Flush the Koran, and That’s Bigotry. Flush a Christian Sacrament, It’s Comedy.

Here’s an interesting editorial by Brent Bozell:

The riots caused by Newsweek‘s story claiming American interrogators were flushing the Koran caused many Americans to be amazed by the extreme reaction in the Islamic world. Ken Woodward, the long-time religion writer of Newsweek, tried to explain to Christians just how offensive Koran-flushing is to Muslims: “Recitation of the Koran is for Muslims much like what receiving the Eucharist is for Catholics — a very intimate ingestion of the divine itself.”

There’s a certain irony here. If you wanted to see the Eucharist in the toilet, you needed only to watch the NBC sitcom “Committed” in February, when NBC played for laughs the idea that two main characters thought they accidentally dropped a communion wafer in a bar toilet.

Hollywood makes lame jokes and harsh satires of Christianity all the time, figuratively and literally tossing Jesus, the Bible and church figures into the toilet. Those alleged American interrogators are pikers compared to Tinseltown. They could learn at the feet of the masters of mockery.

So why doesn’t Hollywood produce storylines about the Koran being flushed down the john? That, they would tell you firmly, with conviction, would be religious bigotry.

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  • jonathan

    Has anyone else asked the question why Book isn’t in this picture? I know he’s in the movie, but what’s the deal with leaving him out of the promo shot?

  • Adam Walter


  • Anonymous

    I have a hard time believing that you could be so naive as to fixate on such a weak example (Committed) of offense against Christians in order to downplay the emotional pain that Christians endure at the hands of the intolerant masses (remember the Cross in urine?); while simultaneously elevating the fictitious idea of systematic government-sanctioned torture against prisoners.
    By your standards, the Anti-Defamation League should be flying a “mission accomplished” banner outside of their headquarters, the NAACP should close up shop and head home, and the members of NOW should return to their day jobs.
    What about the Palestinians who used the Bible for toilet paper after seizing the Church of the Nativity? The priests were certainly in the Palestinians’ “complete power” as you say.

    It sounds to me like you have an axe to grind

    Best Regards, Nate

  • Thom

    Huh. I just have to get used to the fact that Bozell lives in his own little world, where facts are warped Michael Moore style to fit his skewed and absurd world view.

    Every time I see Bozell on TV, I find him more and more of a paranoid cartoon character.

  • tWB

    Although I can’t imagine deferring to Bozell on matters of ethics (or even media criticism), I suppose his point is worth refuting. However, it’s obvious that Bozell is attempting to create a false equivalence between torture and television.

    Let me give you a parallel example: what’s the difference between a cop beating a restrained suspect and two men pummeling each other for a championship belt?

    Or, to make the difference explicit, attempting to psychologically break someone under your power by assaulting the elements of his religion (to which you do not ascribe) and placing yourself and your government in an actively hostile position against it is something entirely different than making crude jokes in an entertainment context. (After all, radio shock-jocks like Michael Savage say equally or even worse things about Islam on a regular basis — but a Michael Savage is, in a moral sense, different than a Guantanamo interrogator.) The fact that there are so many reports of Qur’an abuse coming out of Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq (reported from Amnesty International, ICRC, &c.) suggests that this is a reasonably effective form of psychological abuse.

    There are other points to make here, dealing with the fact that the context of the entertainment (from within Christian culture) is also different than the context of the interrogations — but, really, it all comes back to the question of whether we believe, as Americans, as religious persons, as human beings, whether we believe that we have the right to inflict any number of psychological, spiritual, and physical harms on those who are physically in our complete power. If I were to approve of that, then I would be traducing every standard I hold as a Christian.

  • jasdye

    Aren’t we the complicit ones here, honestly. We allow crap like that to go out w/o a fuss and we allow it to infest our homes. I say this pointing the finger at me, of course. I sat through a whole hour of Scott MacFarlane’s crude cartoons the other night, after a lame joke about God being a lame magician who uses tricks as a way to pick up (and later, fry) chicks. And dang it, dang it all. I was trying to figure out whether or not I thought that was funny enough to warrant a pass.

    Gimme a break. TV is consumer-driven. It’s us-driven. As is ‘Tinsel-town.’ If we do what Briner advised and just turn off the crap and then apply our salt, the crap won’t be as effective.

    Maybe Muslims are just more reverential for historical, as well as religious and political reasons. I think we (Western Christians) need to find a balance between being able to be laughed at and not tolerating potty-jokes at the expense of the most sacred.

    I’m sorry. I’m just thinking while typing.

  • Anonymous

    C’mon, we all know you didn’t really think Committed was a respectable show. The show was dispicable, but not nearly as dispicable as government-sanctioned torture. People have a right to be more offended about this, and it’s idiotic to blame “Hollywood” for an inconsistency here.