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Anglican Bishops Call for U.N. Ban on Blasphemy

More blogs »Posted on Sep 25 2012

As I read the headline reproduced in this blog post’s title, my heart sank. I read the news voraciously and notice when Anglicans get mentioned. It was a response by four bishops from Egypt, Cyprus and the Gulf, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. It is a response to the wave of protests which mention an anti-Islamic video made in America. In their letter to Secretary Ban Ki-Moon of the UN, reproduced in http://anglicanink.com , they did ask for “an international declaration be negotiated that outlaws the intentional and deliberate insulting or defamation of persons (such as prophets), symbols, texts and constructs of belief deemed holy by people of faith.”

A few things need to be said. First is given where these bishops serve, I think it was necessary for them to strongly condemn the thing that has gotten so much attention. A Christian in Egypt or North Africa must be seen clear in condemning a video that seems made only to insult, not to convince. Especially now, it’s dangerous being where these Christians are, God bless them.

Had they stopped with a UN resolution condemning hateful speech directed at any religion, I would have been satisfied. I think that video ought to be condemned, it was pitiful, and I watched as much of it as I could tolerate before my computer spontaneously shut down (that might have been a Windows 7 issue, but the video is that bad). But to ‘outlaw’ such a thing? Ignore, ridicule, or denounce the video, but laws are less like surgical scalpels and more like baseball bats. With reason respond that the video does no good and makes the people who support it look vile. I’m concerned that outlawing the video would cost me the ability to question honor killings, female circumcision, or how and why Sharia law should be integrated into a western countries’ law code.

And, finally, I’d never have discovered the worst thing I’d ever seen on Youtube were it not for the protests. It reminds me of the time, in my college years, I helped lead a picket protest in front of the theater in Auburn as it showed the movie “Life of Brian”, taken by many to insult Jesus Christ. I was amazed when the owner of the theater brought us all sorts of refreshments while we protested. Later I realized we dramatically increased ticket sales for the movie. If not for us, hardly anyone would have paid to see the movie. Lesson learned.

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