Wednesday, February 22, 2006
The "Western idolatry" of free press
I would never run out of subject matter if I simply devoted this entire blog to refuting the spurious reasoning of certain writers, the title of one of whose editorials gave rise to this post. Certain schools of thought have commented on the cartoon controversy that of course there should be offense taken at the desecration of religious symbols; the press is simply only interested in its own "western idolotry" of free expression which yahadut rejects. With chodesh Adar fast approaching I cannot believe these writers would forget the gemara in Megillah 25b "kol letzeinusa asura l'bar m'letzanusa d'avodah zarah" - in short, making fun of avodah zarah is not only permitted, but encouraged! Whether Islam is technically avodah zarah is not the point. The point is that the fact that ovdei avodah zarah hold their beliefs sacrosanct does not at all bother the halacha - take a good vicious verbal insult whack at your local idolatry! So much for limiting free speech to protect what others hold dear and sacred.
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I would make the following distinction.ReplyDelete
ain hachi nami leitanus of avodah zara is mutar and there is no problem making fun of peoples idols. However, as a public policy do we want to promote that idea especially when it could backfire on us? I believe that is what people arguing gainst the cartoons are saying. Tey might agree that m'ikar hadin it is mutar but we don't need to tell that to everyone and have it backfire on us.