Greetings, readers! It's been a while since I've posted on the blog, and there's really little more to it than being insanely busy working long hours through the would-be holidays and all. It's more than a little bit annoying that CES happens pretty much the first working week of January (after the New Year's holidays and all). Well, it was like this last year as well, and this year, the crunch was not quite as bad, but there was a lot more shown from my department this time. Anyway, during all this, there was the attack on Charlie Hebdo after a supposedly insulting-to-Muslims cartoon appeared, and there's already plenty out there about the attack itself. What I wanted to get on was the so-called "liberal" reaction.
We generally expect the atheist community to have a problem with the attacks, but the flavor of multiculturalism that imbues the so-called liberal viewpoint comes out with every condemnation of violence hedged and qualified. "Freedom of speech is incredibly important but..." "Violence is inexcusable but..." If there's a "but" in that sentence, it means that you're willing to make exceptions for that principle, and that already puts you on a spiral of wrongness. All the "but"s regarding the Charlie Hebdo attack basically lead down this view that insulting religion is inherently wrong, and therefore, Charlie Hebdo brought it on themselves. One article on Time suggested that anything that could be construed as an insult to Muslims automatically means you're not a bastion of free speech. The Daily Beast said that being deliberately provocative isn't really part of free speech. Really? Then what is? The worst part is that this is also a sentiment coming from the right wing religious nutbars (in a thinly veiled effort to intimate that they, too, should be shielded from all criticism). If you're a self-described social liberal, and you find yourself agreeing with Bill Donohue, there's a chink in your armor somewhere.