"The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others." Does this extend to anti-homosexuality?

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    Sep 14, 2012 4:02 PM GMT
    http://www.volokh.com/2012/09/12/all-of-you-who-harshly-condemn-anti-homosexuality-religious-beliefs-take-note/
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    Sep 14, 2012 4:10 PM GMT
    And same for all of you who mock young earthers, or devout Scientologists, or believers in miracles — and all who say that, for instance, racist or sexist religious beliefs are contemptible — and maybe even all those who, even politely, contend that rival religions’ views are wrong and will deny salvation to the holders of those views:

    The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.

    So says the Secretary of State, in quite categorical terms. After all, in all the examples given above, you would presumably be intentionally denigrating the religious beliefs of others: saying that they are immoral and foolish. The U.S. government deplores your speech. It’s not just that the government doesn’t endorse the speech, not just that it deplores a limited and narrow category of blasphemous acts (e.g., burning a Koran, treading on a crucifix, and the like), but rather that it deplores any attempt to denigrate religious beliefs. Religious beliefs, which are routinely used by billions as a guide to private action and a guide to lawmaking, are supposed to be somehow immune from the denigration that is a commonplace and necessary part of debate about ideological beliefs generally.

    The government statement also rightly condemns the murder of American diplomats and soldiers, but in the process deplores anti-religious speech as well. And, yes, I understand the context in which the statement was made, the demands of diplomacy (which often include the need to lie), and the reality that the State Department likely cares only about denigration of those religious groups that contain a substantial extremist fringe likely to respond to the denigration with murder. But the statement says what it says, and deliberately goes beyond an expression of nonendorsement to an expression of official governmental condemnation.
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    Sep 14, 2012 4:11 PM GMT
    the English version of the U.S.-government-deplored movie trailer that has led to the most recent round of murder and other violence by extremist Muslims:

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    Sep 14, 2012 4:14 PM GMT
    JackBlair69 saidThis administration is the worst since Carter.


    As other pundits have pointed out, that may be a best case scenario.
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    Sep 14, 2012 4:17 PM GMT

    Riddler's article-with-a-spin-he-likes aside, here's what she actually said, in the correct context:



    http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/197628.htm
    .
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    Sep 14, 2012 4:21 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Riddler's article-with-a-spin-he-likes aside, here's what she actually said, in the correct context:



    http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/197628.htm
    .


    Is that statement out of context?

    Here's the entire statement - and I have highlighted the line:

    "I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.

    This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation.

    Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.

    In light of the events of today, the United States government is working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide."

    The statement is unequivocal. Or do you disagree?
  • HottJoe

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    Sep 14, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
    I wouldn't put it past scientologists or any miracle believing fringe group to commit murder. I think Clinton's speech was like when a TV network says the following program doesn't reflect the views of this station. Americans believe in freedom of speech, not in agreeing to the content of anyone's speech.

    As a nonreligious person, I personally thought it was just a poor quality propaganda movie, and I suspect that if Muslims made one like it about Jesus, there would probably be a lot of violence too. Both religions are easily offended. It makes the world a scary place.
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    Sep 14, 2012 4:42 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI wouldn't put it past scientologists or any miracle believing fringe group to commit murder. I think Clinton's speech was like when a TV network says the following program doesn't reflect the views of this station. Americans believe in freedom of speech, not in agreeing to the content of anyone's speech.

    As a nonreligious person, I personally thought it was just a poor quality propaganda movie, and I suspect that if Muslims made one like it about Jesus, there would probably be a lot of violence too. Both religions are easily offended. It makes the world a scary place.


    There have been a lot of things a lot worse about Jesus though... and the video is horrible... I mean you'd think they'd laugh at it before getting angry about it - especially given what comes from the US.

    Personally I don't think this had anything to do about the video except it was a convenient scapegoat for certain islamists to use around the anniversary of the date of the September 11th attacks. Clinton's statement did more than disavow the message - she condemned it and explicitly said the US was against any attempt to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. I mean even on this site, the ridicule and anger towards Christians is often palpable...
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    Sep 14, 2012 5:01 PM GMT
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/full-transcript-george-stephanopoulos-and-mitt-romney/
    MITT ROMNEY: Well, I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to see it. I you know, I think it’s dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film.
    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ve seen General Martin Dempsey call Pastor Jones to say, “Please don’t promote this film.” You think that’s a good idea?
    MITT ROMNEY: I think the whole film is a terrible idea. I think him making it, promoting it showing it is disrespectful to people of other faiths. I don’t think that should happen. I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment– the good judgment– not to be– not to offend other peoples’ faiths. It’s a very bad thing, I think, this guy’s doing.


    Looks like somebody else is deploring the intentional effort of this guy to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 14, 2012 5:21 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/full-transcript-george-stephanopoulos-and-mitt-romney/
    MITT ROMNEY: Well, I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to see it. I you know, I think it’s dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film.
    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ve seen General Martin Dempsey call Pastor Jones to say, “Please don’t promote this film.” You think that’s a good idea?
    MITT ROMNEY: I think the whole film is a terrible idea. I think him making it, promoting it showing it is disrespectful to people of other faiths. I don’t think that should happen. I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment– the good judgment– not to be– not to offend other peoples’ faiths. It’s a very bad thing, I think, this guy’s doing.


    Looks like somebody else is deploring the intentional effort of this guy to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. icon_rolleyes.gif


    And yet he's on record as placing a priority on freedom of speech.
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    Sep 14, 2012 7:43 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    q1w2e3 said
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/full-transcript-george-stephanopoulos-and-mitt-romney/
    MITT ROMNEY: Well, I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to see it. I you know, I think it’s dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film.
    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ve seen General Martin Dempsey call Pastor Jones to say, “Please don’t promote this film.” You think that’s a good idea?
    MITT ROMNEY: I think the whole film is a terrible idea. I think him making it, promoting it showing it is disrespectful to people of other faiths. I don’t think that should happen. I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment– the good judgment– not to be– not to offend other peoples’ faiths. It’s a very bad thing, I think, this guy’s doing.


    Looks like somebody else is deploring the intentional effort of this guy to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. icon_rolleyes.gif


    And yet he's on record as placing a priority on freedom of speech.


    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/09/mitt-romney-apologizes-americaNotice anything? It's pretty much the exact same sentiment expressed by the US Embassy in Cairo—the one that prompted Romney to accuse the Obama administration of sympathizing with extremists: "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims–as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." Like Romney, the Embassy went on to explain (in a subsequent tweet) that an offensive low-budget film was no justification for attacks.

    There's nothing wrong with Romney's condemnation of bigotry. The only mystery is why he ever thought there was.
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    Sep 14, 2012 8:33 PM GMT
    [quote]bold;">The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. [/quote]

    What about forcing the Catholic Church (of which I am NOT a fan, by the way) to pay for contraception?
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    Sep 14, 2012 8:49 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    riddler78 said
    q1w2e3 said
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/full-transcript-george-stephanopoulos-and-mitt-romney/
    MITT ROMNEY: Well, I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to see it. I you know, I think it’s dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film.
    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ve seen General Martin Dempsey call Pastor Jones to say, “Please don’t promote this film.” You think that’s a good idea?
    MITT ROMNEY: I think the whole film is a terrible idea. I think him making it, promoting it showing it is disrespectful to people of other faiths. I don’t think that should happen. I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment– the good judgment– not to be– not to offend other peoples’ faiths. It’s a very bad thing, I think, this guy’s doing.


    Looks like somebody else is deploring the intentional effort of this guy to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. icon_rolleyes.gif


    And yet he's on record as placing a priority on freedom of speech.


    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/09/mitt-romney-apologizes-americaNotice anything? It's pretty much the exact same sentiment expressed by the US Embassy in Cairo—the one that prompted Romney to accuse the Obama administration of sympathizing with extremists: "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims–as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." Like Romney, the Embassy went on to explain (in a subsequent tweet) that an offensive low-budget film was no justification for attacks.

    There's nothing wrong with Romney's condemnation of bigotry. The only mystery is why he ever thought there was.


    Because it was not in the same series of sentences related to the bombings - which made it appear to mitigate and put the attacks on the same level as the supposed offense. Further, what Romney was enunciating was not official US policy but part of an interview. Meanwhile Obama in a different interview does an incredible foreign relations fumble mistakenly saying a middle eastern country for which they've worked with all this time is no longer an ally. A statement that his own spokespeople have to correct after.