Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why does religion require censorship?

A recent post on Big Think posed the question "How Far can an Artist Go in a Religious Country?" I find the question far more interesting than Duggan's rather spineless non-answer. Why do religious people always seem to have tantrums about artwork that they don't like? Seems to me that it has little to do with the individual art works themselves. I see it as a sign of fear and weakness. Deep down perhaps these zealots realize there faith is rather pathetic. After all, they always complain that the art they seek to censor is critical of their religious beliefs. Why shouldn't it be assumed that it is a tacit admission that their beliefs are weak and unfounded? If their faith can withstand even the slightest criticism what can it be worth?

As for Duggan, I seriously doubt he would require an artist to make an "attempt at explaining the purpose behind his actions", if the work did not involve religious content/themes. I also doubt he would insist on "constructive rather than the destructive" forms of expression if it did not involve religion. So, I guess the answer is an artist can only goes as far as religious leash the most vocal zealots impose.

If religions or  religious people can't handle the exercise of free expression I suggest they withdraw from public life entirely. If they want to criticize or complain about other people's views that is, of course their right. However, banning and censoring expression is not their right. Anyone who thinks it is okay to coddle such people should be ashamed of themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment