Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Abhorrent as is the practice of spreading fiction as some sort of “truth”, persuading people to invest themselves in a widely imagined deity, etc, it is within the rights of free people both to promulgate these ideas and to embrace them. A moral line is crossed, however, when such teachings issue in effect a license to violate others’ rights, to do harm to others, to murder, or to diminish in any way, the humanity, rights, and freedoms of others. Inducement to kill or do mayhem in the name of some set of religious ideas amounts to nothing less than a relinquishment of the rights of the perpetrators, and makes them a legitimate target for whatever measures are necessary to protect the rights and freedoms of the population at large from the threat they represent. There must be no confusion on this point. Hiding behind claims of religion and charity does not absolve the perpetrators of the responsibility for their crimes. A crime is a crime whether perpetrated in pursuit of personal gain or in the guise of some religious imperative. Moreover, anyone who supports, even tacitly or passively, the perpetrators of these acts carries on his or her shoulders some responsibility, some guilt for the deeds themselves.