Inna Shevchenko writes female blasphemy is essential to atheism.
It is pleasant to enjoy fully, without compromises, the freedom of speech, to enjoy blasphemy. When it comes to ideas – and let’s not forget that religious creeds are themselves ideas – we should be able to analyse, criticise, mock and do whatever our fantasies allow us to imagine, whether it is offensive to one or not.
It is very offensive to me, as a woman, a feminist and as an atheist, what is said by the Pope and Islam’s Imams. But I don’t start wielding a Kalashnikov; the most violent thing is do is pull my shirt up in front of these people, as a form of protest or just for fun, to see their red cheeks.
They say religious people have convictions. Well atheists have convictions too. Both should be able to express themselves without fear of being shot, whipped or imprisoned.
There is a tendency to draw back from criticism lest we offend but let’s be careful of what that means. As people might request that a sexist-racist-bigoted speaker not be allowed to speak to an opposing community, people must also demand to be heard by those who would quiet them.
The popular criticism of offense police is cried by those in power who facilitate the offense. They may think they are seeking free speech but they quell and mock those with whom they disagree, as then turn and say do not mock me, not wanting free speech to run both ways.
When Justice Holmes penned his free speech support he was also demanding that Vietnam protestors stop their protesting on campus, passing out leaflets, free speech. Free speech claims can be a hammer to enforce a particular view.
Female blasphemy is the most successful vehicle for secularism and freedom of speech. It is a demonstration of our common progress. By expressing rebellious atheism and committing blasphemy, we can destroy the unquestionable myth of super power and holiness that was built around religious ideologies, therefore creating free debates and showing the path towards a global liberation of society.
Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com