Can We Be the Bigger Person?

                                                    (or are we slaves of our principles?)

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here once again. Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Willow has plumped the cushions and started a cozy fire so we can warm ourselves while we have a cuppa and chat. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

The horror of the terrorist killings in France this week has thrown a pall over international news. My heart and prayers go out to all those who have been hurt or killed and their families and friends. I abhor this behaviour on the part of those terrorists who are hiding behind the label of “Muslim”, a religion that is, at its heart, a study of peace. That said, I won’t elaborate as there has been ample coverage in the media and I am sure many are overloaded with the images and pain. As a non-practicing Christian I have some questions, though, and I wonder if any of you have wondered the same. Given that the Muslim religion makes it clear that it is forbidden to create an image of Mohammed, and the terrorists have made it clear that they will attack anyone who does, then why do people continue to create those images?

The examples that I have seen of those who have created images mocking Mohammed, have done so for purposes of creating controversy while being paid to make profits for companies. I don’t understand why they feel the need to mock the beliefs of a religious group. Is it the money they are paid to do their “jobs”? Is that the reason? Is it a hatred of Muslims that drives the need to produce cartoons of Mohammed? Those producing these images know before they do, that what they are doing is abhorrent to about a billion people. They know that there is a faction out there who has sworn to kill anyone who does this. What is the driving reason to produce those images? It is certainly not helping anyone else, other than providing a target for derision for those who enjoy belittling others.

Would you like a refill of your cuppa? A sweet perhaps?

Many of the world’s first nations media and leaders are standing solid on freedom of expression or freedom of speech as an inalienable right. That may be so but at what point does that turn into the promulgation of hatred? And even if one believes freedom of speech is inalienable, why would anyone do something that they are basically guaranteed will result in their death? As an old truck driver, I am reminded of a common adage that many drivers live: it is far better to go home alive than it is to be right and dead. That is used daily by virtually every driver out there. How many times do we avoid accidents when we have the right, legally, to kill someone? Answer: many times a day. There is a higher order of understanding above the rules- and that is “be safe”. Human life and life in general, is more valuable than any principle. The rules were made for Man but Man was not made for the rules.

Many will argue that if the Muslims are living in our country, then they should obey our rules. And really, that is a good perspective, generally. However there is an even higher perspective and that is: can we accommodate their beliefs without damage or harm to anyone in our current society? Are we big enough to look at ourselves through their eyes and understand what is important to them? By doing so, we can solve many of the confrontations and adversarial views. There are some things that we cannot accept for it would lead to the death or harm to others – such as Sharia Law. But there are other things, such as refraining from producing images of Mohammed, that are easy to do and do not reduce us one whit.

I do not believe that principles should have a higher importance than human life. And that goes for the Muslim terrorists who are attacking journalists and cartoonists. It also applies to us – we do not need to make images of Mohammed – it is not a valid argument, in my mind, that the Freedom of Speech trumps human life. In fact, this has been proven many times in our own courts – that the safety of people comes before any principle. The law is made to keep people safe, when it is doing otherwise, then we make an exception to that law. There is a legal argument in some jurisdictions that that which is necessary (saves lives for instance) is legal regardless of the written law. Freedom of Speech is NOT inalienable, human safety is inalienable.

Some interesting reading over here

I have to give credit for today’s topic to Doobster over at Mindful Digressions http://mindfuldigressions.com/2015/01/09/good-old-american-censorship-redux/ .He did a post that triggered these thoughts and although we do not agree, he has the right to his opinion– Ha!

Personally my week has been rather uneventful – hiding inside from the bone numbing cold of -34 earlier in the week. Other than that, not much exciting. How about you? Anything exciting in your world this week?

That’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and watch the fire. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for tea again next week.

And of course  the


over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

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