The Jesus Cartoons, Way Over the Edge
By now, you have all heard of the controversy and violent response that followed the publishing of a handful of political cartoons depicting the "Prophet"? Muhammad. First printed in a Denmark newspaper, they made their way around the world and a firestorm was ignited by violent extremists. People were killed amidst the raucus and embassies were even torched. There seemed to be a groundswell of incitement. Ironically, and absurdly, more violence was called for -- by those upset that Muhammad was portrayed as a violent figure! I feared the much-discussed "clash of civilizations" was coming ever closer.
The thought crossed my mind at the time, that in the interest of not singling out one group to be religiously offended, someone would probably come out with sets of cartoons to equally offend Jews and Christians. Indeed, an Iranian paper called held a Holocaust cartoon contest soon after. Of course, anti-Semitism is nothing new in the Middle East.
In Christendom, most people following the freedom of speech vs. religion debate here in the US are now also familiar with the various ways Christ has been blasphemed in the name of government-funded art in various galleries around the country. When I thought that Jesus might soon be coming to an editorial cartoon near me, I figured that yes, it would be terrible and offensive, but I would just be disappointed it was printed and chalk it up as no big surprise, given the atmosphere of anti-Christian sentiment in todayâ€™s liberal media.
Well, it seems the cartoons have now been printedâ€¦and I have seen themâ€¦and I was not prepared. I was not aware until it blighted the space before the lenses of my eyes how truly and deeply offended I would be. There, on a virtual page, was my Lord being ridiculed once again on the cross. Although we know it was all our sin that crucified Him, it was as if the perpetrators of this blasphemy were wearing Roman robes themselves and were casting lots before him as he suffered, for us.
The images I speak of were printed in a Marxist/Anarchist publication aptly named the Student Insurgent, published at the University of Oregon. A conservative journal, The Oregon Commentator, has published a scan of the paper on their website as a PDF file. [Go here, then click the image to bring up the PDF. I must warn you that the images are GRAPHIC.]
I looked further in the paper and read the scoffing and ignorant editorial that accompanied the images and found the author to be blatantly lost and unknowing of The Truth. Such was their enthusiasm toward being offensive toward Christians, yet they found understanding and sympathy for the rage and violent action of extremist Muslims. They had refused to print the Muhammad cartoons because they didnâ€™t want to offend Muslims. They just thought it would be a real laugh riot to poke fun at the Christians.
Enraged and upset, tears wanting to come, I was pained at the mockery of the suffering Our Lord bore for us and I wondered what to think about such a thing. I believed they had a right to print such a thing, but I hated the fact that they chose to print such a thing. Then I found a statement on another blog that hit home. Dave Price at the Dean's World blog said this:
...as a Christian, Iâ€™m deeply offended by this obscene mockery of my Lord and Saviour. So in response, Iâ€™m going to unleash my religionâ€™s most powerful weapon: I forgive them.There it was. That was the perfect response. Forgive themfor they know not what they do.
It was my duty to see it that way. For they are answerable for their own sin, as we all are. The real illustration here was not the cartoons themselves. It was that evil still lurks in this world and it deceives those who will not hear. But, we know who is King.
For Galatians 6:7 says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap?" Only God can judge them.
Related coverage at: Pajamas Media, Protein Wisdom, and Hot Air
posted by Arkansas Razorbaptist at 4/28/2006 09:27:00 PM
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