I read alternative weekly papers for the same reason I read lefty blogs – I need a good laugh.
Occasionally, though, I read something that makes me cringe. That’s the case again today. I just finished reading a column from the Las Vegas Weekly that draws a rather flawed comparison between the American religious sensitivity to “Piss Christ” and feces speckled images of the Virgin Mary with the Danish cartoon flap.
[M]any who clamor for publication of the cartoons on these shores freely condemn artists who in their eyes defile Christian symbols… The involvement of government funds in exhibitions that included Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” and Chris Ofili’s dung-spattered Virgin, and the relative virulence of Muslim reaction to the desecration of their Prophet are both beside the point… This is an element of a larger conservative campaign that equates any meager effort to accommodate Islamic sensibilities with capitulation to terrorists.
Sorry, Chuck, but no Christian, that I am aware of, set fire to a building to express their outrage at the urine soaked crucifix. No Republican (you use the term ‘American right’ as if all Republicans and Libertarians get fired up by bad art) has ever assaulted a random artist in payback for the poo flicked on images of Jesus’ mom.
As near as I can figure, Chuck Twardy is arguing that it’s ok for Muslims to be pissed at the cartoon and to go spastic as a result. At the same time, he is criticizing the religious right for protesting the desecration of religious icons. He clearly doesn’t want to engage in that debate, however, as he writes off his hypocrisy as “beside the point”.
What’s worse, though, is he also seems to imply the religious right in the US protesting the previously mentioned defiled images is somehow on par with Muslims razing buildings and killing people because of a cartoon.
Now, I’m the American right, but I’m not the religious right. I don’t agree with either the cartoons or the aforementioned pieces of “art”. I find them both to be in incredibly poor taste. But I also recognize a distinction between reaction and overreaction. Making public comment that you are against bad art is reaction. Burning down buildings and killing people is overreaction.
It’s scares me that the left, in an attempt to make a lame political point would overlook that difference.