Pope Francis suggested violence is an acceptable reaction to free speech, even though Jesus Christ was crucified for stating he was the Son of God.

While on route to the Philippines Thursday, Francis compared insulting religions to insulting his mother, in which he said he’d punch whoever insulted her.

“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” he said. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

“There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,” he added. “They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother.”

But Jesus Christ was crucified for stating he was the Son of God, which offended religious leaders at the time.

After Jesus was arrested, he was taken before the Sanhedrin, a Jewish judicial body, in which the high priest asked Jesus if he was “the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One.”

According to the Gospel of Mark:

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

They all condemned him as worthy of death.

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It’s unfortunate Pope Francis is promoting this line of thinking because free speech is obviously at the core of Christianity.

Violence is not an acceptable reaction to free speech; speech is simply that, speech. It’s not physical harm remedied by justice.

What Pope Francis is advocating leads to censorship and the suppression of religion, just as the communists did to Taoism in China.

There is no freedom of religion without the freedom of expression.

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