The riots caused by Newsweek's story claiming American interrogators were flushing the Koran caused many Americans to be amazed by the extreme reaction in the Islamic world. Ken Woodward, the long-time religion writer of Newsweek, tried to explain to Christians just how offensive Koran-flushing is to Muslims: "Recitation of the Koran is for Muslims much like what receiving the Eucharist is for Catholics -- a very intimate ingestion of the divine itself."I say it's thought-provoking because I am such an uber-slut. I did not see that sitcom, but I can guarantee my reaction: Was that funny enough to warrant a nervous laugh? Again, not Catholic, but I have strong feelings about the representative body of Christ. How much should I have of the representative animation of Christ?
There's a certain irony here. If you wanted to see the Eucharist in the toilet, you needed only to watch the NBC sitcom "Committed" in February, when NBC played for laughs the idea that two main characters thought they accidentally dropped a communion wafer in a bar toilet.
Hollywood makes lame jokes and harsh satires of Christianity all the time, figuratively and literally tossing Jesus, the Bible and church figures into the toilet. Those alleged American interrogators are pikers compared to Tinseltown. They could learn at the feet of the masters of mockery.
Last Sunday I sat down to watch the two McFarlane comedies. Fairly original in that they combine dark, non-sequetorial comedy with the boldness of cartoons. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and Ren & Stimpy did that first. But that doesn't preclude American Dad and Family Guy from being funny. Oftentimes it is. Oftentimes it's just crude. It's usually at its best when it's both.
Early in the first half hour, God made an appearance. As a type of aging cad, picking up young, impressionable ladies with lame self-references and lamer magic tricks. Later on, one of those displays kills a would-be date before setting off a fire that burns down the bar that he and "Jesus Christ" flee from in their yuppie car.
I don't know how that strikes you sitting there. But I'm a man of purported deep convictions. I'm a man in love with my Creator and trying to recover a meaning of what that means. And I sat there like a fat, insolent, stupid man trying to figure if that joke was funny. Funny enough to get a passing. I must have given it a passing rating because I sat and watched the entire episode and the tasteless one after that. No more. Dag, how could I put up with such crap in my Holy Father's face?
Don't know your convictions, but mine are made up. Muslims, after all, have them. They reverence their God, their holy scriptures. Why can't I? I'm smart enough to figure the difference between when someone's laughing at me and my stupidity and when they're laughing - satanically - at the Lover of my soul, at the crucified and risen Lord of all.
See what we've done?