Anyone who still feels that Cartoons can’t change the world obviously hasn’t been paying attention the past few days. The recent rioting and accompanied protests about the Cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in that Danish newspaper have been pretty serious. Last time I checked, ten people had been killed.
Over a cartoon.
As a cartoonist, this worries me. I have often thought of myself as one of the first guys against the wall with a blindfold and a cigarette when the revolution comes, but I doubt most cartoonists do. I can’t help thinking of the Mocca festival Java Foo Foo and I went to the last trip we took to NYC. How many of those guys are crapping on themselves now or worse, gloating about the power of their pens?
One thing that really surprises me though, is that I actually kinda understand how the Muslims feel on this one. I don’t go into my faith much on these pages, because it’s something I’m not entirely clear on. Lately, I feel like God has dumped enough signs in my lap to confirm his existence, but I don’t feel I’ve found the right religious sect for me. I consider myself to be a Christian more often than not I guess; I believe in most of the basic tenets ascribed to the Christian faith to the point that I try to live my life by them, and over all I think that I’m a fairly good Christian.
So, anyway… about two years ago, I was also really offended by a cartoon. It was an episode of South Park where Jesus was going into Afghanistan to save Santa Claus after his sled was shot down on Christmas eve. Now, up until the offensive part, this actually struck me as pretty funny. But then, upon landing on the compound roof where Santa was held, Jesus whips out a bowie knife and guts two Afghan guards.
To say I was offended was putting it lightly. I stared at the TV aghast for at least ten minutes before finally turning the show off. It helped that the episode in question had only ten minutes left, I suppose... but I swear, I could not tell you even with my photographic memory what was contained in the rest of the program. To think that the christian embodiment of peace and god's love would WHIP OUT A BOWIE KNIFE AND GUT SOMEONE was offensive to me on so many levels that I actually stopped watching the show from that point on.
Still, I didn't go out and start a riot. None of my business that there's a special place in hell reserved for Trey Parker and Matt Stone... particularly after making Satan out to be a big pansy. Don't think he's gonna be real amused. Maybe they worked out some kinda deal with the guy... it would explain the startling success of South Park compared to Baseketball and Team America.
But I digress.
As Christians, we are continually bombarded with people mocking our faith. Generally, we tend to have a sense of humor about it. Same thing holds true for the Jews and Buddhists. Well, less so for the Buddhists, because who could mock such a jolly deity? But still, isn't one of the five pillars of Islam love or peace or something like it? and if so, exactly how do these riots figure into it? Part of Love is tolerance... part of Peace is respect for your fellow man. Lighten up and be excellent to one another, people.
Pretty deep for a Tuesday, I know. But until I can actually teach the world to sing in perfect harmony and buy it a coke, it will have to do.