is a terrible constitutional issue and anti-freedom in every way.  Influencing by economic sanction through the free will of consumers is pro-free speech (or rather it’s probably more neutral considering that it’s less about speech than economics and politics).

But they just had to throw that paragraph in to settle some personal agenda.  Are we trying to encourage fear of Christian groups by lumping them with groups that get violent when offended?    Shame on the Post.

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