The Steve Hilton Show is a morning show broadcast on WTJS 1390AM and 94.1FM in Jackson, TN.  Recently the host stated on air that those who would make fun of religion were idiots.  The following is my exchange.

 

Steve I was listening to the show this morning and was curious why you think anyone who makes light of religion is an idiot. My response would be that if you don’t like your religion being shown as absurd then don’t be part of such an absurd religion.

Islam was founded by an illiterate business man who claims to been contacted three times by an archangel who commanded him to write; who flew on the magical horse Al-Burāq; and many many other utterly fatuous claims. You know what, do not think any of that happened. I think Mohammad was crazy cult leader and a pedophile who took children as wives, the youngest being 9 when he first raped her. Might this piss off Muslims, sure it might. Should I give a damn, no.

Who is the idiot here? The person believes these mythical claims om nothing but faith(gullibility). Or the person who says they think these stores are stupid we could publish a cartoon about them?

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What I said John, was anyone who purposely makes fun of any religion is stupid because of inciting and fanning the flames right now. I don’t really care what one believes or takes a stand…personal stands are like opinions and everyone has one. I am referring to all the turmoil that being an idiot/stupid for causing the grief that it does. It’s no more that than the insults against Christianity. I also have opinions about the various belief systems, and the fanaticism in all of them, but to do something to purposely inflame it…is stupid…and the person who does such for the sake of doing it….is an idiot…

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Do you not realize that by capitulating to the demands of fanatics who demand constraints on thought you are giving ground? You also said that movie l was not the real pretense but merely a cover/excuse, which it was. When the religious fascist demand the world not lampoon their demigod Mohammad the first thing a free and open society should do is raise a collective middle finger to their demands and to their fatuous claims. No group, religious or otherwise, may tell the rest of the world how to think. They will find some excuse to cause mayhem regardless. You know this Steve, why am I having to tell you?

Fanatical islam wants nothing less than the restoration of a lost islamic empire. Their religion tells them to spread their religion and they cannot do that with controlling the speech and the presses. Obama kowtowed to them like a scared bitch. Regan would have parked a carrier group off the coast and told the the mullahs and asked which mullah wanted to meet Allah first. You cannot play with these people Steve and that is what Obama is doing, playing politics with 3rd world religious tyrants.

Anyone who would sacrifice liberty for security deserves neither, those who do are the real idiots.

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Then why are you explaining it…and you could have posted anyone but Christopher Hitchens…who I am NOT a fan of. I understand freedom of speech, and I understand the right to express opinion…and both are highly valued in this country. However, moral turpitude was also invented in this country and I believe it applies to what I said. Even though you have the right, there are sometimes instances where you shouldn’t say it or do it…then the morality and belief system of others you have a tendency to infringe upon. Just because you have a right doesn’t mean you SHOULD exercise it at an inappropriate time. We all know how the Middle East gets their feathers in a ruffle right now, so why inflame it just because you can say I’m entitled to my opinion. You can be a butthead, but you don’t have to let everyone know it, even though it’s your right to step up and announce it.

I do my best to tell everyone that my show is based upon my opinions…and your opinion is welcome as well. I may not agree with it, and you may not agree with mine…but I have one more thing that you do, and that’s an off switch. Didn’t say it was right or wrong, but I have the ability… Now, I have a strong opinion about all things patriotic…obviously you found that out. Here it is in a nutshell…you have a right to say it…you have a right to do it under freedom of speech…(even though Congress is in process of adding an amendment of flag desecration)…there is only a slight fine for assaulting someone who does burn it, and I figure this is the part of the country that would test that theory. Now, as well as I understand the Constitutional Authority guarantees the RIGHT to burn it and to publish naked women’s pictures as free speech, doesn’t mean that you should do either…because there are moral consequences…Oh, and if you didn’t understand when I brought up moral turpitude…it means that you can be convicted under an undefined crime considered reprehensible to fellow man…where COULD you go with that?

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I did not expect you to be a fan of the Hitch. Sometimes people’s bigotry toward rationalist, freethinkers and those who disbelieve in mythology keeps them from greater understanding.

As far as the possibly of infringing upon the “morality and belief system of others”, I do not place myself under the government of the belief systems of others and reserve the right to “infringe”, as you say, upon them at my leisure if their belief system requires that I surrender my liberty. I also disagree with your use of “infringe” when it comes to “other’s beliefs”. For example, Islam teaches that it is immoral to wear golden trinkets or silk clothes, or eat pork or other forbidden meats; but I am not a Muslim, I do not adhere to the Islamic “system of belief” and though he may take great offense at my discarding the mandates of his “system”; I am not infringing upon anything. Infringement would necessitate my using force to prevent HIM from adhering to his system.
You claim that just because you have a right does not mean you SHOULD exercise it at an inappropriate time. Well according to the Islamic tyrants, there can never be an appropriate time. They demand that you and I respect their assertion that Mohammad was the final prophet of Allah and if you or I dare to question that assertion we are worthy of death. NO! I say to hell with their demands for respect, to hell with their prophet, to hell with their tyrannical system of religion. You cannot give them one inch Steve. They require absolute submission to the words of the Koran and you aiding and abetting them in their endeavor.
Being a butt-head is small change compared to having your head cut off with a dull knife Steve. Did you ever watch any of those videos? I did and I saw the true face of these sadistic barbarians. Truth is like rain, it does not care who it falls on. If refusing to be silent in the face of threats from a bunch of camel jockeys makes me and others buttheads fine, but there are some of us see what’s really going on and know if we give in now to their threats they will just want more later on.

You assert that you have a strong opinion about all things patriotic. Why then are you willing to side with the radical religious crowds who are trying to impose worldwide blasphemy laws?

“Now, as well as I understand the Constitutional Authority guarantees the RIGHT to burn it and to publish naked women’s pictures as free speech, doesn’t mean that you should do either” <- STRAWMAN FALLACY I never said it was right Steve, I only questioned the logic of becoming angry with someone who burns a flag they themselves own.

What do you mean by “moral consequences”? What right does one citizen have to arbitrarily define morality for others; to dictate what someone does with their property? If you find it morally wrong to burn a flag, then do not burn a damn flag. Jefferson wrote that “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only & not opinions”. Your opinion is that flag burning is not good, but the action of flag burning does you absolutely no harm. What is truly immoral is your advocating for laws imposing criminal punishment for something which you simply dislike, it is born of a childish need to have your feelings protected, and it is arbitrary and capricious. Demanding respect for a symbol that you personally hold sacred and demanding those who do not obey your belief be punished is not different than the religious fascist demanding those who do not respect their belief be punished. Two sides of the same coin Steve.

BTW, Moral turpitude was used under common law systems; it is outdated and has since been done away with outside of immigration.

Male circumcision is the removal of some or the entire foreskin (prepuce) from the penis.  Arguments that have been raised in favor of circumcision include that it provides important health advantages which outweigh the risks, has no substantial effects on sexual function, has a low complication rate when carried out by an experienced physician, and is best performed during the neonatal period.  Those raised in opposition to circumcision include that it adversely affects penile function and sexual pleasure, is justified only by medical myths, is extremely painful, and is a violation of human rights.

Within this debate I find myself firmly in opposition to this act of physical injury that degrades the appearance and function of the penis.  It is genital mutilation.

I found myself compelled to put my thoughts into words because the issue has weighed on me since before my son was born.  After explaining my opposition, my wife supported my decision to forgo circumcision and my mother has been opposed to the act since I was born and the doctors persuaded her to have me circumcised.

It is hard not to become passionate about the subject when it directly relates to my son, who is sleeping peacefully beside me at the moment.  Just tonight, at a new years gathering, my sister-in-law questioned if my son had been circumcised and when I asked her why she thought it was important she made reference to men who have come to the clinic she is employed with regarding infections of their penis.  I asked her if I was to assume that because some guys didn’t know how to properly clean themselves I should therefore assume my son would do the same.  She had no reply.  Later I broached the subject again and asked her if she thought that female circumcision was ethical.  She, not surprisingly, said it was not but that male circumcision was “biblical” and that she could think this because we were in her house.  It was at this point that my wife intervened and my sister-in-law, not wanting her flawed logic and opinions challenged, casually walked away.

First, where an argument is made lends no weight to its truth or falsity.  I never argued that she was not entitled to her opinion but being in her home does not entitle her to be correct about a given subject.  As she decided to walk away and deprive me of the ability to address her directly I am writing this as an open letter.

Now, regarding the act being “Biblical”, it is true that according to the Old Testament God commanded Abraham and every male member of his tribe to be circumcised as part of a covenant.  However the Old Testament states God commanded his people to do many things which we would now judge as unethical or immoral but I’ll leave that topic for another discussion.

My refutation to this argument is simple.  Abraham, not I, made that covenant.  Neither my son nor I made, nor could we make, any covenant when we were newborns and cannot be bound by those made by our parents.  I reserve the right to refuse Abraham’s covenant, to not be placed under its government, and to not be bound by the customs of desert nomads from 6000 years ago.  Of those I know, no one follows the laws of Leviticus as commanded but I know plenty of people, like my sister-in-law, who will cherry pick which laws they think are still “good.”

How can it be that your child is born, supposedly designed by God, and then, after admiring such a beautiful newborn, a parent can turn their head and allow a section of his genitals to be painfully cut away?  Any reason given to justify circumcision is invalidated by one fact.  Every individual, no matter how young, has a right to be secure in his or her own body and decide for themselves what they will keep and discard.  I have neither the power nor the right to decide anything regarding the appearance of my son’s penis.  I may only decide those medical treatments needed to preserve his life.  This human right is more sacred to me than any preachment or declaration by Abraham and, if told to choose between logic, reason, and my own moral compass or what is “Biblical”; I choose logic and reason; Abraham and scripture be damned.  Circumcision is immoral!

Quod erat demonstrandum