What balance can be found  between freedom of expression and respect for religous beliefs?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is certainly possible to find a balance between these two ideals, but it is not at all possible to find a balance that will satisfy everyone on both sides of the argument.

It would be easy to find a particular balance.  We could easily set up a council of religious leaders who would be empowered to ban art that they deemed to be excessively offensive.  There would then be a balance because works that were mildly offensive would be allowed but works that were extremely offensive would not be.

But this sort of a balance (in addition to being unconstitutional) would not satisfy everyone.  Absolutists on both sides of the issue would remain angry.  No matter where the balance is struck, there will be people who think that it has been set too far to one side or the other.  So, it would be possible to set a balance, but impossible to do so in a way that would satisfy everyone who cares about the issue.