What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 12, 2013

Update On The Semi-Naked She-Pope

From Andy Sheehan at KDKA:
Indecent exposure charges have been dropped against a Carnegie Mellon University student after dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down, with a her pubic hair shaved in the shape of a cross.

Katherine O’Connor was in court Monday and rather than contest the charge, she agreed to perform 80 hours of community service.
Charges against the naked astronaut were also dropped:
Robb Godshaw, 22, was also charged with public nudity stemming from the same incident. He too, will receive the same community service deal.
But let's be honest.  Robb of the House Godshaw was never the issue here as his public testicularity was never mentioned as the reason Bishop Zubik got involved in the first place.

From the Trib:
A Carnegie Mellon University student's march across campus, half naked and handing out condoms while dressed in mock papal finery from the waist up, “crossed over the line,” Bishop David Zubik said on Tuesday.

Zubik, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, said he contacted university officials last week when someone sent the diocese photographs of the young woman, whose pubic hair was shaved in the shape of a cross.

As I wrote here, the Bishop has the whole concept of "freedom of speech" completely wrong.  He wrote that:
...this is an opportunity for all of us to be reminded that freedom of speech and freedom of expression do not constitute a freedom to dismiss or disrespect the beauty of anyone’s race, the sacredness of anyone’s religious belief or the uniqueness of anyone’s nationality.
And that's what's completely wrong.  In Texas v. Johnson, the Supreme Court wrote:
If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.
And yet in the coverage of the plea deal:
Bishop David Zubik hopes a Carnegie Mellon University student will learn from the controversy about her half-naked portrayal of the pope and avoid letting it ruin her future, a diocese spokesman said on Monday.

“Bishop Zubik said from the beginning our real concern was the lack of respect for the religious beliefs of others,” Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh spokesman Ronald Lengwin said. “He's hoping the community service can also be a learning experience for her.”
But the plea deal was not about the "lack of respect for the religious beliefs of others."  It was about the public nudity.  Lengwin and the Diocese, by connecting the community service to that "lack of respect" are still getting that bedrock principle wrong.

Truth of the matter Dave, is that she cannot be punished for insulting you or your church (not in a free society, at least) and she cannot be forced into a "learning experience" for insulting you or your church (again, not in a free society).  If that's what you want, then you're the one not respecting the freedom and the First Amendment.

As the man said:
You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating, at the top of his lungs, that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.
Wonder if they'll be discussing this on the Fortnight For Freedom.

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