Bizarro is brought to you today by Sanforized Swinging.
I trust you all had a lovely holiday this week, except for those of you who disobeyed my command and had a lousy one. You should’ve listened to me.
As expected, I got a couple of complaints about my religious cartoon on Xmas Day. I post them here for your analysis.
From this blog’s comments section: “I take great offense to your immature, diabolic publications which you call comics. You are insulting our Almighty God many times over from previous printings. They are not funny by any means, neither are you amusing whatsoever. The papers should be ashamed to even publish your disgusting creations. They have the same mentality as yours.”
According to this poster, I am insulting a magical, invisible person with Satanic cartoons which are neither “funny” nor “amusing.” I was hoping to score in at least one of those categories, but I guess I failed.
This next complaint came by email: “As an American Christian, I was deeply offended by the cartoon strip of 12-25-13 that showed Mary degrading the three wise men for “just one small gift each”. Any religious person would know that of all people, Mary would be the least interested in physical gifts. She’d just given birth to the greatest gift TO humanity.
Would you be equally quick to offend Muslims with a cartoon strip eluding(sic) to a recently departed Muslim complaining of only receiving 35 vestal virgins or showing one of someone asking a blind person if they’d seen any good movies lately?
For less, Salmon(sic) Rushdie received a fatwah for writing Satanic Verses.
Please be considerate of all religions whether you believe in any or not.”
In this note, I learn that Mary would never had said anything like what I have her saying in my cartoon. But since my I.Q. is above 75, I already knew that. In fact, I supposed that very fact was exactly what made the cartoon funny. Apparently, I was wrong. The writer goes on to ask (in common, Fox News vernacular) if I would do a similar comic about Muslims, especially knowing that “Salmon” Rushdie was sentenced to death for doing “less.” No, I would not, because I don’t want to be sentenced to death. Perhaps she is saying that she and her kind are equally irrationally superstitious as are the Taliban. I certainly hope that is not the case. She goes on to wonder if I would draw a cartoon about a blind person being asked something stupid. No, I would not, but only because her proposed scenario isn’t funny. I have done jokes about blind people that were funny, however, and likely will again. She concludes by asking me politely to be “considerate of all religions.” That is not likely, I’m afraid. I’ve found that most Christians have a better sense of humor than she does and know that the humor in the comic in question is precisely that Mary would not say such a thing. They read it, smile, and move on to something more important.
This cartoon makes no attempt to denigrate anyone’s personal beliefs, but I feel that an adult in our society should know that if they believe in myths as literal truth, they may on occasion be the butt of a joke. I suggest that rather than becoming indignant, they take this kind of soft jab as a badge of persecutory honor, like the early Christians but without lions. Who knows, it could actually increase their reward in the next life.
This brings me to a point I’ve been thinking about since I was a young Christian and believed the gospels were historical truth. The nativity story is from the Gospel of Luke. Even if the writer of this gospel knew Jesus personally (highly unlikely, according to modern scholars) where did he get that story? How did he know what happened in Mary’s personal life before Jesus was born? Did he interview her?
Mary: So when I was a young virgin, an angel came to me in the middle of the night and told me I was pregnant by magic.
Luke: And you were engaged to Joseph at this time? How did he take this news?
Mary: Oh, he was really pissed at first and threatened to have me publicly stoned.
Luke: I know! Right?
Mary: But eventually I convinced him that if he did, God would smite him bigtime so he backed off. It always bothered him that Jesus didn’t look anything like him, though.
Or maybe because the original writer of that particular gospel was Greek, and the heroes of Greek myths were routinely the product of virgin births, that these myths got combined when the stories about a dead folk hero that had been passed verbally for decades were finally written down? Seems logical. But logic and this kind of religious doctrine are always mutually exclusive.
I also always wondered what Mary and Joseph did with the gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the three kings gave them. That stuff would’ve been worth a fortune to peasants like them, yet they never mention it again. You’d think if they saved it for Jesus’ college education, the scene where he tells them he’s not going to college but is just going to wander around the countryside with a dozen of his bros would’ve been in the Bible somewhere. I don’t know. Just thinking out loud.