Blasphemy and Double Standards

Scene from the musical ‘The Book of Mormon.’

Since the shooting in Texas targeting artists portraying the Prophet Muhammad, it is worth examining the US treatment of and reaction to blasphemy.

In June 2011, the Broadway show The Book of Mormon received 14 nominations at the annual Tony awards (more than any other production) and won nine of them, including the coveted “Best Musical.”

The script and lyrics are dirty and unfiltered. One song says “F*** you, God.” Throughout the play, the Mormon Church is mocked. Its founder, Joseph Smith, is ridiculed for his beliefs. His followers are insulted. Yet the play becomes a huge hit. Broadway critics and the general public instantly embrace it. Journalists deliver upbeat reviews. Ripples of liberal laughter can be heard across a country where religion is generally taken seriously.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had a very clever reaction to the musical. It said: “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.” No other comment. And that was that.

Fast forward to 2015.

In January, 12 people die in Paris during an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo (in addition to four Jews murdered in a related attack). In February, a man is shot in Copenhagen at an event called “Art, Blasphemy, and Freedom of Expression” (in addition to a Jewish victim later that day). And just this week, two men opened fire at an event in Texas where people were set to present cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Against the backdrop of such brutal acts, 145 writers protested PEN American Center’s decision to award Charlie Hebdo for its courage to publish satirical drawings of him.

The protest letter opposing Charlie’s award states that “PEN is not simply conveying support for freedom of expression but also valorizing selectively offensive material: material that intensifies the anti-Islamic, anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments already prevalent in the Western world.”

So why is blasphemous art offensive to Mormons embraced across the country, while French satire denouncing jihadism creates discomfort? Is blasphemy only accepted when there’s no threat of violent retaliation? The violence in Paris seems to have clouded perceptions of right and wrong…

But are the critic of Islam “punching down”? There are some 1.2 billion Muslims in the world versus 15 million Mormons. So the Mormons are outnumbered by about 100 to 1.

Some of those Muslim countries are fabulously wealthy too. Muslims have invested heavily in expensive businesses and real estate in the West.

The explanation is simple: violence works.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    It’s a two pronged (at least) approach.
    Violence, and then LYING about it.
    Oh no, not us, it’s those misunderstanders over there that are the troublemakers.
    All in the meantime giving the terrorists cover for committing even more violence.
    The two things people need to have drilled into their heads is that:

    1: Islam is violent and intolerant and utterly ill-deserving of the protections afforded by western civilization.

    2: Lying and cheating by Muslims in the furtherance of Islam is absolutely condoned, and more importantly, completely up to the Islamic liar to decide when it’s justified. Therefore, nothing they say about anything can ever be fully trusted.

    • Frau Katze

      Yes. Lying is a big help. Good of Allah to permit it.

    • Justin St.Denis

      You forgot that “Islam is not JUST a religion, it’s a political ideology as well, and a very poisonous one at that.”

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        It’s actually more than that in that it is supposed to encompass all areas of living; not just religion, but politics, law, and all areas.
        Hell, even the Nazis allowed for some personal downtime.

        • Justin St.Denis

          Islam needs no down time because “…there is no fun in islam.” If there is no fun, there is no need for down time, right? 😉

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Although, I do find it funny that the least funniest jew, Albert Brooks, made a documentary about how there is no humour in islam.
            On the Gilbert Gottfried scale of funny Albert Brooks is a point five.

          • Justin St.Denis

            Never like Albert Brooks, and Gottfried drives me nuts. I’m wondering something…

            Do you think it would be a brilliant move on the part of Andrew Lloyd Weber – composer of Jesus Christ Superstar – to compose and record “The Qu’ran – The Musical”? Surely if anyone is in a position to do that it is ALW. Just a whacko zooid notion that fly across the sky of my mind this morning as I was enjoying my coffee…

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Yeah, they could call it Death Wish.

    • Liberals like to waste too much time on smaller issues while ignoring the bigger picture.

      “Poor or unequal education, disenfranchised people living in economically challenged countries, corrupt or autocratic political structures, lack of international trade and commerce (trade sanctions come to mind), lack of infrastructure — usually a lack of everything many people in more fortunate circumstances enjoy without a second thought. It’s about ignorance, resentment and lack of opportunities generally speaking. And lack of good leadership and statesmanship on the parts of the more affluent and progressive countries.”

      These are all the smaller picture.

      The bigger picture here is Islam. Islam is a flawed blueprint for a society. You can reshuffle the Islamic texts anyway you want, and the result is Islam. And Islam is itself toxic to a society.

      A good example can be seen in Pakistan and Afghanistan. These previously Hindu/Buddhist societies were “converted” (by the sword) to Islam. The Hindu/Buddhist parts of India (Pakistan and Afghanistan use to be part of a greater India.) do quite well. But add in Islam and what do you get? Social dysfunction on a grand scale is the rule.

      “Poor or unequal education, disenfranchised people living in economically challenged countries, corrupt or autocratic political structures, lack of international trade and commerce … lack of infrastructure” are all the fault of Islamic theology.

      Prove me otherwise. Where in Islam is education equal, people allowed real elections, the economy robust, political structure stable, and the infrastructure sound?

      Islam as a whole is the problem and no amount of liberal white washing and excuses will help.

      Liberals would do the world a favor by actually reading the Islamic texts, and quit spreading multicultural lies.

  • Martin B

    There are a lot of reasons to love Pamela Geller, but one of the best is that she has exposed the craven cowardice of our chattering classes like no one else in recent memory.

    • Gary

      The MSM is still afraid to link AIDS to gay sex, but with islam and terrorism they will be killed or have their Studio bombed where as with gays they would just lose their job and be smeared.
      Terrorism works , and the silent Moderate Muslims know it.

  • andycanuck

    You’ll also note that the news-site and the author didn’t use “the Prophet Joseph Smith” (I think Mormons also use the phrase “the Blessèd Joseph Smith”) although the used “Prophet” and “prophet” throughout her (atheistic?) opinion piece.

    Mote. Beam. Eye. Some disassembly required.

  • UCSPanther

    Back in the olden days, the LDS was not something to be mocked. The mere mention of their brutal “Danite” thugs (See also: Mountain Meadow Massacre) would send shivers up the spines of many settlers.

    • Clausewitz

      Yes but they’ve moved on from their violent past. Muslim’s, not so much.

      • G

        I have several Mormon friends. The tried for quite a while (gently) to coax my wife & I to join their church. We, just as gently refused because we go to our own church.

        We remain VERY GOOD friends with these people. Modern Mormons epitomize the values that built America: hard work, honesty, Christian belief and absolute dedication to the nuclear family.

        I would far rather hang out with a church for of Mormons than a collection of sneering faggot actors prancing about on a stage or their lick spittle sycophants in the media.

        • G

          I can tell you if ever I saw a Mormon run from a theater after tossing a bomb into a performance of this play (I know, it will never happen but still hypothetically),
          I would really have to think about whether i wanted to call the police or not.

          This play is such an unfair attack on some very wonderful people who have done nothing to anyone.

          The muslims are out there killing others. What harm have the Mormons done except say they don’t agree with gay marriage?

  • Gary

    The large number of Homosexuals in the Arts industry for the Show Tunes on Broadway know they would be slaughtered by the ISIS supporters in American just for being gay , so they don’t compound the threat by mocking islam since they knows it’s safe to mock all other Real Faiths .
    That’s why the homofascists at GLAAD refuse to force a Muslim Bakery to make a wedding cake for a gay marriage, or force a Pizza parlour to serve food after the Wedding.
    The feminazi’s are just as bad as they too stay quiet over islamic misogyny in the USA that has now gotten people to be numb to Honour-Killings and not a crisis because it’s BROWN immigrant females and not middle class white females.

    Don’t forget that in the pre-AIDS era the white Liberal Progressives didn’t give a damn that BLACK females and Black children were dropping dead by the hundred thousands in Africa for a decade.
    AIDS was the Flavour Of The Month cause in the 1980’s because it was killing middle class white males in the Arts&Culture that were Homosexuals.
    BLACK Lives Matter didn’t crop up in Hollywood or by Liz Taylor or Broadway that now mocks Mormon’s but not muslims .

    Just as the Media now claims that islam has NOTHING to do with Terrorism by quran carrying mosque going self-professed muslims citing muhammed life, they also spewed the Narrative that AIDS had NOTHING to do with homosexual sex by males ( Yet , we see Memorial Walls to the deaths by aids in almost every gay Village ) and it’s a crisis for everyone.

    Islam was violent from the start when Mo try to spread it, but when he wanted free-speech he fled to a Christian nation with his followers ansd when the number were big enough he went back to Arabia.
    Muslims love free-speech when it is used for islam cause to spread it and spew hatred from their mosques at jews and christians.

  • Justin St.Denis

    If we are to fight islamization, we must do so actively. Referring to “the Prophet Mohammad” as the text above does is islamization personified. For one this, preceding the name with the word “Prophet” implies that Mohammad was indeed a prophet, which he was not. We know Mohammad was a pedophile, a warlord and probably schizophrenic, but he was NOT a prophet. The use of initial caps further endorses the notion that Mohammad was, indeed, a prophet. But more! It suggests Mohammad was THE prophet. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    If we all exercise editorial discipline when writing about Mohammad, the “prophet” of islam, and his alleged wonderful attributes, we will stand a better chance of remaining uncorrupted and non-islamized.

    • Kaye

      Yes, I agree – we need to make a stink about how idiotic this is and continue to do so until people, particularly in the MSM, stop this dhimmi crap. Mark Steyn (finally!) has a new piece out and in it he talks about this:

      ‘All that “Prophet Mohammed” stuff, now routine even on Fox News. He’s not my prophet, he’s just some dead bloke. But the formulation is now mysteriously standard in western media. Try it the other way round: “Isis News Network, from our Libyan correspondent: Warriors of the Caliphate today announced record attendance numbers for the mass beheading of followers of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…”‘

      • Justin St.Denis

        Thanks. great piece by Steyn. Smart of him to agree with me. 😉

  • Justin St.Denis

    It would be refreshing if the the LDS crowd drew upon their history and did something like take out the Broadway theater and crowd watching the Book of Mormon. Next day, the LDS people point out that all they wanted was basic respect, but the mainstream media responded that the to get that respect the LDS would have to be violent. The Church of Latter Day Saints deeply regrets the inconvenience, but we trust that we have gained America’s respect now. Deal?

  • pop

    The Mormons should do a bit of chopping mocking them. They don’t.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Buddy of mine I work with says the Book of Mormon is so funny.
    And then he says why provoke the muslims.
    I try to point out the double standard but he refuses to see it.

    • G

      Exactly! He REFUSES to see it. He knows it’s there but admitting it means admitting he’s wrong.

      • Millie_Woods

        People that pick on people who won’t fight back but avoid those who will, are yellow. Every elementary and junior high school has a few. Some of them never get over that need to hurt the helpless.

  • WalterBannon

    Mormons should go on jihad