UPDATE 2: I see all the "progressive" bloggers came out to play as well.
You've all missed the point I so clearly made at the end of the post: Offending to make a valid criticism is one thing - offending for the sake of offending is quite another. The Danish cartoons were largely innocuous and made to show that people should not be afraid for their lives to print cartoons - The Muse's cartoon is titled "Too Many Christians, Not Enough Lions." I'll just leave it at that.
UPDATE 3: The Muse will be printing a rebuttal letter I have submitted this Thursday. I don't have access to it on this computer, but I'll post it later today for you to read. I'd like to state that so far I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from students on my campus about the letter, and despite the possibility that The Muse will publicly crucify me (no pun intended) I'm quite willing to take on any criticism for it. Apparently so are others: more students are now writing letters to complain about the cartoon. I'm glad to see that people are standing up for themselves.
And without further ado, here is my rebuttal letter:
If Sullivan's cartoon wasn't meant as a jab at Christians, then why was it called "Too Many Christians, Not Enough Lions"? Offending to make a valid criticism is one
thing. Offending simply for the sake of offending is quite another. Considering the Muse's newfound respect for freedom of speech, I challenge the Muse to print the
most controversial of the Danish cartoons in this week's edition – unless, of course, [The submissions editor's name] was just using "freedom of speech" as a smokescreen for defending Sutton's inexcusable cartoon.
Further to a post by Kate over at Small Dead Animals, I thought I'd post something that was printed in the February edition of my campus newspaper, The Muse. Now this is a typical university newspaper - that is, it's pro-CFS and hates anything conservative (small or big c). I was suitably bothered off when I saw this:
You bet I was bothered. I loved the title: "Too Many Christians Not Enough Lions." How about, "Too Many Jews Not Enough Gas Chambers?" Hmmm. I wonder if they're too afraid to print one called "Too Many Muslims, Not Enough Bunker Busters?"
So I wrote a letter. I generally don't read The Muse, but when I saw this it got to me. The reference to "Nick McGee's Cartoon" refers to a silly and inoffensive cartoon printed the week before, that somehow riled up those without a sense of humour. Here's my letter:
The recent controversy over Nick McGee’s cartoons is a lot of tempest in the proverbial pot of tea.
The cartoons are silly in the South Park / The Family Guy tradition of mock-outrage. Everyone knows Jesus wouldn’t beat someone up and that’s why the cartoons are funny. I burst out laughing when I saw them.
Mike Sutton’s cartoon in the last issue of The Muse, however, was another matter. What point was Sutton trying to make by insinuating that Christians are Klan members, science-haters, and gay-bashers?
If that’s the case, apparently I’m going to have to switch my biology major and dump three-quarters of my friends. How unbelievably insulting, Mr Sutton.
Give me a break. Was Sutton trying to make a point about the recent publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed in Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten? If so, he not only missed the mark but also managed to set his target on yet another religion in the process.
The only reason he submitted that comic was to take a cheap shot at Christians. Apparently it’s taboo to insult Muslims, but Christians are fair game.
If you’ve got a problem with someone else’s faith, that’s quite alright – it’s a wonderful thing called democracy. But the moment you cross that line and start insulting the beliefs of people, you end up with a situation like the one in the Middle East over the Danish cartoons.
It seems Sutton is oblivious to the lesson about freedom of speech and the responsibility it carries demanding basic respect for people.
My suggestion to Mr Sutton is this: Stop trying to be provocative. It’s boring and you’re only making yourself look like an ass.
Of course, this being a student Newspaper, the editor gets to espouse his own views in the letters section (which is reserved specifically for the students, not the editor. Or so it's supposed to be...)
[Editor’s note: While I usually try to hold my tongue when we receive letters I disagree with, I really think I should say something in defence of Mike Sutton.
Here I have to step in and mention something. This guy opens his mouth to insult letter-writers regularly. He reserved an entire page of the newspaper once to insult one-by-one all the letter writers that week who submitted letters with opposing (read: sane) viewpoints. I'm not sure if he's trying to be sarcastic, but if he isn't he's big on nerve and short on memory.
Nonsense. You've seen the cartoon and I doubt even one of you agrees with this cockamamie argument. Ladies and Gentleman, this is called damage control - for this guy to pretend he's trying to defend freedom of speech is really just too much. Am I supposed to laud him for insulting my faith and the faith of over a billion people?
When I first saw the comic, I was hesitant to print it due to the feedback from Nick McGee’s comics. At the end of the day, freedom of speech won me over and I decided I would deal with any possible storm of e-mails headed my way.
However well founded his argument may be, I think [My Name] is missing the point. Although I am speaking for Sutton without his permission, I think the point of the comic isn’t that every Christian is a Klan member/science-hater/gay-basher.
As I see it, it makes the point that some groups use religion and God to promote their own motives. Ku Klux Klan members believe lynching a black person is simply carrying out God’s wish. Certain groups believe God hates homosexuals. Many individuals believe God frowns upon teaching evolution.
The point isn’t that Christians are evil – not by a long shot. The comic simply sheds light on the fact that groups exploit religions all the time and that Christianity is no different.
The one lesson to learn from all this? Freedom of speech doesn’t only work when you find it funny.
– The Submissions Editor (I have removed his name)
Garbage. Offending to make a valid criticism is one thing, offending for the sake of offending is quite another. Both the cartoonist and the editor should be ashamed.