Saturday, September 15, 2007

Suck It, Jesus. You too, Mohammad

Ann Althouse links to this story and this CNN Video of Kathy Griffin saying "suck it Jesus" after winning the Emmy. Of course, professional offendee Bill Donahue is on TV being offended. I for one thought her comment was hilarious, and the reactions of the people being offended even more so. Anybody who isn't in the business of being offended understands the point of her joke: that it's absurd to think that God cares about who wins an Emmy. My favorite variation of this is the athletes who think God intervenes to change the outcome of sporting events. He couldn't be be bothered to save millions of people in the Holocaust and tens of millions in Communist Holocausts, but he sure cares about that Auburn/Alabama game!

As Professor Althouse observed, quite a few bloggers made the point that if Griffin had said "suck it Mohammad," a lot more would have taken umbrage. As Cassy Fiano over at Wizbang noted:

Let's just pretend for a second. Let's pretend we removed the name "Jesus" from her lovely little speech and let's insert the name "Mohammad".

Now let's imagine what the response would be. Griffin would be chastised as a bigot. CAIR would be calling for public apologies and tolerance seminars, and I'm sure we'd see Muslims rioting and calling for much more than a public apology.

Well, sure. And it's also true that many -- not all, but many -- of the liberal-minded folks who line up with Kathy Griffin now would be less tolerant of her comments if she had gone after Mohammed. This is partly because it's more physically dangerous to insult Muslims. Bill Donahue is an insufferable twit, but he is highly unlikely to actually kill anybody. But it is also also because much of the liberal self-image is about sticking up for victims, and many of our friends on the left stupidly people view Muslims as a victim group.

I am already on record as being in favor of Koran desecration. The freedom to criticize, ridicule, or even insult religion is absolutely central to both free speech and freedom of religion. We shouldn't give in to Christian Censorship Envy and start censoring anti-Christian speech more. Rather, we should all make a concerted effort to insult Mohammad on a regular basis and make Muslims accept it. The way to attack this disparity is by demanding tolerance for "suck it Mohammed" in addition to "suck it, Jesus."

The Griffin thing does serve a useful purpose in this project: it helps to educate Muslims that, while you can remonstrate with somebody who insults your religion, or express disagreement or condemnation, at the end of the day you don't get to kill them. So I applaud Griffin, and I encourage her to invite Mohammed to suck it after Jesus is done sucking.

Of course, not everybody feels the way I do. Some folks are just outraged by the whole thing. Here is my absolutely favorite outraged reaction, by blogger Aurvant. I don't think it's a parody, though of course I could be taken in:

I’m not sure but if it was possible for a person to carve out their own personal niche in Hell I’m pretty certain that Kathy Griffin just build herself a mansion of torment in that Dark Place where the Worn Never Dies and the Fire is Never Quenched.

Seriously, I couldn’t stand to hear it due to the skin crawling effect it sent down my spine. I’m hoping for some kind of divine retribution but her getting her spotlight stolen at the Emmy’s is a start.

Let me get this straight. This guy believes that God has his own personal torture chamber. Which is bad enough. In his torture chamber, God doesn't just torture the folks who really, really, really deserve it: the really evil people who killed millions like Hitler and Marx and Mao and Stalin and Pol Pot. Serial killers. Child molesters, Rapists. He also tortures people like Kathy Griffin, who do nothing other than tell Jesus to suck it. This blogger says he is "pretty certain" he is going to torture Griffin for all eternity for this. Not only that, he's actively "hoping" she gets this "divine retribution." He wants her to be tortured.

I previously blogged about Mother Teresa's fetish for suffering, but at least Mother T presumably thought that the people who were brought cloeser to God by dying wracked with pain would be free of the suffering in the afterlife. Sure, she wanted to increase human pain and misery here on Earth, but I see no reason she was the sort of sadist who relishes other people being tortured for all eternity. But this dude actually relishes the thought.

It is pretty hard to square the whole "God With a Torture Chamber" idea with the notion that this deity is kind and benevolent and loves us. Particularly if he casts people into the torture chamber for such trivial slights. I can imagine a deity who tortures people who insult him for all eternity, and I can see it might behoove one to worship such a powerful and sadistic entity. But such a being isn't an all-loving deity -- it's a supremely powerful deranged psychopath. You would worship such a God for the same reason you might obey an armed bank robber who just killed a guard: terror.

I will say this: any being who tortures Kathy Griffin for all eternity because she made an arguably-offensive comment isn't worthy of my worship. Or yours.


evanescent said...

Excellent post! You're spot on that there is no reason why religion is exempt of abuse. For purposes of comedy or just our own personal rants, we can mock politicians, sports stars, even the crippled should we so wish (as cruel as some may consider it); the point is that it's freedom of speech. And if religion thinks it has a get-out-of-abuse free card we should show it that it's sadly mistaken!


(Of course I'm not being intentionally offensive to theists, the point is that IF I WANT TO though, I have the right to.)

yugenie said...

I was struck by the reaction of the blogger Aurvant in wanting her punished. Just talking to a good friend this week who went to a private convent school, and she said to me "there's no other word for it - those nuns were just evil" I was a bit shocked, we've all heard stories about bad nuns but I sort of assumed they were in the minority, but apparently not.

Ian said...

"God doesn't just torture the folks who really, really, really deserve it: the really evil people who killed millions like Hitler and Marx and Mao and Stalin and Pol Pot."

As they sang in Sesame Street, "one of these things is not like the other/one of these things is not the same."

Which population was it that Marx, a political scientist, economist, historian, philosopher, etc. etc. killed? Agree or disagree with his academic theses as you will, but writing a flawed treatise on economics is hardly equivalent to killing millions one assumes.

Other than that though, great post. It should be far more offensive to people who actually buy what the bible's selling to hear someone claim that Jesus gave him or her an Emmy, but you never here public condemnation of that weak theology, since it serves to promote their tired man-in-the-sky delusions.

Aurvant said...

Since I'm actually referenced in your comments I figure I should at least grace the comments with my presence.

First off! Let me just say that I hadn't figured that my divine retribution comment (which was satire by the way) would be so loathed and abhorred. Sorry if that offends you, but just like Ms. Griffin I do kinda have the right to offend don't I? At least in your views that is.

Second off! Ms. Griffin likes to consider herself a "militant atheist" (her words not mine) which means she is an active member of society who constantly opposes theism. Technically this actually makes her a Misotheist (which means "One who hates God") and that means her statement shouldn't be misunderstood and thought to just be some jolly joke about people who trivially thank Jesus for winning an award.

Third off! (amusing little bullets I have) Marx didn't kill any form of population. I mean...if you want to use that argument Charles Manson DIDN'T kill anyone at Sarah Tate's house that night long ago, but his twisted world and society views drove people to do it. Manson was charged and still remains in jail to this day. Marx, I guess, died before he could be properly charged.! Yeah....nothing here to really close on is there? Oh! I know! Don't be too offended by what I say. I'm only "making a joke" ;P

Goddess Cassandra said...

I've got to go with the above poster: I don't remember ANYWHERE in Marx's philosophies encouraging anyone to kill anybody else. And he certainly didn't kill anyone that I know of.

cheerful iconoclast said...

Aurvant, thanks for the comment. Glad to know you were joking.

I suppose you would call me a "misotheist" too, although I think it's something of a misnomer. I don't "hate" God any more than I hate the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. I just think that God, the Tooth Ferry, and Santa Claus are beings who don't exist.

As to the Marxism subthread, Marx's political philosophy, when applied, has resulted in tens of millions of deaths -- nobody knows the exact total, but it's more than 50 million and may be as much as 100 million. If the attempt to implement Marxism had resulted in one instance of megadeaths, you could argue that it was just a deluded follower. But the fact that it happened over and over suggests that there is something deeply wrong with the theory.

Theists aren't the only bad guys in this world, you know.

Anonymous said...

In a sense, all followers of Mohammed are already telling Jesus, Vishnu, Buddah, etc, to go suck it.

The public, outdoor, Islamic call to prayer (5x daily, worldwide), specifically states that there is no god but the god for whom Mohammad is his (ultimate) prophet.

That is, all Muslims are publicly yelling in the street that everyone else's views on religion are wrong.

If Muslims turn out not to be completely correct, then they have abandoned any right to complain about public criticism of other religious views, as they do it themselves, as a matter of routine policy.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Capitalism can be blamed for millions of deaths too... Well, you see, I'm a capitalist, bu I don't think there is any one murderous economic system. There are murderous people, and they are everywhere, most unhappily...

D.G. said...

You forgot to mention that when Jesus said to love your enemies and bless those who persecute you, he probably DIDN'T mean to wish ETERNAL TORMENT on them.

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