Saturday, May 29, 2010

Socking it to the Pope

Do you remember “Everybody Draw the Pope Day”? You know — that recent occasion when websites all over the world displayed insulting caricatures of the pontiff? When YouTube and Facebook were blocked by the Vatican? When the faithful in Naples and Madrid took to the streets by the thousands to protest? When mobs of angry Catholics set fire to cars and vandalized Lutheran churches in Bavaria?

No? Don’t remember it? Me neither.

Maybe that’s because every day is “insult the pope day” in most Western countries. Who needs a special day for that?

Nobody has to fear a death fatwa from the College of Cardinals — Get out your pen and paper, boys, and tear into Benedict!

But that’s not exactly the way the Swedish socialists views the situation. They’re worried that there is too little criticism and public discussion about the Catholic Church, especially concerning the latest child abuse scandals. A Swedish Social-Democratic artist evidently felt that it was time to tell the truth about the dangers of Roman Catholicism, and decided to draw a sexually charged cartoon of the pope.

Those daring Swedes! They never hesitate to speak truth to power! Well, hardly ever — when the power in question speaks Arabic and offers large bounties for the heads of blasphemers, even the bravest of Swedish iconoclasts hesitates to whisper to it.

What makes the story below notable is the deep irony of its juxtaposition with last week’s conviction in Skåne of a man who displayed an image of Mohammed with a little girl. The caption of the poster correctly identified the ages of Mohammed and his child bride Aisha (53 and 9, respectively), relying on scripture accepted by Muslims everywhere which states exactly those facts.

For depicting a prominent religious figure as a pedophile, Carl Herslow faces a fine and jail time. The fact that his depiction represents the literal truth as Muslims understand it was no defense, and he was judged guilty of hets mot folkgrupp, incitement against an ethnic group.

Now comes Kjell Nilsson-Mäki, who has also depicted a prominent religious figure as a pedophile. In this case the religious leader is alive, and, as far as I know, has never been accused of molesting any children. Surely this constitutes some form of hets, even if the pope isn’t a folkgrupp. Time for public outrage, and a criminal charge against the artist, right?

Nope! Not in Sweden. In socialist circles, this is simply business as usual.

Here’s the story from The Local (my emphasis):

Catholics Upset by Young Socialists’ Erect Pope Pic

The Catholic Church in Sweden has expressed dismay at the publication by the youth wing of the Social Democrats (SSU) of a caricature of Pope Benedict XVI sporting an erection in the presence of a child.

The cartoon, created by Kjell Nilsson-Mäki and published in SSU’s bimonthly in-house organ Tvärdrag (Crosswind), shows a seated pope entreating a mother to hand over her young child while quoting from the Bible: “Let the children come to me.” A horrified mother and terrified child are clearly distressed by the large bulge beneath the papal robes.

“It’s a sharply acidic satirical image that reflects the systematic abuse of children at the hands of representatives of the Catholic Church. It’s not an attack on the pope and it’s not an attack on the Catholic faith,” Daniel Suhonen, editor of Tvärdrag (Crosswind), told The Local.

“In the cartoon the pope serves as a symbol for the Catholic Church in the same way that a caricaturist might use Mona Sahlin as a symbol for the Social Democrats or Barack Obama as a symbol for the United States,” he added.

But Catholic Church spokeswoman Maria Hasselgren was left unimpressed by the editor’s justifications.

“Unfortunately we’re accustomed to this kind of attack,” she told The Local.

“The editor of the magazine has spoken previously about how he wouldn’t have done the same thing in a Muslim context because Muslims are a vulnerable group in Swedish society. But I think this just displays how skewed his view is of the make-up of the Catholic Church in Sweden. Many Catholics here are immigrants, a lot are unemployed, and quite a few come from war zones such as Iraq. They’re certainly not the sort of powerful elite he implies.”
- - - - - - - - -
Suhonen conceded that the vulnerable position of Muslims in society meant he would think twice about publishing a caricature in a similar vein, though he insisted he would not reject the possibility out of hand.

“Muslims are victims of oppression in Sweden to a much greater extent than Catholics, which makes this caricature less sensitive. But that’s not to say that I wouldn’t have published somebody like Lars Vilks, for example. I don’t know if I would or wouldn’t published because I haven’t been in that situation,” he said.

Hasselgren however said the cartoon was indicative of a level of disdain for the feelings of Catholics that was deep-rooted in Swedish society.

“It goes back to the sort of anti-Catholic sentiment that has existed here since the 16th century. There’s a very commonplace belief among Swedes that Catholicism is all about power and oppression and it’s a belief that remains very close to the surface.”

“But regardless of how insulting this caricature might be we’re not going to take any action. It wouldn’t get us anywhere.”

“Muslims are a vulnerable group in Swedish society… Muslims are victims of oppression in Sweden…”

What is this man smoking? Muslims are the most protected and pampered (and unproductive) group that Sweden has ever known. How can the cultural elites continue to retail whoppers like this one when the truth is so blindingly obvious to everybody?

By the way — as pointed out by KGS, the names of the editor (Suhonen) and the artist (Mäki) are both Finnish in origin. Is this part of some vast Finnish conspiracy? Does it represent a secret plot by Finland to infiltrate Sweden and smash the Catholic Church?

Only time will tell…


Hat tip: C. Cantoni.

9 comments:

Zenster said...

Here is a link to the cartoon by Kjell Nilsson-Mäki. (CAUTION: May not be safe for work)

“It’s a sharply acidic satirical image that reflects the systematic abuse of children at the hands of representatives of the Catholic Church. It’s not an attack on the pope and it’s not an attack on the Catholic faith,” Daniel Suhonen, editor of Tvärdrag (Crosswind), told The Local.

Büļļşħįŧ! It is a simultaneous attack upon practicing Catholics, the Pope and the Catholic Church without distinction. Had the "artist" sought to convey a message dealing solely with the molestation issue, it would have been far more appropriate to depict a priest and not the Pope.

Benedict's record on the child abuse issue may not be pristine but it hardly merits this sort of outrageous smear against his personal conduct.

Moreover, proceeding with charges against Skåne Party chariman, Carl P. Herslow, for truthfully depicting Mohammad with his child bride while shrugging off this libelous insult to a living person makes a complete mockery of Sweden's justice system.

The portrayal of typically aggressive and violent Muslims as "victims of oppression" and "a vulnerable group" would be hilariously ironic were it not so offensively hypocritical. Especially so with respect to the hundreds of Swedish women who have suffered at the hands of state-imported Muslim rapists.

How can the cultural elites continue to retail whoppers like this one when the truth is so blindingly obvious to everybody?

These budding Social Engineers™ have been breathing their own exhaust for so long now that they have lost all perspective and believe, quite simply, that the world cannot possibly survive without them. Their sense of self-importance is so towering whereby it is not just that they can do no wrong, but they deem their actions to be sanctified by Socialistic nanny-ism within its role as the ultimate moral arbiter. Think: Bono as President of the World.

It is this monumental hubris that continues to presage a very untimely end for so many of Europe's political elite as they continue to betray their native citizens with almost clockwork precision and regularity.

Green Infidel said...

Not only equal treatment between Catholicism (the main branch of Christianity, even if not in Sweden), and Islam - a religion hostile to all of what Sweden stands for... but active discrimination in favour of Islam?

What must bin Laden be thinking? More encouragement to him and all the other fanatics??

Vasarahammer said...

"the names of the editor (Suhonen) and the artist (Mäki) are both Finnish in origin."

The names may be Finnish, but these two have been truly well integrated, since they have perfectly mastered the dominant ideology.

Suhonen and Mäki are most likely second or third generation immigrants. It is unlikely that they can speak Finnish or regard themselvels as Finns.

imnokuffar said...

How can the cultural elites continue to retail whoppers like this one when the truth is so blindingly obvious to everybody?

Well, because its obvious to you and me it does not mean its obvious to everybody. If it was we would have the solution to hand and would implement it forthwith.

Baron Bodissey said...

Vasarahammer --

KGS and I were attempting to be funny. I should have put a little smiley-face after my remark.

Vasarahammer said...

"I should have put a little smiley-face after my remark."

No you shouldn't have. Not all of the Finnish immigrants behaved well in their new homeland. Some took advantage of the Swedish welfare state, which was much better than the Finnish version in the 60's and 70's.

Paardestaart said...

"There’s a very commonplace belief among Swedes that Catholicism is all about power and oppression.."

Yes - there is, and the cultural mainstream in western society and particularly in Swedish society - makes sure it stays commonplace, and very near to the surface - like all the other 'commonplace beliefs' about things western..

LAW Wells said...

A socialist in a (formerly) Protestant country decides to have a swipe at the entire Catholic Church for a scandal that has been perpertrated by a few decrepit monsters.

The only thing new here is that there's actually a scandal. It's just the old sectarianism dressed up as "talking truth to power".

Still, the reaction of the Church spokesman is excellent - ignore them. This sort of thing doesn't bear a response.

I wonder if those poor, vulnerable Muslims are taking notes. No, actually, I don't. They're not, since they can do no wrong.

rebelliousvanilla said...

So if Swedes are so oppressive to Muslims, why don't these people support kicking all Muslims back to their homelands where they could stop being oppressed?