Just one more…

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…

Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!


  1. says

    Ethics… Money.
    Ethics… Money.

    hmm. This is a hard one!

    Also, pft- Spin doctor for the Catholic Church?

    You ought to simply create anew, Hubbard style- The Catholic Church has way too much baggage.

  2. jamessweet says

    Oh my god, I just realized the explanation for this phenomenon: Barbara Streisand is Jesus. It makes perfect sense!

    On a serious note, one thing I’ve noticed is unique about when religious believers (and for some reason, especially Catholics it seems) take offense is they tend to use language like this:

    Toulouse’s Catholic archbishop said the play “fouled the faith of many believers”.

    Emphasis mine.

    Huh. See now that’s weird to me.

    When somebody attacks my beliefs or opinions or what I like to do, etc., even if they do so in the most unfair and malicious and bigoted way, I might think their being an asshole, but it doesn’t ruin it for me. I’m not like, “Oh noes, my atheism has been polluted by Bill Donohue’s saying atheists are ‘good for nothing!'” I think Donohue is a grade-A douchebag, and boy was I pissed, but I didn’t feel like now atheism had somehow been wrecked for me or anything. And the idea that I might is just bizarre to me.

    Yet whether it’s PZ stabbing a cracker, or a controversial piece of art, or whatever, believers seem to feel that somehow damage has been done to their faith when it is mocked. That’s just weird to me. I understand feeling outrage — as you say, I wish they’d have a better sense of humor, but I can at least understand that they don’t — but feeling like your faith has been “fouled”? I don’t get it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *