A typical conversation between a psychotherapist, such as myself, and a client, will go like this:
Client: “My husband (or wife) makes me feel this way.” Or: “My boss makes me feel like an incompetent person.” Or: “My mother used to make me feel like I’m helpless, and still does.”
Therapist: “Nobody can MAKE you feel a certain way without your consent. Your feelings come from your thoughts, ideas and assumptions. If someone belittles you and you feel small because of it, then some part of you feels like you’re inadequate. If you thought of yourself as capable and strong, you would not be subject to the perceived or actual slights of others.”
The same goes for any other context. This includes people who have a certain religious, social, political or philosophical point-of-view. The fact that other people do not share or like your point-of-view — or even openly condemn or mock it — does not do anything to harm you, or your point-of-view. Do you have to like it? Of course not. That would be a total contradiction and a brazen contradiction of your values. Do you have to be around it? Do you have to condone it? No, no, no.
Do you have to accept that this is how another person feels or thinks, and leave them alone — keeping your distance — to think or feel it as they wish? Absolutely.
Part of growing into adulthood from infantile immaturity is accepting what you cannot control. Of all the things we cannot control, the minds, thoughts and feelings of others are the least under our control. Sure, we can persuade people when they wish to hear from us, and when or if they’re open to persuasion. But one basic foundation of emotional health and maturity is an acceptance that others will think or feel whatever they wish to think or feel — and you have to get over it.
For whatever reasons, in today’s society this is no longer the standard — at least not with certain groups or belief systems. Protected groups consist of groups who are not to be mocked, disagreed with, slighted or offended at any time, in any way. Islam is one of those protected groups. Facebook is a major online company who subscribes to the standard “party line” of today’s cultural attitudes. The latest example? Bosch Fawstin.
Fawstin is a very talented satirical cartoonist and winner of The Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest, in Garland, Texas, where pro-Islamic gunmen attempted to open fire late last weekend to show their protest.
The politically correct establishment, including those who run companies like Facebook, unfortunately have seen fit to shut down Fawstin’s Facebook account. This account included, quite naturally, visual displays of his anti-Islamic cartoons, including the winning cartoon of the contest. This brilliant representation (which you can no longer view on Facebook) visualized an image of Islamic prophet Mohammed saying to a cartoonist, “You can’t draw me!” to which the cartoonist replied, “That’s why I draw you.”
I have not yet read any official words from Facebook. I learned of this because Mr. Fawstin is one of my Facebook friends, and the post of his cartoon on my timeline disappeared along with his account, just this morning.
It’s an eerie feeling.
But I already know what Facebook will probably say. “Facebook tolerates and is sensitive to the views and rights of people of all faiths, blah, blah, blah, and we would never permit the spread of hatred, blah, blah, blah….” We have all heard it a million times before. And many of us know it’s crap, without really grasping why.
I’ll tell you why. It’s based, in part, on the false idea that others can “make” people feel a certain way. It allegedly “makes” Muslim people feel offended to have their prophet made fun of, and Facebook will have none of that. (Perhaps they fear lawsuits or government reprisals, and I will not condemn someone for wishing to avoid those; but they should still at least name their real reasons for their fear, while they still can, instead of spouting the crap.)
The ugliest truth is that we apply this false idea — that the actions or views of another can make another feel a certain way — to some groups, but not others. That’s a separate discussion, but it makes the real motives of those who seek censorship of this sort all the more questionable and reprehensible. They should come clean and name exactly why they exercise this sort of phony, self-conscious “sensitivity” for the sake of some groups or traditions, and not for others. It doesn’t make sense even on its own terms, and even if you do accept their false belief that it’s possible to “make” others feel a certain why. Those of us (left) among the reasonable want an explanation.
Don’t misunderstand. I am a total proponent of private property and freedom of association, and I would never question the right of a private company to remove from its association anyone whom it wishes to remove, for any political or religious reason, or any other reason whatsoever (so long as they do not violate a contract, of course). But former and present customers or patrons of Facebook deserve an honest and authentic explanation for why the company makes these sorts of decisions, particularly so arbitrarily and selectively. Will we get one? I doubt it.
The wider question: Why do we walk on eggshells to spare the feelings of Muslims, all so we can make the world a safer place for the destroyers who knock down buildings and maim innocent people by the thousands, and by the millions, if they could?
Most of those who preach “sensitivity” to Islam are infidels by the standards of that religion — and those in charge of that religion (and its governments) want you dead. Why so quick to defend someone who wishes you dead? What’s wrong with you?
Interestingly, Fawstin is a self-described “recovered Muslim.” I would think his unique perspective, having grown up with this tradition and then turning against it, would be one that most intellectually curious and psychologically sensitive people would want to hear. Instead, we lower the boom of self-conscious, command-and-control political correctness on yet another victim.
And we wonder why freedom, intellectual honesty, reason and individual rights are so systematically and incrementally perishing right before our eyes. We’re letting radical Islam do to our First Amendment freedoms what the 9/11 terrorists did to two skyscrapers and thousands of lives on 9/11.
Mind and body — we are losing both wars. And we have nobody to blame but ourselves, or at least those of us who won’t speak up for Bosch Fawstin or anyone else who chooses to identify an evil and savage ideology by its real name.
Update: Soon after this article was first posted, Bosch Fawstin’s Facebook account was restored. I do not know the details on why the account was removed and then restored. I suggest you visit Mr. Fawstin’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to learn more of what he knows about the situation.