Satire and the ideals of free speech

Responding to the murders in France committed by Islamic fanatics, Pope Francis said that making fun of religion is wrong, and those who do it should expect repercussions.

Every child quickly learns that name-calling can result in a punch to the nose. But, the Pope is wrong to condemn the use of satire against religion, although it is no surprise that he does. His entire world view, his exalted position, and his life’s work depend on millions of people believing in religious doctrine.

Why should irony, ridicule and sarcasm be off limits? Observers of human behavior have amply employed satire to expose human folly and the foibles of unexamined beliefs…