“Left, ‘No Woman, No Cry,’ (1998); right, ‘The Holy Virgin Mary’ (1996), which caused outrage with its depiction of a black Madonna with her right breast replaced by a clump of elephant dung, surrounded by putti formed by images from pornographic magazines.”—photo caption, New York Times website, Oct. 31, 2014 (screen shot of photo above)
Brooks’ column is apparently syndicated and this copy is at another (free) news site. His basic explanation of why he does not support Charlie Hebdo: they’re childish:
The first thing to say, I suppose, is that whatever you might have put on your Facebook page last week, it is inaccurate for most of us to claim, Je Suis Charlie Hebdo, or I Am Charlie Hebdo. Most of us don’t actually engage in the sort of deliberately offensive humor that newspaper specializes in.
We might have started out that way. When you are 13, it seems daring and provocative to épater le bourgeois, to stick a finger in the eye of authority, to ridicule other people’s religious beliefs.
But after a while most of us move toward more complicated views of reality and more forgiving views of others. (Ridicule becomes less fun as you become more aware of your own frequent ridiculousness.)
So why are Piss Christ and the elephant dung Virgin Mary (shown above) considered “art”? And by your own newspaper, I might add.
The critics cannot have it both ways. For decades, making fun of Christianity has been socially acceptable and no one calls it “childish.”
There are no enraged Christians threatening to commit violence over these pieces of “art”. So either the newspapers are rank cowards or Islam is intrinsically violent. Or both.