I was glad to see that Rowan Atkinson's common sense matches the same high level as his comedic sense. Atkinson has opposed a law in the UK that would make criticism or ridicule of religious beliefs a crime:
Mr Atkinson told a meeting at the House of Commons on Monday night there are "quite a few sketches" he has performed which would come into conflict with the proposed law.
He added: "To criticise a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous but to criticise their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom.
"The freedom to criticise ideas, any ideas - even if they are sincerely held beliefs - is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.
"A law which attempts to say you can criticise and ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed."
He said he had sympathy with the law's backers, particular British Muslims, but added: "I appreciate this measure is an attempt to provide comfort and protection to them.
"But unfortunately it is wholly inappropriate response far more likely to promote tension between communities than tolerance."
Incidentally, Atkinson's Mr. Bean is, in my humble opinion, a character as memorable as Chaplin's little tramp.
Posted by Ideofact at December 7, 2004 09:21 PM