Last week Bill Maher continued his one man crusade to convince liberals that belittling and disrespecting Muslims and their faith is somehow a progressive position. This week he was joined in his proselytization by The Blaze analyst Will Cain.
The conversation focused on two separate Islamic-based news stories that the media covered recently. The first was opposition to an award being given by the PEN organization to the satirical French Magazine Charlie Hebdo for their "courage" in depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The second was a contest held in Texas where participants had to draw Prophet Muhammad.
For his part Maher stated: "This is America. Do we not have the right to draw whatever we want?", which Cain followed up with: "You don't just have a right to free speech -- when someone's position is 'if you offend me, I will kill you' it becomes virtuous for you to offend that person."
It should be noted that these comments both really miss the point of the opposition. No one is saying you can't draw a picture of the Prophet Muhammad -- we agree that is your first amendment right. What they are saying is, just because you can do something does that mean you should? It also begs the question; is intentionally offending someone because they have different beliefs than you really a sign of courage?
In schools this sort of premeditated provocation is called bullying and has caused numerous young adults to take their own lives. Who is to blame for their death? The kids doing the bullying or the kid who would rather die than be tortured another day? Cain apparently blames the bullied kid. Of course, some of those who are bullied end up killing the bullies instead. According to Cain, this means the media would be virtuous in relentlessly antagonizing this child since his bully was just practicing free speech.
If killing individuals based on religious beliefs deserves a full frontal assault on that religion, why has Cain never written or commented on the hundreds of LGBT killed every year in majority Christian countries? Shouldn't the media - Cain included - condemn all Christians for the acts of these few who can't control their temper? Isn't that the courageous and righteous thing to do?
One imagines Cain and those who agree with his position would be less inclined to support a contest for drawing Jesus as a homosexual or a museum exhibition of aborted fetuses held by a pro-choice organization. Yet you can bet a couple rednecks with guns would eventually show up to voice their displeasure.
It would also be considered free speech to use the N-word anywhere you want, yet the use of the word may likely cost you your life. Given this reality, shouldn't Will Cain drop the N-bomb every chance he gets? Wouldn't it be virtuous of him to hold an N-word blackface parade until those who would kill him change their mind?
When you continually and overtly belittle people for being who they are, eventually some of the people in these groups will respond violently. Is the answer to their violence really to be more offensive? Is unrelenting abuse really the best way to get someone to do a thorough self-examination, or does it just make you look like a jerk and further solidify the belief that those outside the group are the real problem?
No one is defending ISIS or other extremist Muslims groups, but realize that it's not just the extremist that you tick off with your blanket Islamic insults. By insisting on drawing the Prophet Muhammad to offend the murders, you are also offending those who would otherwise be your allies. The vast majority of U.S. citizens agree with the goal of ending religious extremism. We just disagree with how you get there, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your first amendment rights to be a total d-bag.