Yes… yes, you can.

“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” [Pope] Francis said on the flight from Colombo to Manila. (CNN)

Yes.  Yes, you can.

Faith is not sacrosanct.  You have no right to not be offended.

If your faith is ridiculous — and to me (and any atheist), any faith that includes a deity is, in the end, ridiculous — I have the right to say so.

Now, generally, I’m not going to provoke anyone by doing so, as it’s pointless.  I have no more chance of shaking your faith than you have of convincing me of it.  So I will gladly leave well enough alone.

But I have the right to do so.

Of course, you have the right to take that into account when you form your opinion of me.  You just don’t have the right to kill me because I don’t share your faith (or because I mock it).

This raises a bigger question, of course.

When did we become so adverse to being offended?

Change is offensive, by nature.   Growth, discovery, knowledge — all offensive to someone.  You will be offended hundreds, maybe thousands, of times in your life.

And you’ll survive every single one of them.

Frankly, if your faith can’t survive being offended, the problem is your faith, not my offense.  Because if you really believe what you’re saying, nothing I say should matter.

So if you’re trying to shut people up who “offend” you, what are you really asking?

“Don’t challenge me, because my beliefs can’t stand up to your words”?

If that’s the case, maybe you should be reconsidering your beliefs rather than shutting other people up, don’t you think?

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), improv tech guy, generally nice person (if you ask me).

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