There was a book sometime back slandering the Hindu beliefs and some of its eminent leaders. Some people I spoke to said it was the prerogative of the author to write whatever he or she wanted and it was up to us to not take it seriously. 'Don't let anything hurt your sentiments', I was told.
I disagree. I feel that as an author, especially someone who can influence an audience, however small its size may be, must exercise caution when it comes to sensitive topics. It becomes even more critical when you write about a subject others have little knowledge of, and draw firm conclusions based on what you have to offer (poor souls). You must be responsible and understand that, whether you like it or not, certain things are sacred to certain people, and mindless offence in the name of freedom is just that, mindless.
There is a reason why we don't pee in a restaurant. Nothing is stopping you, is there? You can jolly well go to an expensive restaurant, order a fancy meal, open your zipper, and start peeing all over the table, because, you know, you have paid for the meal and you have freedom, don't you? Or you can routinely abuse everyone and their families you see at work and defend it on the grounds of freedom. But we don't do that, do we?
It's because we are adults. We behave responsibly and try to be sensible beings if not superheros to our kids. Because not everything has to be laid out in the constitution and cast in stone. And who better to explain this than Dave Barry and Dennis Farina?