Blasphemy: funny or offensive?


Entertaining Jesus quips brings me back to my early 20s. I was married to a Catholic man (wonderful guy, still love him just not in a “let’s be married” way) and quickly tearing off my Christian doctrines. I wasn’t yet ready to come out with my disbelief of God’s existence, but it was hard to hold back on things I found hilarious about the Christian beliefs.

Mary having spirit sex with God, talking donkey, the whole Satan thing, demon possession vs. mental health… You name it. All came pouring out.

Eventually, it ended with a sit down talk with the husband about how all this upset him. After a dodgy explanation, he flat out asked me “are you an Atheist?” I said yeah, and there went the marriage as well as my staying in the closet.

Do I regret it? No. A lot of the Bible stuff is hilariously absurd. Did I go too far sometimes? Probably.

Still funny though.

Or is it? How far is too far? Are there things that shouldn’t be joked about or is all fair in the name of comedy?

As an Atheist, my mind equates Christianity and Islam with all out-dated and not believed by anyone religions (Greek, Egyptian, Norse, etc) but the facts are that people still honestly believe these things. Absurd as it may seem.

So what are your thoughts? Penny (or nickel, Canadians) for your thoughts?


22 thoughts on “Blasphemy: funny or offensive?

  1. Very funny meme. I find satirizing religion, christianity in particular, to be very cathartic for me. Ken Ham called all atheists evil on Fox News last chistmas, so I wrote a piece saying I was an evil atheist cannibal who wanted to eat him for christmas dinner to show him just how evil I was. He saw it and, of course, got offended. However, it was a piece on MY blog written by me for me, and it was satirical. And funny. I don’t at all feel bad about cheesing him off. I like it as a matter of fact. I wouldn’t however, mock little old ladies coming out of a Sunday mass by telling them I’m an evil atheist and Jesus isn’t god. That’d be mean and unnecessary. So in that regard, I feel satirically pointing out the absurdity in statements made by idiots like Ken Ham is a fair thing to do, but mocking old catholic ladies coming out of church on a Sunday isn’t, even if I do think they wasted their Sunday morning by going to church.

  2. Not everything should be joked about, but I do think that a lot of Christians get too defensive about their own beliefs. If you can’t have an open discussion about beliefs, then there is a problem. It annoys me what people are willing to mock the beliefs of others but they aren’t willing to openly discuss their own beliefs (not you, but others that I have talked to). I find it quite arrogant.

    • It’s difficult. Discuss, yeah people should be open to this.

      Certain jokes when people honestly revere the figure and think they have a one on one relationship with him… Another matter entirely.

      I think it goes with an above comment: context. Don’t throw it in poor old ladies faces while they’re coming out of church.

  3. Let’s be honest, ‘they’ are not shy when it comes to condemning ‘us’ to hell for not believing.
    Many will cruise the street relentlessly knocking on you door to tell you why you need to be saved for the end is nigh.
    And while they are condemning ‘Us’ from the pulpit they are buggering and raping kiddies who they threaten with hell fire and damnation if they utter so much as a peep.
    In days of Yore – which was even before Days of Our Lives – any criticism and one was likely to hear the sound of matches being struck. Burning witches and those wh dared read the bible being almost a national pastime in some countries.
    Sunday Bonfire. Burning Heretics. Bring the kids!
    Some god-botherers these days have been known to strap c4 to kiddies or apply for a pilot’s licence and fly into buildings to demonstrate how miffed they are, while their Crispyun counterparts claim god is whispering WMD in their ears and therefore they must rush off to war and slaughter the ‘rag heads’ who worship a false god ( Oil , probably)

    In short, they can all have sex and travel as far as I am concerned.
    Taking the piss out of the nonsense they espouse as ‘truth’ is the least we should do.

    • Not all. Neither does past = present truth. Neither does two wrongs make a right.

      Do I use such reasons in my head to justify the giggles? Yeah, sure. Does it hold water? No.

      Does it hold water in an Atheistic circle? Sure.

      Context. I suppose is what I have concluded to be the general consensus to commentors. Context, and intended audience. But I wonder…. In the world of social media, is audience a thing anymore?

      Ahhhh…. Thoughts…

  4. So your Christian ex-husband did not work to honour your marriage or demonstrate any sort of forgiveness? Or the irony.

    I actually have thought of drawing up an image of an inverted burning cross with a tag line along the lines of “Does this offend you? You might want to get your idolatry in check.”

    • Nah. It was a process, like any divorce. But it was the start of the downward spiral into irreconcilable differences.

      That’s a very good point and imagery. Me, I never understood Christians use of symbols when the Old Testament and Judaism has always done without such depictions and attachments as idolatrous.

  5. “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” – 1 Corinthians 10. Yeah, I know, answering with a Bible verse, but…

    In this letter, Paul was telling some church members, “Look, it’s not whether you eat the meat or not. It’s how it affects the people around you.”

    So my view, which I hope won’t be discounted because I expressed it this way, is that you can do or say what you want; but the kind thing is to consider those around you. I sometimes want to make fun of my Protestant, atheist, or Republican friends — or especially my friends who buy into whatever pseudoscience Dr. Oz is spewing — but it’s more important to me not to even inadvertently tear anyone down. It’s not like I’m saying we should all be really “PC,” but I do think we should be careful with how we joke. Sometimes we pretend we’re not being serious, but really we are expressing serious prejudices in a more socially acceptable way. I guess this is where the ability to step into someone else’s shoes comes in. I mean, for me, Jesus is about as serious and personal as it gets. It hurts me for people to talk badly about him, just like it would hurt me to hear someone talk badly about my dad. I have a thick skin, but not everyone does. So you need to look at your audience. If I were this person, and I heard this joke, would I feel bad? Is telling this joke worth hurting this person?

    • I’m a Bible graduate (well, actually short of a science class and major debt… Sigh) and scholar, so no, you’re actually speaking my language. 😉

      I do understand that pain as well, as a former very personal-relationship Christian, which is why I worded this post as curious as I did…. Cause it does hurt people. In my younger days, I’d hate when people took His name in vain and would hurt so much inside. Images like this? Drive me to depression from just seeing it.

      So yes, you’re absolutely right. In all things, it is beneficial for us to at least consider our neighbor.

      • Hey, you know, looking at this a second time, I realized that to me this is a very American question. I mean, in the US, there is always an argument over whether I *can* say this or that, but rarely an argument over whether I *should*. So many people have this attitude of, “Well, it’s my right to say what I wish, so screw anyone who doesn’t like it.” I guess I partly agree with that attitude too, because even though I don’t appreciate anti-Christian jokes (or anti-Jew jokes, sexist jokes, etc.), I still think it’s your business what you say. I’ve had people in the past try to change the way I spoke because it offended them (prime example: cussing), but I think that sort of asks for more ridicule.

        Kind of like how Piggy asks just one thing in Lord of the Flies — for the other boys not to know he’s called Piggy — then bam, Jack or whoever it was tells everyone immediately.

        So yeah, anyway, point is, it’s really a case-by-case thing with jokes, eh? I wouldn’t ask you to stop on my account.

      • I really appreciated this second look. It takes a lot of humility and wisdom to reevaluate something. Good on you!!

        Everything is kind case by case…. Isn’t it?

        It’s hard for me to see anything as taboo to joke about. Rape, immediately comes to mind. But I’m not a man who has to face getting falsely accused which if think about objectively, yeah can be a point for comedy….so….

        Yeah. Life!!!

      • I’m a fundie. I don’t think I raged because as I recall it was late and I was extremely tired. Lack of energy takes the rage out of me. But I will say i’m not surprised when non-believers act in ways that are consistent with their world view. To be perfectly candid I think there is more reason to rage when a believer acts inconsistently with her world view. But having said that I don’t think i’m without my inconsistencies. When I was in seminary we talked about not denying someone else the grace that God has freely given to us. I guess that’s why I’m not much for raging. Unless its Rage Against the Machine. Then i’m down for it 🙂

      • Hahaha! Nicely said. I agree with everything. Especially the inconsistencies. Cause life rarely makes sense. That’s the fun of it. 😉

  6. After I came out as an atheist, I was required to attend a church service as part of my job. I had to take the kids I was supervising up for communion, but I crossed my arms to indicate I didn’t want to receive bread nor wine. I was just so offended when another staff member I knew was an atheist – and of far longer standing than me! – took communion. It just seemed so wrong.

    Now I would probably care less: the wounds were still raw, back then. I don’t mind the odd bit of blasphemous humour, but as I don’t take delight in offending others, I tend not to search it out – though I defend the right of artists to express themselves (“Pissed Christ”, for example).

    • Ah…. I remember my first refused communion…. But then again, I was born and raised in that church. Lol It does just seem wrong to me now. But that’s years later.

      I agree. Artistic expression does seem different.

      BUT- maybe we’re biased? Does art have no taboos? Are there taboos in comedy? Is comedy an art form?

      Rape jokes and racists jokes come to mind. I find the later hilarious (NY life, immersed in diversity. Racial jokes were common) while rape jokes I rage against.

      • Excellent questions. I definitely have “sheep at the gate” syndrome thinking about this! (I.e. too many thoughts crowding themselves in, none getting through)

  7. Art, I don’t know if there are any taboos per se. It depends on how you view the roll of art. If you say art is what ever you want it to be then you can “take the Browns to the Super Bowl” and call that art. It’s an anything goes approach to art.

    If you believe art communicates some kind of incommunicable truth then we have something to discuss. Specifically, does this piece of art communicate truth or a lie? From this perspective taboo things can be perfectly warranted if they are communicating some kind of truth. If they communicate falsehood then they probably shouldn’t or wouldn’t find appeal and be relegated as something other than art.

    • Aesthetics is a discussion I’ve never been able to close once opening it. There’s so very much to involve in the discussion.

      On taboos….. I truly feel it is often done out spite at times. But hey- what is at? Begs to be asked. Hell if I know.

      But those are good thoughts…. Is it true? “In spite” would probably fall into being a lie. But what is the litmus test? If not truth, then what IS it that? Art is such a…. Colorful discussion… 😉

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