Selective religious outrage

Selective religious outrage

by digby

Susie reminds us today that no religion owns the patent on irrational behavior:

While listening to all the outraged right wing rantings about free speech and how Muslims were a separate, primitive class of religion for their outraged and violent response in Libya to the deliberately provocative work of a California porn director, I kept thinking to myself, "Why does this all seem so familiar?"

And then, last night I watched Martin Scorcese's 1988 film, "The Last Temptation of Christ", and it all came flooding back.

Click over for the reminder of the right wing Christian violence that film spurred.

I remember pointing out a similar disconnect during the conservative crusade for the Danish cartoons. Even as that was happening, so was this:
Rome's Catholic, Muslim and Jewish leaders have united to condemn pop star Madonna's decision to stage a mock-crucifixion when she performs in the Italian capital on Sunday a stone's throw away from Vatican City.

The lapsed-Catholic diva's latest irreverent performance sees her wearing a fake crown of thorns and descending on a suspended, glittery cross as part of her worldwide "Confessions Tour".

Having already been criticised in the United States, Catholics priests from across the Eternal City have gone one further saying the act is blasphemy.

Cardinal Ersilio Tonino, speaking with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI said: "This time the limits have really been pushed too far.

"This concert is a blashphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the cross. She should be excommunicated."

"It is disrespectful, in bad taste and provocative," Father Manfredo Leone from Rome's Santa Maria Liberatrice church said late on Wednesday about the star's latest stage stunt.

"Being raised on a cross with a crown of thorns like a modern Christ is absurd. Doing it in the cradle of Christianity comes close to blasphemy."

Strangely, none of the conservative free speech advocates who bent over backwards to defend the Danish cartoonists --- and now this nutball wingnut Copti Christian who made the "film" about Islam --- had a thing to say in Madonna's defense. They crucified Andres Serrano for his "blasphemous" artwork.

And if you want some real government censorship over religious statement I can produce it:

In 1999, Giuliani threatened to cut off city funding for the Brooklyn Museum if it did not remove a number of works in an exhibit entitled "Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection." One work in particular, The Holy Virgin Mary by Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili, featured an image of an African Virgin Mary on a canvas decorated with shaped elephant dung and pictures of female genitalia.[87] Giuliani's position was that the museum's display of such works amounted to a government-supported attack on Christianity; the artist, who claimed to be referring to African cultural tropes, Ofili decided to say nothing. He stated "I just thought, what's the point of throwing anything out there at all? I've already done the painting and they're going to work that to mincemeat. It was this American rage. I was brought up in Britain, I don't know that level of rage. So it was easier and perhaps more interesting not to say anything. I'm still glad I didn't".

I'm sure it will come as a shock to conservatives that their 9/11 hero was found in court to have blatantly violated the First Amendment with that little gambit, but he was.

In fact, those who are defending the freedom of anti-Islam filmmakers are the same ones who complain incessantly about media hostility to Christianity and the only people who actually use the government to shut down anti-religious speech happen to be the right wingers. So, let's just say their garment rending for the First Amendment looks just a little bit contrived in the face of their own hypocrisy on the issue.