There is a petition on the the White House website to ban anything that insults the prophets of any major religion. Here is the content of the Petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/outlaw-offending-prophets-major-religions/94kL1tsN

It clearly enacts prohibition to all the prophets of major religions. This petition would seem to promote interfaith peace and harmony.

Would Jews and Rabbis support this type of thing? Why or why not?

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    There is potentially a legitimate question buried in here about interfaith relations, perceptions of "offense", and civil law, but this post is not serving in that capacity so I have closed it. Please come to chat to discuss. – Monica Cellio Oct 16 '12 at 12:57
  • @MonicaCellio Why this post is not serving in that capacity for what it was meant to be posted. Can you justify your action? – Maxood Oct 16 '12 at 13:01
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    Would you support a petition outlawing insulting different sports teams? Doing so would prevent many people being offended. Don't you want to support harmony? – Double AA Oct 16 '12 at 16:44
  • I have since edited the question to bring it more in line with what is on topic for this site. – HodofHod Jan 30 '13 at 7:03
  • The link in the question now leads to a "404 Page Not Found" page. – Tamir Evan May 14 at 2:53

The great men of the Jewish faith still have flaws. A serious study of the Jewish Bible would involve asking -- "what was going on with Isaac's marriage?" "Why did Jacob favor one son?" "Did David really sleep with a married woman, or was she technically divorced?"

So we speak critically of our own prophets!

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    The petition speaks explicitly about "blasphemy"! And not about something what is already there in the religions. – Maxood Oct 16 '12 at 12:31
  • The word "blasphemy" does not appear in the petition. – Monica Cellio Oct 16 '12 at 12:33
  • @MonicaCellio FYI: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy – Maxood Oct 16 '12 at 12:41
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    @Maxood The text of the petition is quite broad. All of Shalom's examples could easily fit within what it would ban. Therefore, I think that Shalom has demonstrated somewhat convincingly that this petition, at least, is not easily compatible with our tradition. – Isaac Moses Oct 16 '12 at 14:22
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    @Maxood This is the entirety what the petition asks for: "To enact a law that prohibits any action or literature that offend prophets of major religions: - Moses - Jesus - Mohammad". "Offend" is a vague term that could easily include all kinds of speech, including the sorts of analyses that Shalom points out we have a strong tradition of. If you are interested in learning about what Judaism teaches regarding respecting or talking about other belief systems, I recommend, as Monica did in a comment on your question, that you post a question about that, rather than a stump for a petition. – Isaac Moses Oct 17 '12 at 16:50

For a Jew it might be forbidden to insult a Rabbi, but we don't claim any right to tell non-Jews what to do. It isn't one of the seven Noahide laws that non-Jews are supposed to stick to.

Furthermore, we have faith in G-d that if someone has done something wrong, they will get punished for it. We don't need to get involved (other than an obligation to try to persuade a Jew to stop sinning, if there is a chance of success)

  • So are you implying that blasphemy and disrespecting the divine figures of other people's religions is allowed in Judaism? – Maxood Oct 16 '12 at 12:33
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    We have great respect for all people, as everyone is in the image of G-d. We do not respect ideas that we consider incorrect. – limos Oct 16 '12 at 12:41
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    It would depend if anything good or constructive would come out of it. If not, then yes, I would have faith that G-d would take care of it. For those without such faith in the power of their prophets or gods, I can see why this might present a problem. I don't think this is a constructive discussion. I've made my points, I will not be responding any more. – limos Oct 16 '12 at 13:53
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    @limos "just as we don't expect them to respect ours": I do expect non-Jews to not needlessly make fun of our beliefs just as I expect Jews to not needlessly make fun of other's beliefs. I just don't think the US should outlaw it, just like it hasn't outlawed making fun of blacks or Hispanics. – Double AA Oct 16 '12 at 16:47
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    @limos Absolutely it's a religious requirement to not make fun of anyone for no reason. Do you want to tell me that all discussions of good middos and being a mentch are not religious requirements? God wants us to be good religious human beings which certainly includes being a good human being. – Double AA Oct 17 '12 at 16:12

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