Irish Archbishop Condemns “Blasphemous” NYE Comedy Skit Alleging God Raped Mary January 2, 2021

Irish Archbishop Condemns “Blasphemous” NYE Comedy Skit Alleging God Raped Mary

The Waterford Whispers News is a satirical publication in Ireland (akin to The Onion). During New Year’s Eve festivities, the state-sponsored channel RTÉ One showed sketches from the publication’s writers as a way to inject some humor into the telecast.

One of those sketches was a mock news segment in which an anchor reported on the arrest of a noted sexual harasser: God.

REPORTER: [In yet another] shocking revelation this year, God became the latest figure to be implicated in ongoing sexual harassment scandals.

GOD [being arrested and hauled away]: It was 2,000 years ago!

REPORTER: The 5-billion-year-old stood accused of forcing himself on a young Middle Eastern migrant and allegedly impregnating her against her will, before being sentenced to two years in prison, with the last 24 months suspended.

Meh. Not exactly original. It’s a tired joke and an unoriginal take. But I suppose it’s edgy if you’re state TV.

Catholic Archbishop Eamon Martin, however, didn’t find anything funny about comedians mocking his personal brand of mythology:

Leave it to a Catholic leader to get more upset about fictional sexual abuse in a satirical sketch than he ever would about actual sexual abuse in churches across the country.

Instead of complaining, Martin could easily have said that there’s reason to believe Mary was a willing participant in her own supernatural impregnation, so the sketch got the entire premise wrong. He could have even offered to write next year’s skits since the outlet needs fresher humor.

But no. He went with the blasphemy angle. He actually went further than that, saying the clip should be “removed immediately & denounced by all people of goodwill,” as if things that offend religious sensibilities shouldn’t be aired at all.

As Atheist Ireland points out, while your reaction to the sketch may vary, that brief segment was a nothingburger:

The Waterford Whispers News item did not advocate hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. It was a relatively tame comedic mockery of what many people of goodwill believe to be an immoral story in the Christian Bible, in which the creator of the universe impregnates a child who would by today’s standards be considered incapable of giving informed consent.

The group went on to say that parts of the Bible are far more offensive than that sketch. For example, take this passage from Deuteronomy.

If a newlywed man alleges that his bride was not a virgin, the bride’s father must prove her virginity by producing her blood-stained bedsheets. If he cannot do that, the bride will be stoned to death on her father’s doorstep.

Atheist Ireland added:

Many people of goodwill find these Bible stories just as outrageous and offensive as Archbishop Martin finds the Waterford Whispers News item on RTE’s New Year’s Eve Countdown Show.

But we are not calling on RTE to remove discussions of the Bible from its programmes, or to remove criticism or mockery of atheistic ideas.

Well played. The Catholic archbishop not only lacks awareness of the worst aspects of his own holy book, he also can’t take a joke. (Or an attempt at a joke.)

Call the sketch unfunny or unoriginal. To act like it’s offensive to an entire faith, though, says more about the Catholic Church than Archbishop Martin ever anticipated.

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