September 16, 2007

Mocking The Faithful? Suck It, Jesus!

I think I can safely assume that everyone reading this has now heard about Kathy Griffin saying, "Suck it, Jesus" at the Emmy Awards. As expected, the self-appointed defenders of Christianity are up in arms, and many atheist bloggers are still laughing about it. American Atheists issued a statement condemning broadcasters for censoring Griffin's statement when they re-air the show. Something tells me that this will be yet another missed opportunity for some meaningful dialogue about the place of religion in our modern world.

I assume that Griffin's comments were intended to have a comedic effect in that she was making fun of the near universal tendency for celebrities to thank fictional beings during their acceptance speeches. She is hardly the first to call attention to this bizarre behavior or to mock it. The difference seems to be that she mocked it at the awards show and that her comments have been interpreted as mocking Jesus too.

Do I find her comments funny? Absolutely. I am disgusted with the celebrities and athletes who insist on thanking supernatural beings for their success, and I welcome those who would mock them. Their beliefs are both irrational and harmful; mockery is warranted. I am fully aware that believers are offended by such mockery. The thing is, they are practically begging for it when they continue to spew this nonsense. Pam, from Pam's House Blend sums it up perfectly:
I mean, c'mon, you believe that the Creator of all time, space, physics, and energy, who went to the trouble of engineering a Big Bang and shepherded tens of billions of years worth of cosmic thermonuclear reactions in order to create a life sustaining planet upon which He could create bodies to house souls and send His son to death by torture so you could go to Heaven forever even though you're a sinner by virtue of a fraud perpetrated by talking snake who offered a magical apple to a rib-woman, and you want to base our nation upon those principles and overturn 231 years of secular Constitutional rule, and YOU'RE offended by a D-list comedian saying "suck it, Jesus"?
The fact that such beliefs are religiously inspired does not make them exempt from criticism. As long as people are going to continue to restrict the liberties of others because of these beliefs and kill in service to these beliefs, mockery is not just permissible; it is mandatory.

If the decision to censor Griffin bothers you, here is something you can do about it.

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