Friday, March 30, 2007

Chocolate Jesus vs. Muhammed with Bomb

Someone please tell me what the difference is here...

Chocolate Jesus versus Mohammed with a bomb in his turban

Granted, the Muslims rioted. That's bad form. Period. The Christians are up in arms over someone disrespecting their central figure... the Muslims REALLY didn't like a cartoonist disrespecting THEIR central figure. Isn't this just plain old religious intolerance?

Frankly, I hold neither figure sacred. I don't understand why Christians and Muslims can't simply throw a shrug and understand that not everyone holds their saviors sacred. End of story.

Someone, anyone... please tell me why this is a big deal?

3 comments:

Colonel Steve said...

Dawn:

I think you've caught part but not all the difference. Yeah, the Muslims went MUCH further, in their rioting, death threats, $8,000 bounty on the cartoonists' heads, businesses shutting down in protest, official protests not just to the newspaper but to the prime minister....well, you get the picture.

The Christian complaints, on the other hand, went to 3 places: 1) the Lab Gallery itself (the exhibitor) , 2) the hotel where Lab Gallery resides, and 3) the press. Sounds to me like some folks exercising the freedom to speak out on what they don't like, much as anyone with a blog does (like you and me). In their case they spoke directly to those involved and to someone to get their case out in the open.

They've spoken their peace in those avenues, and we've spoken our peace right here at blogspot. Sounds like we've all been heard.

Thanks for your patience on this Looonnnng comment.

-Colonel Steve

Dawn said...

Thanks for the comment, Col. Steve!

The Christians definitely have a right to be heard as you so gently put it. They obviously targeted their distaste for the "art" correctly instead of rioting and causing general havoc as the Muslims did.

I hear that the Chocolate Jesus exhibit is up for sale to the highest bidder now since the hotel will not be hosting the showing. The shame of this all is that the very thing that Christians protested will make this artist wealthy. The rioting and death threats of the Muslims simply proved the cartoonist absolutely correct.

I just don't see the point in it all. The symbols we have of Jesus and Muhammed are just that... symbols. We have no photographs of these men, so their images are guesses. It seems to me that their images are simply symbols for what they preached. Anyone can make fun of your symbol but they cannot take the faith from you that easily, can they?

Colonel Steve said...

Dawn:

Very correct, indeed. They can't take that faith away, with comments.

I guess the point in it all to me is that we see freedom at work on both sides. On one side, an artist freely producing something on canvas (or chocolate in this case) that he pictures in him mind. And another, at looking at it, freely speaking his/her mind by saying "Yuck, I don't like that!".

My concern is not in the "not everyone holds their saviors sacred" issue. We understand that. My concern is that, when we do make the "Yuck, I don't like that!" kind of comment, the response is that we shouldn't voice the opinion.

I think in a society that truly values expression, both sides get to express, whether in art or in speech. Where it crosses the line is when penalties occur to those who do the expressing. In the Muslim's case, that's what happened. The penalties in that case were the riots, death threats, etc, that moved the one's associated with the cartoon to clam up, apologize, and never approach the subject again.

The whole sum of my thoughts are that, when someone says or does something, sometimes some criticism of that word or action is going to happen. Criticism done correctly should be allowed. Crossing the line to threats and anything else silencing criticism shouldn't be tolerated.

Oh well, thanks for the open forum for the rant!