Censorship and Freedom of Speech

This is a guest post from Tony:

“You have not converted a man, because you have silenced him.”
Lord Morley (1838-1923)

A couple of recent incidents on this blog, plus two current news items and a new move by the United Nations, have prompted this post. They are presented below as topics for discussion, without editorial comment except for the inclusion of some quotes- with which your writer generally agrees.

“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

The first ‘local’ incident was when a picture of Jesus on the cross was used to head a post entitled The Five Most Loathed Dead Australians. Several readers took exception for various reasons including: the appropriateness or otherwise of the picture’s use – in that post in particular, and in a non-religious context in general; the perceived desecration of a religious icon; the perceived deliberate provocation by the author; and the perceived hypocrisy of the author in repeatedly singling out for ridicule Christianity in general and Catholics in particular, while stridently defending Muslims in another prominent post.

Two readers went so far as to demand that the picture be removed from the post, and, when their requests were refused, said their goodbyes and haven’t been heard from since.

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend it ceases to exist.”

Salman Rushdie (1947- )

The second Blogocrats-related incident occurred a couple of days ago when this writer linked from a comment to a picture posted at an obscure and now-defunct New Zealand blog. This was done under a post about the Pope, by the author mentioned above. A particular reader objected strongly to the link on the grounds that they judged the photo to be pornographic, and added some opinions about your correspondent’s personality and motives.

One of the blog’s authors, under the guise of ‘Kamahl the Moderator’, took the link down and added their opinion.

“It is obvious that ‘obscenity’ is not a term capable of exact legal definition; in the practice of the Courts, it means ‘anything that shocks the Magistrate’.”

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

This is the first news item mentioned:

“An Australian who has denied the Holocaust occurred was sentenced Wednesday to three months in prison for defying an order to stop publishing anti-Semitic material on his Web site.

Fredrick Toben remained free after the sentencing, however, because the judge gave him two weeks to lodge an appeal.

Justice Bruce Lander of the Federal Court found Toben, 65, guilty of 24 counts of contempt of a 2002 court ruling that barred him from publishing anti-Semitic material on the Web site of his organization, the Adelaide Institute.

The material found to be in breach of the order included suggestions the Holocaust did not happen, that questioned whether there were gas chambers at the Auschwitz death camp, and that challenged the intelligence of Jews who questioned Holocaust deniers’ beliefs.”

“It is not the function of Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.”
-Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), U.S. Judge

The second news item is this one:
A 39-year-old Perth man has been charged under Western Australia’s racial vilification laws in relation to a series of videos posted on the internet website YouTube.O’Connell has been charged with conduct intended to incite racial animosity or racist harassment.It is believed he is only the second person to be charged under the laws, which were introduced by the previous state government. The maximum penalty for the offence is 14 years’ jail.

“Freedom of speech – pure, strong, robust freedom of speech- that sometimes irritates you, and sometimes annoys you, but at the end of the day is your God-given right.”

Ezra Levant (1972- )

Here is a description of the recent UN decision:

In an 83 to 53 vote, with 42 abstentions, the U.N. General Assembly urged nations to provide “adequate protections” in their laws or constitutions against “acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general.”

Only Islam and Muslims are specifically named in this resolution against religious defamation, sponsored by Uganda on behalf of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, and cosponsored by Belarus and Venezuela . Opponents included the United States , a majority of European countries, Japan and India .

Those in favor said they do not want to limit free speech but do intend to stop such expressions as the 2005 Danish cartoons disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad that ignited violent protests by Muslims around the world.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

N. B.: This quote is commonly attributed to Voltaire, but it is not found in his writing.
S. G. Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire

As a closing thought, the following is an excerpt from the Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought:

John Stewart Mill (1806-73), English philosopher and political economist, argued against censorship, suggesting that human knowledge advances through exposing opinions to refutation, so that the distinction between truth and error can be clearly seen.

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72 Responses

  1. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…!

    “Voltaire”……………………Didn’t he invent the Refrigerator ?

  2. IATW

    Didn’t he inveted the Vacuum Cleaner ?

  3. Very good post Tony.

    During the recent skirmishes on here, I have taken a back seat as I think that the exchange of ideas on here is worth more than the censorship of posts or comments. Of course, there are times when someone steps over the line and where reb and myself will step in.

    I hope that we have struck the right balance so far.

  4. A thriving democracy demands freedom of speech. We have seen puerile attempts to stifle freedom of speech in Australia (the harlequinade played out in a Victorian tribunal hearing the Catch the Fire Ministry v the Islamic Council served as an exemplar). The vacuous smile on Steve Brack’s – willing sponsor of the legislation that led to the above case – face betrays an underlying problem; he is an unrepentant phukwit.

    How is it possible to vilify an idea? Is Steven Spielberg able to pursue critics of his latest Indiana Jones idea because some said it was a waste of 120 minutes of celluloid? Are artists able to take legal action against those who say that the artists’ ideas expressed on canvas are horrible?

    Sometimes joni, you only step in when the A team is being put upon. I recall that I tested your ‘outrage’ meter and found it in need of repair.

  5. Stephan

    I think I leant from that experience, which is why I step back now. And in that case, it was reb who convinced me to stay.

  6. Joni (1:44pm)

    Thanks Joni,

    Where else could you get a blog’s author to put up a guest post, in part critical of – that author? That’s what I call freedom of speech.

  7. Hey Tony – both reb and I are learning from the seat of out (stylish Lowes) pants. We will make mistakes, and I hope that the blogocrats help us learn and make this place a worthwhile forum for ideas – as well as some fun.

  8. Where else could you get a blog’s author to put up a guest post, in part critical of – that author? That’s what I call freedom of speech.

    Either that, or I’m just incredible naive…

  9. Either that, or I’m just incredible naive…

    Yes, well, there’s always that.

  10. Actually Tony.

    I’ve re-read your post two or three times now, and really do raise some interesting issues.

    The whole area of censorship is fascinating.

    The creepy part is thinking that there’s a group of people locked away in a little room somewhere deciding what everyone else can and can’t see or read etc.

    I remember Margaret Pomeranz defying the censors a few years ago by having a screening of a movie that was part of the Cannes Film Festival but banned in Australia. The cops arrived and shut the whole thing down. Margaret was spewing. Eventually the movie (I think it was Crash) found it’s way on to DVD anyway – and could easily be downloaded from the Internet.

    I was appalled by the reaction to Bill Henson’s photography a few months ago which many regarded as pornography. Once again the cops turned up at the Paddington Art Gallery and shut the whole thing down.

    PM Rudd was full of disgust and outrage (even though he hadn’t seen the images himself).

    I can understand the censorship of graphic sexual imagery like child pornography or beastiality, however I do get annoyed at times when censors start classifying something that clearly has artistic merit as pornography.

    For example, I would find some of the highly sexualised images of teenage boys and girls in teen magazines more distasteful than Henson’s images.

    Many people disagree. Including a number of people on this blog.

    I guess a lot of it depends on what people think that art is intended to do.

    Some people think it should just be a nice landscape painting or portrait on a wall.

    Others, like myself, think that Art should sometimes be confronting, sometimes disturbing and sometimes challenge us to think about our own perceptions of ourselves and society.

    I think when we find something offensive, like a particular piece of art – take the piss christ for example – it’s useful to take a step back and be objective and ask “why does this piece make me feel this way?”

    This is when art moves beyond just being “an object” and begins to make us think about our role in society, our place in humanity, and makes us question our own beliefs and convictions.

    anyway, enough rant from me…

  11. Good post tony and well spoken reb.

  12. I’m back.

    You might’s guessed I’m quite passionate about art.
    (I studied art history at UNI).

    One of my favourite paintings is a portrait of Clive James by Jeffrey Smart.

    Clive James, during the peak of his popularity during the late 1980’s, and with his enormous ego intact, approached Jeffrey Smart to commission a portrait painting.

    Apparently, so the story goes, Jeffrey Smart was initially reluctant, but Clive James was very determined to have Smart paint his portrait, and as money was no object, eventually Smart relented although somewhat reluctantly.

    Thinking that Smart would depict James in Smart’s grand, colourful style, imagine Clive James’ response when he was delivered with this:

    Apparantly he was very pissed off! Jeffrey Smart on the other hand, thought it was hilarious!

    How to deflate a huge ego.

  13. Thanks Kittylitter.

    Reb,

    This is when art moves beyond just being “an object” and begins to make us think about our role in society, our place in humanity, and makes us question our own beliefs and convictions.

    Its a conundrum all right, and when George Orwell, one of my intellectual heroes, and the author of 1984 – the definitive book on the dangers of state-suppression of free speech, in my opinion – could write the following about Salvador Dali, you know it’s a topic where passionate opinions abound:

    Of course, in this long book of 400 quarto pages there is more than I have indicated, but I do not think that I have given an unfair account of his moral atmosphere and mental scenery. It is a book that stinks. If it were possible for a book to give a physical stink off its pages, this one would – a thought that might please Dali, who before wooing his future wife for the first time rubbed himself all over with an ointment made of goat’s dung boiled up in fish glue. But against this has to be set the fact that Dali is a draughtsman of very exceptional gifts. He is also, to judge by the minuteness and the sureness of his drawings, a very hard worker. He is an exhibitionist and a careerist, but he is not a fraud. He has fifty times more talent than most of the people who would denounce his morals and jeer at his paintings. And these two sets of facts, taken together, raise a question which for lack of any basis of agreement seldom gets a real discussion.

    The point is that you have here a direct, unmistakable assault on sanity and decency; and even – since some of Dali’s pictures would tend to poison the imagination like a pornographic postcard – on life itself. What Dali has done and what he has imagined is debatable, but in his outlook, his character, the bedrock decency of a human being does not exist. He is as anti-social as a flea. Clearly, such people are undesirable, and a society in which they can flourish has something wrong with it.

  14. Undoubtedly one of those filthy Catholic types…………

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25487473-421,00.html

  15. I don’t have time to fully ponder this interesting post right now 😦 So here are a couple of very quick thoughts.

    Most people think censoring (actually outright criminalizing) child pornography is just fine for very good reasons – it helps limit the “market” for a product that causes great harm to the child victims. In the US free speech is sacrosanct – but you can’t falsely yell “fire” in a crowded theatre without consequences.

    So, unless someone is arguing for no censorship of anything for any reason ever, the debate is over where to draw the line (or perhaps whether mechanisms other than censorship should be used to deal with the issues), and why. And that’s not a trivial matter.

  16. Reb,

    Re the Henson debate:

    My general attitude to books, art, the bedroom, or to what people want to put into their bodies, is the libertarian one of anything goes, as long as all parties are making decisions of their own free will.

    Those least equipped to make informed free-will decisions are minors. Parental consent is put forward by Henson defenders as a suitable replacement for free-will, but my instincts say this is someone else’s will – albeit a parent, or ‘guardian – being imposed on the minor in question.

    It can be argued that some minors are less minor than others, due to different maturing rates, but the arbitrary line has been drawn at 18, and has stood the test of time.

    If you’re 18, you should be allowed to do what you want, and buyer beware. If you’re a minor, you should be protected. In cases where innocence is at risk, I would invoke the otherwise absurd precautionary principle: It’s better, in situations like the Henson controversy, to be safe than sorry.

  17. And I am in the initial thoughts of a post on Singapore, after a conversation with my boss last weekend.

    It is about how the lack of political and social dissent has actually led to a decline in innovation and inventiveness. And that to improve innovation in Singapore will only come with an increase in dissent -which is something that scares the authorities in Singapore.

  18. Joni,

    A quick look at the Singapore Politics wiki entry:

    Singaporean politics have been dominated by the People’s Action Party (PAP) since the 1959 general election when Lee Kuan Yew became Singapore’s first prime minister (Singapore was then a self-governing state within the British Empire). The PAP has been in government ever since….Foreign political analysts and several opposition parties including the Workers’ Party of Singapore and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) have argued that Singapore is a de facto one-party state….

    Freedom House does not consider Singapore an “electoral democracy” and ranks the country as “partly free”. Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 140th out of 167 countries in its 2005 Worldwide Press Freedom Index.

    It has also been alleged that the PAP employs censorship, gerrymandering and the filing of civil suits against the opposition for libel or slander to impede their success.

  19. Tony

    You may not be aware, but my boyf has three police investigations outstanding in Singapore for activities that in Australia we would consider standard politcial actions (such as the IMF protest, handing out leaflets etc). And so I am very aware of what the situations is in SG.

  20. No Joni, I did not know any of that.

    Interesting.

  21. Yeah – now you see where some of my passion on this topic comes from. The boyf is a political activist AND gay – not a good combination in Singapore.

  22. Joni,

    Would you call him a political refugee. Or has his heart led him here? 😉

  23. Tony,

    Well I think your post couldn’t be more poignant given the current political climate in the West. It’s obvious to anybody choosing to get beyond their own ideology that “bashing Christians” has been given “carte blanche” while to criticize “Islam” for example is now deemed “sacrosanct”….The hypocrisy could not be more apparent. I thought the stab taken at the Christian faith in the post not too long ago was over the top but sadly, utterly predictable. I however, do defend the right of said author to be as offensive as he/she wishes. For all the criticism I have received in defending my own positions and the style in which I do it, sometimes having to “wade into the mud”, I am dumbfounded by the silence of the “altruistic crusaders” here when a “Christian bashing” session starts; but not really. As you have pointed out Tony, the defense of another religion that by all means of measurement, are even less tolerant of the freedoms, life style and values the author purports to hold dear, smacks of hypocrisy and ignorance. The irony of course is that for all of the faults of the Christian faith, its present day transgressions pale in comparison to what the Muslim faith openly advocates presently. So you are “going to hell” or the “bible” forbids your lifestyle, bad Christians’. They are not looking to hang you, behead you or deprive you of your personal freedoms for choosing such a lifestyle or speaking your mind. They simple “disagree” with you, the horror…… Now get some damn “context”….It is also rather ironic that in this day and age, those who appear to be the most “intolerant” of other points of view also purport to be its defender, namely the Left……..The post in question only highlighted the hypocrisy and ignorance but I too would defend their right to “offend”…..

    http://www.guba.com/watch/3000131002

    For you Reb…..

  24. Tony

    It is his (and my) heart. Eventually I hope that we are able to be part of true freedom coming to Singapore.

  25. What, no comments on either video………

    Where are the Freedom Crusaders?

  26. Reb wrote:

    Two readers went so far as to demand that the picture be removed from the post, and, when their requests were refused, said their goodbyes and haven’t been heard from since.

    I don’t know who the two of them were, but I know who one of them was, and he’s no loss.

  27. “bashing Christians” has been given “carte blanche” while to criticize “Islam” for example is now deemed “sacrosanct”….The hypocrisy could not be more apparent..

    Really?

    Christians enjoy the position of being the majority religion in Australia.

    They also enjoy the outspoken support of a number of senior politicians who wear their christian faith like an armband including the current PM Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister Howard, Peter Costello and Tony Abbott.

    Former PM Howard has links to the emtremist Christian group “The exclusive brethren” which many regard as a cult.

    And Peter Costello has appeared rallying the support of the congregation at Hillsong – one of Australia’s largest “new life” churches with an influential aspirational middle class “greed is good” congregation. Hillsong has been, and to my knowledge is currently under investigation for tax evasion.

    Current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spent tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers money on the Pope’s Big Day out in Sydney last year.

    PM Rudd welcomed the Catholic “pilgrims” and extolled the virtues of Christianity and “the faithful”

    Muslims, by contrast, in Australia do not enjoy any of this type of fervent enthusiastic and well-publicised support of politicians in Australia.

    Instead they are marginalised and maligned by the media despite being overwhelmingly moderate in comparison to their countreparts in the middle east.

    If you think that my “attacks” on the Christian religion and the Catholic Church in particular is hypocritical in comparison to my stance against the treatment of Muslims in Australia, you are entitled to think so, and there may well be some merit in that.

    I heard that during the Pope’s Big Day out, safe sex groups were handing out condoms to all the young pilgrims. Of course, according to the Pope, they shouldn’t use them. With the many thousands that congregated in Sydney for the event, may be a few of them will take home HIV as a souvenir of their visit.

    And that’s something they can thank the holy father for.

    Amen and peace be with you.

  28. reb,

    Clearly you have not bothered to watch either video I posted………Neo-Nazi’s are in the minority as well, are they entitled to a reprieve from your criticisms as well? Amazing rationale mate……..Allah Akbar!

  29. Gosh you keep some funny hours Sparta. Do you ever sleep?

  30. Interesting observations reb. I think we’ve handled the Islam/muslim thing very badly. We should’ve held a mirror up to Islam to show how stupid it is. Things like blind people carrying a plastic pig in a brown paper bag when they are out shopping and what not. When the blind person wants to hop into a cab and the driver is muslim and he refuses the fare because of the blind person’s dog the blind could speak into the brown paper bag and say “That’s OK, my pig doesn’t want to get into your cab because he thinks you’re unclean”. I myself don’t know any muslims; my religion doesen’t allow me to befriend them. Does that remind you of anyone?

    I ani’t a slow learner. Any vile, stupid belief is possible as long as you can hide it behind religion. As I said, I ain’t a slow learner.

  31. Joni @8.40pm re: The boyf is a political activist AND gay. Now this comes at no surprise to me..especially your boyf being gay…probably cos you’re a bloke.

  32. Sparta,

    Here’s a thought. Why don’t you draw up a list of all the minorities and we’ll tick them off one by one shall we.?

  33. Any vile, stupid belief is possible as long as you can hide it behind religion.

    Ain’t that the truth! Great taxpayer funding and donations from everyone, almost a licence to print your own money! Just come up with a ‘belief’ or ‘faith’ that you can sell to the gullible.

  34. “Just come up with a ‘belief’ or ‘faith’ that you can sell to the gullible.”

    True. It worked for Hubbard.

    Maybe I should come up with own…

    “Rebitology?”

    I don’t know what we’d “believe in” though, but I imagine some of the rituals would involve wine tastings and foi gras.

    Naturally only wealth crazed pricks would be permitted to become senior members of the faithful.

  35. Rebitology? Something to do with frogs??

  36. Rebitology? Clearly something for the elite.

  37. Rebitology. Here’s their headquarters. Rebitologists gather here to worship the Grand Reb.

  38. Consider yourself an honourary member Miglo.

    Others can join by posting in a cash deductible donation of $5000.

    (or $10,000 if you want guaranteed fast track delivery service to the promised afterlife)

  39. Here are some of the Rebitologists praying to the Grand Reb.

  40. That’s how to handle it reb; form your own religion. My religion this week is Riqsonism (rick-son-ism). We aren’t allowed to befriend people of other faiths because our holy book, the Narok forbids it. Please don’t accuse me of being a proselytizer here, when I say our holy book, the Narok, says: “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians and Muslims for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is [one] of them. Lo! Riqqo guideth not wrongdoing folk”. Riqqo is our esteemed leader.

    Does that passage [Strophe 232] from our holy book, the Narok, look familiar?

  41. Me and Miglo walk quietly passed dressed in matching beige hooded jackets, as the faithful give their “bottoms up” salute…

  42. This Rebitologist tried to defect.

  43. Does that passage [Strophe 232] from our holy book, the Narok, look familiar?

    Sadly not. Ought not I be instantly struck down in flames for this blaspehmous transgression?

  44. This Rebitologist tried to defect.

    Observe how reb casually takes notes while Miglo punishes the escapee with cheap cask wine.

  45. Observe how reb casually takes notes while Miglo punishes the escapee with cheap cask wine.

    Notice that we first decantered the wine. Class. All class.

  46. I thought it was olive oil for lubrication.

  47. We learnt this one from the Americans (God bless ’em)

  48. Scaper, the choice was hers. It was either that or be forced to read all of Tom’s posts.

    Torture was her preferred option.

  49. Former US President and Rebitologist endorses The Church of Rebitology’s “rehabilitation” techniques..

    http://www.internetweekly.org/images/bush_torture_its_ok

  50. Another massive crowd turn out to hear the Grand Reb speak. He certainly knows how to command an audience.

  51. another happy rebitologist sees the light!

  52. Even Tammy Faye Baker says “I can feel a healin’ comin’ on…!!”

  53. Way to go reb. I see you’re poised to kick him in the nuts if he failes the induction test.

    I was facing my own torture if I didn’t make the bed while Jedda went shopping. Clearly I have avoided torture, as this photo proves.

  54. Well since we have now formed a new religion – where do we apply for charitable status?

  55. Kitty, we don’t give to charity. All contibutions go towards our material comforts.

  56. Okay.

    This is it. The Footage you’ve all been waiting for.

    Recorded at last night’s special meeting of the Church of Rebitology in Tasmania.

    Warning: this footage may compell you to suddenly relinquish all your current beliefs and surrender to the gospel of rebitology.

    Look out for the special appearance of Tom of Melbourne is his natty red pants..!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMP-CQ_bvSM

  57. Miglo, on May 16th, 2009 at 1:57 pm Said:

    Kitty, we don’t give to charity. All contibutions go towards our material comforts.

    no migs, I mean where do we apply so that we can become the charity and get all those tax breaks and the donations from the public. We’re on the road to riches!

  58. For charity status you have to jump through a few hoops but it looks good on my invoices…lol!

    http://www.philanthropy.org.au/seekfund/org.html

  59. Talking about censorship, I’m sure many would like to censor Prof Steven Keen. I actually agree with his assessment wholeheartedly (wink), seriously! In fact, I’ve been saying it long before now.

    Professor Steve Keen says first home buyer’s grant a risk
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25487728-5013110,00.html
    THE extension of time for the enhanced first home grants puts more borrowers at risk of default, as the spectre of double-digit unemployment looms, an academic says.

    KAMAHLODERATOR: Agreed. Censored!

  60. Tony

    By the way, great post.

  61. ROFLMAO reb.

    BTW, I didn’t think Tom was going to make any public appearances since the last election. Just can’t help himself.

  62. Tax breaks kitty – now you’re talking our language.

  63. Tony

    By the way, great post.

    Sorry Tony, but I haven’t read it yet. Very rude of me to contribute to a thread without giving you the courtesy and respect of taking in your comments first.

    I’ve been busy. I’m learning how to cheat the tax department.

  64. We have great great music at the church too don’t you think Miglo?

    Did you like my sermon? I think I ought to buy a new pair of glasses though…

  65. Maybe reb could do some late night TV ‘preaching’ no-one but the faithful would be watching. Get a toll free phone number and ask for donations – easy!

  66. Hey Migs, my original truck, a 1992 model needs replacing…oh memories, so I’m going to buy a new truck next week.

    My dilemma is to pay cash, go to the bank and borrow or half and half?

  67. tom’s dancing is terrific, he really ‘feels’ it, he’s converted me for sure – lawdy, I’ve been saved! Thanks rebitology.

  68. Borrow scaper. Never use your own money for anything.

    Reb, didn’t pay any attention to the glasses. Now I have to go back and watch it again FFS.

  69. Maybe reb could do some late night TV ‘preaching’

    That’s a great idea KL..

    I could borrow one of TB’s polyester suits, and with a new hairdo I could look just like this well-respected preacher..

  70. I’m having fun but have to choof off. Have a family gathering to attend, and I just know I’ll be bored.

  71. I see Sparta has favoured us with some audio-visual from his friends.

    The first video purports to set the evils of Islamic terrorism in context by juxtaposing inflammatory quotes from the Koran with video of 911 etc.

    Hmmmm.

    Maybe someone could juxtapose the following quotes from the Bible against images of, oh, say, images of the Spanish Inquisition at work:

    Deuteronomy 5:9: “For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me”

    Deuteronomy: 18:20: “Any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die”

    Deuteronomy: 19:21 “And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

    Exodus 22.17: “You should not let a sorceress live”

    Psalms 68:21: “God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their evil ways”

    Samuel 15:17: “The Lord anointed you king of Israel and sent you on a mission saying: ‘Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them’.”

    Nice stuff eh?

    All fo which just goes to show that every Good Book has its Bad Bits, bits that will happily be latched-upon by arseholes to justify their hateful conduct.

    Our Islamic comrades sure don’t have a monopoly on this sort of thing.

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