Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Offensive Jesus Cartoons, Anyone?

An alternative student newspaper at the University of Oregon, The Insurgent, has printed a set of offensive cartoons that depict Jesus on the cross with an erection, and kissing another man, among others (the cartoons don’t appear to be available at the link above). Naturally, this brought out the Christian censors. William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, demands an apology and says that the university should have prevented the publication of them. In fact, he got so upset that he didn’t get the response he wanted from the university that he wrote to the governor and all the state legislators as well.

Sorry, Mr. Donohue, you don’t get to decide what can and can’t be published any more than the Muslim fanatics around the world do. I’m glad you’re not firebombing anyone’s offices, and you are of course welcome to scream and shout to your heart’s content about how awful it is, but you cannot prevent it from being published or punish those who published it, no matter how many letters you write. That’s the beauty of the first amendment. Your offense is not grounds for government intervention, no matter how strongly you feel it.

Comments

  1. #1 Gretchen
    April 27, 2006

    William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, demands an apology and says that the university should have prevented the publication of them. In fact, he got so upset that he didn’t get the response he wanted from the university that he wrote to the governor and all the state legislators as well.

    He has demanded an apology and didn’t get the response he wanted, so he appealed to the governing bodies? Uh oh. That means the next step is for him to take the cartoons (along with a couple he brought in from elsewhere which are much more offensive) on a tour of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama and show them to ministers who will then cause the populace to rise up and burn Oregon’s embassy and the Oregonian flag in the streets.

    Oh wait, Oregon doesn’t have an embassy. Damn.

  2. #2 Chris F.
    April 27, 2006

    Instead of burning an embassy maybe they’ll just kill a few ducks.

  3. #3 Scott H
    April 27, 2006

    “Plus, I have to say it is really fun to offend people,” [editor Jessica] Brown wrote. “It is fun to break the rules, and to do things that are just not done. At least it will stimulate an emotion and create some argument.”

    At least the Insurgent has some sense of humor now, which was terribly absent back in my UO days (c. 1993-1998). Back then, they would have wanted you to believe that the lives of all the world’s downtrodden depended on the Insurgent being taken seriously.

  4. #4 scynical
    April 27, 2006

    To offend people and to break taboos is really fun. It’s the shortest path to creativity, unfortunately. But just imagine for a moment that next day you’ll see the picture or your realative or dear friend hanging on the gallow with an erection (it often happens this way). Imagine this and may it wouldn’t be so easy to judge Donohue’s feelings after that.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    April 27, 2006

    scynical wrote:

    To offend people and to break taboos is really fun. It’s the shortest path to creativity, unfortunately. But just imagine for a moment that next day you’ll see the picture or your realative or dear friend hanging on the gallow with an erection (it often happens this way). Imagine this and may it wouldn’t be so easy to judge Donohue’s feelings after that.

    I don’t see what Donohue’s feelings have to do with anything. I understand his feelings. If I as a Christian, I’d be extremely offended. But that has nothing to do with whether he gets to censor it or not.

  6. #6 BigDumbChimp
    April 27, 2006

    To offend people and to break taboos is really fun. It’s the shortest path to creativity, unfortunately. But just imagine for a moment that next day you’ll see the picture or your realative or dear friend hanging on the gallow with an erection (it often happens this way). Imagine this and may it wouldn’t be so easy to judge Donohue’s feelings after that.

    That is poor logic.

  7. #7 mnuez
    April 27, 2006

    Boy, you sound pretty upset. Now, I haven’t read every one of your pieces but I’d love to see whether you’re as angry and tantrumesque about the worldwide Muslim response to cartoons of Mohammed that were a whole lot less insulting. Did you have balls enough to reprint tyhe Mohammed cartoons? I did. I, my friend, am a free-speech advocate, you however seem to be just angry at people you don’t like/are afraid of.

    mnuez

    note: Saying that “I’m pro-free-speech” in response to worldwide muslimania don’t quite equate the virulence you afforded a few impotent Catholics.

    note2: I could of course be wrong.

  8. #8 blogista
    April 28, 2006

    “But just imagine for a moment that next day you’ll see the picture or your realative or dear friend hanging on the gallow with an erection (it often happens this way). Imagine this and may it wouldn’t be so easy to judge Donohue’s feelings after that.”

    Sorry, scynical, that’s a terrible analogy.

    I would be upset about my friend for personal reasons, and be angry at the insensitivity toward a private individual. But an icon symbolizing a 2000yr-old worldwide religion? C’mon, knock it off.

  9. #9 Skemono
    April 28, 2006

    mnuez, you poor sap.

  10. #10 scynical
    April 28, 2006

    mnuez, there is a complex question here to me. On the one hand I think that it’s really a stupid idea intially to print these caricatures, but on the other hand the _govenments_ shouldn’t aplogise before the muslims. As for me, I wouldn’t publish the caricatures. I don’t want to offend other people’s religion but I’m intolerant to malicious behavior.

  11. #11 raj
    April 28, 2006

    I couldn’t link onto the cartons that were referenced in the post. But one of my favorite places for poking fun at jesus freaks is

    Jesus Dress Up

    Regarding Donoghue, I don’t know who is sponsoring him, but he really is something of a nut.

  12. #12 Mr. Upright
    April 28, 2006

    This reminds me of a fun party I went to back in Chapel Hill. A group of folks held an annual “Jesse Helms Gambling Party And Art Auction.”

    Price of admission was a piece of original art guaranteed to piss of our man Jesse. We were given fake money, gambled all night, and used our winnings in an auction of that same art.

    One particularly fun series was “Jesus on vacation.” Basically, they would take a typical vacation scene and stick a guy on a cross in it. My favorite was “Jesus on vacation at Six Flags” which showed a crucified Jesus riding a roller coaster.

  13. #13 Roman Werpachowski
    April 28, 2006

    “Plus, I have to say it is really fun to offend people,” [editor Jessica] Brown wrote. “It is fun to break the rules, and to do things that are just not done. At least it will stimulate an emotion and create some argument.”

    For me, it often means you have nothing intelligent to say. This is the advantage of freedom of speech: it allows us to sort out the stupid from the wise.

  14. #14 cfeagans
    April 28, 2006

    The religious deserve ridicule in just an equal manner as those that believe in alien abductions, remote viewing, Miss Cleo, bigfoot, and that Elvis is alive and well.

    I can see how a depiction of Jesus with an erection would upset believers, but I agree with Ed: shout and pout all they want, it shouldn’t be censored. We wouldn’t care less if it were a cartoon depicting an alleged alien abductee getting the legendary “probing.” Other than the number of believers, can anyone really a difference in either superstition? Both are irrational and without a shred of viable evidence.

  15. #15 Ed Brayton
    April 28, 2006

    I do not believe that “the religious” deserve ridicule. That is painting with far too broad a brush. There are some religious people who deserve ridicule, just as there are some non-religious people who deserve ridicule. I know as many ignorant atheists as I know ignorant Christians, at least in proportion to their numbers in the population. The dividing line between those who deserve ridicule and those who don’t is not drawn between religious and non-religious.

  16. #16 cfeagans
    April 28, 2006

    Your point is well-taken, and perhaps I was rushed in my post.

    When I said “in equal manner as those that believe…” I’m saying that I don’t think that those that buy into a religious dogma with superstitions that include transubstantiation, rising from the dead, virgin conception, global flood, stopping the rotation of the planet for a day, etc. should expect to be taken seriously all the time and not have others poke fun at them.

    I certainly don’t go out of my way to scorn and ridicule those that I meet (and know) who believe in ghosts, UFOs, tarot, esp, and even religion. But I don’t pretend that a general tone of ridicule that society typically has for the first three shouldn’t apply to the latter as well.

    I’ve friends who have one or more of the above mentioned beliefs and I don’t allow my disagreement to interfere with my friendships. They have a general idea of my opinion and I share when they want it. But in general, I think even religion should *expect* ridicule from those that don’t accept or believe their practices. An individual religion like Christianity has no qualm about ridiculing other religions, why should it be immune?

  17. #17 Roman Werpachowski
    April 28, 2006

    An individual religion like Christianity has no qualm about ridiculing other religions, why should it be immune?

    How does Christianity ridicule other religions? Pray tell me for I have no knowledge of this.

  18. #18 Fredrock Flintstone
    April 28, 2006

    How does Christianity ridicule other religions? Pray tell me for I have no knowledge of this.

    I agree with Roman; it’s an absurd point. Christianity doesn’t ridicule other religions, it just says that anyone who accepts them deserves infinite torture for an infinite amount of time. That’s not ridicule, it’s just good old-fashioned intimidation tactics.

  19. #19 compass
    April 28, 2006

    Not having read the comments, all I would say is this: As a Catholic, I usually agree with Donohue and the Catholic League, but here he is better served simply by ignoring it and ought simply to forgive the perpetrators. Anything beyond that makes it more of a kerfuffle than it deserves.

  20. #20 mnuez
    April 28, 2006

    Thank ya for pointing out my errors~ I’m glad to see ‘em. I was SOOOO wrong. Entirely wrong. Well, almost entirely. I did of course realize that this fella might possibly be for real which is why my caveats and skepticism were built in to my rant (as in “I haven’t read every one of your pieces”, “did you..?”, “SEEM to be” and “NOTE2: I COULD OF COURSE BE WRONG”!). All the same, I think that the smart money was on the guess that I made (and it would have to be a guess because I wasn’t going to dig through his archives). You’ve got to admit that most folk who complain about Donahue and demand free speech that insults Christians (think the New York Times, WaPo and practically Every Single News source in the western world) hardly emitted a peep about Muslmania 2006 and kept repeating how “both sides” are wrong on that issue.

    So yeah, I kinna measured it as about an 89% chance that he was a whining anti-christian rather than a free=speech-demander, and the ball landed on green. Still, in another scenario I’d go with those same odds again in exactly the same manner but I’m super duper pleased to see that Mr. B. is not in the slightest whom I had incorrectly guessed he was.

    You personally have my apologies for the misplaced insults and I’m now a fan.

    And P.S. Congrads on repubing the pics. We’re in agreement.

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