I’m not sure what it is about religious belief that robs you of any sense of irony, but that phenomenon is fairly well-documented. Religious people seem to lack the God-given ability to self-examine and see yourself as others see you, which is problematic because most of the rest of us see you as sanctimonious jerks (which is, I suppose, a charge commonly leveled at atheists, so maybe that’s not fair of me to say. SEE HOW IT’S DONE, RELIGIOUS PEOPLE?)
What really doesn’t make sense, however, is the complete loss of a sense of historical perspective that seems to be associated with fervent religious belief. For some reason, they keep falling in the same hole over and over again:
Christian groups have condemned a provocative Spanish play about Jesus called Golgota Picnic (Golgotha Picnic), due to premiere in France. Street protests are planned when the play is performed in the southern city of Toulouse, before moving on to the capital Paris. While urging restraint, Toulouse’s Catholic archbishop said the play “fouled the faith of many believers”.
I mean, haven’t we already done this? Didn’t we do this like… 3 months ago? And wait… didn’t we do the exact same story only 4 months before that? I mean, I could keep writing this stuff again and again, but after a while it kind of gets boring making the same points. Censorship of blasphemy doesn’t create less blasphemy. If anything it makes it more attractive and popular. There are things that are actually worth getting upset about in your own organization. Log in your own eye, speck in others’. Art is supposed to be subversive. Blah blah blah. C’mon guys, get hip to it!
It’s a little weird, now that I think of it, that this is happening in France, where they killed a bunch of their priests for wielding too much power and generally opposing people’s freedoms. If there’s any confusion, I’m against killing priests – just want to state that for the record. As the son of a former priest, I recognize that they’re not all bad people – most of them are just regular people with shitty beliefs.
I shouldn’t beat up on the religious so much in this particular piece though, because at least a couple of them show signs that they ‘get it':
In a message carried by the Toulouse diocesan website, Archbishop Monsignor Robert Le Gall said: “Mr Rodrigo Garcia wants to denounce forcefully all forms of fundamentalism and rebel against an all-powerful God he has feared since childhood – that is not the God Christians proclaim…
Good work, Monsignor. Pivot the issue and make this about ‘good Christians’ versus ‘bad Christians’, and then say something like “Catholics should join the artist in condemning the religious over-reach we see all too often from zealous fundamentalist organizations.” Finish with an invitation for the artist to visit your church, say two Hail Mary’s, and get home in time for a nice lunch. Oh wait… there’s more?
“Is it right to foul the faith of many believers, to attack them in their devotion to Christ? I do not think so.”
Aww shucks. You were so close, until you gave away the game by saying essentially “I don’t recognize this ‘God’ you speak of… and how dare you mock me for believing in him!”
If I ever get really desperate for cash and lose any sense of moral restraint, I swear I could sell my services as a spin doctor for the Catholic Church. ‘Cause seriously, they guys they’ve got doing it now? Yikes…
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