Well, Comedy Central is at it again. In their ongoing effort to remain on the cutting edge of humor, to remain suitably “edgy” and determined that there are no taboos, are showing that you can make fun of big religions.
First, they announced they’re developing a new series called “JC,” the story of a young man who runs away to New York City to get away from his overbearing father. His, really, really, REALLY overbearing Father — God. Yup, “JC” is Jesus Christ, looking to escape his destiny and just be an average guy in the Big Apple.
Now, we have news that they’re sending their animated mock reality show, “Drawn Together,” to the big screen. To promote it, they have a game on their web site called “I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!” After the introduction — “you lied to me, Jew Producer!” — a giant robot named “Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady” goes on a player-controlled rampage destroying everything and everyone in its path.
These two shows seem almost deliberately designed to offend Christians and Jews, enough to make me wonder if that was intentional and part of the marketing strategy. Well, there’s only one response that strikes me as appropriate:
Christians and Jews ought to hit back, and hit back hard.
No, I’m not talking about rhetorical or symbolic gestures. I’m talking naked force, real violence. I’m talking about bomb threats on their headquarters, accompanied by real bombs. I’m talking about physical assaults and attempts to kill the people behind these gross insults. I’m talking about making the creators genuinely fear for their safety, and that of their families.
Because in today’s world, that is what works. That is what works better than any other approach.
And Comedy Central has shown the truth of that statement. Earlier this year, South Park wanted to show Mohammed, the founder of Islam, in pretty much the same way they’ve shown Jesus and other religous figures. No, that’s not quite right. They were going to be somewhat more respectful to Mohammed than they have been in the past. But Comedy Central, in response to threats of violent retaliation from a couple of fanatical Muslims, censored the episode and made sure that not only was Mohammed not ever shown, but that he wasn’t even in the episode at all.
So, what’s different Muslims that makes them immune from the same sort of treatment given to Christians and Jews? Why are they granted greater deference?
It’s certainly not that they have some kind of moral superiority. On the contrary — the “morality” of Islam is objectively inferior to the other two. The founders of the other two faiths weren’t pedophile warlords who openly called for conversion at swordpoint, among numerous other failings. The other faiths don’t have an enshrined doctrine that openly advocates lying to unbelievers if it’s convenient.
It’s definitely not because the Muslims have better lawyers. Come on, let’s be blunt — who has better lawyers than the Jews?
No, the reason why Islam gets this level of deference is because they demand it at the point of a gun. Piss off Muslims (an exceptionally easy thing to do), and you can expect to face very credible death threats.
Just how easy is it to do? All you have to do is violate some of the fundamental tenets of their faith.
Show me another religion that demands that non-adherents in a secular nation obey the laws of its faith.
In Denmark, a non-Islamic nation, some non-Muslim cartoonists broke the Islamic rule against depicting Mohammed. That triggered riots, death threats, and actual attempts to kill them.
Salman Rushdie is still living under a death sentence for writing a book.
And around the world, non-Muslims are being punished — often with death — for breaking Islam’s laws. In Islamic nations, it’s done under color of law. In non-Islamic nations, it’s done by vigilante actions.
And it’s rare that anyone dares even criticize it, let alone stand up to it.
So that’s the world we live in. Where if a religion wants to be exempt from criticism, if it wants to enforce its code of conduct on the populace outside their congregation, they need to start showing that they are willing to do so with force. Perhaps when modern Christianity and Judaism start piling up a body count among their critics, things will start to change.
Do I like calling for this? Hell, no. I find it absolutely morally repugnant. But I have two core principles that apply here.
The first is that I loathe double standards. It offends me no end that adherents to one faith are not held to the same standards, don’t have to obey the same laws, as the rest. And as there seems to be no stomach to compel Muslims to obey them, then the other faiths should be exempt.
The other is that I am primarily a pragmatist. There’s an old saying that “nothing succeeds like success,” and there’s no denying that Islam’s “obey our rules or we’ll kill you” policy has been wildly successful.
I only see two drawbacks with my plan. Fatal ones.
The first is that mainstream Christianity and Judaism find such tactics absolutely abhorrent. Yes, they have rules about blasphemy and whatnot, but they only impose them upon their own adherents — not the general populace. And even among themselves, the worst penalty they impose is “get out and don’t come back.”
The other is that Christianity and Judaism are too assimilated into modern Western culture to engage in such barbarism. They believe in civilization, in the rule of law, of a separation between the secular and the sacred, and aren’t out to bring the rest of the world about to their way of thinking by the “convert or die” doctrine. Hell, the Jews aren’t interested in converting anyone at all — if you want to become a Jew, you gotta work like hell to be accepted. They actively discourage converts.
So I guess my little battle cry will go nowhere. I didn’t really expect it would, especially since the issuer of the cry isn’t even a member of the groups being called.
But it just might help wake up enough people to an absolutely intolerable situation.