Monday, May 08, 2006

The Rodney Dangerfields of religion

The poor old Catholic Church. It just can't get no respect. Publish a few cartoons portraying Muhammed, and the world goes into an uproar. Newspapers are banned, editors are fired, the media fall over themselves to "protect Muslim sensitivities" (and their own backs. Or chests. Remember Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh?).

But make a film that denies the basic premise of Christianity, and accuses the Catholic Church of engaging in a millenia-long coverup of the true nature of the central divinity, and editorials excoriating Sony Pictures for its "insensitivity" towards Catholics and their beliefs are pretty thin on the ground. Couldn't be because the threats of violence were also missing, could it?

Lacking any disturbingly violent followers, the Catholic Church is having to exercise its censorship envy in the courts, where, one imagines, the brave judges will have no problem upholding freedom of speech against the law-abiding. You see, having rules about freedom of speech that you're only prepared to uphold if no-one behaves threateningly are kind of like laws against guns: the people who are the problem don't care about the rules and the laws, so you end up with a warm fuzzy feeling of having the right intentions, without anything resembling a good result. Which is what seems to be important these days.


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