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“Suck it, Jesus.”

So at the Emmy Awards the other night, Kathy Griffin won a statue for her show “My Life on the D-List.”  Many people apparently find her funny.

At the ceremony, she said:

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.  Suck it, Jesus.  This award is my God now.”

Now the network that will be rebroadcasting the ceremony is going to cut the “offensive” comments from the edited version of the show.

*Sigh*  Oh, how the outrage now flows from the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue and other annointed keepers of “the faith”.  How dare someone use slurs to defame so many people’s personal choice of self-expression!  (Remember how loudly Donohue and other Christian leaders leaped to defend John Edwards when Ann Coulter was calling him “faggot”?  Oh, right, they didn’t.)

Weren’t these the same people who cried “censorship” and derided the capitulation to Muslim fanatics when US newspapers wouldn’t reprint Danish cartoons deemed offensive to Muhammad?

Bill Maher says this often, and I agree, that we Americans have way too much faux moral outrage.  I mean, c’mon, you believe that the Creator of all time, space, physics, and energy, who went to the trouble of engineering a Big Bang and shepherded tens of billions of years worth of cosmic thermonuclear reactions in order to create a life sustaining planet upon which He could create bodies to house souls and send His son to death by torture so you could go to Heaven forever even though you’re a sinner by virtue of a fraud perpetrated by talking snake who offered a magical apple to a rib-woman, and you want to base our nation upon those principles and overturn 231 years of secular Constitutional rule, and YOU’RE offended by a D-list comedian saying “suck it, Jesus”?

Gee, I kinda thought that when an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, infinite sky wizard has your back, a silly comedic remark would be a tiny concern not even worthy of note.  (I also kinda thought that the “thou shalt not kill” and “do unto others” majority in this “Christian” nation wouldn’t illegally invade, use weapons of mass destuction, and torture the people of a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with 9/11.  Shows you how much I understand Christianity.)

But no, “suck it, Jesus” is this year’s Janet Jackson Mocha Mammary of Mass Destruction™ – an event so offensive and threatening to American sensibilities that it must not be seen or heard!

Naturally, I turn to FAUX News for the pulse of the faux moral outrage (right below the jump):

Lauren Green, FOX News Religion Corresponent.

So, it puzzled me at first, then angered me second, that she would accept an award and then insult a man who preached love and acceptance. Why would someone do that?

Because she’s a comedian doing a joke about how celebrities and sports stars are always thanking Jesus when they win an award.  Comedians are known for telling jokes.

And from my understanding, Jesus once said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  Or maybe it was “turn the other cheek”, I forget which.

Needless to say, she offended me and millions of other Christians.

I don’t know what went through her mind and why she would think that was cutting edge or even funny. But first, I want to actually show you that, in fact, Kathy Griffin is wrong. Jesus had everything to do with her winning that award. And here’s the reasoning.

And here comes her train of thought:

  • Jesus died for your sins.
  • After that, Christianity swept Europe.
  • Christianity had a Reformation (so that we can gloss over Crusades and Inquisition – sorry!)
  • From the Reformation, society became one governed by the “rule of law”.
  • From “rule of law” we get a secular Constitution, however, it calls for a Christian nation because…

Ninety-four percent of America’s founding era documents mention the Bible; 34 percent quote the Bible directly. The idea of bringing unity to the universal is a particularly Biblical concept.  The freedoms we enjoy in this country to speak freely and to live freely are directly related to that man who died on a cross 2,000 years ago.

And this is the old “The founding documents of the states, colonies, cities, townships, etc. of Colonial times were chock full o’Bible, so we’re a Christian Nation” argument.  Which, of course, is like saying that since the leaders of Colonial times were white men, this is a White Man’s Nation (although this statement is more demonstrably true than the previous.)

Now, the founding document of the United States of America – the Constitution – makes no mention of God or Jesus or Bible, and specifically mentions:

…but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

And the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, which is applicable as US law since the Constitution says:

all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land…

…and the Treaty, which was written the first time our country faced Muslim terrorists, specifically states:

“the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…”

And that treaty was negotiated in the Washington Administration, passed by the 4th US Congress and signed by John Adams Adminstration, which I’d say is pretty representative of the Founders.  Those don’t sound like the words of men instituting a Christian nation.  Now some Christian Dominionists will point to the Declaration of Independence’s phrases like:

…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

(Emphasis mine, as Jefferson avoided using strong tags.)  These phrases seem intentional to me.  Why say “Nature’s God” when you can say “Almighty God”?  Why say “their Creator” when you can say “the Lord God”?  Why “Supreme Judge” and not “Jesus Christ”?  Why “Divine Providence” and not “the Holy Spirit”?  (A fabulous review of the “Christian Nation Myth”.)  And of course, when they reference the Declaration, they fail to note the secular nature — the entire gist — of the Declaration:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Get it?  Governance is mankind’s right, not the right of kings, priests, or gods.  Government derives power from the people, not the Bible.

Back to Lauren Green at Fox:

So, you see, Kathy Griffin, Jesus has everything to do with you winning that award. You live in a free country where your abilities can be recognized if you’re willing to work hard enough. That’s at least the dream of America. If you’d been born in many other parts of the world, your daily activity might involve seeking out a way to survive, or even trying to avoid persecution and death. Luxuries like pursuing a career in the entertainment industry would never have been realized; luxuries like being able to insult the founder of a religion of forgiveness and acceptance would not have been possible.

More typical Amerocentrism from Fox.  Yeah, Kathy, good thing you weren’t born in Canada, England, France, Sweden, Finland, Japan, India, or any of the major industrialized democratic countries – I understand they have no comedians or television there.

Another sentiment I often express is that most people treat religion as a tribal identification.  Someone’s a Methodist or Mormon or Muslim not because they delved deep into the theological minutiae, but because that’s what their parents are and most of their neighborhood is and their culture reaffirms.  “We” are Christians and “they” are Them.  Our book is better than your book.  My god can kick your god’s ass.  That’s the median level of religious understanding of your average “religious” American.

That would explain Lauren’s faux outrage.  She’s not upset that someone defamed Jesus (I doubt Jesus is, either), but that someone mocked her tribe.  She reacted like I would if you expressed that John Elway was a far better quarterback than Brett Favre (Blasphemy! I can’t believe I typed it! The NFL was founded on the Green Bay Packers and don’t you know I just offended thousands of Wisconsinites!)

Another sentiment: people that say they believe in God (90% by some polls) don’t really believe in God, at least not in the details.  If they did, how would Kathy Griffin have a career?  Some of these God-believers must like her.  No, most people believe in God in the nebulous “there must be a Higher Power” sense, as in “the world’s a scary, infinite, and sometimes unexplainable place; I hope something bigger is running it all.”  (It’s not.  Sorry, it’s a whole lot of orderly processes affected by random events plus nearly infinite time.  Human beings were as likely as silicon rock-eating creatures writing “No Kill I” on the dirt near Captain Kirk’s feet.  The fact we exist and think only proves we exist and think, not that there is a purpose leading to our creation, or even that there is a creator.  And damn it, reading Hitchens makes me re-read all my sentences to see if there was a more eloquent way I could’ve written them, and I can’t.  I guess I don’t drink enough.)

I guess I wouldn’t have been too shocked at reading Fox and getting the “Christian Nation” argument, if not for this coincidental link I happened upon where CNN’s Jack Cafferty reviewed a recent poll that found:

The survey measuring attitudes toward freedom of religion, speech and the press found that 55% believe erroneously that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation.

Most respondents, 58%, say teachers in public schools should be allowed to lead prayers. That is an increase from 2005, when 52% supported teacher-led prayer in public schools.

More people, 43%, say public schools should be allowed to put on Nativity re-enactments with Christian music than in 2005, when 36% did.

Half say teachers should be allowed to use the Bible as a factual text in history class. That’s down from 56% in 2000.

…only 56% agree that freedom of religion applies to all groups “regardless of how extreme their beliefs are.” That’s down from 72% in 2000. More than one in four say constitutional protection of religion does not apply to “extreme” groups.

Well, in a country where a third still believe Saddam was behind 9/11, what should I expect?

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