Sunday, September 23, 2007

Christ in the Ruins

How’s this for a news story?

Muslim imams in Belgium have protested against a TV ad depicting Mohammed as a pot-bellied hippy picking up half-naked women in a nightclub.

The advertisement is being aired on the country’s main TV channel to promote youth channel Plug TV.

The Muslim Council says this sort of portrayal of Mohammed is disrespectful to believers and that it is wrong to use him for advertising.

“Wot th’—?!” you exclaim. “How could this be? Belgium is totally dhimmified; there’s no way this could have gotten past the PC-Multicultural Censorship Brigade!”

Well, it didn’t really, of course. But I’m not making it up entirely; I just did a little search-and-replace within the text of a BBC story that a reader sent to us. The victim of this particular piece of infidel blasphemy was actually Jesus Christ.

The Beeb didn’t include a photo of the Jesus hippie in its story. Fortunately, however, Steen always has photos of everything, and he hasn’t let us down. In the interest of journalistic fairness, and to entice you into the rest of the story, here’s Christ the Belgian Hippie:

The Jesus Hippie

And now for the BBC story:

Pot-bellied Jesus ad irks Church

Catholic bishops in Belgium have protested against a TV ad depicting Jesus as a pot-bellied hippy picking up half-naked women in a nightclub.

The advertisement is being aired on the country’s main TV channel to promote youth channel Plug TV.

The Catholic Church says this sort of portrayal of Jesus is disrespectful to believers and that it is wrong to use him for advertising.

However, Plug TV denies that the advertisement is blasphemous.

‘Number one dad’

The ad shows a long-haired hippy Jesus grooving along as he tries to get into a nightclub and is refused entry by the bouncers.
- - - - - - - - -
Jesus makes the sign of the cross and sweeps aside the bouncers, shrinking them so they are left in his wake as dwarves.

This Plug TV version of Jesus then drinks whisky at the bar and magically turns two brown haired frumpy women into blonde babes wearing bikini tops and red horns.

The Jesus character then disappears into a huge limousine with the women but his attention is distracted by an advertisement for Plug TV before he is recalled by God who is standing on a cloud, wearing a T shirt with “Number one dad” written on it.

The God figure tells Jesus off for wanting to watch Plug TV as well as everything else — saying “you still want more”.

The Catholic Church has expressed its disapproval to the TV channel — saying advertising is not the same as journalism and should not share the same concerns about freedom of expression.

The Church believes this advertisement “crosses the limits of respectability”.

Plug TV however argues it is not blasphemous but contains a message about a “laid-back Jesus addressing youth”.

If you are anxious to see more photos of this piece of haute couture, go visit Plug TV’s website.

I notice that the Catholic Church in Belgium agrees with the imams on one thing: the power of the state should be used to suppress blasphemous speech, because freedom of speech does not extend to blasphemy. Nice going, bishops!

This should make everybody redouble their efforts to spread the Motoons and the Modoggies far and wide, because the media are not going to do to ol’ Mo what they did to Jesus.

And, as a Christian, I’m offended.

So… you’ll have to excuse me for the rest of the evening. I’ve got a Belgian flag and my Zippo, and it’s time for me to join the mob and go burn a few embassies.

7 comments:

Paul said...

There is no possible way that Belgium would air the TV commercial of a pot-bellied hippy Jesus Christ picking up half-naked women at a nightclub, without first running it past Belgium's Muslim leaders to ensure it would not be found offensive to Belgium's Muslim community.

falcon_01 said...

you said it paul...
Got to make sure the masters are ok with degrading Jesus. Someone at the network must be sucking up in hopes they'll find more favor and get more virgins in the afterlife.

Maureen said...

At least in the article you cite, the bishops aren't calling on the power of the state or the power of intimidation. Rather, they try the power of persuasion.

In other words, they answer speech with speech, as is proper.

Lucille said...

I notice that the Catholic Church in Belgium agrees with the imams on one thing: the power of the state should be used to suppress blasphemous speech, because freedom of speech does not extend to blasphemy.

Did you get that from some other news source? Because I don't see any calls for state censorship in this article.

Baron Bodissey said...

I admit to making an inference. I drew my conclusions from this:

...advertising is not the same as journalism and should not share the same concerns about freedom of expression.

From this I deduce that the bishops do not think that advertising is protected under freedom of expression; ergo, the law should suppress advertising which is offensive by certain standards.

That's what I deduce from reading this particular paragraph.

Gregory Kong said...

Erm. No. Advertising is not protected speech. NAMBLA should definitely not be allowed to advertise advocacy for... well, you know what for.

There are standards, codes (mostly voluntary) guiding advertising; what kind you can do, what time you can air, that sort of thing. I believe the standards for advertising should remain voluntary (i.e. industry-regulated, rather than government), but that they should exist no one should doubt.

Baron Bodissey said...

Gregory --

Your example doesn't hold water. NAMBLA would be advertising (or promoting) activities which are illegal. That's a different kettle of fish.

A better analogy would have been the ban on the advertising of cigarettes.