Freedom of speech

You can meet Jesus in a pub
See him getting drunk
On wine with his flock,
Crucify Brian in his place
As he turns away his face
On crusades and wars carried out in his name.

You can sit a very fat Buddha under a tree
Put him on a rigorous diet
Of Burmese peas and onions
While waiting for enlightenment
As he decides not to meditate
On ‘area clearance operations’.

You can strip Mohammed of his clothes
Put him on his knees, doggy style
With a star on his bum
“100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter”
Have him getting slaughtered by his own
As he quarrels and queries ‘what went wrong’.

You can express anything you want
You are free to no matter what,
A law is there to protect you,
And your dementia,
Thought some could take offense
And depictions could be seen
As deliberate insults to the extreme.

Yet offend the President of the United States
On a Late Show
Have him in a room with that of Russia
Strip him of his clothes and put him on his knees
Place his mouth where it shouldn’t be
And you might be investigated
By Federals like a criminal
Audience cheering for you to be
Sued and fired, at best.

Freedom of speech.

[Featured painting: Freedom of Speech, 1943. Oil on canvas by Norman Rockwell]
n.b.: Freedom of Speech is the first of the Four Freedoms paintings by Norman Rockwell that were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms, which he delivered on January 6, 1941


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