I was very amused by Fox News contributor Cal Thomas’ commentary on everyone mocking Easter with an article title that suggested the mockers don’t have the guts to mock other religions. The awkward article title is: “Especially At Easter, It’s Easy to Mock Jesus Christ But Don’t You Dare Mock Other Faiths.”
Cal doesn’t really make his point as he searches out few boogeymen who are out to make fun of Christ. This includes Lady GaGa singing a love song to Judas and a Jesus dress-up contest by a “gay group” (that’s how Cal refers to them) in San Francisco. These are his only villains specifically mentioned except for a general reference to atheists and unbelievers, who by the way represent a minority in the United States anyways.
Cal suggests that those who mock Christ or Easter don’t have the balls to mock other religions. He writes, “Today’s mockers would never dare to speak ill of Muhammed. They might have their throats slit, or their homes blown-up. ”
Where’s Cal been? You know how many Mohammed parodies you can find? I’ve had my own Mohammed Clipart up for several years not to mention the numerous cartoons I’ve drawn on Islam. Numerous cartoonists have done this within the free speech realm of the world wide web. On TV, a well known show called South Park has parodied Islam as well as other shows have tweaked the religion. It’s not the people mocking who are afraid for the most part, it’s the corporations–networks like Fox or ABC, NBC, or CBS–that won’t run the parodies or sometimes even critical commentaries. Cal mentions cartoonists who have been threatened, doesn’t delve further into all of the efforts made at parodying Islam by cartoonists and then rolls it back into why Jesus is an easy target–because his followers will not retaliate…
Cal needs to read his history. Christian followers–lovers of Jesus–have retaliated. The difference is the time period. Islam is in the process of catching up to Christianity and it is the constant barrage of parody and literary criticism combined with western secular values that have tamed Christianity. It was not an easy job. What was once a powerful religion that could have you tortured, hanged and beheaded for blasphemy is no longer allowed to touch you and spends its time trying to get prayer and creationism into public schools. If Cal wants to suggest parody has a lot of work to do in regards to Islam, he’s right. But let’s be fair, Christianity had to go through this process too to be the relatively peaceful religion it is now.
And also, let’s be fair to other religious targets. You know who has taken more of a beating lately than Easter and Christianity? I would say Scientology. Again, South Park being one of the biggest instigators. Freethunk tries to be fair as well and parody Scientology, Mormonism, Buddhism, New Agers and Old Testament Judaism, not to mention general kooks like ghost hunters and flat earthers. Even more so than Scientology, I suspect Mormonism is getting parodied heavily because of guys like Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney and the Mormon campaign against gay marriage (Proposition 8 being the notable example).
The reason Easter is such a big target is because it is a nationally celebrated holiday amongst Americans, not to mention the rest of the Christian world. No one really seems to care or know what Ramadan is in regards to poking fun at Islam. Islam has done a poor marketing job of Ramadan in comparison to the Christian church. Plus, Jesus is an iconic figure that is easy to parody. A guy depicted by Christian artists or Church sanctioned art throughout time as having a long beard, long hair and being tortured. Without the images provided by the church the parodies might not even exist. You’ll also notice that cartoonists tend to parody the “white Jesus.” This is the one pushed by the church to represent white people and the parodies reflect that race-centric theme.
Maybe this story on atheists being banned from marching on Easter in Spain will make Cal feel better? The government was fearful that conservative Catholics might not be able to contain themselves when the march was to pass by several Catholic churches. In other words, violence might erupt because it was being done on Easter as well as some of the atheist marchers might hold satirical signs reminding priests of the ongoing pedophilia investigations. Brave atheists willing to march in the face of possible Christian violence, and it was the government that stopped them (I’m being a bit facetious on the brave part, I’m sure they’re doing it more for fun but you get the point).
Cal has a message for atheists and other unbelievers who mock Easter. It is that we should set aside April Fools’ day because we are fools. Cal quotes Psalm 53:1 – The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none that does good.
Hmm, so if one of these “gay group” unbelievers making fun of Christ on Easter ends his day by donating money to charity or feeding a homeless person–does that disprove the Bible? You think it’s possible that people who mock Easter might do some good? Even a little? I wonder if the Bible embellishes just a tad bit on no-good fools who don’t believe.
Let’s consider what is more foolish? To reserve judgment on the existence of gods with no qualifying evidence in regards to the miraculous or to believe in what you’re told with blind devotion because if you don’t someone calls you a fool? Ironically, conservative Christians do not think it is necessary to witness a miracle to believe it’s true, yet for evolution to be true they insist on witnessing it? One act defies nature similar to magic and the other is a scientific theory with ample evidence. Who’s the fool?
Happy Easter to you too, Cal!
SIDENOTE: I found the story Cal was referring to about San Franciscan gays parodying Christ with a Hunky Jesus Contest. Here’s the article from Christian NewsWire. This article also says the same thing that Cal is saying through the words of Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). “Of course, it goes without saying that these defiant champions of ‘tolerance and diversity’ wouldn’t dare hold a ‘Hunky Muhammad’ contest during Ramadan — so it seems even envelope-pushing, in-your-face, pro-perversion libertines know their limits. (Muslims: beware: LGBT activists will end up hating you as much as they hate Christians.)”
Hate’s a little strong, don’t you think, Peter? But let me point something out that’s quite obvious here. Peter LaBarbera is president of an organization that says homosexuals are unnatural and sinful. You don’t think that’s an insult? It seems like Christianity, or at least conservative Christianity, struck the first blow here. What’s really happening is that Cal Thomas and Peter LaBarbera are getting the retaliation from their own hatred–or possibly we can call it misguided bigoted ignorance.
SIDENOTE 2: Just a reminder to Cal and others, Easter is not completely your holiday. We’re sharing it with the pagans. Remember the very title of the holiday refers to a fertility goddess and not Christ.