Mark Woods, a Baptist minister writing in Christian Today (a UK Magazine) says Christian have a duty to protect free speech, even blasphemy.
“It’s International Blasphemy Day on Friday. Initiated by the New York-based Center for Inquiry in 2009 in the wake of the Danish Muhammad cartoons controversy, it’s designed to press home the need for everyone to be able to say what they like about religion without fear of being punished for it.
Forget for a moment that it was started by an atheist organisation. Forget that blasphemy and mockery directed against the God in whom we believe hurts and stings. This is something all Christians should support”
He then offers three reasons, each grounded in our fundamental understanding of who God is as revealed in Christ.
1. Blasphemy laws kill people
“…There’s something profoundly disturbing about the idea that God should require the services of an executioner to protect His honour. When Christians stand up against blasphemy laws, we aren’t denying God’s glory, we are affirming it: we’re saying he is untouchable by human ignorance, scorn or abuse”
2. Blasphemy laws compromise religious freedom
“…if we defend the blasphemy law in a Christian country but not in a Muslim one, we’re playing the world’s game. We aren’t actually saying anything different about how faith works or about the God in whom we believe. We’re still saying he needs defending by law.”
And number 3? Well, you should go and check out all that Rev Woods has to say here
image: abid nawaz/the Express Tribune: Pakistan