Freedom of expression is necessary to maintain a free society. Without the ability to speak against powerful or oppressive forces, liberty would wither like a rose deprived of sunlight.

But sometimes innocent civilians get grazed by crossfire.

In Tuesday’s editorial, we chose to express our support for freedom of expression — no matter how offensive — in a manner brash enough to rival its gravity.

In our rush to lower royalty and religion below sacred human rights, we forgot that we’re unable to serve our readership if we don’t express ourselves clearly.

We did indeed mean to cause a reaction. For, without a response, words often miss their mark.

But in the process, we aimed, we believe, too narrowly. When we called Allah a “false god,” we left out the other thousands of deities that have been invented and discarded in human history.

Yet, even still, that draws the conversation away from the issue of the necessary supremacy of free speech and instead focuses on the debate over a god’s existence.

Let us make ourselves clear.

We neither know nor care whether any god or gods exist. We care that people express themselves without fearing government reprisals or violent attacks.

And if we have to scrape some knees and bruise some elbows along the way, then so be it.

The rights of definite people outweigh those of potential gods.