Who’s diety will reign supreme?

Who’s diety will reign supreme?

It’s the ultimate smackdown – a religious experience, if you will. It’s Faith Fighter!

The original Italian creators of this game have apparently removed it from their Website because of religious sensitivities. Fortunately, other sites have kept it up and there is a censored version where the Muslim Prophet Muhammed’s face is covered, thereby adhering to the Islamic restriction on making a visual representation of him. You can still see a representation of Old Testament God (that’s our guy), Jesus, Budda, Ganesh, and a very special surprise boss at the end (you can probably guess who it is) in a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish. Who’s diety will reign supreme???

I’m reminded of the 2006 episode of “South Park” episode called “Cartoon Wars.” The Fox cartoon “Family Guy” plans to air an episode with Muhammed, which sets off threats of retaliation from Al Qaeda in the South Park world and sends the denizens of the Colorado mountain town into a fear frenzy. Cartman rushes to the studio executives to convince them to pull the episode because it would offend Muslim sensitivities, although he secretly just wants “Family Guy” off the air and thinks if he can get one episode pulled it’ll lead to cancellation. Kyle is the hero fighting for free speech. In the end, the “Family Guy” episode runs but Comedy Central would not allow “South Park” to show Muhammed and the scene is blacked out. The boys remark that it wasn’t so bad, they just showed Muhammed standing there. Al Qaeda then retaliates by airing a video of Americans defecating on each other, the American flag, President Bush, and Jesus.

This episode was made shortly after the incident with the Danish Muhammed cartoons that sparked riots among Muslim communities in Europe. And the Comedy Central executives were apparently worried about something similar so they ordered the Muhammed scene blacked out. However, they had no problem with defecation on a Christian holy figure, the handful of episodes of “South Park” that lampooned Scientology, or the ever-present Jew jokes.

The point? Freedom of speech has to be applied equally or not at all. Our founding fathers did not say freedom of speech except when it offends X. Yes, freedom of speech has its limits. You cannot shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Nor are you protected if your speech’s intent is to incite others to violence. So no mass panic and no purposely inciting violence. According to the Brandenburg test, which authorities use to gauge whether free speech has crossed this line, the speech is still protected if somebody goes out and commits a violent act but there is no clear link that the original orator called for the violence. Which means, the creator of those Danish cartoons was protected even though the cartoons sparked riots – under U.S. law anyway.

So, while this game may be offensive to some (and that’s likely to be a large “some”) I am happy to see that it is still available. Paraphrasing Voltaire, Evelyn Beatrice Hall, using the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre, wrote in “The Friends of Voltaire”: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

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