For those of you not familiar with a recent art controversy in Colorado, a museum in Loveland exhibited a lithograph containing a picture of Jesus imposed on a female body with a man performing oral sex on the same figure. People were outraged claiming a double standard. Many were arguing the lithograph was pornographic. Some were claiming it was anti-Christian. But many were contending a publicly-funded museum should not exhibit the art at taxpayer expense. A few claimed it was art, and even if objectionable or reprehensible, should be displayed.
The lithograph was eventually destroyed by a crowbar-wielding truck driver from Montana. She walked in late one afternoon and took the crowbar to the Plexiglas container and ripped apart the lithograph. Some cheered, some guffawed, others thought she went too far.
But no one has expressed any outrage at the following story. Let me start that outrage now.
I am an avid reader of newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Denver Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and even your local newspaper if I'm in your town. Comics? I always read the comics.
Last Sunday I downloaded the electronic version of the Denver Post, including the comics. I read through everything as usual. Something was missing, but I didn't realize it until today. The Washington Post alerted me to what was missing with this screaming headline:
Political correctness has now run amok. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Shinto, Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, and members of the Church of Body Piercing should be outraged.
According to the Washington Post's ombudsman:
"Non Sequitur" is a popular comic that runs daily in about 800 newspapers, including this one. But the "Non Sequitur" cartoon that appeared in last Sunday's Post was not the one creator Wiley Miller drew for that day.
Editors at The Post and many other papers pulled the cartoon and replaced it with one that had appeared previously. They were concerned it might offend and provoke some Post readers, especially Muslims.
Miller is known for social satire. But at first glance, the single-panel cartoon he drew for last Sunday seems benign. It is a bucolic scene imitating the best-selling children's book "Where's Waldo?" A grassy park is jammed with activity. Animals frolic. Children buy ice cream. Adults stroll and sunbathe. A caption reads: "Where's Muhammad?"...
What is clever about last Sunday's "Where's Muhammad?" comic is that the prophet does not appear in it.
You can see the benign cartoon that did not appear in either the Washington Post or the Denver Post, and, perhaps, your local newspaper here and below:
Are you offended? If you're Muslim, are you offended? Frankly, I'm offended. I'm offended the Washington Post and Denver Post are afraid someone might be offended by such a benign cartoon simply because it asks, "where's Muhammad" when Muhammad doesn't even appear in the cartoon. That's the point of the cartoon, you editorial weasels.
So Jesus appears in a bottle of urine by one artist and we're told to accept it as art. Christ appears receiving oral sex in a lithograph in Loveland, Colorado, and we're told to be tolerant. But let a cartoonist ask "Where's Muhammad" and the politically correct editors, fearful of the radicals who behead those who dare make fun of Muhammad are frightened into rejecting the cartoon.
I don't like, nor appreciate, art that depicts Christ in urine, or receiving oral sex. But I accept it as a consequence of free speech. Frankly, I fear living in a country without free speech, where government bureaucrats or elites determine what is proper speech, more than I fear Muslims who might be offended by this cartoon.
So, I am proud to offer you, the readers of this blog, a chance to see speech hidden, censored and feared by the editors of the Washington Post, Denver Post and perhaps your newspaper.
Read it, relish it, hate it, love it. I don't care. But at least accept that freedom of speech in this country is under attack, and not just by liberals, haters or others, but by the press itself.
God save the United States of America from itself.
Follow Michael D. Brown on Twitter: www.twitter.com/michaelbrownkoa