It is one thing to engage in free, if disrespectful, debate. It is another to repeatedly assault and ridicule and abuse something that is deeply sacred to a great many people.So it's okay to be disrespectful, as long as you don't hurt their feelings. Because the sentiments of the religious, no matter how silly the superstition, are paramount.--Andrew Sullivan, today
To be fair, when reports came out about some jackass in Guantanamo flushing a Koran down the commode, Andrew called them out about that, too. But it was a purely pragmatic argument--this is going to enrage them against us and serves no good purpose--rather than being out of lines because of some general rule that ridiculous ideas can be ridiculed unless they're ridiculous ideas about magic sky-fairies.
Or at least, about his magic sky-fairy.
Update 11:20 PM: I just noticed that apparently some other people called Andrew on this. And, to his credit, he posted the replies.
Update 7/12: He's taken most of it back. Oh, and he now claims he defended Myers' right to say whatever he wishes. Funny, I can't seem to find that in the original post. Here's the full text of what he said:
It is one thing to engage in free, if disrespectful, debate. It is another to repeatedly assault and ridicule and abuse something that is deeply sacred to a great many people. Calling the Holy Eucharist a "goddamned cracker" isn't about free speech; it's really about some baseline civility. Myers' rant is the rant of an anti-Catholic bigot. And atheists and agnostics can be bigots too.
I don't see any defense of Myers' right to anything in there. Really, the posturing on this is incredible. Of course, what set off Myers in the first place was the fact that for stealing a cracker, terms like "hate crime" and "kidnapping" were being tossed around, there's a movement afoot to get the student expelled, death threats were made, and there is now an armed guard at Mass at the campus chapel, to make sure no more cracker-napping occurs. I wonder if Andrew read the entire story in the first place?