When Conservatives Collide

Conservatives generally have no problem finding common ground in demonstrating how misguided, morbid, counterproductive, and just plain silly liberal positions are.

Therefore, it is more than worthy of attention when conservatives disagree about a particular event or expressed position. One such is the holding of a contest in Texas asking artists to submit pictorial representations of the “Prophet” Mohammad.

Was this a provocative and unnecessary event deliberately designed to stimulate a savage and violent response from radical Muslims or rather a legitimate prompt to exercise free expression on a subject which seems the very essence of a principle denying same?

Bill O’Reilly thinks that the contest was a mistake because it unnecessarily put law enforcement in jeopardy. Other conservatives maintain that the exercise of free speech should not depend upon the degree of community tranquility that might ensue therefrom.

Although no armed confrontation between legitimate lawmen and outlaw savages is to be wished, one in which two terrorists bite the dust without loss of legal lives is not altogether a bad thing.

Police and military personnel live in danger every day, and we thank our lucky stars for them. On this occasion, at least, that heroism has been rewarded with two more terrorist notches on their belt.

Views: 187

Comment by alsoknownas on May 13, 2015 at 8:09am

"Legal lives" is certainly a telling phrase.

Comment by koshersalaami on May 13, 2015 at 9:51am

There are two issues here. 

The first is whether conservatives would approve of such a contest involving Christian symbols. The closest example I can think of is the Piss Christ case, though that one's a little more convoluted because it involved government funding, and straight censorship isn't an identical issue to government support. Also, I'm not at all sure there was unanimity about this in the conservative camp, you could probably answer that one better than I could. Still, I'd like to be able to assume that conservatives would approach this question with a single standard, and I hesitate to assume that. 

The second has to do with the nature of the event itself. There is only one reason to ask for pictures of the Prophet Mohammed, and that's to offend Muslims. Saying that it's legal to hold such a contest is a little like saying that it was legal for the Nazis to march in Skokie. The point behind both actions was to send a message to a targeted religious population that they are hated. This to me as a Jew is an anti-defamation issue. This is a majority population telling a minority population that we can persecute you whenever the Hell we want. 

Why isn't shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater a free speech issue? Because there ultimately has to be some kind of balance between choice and consequences - choice doesn't automatically win 100% of the time by definition.  Because freedom of speech is about freedom from persecution, not freedom to persecute. 

It would be one thing to argue against a contest for pictures of Mohammed on the basis of fear. I argue against such a contest on the basis of consideration. 

Comment by koshersalaami on May 13, 2015 at 11:33am

desert rat,
I don't like it from a moral standpoint and I don't like it from a strategic standpoint. Telling a minority that they are not to be respected doesn't strike me as fitting with the way America portrays itself. Radicalizing Muslim kids for the Hell of it when you're ostensibly afraid of terrorism is just stupid, and radicalizing them is exactly what rejecting them on the basis of their religion will accomplish. 

Comment by Gordon Osmond on May 13, 2015 at 12:37pm

Very sophisticated stuff.  I'm a simple soul that despises the initiation of physical force and is thankful when the initiators are taken down by retaliatory force. By this standard, Geller and those that killed the terrorists are in the clear.

And yes, I person who violates the law is an illegal person.

Comment by koshersalaami on May 13, 2015 at 1:08pm
I'm not making the point that the violent shouldn't be treated as violent. I'm making the point that deliberate provocation is not innocent. You asked the question:

"Was this a provocative and unnecessary event deliberately designed to stimulate a savage and violent response from radical Muslims or rather a legitimate prompt to exercise free expression on a subject which seems the very essence of a principle denying same?"

The first. The only free expression exercised here was freedom to provoke. Provocation can be worth it if it is provocation in the service of some kind of greater good, but this was essentially pure provocation. Those doing this were saying "Accept humiliation or accept legal punishment, in this case death."
Comment by Gordon Osmond on May 13, 2015 at 2:25pm

Fortunately, the Constitution doesn't distinguish between purposeful and pure provocation.  Those with a brain can come up with ways of rejecting humiliation without resort to automatic weapons.

Comment by Arthur James on May 13, 2015 at 2:40pm

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no conceal the

identity of the

blogger ` desert

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that a secret.

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Comment by koshersalaami on May 14, 2015 at 6:19am
Sure, it is Constitutional to attack people's religions, but that doesn't make it right. And not every jury will ignore every provocation, regardless of law.

You are the one who asked the question about provocation. You either meant the question or you didn't.
Comment by Arthur James on May 14, 2015 at 6:27am

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flaccid self-promotion.

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eventually Witness the

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no Violate Natural Laws.

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Comment by Gordon Osmond on May 14, 2015 at 7:26am

Of course I "meant" the question. But that doesn't  mean that I agree with every answer to it, most notably yours.

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