Yesterday, Hemant fisked the awful statement by Bill Donohue of the U.S. Catholic League about the bloodbath that left 12 dead at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. I want to return to the matter briefly with a few asides and questions.
[W]hat happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.
I wonder what, specifically, Donohue proposes when he says that Charlie Hebdo‘s marvelous, stubborn insolence should not be allowed. Maybe it’s smart that he doesn’t specify; deniability is a valuable thing.
Of course, we already know that at the very end of this line of reasoning lies either the blood-soaked barbarity of yesterday’s Islamist attack or the torture chamber of the Inquisition.
In fairness to Donohue, though, maybe he’s a “modern” Catholic, who merely hopes to impose fines and imprisonment on those who draw cartoons that he considers insufficiently decent.
Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms.
Wearing condoms? Can someone at the Catholic League point me to the image in question? Because the cartoon that sprang to mind when I read that phrase is this fairly famous Charlie Hebdo cover. As we can see, no papal penis is remotely visible (thank the heavens). Wearing a condom isn’t nearly the same thing as holding one, but the former sure sounds a lot more outrageous. Which, I’m fairly certain, is precisely the effect that Donohue wanted. It’s all about whipping up resentment against heathens. Even dead ones.
I don’t know what “nuns masturbating” refers to, but if such a Charlie Hebdo cartoon exists (please post if you find it), I’ll bet it’s pretty unspectacular in the obscenity department.
Donohue then claims that the murdered French blasphemers
… have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses.
That’s porn? I’m fairly certain that there isn’t a person in the world, no matter how lascivious or horny, who’d find that image a remotely useful masturbation aid. So… Pornography? For real? Or is Donohue just taking rhetorical liberties with the truth again? Why is he conveniently forgetting that thousands of pieces of famous Christian art, including Michelangelo‘s Creation of Adam and William Blake‘s Temptation and Fall of Eve and Hieronymus Bosch‘ Garden of Earthly Delights, feature detailed full frontal nudity, and not just a rudimentary sketch of a man’s backside?
Donohue’s far from done yet:
What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.
When you find yourself “in total agreement” with not just religious nannies but with bullies and thugs, it might be time to reassess your position.
Not Donohue, who at this point ratchets up the callous invective:
Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.
In fact, Charbonnier wasn’t on the business team of the magazine, but on the editorial side; he was Charlie Hebdo‘s editorial director, not its publisher.
But Donohue’s poor grasp of simple facts isn’t even the main bone I want to pick with him. What’s much more opprobrious is his unmistakably gleeful, triumphant undertone, coupled with his decision to kick Charbonnier’s corpse before it’s even been placed in its coffin.
Let’s get something straight, Bill: A man like you, who publishes sentiments so ugly, so upside-down, and so noxious, is pretty much the last person who gets to lecture the rest of us on the bounds of decency.