Few religions take more abuse than Christianity

Editorial

If not for the teachings of tolerance, peace and love, a recent cartoon would have Christians rioting in the streets. They’d kill, threaten, and burn buildings to the ground.

When Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a cartoon in 2005 depicting the Prophet Muhammed with a bomb in his turban, parts of the Islamic world erupted.

Danish Muslim organizations held public protests against the highly offensive cartoon. When that cartoon and 11 less inflammatory drawings about the faith were reprinted in 50 other countries, violent protests erupted throughout the Muslim world. More than 100 people died. Fires were set to Danish embassies in Iran, Lebanon and Syria. Danish flags were burned, and Muslim terrorist leaders issued death threats against the Jyllands-Posten staff.

Out of the University of Virginia comes a cartoon that should be far more offensive to Christians.

The cartoon, published recently in the official student newspaper, depicts a naked man smoking a cigarette in bed. Standing next to him is a woman in her underwear, buttoning her shirt. The woman asks the smoking man: “Come on God, be honest — Did you really get a vasectomy? I can’t let Joseph find out about this.” The man replies: “Well, Mary, you’re (expletive).”

The newspaper has a history of publishing similar anti-Christian cartoons, including one in which Mary explains to Joseph that she has an “immaculately transmitted” sex disease.

It’s hard to imagine cartoons that would be more offensive to Christians. The attempt at humor calls into question the entire foundation of Christianity, whereas the Danish cartoons criticized the violence committed in the name of Muhammed. Huge difference.

Yet, the reaction has been calm. Christians aren’t rioting in the streets. They haven’t killed anyone, let alone 100 or more. They haven’t burned the university’s buildings, or threatened the lives of journalists. They’ve done what contemporary Christians do: They’ve remained peaceful, accepting the persecution Jesus promised them. Some have even taken steps to defend rights of Virginia students to publish what they want.
It’s not the first time Christians have suffered high-profile persecution, not by any stretch.

The National Endowment for the Arts, using federal funds, paid Andres Serrano to create the photograph “Piss Christ,” which depicted a crucifix submerged in the atheist artist’s urine.

More recently, a taxpayer-funded sculpture at Washburn University in Kansas depicted a bishop wearing a miter shaped like a penis. No riots, no violence, no threats.

Rarely do artists and journalists pick on Islam. Frequently they ridicule Christianity — the religion that won’t kill them.

For most of 2,000 years, atrocities have been committed in the name of Jesus — just as they’re committed in the name of all religious figures. Christian leaders have inflicted their share of prejudice and pain. Yet reviewing the world today, few religions take more abuse than Christianity, while passively and charitably standing for peace.