Mary’s Monday Metazoan: UNCLEAN

After learning that some media are practicing “cultural sensitivity” and being delicate about portrayals of animals that certain religious groups found offensive, Mary suggested that today’s metazoan should be a pretty pink pig. A good idea, I thought, but you know me — I can’t just stop there. So I read Leviticus.

Boy, Leviticus doesn’t just despise pigs…it detests just about everything. All these dirty, filthy animals (except the ones their tribe happens to raise for food and milk and fur, of course) that are disgusting and unclean. They are not only unfit to be sacrificed to the Lord, and not to ever, under any circumstances, be eaten, but if you touch them, alive or dead, you are befouled; if they touch any object it is unclean and must be destroyed. This is like the anti-biology chapter of the Bible.

So, for your edification, I’ve put the complete text of Leviticus 11 below the fold, along with a sampling of examples of the animals the Bible frowns upon. You know, it’s not just pigs — the Bible really loathes birds, and all invertebrates except 4 species.

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Conservative values: opportunism and cowardice

At least someone has found a silver lining to the Charlie Hebdo murders: conservatives have used it to leverage censorship of a photo they don’t like.

After leaving the highly offensive photo titled “Piss Christ” posted for 26 years — despite decades of public Christian outcry over the image panned as art — The Associated Press finally removed the controversial and denigrating image, but only after a journalist called out its double standard brought to light when it touted its policy of not publishing potentially offensive Charlie Hebdo satirical cartoons of Muhammad, such as the ones that incited the deadly Paris attack.

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Making excuses for violence, while demonizing those who question violence

Tauriq Moosa responds to a deplorable opinion piece by Anjem Choudary that accuses satirists of provoking violence.

Because free expression matters more than any one group’s feeling of offence. Because I imagine most Muslims are adults capable of handling criticism of their beliefs – even if they feel offended. Choudary is painting the picture right wingers want: an entire group of people, perched on the spring of outrage, ready to march with billboards at the slightest case of “offence”.

Muslims must speak out against this caricature and be on the frontlines defending free speech, even and especially if it offends them. And media spaces must improve and find better spokespeople.

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Automatic rifles & rocket launchers vs. cartoons: no contest

In a disgraceful act of cowardice and hatred, fanatics murdered at least 12 members of the staff of the French satire magazine, Charlie Hebdo. I don’t hesitate to call this cowardice; the gunmen faced no real threat, killed people, and then ran away. They seemed to think this was a triumph of some sort.

In the video, the gunmen can be heard shouting “Allahu akbar” between bursts of gunfire. The gunmen also shouted “we have avenged the prophet,” according to police.

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