Remember that photoshop I posted on the More documenting the harassment page last Saturday? The one taken from the photo Adam Lee took of us FTBers holding our signs of solidarity with the Bangladeshi atheists? That Reap Paden changed to signs spelling out our love for “Justin” [Vacula]? That Vacula reposted on Facebook?
Now Vacula has done a blog post about it; he’s that proud of it. That proud of erasing an important and (one would think) meaningful message to fellow atheists who are under attack in a theocratic country, for the sake of making a stupid, mean joke about people who dislike being harassed by Vacula.
He stole the photo, too. It’s not his to post just as it wasn’t Paden’s to alter and post. He posted it without attribution and without permission. It’s Adam Lee’s photo. That is not a nice thing to do to a fellow atheist and activist.
He titles the post “Don’t satirize feminists, but happily draw Mohammad?”
That’s stupid. The two are not comparable. I’m not Mohammed. Stephanie is not Mohammed. Maryam is not Mohammed. Adam Lee is not Mohammed.
I hosted one photoshopped satirical image of various feminists — including Ophelia Benson of the Freethought Blogs network — on my Facebook page because I found it light-hearted, humourous, and in good taste. A friend of mine, Reap Paden, had edited signs in the image to read “We <3 Justin” – what I thought was a humourous mild jab because, in part, many in the image do not love me and instead have written dozens of over-the-top blog posts about how much of a bad person I am.
That’s not true. The posts I’ve written about Vacula have been about his relentless harassment of me.
Notice how he singles me out even here.
He notes that there was some reaction.
The moral imperative proposed — that one ought to remove a satirical image merely because one claims offense — is most unreasonable and would consign everyone to silence on any given issue because anyone can claim offense. What matters, instead, I believe, is whether one’s claiming of offense is reasonable. If the claiming of offense is unreasonable, there should be no moral imperative for one to refrain from the mildest of satire. If it is not permissible to satirize feminists because people may claim offense and be hurt, why should it be permissible to satirize Mohammad?
See above. I’m not Mohammed. The rest of us are not Mohammed. “Satirizing” powerless obscure individuals is not the same kind of thing as satirizing long-dead prophets of bossy totalizing religions.
In addition, altering someone else’s photograph of a serious attempt to express support for beleaguered atheists in another country, to make a stupid taunting “joke” – that too is not comparable to satirizing long-dead prophets of bossy totalizing religions.