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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blasphemy v. Graven Images

posted by on September 26 at 19:31 PM

I could not give a shit about the Right-Wing panties-in-a-knot reaction to the Folsom Street Fair’s poster parodying da Vinci’s The Last Supper. But as the product of not just Catholic education, but Jesuit higher education, I have to ask Bill Donohue and his ilk: do you understand the difference between blasphemy and the worship of graven images?

To make sure that my theological education (four years in high school, nearly as much at Loyola University Chicago) hadn’t totally been overwritten by the Communist Manifesto and Origin of Species, I checked some online definitions of blasphemy: they’re here, and they’re all about denying or disrespecting God.

But this poster doesn’t do or say anything about God: it’s about a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, who rumor has it was a big fag anyway.

For any true believer in the Roman Catholic faith to worry about a poster parodying a painting suggests the worship of graven images, which, last time I looked, was contra Commandment #1 or #2, depending on your religious tradition. We mere mortals are not supposed to confuse God’s creation with God Himself, so we shouldn’t be worshiping images made by man. This is the root of the Islamic tradition against representations the prophet, and once again the Religious Right in America is allied with the Taliban.

So, the Right-Wing Religious Conniption about this poster is itself sinful, I’d argue. The poster is not blasphemous: Da Vinci’s painting is not God, so disrespecting that painting is not about God unless the viewer of the parody equates the painting with the Divine, which is itself the sin.

Donohue will be kneeling in the confessional ASAP, I am sure. Now, can we all get back to baseball and celebrity worship?

RSS icon Comments


oh my GOD, AMEN!

Posted by jameyb | September 26, 2007 8:11 PM

The Hebrew Bible makes clear that God has no shape or form, and is utterly incomparable; thus no idol, image, idea, or anything comparable to creation could ever capture God's essence.

So Jews don't have to worry much about idolatry. As Jews we are people of the book, and Torah is scared.

The idiot goyim with their painting and sculptures of their toxic savior have always been confused and always will be confused as long as their soul remain in the darkness. Jews on the other hand are sparks of divine light. We must always remember this.

Posted by Issur | September 26, 2007 8:15 PM

Billy, Issur.

Issur, Billy.

Posted by Dan Savage | September 26, 2007 8:28 PM

Best post. Ever.

Posted by John | September 26, 2007 8:35 PM

Dan, thanks for the introduction! Any apostate Christian is a welcome introduction.

I can't understand worshipping images?!? As Jews we have the word of the Torah which cannot be defiled. I suppose Jewish identity is also worshipped, for example no one, especially University Professors can question the 6 million who died at the hands of evil Christians. People have been put in jail for even suggesting it could have been 4.5 million maybe. That is as it should be. No one should be able to mock or question Torah or the revealed History of Judaism. Because God is finding himself in the history of the Jewish people, questioning anything about that history by a goyim an abomination. This is a very different prohibition than making fun of stupid fag goyim paintings.

But everything about Christianity should be questioned all the time.

Posted by Issur | September 26, 2007 8:53 PM

I think the reason Dan refused to go on FOX had something more to do with he doesn't have an argument worthy of anything more than five minutes.

"Well I did some research and found a lot of things mocking the Last Supper."

That's why.

Posted by I think... | September 26, 2007 9:08 PM

A Slog posting with brains, thank gawd a'mitey...

Posted by Boomer in NYC | September 26, 2007 9:12 PM


Posted by Not Chris Crocker | September 26, 2007 9:34 PM

Spare us all from the cranky desert god of the torah, the tanakh, the gospels and the quoran. The god of moses and abraham is a nasty, spiteful, capricious deity, sprung from the minds of superstitious and lonely, bored, cranky, shepherds.

At least Zeus, Hera, Odin, Thor and Loki all had a sense of place and humor about them.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | September 26, 2007 9:45 PM

Jesus Christ, "Issur," if you're going to adopt a radical Jewish persona, please learn to use your Yiddish correctly. I was raised Catholic, but even I've read enough Philip Roth to know that goyim is a plural noun. It is neither a singular noun (goy) nor an adjective (goyish). So you shouldn't write "goyim paintings," but rather "goyish paintings." Not "a goyim," but rather "a goy." Now that your ignorance has been exposed, please feel free to fuck off.

Posted by Ryno | September 26, 2007 9:46 PM

Even if he is fake and uses wrong grammar, I think we should encourage Issur to continue. There are 1000000000s of pieces of fiction where Jews play non-Jews and get minutia wrong. Although I disagree if what he says about people being put in jail for suggesting a different number than 6 million. Where are your facts Issur?

Posted by brandon | September 26, 2007 10:09 PM

Kathy Griffin's Emmy is my god now. SUCK IT, JESUS!

Posted by monkey | September 27, 2007 6:59 AM

You should drop the Leonardo-was-rumored-to-be-gay part of your argument, as it's a weak addition.

Posted by Greg | September 27, 2007 10:30 AM

Y'know, all of this occurred to me, too, right down to the Leonardo-was-a-homo aside, but none of it matters.

The reason this entirely sensible argument will go nowhere is that Donohue's complaint has nothing to do with blasphemy, and everything to do with hating The Fags.

Let them keep backing themselves into that corner, I say. They've already lost the homo front in the culture wars, they just don't realize it yet. All that's left to do is sit back and wait for the inevitable death of the demographic raised in that bygone popular culture wherein homo-hating was not only accepted, but expected.

Posted by robotslave | September 27, 2007 11:38 AM

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