The One Reaction I've Been Waiting For

"The decision of most mainstream media outlets not to reprint or show the controversial cartoons is the right one," says Catholic League president Bill Donohue. "Regrettably, the decision by the media not to offend Muslims is motivated by fear, not ethics. Worse than this by far is the violent reaction, and calls for violence, that have sprung up all over the Muslim world. This is pure barbarism.

"Whenever the Catholic League criticizes a work of art, cartoon, movie or TV show, we are told that (a) we're the intolerant ones (b) what is offensive is in the eye of the beholder (c) art is supposed to make people uncomfortable (d) no one can criticize anything until they have seen it (e) protests have a 'chilling effect' on free speech (f) it's not real anyway, and (g) get over it. So why have Muslims been spared this lecture? Because the extremists in their ranks—and they are not a tiny minority—have shown they may respond with beheadings... Ethics, not fear, should guide the media. As for Muslims offended by the cartoons, they should learn what a civilized response entails."

My tribute to Donohue.

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  • ||

    The only thing worse than a blowhard is a blowhard when he's right.

  • ||

    I never thought I'd see the day where I thought Bill Donohue was right about something. Excuse me while I collect my jaw from the floor.

  • fyodor||

    So why have Muslims been spared this lecture?

    Because Jennifer doesn't have a big enough bullhorn to reach them! :-)

  • ||

    have shown they may respond with beheadings

    I'm not aware of any beheadings that took place during the riots. The only deaths I heard about are mostly police or soldiers shooting rioters. Did I miss something?

  • Ed||

    They are spared the lecture because most Americans -- our President most visibly -- believe in an imaginary supreme being as well. He has a different name and he has become fairly benign compared with certain other holy entities, but criticizing Allah opens the door to an unwelcome examination of our own irrationalities. Christian Americans have more in common with Muslims than they are ready or willing to admit.

  • ||

    Kudos to H&R for finally taking the opportunity to point out that not everything 'teh religgus' say is simply opportunity for bigoted mockery.

    Shame on the rest of you who have to take the opportunity to do it anyway. It's embarrasing how superior many of you pretend to be in the course of being so ignorant.

    Now, if you'd mentioned ratzingers 'god is love' encyclical... :) A little credit where due isnt a bad thing.

    JG

  • ||

    I calls it like I sees it, Gilmore.

  • ||

    Catholics wouldn't know how to start a good riot. He's just jealous.

  • JT Barrie||

    I believe there is far more antipathy resulting from our refusal to abide by democratic principles when operating inside Islam. We detain thousands without even a hearing, for indefinite periods of time. If there's no trial and nobody has been charged they are NOT terrorists. Innocent until proven guilty as we like to boast. And that doesn't count rendition of prisoners, extralegal interrogation techniques, sponsorship of death squads using indigenous people, and other criminal activities. I'm outraged, and I don't have friends or relatives in custody. I am not in immediate danger of having my life put on hold forever because I live in a country without laws [well, at least not yet - but if they can do it there it won't take that long here].

    Any time you use religious dogma to justify oneself over others this is a perversion of faith. Jesus [also revered in Islam] said this on more than one occasion - even if he said nothing about homosexuality. Ditto for Paul [not so revered in Islam]. And yes, the Book of Daniel, got similar reactions from our christians because of a cavalier depiction of Jesus and other articles of faith. So hypersensitivity isn't confined to Islam.

  • ||

    Ethics, not fear, should guide the media.

    Shut the fuck up, Donohue. If the reaction to the media is violence, should it not be scared?

    Why don't you go over to Iran or Afghanistan and start running your mouth. Or would that be against your ethics?

  • ||

    anon,
    Yes, you missed the "may respond" in his comment.

  • ||

    this isn't about "hypersensitivity". it is about wanton violence, rioting, assault, etc.

    whatever one thinks about the religious right, in this case - Mr. Donahue is 100% right.

    the double standards and hypocrisy of the NYT et al is astounding.

    any of them that says that they are not posting the cartoons out of sensitivity is lying. laughably. the NYT posted pictures of the virgin mary covered in dung when IT became a news item.

    they didn't not post it out of sensitivity.

    the cartoons are a NEWS ITEM. they are no longer notable for their editorial value, but for their NEWS value. people have a right to know, what, if anything is so insensitive about these cartoons that it would drive a bunch of raving fascist lunatics to engage in wanton violence

    IF they posted the cartoons, they would be showing that in fact, the cartoons are absurdly mild, and are getting a violent reaction from the same type of thugs that routinely celebrate cartoons that depict americans, and jews in the most vile and disgusting ways. (the old blood libel etc.).

    they DO have every right to do so, but again the hypocrisy is amazing.

    clearly, the NYT et al are RIGHTLY afraid of the reacion from violent thugs IF they post the cartoons. however, this creates an amazing incentive FOR violence. iow, we will mock, criticize, and be insensitive (the NYT) when we can be reasonably sure there won't be violent protestsq, but in the case of muslim fanatics, they are scary, so we will pretend to be sensitive.

    even the New York Press pulled the cartoons at the last minute. this is the same publication that printed a "100 reasons why I hope the pope dies" editorial.

    I am not catholic, but I am 100% in agreement with Mr. Donahue here - because he is right.

    and let's stop "defining deviancy down" to borrow a phrase. these fascists are not being "hypersensitive". that is like saying Attila the Hun was a 'bit assertive"

    SPARE ME

  • ||

    If the NYT had stated "We are not showing these cartoons because we feel that would jeapordize the safety of our staff" then end of argument - right?

  • ||

    And yes, the Book of Daniel, got similar reactions from our christians because of a cavalier depiction of Jesus and other articles of faith. So hypersensitivity isn't confined to Islam.

    I wonder how the Christards would react to Moral Orel on Cartoon Network?

  • ||

    Well said, whit.

  • Jeff P.||

    Actually I think they've been spared the arguement because it's assumed they woundn't understand it. As Catholicism is steeped in Western Culture, has been active in the arts, and was instrumental in many aspects of the Renaissance, We foolishly expect someone who deems themself as the ultimate Catholic to have at least a cursory understanding of the nature of art. The Extremist arm of Islam is a culture that eschewed its enlightenment and managed to effectively ban science. I, for one, don't expect them to "get" such subtlties as Art Theory.

    If someone painted Christ to look like Bush (as was done with Fortunato, the Pope Alexander VI illigitamate son) what would Donahue say then?

  • ||

    Is it just me, or do I find the Muslim reaction inconsistant? I have seen things in U.S. media ("kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity"), and heard far more extreme things on Fox News, than the cartoons in this paper.

    Why are Muslims getting so outraged over a European newspaper, when media sources in the U.S. do these kinds of things all the time?

    As much as I dislike the U.S. policy in Iraq, and the "War on Terror", there is something to be said about be a big bad beligerant Satan, as opposed to a "spineless Eurocrat". I mean, when the U.S. invaded Iraq it certainly didn't provoke this kind of widespread violent outrage. Could it be that they are outraged because they know that the Europeans will eventually back down and apologize and make it illegal to defame Islam, were they know that the U.S. government would love nothing more than to have another excuse to attack them.

    (Yes, I understand that a lot of newspapers in the U.S. were pretty spineless about printing the cartoons... but that is the New York times and such, who are pretty much guyless weenies anyway).

  • ||

    If someone painted Christ to look like Bush (as was done with Fortunato, the Pope Alexander VI illigitamate son) what would Donahue say then?

    Donahue would whine that it was just another example of the "liberal jews" who run Hollywood trying to keep the poor, oppressed American Catholic down.

  • Captain Holly||

    And yes, the Book of Daniel, got similar reactions from our christians because of a cavalier depiction of Jesus and other articles of faith.

    Really? I must have missed all that arson and bloody rioting in front of NBC's studios.

    Damned shame, if you ask me. I was looking forward to bashing some Hollywood liberals in Jesus' name. We Christards are always eager to restart the Inquisition, you know.

  • ||

    Donohoe recently railed against an episode of "South Park" on the grounds it was offensive to Catholics. Comedy Central cancelled a scheduled showing of the episode, partly due to Donohoe's group's protests. So his pro-censorship stance here is unsurprising.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2005/12/30/bloody_mary_war_on_x.html

  • ||

    "If the NYT had stated "We are not showing these cartoons because we feel that would jeapordize the safety of our staff" then end of argument - right?"

    I would have more respect for them if they said: "We don't wish to indulge in gratuitous offensiveness that may alienate our paying Muslim subcribers. We have families to feed, too."

  • fyodor||

    It's embarrasing how superior many of you pretend to be in the course of being so ignorant.

    Good thing you don't think you're superior to us ignoramusses.

  • ||

    Really? I must have missed all that arson and bloody rioting in front of NBC's studios.

    Why use violence when arm twisting and extortion is far less likely to get you tossed in jail? Besides, you can always come back with the whole "this-wasn't-censorship-since-it-was-a-private-corporate-decision" line to justify the small-minded actions you make in the name of your non-existent god.

    People like you, and the excuses you make for yourselves, really make me sick.

  • ||

    Way to miss the point, Mr. Shecky.

    After all the noble-media-crusader mythos that America has been spoon-fed for the past 50 years it might be cool if the media showed a tiny degree of intestinal fortitude. If for no other reason than as a salve for their self-inflated egos.

    Oh, and they'd get to be on the right side of the debate, like Mr. Donohue, instead of the safe one.

    Non-believers are surrounded by the religious in the US, as well. But strangely they show little concern about throwing around insults like "Christard". Even when Christians have more in common with Muslim fanatics than we're ready or willing to admit. Did I get that right, Ed?

    A phone-in or letter-writing campaign in protest of a program that you find offensive is not a restraint of freedom of expression. When Congress or a violent mob gets involved in quashing an episode of South Park, then we'll talk.

    Freedom of expression does not include blanket protection from any and all repercussions, as some like to think.

  • ||

    the double standards here are amazing. it is not wrong of donahue, muslims, or anybody else to PROTEST perceived slights to their relgiions, beliefs, whatever via THEIR free speech.

    part of free speech is accepting that you can be criticized for your speech, etc.

    that is not the issue. sure, donahue would protest "artwork" or editorial cartoons perceived as "hateful" towards his religion. so what?

    that's free speech.

    what is unacceptable is resorting to the kind of violent, bullying thuggery that these fascists are in regards to the cartoons. what is especially absurd is that these are the same people who routinely print and promote far more offensive stuff in regards to jews specifically, and americans and christians in general.

    when the "artwork" piss christ was part of a PUBLICALLY funded art exhibit, many rightly protested (even many atheists) that it's a bit ridiculous ( i think publically funded art is generally a bad idea, but i digress) that taxpayer dollars was spent on artwork that depicted a crucifix in a jar of urine.

    regardless, no mobs of christians, stormed buildings, rioted in the streets, etc.

    most accepted that the artwork was and should be legal in this country, but that it should be protested, and not govt. funded

    THAT is free speech too.

    the NYT roundly criticized guilians (the village voice was even worse) for daring to suggest that publically funding artwork that was viewed as totally obscene and denigrating towards christianity was not a good idea.

    now, when we are talking PRIVATELY funded editorial cartoons that are, by any stretch, far less offensive than piss christ, the NYT is running away with their tail between their legs because there is a double standard in regards to muslims. the double standards exist for two reasons. one - christianity is the majority religion, and is associated to some extent with those to the right of center and thus is "fair game" whereas islam is an "alternative religion" (in the US) and more likely to be practiced by "people of color" (the majority of muslims in this country are black, btw. not of arab descent), and is also not the majority US religion, so they need to be "sensitive".

    but of course, their primary motivation is that they don't want their offices firebombed by radical fanatics. that's fine, but at least they need to have the sack to ADMIT that they aren't printing the cartoons (which they would print if they denigrated the majority religion) because there are lots of groups that liberals can make fun of, but muslims are like scary and stuff.

  • ||

    Jeez, if the fucking New York Times backs down over fundamentalist pressure how the hell are the Arab liberals, our great hope for peacefully changing the region, supposed to cope? I 9-11 was a wake-up call for Americans as to how much anger the US faced, this Intoonfada is an perfect indicator, for neutral outsiders and believers alike, for how dominant the fundamentalist strain of Islam is becoming. And yet, free elections in the Middle-East are supposed to somehow change this?

  • fyodor||

    BTW, the point of my joke earlier in the thread was at least partly to point out that it's not like no one is saying those things, since here at Hit & Run we sure have no trouble hearing Jennifer say many of those exact things! If the Muslim rioters don't hear here, it's hardly her fault! Now, perhaps it's the case that the same folks who have given that "lecture" to the Catholic League in such a way that they had no choice but to hear it have not done so to the Muslims. But it's a bit of a nonsequiter to call this a double standard cause there's a zillion potentially valid differences (which I shall elaborate on upon request). And it's always hard to say if someone is being hypocritical when you don't even name the supposed hypocrite (but use the passive tense instead).

    But anyway, yeah, the Muslim rioters are just as bad as the Catholic League in their attempts to censor what they don't like, and even worse for acting violently over it. And I address this to YOU, you Muslim rioters!! Happy now, Donohue?

  • ||

    "A phone-in or letter-writing campaign in protest of a program that you find offensive is not a restraint of freedom of expression. When Congress or a violent mob gets involved in quashing an episode of South Park, then we'll talk.

    "Freedom of expression does not include blanket protection from any and all repercussions, as some like to think."

    And just because some close-minded action campaign is not in violation of government laws protecting freedom of expression, doesn't mean that it's immune from criticism. You want to paint it in a way that says, "if it's not agin da law, then it's alright!" But there are quite a few things that are legal, and still reprehensible in many respects.

    Engaging in a letter-writing or phone-in campaign to get a company to stop printing or broadcasting that which you find offensive, rather than just not watching it, might be within the bounds of free expression...but that doesn't mean that it's idiotic and ignorant of the fact that not everyone thinks like you. I see a whole lot of stuff I find insulting and offensive every day...and, while I know that I have the "right", under free speech laws, to boycott or harass the offenders, I also have something called respect for other people's opinions and views. Thus, out of respect, I choose not to boycott or harass them...though I do indeed have the right to do so.

  • ||

    I haven't noticed a whole of "sparing" Muslims the lectures about free speech.

    And as "whit's" ignorant comment about "the Virgin Mary covered in dung" demonstrates, it really IS better to see something, and know what the hell you're talking about, before you start protesting it.

    (For those of you who don't know, the picture in question had a portrait of a black madonna made out of elephant dung, which is a symbol of fertility and rebirth [two themes connected with Mary in Catholic tradition] in the culture of the artist, who was a devout Catholic from Africa.)

  • Captain Holly||

    Why use violence when arm twisting and extortion is far less likely to get you tossed in jail? Besides, you can always come back with the whole "this-wasn't-censorship-since-it-was-a-private-corporate-decision" line to justify the small-minded actions you make in the name of your non-existent god.

    What "arm twisting and extortion" are you talking about? Organizing boycotts? Signing petitions? Good God, man, you have twisted view of what a free society is supposed to be like.

    As much as it may bother you, Mr. Donohue and his ilk have a Constitutional right to protest, complain, whine, moan, and threaten not to watch NBC or buy things from their sponsors. And NBC has a right to ignore them, or to cave in to them in order to keep up their ratings. It's called a free society.

    No one, however, has a right to threaten violence, burn property, create mayhem or commit murder. But that's not what the Christians did to get "Book of Daniel" cancelled.

    whit nailed it here: The big issue in this controversy is not free speech or religion. It's the incredible hypocrisy of the self-declared guardians of Free Speech, the American Media. And their left-wing supporters.

  • ||

    "Donohoe recently railed against an episode of "South Park" on the grounds it was offensive to Catholics... So his pro-censorship stance here is unsurprising."
    Comment by: Daze at February 9, 2006 01:40 PM


    Just a thought -

    Say some animated cartoon showed a bunch of blacks in overalls with fat lips and goofy grins eating watermelon, a bunch of jews with nebbishy enlarged features rubbing pennies together, and irish as mongrel drunks...etc

    If people just complained about it, would you call their position, "Pro Censorship"?

    Complaining about defamation is not necessarily the same as censorship.

    Clearly, different people have different standards, and thats why we have debates.

    I personally fall on the side of 'let everything to be insulting', and let the market choose. But i dont deny people the right to complain about shit they think is offensive. Just dont burn shit down in the process! Cancel your cable subscription. :) That sends a better message.

    re: Fyodor

    You're right. Sorry about that. But why do i have to continually point out that the H&R readers become knee-jerk bigots whenever anything that smells slightly religious is being discussed? It is ignorant of the breadth of what 'religion' entails. It's also ignorant of the fact that the vast majority of the planet manages to reconcile some kind of faith and still be reasonable people. You dont seem to allow people that much credit. I am getting sick of it. It's not the slightest bit 'libertarian' in my view to deny people a right to metaphysical assumptions. Especially when there are upsides to bits of them... like, try and love your neighbor and shit like that.

    but yeah, no one said its supposed to be easy. :)

    and if it matters, Im as atheist as the rest of you, i just sometimes dont find you people the most open minded and permissive lot in the world, depite the 'libertarian' panache.

    pace
    JG

  • ||

    joe, I believe he was actually British-born of Nigerian parents, but you are otherwise completely correct. (What's more, as a result of that, he of course never received a dollar of American tax money to create that artwork.) Dung is also used to build houses in his culture, but I guess it's not good enough to depict the Madonna.

  • R C Dean||

    I believe there is far more antipathy resulting from our refusal to abide by democratic principles when operating inside Islam.

    Why should this generate antipathy towards us, when (a) no one else operating inside the Islamic world abides by those principles and (b) the people who object most loudly to us don't even claim to want democracy in the Islamic world?

    Complaining ... is not necessarily the same as censorship.

    In fact, its necessarily not the same as censorship. Censorship isn't a "complaint", and complaints are censorship.

  • ||

    Bingo. and thanks for the props . good to "nail" something once in a while

    the creators of south park once said "we hate conservatives, but we REALLY F*CKING hate liberals" and they are exactly right to do so.

    there is no doubt that the vast majority of forced govt. censorship is coming from the left. that much is a given. see: campus speech codes, see speech codes in general, etc.

    i will spare you my reaction to your alleged claim of my "ignorance" regarding elephant dunged virgin marys.

    the primary issue was the piss-christ. which was a crucifix in urine.

    there is a blatant double standard here. we ARE the last society on earth with free speech. canada's hate speech laws, england's, the UK's etc. are absurd.

    the issue again is that the criticism can rightly go back and forth.

    art/comment is made.

    figure protests, calls boycott, etc.

    counterprotest

    counterprotest to the counterprotest, etc.

    that's all well and good.

    the 1st amendment restrictss GOVERNMENT. it does not restrict editorial choices of individuals. does a feminist bookstore owner have to carry copies of ann coulter books?

    no.

    that's not censorship.

    does the NYT have to print letters to the editor from the KKK?

    no

    etc.

    people need to stop apologizing for the thuggish, criminal practicies of the muslim fanatics. THERE IS NO COMPARISON.

    jews, christians, buddhists, hindus, etc. are not rioting, murdering, issuing fatwahs, etc. over perceived slights to their religion.

    it's coming from one place and one place only.

    and they are WRONG

  • Captain Holly||

    I see a whole lot of stuff I find insulting and offensive every day...and, while I know that I have the "right", under free speech laws, to boycott or harass the offenders, I also have something called respect for other people's opinions and views. Thus, out of respect, I choose not to boycott or harass them...though I do indeed have the right to do so.

    So, you're of the opinion that people shouldn't exercise their Constitutional rights if offends someone else?

    Not that it's necessarily invalid -- but it's a strange argument to use when you're defending a show like South Park.

  • ||

    I think the Virgin Mary painting thing was a completely different set of circumstances -- it was more of a cultural misunderstanding. Like when my hippy-ass aunt wore a white dress to my grandmother's funeral, because "in eastern religions, people wear white at funerals."

    It wasn't an affront to religion, but cultural norms of decency.

    The cartoon crap, however has no "well, if you look at many Muslim cultures throughout history, you'll see that early February is the time for exciting riots over illustrations.

  • ||

    the point of my joke earlier in the thread was at least partly to point out that it's not like no one is saying those things, since here at Hit & Run we sure have no trouble hearing Jennifer say many of those exact things! If the Muslim rioters don't hear here, it's hardly her fault!

    Why hasn't my "fuck you, inshallah," message spread through the Muslim world? I blame the Danish imams, who for some reason chose not to use it to inflame their followers.

    On the other hand, it DID take four months before the Danish imams chose to show the cartoons to the Muslim world and whine about how their widdle feewings were hurt. So let's just sit back for now, and then see what happens in June.

  • ||

    Randolph,

    I think there's an element of cultural misunderstanding here as well.

    The rioters don't seem to understand that the Danish government, and the Danish people, don't control what appears in newspapers published in Denmark.

  • ||

    let's see:

    artist (i use the term loosely and i come from a family of artists btw) places a crucifix in urine and is part of a publically sponsored public art exhibit.

    it is celebrated by NYC liberals, the village voice, etc.

    mayor of NYC says that such displays should not be publically sponsored.

    he is called fascist, etc and worse by these same oh so tolerant "liberals". he has NO RIGHT to do this, etc. the artist DOES have a right to public money. i kid you not.

    some dood in denmark makes some editorial cartoons about the worst of which is mohammed pictured with a turban-bomb.

    fascist muslim idiots burn, pillage, riot, etc.

    NYT and the other liberals run away from criticism, won't print the cartoons and bend over backwards to be sensitive.

    can you imagine the criticism from NYT if it was christian or jewish mobs in response to some cartoons?

  • ||

    Joe gets it. I haven't seen much in the way of "sparing" Muslims the lectures about free speech. Quite the opposite. Which is why Donohue is full of shit, exquisitely slaying the straw man he created.

    Yet he is willing to chastise the media for cowering over a potentially violent reaction. Tough words when you are not under threat of violence. I doubt he'll let that reality keep him from his persection complex, however.

  • ||

    For those of you who don't know, the picture in question had a portrait of a black madonna made out of elephant dung, which is a symbol of fertility and rebirth [two themes connected with Mary in Catholic tradition] in the culture of the artist, who was a devout Catholic from Africa

    Right Joe, try telling that to the kid at UPenn who called the girls water buffalos a few years ago. And don't forget that the NYT again published the elephant dung picture in an article about this.

  • ||

    shecky, you admit that Donohue's right that it's gutlessness rather than high-minded principle keeping MSM from printing those cartoons, then proceed to criticize Donohue for being correct? Perhaps he wouldn't be calling them out if they'd shown Christianity one-tenth the "respect" they've managed to drum up for dear old Muhammad.

    Aren't we to the stage of spin "development" where the media starting saying things like "normally we don't run shit like this out of respect for peoples' sensitivities, but at this point the 'story is the story'..." blah, blah, blah?

  • ||

    Swillfredo, that would be the UPenn kid who ended up with absolutely no official reprimand, and who was completely cleared of all charges, right?

    But I see the connection - in criticizing the picture Donohue is behaving exactly like the girls who complained about being called "water buffalo."

  • ||

    would be the UPenn kid who ended up with absolutely no official reprimand, and who was completely cleared of all charges, right?

    You're fucking kidding me right? Go read the whole story Joe and tell me that he did not suffer.

    And apparently you don't see the connection. Edin Jacobowitz certainly meant no offense yet somehow he was the bad guy for saying something that might be misinterpreted by someone else. This is not about the elephant dung it is about the NYT's decision to print it. Regardless of the motivation of the artist, the NYT knew damn well it was going to piss Catholics off. That they would use it again this week in a wholly unrelated story shows what craven cowards Pinch and the rest of his staff are.

  • ||

    So, you're of the opinion that people shouldn't exercise their Constitutional rights if offends someone else?

    Not that it's necessarily invalid -- but it's a strange argument to use when you're defending a show like South Park.



    No, feel free to use your Constitutional rights to say whatever the hell you want. Too bad that networks and advertisers don't have the cojones to tell Donohue and the AFA to f-off. I'll just keep using my constitutional rights to say to moral-panic purveying busybodies should mind their own damn business and not watch that which offends (OMG! Book of Daniel is produced by a "practicing homosexual," whatever the hell that is. Maybe if he keeps practicing, someday he'll be a professional). Personally, I think society would be better off if someone hit Don Wildmon in the head with a rock. Or hit Bill Donohue in the head with Don Wildmon.

    The difference, of course, is that I wouldn't pick up the rock (or Don Wildmon) myself.

  • ||

    whit, you are a fucktard, and are conflating two different incidents, while in the process getting the particulars of both just about completely wrong.

    artist (i use the term loosely and i come from a family of artists btw) places a crucifix in urine and is part of a publically sponsored public art exhibit.

    1. Nobody cares where the hell you come from; you are not the authority on what is and isn't art.

    2. Piss Christ is a photograph, not a urine jar with a crucifix in it, and if not for the provocative title, one wouldn't ever know what the medium was. (Link to JPEG of Piss Christ.

    3. The issue with it had nothing to do with being part of a publicly-sponsored art exhibit; the issue was an artist's grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    it is celebrated by NYC liberals, the village voice, etc.

    I'm going to need cites here regarding arts reviews of Serrano's work by NYC media or I will assume you are making this up.

    mayor of NYC says that such displays should not be publically sponsored.

    No, this was the Chris Ofili Black Madonna event. You've got them all mixed up, probably because of the aforementioned fucktardiness.

    he is called fascist, etc and worse by these same oh so tolerant "liberals". he has NO RIGHT to do this, etc. the artist DOES have a right to public money. i kid you not.

    No, this is not at all what happened. The argument was that if the city is going to help fund art exhibits or galleries it must do so in a content-neutral manner; it cannot shut them down just because a work comes along that some ignorant people, led by the nose by the Bill Donohues into thinking it's something it isn't, are offended by.

    You have pretty much gotten everything about both incidents wrong, so why don't you have a nice warm glass of STFU?

    jews, christians, buddhists, hindus, etc. are not rioting, murdering, issuing fatwahs, etc. over perceived slights to their religion.

    Try driving an ambulance through the Orthodox neighborhoods in Israel during Shabbos some time and get back to me on that.

  • fyodor||

    Y'know, this angst over the NYT's possible double standard sure contrasts with the big yawn combined with defense of editorial perogative over the case of the Danish paper's previous decision to reject cartoons that might cause an "outcry" amongst Christians. Don't know if it's the same people yawning over one while gnashing their teeth over the other, but it's quite a contrast.

  • fyodor||

    Jennifer,

    Your response to my tee-hee about you, albeit tongue-in-cheek, actually seems to support what someone previous in this thread, possibly even your own guy IIRC (thus maybe no coincidence) said about the Muslim rioters not getting the same tongue lashing as the Catholic League gets because no one expects them (the rioters) to even understand the concepts being expressed to them. I say that because your response seems (despite that it's humor) to imply that you think the only response the rioters would have to your "lecture" would be to riot more. And maybe, for all I know, you're right.

  • ||

    fyodor,
    From what I've read (maybe in another thread?) the "anti-christian" cartoons were reader-submitted and stupid rather than offensive. The editors didn't want to publish them, and had to tell the budding jesus cartoonist something in the rejection letter.

  • Captain Holly||

    Personally, I think society would be better off if someone hit Don Wildmon in the head with a rock. Or hit Bill Donohue in the head with Don Wildmon.

    Interesting. Very interesting.

  • ||

    But why do i have to continually point out that the H&R readers become knee-jerk bigots whenever anything that smells slightly religious is being discussed?

    JG, I'm totally with you (except its really only SOME people). Does get tiresome.

  • ||

    whit,

    the primary issue was the piss-christ. which was a crucifix in urine.

    Piss Christ was a cross with Jesus on it suspended in urine (and some small amount of blood). It was meant to symbolize the human connection to Christ, and thus Christ's human nature. People with pea-sized brains had a hard time bending their minds around this though and took the work as one of insult.

  • ||

    I say that because your response seems (despite that it's humor) to imply that you think the only response the rioters would have to your "lecture" would be to riot more. And maybe, for all I know, you're right.

    The thing is, Fyodor, what evidence is there to suggest that they'd do anything else? Calm debate doesn't appear to be their forte these days.

    Personally, I think society would be better off if someone hit Don Wildmon in the head with a rock. Or hit Bill Donohue in the head with Don Wildmon. . . . Interesting. Very interesting.

    Holly, do you think Fred was speaking literally?

  • ||

    Re: the Danish newspaper.

    "Jullands-Posten, the 135-year-old newspaper that inflamed the Muslim world by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, has a history of being controversial, said Gerhardt Eriksen, a retired employee who has written two books about his former paper. Among its stands:

    -In 1957, the culture editor praised a Norwegian book widely regarded as pornographic.
    -Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev canceled a visit to Denmark in 1959, reportedly because articles in the paper 'were very critical of the Soviet Union'
    -A 1992 editorial bluntly criticized an anti-immigrant party, provoking a furious reaction from conservative voters and readers.'"

    -Tribune, Feb. 9

  • fyodor||

    GILMORE,

    Funny how you apologize then go on to do the same thing.

    And, in fact, part of it is hard to avoid and maybe we shouldn't bother trying. That is, the part about seeming "superior." On one hand, I agree that it's better to make our points without being jerks about it. On the other, well, the other hand has two parts. One is that ANY time you think you're right and someone else is wrong, it's hard to avoid altogether seeming "superior." Sure, it's less likely with some tact, but that brings me to the other part (of this second hand, if you're keeping score), which is that it takes more effort to be tactful and is often a helluva lot LESS FUN. So I'd say there's pros and cons to either exercising restraint versus letting it all hang out. And if some people here (I sure don't think it's as universal as you and the occasional like-minded complainer say) think religion is cracked, well they may as well say it, and if they say it tactlessly, well I hope they're at least funny.

    FWIW, I have some advice for you. Instead of jumping up and complaining about all the unfair hostility that's supposedly too often being hurled at religion in response to a post when a religious person has been treated fairly, I suggest that when people actually display the unsavory behavior that you've broadly brushed this whole venue with, that you THEN speak up and call bullshit. I think it's more fair to address the actual poster committing the offense than everyone, for one thing, and more meaningful and potentially effective to do it in a timely manner for another.

    Just a suggestion.

  • ||

    Wow, I'm threatening to pull out my calming Rodney King cliche. Amidst all this sound and fury, I think the best insight I've read recently about the hypocrisy of the Left/NYT is from the TCS article on Folk Marxism. As for religious debates on web site comment boards or similar formats, you think people would have learned by now.

  • ||

    linguist,

    Well, Muslim scholars are always telling us to look at barbaric statements in the Qu'ran "in context," but the context of the Jullands-Posten cartoon public is ignored (namely that the publication was stating rather bluntly that an author of a children's book couldn't get anyone to illustrate her book due to fear).

  • ||

    "Piss Christ was a cross with Jesus on it suspended in urine (and some small amount of blood). It was meant to symbolize the human connection to Christ, and thus Christ's human nature. People with pea-sized brains had a hard time bending their minds around this though and took the work as one of insult."

    i'm well aware of the supposed "meaning" of this great work of art. i do read the village voice. i told you that. it's a great emetic when i am dieting.

    regardless, that's not the point. the point is that suspending a crucifix in urine is obviously going to offend people, and it has nothing to do with having a pea size brain

    people who use some of the most racist bigoted language on earth have similar "justifications" for their obscenities.

    only a brown university semiotics /art history double major could possibly claim that only those with pea brains would find piss-christ offensive

    and again, the double standard is amazing. NYT et al say that people need to be sensitive to artistic expression (publically funded) when an artist suspends a cross in urine, but the same cannot be said when some dood draws a picture of mohammed with a bomb turban.

    kofi annan's statement today was typical of this absurd mindset.

    and the issue is that christian thugs were not rioting in a murderous thuggish frenzy over piss-christ.

    compare and contrast

  • fyodor||

    From what I've read (maybe in another thread?) the "anti-christian" cartoons were reader-submitted and stupid rather than offensive. The editors didn't want to publish them, and had to tell the budding jesus cartoonist something in the rejection letter.

    Yes, they were submitted, but the relevance of that seems questionable. Plus, some of what you say is clearly speculative. Suffice to say that if you worked as hard at getting the NYT off the hook as you're doing for the Danish paper, it would probably not be too hard.

  • ||

    ...It was meant to symbolize the human connection to Christ, and thus Christ's human nature...

    I do not have trouble imagining, that if that were my intent, that it would difficult to see the other possible interpretation. I cannot help but think that the artist had some intent to provoke Christians for not to recognize that possibilty would require a pea-er-sized brain (no pun with the homophones) as well.

    Then again, maybe you were simply being ironic. Haha.

    EU Mulls Media Code After Cartoon Protests

    A little violence does wonders...
    As civilization and freedom implode like an old LasVegas hotel.
    Hopefully we can be the vault in the basement.

    ---
    I think they're attacking the reason servers now.

  • ||

    whit,

    ...and it has nothing to do with having a pea size brain

    Sure it does. Instead of using reason they'd rather react emotionally to the object. The rest of your statements don't address anything I wrote.

  • ||

    Sigh. Since any depiction of the Prophet himself (whether positive or negative) is considered offensive, but presumably a depiction of his unoccupied clothing would not be, somebody needs to do a "Piss Mohammed's Underwear" photograph. This would depict a pair of crumpled briefs in some kind of fluid exuding a warm reddish-golden glow.

    Accompanying the photo would be an explanation that, despite the deliberately provocative title, this is actually meant to be a reverent image that emphasises the Prophet's human nature. In addition, it should be further explained, this would be in keeping with Muslim teachings, and considered a gentle rebuke to the idolatry of the Christians, who falsely and mistakenly regard the central human figure of their religion, the Prophet Jesus, as God. This is not meant to be a mockery, it would be explained, but a serious statement totally in keeping with the orthodox teachings of a major world religion.

    Then the photo, along with the explanation, should be published as a full-page ad in the New York Times. And since it is intended to promote world peace, understanding and improved international and intercultural relations, the creation and publication of the piece should all be paid for with tax-payer dollars.

    This should settle all accounts and and grievances on all sides and make everything square. Then we can move on to the next thing.

  • ||

    Whenever I think of humanity and mortality, my mind always flashes an image of a big jar of piss.

  • ||

    Stevo Darkly,

    Heh.

    whit,

    Also, arguing that someone should understand what one is criticizing doesn't seem to be all that controversial of a rebuke.

  • ||

    Whenever I think of humanity and mortality, my mind always flashes an image of a big jar of piss.

    And oddly, whenever I take a piss, my mind flashes to thoughts of humanity and mortality.

    And the mystery of the dual nature of Jesus.

    Essentially, a few hours of hanging out in a bar until my bladder gets full is just like going to church for me.

  • ||

    Essentially, a few hours of hanging out in a bar until my bladder gets full is just like going to church for me.

    Don't I know it...but I hate it when the little crucifix gets stuck in my eurethra. Ouch!

  • ||

    See, I "read" Piss Christ as being a commentary on the problems with the Great Dualities in our culture - sacred/profane, spirit/body, beauty/ugliness, and in a twist particular to the are world, religious icon/freaky po mo performance art scat. Look at the image that Phil links to - it looks like a modern religious icon. The glow seems to be an adorational element. I can just imagine it hanging in a museum, and somebody seeing it and appreciating it on that level, then leaning in reaaaaaaalllly close to read the title, and shouting, "PISS Christ?!? Ewwwwww!!!!"

    But you read Donohue or whit, and you'd think it was lying in a reeking puddle on the floor.

  • ||

    somewhat non-sequitor, but w/ modern art (and I'm a fan of a lot of it) has the explaination of the piece become more important than the piece itself? I'm no DuChampe basher, but I think that if an essay is necessary to understand anything about a work, then it may have moved from art to science.


    Sorry, continue on your worthwhile conversation

  • ||

    FYODOR - "I suggest that when people actually display the unsavory behavior that you've broadly brushed this whole venue with, that you THEN speak up and call bullshit."

    hey man, the sorry was sincere.

    The continuation of my point was in reference to the fact that over the last few months there have been a half dozen threads where I *have* confronted specific people for specific comments, calling bullshit to them and them alone... most people generally ignore these comments and go on with reactionary misrepresentations, to the tune of 'all religion is a product of feeble minded people unlike our awesomely independent tolerent selves'.

    The thread, 'Congratulations - You're Not a Libertarian' was where this started for me. There are about 6 or so intervening threads where the same dance repeats itself.

    The fact is, H&R is an echo-chamber of self-satisfied, bigoted snobbery when it comes to religion. The regular comments about 'their non existent god' and the constant generalizations about 'how faith is incompatible with reason' are a) misinformed, and b) really not in tune with what I would consider libertarian principles, which in my reading, would permit people to have whatever myths they want, so long as their dogs dont shit on my lawn and they dont try and code myths into law.

    Thanks for listening anyway.

    JG

  • ||

    GILMORE,

    The fact is, H&R is an echo-chamber of self-satisfied, bigoted snobbery when it comes to religion.

    Given that numerous posters make this claim quite often it seems a bit odd to call this place an echo chamber. I think its more true that there are some posters here who really have respect for religion and that just pisses off a certain class of posters - namely the folks like you and Dave W.

  • ||

    The fact is, H&R is an echo-chamber of self-satisfied, bigoted snobbery when it comes to religion.

    Gilmore, with all respect, there have been, and continue to be, big arguments on this board about whether faith is compatible with reason. A handful of regular commenters in this very thread, unless I'm mistaken, believe that it is. I believe that it is.

    So take it easy, bud, you may not realize it, but half the people you're preachin' to may already be in the choir.

  • ||

    Ken Shultz,

    Its much easier for GILMORE to play the victim of a conspiracy though. :)

  • ||

    file under : endlessly missing the point.

    it isn't about what the artist's intent was, and nobody will ever KNOW what the artist's intent was, only his CLAIM about what it is.

    and who cares?

    the reality is this. the vast majority of christians, and many non-christians would and did find an art piece that features a crucifix in urine.

    one doesn't have to be a christian to feel this way. and the symbol doesn't have to be "sacred". a US flag in urine would also be offensive to most americans i think, whatever lofty oh so artistic point the artist would be trying to make.

    you can justify anything by claiming some intent of the artist under some nifty theory.

    this, again, has nothing to do with pea brains. that was just your ad hominem attack to belittle people who have different opinions about "art" than you do.

    the issue was this.

    christians and others who found the piece obscene DID NOT have the criminal, thuggish, fascist response to this work that we are now seeing in regards to these rather mundane cartoons.

    AND the NYT, Village Voice, etc. did everything but jump up and down clapping over this courageous art.

    in the case of the cartoons, the NYT et al are running away and not printing the cartoons WHICH ARE NEWS because they are afraid. and 1000 times worse, they are afraid to admit they are afraid.

    Serrano had EVERY right to create piss christ. we are not Europe, where "vilification of religion" is a crime. we are not canada, that criminalizes "hate speech" etc. we are better.

    but you cannot put a cross in urine and not expect entirely rational people with brains well in excess of pea-sized will be offended and will make their offense known

    it is a classic elitist argument (and absurd) that (to paraphrase) "it's just these dumb peabrains who don't understand the artistic significance of this work of art".

    somebody gotta say the emperor has no clothes.

    and this case, he didn't. he was nekkid.

    i recall the case in another museum where a piece of art hung upside down for quite some time, and nobody noticed. because it was meaningless either way.

    anybody who creates art by soaking a crucifix (or nearly anything else that people hold as important or symbolic) should expect intense protests, etc.

    but as long as he doesn't do it to muslim symbols, he won;t need to expect riotous violence.

    and if serrano is such a principled artist, then i double dog dare him to take a koran and submerge it in urine, and then do it in a public art display. even better- take this display to any muslim country and see how far you get.

    again - compare and contrast.

  • ||

    whit,

    Who on this forum are you actually arguing against? Is it Harvey the Rabbit?

  • ||

  • ||

    i am not arguing. i am discussing :)

    i am arguing with the guy who claims it is only pea brains that don't understand the great artistic significance of piss christ, etc. it's in the thread

  • ||

    whit,

    Only pea brains - no matter their religious persuasion - react in the emotional way that you seem content to defend. As to your rant about the NY Times, etc., no one in this discussion has defended the NY Times, etc., so it seems to me that your trying to whip some controversy and no one is buying into it.

  • ||

    the "pea-brains" if anybody, are the ones who are rioting over cartoons.

    it is not pea-brained, regardless of religious persuasion to protest (via our guaranteed right to free speech) a dunking of a crucifix in urine.

    i am not seeming to defend the rightness and reasonableness of people who protested piss-christ (especially the public funding thereof). i AM defending it.

    i would similarly defend the reaction of people who protested a US flag in urine, a koran in urine, a torah in urine, etc.

    and it is of course partially an emotional reaction. it does not therefore follow that it is an irrational reaction. it would be irrational NOT to take offense.

  • ||

    whit,

    it would be irrational NOT to take offense.

    I see, so the only rational response to "Piss Christ" is to take offense? Heh. I didn't find it offensive, nor would I find a Qu'ran or a "Darwin Fish" in urine offensive. Of course I don't have a fetish over objects like the Bible, flags, crosses and the like.

  • ||

    whit,

    it is not pea-brained, regardless of religious persuasion to protest (via our guaranteed right to free speech) a dunking of a crucifix in urine.

    If you are upset merely because its in urine yes it is pea brained. Its a poorly thought out response.

    Do you think that people who got upset over Gibson's celebration of bloodletting because they felt the film was anti-semitic (before they even saw or studied it) right in smart in their response?

    If anything, the reaction to "Piss Christ" is an example of a P.C. "outrage" culture.

  • ||

    Hakluyt =

    "I think its more true that there are some posters here who really have respect for religion and that just pisses off a certain class of posters - namely the folks like you and Dave W."

    Am I misreading this? I'm pissed off about other peoples 'respect'?

    Maybe i havent been clear enough? :)

    My comments have been that 'most' frequently make bigoted generalizations whenever provided the opportunity. Not all. And those that do arent taken to task for it by the rest. Hence, the comments have become conventional wisdom. Whats pissing me off about the tolerant silent ones again? I dont get your point.

    thx

    JG

  • ||

    (amendment to previous comment)

    rereading again, i think what you were saying was that the 'class of people' that were being pissed off were NOT 'me and some other guy', but that my making a stink about certain bigotry pisses OTHER people off?

    If thats what you mean, forget for the previous comment. Your sentence structure was hard to parse :)

    I aint pissed off, FWIW. H&R is where i feel most in common with the general audience. It's just that, yes, while there are occasional tete a tetes like the one above about 'piss christ' etc. (which i could care less about), there is rarely any honest discussion of whether this 'lets put religion in a special restrictive box' attitude is consistent with 'liberty'.

    I signed petitions trying to defend the right of the Brooklyn museam to keep the 'virgin mary slathered with elephant dung' picture... which Rudy G in his catholic rectitude had decided required his intervention to remove it. Although the city/state gave SOME funds to the museum, they didnt have the right to tell them what they could/couldnt display.

    i hope its clear that i'm all for free speech of all kinds, even the most offensive.

    I'm also for anyone saying whatever they want about other people's speech :) Call it what it is. Maybe it eventually becomes dialogue. Maybe not. Beats burning each other in effigy, which is what i often see here - using the most vile and offensive elements of religion as the basis for generalizing about the whole.

    Love and christ-cookies,

    JG

  • ||

    "If you are upset merely because its in urine yes it is pea brained. Its a poorly thought out response"

    why do you think *i* am upset. i never said i was. constantly amazes me the way people confuse the political with the personal.

    Gibson's film was not anti-semtic. that's my opinion, obviously, but i think the wealth of evidence supports that opinion.

    i think it entirely reasonable for ANYBODY (christian , atheist, buddhist, etc.) to be offended by piss-christ and many non-christians were.

    the fact that you think it is PC outrage culture that people were upset by a crucifix dunked in urine shows an absurd extension of the PC concept. there are things that are offensive. i am about the least PC person out there (and again, i never said *i* was offended by piss christ), but it is absurd to claim that people are being merely PC because they are offended by a crucifix in urine being forwarded as "art".

    another poster wrote:

    "I signed petitions trying to defend the right of the Brooklyn museam to keep the 'virgin mary slathered with elephant dung' picture... which Rudy G in his catholic rectitude had decided required his intervention to remove it. Although the city/state gave SOME funds to the museum, they didnt have the right to tell them what they could/couldnt display"

    this i strongly disagree with. *if* you accept govt. money to display art, that DOES give the govt. the right to censor content. that is why, among other things, I am generally against govt. funded art. govt. funded art is probably ok in like a very bland statue in front of a public building or something like that, but the idea that people's tax money should be used on "art" that is so clearly offensive to so many people is just silly, imo, and points out the problems with govt. funding of art.

    this is similar to the whole banning military recruiters from campus thing. i strongly believe that any TRULY private school that does not accept govt. money has the absolute 100% right to ban recruiters (or anybody) from their campuses. public campuses, or private ones that take govt. money do not. they can counter recruiters speech with THEIR speech, but they should not be able to tell the govt (we'll take your money, thanks, but not your recruiters.). sorry.

    two things bother me. one, that people (or at least person) assume that *i* was offended by piss christ, because i defended those who took umbrage. i am offended when a burglar's rights are violated by the police, it does not therefore follow that i am a burglar. simple enough. second, there is this assumption (entirely elitist) made by at least one poster that it is simply religious ignorance, and that anybody who could be offended by piss christ is merely some art-ignorant rube who needs to understand what real art is and get enlightened. spare me. calling any display art does not therefore make it not-offensive or acceptable in various venues. we all defecate. but defecating in the middle of times square, under the claim that it's "fecal expression" would be an equally stupid example of how just because you say its art doesn't relieve it from any judgments.

    religious people (and non-religious people. MANY non-christians, atheists, and agnostics were offended by piss-christ) do not give up a right to free speech. they do not give up the right to protest these type of things, and they certainly have that much more of a say when their tax dollars go to promote "art" that they see as intentionally hostile and offensive towards their beliefs. the difference between us (the USA) and them is that we don't riot, murder, and make fatwahs over what we find offensive. we are better than that.

    imagine the new york museum of art started promoting the various computer video games put out by stormfront, etc. that promote the wanton murder of jews, and promote virulently anti-semitic ideas (such as that jews should be exterminated, that hitler was right, etc.). would you sign petitions supporting the "right" of the publically funded musuem to promote such rubbish? art can and should challenge us. but there is serious problems with public funds being used to promote and display art that is clearly offensive to deeply held beliefs and symbols.

    and of course it is telling that no "artist" has promoted an exhibit of "piss koran" because there is a massive double standard staring us in the face and we all know it

  • ||

    Only pea brains - no matter their religious persuasion - react in the emotional way that you seem content to defend.

    Hakluyt,

    I hope you are playing Devil's Advocate, because by that point it seems you are calling Muslims pea-brains; and (by your standards) one would be a pea-brain, too, if offended by a performance artist violating a 14-year-old girl to demonstrate the carnality of men. Oh, I see, it'd be ok if the New York Times calls it art! God, I'm such a pea-brain for not believing everyting I read in the newspaper!

    Let it be noted that I am neither decying nor praising "Piss Christ", I don't give a flying frack about it. However, offence is a perfectly healthy response to something that you view as contrary to your values (of course a genius like you is naturally beyond values and emotion). What you do about being offended is the original topic. A peaceful protest should be just as protected as freedom of speech/assembly as what you are protesting. The line is crossed when either side is physically harming someone or destruction of other's property; like throwing stones at women going to an abortion clinic, the fictional afore mentioned "performance art", or the radical Islamic reaction to drawings of their Prophet.

    But I'm just a poor, backward, lower evolved, pea-brain with silly things like values and emotions, and therefore my thoughts aren't worth splat

  • ||

    well put.

  • ||

    GILMORE,

    I left out the word "don't."

    whit,

    why do you think *i* am upset.

    Its a plural you.

    ...but it is absurd to claim that people are being merely PC because they are offended by a crucifix in urine being forwarded as "art".

    No, it is not absurd at all. The unthinking, emotional response is what is absurd.

    tweedle,

    ...and (by your standards) one would be a pea-brain, too, if offended by a performance artist violating a 14-year-old girl to demonstrate the carnality of men.

    Except in that instance you are presumably engaging in force against another person.

    ...offence is a perfectly healthy response to something that you view as contrary to your values...

    Not if there is nothing to be offended about, and there is nothing which is ultimately offensive about "Piss Christ."

    ...because by that point it seems you are calling Muslims pea-brains...

    Clearly some sub-set of Muslims are pea brains.

  • ||

    whit,

    and of course it is telling that no "artist" has promoted an exhibit of "piss koran" because there is a massive double standard staring us in the face and we all know it

    Its more likely the case that most Western artists don't have a cultural or personal context to make such art. In other words, a "Piss Qu'ron" would more likely come from a person who grew up Muslim.

  • ||

    GILMORE,

    ...there is rarely any honest discussion of whether this 'lets put religion in a special restrictive box' attitude is consistent with 'liberty'.

    No one is arguing for such a box. At the same time posters like myself view religion as bullshit, crapola, and in many instances a downright threat to the liberty we enjoy.

    ...using the most vile and offensive elements of religion as the basis for generalizing about the whole.

    The problem is that those elements are some of the most common. To me its a bit like a Marxist telling me to ignore the purges in the Soviet Union or the "Great Leap Forward" or "Cultural Revolution" in China.

  • ||

    tweed,

    ...and (by your standards) one would be a pea-brain, too, if offended by a performance artist violating a 14-year-old girl to demonstrate the carnality of men. Oh, I see, it'd be ok if the New York Times calls it art! God, I'm such a pea-brain for not believing everyting I read in the newspaper!

    BTW, this is what we call a strawman. Its not suprising that whit would wholely endorse such a fallacy.

  • ||

    spare me the last post. violating a 14 yr old girl is CRIME (in most if not all jurisdictions)

    creating piss christ is not

    the point is that just because you call something "art" does not mean that it is then free from being criticized as offensive, nor that it gets carte blanche for govt. sponsorship.

    there IS a line

    video games could be called (and have been) "art"

    it doesn't folloow that the NYC Museum of art should promote video games that celebrate killing of jews and get off the hook for it because it's "art"

    plenty of non"peabrains" protested piss-christ and rightly so

    and i'm still waiting to see the artist (term used loosely) who has the nads to create "piss koran"

    and oh the hand wringing they'd get from the NYT if they did so

    we (the USA) are better. we never had riots over piss christ vs. the riots over some cartoons

  • ||

    whit,

    spare me the last post. violating a 14 yr old girl is CRIME (in most if not all jurisdictions)

    And the argument you supported was a strawman. I won't spare you the discomfort of telling when you support a logical fallacy. Sorry if that is disconcerting.

    creating piss christ is not

    The legality of creating this object is not at issue, but thankyou for trying to stear away from the issue at hand.

    the point is that just because you call something "art" does not mean that it is then free from being criticized as offensive, nor that it gets carte blanche for govt. sponsorship.

    Again, I never argued against this point, which is why I am wondering whether you are arguing with Harvey the Rabbit. My statement remains was it was never rational for people to be upset with "Piss Christ" in the first place and that remains my argument. If you can't differentiate these two quite seperate issues I can't help you.

  • ||

    whit,

    You can continue to accuse me of arguing of something which I did not, but it seems to me that your real argument is with someone else.

  • ||

    and to further clarify, just because piss christ happened to be an issue of religious nature, the religious nature is irrelevant to the topic.

    substitute "piss flag" or "piss constitution". either of those would have (and should have) seen protests by the non-pea brained, and it has nothing to do with religion.

    and the NYT et al would have supported these "artistic efforts" as long as it wasn't "piss koran" (which would and should also be protested) which would cause them to run away with their tail between their legs because contrary to far left rhetoric, radical christian doods are not the threat that radical islamists are.

  • ||

    whit,

    Why "should" have "Piss Christ" (leaving aside the issue of government sponsorship) have been protested? You keep on making a number of unsupported normative claims, and I am unclear what the basis for them are.

    Is it because you think the association of anything with urine is insulting? That does seem to be your argument and its clearly in error.

  • ||

    "Piss Christ" was done in reverance for Christ; the fact that people reacted negatively to the concept of urine being associated with Christ is more a cultural artifact than anything and shows an unreasoned attitude toward the piece.

  • ||

    whit,

    and the NYT et al would have supported these "artistic efforts" as long as it wasn't "piss koran" (which would and should also be protested) which would cause them to run away with their tail between their legs because contrary to far left rhetoric, radical christian doods are not the threat that radical islamists are.

    Again, tell that to Harvey, because I'm not part of that discussion.

  • ||

    Hak once again failed to grasp the point and instead attacked an excerpt from The Aristocrats. Offense is not based on logic, but values (and true tolerance is acceptiong the idea that not everyone shares your set of values); and the reaction to that offense is what is in quetion here.

    At least we can agree that "the strawman" scenario is indeed illegal, no matter what you call it, so let me tone it down a few degrees. Imagine a picture of a naked 6-year-old boy, standing by a stream, just standing there, arms akimbo. Some may call this art and some may be offended and call it pedohile pornography. It's ALL in an individual's perception based on THEIR values, not anyone else's, and the fact that it doesn't match your view does not make them pea-brains. Just because some highly-educated art reviewer says it's one thing won't chance how someone else sees it. I guess that IS what makes "Piss Christ" real art, in that different people get something different out of it and not what they're told it's supposed to be. The Statue of Liberty floating in "urine" would offend me no matter how you tried to rationalize it. I am offended by the piece with the American Flag hanging out of a commode. I can accept that it is art, but it does run contrary to my vaues and therefore cause negative emotion in me. Does this mean I'm going to kill the artist that did it or bomb the gallery that it's in? Emphatically, no! Will I go to that gallery to see it in person or try to meet the artist? Again, no. This does NOT make me a pea-brain, this makes me HUMAN! So flush off, high and mighty Hak!

  • ||

    tweedleignorant,

    I've never seen the Aristocrats.

    Offense is not based on logic, but values (and true tolerance is acceptiong the idea that not everyone shares your set of values); and the reaction to that offense is what is in quetion here.

    So you are suggesting that any time a person takes offense it is reasonable and it should be accepted? Sorry, but that's downright stupid and merely illustrates my point about how people can be peabrained about such things. Sometimes. indeed much of the time, people are offended about what can only be described as faux-offenses. Being offended over "Piss Christ" is a perfect example of this.

    At least we can agree that "the strawman" scenario is indeed illegal, no matter what you call it, so let me tone it down a few degrees.

    Your analogy was indeed a strawman; look the term up sometime. The matter of legality has nothing to do with my statements and why you interject it here seems suspicious.

    It's ALL in an individual's perception based on THEIR values, not anyone else's, and the fact that it doesn't match your view does not make them pea-brains.

    Some values aren't worth having, some values are irrational, etc., if that is too difficult a point for you to understand then so be it. Indeed, if the value in question here is that anytime anything is associated with urine that is insult (and that does seem to be the ultimate value trumpeted by whit) then I'd call that a stupid value and I have no need or reason to respect it.

  • ||

    When people of faith who hang out here regularly, as I am and I do, grow weary of the only-the-superstitious-and-ignorant-cling-to anything-as-primitive-as-religious-belief/faith is-to-reason-as-kryptonite-is-to-The-Man-of-Steel/look-how-many-people-have-died-in-wars-of religion/oh-those-stupid-backward-Christians subthreads of countless threads, I suggest a method of calmly cleansing yourself of righteous anger; roll your eyes WAAY back and mutter "assholes" under your breath - but make sure no coworkers happen to be strolling by when you do this.

    And imagine yourself talking to these people in person where you could, if you had the guts to be so rude (I don't, but wish I did), smile sadly and say, in your very best not-in-anger-but-in-sorrow voice, "I'm sorry your heart is so hardened. You must be a very unhappy person. I'll pray for you." They will be furious with you, and rightly so, and you'll get a cheap laugh out of it.

  • ||

    stubby,

    They will be furious with you, and rightly so, and you'll get a cheap laugh out of it.

    I laugh when I hear such statements because I realize that they are a last, desperate attempt to avoid the commentary of the other party.

    tweed,

    All of this points out a common conundrum for libertarians. Is it ok for us to simultaneously defend the right of a speaker to articulate anything, while at the same time criticizing the content of that speech? Yes, it is alright. You seem to think on the other hand that the freedom of speech or thought comes with get out of negative commentary free card, which isn't the case. People should be free to disagree with the piece of art in question, but they shouldn't expect to be zinged for their ultimately silly assertions.

  • ||

    stubby,

    BTW, its pointed out here on this very thread that there are plenty of defenders of your faith here.

  • ||

    Hakluyt: and also because you have no sense of humor, and so tend to laugh at the wrong things. I mean, I acknowledge your awesome and all encompassing knowledge of every subject ever discussed in this forum but dude, you could afford to lighten up a little.

  • ||

    stubby,

    Its perfectly appropriate to laugh at such a statement.

    ...all encompassing knowledge of every subject ever discussed in this forum...

    Please, spare me the hyperbole thoreau.

  • ||

    incredible.

    you just keep defending the indefensible, and repeating the absurd.

    your idea that ONLY the pea-brained could/would/should be offended by piss-christ is simply insane.

    fwiw, there was across the board criticism and offense against this display - atheist, theist, agnostic, christian, jew, etc.

    that's because anybody but a complete elitist could possibly come to such a conclusion.

    and it does not necessarily have to do with religion. a piss-constitution, piss-flag, or piss-bill clinton would also be offensive, and would/should/could result in outrage as well.

    apparently, to you no defilement is ever to be taken as offensive. or IS there something that is offensive to you? would caricatures of jews as bloodthirsty hooknosed devils offend you? how about a loving ode to Hitler, Stalin, or Idi Amin.

    Is there ANY "artistic" expression that could result in offense to a non-peabrained big brained sort such as yourself?

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