Religious groups are particularly intolerant of free speech when it comes to insulting their gods or prophets. Recently some Hindu groups were pissed off about Kali being depicted in a video game in an obscene manner. Some time ago, they raised a hue and cry when a play made fun of Ganeshin Melbourne.
Before I continue, let me address the most common point raised by certain religious groups – that no one complains when Muslims object to depictions and insults to their prophet Mohammed. This is false. I openly supported the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” in 2010 which encouraged people to draw funny or offensive pictures of Mohammed. I also spoke in favor of Terry Jone’s freedom of expression when he was lambasted for burning the Koran. Everyone should have the freedom to insult any kind of god they want regardless of religion.
That includes Hindu gods like Kali, Ganesh and Vishnu or any other god and goddess.
Perhaps the worst example of all is how the Catholic church is hounding the atheist Sanal Edamaruku for debunking the fake “miracle” of water dripping from a Jesus statue. So we have examples of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity – all three religions getting outraged by some insult to their “gods”.
As an atheist, of course I find this ridiculous because gods don’t exist. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume that they do. Let’s say gods are real. Now what?
Well, if people have respect for their gods (and I assume that they do), then they should know that gods should be able to protect themselves. How do you know they don’t like to be insulted? If someone insulted me, I and only I should have the right to take the person to court for defamation. I would be very offended if someone did it without consulting me and without taking my permission.
Ergo, if Jesus, Ram or Mohammed have a problem with others making fun of them, let them come to the courts and fight! Other people have no business getting in the way. Unless of course they admit that these gods don’t exist, in which case there’s no insult. You can’t insult imaginary people.
But apart from the finer points of law, does anyone really think that all powerful beings responsible for the creation of the universe need their help? That they are going to be so damn offended by what anyone chooses to say?
And last I saw, all of these gods had punishment mechanisms during the afterlife. They can easily send the “blasphemers” to hell if they want after they die. So they’ll get their punishment already no? By taking them to court while they still live, religious people display their own disbelief in scriptures. They should quietly sit back and say “Don’t worry – you’re going to hell when you die”!
Everyone has the right to offend gods. To make a mockery of them, and to insult them if they want. Not everyone will choose to use that right of course, because most people are not jerks who want to hurt other people’s feelings. Those who’re offended are more than welcome to socially boycott them. And that’s how it should work. Nothing is sacred and protected by the law. No one is above criticism and mockery.