Phil Pullman: No one has the right to not be offended

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten emails or comments on the site saying I was being needlessly offensive, and I should go out of my way to avoid hurting the feelings of others. These messages have even come from other atheists who disapprove of my use of strong language or mockery. Here, Phillip Pullman (author of “The Golden Compass”) echoes how I usually respond to these accusations: no one has the right to not be offended, and I’ll say what I want to say, regardless of the objection of others. My own right to speak my mind shouldn’t be compromised simply because a few cry baby assholes feel I’m being “mean” or offensive. Religious folks don’t have to read any of our shit if they don’t like it, and can keep on believing in their fairytale bullshit if they so chose. Stop going around crying foul every time someone disagrees with your unsupported and generally childish worldview, morons!

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Comments (10)

  • avatar

    ChildOfScientists

    I know I liked that guy!

  • avatar

    Peter

    Jacob, you’re absolutely right. I get that all the time from my “Christian” friends. There is no such thing as blasphemy. Get over it people!

  • avatar

    Pili

    That’s very true. If they feel offended by what you write, they shouldn’t be reading then; this is YOUR blog and you can write whatever and however you want. But no, religious nuts like to pester the rest of us with their beliefs, claiming freedom of expression, but get bitchy when someone attacks their “fairy tale”. They have a real double standard here.

  • avatar

    Lynda

    Philip Pullman on Freedom of Speech

    RE: His newest novel, “The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ”

    Question – Mr. Pullman, the title of the novel seems, to an ordinary Christian, to be offensive as you call the son of God a scoundrel. It was an awful thing to say.

    Response – Yes, it was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say, umm, but no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Umm, nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it, and if they open it and read it and they don’t have to like it [sic]. And if you read it and you dislike it you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher. You can write to the papers. You can write your own book. You can do all these things but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop you writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published or sold or bought or read. And that’s all I have to say on that subject.

  • avatar

    J. N. Hudson

    “No one has a right to not be offended”

    That’s a sentiment I have echoed many, many times, both on FSTDT.com and in person. Far too many people buy into the (quite laughable) idea that religious beliefs, in particular their own beliefs, are inherently deserving of respect, above repproach, and either cannot or should not be questioned or mocked. Not that they are willing to extend that principle to beliefs that they don’t agree with.

    If someone doesn’t like what Jacob, or anyone else, writes about their religious beliefs then they are free to stop reading, same goes for television, don’t like it then change the fucking channel. Freedom of speech does not stop because someone is offended, if it did there would be precious little to be said or written for fear of offending whackjobs who are offended by things like shuffleboard, coco-puffs, or macaroni art. Anyone who takes offense at this post is free to stop reading it, no one is forcing anyone to read, listen, or watch things that offend them.

  • avatar

    Bill W

    morons? ouch. let’s try not to be so condescending. it takes away from our credibility. IMHO anyway

  • avatar

    BubbaRich

    Echo Bill W. The morons are actually in this thread. I’d expect these pseudoeducated people to understand communication and advertising a little better, rather than sounding like whiny teenagers. I’ve tried to think of some way to satirize the idiots here, but, unfortunately, Poe’s Law hits and NOTHING sounds more ridiculous than you kids.

    Sorry if this offends you, but you’ll just ignore it anyway.

  • avatar

    Liz

    doesn’t the motivation for your blog come as the result of you being offended by christianity and religion? you are striking back at peoples’ beliefs…doesn’t what you say here apply to you as well…if you don’t agree with the beliefs of others, you don’t have to read or listen to or regard those beliefs? but you do, and you take offense, and you fight back very publicly.

  • avatar

    Joe Botelho

    Bubbarich your so silly. I have no clue what your taking about i’m just a dumb janitor. But i know when a little bitch is talking smack and Bubba you are a smack talking bitch.

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