Religion

Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry of "Blasphemy"

iarnuocon.

Posted to Religion on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:09:09 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

Nicki Minaj, regardless of your opinion as to whether she is talented or talentless, has raised the hackles of the religious. Her recent Grammy appearance has some Catholics raising the Blasphemy battle flag, and the airwaves are fairly humming with the combined outrage of the Bill Donohoes and Bill Donohoe-wannabes pontificating on the tasteless portent of the end times that Minaj's performance represents. A prime example is Michael Gerson, over at the Washington Post. Gerson is apparently of the opinion that Minaj's blasphemy heralds the collapse of civilization-- no, I'm not joking. "Some believe it is a transparent publicity stunt. Others believe it is the sign of a collapsing civilization. We should stop all this bickering. There is no reason it can't be both."

This says much about those making the allegations, but little about how they see themselves. There is an apparent irony in the pronouncements of those who, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, proclaim Minaj's performance "anti-Catholic", "anti-clericalism", and general blasphemy, and that is this-- these same people tend to be completely blind to their hypocrisy when blaspheming against anyone else's religion but their own.

In 2005, numerous followers of Islam rioted after Danish cartoonists created editorial cartoons of the prophet Mohamed. In 2011, more Muslims rioted after a bigoted south Florida preacher broadcast his burning of a Koran. In both cases, there were those folks here in America who supported "free speech." Others counseled that free speech comes with responsibility, and that speakers have an obligation to consider the impact of their words. Still others argued that criticism of religion equated to "hate speech", and that such criticism should be curtailed. But the statements which I found to be particularly misguided were the ones that used the incidents to point out how much better Christians are than Muslims, because "we" don't do that kind of thing, whereas "they" do.

...newspapers and magazines and online blogs are stuffed full every day of exactly the same thing about Christians and Christ yet no one is threatening the drawers of those cartoons...

...They burn bibles all the time in the Middle East you do not see Christians going crazy and murdering people for it.

...Christians don't go nuts when somebody criticizes Christianity. You don't see Christians rioting over insulting depictions of Jesus.

...Christians mount a protest against having their religion insulted . Islamists issue a fatwah on the head of Molly Norris for starting the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day".

...some artist dips a crucifix in urine, and you don't see Christians freaking out about it.

Of course, these observations rely on a number of flawed assumptions and biases. It seems obvious that those making the claims are unfamiliar with actual incidents in which large groups of Christians flew into paroxysms of rage over perceived insults to their religion. The assumption is made that low body counts resulting from Christian rage point toward the inherent reasonableness and placidity of Christians, who are presumed to politely register their discontent in verbal exchanges which leave feelings bloodied, but bodies and property untouched.

This is, of course, nonsense. Consider, for instance, the behavior of Christians in largely secular France-- Attack on 'blasphemous' art work fires debate on role of religion i...

When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ, he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.

Controversy has followed the work ever since, but reached an unprecedented peak on Palm Sunday when it was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an "anti-blasphemy" campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon.

Piss Christ has, of course, raised Christian hackles for twenty four years. It has been the subject of numerous attacks, both metaphorical and physical, throughout its existence.

And then this. One thousand "protestors" besiege a gallery, threaten guards with a hammer, and destroy artwork they find "blasphemous." What was that bit about how different Christians are from Muslims, again?

Religion of Peace: Christian Violence and the Cry of "Blasphemy"

Of course, anyone familiar with Christianity's history of violence realizes the true issues, here-- fundamentalism and a failure to accept a pluralistic society governed by a secular government. America has its own checkered past in this regard. For instance, it is only recently (1961) that atheists have been fully accorded recognition of their civil rights (Torcaso v Watkins):

In a 1920 Missouri case, two men were found by a jury to be guilty of murder. They had shot an allegedly peaceable, elderly, ill man. His sons found him dying from several bullet wounds, and he told his sons the manner and cause of his fatal injuries, as well as who the assailants were. The trial court did not permit the defendants' attorney to inquire into the dead man's alleged atheism. The Supreme Court of Missouri then held that the trial court's exclusion of evidence of his atheism was an error serious enough to undermine the verdict. The case was remanded back to the trial court with instructions that the evidence of the victim's atheism be admitted and could be used to help undermine the dead man's credibility. Those murderers then went free.

Agnostics have traditionally fared a little better, but only because of the mistaken notion that they're fence-sitters waiting to be convince of God's existence, rather than individuals who believe the concept of "god" is unintelligible and unknowable. Even in the "secular" West, we are dealing with centuries of religious assumptions that only the "chosen" are worthy of recognition, and are inherently "superior" to everyone else.
In truth, the world's Christians are little different from the world's Muslims-- a varied body that hosts a variety of ideologues who would happily use violence and the threat of violence to right any perceived wrong and punish any perceived slight. Need further examples?

These examples highlight that the difference between Christians and Muslims is not one of kind, but only one of degree. That relatively few deaths result from Christian outrage in civilized nations isn't an indication of the inherent peacefulness of Christianity or Christians, but an indication of a functioning government based in part on the notions that freedom of religion and freedom of speech are paramount. It appears as though the strong rule of law and promises of the quick incarceration of any violent religious zealots do a good job of keeping Christian zealots from murdering blasphemers in America. As is, we still have the occasional shooting of an abortion provider, or the assault on women's health clinics, rooted in the fervent belief that the perpetrator is doing "God's work." But to the extent that, as a pluralistic society, we believe in humanist concepts rooted in freedom of conscience, we've done an ok job of reining in the worst abuses of the religious.

Take a step outside civilized Western nations, and you find "reasonable" Christians burning "witch" children in the na... That should eliminate any smug sense of religio-cultural superiority Christians are feeling when comparing themselves to Muslims, but probably won't. After all, there's always the No True Scotsman argument.

In the end, something as trivial as a song at the Grammy Awards isn't important because it offends the sensibilities of the religious, but because it has the capacity to reveal for our contemplation just how short a step toward rationality we've come from the frenzied, murderous omophagy of our religious origins.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:57:37 PM EST

none

Witch killings in Africa aren't the fault of Christianity, That's just how Africa is.

I notice you fail to mention what happens to those who express things liberals and Jews find blasphemous.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

gerrymander.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:52:59 PM EST

none

No doubt he'll work it out next Hallowe'en, when some white girl (or guy) decides the world needs a blackface Nicki Minaj parody.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:59:14 PM EST

none

If you think you're up to writing an article about it, knock yourself out. In the meantime, don't take offense if I don't come to you for ideas on what to write about.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

gerrymander.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 04:19:16 PM EST

5.00 (brilliant, funny)

"iarnuocon hates the First Amendment. Discuss." doesn't seem like a very interesting diary topic to me. Sorry.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 04:40:08 PM EST

none

Lol... If you think I hate the 1st Amendment, your head is farther up your ass than I had originally imagined. But you have given me an idea-- "Up-Close Colo-Rectal Self-Exams: the Gerrymander Method". It'd be the perfect platform for you to help your fellow ass-hats: tips on cranial insertion, how to keep breathing, the proper way to sit without breaking your own neck, et cetera.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:55:44 PM EST

none

Witch killings in Africa aren't the fault of Christianity

Yet, strangely, it's the Christians who are organizing to make a concerted effort to kill all the witches in Nigeria. And I find it ironic that you'd try to sweep that under the rug by pointing out "look, other religious whackaloons also kill people"-- that's actually pretty much in line with what I'm saying, except for the part about exempting Christians that you've tacked on.

I notice you fail to mention what happens to those who express things liberals and Jews find blasphemous.

Again, a tu quoque really isn't going to suffice as a rebuttal, here.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 04:03:16 PM EST

none

You mistakenly attribute African negro behavior to religion.

"Again, a tu quoque really isn't going to suffice as a rebuttal, "

Not a tu quoque, merely observing that in our society offending Jews and liberals typically has greater consequences than offending Christians.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 04:07:24 PM EST

none

Actually, I mistakenly attributed racism to other people, and not you. I won't be making that mistake in the future. As far as the rationalization for your tu quoque, sorry-- rejected.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 05:38:47 PM EST

none

Also, African Negro behavior, or some Christians threatening degenerate artists, does not change the fact Christian societies are superior to Muslim ones. It's surprising to see an expert in logic such as yourself making such a faulty argument.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 05:43:24 PM EST

none

No need to keep providing examples of your bigotry, buttercup. We get it.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 05:53:15 PM EST

none

Mr. Windbag suddenly gets terse.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 06:44:57 PM EST

none

I just don't see much point in you regaling us with your racist theories.  You're a racist.  Great.  We get it.  What else is there to say?

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 06:50:52 PM EST

none

Accurately observing how Africa is isn't "racist"or theoretical.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:08:42 PM EST

none

Ascribing "how Africa is" to the skin color of its inhabitants quite obviously is racist, however.

As I said, you're a racist.  Great.  Bully for you.  Your racism and racist views are completely irrelevant to the topic of the article.  Next.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:16:51 PM EST

none

Who said anything about skin color? The nature and capacities of Africans are certainly relevant. Pretending it's "racist" to point that out doesn't change that it matters.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

rickb928.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:23:45 AM EST

none

When describing a group as 'Africans' becomes an assumes statement on the color of their skin, is it fair to consider if in fact that is accurate?

Sadly, when people discuss 'Africans', they mostly think of black Africans.  This certainly fails to recognize the populations of nations such as Libya, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, and probably one more I've missed.  Saudi Arabia, maybe?  Did I miss another?

Congratulations.  You caught them.  I'm so proud of you my heart is about to burst.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

improper.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:49:28 PM EST

none

If you look at Post 10, he actually uses the phrase "African Negroes". Clearly, he is talking about race/color.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:24:10 PM EST

5.00 (astute, astute)

European Catholics killed innumerable witches. North American puritans killed unknown numbers of witches. How did those groups pick up their "African negro behaviour"? Was it in their blood? Was it in your bloodline too?

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

natophonic.

Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 11:58:57 AM EST

5.00 (funny, astute)

If Nicki Minaj had performed her bit in New England in the late 1600's, she would've been burned like a witch, or have been tarred and feathered and had an ear cut off, at the very least. Even if she had been white (and by that I mean actually white, not Irish or Italian or German).

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:14:32 PM EST

none

I really hate how Liberals and Jews always kill people, or threaten to kill people, who disagree with them. ;-)  But why repeat yourself? Liberals = Jews in your world, n'est-ce pas? When you talk about things that "Jews" find blasphemous, you don't mean things that practicing Ultra-Orthodox Jews would find blasphemous [Jesus hanging on one of their menorahs pops to mind], you mean things that "Liberal" secular American Jews would find "blasphemous" (i.e., not offensive to "God" per se but to their principles). [As you see things, most urban Canadians might qualify as "Jews".] Sure, some Jews pretend to be good conservatives, advocating invading countries like Iraq and Iran, but their enthusiasm for war only comes from their desire to protect Israel. And, of course, they owe more loyalty to Israel than they do to America, even though Israel wouldn't exactly qualify as socially or politically Liberal in recent decades. Wait, someone at my door ... oh, NO, Correct Thought Police have come to take me away! More later.

When witch killings took place in Massachusetts, they seem justified in retrospect. Just how Massachusetts was. When witch killings were authorised and carried out by Catholicism, they also seem justified in retrospect. Just how Catholicism used to roll. [Your profound fear of black people continues to surprise me.]

Now on to what really matters in this thread. 20th and 21st century Catholic traditionalism, as defended and promoted by Rome, has earned Feminism's abiding hatred by becoming its irreconcilable enemy in North America and Europe. Catholicism has always been and remains proudly patriarchal and hierarchical, has always preached that women should submit to men, has always insisted that copious reproduction was women's most important task in this life (overpopulation be damned), and has been openly political in its opposition to Feminist goals.

When religious organisations take political positions, they can no longer claim to be above their countries' ordinary political fray. If that fray typically involves casual slander, as it appears to in America, then they can't expect to be immune from being slandered themselves, having placed themselves in arenas in which different rules apply.

Catholic Ultras and Feminists will be clawing at one another politically for many years to come, as America seems to be having some sort of moral civil war. Sadly for social conservatives, Pope Benedict doesn't serve as final arbiter of moral issues in Washington. Since in North America we usually don't tolerate religious groups killing their enemies, even if militants claim to be Christian instead of Muslim, Catholic Ultras can't just kill all those Feminist "blasphemers". They have to put up with "free speech". Similarly, Feminists have to listen to Rick Santorum get on television and label their birth control pills "immoral".

If some Muslims were trying to force their religion down your throat, you would do more than just complain about it on TnT. Yet you can't see why non-Catholics in your country, and especially people who openly reject key premises of Catholicism, might get angry about having Catholic Ultras trying to force their religious and moral beliefs down everyone else's throats.

It won't go down smoothly for Ultras in America, as polls consistently show that majorities of American  Catholics not only reject their Church's stance on birth control but think health insurance should be required to cover contraception even in cases of religiously-affiliated employers.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:37:15 PM EST

none

Jewish Communists perpetrated mass murder. Funny you've forgotten about that. Feminism is "philosophy" for ugly women with unpleasant personalities. The government mandating employer provided birth control is liberals imposing their morality.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:43:33 PM EST

none

That Trotsky really make Stalin look like Boy Scout.

Feminism has been embraced by millions of Americans, including plenty of men.

Mandating employer provided birth control would be America's Catholic majority imposing their morality on its Catholic minority.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:51:09 PM EST

none

Feminists themselves don't get embraced.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:44:48 PM EST

none

How would you know? It doesn't sound like you embrace any non-Feminist females either.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:53:46 PM EST

none

How would I know? That question reveals a lot about you. Do you own cats novy?

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:04:42 PM EST

none

Two mini-dogs actually. If it were just me, I don't think I would own pets.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Jackkeefe.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 05:16:15 PM EST

none

What a brilliant style of argument.

Nazis killed millions of Jews.
Black religious leaders have made anti-semitic remarks
20 years ago blacks rioted and killed  a Jew

Thus, blacks are no better than  Nazis when it comes to anti-semtism.  

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Speaking of blasphemy

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:21:56 PM EST

none

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Re: Speaking of blasphemy

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:39:47 PM EST

none

Novy on Patrick J. Buchanan's firing by MSNBC:

"Why was he working for America's Liberal-News Network again? Why doesn't he just apply to work at Fox and stop whingeing?"

Yes, terrible things happen to people who blaspheme against Liberalism: IF they happen to work for people whose job involves disseminating Liberal opinion, they would probably have to find other employment. Somehow, you never hear about Liberals attacking their enemies physically though, what with so many being pacifists and wimps. I doubt you spend much time worrying about being taken out physically by Liberals and Jews. (Wait, they must HIRE all those black ganstas in Phillie to mug you. I get it.)

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Re: Speaking of blasphemy

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:47:18 PM EST

none

Liberals and Jews tell me it's really bad if a person loses his job for holding Communist views, then say it doesn't matter when Jews and liberals blacklist someone for views they don't approve of.  I don't go around physically attacking people, but my views and speech upset liberals, even ones who live far away from me in Canada.

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Re: Speaking of blasphemy

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:01:12 PM EST

none

When Hollywood writers got blacklisted after WWII for their political views before WWII, they didn't have anywhere else to work. Buchanan has lots of extremely obvious and reasonably remunerative options now that he no longer works for MSNBC. He will continue to get his views out. No wonder I have trouble feeling sad for him.

Considering your previous stories about training with Patriots/ gun nuts, I feel some relief that you don't go around attacking people physically. That couldn't have been said, for example, of Freikorps, of whom you've spoken highly in posts past. If only your views and speech offend others, I guess that would be too bad for them: they have to be willing to tolerate you if they expect you to ever tolerate them.

Far away from you in Canada? It took me and my sweetie around two hours to drive down to Seattle for our visit last weekend. (I looked for scary black people on 1st Avenue near Pike Place Market, but those poor young people looked mostly white or Asian, as usual.)

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Re: Speaking of blasphemy

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:26:12 PM EST

none

You feel sympathy for Communist Jew screenwriters, but you agree with Communist Jews that Buchanan should be fired. You don't like the Freikorps, who crushed a Jew-led Communist uprising. What a surprise.

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Re: Speaking of blasphemy

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:05:04 PM EST

none

"Communist Jews" at MSNBC? So now Communist = Liberal = Jew? What a surprise.

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Re: Speaking of blasphemy

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 02:33:44 PM EST

none

The Buchanan ouster was fomented by the ADL and this Jew at Media Matters.

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Re: Speaking of blasphemy

novy.

Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:06:39 PM EST

none

Someone who has worked for Reid, Gore, and Kerry throughout his career strikes you as "Communist"?

ADL has hated Buchanan for decades, but suddenly they have enough power to get him ousted from MSNBC when they never did before? I wonder where their newfound power came from? Could it be that MSNBC had decided to follow Fox News' business model, but appealing to liberals and Democrats instead of conservatives and Republicans, and Buchanan no longer fit their needs? Corporations have free speech rights too, don't they?

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

MC Nally.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 01:46:57 PM EST

none

the airwaves are fairly humming with the combined outrage of the Bill Donohoes and Bill Donohoe-wannabes pontificating
As an aside, has anyone ever heard of William Donohue in any context that doesn't involve him complaining about something done by a public figure?  No, I didn't think so..

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Re: Religion: of: Peace: Christianity: and: the:

zyxwvutsr.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 07:09:33 PM EST

none

Perhaps it's time for a new "OUTRAGED" story.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:37:29 PM EST

none

I've noticed no one ever talks about Michael Jackson's patent.

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Re: Religion of Peace: Christianity and the Cry o

novy.

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:06:22 PM EST

none

For good reason.

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