Lars Vilks, Gay Muhammad and Freedom of Expression

Sunday, May 16, AD 2010

This past week brings news of yet another fracas involving Swedish cartoon artist Lars Vilks (CNN.com):

When Vilks entered a classroom where he was to deliver a lecture to about 250 people — all of whom had passed through a security checkpoint to gain admission — about five people started protesting loudly, Eronen said.

After Uppsala uniformed and non-uniformed police calmed the protesters, the lecture got under way at about 5:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m. ET), Eronen said.

But as Vilks was showing audiovisual material, 15 to 20 audience members became loud and tried to attack Vilks, he said.

As police stepped in, a commotion started and Vilks was taken to a nearby room; police used pepper spray and batons to fend off the protesters, Eronen said. Vilks did not return to the lecture. [Video footage of the event].

Last March, an American woman who called herself “Jihad Jane,” Colleen LaRose, was indicted in the United States for allegedly conspiring to support terrorists and kill Vilks.

In a 2007 interview with CNN he had drawn the cartoon of Mohammed with a dog’s body in order to take a stand.

“I don’t think it should not be a problem to insult a religion, because it should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way, “ says Vilks from his home in rural Sweden.

“If you insult one, then you should insult the other ones.”

His crude, sketched caricature shows the head of Prophet Mohammed on the body of a dog. Dogs are considered unclean by conservative Muslims, and any depiction of the prophet is strictly forbidden.

Vilks, who has been a controversial artist for more than three decades in Sweden, says his drawing was a calculated move, and he wanted it to elicit a reaction.

“That’s a way of expressing things. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. And if you look at it, don’t take it too seriously. No harm done, really,” he says.

When it’s suggested that might prove an arrogant — if not insulting — way to engage Muslims, he is unrelenting, even defiant.

“No one actually loves the truth, but someone has to say it,” he says.

Vilks, a self-described atheist, points out he’s an equal opportunity offender who in the past sketched a depiction of Jesus as a pedophile.

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19 Responses to Lars Vilks, Gay Muhammad and Freedom of Expression

  • This “artist” will learn the limits of free speech – the hard way.

  • Why should some peoples belief supercede the beliefs, or lack of belifs, of others?

    Why should I, or anyone else be forced to abide by the rules of THEIR faith?

    What right does religions have to put themselves above everyone else? Is it a godgiven right? Thats what they believe isnt it?

    Religions mock the entire world with their existance alone. Grown men and women believing in old fairytales make a mockery of humanity as a whole.

    Yet we shouldnt be allowed to point out the glaring flaws, the insecurities, and the barbarism their faith entails?

    The very thought is disgusting. The very reason religions are mocked is because they demand respect for their belief, while having no respect at all for those of us who do not believe in any god.

    If one imposed limits on the freedom of expression it would cease to exist.

    Freedom: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.

  • I really am disgusted by the abasement of religion in this manner.

    Showing a gay Mohammed is almost as repugnant to me as it is to a Muslim, and is a deliberate act of provocation.

    Things were bad enough with Comedy Central. But the reason I defended the creators of South Park is that, first of all, they already SHOWED Mohammed in an earlier episode before the Danish cartoon scandal and no one cared.

    It wasn’t a particularly vulgar depiction either. What happened this time around was absurd – they only wanted to “show” Mohammed as they do other religious figures, they’d done it before, and saw the proscription of this time around as arbitrary and irrational, which it was.

    In this case, though, I’d say we’re way outside the scope of the Danish cartoon scandal or South Park. To depict is one thing; to associate a revered prophet with sexual immorality in such a blunt way is another. This isn’t about expression because no one believes Mohammed was gay. It is about pissing off Muslims and doing a thing simply because it can be done.

    Maybe the distinction I’m making is wrong, maybe it doesn’t exist. But I do see a difference.

  • Joe, I’m not aware of the South Park depictions of Muhammad before the Danish cartoon scandal. Do you have a source?

    I think censorship, whether religious or otherwise, should be based on community standards. In America, we’re not sufficiently outraged over irreverent depictions of religion to warrant legal censorship.

    Should material of academic value that offend community standards be protected speech? Would Islamic states be justified in completely censoring (as opposed to hide behind a “spoiler warning”) drawings of Muhammad from Wikipedia?

  • Well that kind of begs the question – what academic value does this really have? That Nathan quote could be re-worded only slightly and it would apply to the artists tehmselves – living off the fruits of Christianity, they can only mock it because they do not have the talent to meet or exceed Christianity’s greatest accomplishments. Where’s our contemporary Sistine Chapel? Our Mona Lisa? Our Pieta? Our art is ugly because our society is ugly.

    Largely we are not outraged because most of this “art” is ignored, at least by the unwashed masses.

  • Art ought to be all about aesthetics and edifying the beholder. Soap boxes/op-ed pages/letters to Congressmen are venues for free speech.

    I’m a charter member (from birth) of the unwashed masses.

    Here’s the reason I ignore art that scandalizes Christ: “Forgive all injuries. Bear wrongs patiently.”

    Our Lord will come again in glory and He probably will foresake those that made fun of His Redemptive Life and Salvific Sacrifice.

    Finally, it’s not my job to bring justice to poor benighted elites.

    Er, I don’t frequently shave, either.

    OTOH, muslims must defend Muhammed. That mass murderer is not getting out of Hell.

  • Couldnt help but notice that my original comment has “Your comment is awaiting moderation” stamped on it and is hidden from view of other visitors to this page.

    Since my post contained no links, no swearwords, no racism etc the only reason I can think of is because I do not agree with the viewpoints in the article.

    The viewpoints in this article must be fragile indeed if only comments of agreement are allowed.

    Here, there is no freedom of expression, there is only the freedom to agree.

  • Couldnt help but notice that my original comment has “Your comment is awaiting moderation” stamped on it and is hidden from view of other visitors to this page.

    Imagine that.

    Since my post contained no links, no swearwords, no racism etc the only reason I can think of is because I do not agree with the viewpoints in the article. The viewpoints in this article must be fragile indeed if only comments of agreement are allowed.

    Or, it could possibly mean I’m currently dealing with a newborn and a two year old, and — operating on about 2-3 hours sleep a night — don’t have time to moderate comments with as much punctuality as you desire.

    In fact I have no idea why it was stuck in moderation, but go ahead and assume the worst of my motives if it suits you. I can understand the guilty pleasure of such conspiracy theorizing. =)

    Why should some peoples belief supercede the beliefs, or lack of belifs, of others?

    Certainly I think nobody ought to be forced to accept the tenants of Islam or Christianity or any other religion, for that matter. Faith born of coercion is no genuine faith at all. I’m actually very much in favor of non-coercion in this respect.

    However, I’d say defining freedom solely in negative terms as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action” offers a rather pathetic understanding of freedom. It also poses a challenge to our ability to reside together in some kind of civil community (surely you’re in favor of such?).

    Even as a self-proclaimed atheist, I’d venture that you probably find yourself upholding certain laws or norms of moral conduct — prohibitions against theft, taking the life of another, treating each other with basic respect etc. Are these simply “beliefs imposed” upon you? Do they spring from something deeper?

    John Paul II spoke of “a false notion of individual freedom at work in our culture” —

    “… as if one could be free only when rejecting every objective norm of conduct, refusing to assume responsibility or even refusing to put curbs on instincts and passions! Instead, true freedom implies that we are capable of choosing a good without constraint. This is the truly human way of proceeding in the choices–big and small–which life puts before us. The fact that we are also able to choose not to act as we see we should is a necessary condition of our moral freedom. But in that case we must account for the good that we fail to do and for the evil that we commit. This sense of moral accountability needs to be reawakened if society is to survive as a civilization of justice and solidarity.”

    What do you think about that?

    Religions mock the entire world with their existance alone. Grown men and women believing in old fairytales make a mockery of humanity as a whole.

    Spoken like a true Stalinist. But surely we can progress beyond this kind of intolerance? 😉

    Yet we shouldn’t be allowed to point out the glaring flaws, the insecurities, and the barbarism their faith entails?

    Perhaps. But if your purpose is to enlighten and educate, you might do better than simply lash out and taunt them with the artistic equivalent of a cudgel.

  • First of all, I find it hard to believe that you “had no idea why it was stuck in moderation”. Its your blog after all, even if its an automated process registering on key words, you should have some idea how it works.

    Secondly, how long it takes for you to moderate a post was not an issue at all. I reacted to the fact that it was marked for moderation in the first place.

    I used the definition of freedom together with the term “freedom of expression” spesifically because I suspected that you might try to use the definition of freedom in the way you just did.

    The concept of freedom of expression should be free of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Just like the definition.

    I didnt, like you imply, include concepts like “freedom of murdering people”, “freedom to steal” or “freedom to set oneself above the law” when I put down the definition of freedom.

    As for your thoughts about moral conduct:

    Laws and norms of human conduct is a result of the society one lives in.

    If you some day take a good look at the world around you, I think you will realise that in socities in parts of the world that do not have the luxuries and/or traditions of western culture, the defintions of right and wrong are vastly different.

    Surely,if “upholding certain laws or norms of moral conduct” springs from something deeper, as you say, shouldnt people in all corners of the world share the same sense of morality?

    Yet they do not.

    I also note that you are labeling me a “stalinist”.

    Indeed, atheism and stalinism are required to go hand in hand arent they? There is no way that anyone can be opposed to religion without being some sort of communist.

    Labeling any opposition communist or stalinist regardless of which issues are being discussed seem to be popular in america.

    And then you preach about intolerance. Or spesifically “this kind of intolerance”, implying “intolerance against religions”.

    Which is appropriate, since religious groups, including catholics, traditionally have a large number of things they have zero tolerance for.

    It sure is good to know that believers have the right and knowledge to define what kinds of intolerance are acceptable or not.

    The purpose with which lars vilks lash out and taunt the muslim fundementalist is obvious: Its to teach people that they cannot have their way by resorting to violence. Many religious groups, including your own, realised this a long time ago by themselves.

    But before that, catholics and other christians were just as quick to resort to violence as these muslims are now.

    Unfortunatly, with the way things are, its impractical to wait the hundreds of years it could take for muslims to reach the same level of peaceful conduct as the major christian factions.

    Lastly, from a western moral perspective, who do you think have the moral high ground? The guy who is making pictures and drawings, or the people who are trying to beat him up, kill him and burn his house down?

  • I put your comment in moderation Moozorz. If it had been in one of my threads I would have deleted it since you merely regurgitate the “I hate religion” meme and have nothing fresh to offer to the debate. Since it was Christopher’s thread I left the ultimate decision as to what to do with your diatribe up to him when he looked over the thread. He duly approved it since he has much more patience than I do for people who repeat tired cliches as a substitute for substantive argument, and is one of the most fair-minded individuals I have encountered on the internet.

  • First of all, I find it hard to believe that you “had no idea why it was stuck in moderation”. Its your blog after all, even if its an automated process registering on key words, you should have some idea how it works. […]

    See Don’s comment as to why you were in moderation.

    The concept of freedom of expression should be free of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Just like the definition. I didnt, like you imply, include concepts like “freedom of murdering people”, “freedom to steal” or “freedom to set oneself above the law” when I put down the definition of freedom.

    Unrestrained freedom, absent force of law, can lead to precisely that.

    I’m curious what you might say with respect to a women’s “freedom” with respect to the life of her unborn child?

    Laws and norms of human conduct is a result of the society one lives in.

    If you some day take a good look at the world around you, I think you will realise that in socities in parts of the world that do not have the luxuries and/or traditions of western culture, the defintions of right and wrong are vastly different. Surely,if “upholding certain laws or norms of moral conduct” springs from something deeper, as you say, shouldnt people in all corners of the world share the same sense of morality? Yet they do not.

    Diverse, but now wholly different. I think if you examine different parts of the world, cultures share remarkably similar moral-cultural norms. Show me a culture that specifically endorsed theft, lying, deception, murder, injustice, etc. in direct inversion to what we think of as morality?

    For example, C.S. Lewis in examining various traditions around the world pointed out how they share similar behaviors with respect to the prohibition of murder; the doing of good towards children, parents, kinfolk and neighbors; prohibitions against adultery, etc. I think history has shown as well what happens when cultures or societies abandon or deliberately ignore such ‘laws’:

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/lewis/abolition4.htm

    I also note that you are labeling me a “stalinist”.Indeed, atheism and stalinism are required to go hand in hand arent they? There is no way that anyone can be opposed to religion without being some sort of communist. Labeling any opposition communist or stalinist regardless of which issues are being discussed seem to be popular in america.

    While atheism and stalinism aren’t necessarily identical, one can point to a number of historical examples (the french revolution, the bolshevik reovlution, national socialism, etc.) where atheism and totalitarian violence have gone hand in hand. And the nature of your comment — “Religions mock the entire world with their existance [sic] alone” — wasn’t far off from that kind of thinking. What do you propose then, since the mere presence of religion itself is an abomination?

    And then you preach about intolerance. Or spesifically “this kind of intolerance”, implying “intolerance against religions”. Which is appropriate, since religious groups, including catholics, traditionally have a large number of things they have zero tolerance for.

    I’m not necessarily opposed to intolerance. I happen to think “tolerance” and “non-judgementalism” are highly overrated. As Chesterton said, “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

    It sure is good to know that believers have the right and knowledge to define what kinds of intolerance are acceptable or not.

    But there you go again — having just indicated by your example that we should all be intolerant of religion.

    The purpose with which lars vilks lash out and taunt the muslim fundementalist is obvious: Its to teach people that they cannot have their way by resorting to violence. Many religious groups, including your own, realised this a long time ago by themselves.

    As I’ve said, there is little question that many Muslim’s response to Vilks is disproportionate and extreme — at the same time, Vilks does not help the matter with his direct provocation to violence by taking what Muslims hold dear — the prophet Muhammad — and violating it.

    Unfortunatly, with the way things are, its impractical to wait the hundreds of years it could take for muslims to reach the same level of peaceful conduct as the major christian factions.

    Muslims have a ways to go, yes. But they might get there a lot faster if we didn’t resort to such tactics as Vilks. You teach toleration and respect for others by practicing it. Vilks’s desire to deliberately invoke violence by blaspheming what they hold dear is merely an echo of Muslim intolerance.

    Lastly, from a western moral perspective, who do you think have the moral high ground? The guy who is making pictures and drawings, or the people who are trying to beat him up, kill him and burn his house down?

    In this case, neither — if the guy who is “making pictures and drawings” does so with the specific intent of inciting people to violence. Come now, it’s not as if Vilks was showing photos of the Mona Lisa or Michaelangelo’s David.

  • @Donald R. McClarey

    I dont hate religion, I just oppose it :3

    Especially when some people in the various religions are attempting to put belief in god above all else, not just for themselves but for others as well.

    @Christopher Blosser

    As I was reading through your latest post, I noticed several things.

    You took my paragraph about freedom of expression and somehow try to twist it into a pro-choice/pro-life issue.

    Undoubtedly because you couldnt, at the time, think of a counter-argument that related to the actual issue that was being discussed, i.e. freedom of expression (other than groundless speculation that having freedom of expression will somehow, in a nondescript fashion, lead to a society where one can freely steal, murder, and put oneself above the law.)

    Next, funny you should mention a connection between atheism and national socialism.

    Let me quote from the The National Socialist Party program from 1920, proclaimed by Adolf Hitler, point 24:

    “We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.¨”

    Restrictive, perhaps, but hardly atheistic.

    Your other examples are more accurate at least.

    Furthermore, in your previous post, you said “But surely we can progress beyond this kind of intolerance?” when I said that religions are old fairytales.

    Yet in your latest post, you say you arent neccesarily opposed to intolerance.

    Thanks, I guess, for demonstrating with such perfect detail that what I said previously about your brand of “tolerance” is absolutely true.

    You have the exact same mindset as the muslim fundamentalists, that your beliefs must be tolerated above all else while the religions themselves should be free to judge and comdemn and generally be intolerant towards anything they wish.

    Be honest: it is because you believe that god is on your side.

    Is it not so? What other reason could you have to justify the difference between religious intolerance against people and peoples intolerance against religion?

    Anyways, your paragraph about Lars Vilks state that he is making pictures and drawings “with spesific intent of inciting people to violence”.

    That something you made up completely on your own.

    You are basically saying he is asking for it, even though nothing has ever indicated that Lars Vilks is trying spesifically to create violence.

    In fact, saying so is an insult to the islamic people, since it implies that we should expect them to react in a violent and barbaric fashion.

    A comparable anology is to say that a woman who wear sexy clothing is asking to be raped, after all, everyone knows that men are primitive and lack the self-control neccesary to stop themselves from assaulting women who arent “properly” dressed.

    While in reality, men do in fact have the potential to control their own behaviour, and many choose to do just that.

    Similarly, I think todays muslims have the potential to control their anger and violent reactions and instead react in a modern and civilized fashion when faced with such displays.

    Unfortunatly, some of them choose not to.

  • Religions should be insulted democratically.

    Why?

    Because if you’re going to insult one, you have to insult them all.

    Oh, OK, very reasonable. Now, run by me why we just, don’t tell really unfunny jokes to “insult” religions again.

    I feel like I’m in that episode of Seinfeld, where he tells a priest that one of his former congregants starts making a lot of anti-semitic jokes, and he asks him if it offends him as a Jew, but he responds, “No, it offends me as a comedian.” That’s just not funny, and therefore, beyond the realm of cartoonists.
    I get that the Jihadists are worse, but come on, are we really going to say, “we’re OK, so long as we’re not terrorists!”?

  • By the way, Moorzorz, you sound so smart. I think you sound so convincing, as though you’re not writing generalized emotional ejaculations (funny word right?); you sound as if you’re not just some pasty white atheist teenager to mid twenty year old, “trolling” (as the “kids” say) on a Conservative Catholic blog saying nothing remotely cerebral, desparately seeking attention, even if it’s only from angry papysts over the internet- that’d be like a neglected child turning form his parents to people he’ll never meet for attention.
    Oh, and also, if you could get me a copy of Dan Brown’s latest work of history, and a t-shirt depicting our hero Che, that’d be great.

    Hipsters 4 Life!

  • You took my paragraph about freedom of expression and somehow try to twist it into a pro-choice/pro-life issue.

    I was basically operating on the assumption that if you define “freedom” as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action”, your definition is not merely limited to “self-expression” but freedom of action per se. Hence the question: where does such freedom from coercion begin and end with respect to the unborn?

    Undoubtedly because you couldnt, at the time, think of a counter-argument that related to the actual issue that was being discussed, i.e. freedom of expression (other than groundless speculation that having freedom of expression will somehow, in a nondescript fashion, lead to a society where one can freely steal, murder, and put oneself above the law.)

    Well, I thought we were talking about the nature of freedom per se. If only self expression, then may I assume you would define freedom otherwise — and that there are justifiable limits to freedom when living in society?

    Next, funny you should mention a connection between atheism and national socialism. [Insert quote from the Nazis]. Restrictive, perhaps, but hardly atheistic.

    National socialism was accomodating of religion only insofar as they found it expedient to do so. Ultimately it became a kind of religion of its own, elevating the ‘superman’ (ditto or the Communists). Case in point — Christians who went along with the Third Reich were tolerated; those who didn’t went to the camps along with the gypsies and the Jews. For a firsthand account from one priest, see Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dachau. For a broader view, I recommend Michael Burleigh’s The Third Reich: A New History.

    Furthermore, in your previous post, you said “But surely we can progress beyond this kind of intolerance?” when I said that religions are old fairytales. Yet in your latest post, you say you arent neccesarily opposed to intolerance.

    You’re getting the picture. I think it would be difficult indeed to go through life without being discriminating. Moral judgement is as elementary to existence as eating or breathing. And there are things we should quite justifiably be intolerant about.

    On the other hand, when you arrive at a sweeping judgement that religion in toto is an evil and a mockery of human existence, I think such a sweeping condemnation such as your own is a choice example of intolerance born of ignorance. I know of other atheists or agnostics who are quite capable of studying the breadth of human history and discerning positive elements in religion. An attitude that simply mocks and condemns religion strikes me as a rather stunted perspective.

    Anyways, your paragraph about Lars Vilks state that he is making pictures and drawings “with spesific intent of inciting people to violence”. That something you made up completely on your own.

    No need to impute motives here. I need only quote Lars: “It should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way … If you insult one, then you should insult the other ones.” In the past he depicted Jesus as a paedophile. Don’t tell me he wasn’t hoping to get a reaction. In no way does it justify violence on the part of the protesters, but he certainly wasn’t seeking applause on their part.

    […] Similarly, I think todays muslims have the potential to control their anger and violent reactions and instead react in a modern and civilized fashion when faced with such displays. Unfortunatly, some of them choose not to.

    I think you and I agree on this point — our hope is that Muslims, when they find what they hold most dear insulted in this manner, should be able to restrain themselves from violence.

    That said, I don’t think Lars Vilks necessarily has the right to provocate Muslims in this manner.

  • Lars Vilks has every right to provocate Muslims if that is his wish under Swedish norms as long as he is prepared to pay the price. By what right do the crazed Muslims given residence, asylum and baksheesh in the West under the same suicidal liberal norms, now claim that their Jim Jones is above caricature? The liberal order is unwinding, some honest men Lars Vilks among them, have taken it upon themselves to bring the whole house of lies down.

  • @Clay

    I am dreadfully sorry to come all the way here to this catholic site when I was searching for news about Lars Vilks, I know that people disagreeing with your views must be terribly frightening.

    See? I can use sarcasm to apply attributes to other people too. Thank you for bringing your insight into this discussion.

    In all seriousness though, I am a norwegian, I live in norway, and up here in the north there are no “unwritten rules” that its distasteful internet behaviour to display ones views on a site where people have different views.

    If there is some kind of american unwritten rule about this, please inform me about it and I`ll stop posting.

    Also, if being norwegian somehow invalidates all my views, please inform me and I`ll stop posting.

    @Christoffer Blosser

    I am not just now “getting the picture”, you have read my previous posts, so it should be pretty obvious that I was, unfortunatly, completely right about your views on tolerance from the start.

    I was actually hoping you would disprove my preconceptions on that spesific issue.

    You choose not to address several parts of my paragraph, which is fine, you are free to address the parts you feel neccesary, but I still would like you to tell me how you justify the difference between religious intolerance against people and peoples intolerance against religion, like I asked before.

    I think its because, as I said, you believe your god gives you the right to do so, but I like to think thats not your only reason.

    Furthermore, I have never said religion is evil. Religion is regressive to society, often intolerant and I would even call it irrational.

    But I do not think religious people do what they do and say what they say just for the sake of making other people suffer. If they did, they would be evil.

    By the way, if there is no need to impute motives here, as you say, then perhaps you shouldnt impute motives onto Lars Vilks either?

    Sure, Lars Vilks was hoping to get a reaction. But you said he was spesifically trying to incite a _violent_ reaction.

    Was he trying to incite violence by displaying jesus as a pedophile? Did he except christians to physically attack him and issue death threats when he did?

    I think not.

    Your misconception about Lars Vilks seeking a violent reaction to his displays are only based in your preconcieved judgments against the muslim people.

    You expect them to answer with violence, so to you its obvious that everyone else thinks so too.

    There are several other things I suppose I could, and should, have addressed, but right now I`m out of time, Ì have to head to work.

    I will say this though, Christoffer Blosser, even though we disagree on a great many things, its refreshing to talk with a christian who is willing to argue, rather than the ones who prefer to “answer” only with moderation or bland sarcasm.

  • NOTE: This will be quick, because I think Moozorz and I have discussed this long enough and are conversation is heading into other topics not related to the actual post.

    I still would like you to tell me how you justify the difference between religious intolerance against people and peoples intolerance against religion, like I asked before.

    When speaking of “intolerance”, I think you really need to go into specific detail about what it is you are criticizing. To merely condemn religion in toto as a mockery of humanity — such a sweeping condemnation speaks rather badly and comes across as intolerant. Religions, like anything else, are a mixed bag. If you study Christianity you will find that it, like any other religion, has made positive contributions to society. (Certainly as a Christian I believe it has done more than that; I also recognize that there are many instances where Christians have not behaved in a Christlike manner). At any rate, I think there are positive goods which the religions of the world have to offer which any atheist can recognize if they tried.

    Likewise when you speak of “religion’s intolerance against people”, it may help to be specific.

    I think its because, as I said, you believe your god gives you the right to do so, but I like to think thats not your only reason.

    If you subscribe to a revealed religion, I suppose it’s natural that you will make distinctions between believers and non-believers and to be “intolerant” of certain kinds of actions. But as I’ve pointed out, you don’t have to be religious to make moral distinctions, to condemn certain kinds of behavior, to place limits on human freedom.

    By the way, if there is no need to impute motives here, as you say, then perhaps you shouldnt impute motives onto Lars Vilks either?

    There is no need, because Vilk already gave the reason. He wanted to insult Muslims. He was undoubtedly hoping to get a reaction. A necessarily violent reaction? — Perhaps he wasn’t expecting to get his house firebombed (although in light of past examples, such as the violent reaction of many Muslims to the Pope’s Regensburg address — he might have anticipated such). I do think he would have been sorely disappointed if he didn’t cause offense to Muslims.

    Your misconception about Lars Vilks seeking a violent reaction to his displays are only based in your preconcieved judgments against the muslim people.

    Oh, please. Read what I’ve written about the “Muslim people”, and then decide. (I’m far closer to Muslims than you imagine).

    I certainly don’t think all Muslims respond in the way that Vilks’ critics have done — but let’s face it, there is a subset of Muslims, those who tend to occupy the headlines, who have a propensity to react with threats or actual violence when their religion is mocked. It happens. So I don’t think the possibility of such happening was remote from Vilks’ mind when he decided to ridicule the Prophet Muhammad in the fashion that he did.

    You expect them to answer with violence, so to you its obvious that everyone else thinks so too.

    Actually, no.

    I will say this though, Christoffer Blosser, even though we disagree on a great many things, its refreshing to talk with a christian who is willing to argue, rather than the ones who prefer to “answer” only with moderation or bland sarcasm.

    Feel free to email me if you wish to talk further. blostopher @ gmail.com.

Comedy Central Cowers Before Jihadists While Mocking Christians

Thursday, May 6, AD 2010

The cowards at Comedy Central who censored South Park after receiving death threats from Jihadists, as I detailed here and here, now show their “courage” by announcing a new show mocking Christ.  My friend Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia gives us the details:

Fresh off of heavily editing a depiction of Mohammad in “South Park” following threats from practitioners of the “Religion of Peace”, the “edgy” comedy network, Comedy Central, shows its artistic “courage” in announcing a new series blaspheming Jesus Christ:

Comedy Central might censor every image of the Prophet Muhammad on “South Park,” yet the network is developing a whole animated series around Jesus Christ.

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5 Responses to Comedy Central Cowers Before Jihadists While Mocking Christians

  • “Comedy Central is run by a pack of cowardly contemptible bullies, and it is beyond me why any Christian, or any man or woman with a spine, would waste a moment watching anything they broadcast.”

    You’re right. As of today I boycott Comedy Central.

  • Catholic Renaissance

    It is a well based argument that the various miseries that the Jewish people suffered over the centuries made them stronger and I think it is true that the various unfairness that the Catholic Church and its congregation is being subjected to in recent times, is making the Church stronger and creating something of a renaissance of Catholic thinking and action. The Catholic Church has been portrayed as an enemy of secular liberal society and to an extent that in the past has been a charge which has had more than some legitimacy but excepting the very narrow and restricted area of Papal infallibility, my understanding is that the Catholic Church would not accept it is of necessity less fallible than any other other organization in a World of imperfection, and that whilst the message of Christ as the Saviour to the World remains both perfect and complete, the Church will always face real difficult in properly understanding and giving practical effect to that message. With the rise of Islamism at the end of the twentieth century and at the beginning of the twenty-first century, much of the secular establishment and indeed many supposedly Christian Churches have shown respect for neither christian nor secular principles by refusing to stand up for legitimate secular and christian principles when they would come in to conflict with Islamism, except I would say in important exception the Catholic Church, Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

  • I can’t stand those cowards at Comedy Central I don’t find anything they have on funny or entertaining!
    They are truly Cowards, pick on Good Christians but OH don’t bother the poor filthy terrorist and their SO CALLED God! I am offended and I think we should all get together and SUE them for offending us!

  • An open letter to Comedy Central:
    I have decided to start an email letter campaign to Comedy Central on this issue;
    I hope others will find this link helpful in composing your own letter to that company.
    http://dmedm.blogspot.com/2010/05/open-letter-to-comedy-central.html

    Let’s show Comedy Central what peaceful people do, in the love of Christ!

  • You’re welcome Comedy Central

    Clearly, Comedy Central has complimented Christianity as they know that the worse they can expect out of Christians for besmirching Jesus is that we will say, “Well, I just won’t watch it,” or, “I will pray for them.”

    As Richard Dawkins stated it (during a rare moment of clarity):
    “There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse”

    Find details here

Mark Steyn On The Comedy Central Capitulation

Monday, April 26, AD 2010

Mark Steyn has a good post on National Review Online in regard to the Comedy Central appeasement of the jihadists that I referred to in this post here:

Meanwhile, Comedy Central — you know, the “hip,” “edgy” network with Jon Stewart, from whom “young” Americans under 53 supposedly get most of their news — just caved in to death threats. From a hateful 83-year-old widow who doesn’t like Obamacare? Why, no! It was a chap called Abu Talhah al Amrikee, who put up a video on the Internet explaining why a South Park episode with a rather tame Mohammed joke was likely to lead to the deaths of the show’s creators. Just to underline the point, he showed some pictures of Theo van Gogh, (the picture at the top of this post) the Dutch film director brutally murdered by (oh, my, talk about unfortunate coincidences) a fellow called Mohammed. Mr. al Amrikee helpfully explained that his video incitement of the murder of Matt Stone and Trey Parker wasn’t really “a threat but just the likely outcome.” All he was doing, he added, was “raising awareness” — you know, like folks do on Earth Day. On Earth Day, lame politicians dig a hole and stick a tree in it. But aggrieved Muslims dig a hole and stick a couple of comedy writers in it. Celebrate diversity!

Faced with this explicit threat of violence, what did Comedy Central do? Why, they folded like a Bedouin tent. They censored South Park, not only cutting all the references to Mohammed but, in an exquisitely postmodern touch, also removing the final speech about the need to stand up to intimidation.

Stone and Parker get what was at stake in the Danish-cartoons crisis and many other ostensibly footling concessions: Imperceptibly, incrementally, remorselessly, the free world is sending the message that it is happy to trade core liberties for the transitory security of a quiet life. That is a dangerous signal to give freedom’s enemies. So the South Park episode is an important cultural pushback.

Yet in the end, in a craven culture, even big Hollywood A-listers can’t get their message over. So the brave, transgressive comedy network was intimidated into caving in and censoring a speech about not being intimidated into caving in. That’s what I call “hip,” “edgy,” “cutting-edge” comedy: They’re so edgy they’re curled up in the fetal position, whimpering at the guy with the cutting edge, “Please. Behead me last. And don’t use the rusty scimitar where you have to saw away for 20 minutes to find the spinal column . . . “

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6 Responses to Mark Steyn On The Comedy Central Capitulation

  • I can’t begin to describe my annoyance at Comedy Central. This is the United States of America. Since when do we let radical muslims dictate what we may and may not talk about?

  • Comedy Central is just following the craven trail blazed by America’s news outlets with respect to the Motoons. I’m less disgusted with an entertainment outlet doing the same.

    The grimly funny thing is that Islam is not uniformly aniconic with respect to depictions of religious figures in general. The ban only applies to figural representations in worship spaces.

    The Shia have a history of illustrations–including the modern era–of Muhammad and Ali. Khomeini had a painting of Muhammad on his desk. In the Sunni world, the Turks (and, IIRC, the Mughals) had miniature paintings of Muhammad and others they hail as prophets. I’m absolutely certain the Mughals had no problem with figural depictions of historical figures–their miniatures are magnificent.

    Speaking of the Turks: the whitewashing of expropriated Christian churches in Constantinople did not happen right away. For example, Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Savior in Chora (now the Kariye museum) did not have their frescos and mosaics covered until the 16th and 17th Centuries. In short, the alleged dogmatic prohibition against figural depictions, even of religious figures, are not universal, and even in the Sunni world are of comparatively recent vintage.

  • Thought this was amusing apropos of our conversation on the other thread, Don. Here’s Douthat’s column today, more or less taking your side:

    Except where Islam is concerned. There, the standards are established under threat of violence, and accepted out of a mix of self-preservation and self-loathing.

    This is what decadence looks like: a frantic coarseness that “bravely” trashes its own values and traditions, and then knuckles under swiftly to totalitarianism and brute force.

    Happily, today’s would-be totalitarians are probably too marginal to take full advantage. This isn’t Weimar Germany, and Islam’s radical fringe is still a fringe, rather than an existential enemy.

    For that, we should be grateful. Because if a violent fringe is capable of inspiring so much cowardice and self-censorship, it suggests that there’s enough rot in our institutions that a stronger foe might be able to bring them crashing down.

    Evidently, he saw the same parallel as you did with Weimar Germany, while acknowledging the identification wasn’t complete.

  • I’m with Steyn 100%.

    “Happily, today’s would-be totalitarians are probably too marginal to take full advantage.”

    Today’s would-be totalitarians have infiltrated the White House.

  • Everybody Draw Mohammed Day will be on May 20.

    http://tinyurl.com/draw-mohammed-day

  • Pingback: Comedy Central Cowers Before Jihadists While Mocking Christians « The American Catholic

South Park, Fear and Self-Censorship

Friday, April 23, AD 2010

I confess that I have never watched South Park.  From what I have read about it, the show holds nothing sacred and has had cruel attacks on Christ and other religious figures.  Some people have given it a thumbs up for not being politically correct.  I guess the latter is true, because in an episode that aired Wednesday the South Park crew went after the ultimate sacred cow in today’s America, the founder of Islam, Mohammed.

Or rather they attempted to.  Comedy Central, obviously caving to death threats from Islamic extremists, bleeped out the portions of the broadcast aimed at Mohammed:

Comedy Central bleeped out all references to the Prophet Muhammad in Wednesday night’s episode of the animated show “South Park.”

The episode was a continuation of last week’s episode which depicted the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.

A radical Muslim website threatened the show’s creators following that episode.

Comedy Central confirmed to FoxNews.com that it had censored the show, and that the episode was not available on its website.

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50 Responses to South Park, Fear and Self-Censorship

  • Matt Stone and Trey Parker are part of the problem.

    Look at their depiction of Muhammad. They were scared enough not to portray him, so they opted for a bear costume.

  • They were scared enough not to portray him, so they opted for a bear costume.

    This was a reference to an earlier episode of South Park where Comedy Central censored an image of Muhammad. Trey and Matt were basically mocking the network for their actions and making a point about the completely absurd double standard, and Comedy Central not only validated their point, but upped the ante as well. Truly remarkable.

  • I have seen South Park on occasion. It’s often hilarious, but too vulgar for me to watch in good conscience. At the same time, I don’t really get the criticism offered in the post. Sure, there’s a double standard; Comedy Central doesn’t receive many death threats from Scientologists (one of the few episodes I’ve seen), Mormons, Catholics, or many other groups. They do receive death threats with a nonzero plausibility from various Muslim groups. And so they have censored some inflammatory comments aimed at people who are threatening their employees.

    Why, exactly, does a tv network devoted to comedy have a moral obligation to stand up to Muslim extremists? Isn’t it just good business practice to take reasonable steps to protect your employees? Also, I can see why you’d object if you thought the show was a valuable contribution to society; but as you don’t, why would you care one way or the other whether it is edited to be less offensive?

  • John Henry,

    It’s my impression of the cowardice of Hollywood and their constant attacks on non-violent Christians is what Don was getting at.

    It’s to highlight how morally deprived and without standards Hollywood has… and to continue to remind the culture of these biases.

    Paul,

    Thanks for clearing that up. It makes much more sense that way.

  • “Why, exactly, does a tv network devoted to comedy have a moral obligation to stand up to Muslim extremists? Isn’t it just good business practice to take reasonable steps to protect your employees? Also, I can see why you’d object if you thought the show was a valuable contribution to society; but as you don’t, why would you care one way or the other whether it is edited to be less offensive?”

    We all have a moral duty in a democracy John Henry to stand up to those who choose to use murder and threats of murder to get their way. Weimar Germany is a prime example of what happens when most people decide to simply keep their heads low and not speak out against those who use violence to intimidate. I dislike what little I know of South Park intensely. I dislike far more those who use threats of homicide getting their way.

    Comedy Central is guilty of cowardice. The cowardice is more contemptible due to their pose of being courageous in giving a forum to a show like South Park which regularly butchers sacred cows. At the first hint of trouble the pose drops in an instant and they stand revealed as cowardly school yard bullies who are shocked that there are consequences to puerile insults.

  • It’s to highlight how morally deprived and without standards Hollywood has… and to continue to remind the culture of these biases.

    Again, why is it morally depraved for a comedy television channel to censor a program – making it less offensive – out of concern for the safety of its employees?

  • Again, why is it morally depraved for a comedy television channel to censor a program – making it less offensive – out of concern for the safety of its employees?

    I double down on your again and will repeat myself to clear my point.

    It is to remind people, again and again, of the moral depravity around us. Once we stop speaking out, like Don says, evil will triumph.

    Or you can continue to live in your relative lap of peace and luxury and continue slinging non-sequiturs at those of us trying to change the culture from your peanut gallery and let it slide.

  • Weimar Germany is a prime example of what happens when most people decide to simply keep their heads low

    Don, you are too well read and sensible to make this type of analogy. Censoring a vulgar comedy show that mocks Muslims in the U.S. in 2010 is not remotely analogous to the rise of the Nazi’s in 1920’s and early 1930’s Germany.

    At the first hint of trouble the pose drops in an instant and they stand revealed as cowardly school yard bullies who are shocked that there are consequences to puerile insults.

    Not really. They still ran the episode, and they have responded to countless legal threats over the years from offended parties. They are willing to accept legal risks, but not physical threats to their employees; that doesn’t seem crazy for a comedy tv channel to me. I don’t understand the content of the moral obligation you are imposing on comedy tv channels. You agree that there is little value to the programming, but state that they should ignore threats to their employees lives in order to broadcast it.

  • Maybe it’s important to point out the hypocrisy of a network that likes to pass itself off as “edgy” with all its attacks on non-violent Christians and suggestions to employees of other “less noble” networks to go fornicate with themselves.

    What Comedy Central should have done is made clear why they are engaging in a double standard by issuing a disclaimer that spelled out that the reason they don’t censor blasphemous things such as Jesus watching pornography is because Christians, despite the rhetoric of Hollywood, don’t actually turn out to be very violent when they have their Faith mocked, whereas practitioners of Islam have shown themselves to be quite violent when their faith is questioned in the arts and the media.

    The fact is that “edgy” Comedy Central is really just a bunch of cowards and bullies striking out at those who don’t fight back while shrinking from those most deserving of having their beliefs (or at least how those beliefs are often put into practice) called into question.

  • It is to remind people, again and again, of the moral depravity around us.

    But aren’t you making the case for broadcasting ‘depravity’?

    Look, this isn’t a big deal. I don’t care whether or how Comedy Central censors their programs. I’m sympathetic to the idea that Western culture needs to defend its values; I just don’t think this is the best example to make that case. It seems to me we could pick our battles better.

  • I generally disapprove of skewering religion for laughs, and maybe it isn’t Comedy Central’s job to draw the line in the sand. But if any show were going to get away with something like this, it’d be South Park. It’s disappointing that no one stands up to this kind of crap:

    “It’s not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome,” al Amrikee said, referring to the possibility that Parker and Stone could be murdered for mocking Muhammad. “They’re going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It’s just the reality.”

    That kind of stuff is just crying out for ridicule. When South Park does those “Jesus and Pals” TV, they’re probably blasphemous (and sometimes funny, I’ll admit). I never issued a mafioso-sounding statement like that guy, though.

  • I think the obvious source of frustration here is not that people want to see Islam insulted, but rather the feeling that Islam is being rewarded with more respect because of the small minority of its followers who are ready and eager to behead or otherwise attack those who offend them, while Christianity is being punished because it lacks a true violent minority.

    And this is made the more galling because Christians are often scolded for allegedly being violent and oppressive.

  • but rather the feeling that Islam is being rewarded with more respect because of the small minority of its followers who are ready and eager to behead or otherwise attack those who offend them, while Christianity is being punished because it lacks a true violent minority.

    Well, but it’s not just Christianity. South Park takes on all comers – from Jews, to Mormons, to Scientologists, to politicians; it’s basically anybody in the country that doesn’t happen to have a sizable minority that issues official death threats. And even then, they ran the episode. I don’t think that really amounts to more respect for Islam; just an acknowledgment that some of its adherents are prone to violence. If anything, that results in less respect for Islam as a religion. People wouldn’t respect Catholicism more if Catholics issued death threats every time they were mocked, although it might lead to a reduction in mockery. In the end, this is not a flattering message about Islam; quite the opposite.

    And this is made the more galling because Christians are often scolded for allegedly being violent and oppressive.

    I can understand why that suggestion is galling. But this is much better understood as the idea that there are different rules for Islamic terrorists than for everyone else, than as a contrast with Christians, or Jews, or whomever. If South Park only picked on Christians this would make more sense to me. As it is, it appears like a comedy channel is being criticized for not confronting terrorists more forthrightly…I’ve never thought that was in the job description of a comedy channel, nor do I think on the merits that there is that much value to insulting religious traditions. I understand the hypocrisy objection Jay raises – and I understand the artistic expression objections no one here has raised – but it’s only hypocrisy if there’s inconsistency. The threats of Islamic extremists are different in kind than the other threats, so I see that type of inconsistency as sensible rather than hypocritical. At least, while I might want to run the episode unedited just to be contrary, I don’t blame people actually responsible for the decision for choosing otherwise.

  • But of course comedy central had no issue leaving in the parts of the same episode where Jesus was watching porn and buddha snortng coke.

  • Interesting discussion- I like John Henry’s out-of-the-box thinking on this- my first reaction is to lash out at the cowardice of Comedy Central- but really the reality is that the threat of violence is a real one and one has to be prudent. The real solution to the double-standard is for Catholics and all Christians to find a non-violent means of conveying the same kind of “threat” not to the lives but to the livelihoods of South Park’s personnel and Comedy Central as well. This is a whole lot harder than having a little violent mafia that can be summoned to break some arms and legs to get our way. But it shouldn’t surprise us that since Christ’s Way is the Truth, He wouldn’t allow us to take immoral shortcuts. And so, we resume the battle for souls in an often hostile world- My own contribution has been to stop watching larry david’s show after the “piss christ” episode even though I really really wanted to see the Seinfeld reunion bits, and I stopped watching South Park a year or two ago and even Colbert is something that I am rarely taking in anymore- I suppose it is something of a boycott, and boycott are only effective if they are huge- these things are tough to organize, but we start with ourselves and our little sphere’s of influence to get people to consider just taking a powder of such offensive programs.

  • If anything, that results in less respect for Islam as a religion. People wouldn’t respect Catholicism more if Catholics issued death threats every time they were mocked, although it might lead to a reduction in mockery. In the end, this is not a flattering message about Islam; quite the opposite.

    That’s actually precisely one of the takeaways I had to this kerfuffle. I don’t think it justifies Comedy Central’s decision, but what does it say that even a veiled threat is taken so seriously?

  • You own a business with many employees under your care. A couple employees want to stage some public spectacle sponsored by the company that you have no objection to except that protesters promise to retaliate with lethal force. What do you do?

  • “Don, you are too well read and sensible to make this type of analogy. Censoring a vulgar comedy show that mocks Muslims in the U.S. in 2010 is not remotely analogous to the rise of the Nazi’s in 1920’s and early 1930’s Germany.”

    Actually John Henry I think that Islamic Jihadists and the Nazis have quite a bit in common in regard to their use of violence and the threat of violence to achieve their ends. I also think many of the elites in our society are every bit as decadent and cowardly as the elites who ran Weimar Germany.

  • “They still ran the episode, and they have responded to countless legal threats over the years from offended parties.”

    They ran a censored episode John Henry as a sign of their capitulation. They were unafraid of legal challenges, because, as you and I as attorneys both know, they had nothing to fear from the legal challenges and much to gain from the free publicity. They gave the Jihadists a victory and gave way to death threats because they are craven cowards.

  • John Henry, we commonly come up short in various ways. We should not. We need to understand that we come up short. Lacking in physical courage and cojones is coming up short. Offering apologetics for this sort of behavior works toward breeding more of it in the coming generation, which is not to be desired.

  • AD, I believe the phenomenon you’re describing is referred to as ‘projection’ in the psychological literature. Not everyone evaluates arguments primarily through the prism of adolescent chest-thumping. Not that there is anything wrong with being an adolescent, of course. It’s a question of the proper time and place.

  • I also think many of the elites in our society are every bit as decadent and cowardly as the elites who ran Weimar Germany.

    And so…what? Comedy channels should run programs offensive to Muslims to prevent radical Islamists from over-taking our government like the Nazi’s seized power in Germany? As I said, I don’t really care one way or the other what Comedy Central does. I’d probably rather see the episode unedited; but I don’t think the arguments you’ve offered are very compelling.

  • They gave the Jihadists a victory and gave way to death threats because they are craven cowards.

    Again, what is ‘craven’ about this? It may be cowardly – most precautionary measures can be so described – but what is craven about it?

  • If Catholic programmers had bowed to threats made by Islamic extremists who did not like the orthodox Catholic perception of Islam or some key component of Islamic religious practice- like the problem of reciprocity in giving religious liberty to non-Islamic religions- then I would be upset. Catholics should not bow down to unjust demands- but Comedy Central is probably staffed by moral relativists who represent the secularist mindset well- hold to certain ideals until they become inconvenient- and switch back when they the storm has passed. The South Park approach of skewering all sacred cows will be revised according to the level of “threat” to either physical lives of the show’s creative staff or to the economic damage that a planned or spontaneous boycott would create.

  • AD, I believe the phenomenon you’re describing is referred to as ‘projection’ in the psychological literature. I would advise you not to showcase certain insecurities, intellectual or otherwise, so openly.

    I look forward to john Henry’s next blog post about how conservatives commentators need to be more reasoned, and how we should avoid ad homimem argumentation. Leading by example, as always.

  • Paul, I don’t know why you felt the need to comment there. I mean, honestly. What are you trying to accomplish? Granted, I shouldn’t have responded with an ad hominem to AD”s ad hominem. It’s bad practice. I don’t really see why you decided to get involved, though. I certainly wasn’t talking to you, and there is no need for you to be so nasty.

  • So, basically you acted like a tool, and your reaction is to admonish me.

  • I apologize, again, for responding to AD’s ad hominem in kind. There is not much else I can do. I am not going to hi-jack Don’s thread any further responding to your unnecessarily hostile remarks.

  • When someone is attacked via ad hominem or otherwise it is acceptable in my view, and in fact can be noble, for a third party to defend the person attacked.

  • Mike,

    I agree. I thought what happened was that Art Deco attacked me with an ad hominem and I responded, wrongly, in kind. Then Paul jumped in ostensibly to scold me for responding with an ad hominem, while throwing another into the mix. Was I wrong to interpret Art Deco’s remark as a childish ad hominem? If so, then I apologize both for misinterpreting and for responding as I did. As it is, I just apologize for the response.

  • John, I dunno. I suspect that all of us just allowed our passions to momentarily get the better of us, me included.

  • John Henry,

    Why are you bending over backwards to defend cowardice?

    You say you really don’t care about this issue, yet here you are a dozen posts or so into defending your view on it.

    Your attitude, if I may say so, is precisely the wrong one to take. You are distorting the comparisons others in order to continually justify a position that most of the people here rightly and instinctively know is wrong – servility and groveling in the face of a relentless and brutal enemy.

    You say,

    “Look, this isn’t a big deal. I don’t care whether or how Comedy Central censors their programs. I’m sympathetic to the idea that Western culture needs to defend its values; I just don’t think this is the best example to make that case. It seems to me we could pick our battles better.”

    We don’t get to pick our battles, John. Our battles come to us. They “pick” us.

    If we can’t stand up for ourselves over “small” things, then I question our ability to stand up over large ones.

    When dealing with an aggressive foe, boundaries must be drawn, they must be made to know that they can NEVER get away with death threats against American citizens.

    I don’t give a rats about the content of South Park. The show has its great political moments, it has also terribly insulted the Church and Christ on numerous occasions. The show’s writers are still too childish and naive to understand that the Church is the best thing that ever happened to Western civilization and is worth promoting, and not attacking; so be it.

    They’re still American citizens and they still deserve to be able to exercise their first amendment rights without fear of death threats from a group of fanatics who use violence to show how angry they are that people portray them as violent in the ultimate act of psychopathy.

    What if the Muslims threatened to blow up the studio where South Park is made unless Matt and Trey convert to Islam? Should they do it? Where do you draw the line? At what point does “safety” take a backseat to human dignity and honor?

    I would like to know.

  • I view this whole thing as a sad commentary on free speech today. The 1st amendment at its finest is meant to protect the thoughts and speech that people would die for; yet it has become merely interpreted by our society as the right to say whatever disgusting and offensive thing they can think of.

    While the creators of South Park & Comedy Central would no doubt believe themselves to be advocates of free speech (as shown by the show’s frequent attempts to push the limits of the FCC), it is telling that what they backed off as soon as any consequences were hinted at.

    That’s not to say the made the wrong decision. I don’t think unnecessary blasphemy is funny nor do I think it’s worth dying to protect the right to unnecessarily blaspheme. I just wish that they would take the same time & effort they have put into this into saying something worth saying and worth dying for.

  • John Henry, I do not think the term ad hominem means what you think it does.

    That aside, my personal biography is obscure to you, as are my insecurities and what not.

  • What if the Muslims threatened to blow up the studio where South Park is made unless Matt and Trey convert to Islam? Should they do it? Where do you draw the line? At what point does “safety” take a backseat to human dignity and honor?

    Since you’ve specifically requested that I respond, I will, but I think my shift as volunteer pinata on this thread will be over after that. I am not sure that running vulgar, self-satisfied cartoons that insult various religious traditions is a matter of ‘human dignity’ and ‘honor’. And so I’m fine leaving the decision of whether to offend Muslims in that way up to Comedy Central and the writers to work out among themselves. It’s not like we’re talking about high art or a great contribution to culture here. South Park is probably the crudest show on cable – and that’s a difficult category to win these days. Notice, most of the criticisms above are about a double standard – South Park goes after anyone else with abandon, but not Muslims. I explained above that there seems to me to be a reasonable distinction there given the threats of violence, or at least there is room for reasonable disagreement.

    Is this a type of ‘surrender’ to violence; maybe, but I would not be surrendering anything I view as particularly valuable here. A private company that runs a Comedy Channel self-censoring to make its program less offensive doesn’t bother me. When something that I value is at stake, that’s where I’ll draw the line. For instance, if the FCC or some other government group tried to coerce a private company to self censor in this manner, I’d absolutely oppose that type of government action. Or if the program in question was a debate among scholars about the Koran or Islam & violence, I’d have a problem. But, as it is, the terrorists are damaging themselves more than anyone else – and more than any episode of South Park could.

  • John Henry, I do not think the term ad hominem means what you think it does.

    That aside, my personal biography is obscure to you, as are my insecurities and what not.

    AD, now, that you’ve re-appeared, I apologize again. I am well aware of what an ad hominem is; apologies for the misinterpretation (assuming you were not intending to insult me) and response (regardless of whether you intended to insult me or not).

  • ” I am not sure that running vulgar, self-satisfied cartoons that insult various religious traditions is a matter of ‘human dignity’ and ‘honor’.”

    Way to twist the argument. It is a matter of dignity and honor to not cower before threats of violence, regardless of what one is doing.

    For their part, Matt & Trey are challenging the double standard as applied to Islam. As a point of logic, they are absolutely correct – it is inconsistent and cowardly for CC to allow them to mock Christ and other religious figures but not Mohammed. It is a clear sign and signal that Islam’s violent threats have “worked”, that they have acquired a special immunity. This is unacceptable.

    “It’s not like we’re talking about high art or a great contribution to culture here.”

    It doesn’t matter.

    “South Park is probably the crudest show on cable – and that’s a difficult category to win these days.”

    You haven’t seen Drawn Together, then… At any rate, while it is slightly off-topic, South Park may be crude but it often approaches political issues from a more mature standpoint than most cable news commentary. Sometimes I think the creators add as much vulgarity as they do as a test – if you “see through it” and watch the show for the message, you learn something. I could be wrong.

    “Notice, most of the criticisms above are about a double standard – South Park goes after anyone else with abandon, but not Muslims. ”

    Though this isn’t your point, I will say here that Matt and Trey WOULD “go after Muslims” – it is the network execs. at CC that censor them.

    The first part of the episode (it was a two parter) highlighted the fact that BEFORE the controversy in Denmark, South Park prominently featured a Mohammed in the original “Super Best Friends” episode and there was NO PROBLEM.

    Then a group of fanatics in Denmark arbitrarily decided that it was the time to start getting violent over print depictions of Mohammed, and everything changed. Frankly, as a Christian I am as disgusted as any civil libertarian at this servility. These people are bullies, and you stand up to bullies, you don’t back down.

    “When something that I value is at stake, that’s where I’ll draw the line.”

    Ok. I think that strategy is pointless, since the thing to be valued is our freedom not to be threatened by violent extremists, but whatever.

  • Why expect the Comedy Central execs to be any braver than the newspaper editors who refused to publish the Mohammed cartoons, or Western leaders who rush to preemptively denounce “hate crimes” against Muslims the second after any Muslim commits a hate crime?

    The merits and faults of South Park are secondary compared to the larger context, which is that Western governments and media (the same media which pride themselves on “speaking truth to power”) are utterly cowed by Muslim. The MSM caved on the Mohammed cartoons; Mark Steyn was hauled before the modern day equivalent of the Star Chamber in Canada for “hate crimes” (his “crime” was actually quoting a Muslim iman accurately); the French media reports on “youths” holding their nightly carbeques in the Paris suburbs without mentioning that the Renault-torching youths all belong to a certain religion; Geert Wilders is on trial for hate crimes against Muslims, although he is the one who needs police protection; Theo van Gogh was carved up in an Amsterdam street in broad daylight and none of his fellow filmmakers saw fit to mention his brutal slaying at that year’s Academy Awards. I could go on – and on. The more they bully and threaten, the more the West kowtows to their demands, to their inviolate right never to be offended, no matter how mild or unintentional the offense is. A few years ago, some company in the UK banned coffee cups depicting Porky the Pig because Muslim employees were offended by them. The Jews traditionally have never had much use for pork, but I’ll wager it never crossed the minds of even orthodox Jews to call for a ban on cups with pictures of cartoon pigs.

    The Muslim grievance society is perpetually aggrieved. They demand and demand and demand, and the West gives in and apologizes and capitulates endlessly. And the same people who do give in to the Muslims because of the very real fact of Islamic extremism fret about imaginary “tea party violence” and congratulate themselves for being daring when they insult Christians.

  • “And the same people who do give in to the Muslims because of the very real fact of Islamic extremism fret about imaginary “tea party violence” and congratulate themselves for being daring when they insult Christians.”

    That they do – and they sicken me.

  • Very interesting thread. My first instinct was to side with the snot-nosed religion-bashers over the violent psychopaths and the cowards, but really there are no role models in this story.

    I think it is the obligation of anyone in the field of communications to risk his life for human rights. We typically don’t think of it that way, but Vaclav Havel would. If you’re lucky enough to go a few decades without risking your life for something, you’re in a historical lull, but those don’t last long. The whole point of life is to pick a side.

  • Is Obama a coward for refusing to release the prisoner abuse photos?

    It’s one thing to put your own life on the line, but when you’re responsible for the lives of others, sometimes you should bite your tongue. Besides, it’s not like Comedy Central was protecting the Holy Grail. It was a cartoon. The right of Comedy Central to air a cartoon on one side and real lives on the other. I think they did the right thing.

  • Giving into a threat of murder restrainedradical merely encourages those who make the threats. It is cowardly and simply doesn’t work in the long run.

  • Some of you may be getting caught up in the vulgarity of southpark but it actually touches a lot on social and political issues. By the mere fact that they are willing to accept death threats because they believe in free speech actually says a lot about their character.

    Lets set aside the problems you have with southpark and at least acknowledge that.

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  • Of course catholics would defend the muslims because just like them they are responsible for far worse evils than ANYONE in the history of hollywood. Im glad its finally coming to light just how corrupt the holier than thou are.

  • Right. People killed in just wars waged by the Catholic Church (the “Crusades”) = a few thousand.

    People killed by atheist communists for a demented ideology that doesn’t even work = somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million.

    No, you non-believers have us beat.

  • MR, who can possibly argue with someone who has such a keen grasp of history? For future reference I am going to exercise my prerogative of blog censorship and state that I find your assumed name offensive and any further comments under that name will go to the spam file and you will be banned from this blog. I defend the right of the South Park creators to be jerks in the face of Jihadist death threats. That does not mean that I wish to see their style of ignorant jerkiness emulated in my threads.

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Bishop Sheen on Fatima

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

The things that you find on the internet!  Bishop Sheen gives a brilliant exposition of the miracle of Fatima.

Bishop Sheen believed that our Lady of Fatima would lead to the conversion of Islam.  Here are his thoughts on that subject:

Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite within it some elements of Christianity and of Judaism.

Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty, and His Creative Power, and uses it as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God.

Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet only.

The Catholic Church throughout Northern Africa was virtually destroyed by Moslem power and at the present time (circa 1950), the Moslems are beginning to rise again.

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6 Responses to Bishop Sheen on Fatima

  • Wow – this is a totally new perspective on Christian-Muslim relations. This means that “dialogue” should really focus on Mary. Are there any follow ups on this line of thinking, on groups that took it up in their missionary efforts, even Orthodox groups perhaps?

  • Very interesting. Thanks for posting this.

  • Thanks for this Don.

    Fulton Sheen was definitely a powerful and dramatic orator. I knew of him when I studied with the Redemptorists back in ’58 and ’59 testing a vocation, and knew a little of his assertion concerning the conversion of Islam. But that’s the first time I have seen these videos, and the first time I have read the full text of his talk on Fatima.

    Excellent stuff.

  • Abp. Sheen said this more than 50 years ago. He noted the growth of anti-Christian sentiment and predicted it would increase. That is happening. But there are also reports of Muslims converting, making great sacrifices and facing death as a result.
    When Fulton J. Sheen is canonized, perhaps an additional title could be placed after his name, “Prophet”.

  • Thank you JJO2 and Don. Bishop Sheen had a great gift of communicating in simple direct terms complicated truth. I think this show on Fatima was one of his best efforts.

  • Dear writer and all

    I would like to point out that those whom submit to God’s will are called Muslims and their religion is called Islam. Not moslems, moslemism or Mohammedism, Muslims do not worship Mohammed (Peace be upon him) nor do we believe he is the founder of Islam. The name Islam and Muslims is what God calls us in the Quran, it is not a religion named after a man.

    And regarding why muslims believe Jesus (peace be upon him) is a prophet, and not Son of God or God, is answered in the following link.

    Prophet Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them) in the Holy Quran and Previous Scriptures
    http://theradiantlight.blogspot.com/

    Other useful websites

    Islam
    http://www.islamreligion.com/

    Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)
    http://www.rasoulallah.net/

    By a German diplomat
    http://teachislam.com/dmdocuments/Muhammad_Aman_Hobohm_Islams_Answer_to_Racial_Problem.pdf

    I hope this provides a better understanding.

    It says in your scripture “blessed are the peacemakers” I hope Jews, Christians and Muslims co-exist peacefuly.

Advent and Anti-Christ, Part I

Sunday, November 29, AD 2009

Prior to his conversion to Catholicism, John Henry Cardinal Newman, soon to be Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman,  preached in 1835 a series of Advent Sermons on the Anti-Christ.  I have always found them extremely intriguing, and I am going to present them on each of the Sundays in Advent this year.

In this first sermon Newman gives us an overview of the Anti-Christ and the time of his appearance.  We see in this sermon Newman’s total command of history and how he uses this knowledge to draw out the implications of the few mentions of the Anti-Christ in Scripture.  Newman intellectually was always first and foremost a historian of the highest order and he puts this talent to good and instructive use in this sermon.  When Newman converted the Church gained one of the finest intellects of the Nineteenth Century or any century for that matter.  Much of Newman’s work concerned the working out of God’s plan for salvation through human history, and his examination of the Anti-Christ places that mysterious part of revelation into that plan.

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that Day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first,
and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition.”

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21 Responses to Advent and Anti-Christ, Part I

  • How prescient Cardinal Newman was.

    Including Mohammad as a proto-Anti-Christ. Many have backed up Newmans assertion that heretical forms of Christianity such as Nestorianism contributed to the rise of Islam.

    Hilaire Belloc I believe (I don’t recall who exactly) called Islam another Christian heresy.

    How right he was!

  • You are right, Tito. Belloc said it in “The Great Heresies.”

  • Evil begets evil. But thanfully, God begets God, and what greater good is there than God?

  • I know we can’t know the timing of these things. I also know they will happen again and again with increasing frequency and severity until the final one; however, it sounds like the good cardical is talking of a conspiracy. Are we listening? Becuase it seems most people freak out and dismiss any time I hint of a conspiracy. Makes you think hmm.

    Could it be a liberal conspiracy? I am not referring to Demomcrat liberals or even Republican liberals, just liberal thought in general. Liberalism has some great aspects. I happen to like much of libertarian (the classical liberal) thought; however, liberal is also plagued with utility, permissiveness, license and radical individualism. Could this be the Devil taking us by the hand and making us his friends in our own undoing?

    Karl Marx certaintly thought so. He developed ideas, ideologies and an ‘economic’ theory that seek to do nothing other than totally destroy Western Civ. aka Rome aka Christendom. The tool he used to present his destructive agenda is Marxism/Communism and it’s newer forms of Critical Theory hidden away in liberalism, both the neo-con and the lefty-loony viriety.

  • Vince C.,

    I like the link in your name!

    I added it to our Catholic resources list.

    Keep up the great witness to our beautiful faith!

  • One point of clarification – John Henry Cardinal Newman is not yet identified as “Blessed” that is supposed to happen next year when the Holy Father visits England. Hopefully his canonization will follow sooner rather than later.

  • Let us pray for the conversion of the Antichrist, so that he, too, might enjoy the Beatific Vision and be an endless hymn of praise of God’s Mercy.

  • Thank you Dontex! I was gettting ahead of myself. It has been a long wait for we Newman devotees! I have amended the post.

  • The antichrist has always been at work ever since he decided to be greater than God. And his work is visible. Look at those that want anything that has to do with Christianity taken out, look at all the sexuality on TV, internet and so on. Look at sexual liberation men giving themselves to men, women to women “Because they gave up the natural order “ now where have I heard those words before; check out the driving force behind religions. Islam says that if one is not converted to Islam they need to be killed. Today the war is over oil, but after the crises is over, what reason will there be to go to war. I remember reading the story of the Jewish holocaust, and in a meeting of high ranking Nazi officials the final resolution was being discussed, and one general asked “ and after we do away with the Jewish people , who will be next “. After the oil war is over whom they will persecute.
    Read the story of Sodomma and Camorra why did God destroy them and see if those same reasons are not prevailing in our society today. Oh yes my dear brothers and sisters the anti-Christ is lose, angry and wild. He knows the day of the Lord is at hand. He also knows what awaits him.
    But fear you not because as the apostle said “IF I AM WIH THE LORD, WHAT EVIL CAN BEGET ME”
    Christ be with you all.

  • No Nick I’m afraid not! To pray for the conversion of the Antichrist would be in vain. He is confirmed in evil! It would be like trying to pray for the conversion of Satan and that you must know is impossible. The prince of Darkness is confirmed in Evil for all eternity.

  • I agree with Gabriel about Satan being confirmed evil for all eternity, though I am not sure if it is applicable to the anti-Christ.

    Satan, being created an angel by God has perfect knowledge. Angels are not human but are something akin to spiritual beings that had perfect intelligence. So when he consciously chose to oppose God it was final since in his own mind he thought better of himself instead of God.

    The anti-Christ will be a man, not an angle, so he (or she) will be imperfect, hence then he may still be able to repent.

    As Saint Theresa of Avila said, she still prays for Judas because we truly don’t know if he asked for forgiveness at the moment of his death.

  • Which antichrist? Nero, Mohammad, Marx, Hitler, or The Anti-Christ?

    I think many antichrists can repent but the final Anti-Christ, I am not so sure. He may be so closely tied to Satan that there is no hope for him. Isn’t he supposed to be slain and then rise again in mockery of Christ? If so, how is that possible unless Satan is completely animating and possesing him? If he is that given over to Satan I don’t think he can return to God, not that God wouldn’t have Mercy, but rather becuase the evil is so consuming that he wouldn’t consider surrender to God anything desireable.

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  • The Anti-Christ is Satan only in the form of a human being, just as Christ is God in a human form.
    Satan nor any of the fallen angels will be pardoned or can be pardoned for their sins and crimes, this is way they hate us humans so much cause we have the opportunity to repent they can’t and do not have the opportunity to repent. They knew and saw God as He is in all his glory.
    They literally saw and understood God but decided to go against him, freely and willingly.

  • Excellent point Rafael.

    Because they are angels they have perfect knowledge, hence they would choose not to repent if they were allowed to repent.

    I am not sure on this point, but the angels that followed Lucifer hated humans because God placed them above angels I believe.

  • I suppose it is possible that Anti-Christ is Satan but it is also possible that he is just another poor power-hungry, disobendient human given over to Satan through sin. Either way he is a problem and he loses.

    Tito, we are not above the angels. To my knowledge only one creature is above the angels and she is perfectly human, the Queen of men and angels, our Blessed Virgin Mary. The rest of us are lower than the angels and we are integrated with our bodies and struggle against our flesh. You are correct about the perfect knowledge of angels and their perfect and fixed free wills. Once an angel makes a choice it is eternally fixed. St. Michael will always serve God fully and Satan aka Lucifer will always be disobedient and he knows his time is short.

    I think Satan and the fallen angels (demons) rebelled against God not because He made us higher than angels but precisely becuase He made us lower than angels. I think when God showed them that He was taking human form, a lower form than an angel, their pride was bruised. The virtue opposite the vice of pride is humility. God humbled Himself to become a small, vulnerable, cold, poor, homeless baby. Satan went nuts and a third of heaven was cast out with him.

    Come Lord Jesus!

  • I see no evidence in Scripture that the anti-Christ will be an avatar of Satan.

  • No! I don’t believe the Antichrist is Satan himself. Satan also known as the dragon, the ancient serpent of old! Who gave his power, worldly glory, status to the beast, the Antichrist to make war with the saints and to conquer them and there was given to it (by Satan) power over every tribe and people and tonque and nation.
    And later, the beast or Antichrist was captured along with the false prophet who worked wonders to lead many astray and both were cast alive into the fiery lake of burning brimstone and also those that worshipped the image of the beast.
    Shortly after that St. Michael the archangel seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit.
    Since Satan is the prince of this world he can give his power and earthly glory to whom he likes!!!!

  • To read what the church teaches on the Antichrist go to NewAdvent.com click on encyclopedia click A find and click Antichrist.

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Pray for Larry David, Creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm

Wednesday, October 28, AD 2009

[Warning: Vile language in this posting.]

Larry David Jerry Seinfeld

Larry David is the creative producer of NBC’s Seinfeld and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiam.  Over the weekend in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm he relieves himself on the picture of Jesus.  The details and context of the episode are not worth explaining due to the unfortunate attack on God and our Christian faith by this depraved human being.

Like so many in Hollywood, anti-Christian, more specifically, anti-Catholicism, is still prevalent among many movers and shakers.  Imagine if they would even consider insulting the founder of Islam, Mohammad, as such?  Not in a million years.

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90 Responses to Pray for Larry David, Creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm

  • Tito:

    While I admire the spirit with which you intended the posting of this entry, doesn’t doing so simply allows for free publicity of the very depraved act you are (quite rightly, of course) protesting?

    In other words, these days, it is this kind of free publicity that such folks crave because the controversy it generates (particularly, amongst the religious) are exactly the kind that promote their projects (in this case, a television series) amongst the general populace, potentially leading to more expanded viewership.

    Myself being aware of such tactics personally, I hardly give them the satisfaction by engaging in such action, which would only serve to promote their utterly repulsive objectives.

  • I don’t understand. They should receive
    publicity – lots of negative publicity .
    They cannot be allowed to get away with this .

    Its not just the one episode, its a whole
    series of things, and the immorality and
    violence as a whole in Hollywood .
    Pray that God intervenes and that there will
    be changes .

  • I like how you say they wouldn’t do this to any other religion but no other religion is constantly claiming to find ‘weeping’ icons.

    IT’S CALLED SATIRE AND IT IS FUNNY

    I know you’re not going ot post this.

  • In your gloss, such an action (for instance, this display of outrage demonstrated by Tito’s post) would seem like negative publicity insofar as those particularly religious are concerned; however, that is not entirely the case especially with respect to the general masses, which such controversies as this specifically target.

    There is nothing more reliable than counting on this kind of outrage by such religious folks, which these controversies (in particular, this kind of media attention) generally depend.

    In fact, this is what the network strategists typically count on in order to boost viewership, especially in instances where it appears to be declining.

    Put it this way, if only members of the religious community would not respond in kind to such tactics in this manner and simply altogether ignore it, they would perhaps cease resorting to this kind of tactic.

    However, some are so predictable in the kind of reaction typically expected from them due to this already age-old maneuver that religious zealots (while seeming to do the right thing) ironically play right into the hands of these seemingly clever network strategists by inadvertently giving them exactly the kind of free publicity such media folks originally sought by employing such a tactic.

    In other words:

    “How do the Hollywood types boost up viewership for our shows?”

    Simple: Attack members of the religious communities by doing something controversial that will undoubtedly offend them.

    Their outrage will not only guarantee publicity for the shows themselves to a attract a much wider audience but also, what’s even more, it’ll be free!

    Ingenious when you think about it since what could be more reliable (and, consequently, more effective) than that outrage which such media tactics depends?

    The Da Vinci Code is a prime example.

    There were hundreds of folks I know (through various fraternal and academic associations) who, if not for such outrage, would have hardly been interested in seeing that very movie. However, because of the overwhelming reaction of several Christian communities, it generated such interest amongst them to actually see that movie, which is precisely the kind of publicity these media moguls were counting on.

  • Matt

    May I direct your attention to the following site:

    http://www.miraclesofislam.com/

  • e.,

    Like you continue to post comments and attract more attention?

  • Tito:

    My posting comments is not the same as your having created an entry that actually gives the kind of free publicity the show itself craves. In fact, it is moot since harm has already been done by your having already created the entry itself.

    Besides, my purpose is to expose this tactic so that a greater awareness of how these folks think and why they do what they do comes to light.

    Again, I don’t fault you for doing so; it really isn’t your fault since you were only doing what you considered right in light of the situation.

    How could you know that you were actually playing (even if unwittingly) right into the hands of some rather devious reprobates?

    If anything, you were only doing what every good Catholic these days don’t (unfortunately): take one’s Catholic Faith seriously.

    This is precisely why (as you rightly asserted within the context of your own entry) Hollywood would not dare insult Islam but have no qualms whatsoever about insulting Catholicism.

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  • Larry David has condemned himself by his actions. Pissing on a picture of Jesus is usually a last phase action of a demon who having seen the light, willfully challenges it instead of repenting. Now since Christianity is true, Larry has indeed messed with the Holy Spirit. Bleating to the press about how unfair it is that the sensibilities of other religions are spared is beside the point, as the Devil has no time for them.

  • Anyone who follows CURB knows that Larry David ridicules Judaism far more than any other religion. I urge anyone who takes offence (and most will probably have not even seen this particular episode) to sit down and watch the previous 6 series of the show and you might then understand the context. You will then be in a better position to pass judgement and decide whether to be offended.

    In fact, if all you ‘religious types’ stayed in your houses and watched more shows like this rather than going out to spread hate & prejudice then the world would be a better place.

    At last, more and more people are finally coming to see the truth that religion is a scam and deserves no respect.

    Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.

  • “Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    This is quite possibly the stupidest, shallowest thing atheists say.

    How do you even know what “good” is? You have no moral compass, man to you is nothing but an animal. We eat animals. Animals eat each other. The law of the jungle does not know goodness or evil, but only survival and efficiency.

    I have watched Curb, I used to be a fan – used to be, before this disgusting outrage. I will never watch the show again.

    Do you even know the slightest thing about Jesus Christ? You expect us to know about some stupid show on HBO when your knowledge of the person being desecrated is probably based on 10 second sound bites?

  • Shmohawk,

    Just because he ridicules his own faith, doesn’t give him the right to ridicule someone else’s.

    You have a false sense of logic here without an ounce of reason.

  • Also…

    “it takes religion to make good people do evil things”

    How stupid do you have to be to even repeat something like this? Good people do good things. Someone who does evil over and over again is evil. A “religious” person who does evil things is evil, period.

  • @Tito, do you really want to live in a society where it’s only ok to poke fun at yourself? Allow me to Godwin this conversation: would you criticize Hitler? By your logic, you’d have to be a Nazi to do so.

  • Anonymous,

    Nazi’s were the governing party of Germany.

    You get to choose to remain a Catholic or not.

    You need to work out your philosophical arguments out before present them as a intellectual discourse.

    By the way, we rarely respond to people who sign in as anonymous, so I did you a favor.

  • Larry David is not a Christian. The people who watched that episode and were amused by it most likely are not Christians. As non-Christians, they are not obligated in any way to show reverence or even respect for your god because they do not believe in or worship your god. See how that works? The Constitution gives you the right to worship as you please, but that’s all. It does not give you the right to insist that others — even people of different religions or no religion — show you some extra measure of respect because of your beliefs.

    What you self-righteously and erroneously identify as “anti-Christian” or “anti-Catholic” is nothing more than a reflection of your own arrogance. Just because someone does not share your belief and chooses to find humor in your religion does not mean that person is “anti” anything — it just means that person does not believe as you do. It’s a big, cold world, and in it, people have many different beliefs and world views. That they do not agree with yours does not make them any less valid, nor does it mean they are actively opposed to your beliefs or that they are in some way persecuting you.

    I know it’s difficult for people who base their lives on unprovable beliefs that contradict reality to do this, but you Christians really need to grow up and understand that others are free to disagree with you, believe different things, and to say whatever they please about your beliefs, and that when they do that it does not mean that they are somehow morally inferior to you. It’s a free country, and in a free country people get offended. The best defense for this is to develop a thick skin. The United States does not exist to serve Christianity; it is an entirely secular nation in which no religion is officially recognized and all religions — or lack of religion — are allowed. What Christians so often identify as persecution is nothing more than the natural reaction of others to their arrogance and pious sense of entitlement and to their constant efforts to impose their beliefs on EVERYONE and to turn America into something it is not and never has been. Personal beliefs are just that — PERSONAL. They should be kept that way.

    If you find Larry David’s humor offensive, then don’t watch Larry David’s show. Whether or not other people watch and enjoy his show is none of your damned business.

  • Ray Garton,

    It’s amazing you took time out to tell us that it’s a free country and that our beliefs are unprovable.

    If so, why bother?

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • You must not have read my entire post. I assume you already know it’s a free country and your beliefs are unprovable. My point was that you Christians really need to control yourselves. The Dark Ages are over. You’re not in charge anymore — and we all know what happened when you were.

  • anon@ 11.37 In your world, when you criticise someone, say your kid, do you do so by urinating on a photograph of his? Is that how it is done? Slag off all you want about Christianity but don’t pretend that scum Larry was merely poking fun.

  • Ray Garton,

    Would it be ok to go on national television and insult you, your mother, and anyone else close to you?

    You fail to understand that there is a certain amount of responsibility involved with free speech.

    Do you think someone can get away with issuing a threat to our President and not have repurcussions?

    You really need to think this through before you make a fool of yourself.

    As far as the “Dark Ages”, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church during the “Dark Ages” we wouldn’t have a concept called a “University”, science, astronomy, books, and beer just to name a few. Plus the fact we stemmed the tide of Islam.

    So think next time you spout falsehoods.

    If all you get is your information from tv, then you really don’t know much at all.

    So be thankful you aren’t be scourged in the city center while your mother is forced to wear a burqa and everyone around you are driving around on donkey’s as a means of transportation.

  • Larry David did not urinate on a picture of Jesus. Backsplash from the toilet spattered the picture. I think most of you know this, but you seem to lack confidence in your stand and feel you must mischaracterize the thing you’re protesting, virtually lying about it. If you have to lie to make your point, there’s something wrong with your point.

    Tito wrote: “Would it be ok to go on national television and insult you, your mother, and anyone else close to you?”

    Yes, it would be okay. I wouldn’t like it, of course, and I no doubt would respond. But life is full of things I don’t like. It’s full of things ALL of us don’t like. We need to be mature and adult enough to recognize that and live with it. I refer you to my earlier remark about thick skin.

    Tito wrote: “You fail to understand that there is a certain amount of responsibility involved with free speech.”

    I agree. However, those responsibilities do not include avoiding offending Christians or any other religion. No law exists in America prohibiting this.

    Tito wrote: “Do you think someone can get away with issuing a threat to our President and not have repurcussions?”

    It is against the law to threaten the president. It is not against the law to joke about Jesus or god or the Easter Bunny or Batman, or any other mythical figures. If you can’t see the difference, then the problem lies not in Larry David’s comedy but in your delusional view of the world.

    Tito wrote: “You really need to think this through before you make a fool of yourself.”

    I’m not the one who compared joking about Jesus to committing a federal offense. I honestly think you’re confused about who’s the fool.

    Tito wrote: “As far as the “Dark Ages”, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church during the “Dark Ages” we wouldn’t have a concept called a “University”, science, astronomy, books, and beer just to name a few.”

    I’m sure the countless numbers of people your church tortured and slaughtered because they didn’t like them were very grateful for all those things. I would also like to point out that Hitler and Stalin and other bloodthirsty dictators like them made the trains run on time. That neither changes nor excuses the many people they killed.

    Tito wrote: “Plus the fact we stemmed the tide of Islam.”

    Defeating your competition in the dubious religion business is hardly a public service.

    Tito wrote: “So think next time you spout falsehoods.”

    You haven’t pointed out a single falsehood I’ve written here. Perhaps you need to think this through a little more, Titus.

    Tito wrote: “If all you get is your information from tv, then you really don’t know much at all.”

    My information comes from recorded history. Where on earth do you get YOUR information?

    Tito wrote: “So be thankful you aren’t be scourged in the city center while your mother is forced to wear a burqa and everyone around you are driving around on donkey’s as a means of transportation.”

    So the best way you know to defend your religion is to slam another. There’s no difference between the two as far as I can see. The Muslim faith is doing nothing different now than the Catholic faith did in the past. And I’m sure the Catholic faith would still be doing it if it were still in charge — something I’m sure it’s working on remedying as soon as possible.

  • Ray Garton,

    If you read my post I specifically avoided going into detail about what particularly happened. How it happened is irrelevant, but the fact that it did happen is.

    I agree there is free speech, I’m all for it, but again, did I say lets enact a law? No. I said lets pray for Mr. Larry David.

    To reiterate again and again, I am not asking for a federal law. I am enacting MY free speech to ask Mr. Larry David to desist from insulting God as he did.

    So as soon as you get that notion out of your head since you’ve been brainwashed that all us Krischians want is a theocracy (I’m reading between your constant accusations that we want a federal law for a federal offense.)

    I’ve pointed out all of the falsehoods you have spoken. You can be obtuse as much as you want, even a layperson could understand that your argument is about creating a federal law in which I never mentioned it.

    Besides, I was talking more about the Dark Ages.

    Recorded history? Like National Geographic?

    Again, open a book and read up on the alleged “Dark Ages”. You have failed to point out anything I said is untrue.

    As far as Islam, I was making a point about the “Dark Ages”.

    But if you insist on diverting attention from the argument, then do so at your own risk.

    I have a right to object to Mr. Larry David’s insults.

    You somehow believe I want to enact a federal law against this which I never mentioned. I asked that we pray for him and then you go into ad hominem’s about the Catholic faith. Which I retorted and you failed to answer.

    Come on Ray, it aint that hard is it?

    Or are you not used to debating with someone who has cold hard facts? Too much unchallenged thinking in college caught your tongue? (or your analytical abilities for that matter)

  • Mr. Ray Garton,

    I’m done with my early morning prayers and so I have to head back to sleep.

    I actually enjoyed engaging in debate with you and I hope you do understand where I (and many more Catholics are) am coming from.

    We can resume later today if you wish.

    Know that I love you as a brother in Christ.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • I love the “enlightened” secularist responses.

    “He wasn’t REALLY disrespecting your religion, so lighten up! Ok, maybe he was, but he did the same to another religion before that, so that makes it ok. And, by the way, your religion is bulls#$&, your so-called “god” is a fake, and you caused more evil in the world than anything else, ever and you dark age bigots deserve what you get!”

    But THEY’RE the “brights”. Got it. I can almost see the maniacal frothing as they type. Or copy and paste. Whatever.

  • “Just because someone does not share your belief and chooses to find humor in your religion does not mean that person is “anti” anything — it just means that person does not believe as you do.”

    Ray, are you serious. When Catholics stand up for their beliefs about the sanctity of life and traditional marriage (usually very respectfully btw), they are labeled ANTI-choice, ANTI-gay, homophobic misogynists. Most people want it labeled “hate speech” to even SUGGEST that the traditional definition of marriage should remain. Yet somehow it’s not ANTI-Christian to mock and desecrate an image of the Christian Lord? It is a difference of beliefs, but it’s expressed in a way that is certainly anti-Christian.

    No one is suggesting it be against the law to do this or that Larry David should be put in jail. But free speech is a two way street. People don’t have the right to suppress speech because it’s offensive, but the speaker doesn’t have the right to stop those who are offended from speaking out in opposition.

  • Never seen this show–no cable. Sounds like a pretty contrived device; good satire needs a touch of plausibility to it. Who hangs a big picture of Jesus in their bathroom? Who backsplashes to the extent that would be required for this plot? Who over the age of six can’t practice proper toilet hygiene? What moderately sane Catholic would assume random droplets on a picture to be of miraculous origin absent other factors? So was the point of the exercise to “satirize” a common human foible, or to work out a scenario that would allow the players to include an act that ranges, depending on the viewer’s level of piety, from tasteless to really, really offensive?

    “Satires” of this type are objectionable because they don’t really satirize (i.e. ridicule the vices and follies of human nature.) They manufacture a situation that allows them to get away with contempt toward something–reverence or spirituality–normally recognized as good. Most of us outgrow this level of humor by our mid-teens, if not earlier.

  • “It takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    Comments like this give good reason to doubt the speaker has read so much as a single book detailing one of the many atrocities of the 20th Century.

    http://tinyurl.com/yjvqnt3

  • This is Zionist humor. Now we (people of the earth) are not to make pictures graven images of God, heaven or hell. Yet it is the very idea and action that he was doing says where Larry is coming from. I bet if someone wiped their ass with an israeli flag, that person whould be deemed “anti-semite” (air quote), which is really utter disgust for Zionist and their agenda.

  • “Comments like this give good reason to doubt the speaker has read so much as a single book detailing one of the many atrocities of the 20th Century.”

    I you want to bring up Hitler then you are right, you only need to read so much as a single book.

    To quote Mein Kampf…

    “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” (p.46)

    “This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief.” (p.152)

    “What we have to fight for…is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator.” (p.125)

    + many others.

    Religion has formed the dividing lines of almost EVERY conflict or atrocity in human history…

    Israel / Palestine
    Kosovo
    Bosnia
    The War on Terror – Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11
    Northern Ireland
    The Crusades
    The Spanish conquests of the Americas
    The Thirty Years War
    …and the list goes on

    And what motivates ‘good’ people to commit such acts…RELIGION.

    But I digress, Larry David didn’t deliberately pee on Jesus!

  • Considering the futility of trying to have a rational conversation with those who worship invisible deities, commenting on this blog about the “disrespect” of nonbelievers is like tilting at windmills. I readily admit that no words of mine can compete with the allure of eternal life. Any words of mine that might be volatile would at least give you the warm feeling of assurance that I would spend eternity in Hades ( it is so human to feel that being rewarded with the miracle of escaping death is not enough; that you also need to have the added comfort of eternal torture of those who disagree with you!)

    Nevertheless, I think it is important from my perspective to get god-a-holics to understand that they do not have legal standing to censure the rest of us who cheer at open disrespect of institutionalized insanity. Yah and verily, I say unto you… that THIS is human progress.

  • Shmohawk:

    Your litany demonstrates nothing more than your remarkable stupidity and ever deplorable sense of logic.

    Do you know what’s even more annoying than religious people?

    Stupid people like you who are so incapable of genuine dialogue that formulating even the semblance of a simple argument appears beyond the very measure of your capability.

    Ray Garton:

    Your comments are so amusing that it almost likens to parody.

    Your endless rant would make it seem that the United States was specifically founded for you and your fellow athiests.

    Yet, given the religious leanings of the Founding Fathers themselves and the rather bothersome language they typically employed concerning that “One Nation Under God”; these did not blindly subscribe to some blatantly erroneous notion of “freedom from religion”, as you would make it appear, but rather “freedom of religion”, wherein religion of the individual is to be respected — not denigrated — to such extent that certain measures were taken concerning particular circumstances wherein individuals so discriminated are afforded proper protection by even the law itself.

    So, next time you would like to deliver another one of your “the United States is the Promised Land of Atheists”, do give some serious attention and due examination of the language of the Founding Fathers as set out in the consequential documents from which the lay of this land was established.

    Your arrogance is not only appalling; it is repulsively revisionist.

    Of course, perhaps that “dubious religion business” of the Founding Fathers themselves from which this country was originally based may very well be the cause for why you would rather invent such delusional fiction from which to base your “U.nited S.tates of A.thiests.”!

    Yet, it can surely be dismissed as nothing more than simply “arrogance”, a “pious sense of entitlement” and the need to impose your athiest beliefs upon the masses; nothing more.

  • Schmohawk,

    There are these two atheists named Stalin and Mao who between the two of them killed more of their own people than just about all other previous wars and massacres combined. All in persuit of an ideology which, while having a certain aura of religiosity in the way that people devoted themselves to it, most explicitly rejected the existence of God or the eternal and instead pursued a transformative ideal within a strictly materialistic world view.

    I suppose you could theorize that everyone involved in the mass slaughters of their and a variety of lesser communist regimes were all the result of “bad people doing bad things” rather than “good people doing bad things” but that’s a rather silly semantic game as there’s no discernable difference between “good people” and “bad people” other than there actions. Indeed, I would argue that there is no such thing as “good people” or “bad people”. There are simply people. Some do mostly bad things, some do mostly good things, most do a pretty even number of both.

    Karen,

    You’re certain welcome to think that way, but theorizing that one of the major motives for theists is joy at the idea that some other people might be damned doesn’t correllate very well with most real world interractions with theists.

    As for whether “institutionalized insanity” should be mocked (leaving aside the question of whether that is what religion is) — I suppose it depends how much value one puts on the thoughts and experiences of other people. I consider ancient paganism to be utterly false, and indeed consider Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism to be false as well — but I would consider it the height of rudeness to go around actively mocking their rites and sacred symbols — not because I think they’re true, but because I don’t consider it particularly admirable to actively insult and trample on the beliefs which millions of people gain meaning and hope from.

    I’m perfectly happy to explain to my Buddhist and Hindu friends why I consider Catholicism to be true, or why I don’t find Hindu or Buddhist worldviews persuasive, but I certainly would actively abuse their sacred places or symbols — if only out of respect for them as people, and a desire not to cause human suffering for my own amusement.

  • I love it when dime store atheists attempt to claim Hitler was a theist, thus proving that it is not only in regard to God that they are completely clueless. From the Tabletalk of Hitler:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

    “Religion has formed the dividing lines of almost EVERY conflict or atrocity in human history…”

    You really did sleep through all your history classes didn’t you? Here is a sample of conflicts that had nothing to do with religion, unless one assumes that atheism is a religion:

    World War I

    World War II

    Korean War

    Vietnam

    The American Civil War

    The War of 1812

    The Napoleonic cycle of wars

    The American Revolution

    The list could go on to encompass most of the wars fallen man has engaged in. If you are going to troll a Catholic website you’ll have to do much better than this.

  • Karen Leonard:

    “Considering the futility of trying to have a rational conversation with those who worship invisible deities…”

    Well, I don’t know — the Founding Fathers themselves ‘worship[ped] invisible dieties’ and, yet, rational conversation, let alone, the founding of this very nation, wasn’t beyond the realm of reason.

    Of course, the fact that the whole of Western Civilization itself being borne from the likes of a once united Christendom should also give one pause.

    Indeed, most of the scientists that gave birth to the scientific human progress were, in fact, largely Christian.

    Yet, that would require an intimate knowledge of history itself as well as reason; both of which, unfortunately, you do not possess in any discernible measure.

    But, please, don’t let the facts hinder you from formulating such creative nonsense.

    “god-a-holics” is surely the work of a creative genius!

  • It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if they adhered to those beliefs themselves. Reading over the comments from Christians here on this forum, I can only imagine how proud you must all make Jesus.

  • “…the rest of us who cheer at open disrespect…”

    Very telling. And this is supposed to convince me that atheism and not religion is the font of compassion why, exactly?

  • “Reading over the comments from Christians here on this forum, I can only imagine how proud you must all make Jesus.”

    Have you ever read the Bible? Jesus did not suffer proud fools gladly.

    “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2″The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
    5″Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

    8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    16″Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

    23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    25″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

    27″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

    29″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

    33″You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

    37″O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

  • Ray Garton:

    Originally, you engaged in a long tirade concerning how awfully delusional Christians are because of their very beliefs.

    Now, your most recent comment happens to fall back on the very contents of — wait for it — their very beliefs; the very same you expressed outright animosity towards?

    In other words, insulting such beliefs are fun and even necessary; yet, when it comes down right to it, when the chips do happen to fall and you have nothing more to depend upon (save your own stupidity), you have no problems whatever with attempting to find safe harbor under the merits of such beliefs when it ultimately suits you.

    Bravo!

    You prove both the sheer hypocrisy and immense futility of the atheist project all in one breath!

  • Yes, I’ve read the bible and know it quite well. I’ve also read the Harry Potter books, but that doesn’t mean I believe in wizards.

  • No, e., my reference to your beliefs was an attempt to hold you to them. I might sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” at Christmas time, but that doesn’t mean I believe in Santa Claus. According to your magic book, Jesus Christ taught humility, but I see none of that in Christians today. He taught his followers to love one another, and even their enemies, but I CERTAINLY see none of THAT in Christians today. He told his followers not to pray publicly, to go to their closets to pray so they don’t make arrogant spectacles of themselves, and yet Christians in America demand that their particular brand of prayer be engaged in at government functions and are angry that prayer is not allowed in public schools. *I* don’t believe in Jesus Christ — outside of the bible, there is no record that he ever existed, and the bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe in Jesus Christ. Christians, however, DO believe in him and claim to be followers of his teachings — and yet their behavior constantly proves this not to be the case. So those of us outside of Christianity can only conclude that Jesus Christ is nothing more than a hood ornament used as a front for anger, hatred, bigotry, and a hunger for power. The fault for that lies with Christians and no one else.

  • To paraphrase Ray: “I’d believe you [Do you mean that?] if you lived up to your standards.”

    And I’ll be an atheist when they start living up to their standards — oh, wait! They don’t have any! That would be imposing moral absolutes on people, and we can’t have that.

  • I don’t know if “Voldemort” appears in the Declaration of Independence, which document incidentally provides unequivocal affirmation of both the beliefs of the American people as well as their faith in — “God”!

  • The similarities between Ray Garton’s exegesis and that of your run of the mill evangelical fundamentalist are striking, but sadly, not all that surprising. The resulting strawman massacre is, likewise, unsurprising.

  • Ray Garton:

    In the beginning, you detested our beliefs and rather have us not hold them — only to come around the second time to insist that we hold them?

    Amazing.

  • The Declaration of Independence is just that — a declaration of America’s independence from Britain. While it remains a historical document of great significance, it is a document of its time and isn’t even accurate any longer — it identifies the United States as being made up of 13 states. It is not the law of the land, nor is it a reflection of the character of this nation. The document that does that (and which is still valid today) is the United States Constitution, which remains in effect to this day and does not mention god or religion once. Out of slavering desperation, Christians often point to the date on the document, which uses the phrase “the year of our lord,” but that was simply the standard way of writing the date at that time, and was used by believers and non-believers alike. It is no more a statement of belief than using the names of the days of the week, which are based on pagan gods, is a statement of belief in those gods. If the forefathers wanted this to be a “Christian nation,” they would have explicitly pointed this out in the Constitution. Instead, that document reflects the character of this nation — no mention is made of god or religion as it outlines this secular government. No amount of groping or desperately reaching for straws will change that.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I have work to do, so I’m going to leave you to your snide Christ-like insults of those who don’t share your beliefs. Enjoy the rest of the year.

  • “No, e., my reference to your beliefs was an attempt to hold you to them.”

    “It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if they adhered to those beliefs themselves.”

    So, which is it?

    Would you rather we repudiate our beliefs or hold them?

    “[T]he bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe
    in Jesus Christ.”

    Okay — let me get this straight, based on your previous statement, it would appear as though your argument here is:

    ‘It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if only they adhered to those beliefs themselves, which simply come from a book of myths?’

    In other words, your own intellectual powers demonstrated herein (not to mention, rhetorical prowess and logical thought) leaves much to be desired.

  • e.,

    Please refrain from abusive language.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/comments-policy/

    I appreciate your passion and I share your resolve and information you provide in defense of God.

  • I don’t see how exposing flaws in an opponent’s arguments counts as ‘abusive language’; but there you have it.

    Plus, it would behoove you to first examine the language you yourself employed in your own exchange with Mr. Garton prior to criticizing any of the others.

  • So many commentators, so little time and space….
    Just picking out a few tidbits; the founding fathers were not Christians, they despaired over the hodgepodge of conflicting dogma of the citizens, many-if not most- who had fled here from religious persecution of waring religious factions throughout Europe. As Jefferson so succinctly put it, “Is there anything that people won’t believe? ” The best they could do was to separate religion from government. That has not worked very well, as we have seen the injection of god into the pledge of allegiance in the fifties – due to the fear of communism, the swearing on the bible to take an official oath in court or in politics.

    Many of the wars mentioned by a previous commenter were not officially “holy wars” – but they were certainly backed by the churches. My own belief is that all wars are seeking to take over some resource that another group possesses, and religion is simply the handiest tool to use to convince people that by killing others, and dying themselves, this murder will give them eternal life.

    As to “cheering disrespect” – yes, I do think that showing open resentment for the power and influence worshipers have in our country is important. Although nonbelievers are a large segment of citizens, and have the lowest statistics of criminality, we are at the bottom of the list of for “trustworthy” in public office.

    As to scientists through history being Christians, considering the likelihood of being able to fund or publish anything in that realm without the blessing of church was nil – and even worse fates awaited you if you denied a belief, I would bet that most scientists professed beliefs they did not themselves believe. Look at poor Galileo, Issac Newton.

    So to wrap it up, I think that being able to openly protest and poke fun of what was “the holiest of holy’s” shows that humans are progressing towards a glimmer of enlightenment.

    I

  • According to your magic book, Jesus Christ taught humility, but I see none of that in Christians today. He taught his followers to love one another, and even their enemies, but I CERTAINLY see none of THAT in Christians today.

    It seems to me like you’re arguing through exaggeration here. It surely can’t be the case that you’ve seen no humility in Christians today — that you’ve never seen a Christian act in a humble fashion because he believes that is the demand of his faith. Nor can it be the case that you’ve never seen Christians love others, including their enemies. What you mean is simply that you don’t always see this, and thus that Christians are obviously not living up to their beliefs all of the time — indeed are often not living up to their beliefs as fully as they could be.

    Now, unless your theory is that Christians are not supposed to be human beings, and thus are not supposed to have the tendency to allow baser instincts to overcome their ideas of what they ought to be doing, this is hardly surprising. I can’t think of any group whose members live up to their stated ideals all of the time.

    And so the above amounts to nothing other than to inform us that generally speaking you don’t like Christians and so you tend to recall their negative actions more than their positive ones. We learn about as much about Christians from your comment as we might learn about Mexicans from someone who said, “Mexicans say they come to this country to work, but so far as I can tell they’re always just sitting around being lazy.” And indeed, the effect of your comment on listeners who are or know Christians will be roughly as positive as the example comment would be on people who aren’t racists.

    *I* don’t believe in Jesus Christ — outside of the bible, there is no record that he ever existed, and the bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe in Jesus Christ.

    This isn’t true on either point. At a minimum, there are a large number of extra-biblical ancient sources that mention Jesus because there were a number of gospels, epistles, and other accounts which had some degree of following but were rejected by the Church when it was assembling the official canon of the New Testament. While the Church considered these documents not to be inspired scripture, they certainly do present a number of texts which attest that the authors believed the Christ did in fact live in first century Palestine roughly was was described in the canonical Gospels.

    Similarly, several non-Christian ancient sources make reference to Jesus, if only to say something along the lines of, “And the Christians believe that Jesus, a preacher who lived in the time of Herod Antipas, rose from the dead after three days.”

    Further, you seem to suffer under the illusion that there is some bright and clear distinction between “historical records” and other forms of writing in the ancient world. This isn’t really the case. Certainly, you’ll find some people self-consciously writing “history” such as Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, etc. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the things they relate happen as described. And much modern historical work consists of taking a variety of sources (including sources such as personal letters which were not at all written with the intent of being historical documents) and using them as testimony in order to get an idea of events or conditions at a given time. In light of that, it’s certainly not in appropriate to look at all of the accounts and letters which mention Christ as someone who lived in historical Palestine and take it from that that he did in fact live there. Indeed, the idea of claiming that the very existence of Jesus is a myth is a comparatively modern one. Non-Christian sources in the past tended to accept Christ existed, but deny that he was God and insist that his followers stole and hid his body in order to claim he was risen from the dead.

    And that’s not even getting into the misconceptions you seem to have about what a “myth” is.

    Doubtless you have your own strongly held reasons for considering Christianity false, but if you’re going to wade into an area in which people know a great deal more than you and make a bunch of statements which are clearly false, you’re hardly going to be taken as an authority.

  • Karen L.,

    So the founding fathers were not Christian?

    Hey, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!

  • @Tito, thanks for responding to me and Reg. Kudos for the inclusive debate. I’m off my high horse now, so while I urge you to reconsider your stance on LD (CYE is a brilliant show, even if it .. missed .. with that joke), I’m not going to engage in polemics. Cheers.

  • Yes, the Declaration of Independence mentions god. But it’s not a legal document and does not represent the law of the nation. That came later, in the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence simply declared America’s separation from British rule. It is NOT the law of the land, and since we have been separate from Britain for over two hundred years, it’s not exactly a document of our time. While it mentions god, it also states, “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.” America has more than thirteen states now, so it’s not even accurate anymore. While it is a historical document of enormous significance, it is not a legal document — that came LATER. It says absolutely NOTHING about our rights being secured by Christianity and does not mention Christianity at all. It refers to “the opinions of MANKIND” and states that “governments are instituted among MEN.” It refers to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” which is a reflection of DEISM or even PANTHEISM, which most definitely are NOT Christian. Mention pantheism to a Christian and if you’re lucky enough to be speaking to a Christian who even knows what the word means, get ready for a lecture about its evils. Later, the Constitution — which DOES NOT mention god (a point Christians would like you to ignore) — set up the law of the land. America’s founding fathers clearly intended this to be a nation DIVORCED from religion. Over the years, Christians have tried to have their way with the forefathers’ intentions, twisting and raping their words. It continues to this day.
    When the United States began to involve itself in foreign affairs, it became necessary to make sure that other countries — particularly those that were, unlike America, RULED by religion — understood that this was NOT a religious nation but a SECULAR government. To this end, very explicit reference was made to this in the Treaty of Tripoli in the 1790s to make it CLEAR that the United States was NOT a Christian nation. From the Treaty of Tripoli:
    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
    A statement on the document by President John Adams includes the following:
    “And to the End that the said Treaty may be observed, and performed with good Faith on the part of the United States, I have ordered the premises to be made public; And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all other citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof.”
    In May of 1797, the treaty was read aloud in full on the Senate floor, and on June 7, ratification of the treaty was unanimously approved, with 23 of the 37 sitting senators present.
    The 7th Amendment of the Constitution refers to “the common law,” which Christians often claim is derived from the foundation of Christianity. Using various quotes, including some from Supreme Court Justices, they claim that Christianity was part of the laws of England. This is still more self-serving nonsense.
    In a February 10, 1814 letter to Thomas Cooper, Thomas Jefferson discussed the history of common law as follows:
    “For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement in England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law. … This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it.”
    ” … if any one chooses to build a doctrine on any law of that period, supposed to have been lost, it is incumbent on him to prove it to have existed, and what were its contents. These were so far alterations of the common law, and became themselves a part of it. But none of these adopt Christianity as a part of the common law. If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians, and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are all able to find among them no such act of adoption, we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
    In the same letter, Jefferson explains how the confusion over Christianity came about. It was a misinterpretation of a Latin term by Prisot, “ancien scripture.” It means “ancient scripture” but was misinterpreted to mean “holy scripture.” As a result, many WRONGLY believed that the common law came from the bible. It did not. Jefferson writes:
    “And Blackstone repeats, in the words of Sir Matthew Hale, that ‘Christianity is part of the laws of England,’ citing Ventris and Strange ubi surpa. 4. Blackst. 59. Lord Mansfield qualifies it a little by saying that ‘The essential principles of revealed religion are part of the common law.’ In the case of the Chamberlain of London v. Evans, 1767. But he cites no authority, and leaves us at our peril to find out what, in the opinion of the judge, and according to the measure of his foot or his faith, are those essential principles of revealed religion obligatory on us as a part of the common law. Thus we find this string of authorities, when examined to the beginning, all hanging on the same hook, a perverted expression of Priscot’s, or on one another, or nobody.”
    Christians claim that Jefferson was a Christian, but his own words do not reflect this. Much of this comes from the fact that when Christians see the word “god,” they instantly think it refers to THEIR god. In fact, the word “god” has been used with several meanings over time, like “nature,” or a general reference to the supernatural. Jefferson was quite skeptical and fond of science. He rejected Christianity’s mysticism and superstion to such an extent that he compiled what has come to be called The Jefferson Bible. He edited the gospels, removing all of Christ’s miracles and all reference to the supernatural, leaving only what he saw as Christ’s moral philosophy. Here are some quotes from Thomas Jefferson on religion and Christianity:
    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;’ the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
    “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
    “I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshiped by many who think themselves Christians.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 — This was in response to a letter Price had written to Jefferson on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion, in which Price had written, “Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”
    “They (the clergy) believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.”
    — Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800
    “The whole history of these books (the Gospels) is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814
    “If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? … Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814
    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814
    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816
    “You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819
    “My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. The artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith, August, 6, 1816
    “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him (Jesus) by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820
    “Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.”
    — Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 1822.
    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
    There are more, but I think I’ve made my point. When Christians say Jefferson was a Christian, they are either ignorant or lying. And Jefferson is only ONE of the forefathers. There is overwhelming evidence that America’s founders were not unanimously Christian, and Christianity had absolutely nothing to do with the founding of this nation.
    The Christians fighting for prayer in government and public schools — and doing so AGAINST the teachings of Jesus Christ — really aren’t interested in prayer. That is only one step in a greater effort. They want nothing less than to overthrow this country, to make it a Christian nation with Christian rule. To do this, they must undercut and eventually abandon the Constitution. To stop this, it is vital that we all know as much as we can of the TRUTH about this country’s history, its founders, and their intentions. Christians have been fooled by these falsehoods because of their own ignorance and willingness to believe whatever their religious leaders tell them. Don’t let them fool YOU because of yours. Educate yourself. And when you hear these lies about the United States, loudly denounce them. If you don’t and if the Christians have their way, this will no longer be the United States of America that our founding fathers created.

  • Karen L.

    For your information, it was not the scientific theories of Galileo that were found heretical (in fact, many Jesuit scientists at the time held to similar notions and even subscribed to virtually the same ideas which were, in fact, published with expressed approval of the Pope himself); rather, it was Galileo’s stubborn insistance that the foundation of Catholic theology itself be compromised simply at the behest of his own personal theological leanings.

    What goes unmentioned is that beginning in the Middle Ages, the Church was supporting research and even building observatories in the towers of well-sited churches. These facilities were made available to astronomers like Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Nor did the controversy over Galileo stifle scientific inquiry. “The fact is, Catholic scientists were essentially permitted to carry on their research unhindered as long as they treated the motion of the earth as a hypothesis,” as indeed it was at the time.

    Heck, it was the Catholic Church herself which founded the Linceorum Academia (i.e., the Academy of the Sciences) in 1603. Indeed, if anything, the conflict between evolutionary science and creationism in the United States comes from the Protestant tradition, not the Catholic one.

    It is a relatively simple matter to show that many great scientists, like Louis Pasteur, have been Catholic. Much more revealing, however, is the surprising number of Catholic churchmen, priests in particular, whose scientific work has been so extensive and significant. At the forefront were the Jesuits, who led the way in many fields and “so dominated the field of seismology that it became known as ‘the Jesuit science.’” One of the Jesuit-scientists highlighted by the author is Father Roger Boscovich (1711-1787) who won praise throughout Europe for his advances in astronomy, natural science and the beginnings of atomic theory.

    “The Big Bang” theory itself pertaining to the notion that the universe originated in an extremely dense and hot space and expanded was, in fact, developed by a Belgian priest?

    Here are other examples of scientists who were themselves members of the Catholic clergy:
    1. Mendel, a monk, who first established the laws of heredity.
    2. Copernicus, a priest, who expounded upon the Copernican system.
    3. Steensen, a Bishop, who became the father of geology.
    4. Regiomontanus, a Bishop and Papal astronomer who became the father of modern astronomy.
    5. Theodoric, a Bishop, who discovered anesthesia in the 13th century.
    6. Kircher, a priest, who made the first definite statement of the germ theory of disease.
    7. Cassiodorus, a priest, who invented the watch.
    8. Picard, a priest, who became the first to measure accurately a degree of the meridian.

    Here is a list of just some Catholic scientists:

    Algue, a priest, invented the barocyclonometer, to detect approach of cyclones.

    Ampere, the founder of the science of electrodynamics and investigator of the laws of electromagnetism.

    Becquerel, Antoine Cesar, the founder of electrochemistry.

    Becquerel, Antoine Henri, the discoverer of radioactivity.

    Binet, mathematician and astronomer, who set forth the principle, “Binet’s Theorem.”

    Braille, who invented the Braille system for the blind.

    Buffon, who wrote the first work on natural history.

    Carrell, the Nobel prize winner in medicine and physiology, is renowned for his work in surgical technique.

    Caesalpinus, a Papal physician — the first to construct a system of botany.

    Cassiodorus, a priest, who invented the watch.

    Columbo discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood.

    Copernicus, a priest, who expounded the Copernican system.

    Coulomb established the fundamental laws of static electricity.

    De Chauliac, a Papal physician — the father of modern surgery and hospitals.

    De Vico, a priest, discovered six comets.

    Descartes, who founded analytical geometry.

    Dumas, who invented a method of ascertaining vapor densities.

    Endlicher, botanist and historian, who established a new system of classifying plants.

    Eustachius, for whom the Eustachian tube was named, who became one of the founders of modern anatomy.

    Fabricius, who discovered the valvular system of the veins.

    Fallopius, who was the eminent physiologist from/for whom the Fallopian tube was named.

    Fizeau, the first to determine experimentally the velocity of light.

    Foucault, who invented the first practical electric arc lamp; he refuted the corpuscular theory of light; he invented the gyroscope.

    Fraunhofer, the initiator of spectrum analysis; he established laws of diffraction.

    Fresnel, who contributed more to the science of optics than any other man.

    Galilei, a great astronomer, is the father of experimental science.

    Galvani, one of the pioneers of electricity, was also an anatomist and physiologist.

    Gioja, father of scientific navigation, invented the mariner’s compass.

    Gramme, who invented the Gramme dynamo.

    Guttenberg, who invented printing.

    Herzog, who discovered a cure for infantile paralysis.

    Holland, who invented the first practical sub marine.

    Kircher, a priest, who made the first definite statement of the germ theory of disease.

    Laennec, who invented the stethoscope.

    Lancist, a Papal physician — the father of clinical medicine.

    Latreille, the pioneer in entomology.

    Lavoisier, the Father of Modern Chemistry.

    Leverrier, the discoverer of the planet Neptune.

    Lully, who is said to have been the first to employ chemical symbols.

    Malpighi, a Papal physician, himself a botanist, became the father of comparative physiology.

    Marconi’s place in radio remains unsurpassed.

    Mariotte, who discovered Mariotte’s law of gases.

    Mendel, a monk, the first to establish the laws of heredity.

    Morgagni, founder of modern pathology; made important studies in aneurisms.

    Muller was the greatest biologist of the 19th century, founder of modern physiology.

    Pashcal demonstrated practically that a column of air has weight.

    Pasteur, called the “Father of Bacteriology,” and inventor of bio-therapeutics, was the leading scientist of the 19th century.

    Picard, a priest, who became the first to measure accurately a degree of the meridian.

    Regiomontanus, a Bishop and Papal astronomer, who became the father of modern astronomy.

    Scheiner, a priest, who invented the pantograph and made a telescope that permitted the first systematic investigation of sun spots.

    Secchi, who invented the meteorograph.

    Steensen, a Bishop, who became the father of geology.

    Theodoric, a Bishop, who discovered anesthesia in the 13th century.

    Torricelli, who invented the barometer.

    Vesalius, the founder of modern anatomical science.

    Volta, who invented the first complete galvanic battery; the “volt” is named after him.

    Other scientists: Agricola, Albertus Magnus, Bacon, Bartholomeus, Bayma, Beccaria, Behalm, Bernard, Biondo, Biot, Bolzano, Borrus, Boscovitch, Bosio, Bourgeois, Branly, Caldani, Cambou, Camel, Cardan, Carnoy, Cassini, Cauchy, Cavaliere, Caxton, Champollion, Chevreul, Clavius, De Rossi, Divisch, Dulong, Dwight, Eckhel, Epee, Fabre, Fabri, Faye, Ferrari, Gassendi, Gay-Lussac, Gordon, Grimaldi, Hauy, Heis, Helmont, Hengler, Heude, Hilgard, Jussieu, Kelly, Lamarck, Laplace, Linacre, Malus, Mersenne, Monge, Muller, Murphy, Murray, Nelston, Nieuwland, Nobili, Nollet, Ortelius, Ozaman, Pelouze, Piazzi, Pitra, Plumier, Pouget, Provancher, Regnault, Riccioli, Sahagun, Santorini, Schwann, Schwarz, Secchi, Semmelweis, Spallanzani, Takamine, Tieffentaller, Toscanelli, Tulasne, Valentine, Vernier, Vieta, Da Vinci, Waldseemuller, Wincklemann, Windle, and a host of others, too many to mention.

  • mohawk:

    You’re going to hurt your back moving that goalpost.

    This is what you originally said:

    “Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    That’s such a monumentally stupid comment I can understand why you’d run away from it. It’s as dumb as saying Hitler was motivated by Islam because he once spoke favorably of its ideals.

    Since you aren’t interested in exerting yourself to read anything that might refute your intensely held precommitments, let me briefly explain Browning’s important book: he studied a reserve police battalion which assisted in the Holocaust in Poland. If memory serves, none of them was a Nazi party member. Instead, they were all comfortably middle class and middle-aged German men, unremarkably so, in fact.

    They killed 38,000 people.

    http://german-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/review_ordinary_men

    Instead of playing the tattered “Hitler was a religious fanatic!” card so beloved of atheists who want to end rational discussion rather than trying it, if you considered basic human history, common sense and experience, you’d understand the following: good men do horrifically evil things for reasons entirely unrelated to religion. As “Ordinary Men” demonstrates, they will do evil things out of a fear of losing face before their comrades. Indoctrination by the state. Peer pressure. Desire to belong/conformism. Fear. Any number of excuses that that have nothing to do with religion. Which the National Socialists weren’t all that big on, as, say, Alfred Delp, Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have been happy to point out. Had not the first and third not been executed by the Nazis, that is.

    If you find glib comments like your initial quote to be an agreeable opiate, fine. Just don’t expect to ever be taken seriously by those you savage.

    Nevertheless, keep spewing those talking points cut from the atheist websites (e.g., I doubt you have a copy of Mein Kampf to hand–most people don’t. Even fewer have read the dreadful thing all the way through. I somehow doubt atheist crusaders on the internet are any different).

  • “To stop this, it is vital that we all know as much as we can of the TRUTH about this country’s history, its founders, and their intentions.”

    Historical knowledge is a wonderful thing and it consists of far more than cutting and pasting quotes from atheist websites. For example, Ben Franklin was perhaps the most secular of the Founding Fathers, and yet, according to James Madison he made this statement at the Constitutional Convention:

    “Mr. President

    The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other,”our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes and ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, some we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

    In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. ”Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

    I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.”

    By the standards of our time, almost all of the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men. Did they frequently criticize what they considered to be follies of churches? Of course, as we often do on this web site. However, using out of context quotes in an attempt to convince Americans that the Founders were motivated solely by secularism is ludicrous and will only convince atheist true believers.

  • Donald R. McClarey:

    You demonstrate once again a knowledge of American history, which you seem to hold to such an admirably considerable degree.

    I hope that you might consider creating entries at TAC devoted to the same subject as that in your above comments, concerning the fervent religious devotion of our country’s Founding Fathers.

    Even the one you authored concerning John Adams, I found similarly edifying — his own anti-Catholicism notwithstanding.

  • e.,

    So when are you going to put a pic to your avatar?

  • When my avatar puts a pic on me!

    Oh, by the way, now you see the kind of controversy you yourself generated as a direct result of your having made such an entry?

    Kudos for maintaining some semblance of patience, though.

    You and your partner, Matt McDonald, have more patience than I give you guys credit for — well done!

  • Rest assured e, that eventually most of the Founding Fathers and their religious beliefs will receive coverage, usually with some sort of Catholic tie in as I did in regard to John Adams.

  • Awesome! Thanks, Donald!

    You truly are both gentleman & scholar! Looking forward to these!

  • e.,

    You mean by the constant posting of your comments?

    Get off your miniature low horse and put a pic on.

    Or you’ll forever be called a lower case vowel (LCV) by me from now until death.

  • Tito:

    I’ve been called far worse than a “lower case vowel”, so I suppose I should be grateful to you and your friend Matt by sparing me from a fate far worse in both current and previous engagements, however heated they became.

  • I can think of no words except disgust. I find it utterly disgusting.
    I just cancelled my subscription to HBO. I also emailed HBO and explained that my subscription was being cancelled due to the episode of Curb.

    I will continue to Boycott HBO and Time Warner and affiliates. Enough is enough. I think that it is the duty of every Christian to boycott such blasphemy.

    For HBO to counter that it was done in a humorous way is nonsense. I believe that HBO would never have allowed Mr. David to urinate on an atheist symbol.

    I believe in freedom of speech, so there will always be a Mr. David, and many more that are of the same view. The rest of us have the ability tune him out. I will not pay for such garbage. If we shrug our shoulders, we bear the guilt for condoning such action.

  • A Christian: Your sentiments are noble, but what do you mean by “atheist symbol”?

  • How ’bout one of those chrome coelecanths people affix to the rear of their cars, the one’s inscribed with the letters , “DARWIN”?

  • A Christian:

    What a remarkable difference it would make if many Christians behaved as you did here.

    That is, one of the very reasons why, as Tito Taco Man himself suggested in his entry, that Hollywood would not even dare make fun of Islam in a similar manner is because of the effective action (as opposed to futile over-reactions) of Muslims as a collective that would put out such swift opposition that would undoubtedly be fatal to them.

    Christians are rarely capable of doing the same. The most they do, as with the Da Vinci Code, is make loud noise; nothing more.

  • Art–Oh, yeah. Those things.

    You usually see them in ironic juxtaposition with the “Coexist” bumper sticker.

  • Pull your heads out your arses you Philestines. If you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it, then just simply don’t watch it. I don’t particularly like the things Catholics say, I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting, and thats why I don’t go to church. But I don’t try to stop Catholics from going to church if thats their choice. And that’s because, I’m not an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole.

  • Jon,

    Please no profane language.

    Please read our comments policy: http://the-american-catholic.com/comments-policy/

    We don’t watch it. I’m sure most of us don’t, but we don’t like it when our God is insulted, so we have a right as Americans to voice our opinions.

    If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.

  • Pingback: Vatican Condemnation of Halloween False « The American Catholic
  • Blogging while drunk Jon is never a good idea.

  • “I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting”

    Amazing how atheists have windows unto men’s souls when they don’t actually believe in souls.

  • “Pull your heads out your arses you Philestines. If you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it, then just simply don’t watch it. I don’t particularly like the things Catholics say, I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting, and thats why I don’t go to church. But I don’t try to stop Catholics from going to church if thats their choice. And that’s because, I’m not an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole.”

    What’s so ironic, Jon, is that your very comments actually prove that you’re in fact such “an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole”.

    That is, “[i]f you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it”, then why for heaven’s sake did you go so far as to visit a “Catholic” website in order to offend Catholics, whose Catholic religion you obviously have no understanding of?

    Why don’t you take your own advice and just skip watching/visiting Catholic websites?

  • Tito?

    Moderation? Why?

  • ?

    You’re not on moderation.

    You were on it for an hour a long time ago, but not anymore. I double checked.

  • e. the moderation system seems to have gone rogue today, as I have been pulling comments out of moderation all morning. Hopefully wordpress will cure the glitch that is causing this.

  • JEWS WHO HATE CHRISTIANS

    Jewish hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
    Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
    Wrong! It’s the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
    Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin and Larry David) against Sarah Palin and other Christians, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned the continuing “crucifixion” of Christians and even their Leader!
    While David, Sandra, Kathy and Larry are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
    (For even more stunning information, visit MSN and type in “Separation of Raunch and State,” “Michael the Narc-Angel,” “Bible Verses Obama Avoids” and “The Earliest Hate Criminals” to learn even more about Jewish connections!)

  • Roma,

    As a Catholic, we tend not to dwell on prophecy as much as our Protestant brothers and sisters.

    But it’s a stretch to say that Larry David’s misguided attacks on the Catholic faith would cause Catholics to attack Israel.

    If there is any action, Catholics tend to switch away from his show or even cancel subscriptions to HBO. But that’s about it. Oh, and complain on websites such as this.

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  • “If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.”

    Tito, you are an intolerable, racist disgrace to your own religion which is already so disgraceful that people find it comical to piss on your savior for cheap entertainment value. Oh, so valiant the defender of Catholics and Jesus that thou purifies the realm of the cyber-blog in the name of the Lord. Don’t you see that David does this stuff to get a rise out of you people. Your religious conservatism (what you call “faith”) binds you to a realm of predictability, and you are doomed to react with puppet like instincts to offenses that don’t directly effect you. If you truly were spiritually comfortable, why would you care what a fictitious character does on a fictional program. Instead you comfort yourself with the blanket of Catholicism and the knowledge that you “fit in”, attempting to make narrow-minded fools out of those who reasonably object to such hypocrisy as Christianity.

  • Xavier,

    Listen to your logic…

    I’m intolerable for voicing my defense of my faith, but Larry David is not intolerant because he relieves himself on God?

    You just undermined your own argument.

  • “…attempting to make narrow-minded fools out of those who reasonably object to such hypocrisy as Christianity.”

    Narrow-minded fools, so-implied, are those who are intolerant of other people’s perspectives; thus, you have demonstrated yourself not only as a prime example of such but also an apparantly unintelligent arse whose cognitive deficiencies are so severe that s/he actually refutes his/herself in the very comments s/he presents. Well done.

    “…who reasonably object…”

    Nice demonstration of petitio principii; perhaps you might first present an argument for why their objection was reasonable as opposed to your demanding we concede to your rather absurd assertion here.

  • “I’m intolerable for voicing my defense of my faith, but Larry David is not intolerant because he relieves himself on God?”

    What? When did I defend Larry David? I never said he wasn’t intolerant; the man is as rigid and prone to bigotry as you. Actually, I bet you’d make good friends given your shared personality defects. My point had less to do with David and more to do with your proclaimation “If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.” That statement is NOT the same as voicing defense of your faith. And listen to YOUR logic— just because David has a view in opposition to yours does NOT instantly validate your argument. There you go again being so incredibly narrow-minded…

    And to e.:

    You’re entirely correct— I do stand intolerant of those who are intolerable, thanks for your reiteration of my argument; you seemed to have managed to comprehend the main idea I conveyed.

    And here is the presentation of the argument I neglected to cover in detail (I thought it quite obvious) to which all are free to reasonably object:

    Acceptance of God/Jesus via Catholicism is essential to obtain salvation when you pass on.

    Any competent individual thinking with their own free will (this excludes you two) is reasonable in thinking the above is completely ludicrous, highly offensive to modern society, and an enormous waste of time.

    *How am I doin’ boys? Workin’ towards my second strike or what!

  • X,

    You did defend Larry David when you compared my ‘intolerant’ beliefs to Larry David relieving himself. Reread what you wrote, you made a direct reference to my defense:

    Tito, you are an intolerable, racist disgrace to your own religion which is already so disgraceful that people find it comical to piss on your savior for cheap entertainment value.

    So because I am intolerant that is why Larry David relieved himself?

    Again, you’re having problems with logic.

  • You are intolerant, yes. But your religion is intolerant whether or not you exist, whether or not people worship it, whether or not people pay it any mind. Do you see the non-exclusive relationship I presumed was already obvious? It is not simply because your religion is intolerant that David relieved himself on your savior’s likeness, but because it represents little to no value to his fictional character. Here, I’ll settle this once and for all in a way that simultaneously clears David’s actions and relieves your stress: Curb Your Enthusiasm isn’t real. It’s a scripted (often improvised) television program that is set in a world similar to our reality, but slightly off-kilter. David isn’t really playing himself, the woman portraying his wife on the program is not his real-life wife (although now ex-wife). The events, although inspired by reality, never actually occurred. Possibly in this Jewish ethnocentric (though self-deprecating) fictional land called “Hollywood,” Jesus doesn’t represent what he does in our reality. Honestly, I can’t argue any longer it’s been fun but I’ll have to throw in the towel and begin packing for communist China, comrade. Keep fighting the good fight Tito. I hope we can remain friends, nay Brothers!

  • So in the case of Tito, you hurl the absurd accusation of his being intolerant all the while demonstrating the very same kind of intolerance you purportedly detested in Tito?

    Also, you yet again wish us to concede to your assertion that it is “reasonable” for modern society to object Catholicism; yet, you’ve made no argument whatsoever as to why such a thing is “reasonable” other than to demonstrate for the nth time the very extent of not only your ineptitude in conducting (let alone, formulating) arguments but also the sheer magnitude of your own stupidity.

    Thus, any further communication with you (unless, of course, you finally decide to demonstrate some aspect of human rationality and not simply render yet again a superb immitation of the beast) would be tremendously futile.

  • Xanadu/Xavier,

    That was a good comment up until the very last sentence.

    There’s no need for that type of juvenile behavior.

    Please be charitable when engaging in dialogue.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Tito

  • I’m sorry but I hear almost every religion being made fun of these days. They weren’t targeting the Catholics. It’s a joke that makes people laugh and by making it a controversial joke, it was more popular.