In Mohammed’s Face

Freedom. Freedom of expression even when it makes someone else uncomfortable, is part of being American. That’s why, when someone burns the flag, I blanch a bit, but I grimace and take it.

The God of our Judeo-Christian culture says in Deuteronomy 30:19:

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

God will not force your hand. He may strongly guide you, but you must choose.

A burnt flag may offend my sensibilities but it doesn’t harm me anymore than a cross drenched in piss does. It’s vile and rather banal, really, as art goes, but the artists are free to do it.

So today, is Everybody Draw Mohamed Day. Opinions are decidedly mixed. There are those who think it’s un-Christian to do it. I wouldn’t go that far. I mean, really. There are times when I find it hilarious to have my faith parodied. Good grief, have you been to church? God has to have a sense of humor.

Now, the distinction is that Muslims find a picture offensive. Oh WHATEVER. Here’s the best retort for that argument from Mark Steyn:

As Mr Gillespie says:

It is nothing less than amazing that holy men decrying the desecration of their religion would create such foul images, but there you have it. It is as if the pope created “Piss Christ” and then passed it off as the work of critics of Catholicism.

So, if it really is a sin to depict Mohammed, then these imams will be roasting in hell. (Unless, of course, taqqiya permits Muslims to break their own house rules for the purpose of sticking it to the infidels.)

But, that aside, the clerics’ action underlines what’s going on: the real provocateurs are the perpetually aggrieved and ever more aggressive Islamic bullies – emboldened by the silence of “moderate Muslims” and the preemptive capitulation of western media. I was among a small group of columnists in the Oval Office when President Bush, after running through selected highlights from a long list of Islamic discontents, concluded with an exasperated: “If it’s not the Crusades, it’s the cartoons.” That’d make a great bumper sticker: It encapsulsates both Islam’s inability to move on millennium-in millennium-out, plus the grievance-mongers’ utter lack of proportion.

Bookworm has a MUST read piece about this issue. Here’s what she says:

So Everybody Draw Mohamed Day is a good thing because it affirms who we are – an Enlightened Western civilization dedicated, in varying degrees, to free speech – and because it reminds everyone that, in a pluralistic society, no one group gets to use violence and intimidation to engage in capricious, and increasingly restrictive, decisions about what is offensive.

To me, though, the most important reason for observing Everybody Draw Mohamed Day is to remind us, not of who we are, but who we are NOT. As a nation, we are not Muslims.

Of course, some of us are Muslims, but those who are, at least in America, are Muslims voluntarily. This is, after all, a a nation dedicated to the proposition that its citizens can worship freely. Provided that we do not impinge on the public well-being, we are allowed to choose our faith, follow our chosen doctrine, and engage in the many and varied religious observances so freely available in this great land.

If I’m Catholic, I get to go to Mass and, if I’m very traditional female worshiper, I can wear a lovely lace mantilla in church. If I’m Jewish, I attend my services on Friday night and Saturday morning. If I’m ultra-Orthodox and male, I wear a prayer shawl; if I’m female, I wear a wig and modest clothing. If I’m Mormon, I wear my ritual undergarments and have reserved to me the special privilege of access to the Temple. If I’m Buddhist, I engage in contemplation. If I’m Muslim, I pray five times a day and abstain from alcohol. If I’m Unitarian, I believe anything I damn well please, as long as I do so in civil and liberal fashion. Heck, such are America’s blessings that I can be nothing at all, turning my back on God, and sneering every time I see a coin with the imprint “In God We Trust.” I am what I believe I should be, what my family raised me to be, and what my chosen religious community practices.

But if I accede to Muslim demands that I refrain from drawing Mohamed or pigs or boars or ice cream logos or buddhas, I have tacitly conceded that I am Muslim. After all, I am confirming my behavior to Muslim doctrine.

Muslims understand this. Their rage over these images isn’t about the images themselves. It is, instead, about incrementally drawing all of us into the Muslim faith. After all, once you’ve stopped creating images offensive to Muslims, and stopped making movies offensive to Muslims, and stopped writing books offensive to Muslims, and stopped saying things offensive to Muslims, and stopped your stores from selling the pork and alcohol offensive to Muslims, and attired your women in burqas to protect them from rampaging Muslims, well – you’re pretty much a practicing Muslim. You’ve been converted, and you didn’t even realize it was happening.

Free. I am free.

I refuse to submit. I will not submit. They will have to kill me first. And that’s what some in this faith are fully prepared to do.

This ideology is at direct opposition to the Judeo-Christian Western tradition of choice. We should fight this oppression in all forms. Drawing Mohamed is a rather innocuous way to do it.

Tabitha Hale asks, “How is this showing Christ to anyone”? Well, Christ set before His followers choice. They got to choose. They were free to speak–even the women, the beggar, the criminal–all could come to Him. But he converted no one by force. His actions revealed the Roman oppression. His actions stand in stark contrast to the modern Islamofascist.

When I choose to make a joke about Mohamed (if I choose too, which I don’t), I am demonstrating freedom. Freedom and Christ are indelibly linked.

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