Monday, May 31, 2010

Kicking Jesus in the Ass - and Drawing Muhammad

It's been out a few years, but yesterday was the first time I heard Hayes Carll's song, "She Left Me for Jesus". The lyrics go like this:

We've been dating since high school, we never once left this town.
We used to go out on the weekends and we'd drink till we drowned.
But now she's acting funny, and I don't understand.
I think that she's found her some other man.

She left me for Jesus, and that just ain't fair,
She says that he's perfect, how could I compare?
She says I should find him, and I'll know peace at last,
If I ever find Jesus, I'm kicking his ass.

She showed me a picture, all I could do was stare,
At that freak in his sandals, with his long pretty hair,
They must think that I'm stupid, or I don't have a clue,
I bet he's a Commie, or even worse yet a Jew.

She's given up whiskey, and taken up wine,
While she prays for his troubles, she forgot about mine.
I'm gonna get even, I can't handle the shame.
Why, the last time we made love, she even called out his name.

It could have been Carlos, or even Billy Ortez,
But if I ever find Jesus,
He's gonna wish he was dead. Amen.

I'm a Christian. How did I feel when I heard someone singing about kicking Jesus in the ass? To be honest, a little uncomfortable. It sounded disrespectful to someone for whom I hold great respect. If I were a singer, that tune probably wouldn't be on my play list.

But how I felt is irrelevant, of concern to no one but myself. The important thing is how did I react, what did I do? Other than posting this article, nothing at all. I didn't send death threats to the singer, nor organize boycotts of his concerts. I didn't even issue veiled warnings that some of my less moderate coreligionists might be unable to control their rage and harm him. He's an artist, after all, and has my full support to write and sing about Jesus anyway he wants. If I take his lyrics seriously, I can even commiserate with the jilted guy whose girlfriend found religion and left him behind.

Most readers of this blog are well aware of Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons a few years ago, and the more recent "Draw Muhammad Day". This response to a cartoon of Muhammad meeting with a psychiatrist was typical. Who knows how many thousands of people have published articles or  given speeches around the world about how offended they were by these drawings? The common theme in them all is that it is unfair and impermissible to treat in this way the Prophet who is so beloved by his followers.

I don't think Muslims are being honest with themselves or with us. I think the real reason they act as they do is not their love for Muhammad, but their need to protect him. As I have noted here, the life of Muhammd raises many questions for anyone seriously considering whether or not he was a Prophet of God. To this day, Muslims continue to avoid those questions and choose instead to express their hurt and outrage at those who reach and express conclusions about Muhammad that are not the conclusions they would want them to reach.

14 comments:

seraphime said...

Would you also let someone saying bad thing or even mocking your mom or daddy or children as he is just exerting his rights to any opinion in the free world? I never get the rightful feeling when someone boasts that as Christian he wouldn't be insulted and react toward people who insult Christ. Is Christ just someone that doesn't hold to be as dearest as parents or children or our beloved one, that we always think that we would never feel obliged to defend His name because we are to forgive those who trespass us? I mean to say that freedom isn't freedom if it doesn't come with responsibility to respect the other.

Quotable, why do you also have to put that video? It's not enough that we've been given the text?

Quotable Quote: said...

Seraphime,
I think I understand how you feel about someone insulting Jesus, and I believe Muslims feel the same about people insulting Muhammad. The point I am trying to make is that if we truly believe in allowing other people freedom of expression, we cannot draw the line if it comes to Jesus and Muslims cannot draw the line when it comes to Muhammad.

和辛和辛 said...

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Srinivasan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Srinivasan said...

The hypocrisy of Muslims is plain to see. I came across an Islamic scholar's comment regarding the Muhammed cartoon incident. He mentioned it is against Islam to depict Allah or any of his prophets in pictures/sculpture etc. If that's the case, why aren't the Muslims objecting to depictions of Jesus? Why do they get hot under their collar only when their "last prophet" is "offended"?

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yadayada said...

Seraphime - I think the larger point is how one responds to people mocking Christ or family members in the name of free speech, despite the pain it may cause. Is it by making such mockery against the law? Is it by issuing death threats against the insulters? Is it threatening the mockers with physical harm? Or burning down their homes? And as a Christian and member of a loving family I hold dear to my heart, I say to all the above an emphatic "NO".

And that is the difference.

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