Well my friends, it appears that Free Speech has very few friends in high places these days. No less a leader than the Pope of Rome has decided Charlie Hebdo was asking for it.
Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, 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 Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane.
"If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," Francis said, throwing a pretend 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."
It goes on.
Francis, who has urged Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion.
Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.
But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone's religious beliefs.
"There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit."
There you have it, my friends. No making fun of Islam, because the Pope says you're asking for it. Even though people mock Catholicism every single day and nobody does squat to them.
This is not "tolerance". This is not "consideration". This is the hidden racism of low expectations. Translating for His Holiness from the ecclesiastical double-talk, it goes like this: "Yes, Catholics can control themselves when somebody mocks Jesus, but those Mooselimbs, they're savages you know. Best not to provoke them, they'll kill you."
|Darth Vader explains Charlie Hebdo to Princess Leia.|
Or even shorter: "Shut up!" he explained.