Pope Francis’s “one cannot insult other people’s faith” Claim is Very, Very Debatable

According to The Guardian, Pope Francis made a statement regarding hate speech towards religion in light of the Charlie Hebdo attacks that happened in Paris, France:

“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity…in freedom of expression there are limits.”

It is understandable why a very religious person such as the Pope would believe this, religious people naturally don’t like being insulted. But if he is insinuating that Charlie Hebdo should be outlawed, then here is an argument against that idea:

  1. While Charlie Hebdo is one of the most abhorrent magazine brands out there, they are only voicing their opinions through satirical comics, and while it does make a lot of people angry because their viewpoint is very controversial, they are purely exercising their freedom of expression and it is their right if they want to convey their opinion in such a manner.
  2.  Of course, the general consensus is that Charlie Hebdo is cancerous because they are intentionally flagrant towards groups, but if we limited insults towards religion like Pope Francis suggested, then multiple detrimental things would happen. For example, there would be an overload of lawsuits filed against those who criticise religion, and at the end of the day, people voicing their negative opinion towards religion would be illegal, which is government censorship. Government censorship is a dangerous road to go down, because when we start censoring certain opinions, then it makes it more acceptable to censor other offensive opinions, which is an aspect of a fascist government.

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