Lauren Markoe of Religion News Service is among the commentators who believe that President Barack Obama yesterday laid out a kind of Obama Doctrine on Religion and Religious Freedom in his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations. It’s five key points, she writes, are
that blasphemy, however regrettable, must be tolerated;
that respect for religion is a two-way street;
that violence is not a legitimate response when one’s religion is insulted;
that in its religious diversity, the United States is “one nation under God”
that extremism is dangerous.
Among the President’s more potentially controversial statements: “Given the power of faith in our lives, and the passions that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech. … When anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.”
Meanwhile, on The New York Times‘ Opinionator blog. Andrew F. March wants to know, “What’s wrong with blasphemy? He asks:
Suppose there had not been a single riot in response to the now infamous video “The Innocence of Muslims,” Not a single car burned, not a single embassy breached, not a single human being physically hurt. Would the makers of this risible little clip have done anything wrong? If so, to whom, and why?