In Honor of Pope Francis Saying, “You Can’t Make Fun of the Faith of Others,” Here’s George Carlin

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Today Pope Francis spoke on the Islamist extremists attack on Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 dead and another 11 wounded. He condemned the violence, but claimed that there are limits to free speech. From The Telegraph:

“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said half-jokingly, throwing a mock punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

He went on to say, “There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others. They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit.”

Actually, you can. While Pope Francis may have been joking about the punch, that would be illegal and condemnable – you cannot assault someone no matter what they say about your mother – but free speech laws do cover mocking someone’s faith.

Now, you can argue that it is uncouth, or even unnecessary, but it is legal, and this special pleading by the Pope borders on victim blaming.

There is an ongoing and interesting debating happening as to whether the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were racist. Some make the argument that they were. Others claim that they were not. Still others seem to land somewhere in between.

This seems to be a place where intelligent, reasonable people can disagree. But claiming that you cannot mock someone’s faith, that seems to take a special type of unreasonable thinking.

Related: George Carlin Tells the Story of Getting Arrested with Lenny Bruce

Mocking and ridiculing bad ideas, which are found in abundance in any religious text you wish to name, is not only legal, it is an important part of building a saner, more rational, and more just society.

So, in honor of the Pope’s ridiculous and dangerous statement today, we present to you George Carlin performing his famous bit about religion, from his 1999 HBO special You Are All Diseased. Here’s a taste, but do watch the whole thing to get the full genius of George Carlin:

Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.

 

Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do, every minute of every day.

 

And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire, and smoke, and burning, and torture, and anguish, where he will send you to live, and suffer, and burn, and choke, and scream, and cry, forever and ever, till the end of time.

 

But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you, and he needs money. He always needs money. He always needs money.

 

He’s all powerful, all perfect, all knowing, and all wise, somehow, just can’t handle money.

 

Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always needs a little more. Now, you take about a good bullshit story. Ho-ly shit!

Enjoy, and keep standing up for free speech, no matter who tells you you better keep your mouth shut.

Let us know what you think of Pope Francis’ statement in the comments section.

Let us know what you think of Pope Francis’ statement in the comments section.


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Jeff Taylor

Jeff Taylor

Editor at Quotes Yes
Jeff Taylor is the editor of Quotes Yes. His work has also appeared in publications such as The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Inside Lacrosse.
Jeff Taylor

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About Jeff Taylor

Jeff Taylor is the editor of Quotes Yes. His work has also appeared in publications such as The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Inside Lacrosse.
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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: When George Carlin was Arrested with Lenny Bruce | Quotes Yes

  2. I agree with the pope. Anyone who says my mother is just an ordinary woman, I call their mother a fucking whore.

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