I wrote this in 2012. After last week’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices and murder of four cartoonists by two terrorists, it seems to still be pertinent. I added some more cartoons to what I have shown in the earlier post. The New Yorker seems to have a lot of fun with God, heaven, hell, and religion in general, just as Charlie Hebdo does. So far no machine-gun firing fundamentalist Christians have blasted The New Yorker.
Is God a hardass, angry and vengeful? Is God a nice guy, forgiving of human foibles? Does God have a sense of humor? I'm not qualified to say, but I am qualified to say that in the U.S. and other countries which have the great gift of free speech, visualizations of deity have long been available. And that includes visualizations that lampoon and disrespect God. I've got some cartoons I've culled from the New Yorker, and even a couple from the Sunday funnies. To some Christians these are probably blasphemous. But no matter how they feel about the cartoons they don't foam at the mouth, then form an angry mob looking for someone with whom to go to war. (Literally, that is. If angry letters are a form of weaponry then they are known to lob a few nukes on cartoonists and those who publish them.)
I'm speaking solely from my own position as an agnostic, but when I think about religious people I wonder how they can all profess to love the same God, and yet view him so differently.
The past few days some Muslims have been showing some outrage over some corny 14-minute YouTube video. They feel it disrespects their religion. I'm willing to bet that most of them haven't actually seen it, but are willing to go into an anger meltdown, enraged with the United States, ready to spill blood over what they've heard of it from the hardliners who manipulate the faithful.
Imagine how they'd react if these cartoons were about Allah or the prophet Mohammed.
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