GOD BLESS SHOWTIME

Although people of faith complaining of religious intolerance would be well advised to surrender their notions of being entitled to special dispensation, at a minimum they might try being a little more creative -- and realistic -- with their arguments. Every time it's the same thing: The mocking of a religion or religious icon for the nonsense they foment and represent is automatically an "attack" and categorically wrong; to condone homosexuality is to celebrate filth; you can mock other religions, just not ours. So says TownHall.com's Brent Bozell in an amusing article so filled to the brim with balky surrogates for the expletives he takes to task that the piece is almost unreadable. Man, get the fucking stick out of your ass and say what you really want to say!

His focus is on the magicians Penn & Teller and their Showtime program Bullshit!, which I've never seen but has evidently taken advantage of the numerous wholly or partially failed causes is modern society: P.E.T.A., recycling, college, and "family values" (a phrase that should never be written sans quotation marks) have been the subjects of what by all accounts have been gleefully withering treatises.

In his column, Bozell complains about a recently aired episode dubbed "Holier than Thou,", the title of which should shed ample light on the material presented. He begins by somehow likening Viacom's simultaneous endorsement of a gay cable network and its allowing mockery of Catholics in its subsidiaries' programs as a double standard, and from there slides further into an abyss of, you guessed it, Bullshit! He refers to calling God an imaginary friend "aching anti-religious bigotry." He calls Mother Theresa "the world's most beloved woman of the 20th century by Catholics and non-Catholics alike," as if in the grand scheme her true popularity could hold a candle to any number of Playboy centerfolds. He has the gall to bitch about a program focusing on the far-flung sex-abuse scandal involving frightening numbers of priests that officials from the top of the Church leadership on down have tried like hell to sweep under the rug.

In a nutshell, Bozell, in the finest faith-driven tradition, is effectively calling for the censorship of a program he simply doesn't like. Perhaps he -- like the fellow who complained of this blog's content under the auspices of reviewing my Web site on Alexa.com -- is powerless over where his TV remote and Web browser lead him. He's one more in a long line of people demanding that religion receive exemption from satire when in fact there is no more prominent societal failing that begs for irreverent treatment. Bozell casts forth these dribbles of Bullshit! because, well, he can't see things any other way. He's been vaccinated against certain elements of reality.

Past horrors such as the Inquisition aside, only recently, with too many figures in U.S. government invoking God in order to further their decidedly non-divine agendas, has the God concept become widely problematic to non-believers, who otherwise couldn't give a shit if you want to pray to Zeus, Odin or the Ass Fairy at night.

We live in a decaying world when people are so accustomed to postulating insane versions of "history" (substitute grape-juice-into-blood, crackers-into-flesh alchemy for the ark fable if you wish) uncontested that they paint skeptics as haters and inadequates. Were religious beliefs held to the same standards as everything else -- including many of the very evidential standards deeply religious people apply less godly aspects of their lives -- people would have to be prepared to produce mountains of evidence in order to rub the public's faces in their solecisms. They've had their way for so long and as individuals are so supremely endowed with crippling blind patches that they honestly cannot fathom the idea that people deriding the God concept are merely reacting the same way they would to any other fantastically dumb idea.
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