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Christians Riot Over Offensive Images of Jesus with a Cigarette and Beer. The Problem is Fundamentalism.

When some Muslims in some nations staged riots during the 2005-2006 debacle surrounding the publication of images of Mohammed, right-wing politicians used the riots to decry the emergence of “islamofascism” in widely cut-and-pasted opinion pieces around the internet and in print newspapers as well. Right-wing newspaper columnist Cal Thomas delivered a typical judgment:

Jews and Christians don’t riot when slandered, but Muslims do at the smallest perceived slight. That is not an example of a developed religion or a developing society. That is medieval.

At the time, we delivered hefty doses of criticism directed toward those Muslims who attempted to curtail free speech. But the right-wing Christians like Cal Thomas who attempt to justify and recruit for an armed religious struggle between Christianity and Islam have a blind spot when it comes to their own religion. Christianity has a long history of persecution, rioting and the squelching of freedom all in the name of Jesus, and the history is not all ancient. Take, for example, demands by Bishops in Malaysia last year that the newspaper Makkal Osai be banned for publishing an image of Jesus holding a can of beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other hand. Here’s that image, if you’re curious about it:

Image published in Newspapers in India and Malaysia of Jesus with a Can of Beer and a Cigarette

This year, Christians have rioted in multiple communities in India, ransacking newspaper offices and destroying property because the same image was published in a regional daily newspaper. These latest Christian riots show that the problem isn’t with Islam in particular, or with Christianity in particular. The problem is with the kind of religious fundamentalism present in both Christianity and Islam that seeks to impose its own standards on everyone else, through whatever destructive methods it deems necessary.

I haven’t read Cal Thomas’ column decrying Christianity as a medieval, undeveloped religion. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it.

13 comments to Christians Riot Over Offensive Images of Jesus with a Cigarette and Beer. The Problem is Fundamentalism.



  • Anthoniraj Thumma

    I agree there is religious fundamentalism behind violence and riots.
    At the same time to insist that one has a right to make or show such offending pictures of the religious persons or leaders whom people respect just to offend them or make fun of them is also another kind of fundamentalism, call it irregular or irreligious.To disturb peace and harmony and cause death and destruction to assert one’s freedom is much more that mere fundamentalism. Let us avoid this malicious madness and criminal offence.
    Anthoniraj Thumma.

  • Chirantha Amerasinghe

    First of all, I’m sorry you feel like this. I’m a Catholic and I am not here to tell you that this is not true! As a matter of fact it is true! Christians (not Catholics) have made sooo many types of Churches using funds from other countries such as USA and Canada. These churches do not have any administrative system.. its one pastor (not a Reverent Father) and he runs the whole show… all the devotees worship him, not God or Jesus. They may say it is Jesus but talk a bit more with them and you’ll find out that they think Jesus is coming through the pastor.

    Pastors are people who are filled with evil… the evil need for money and power! most of them are not educated and cannot do a job. This is why they run these types of chruches! The devotees soon get brain washed by the pastor. They do anything that pastor tells them too. Guess what? They attack other religions and nationalities they cause riots, problems and even send children to prison because people don’t like what they do (I’m a victim of such an event). The best defense from these types of people is unity. Fight them, for they are evil souls. Please do not confuse these idiots with Catholics.

  • Ralph

    Yes, let’s not confuse these idiots with Catholics. Just to make things clear, the Catholics are the ones in a worldwide conspiracy to enable the sexual abuse of young boys. Not the other idiots.

  • Chirantha Amerasinghe

    Hah, at least the Catholic church didn’t deny it! There are pastor churches that send young boys to PRISON under aged because they lit a fire cracker for the new year and bribe the police with X million to hide it from media etc. Hah… at least Catholic’s are honest. Hey, Ralph, who’s the pastor that brainwashed you? 😀 I’m sure you’ll sacrifice your own child if the Pastor (the gateway of God) told you too (at least it is whats happening in Sri Lanka)

  • Jacob

    Catholics are also the ones responsible for 90% of religious persecution and murders over the past 1500 years. More people have died at the hands of the Catholic church then any other system. Yep, what a bunch of swell folks. Dont forget to kiss the ring of the infallable pope

    • Jim

      I’m not fond of the Catholic Church, Jacob. But what’s your source for the 90% statistic?

      • Jacob

        I dont have a source, just a personal study of history and what it says. That number may be 88% or 92%. Its the point that I am pushing towards that matters.

        • Jim

          Or it could be 42%, or 14%. Basically the number you put up there doesn’t mean anything specific other than your personal impression based on the books you’ve read. The set of books you’ve read isn’t a random sample of all books on religious violence, I’d wager.

          • Jacob

            Lets call it 14%. Does that change the point?

            • Jim

              Yes. It would change the point that among religious organizations, the Catholic Church is uniquely vicious in its violence.

              • Chirantha Amerasinghe

                Well, as I’ve said before, the catholic church does not hide it, everything in this world is a two way sword. I’m not going to say the Catholic church is 100% perfect. But listen, if the catholic church was so vicious the media would not be reporting it. I’ve read many reports in Sri Lanka and else where were people are murdered by the 100’s by pastor churches, under the orders of pastors who qualify to lead people because of money and foreign aid! they are so vicious and powerful no one talks of them so you’ll don’t read or hear from them.

                My point said, you’ll should try to read things that are hidden away by power… which the Catholic church clearly does not have. The tree with the most fruit is always the one most stoned.

                Its really the point of view you speak from that matters. Text cannot depict the truth… as it is always formed in the way the writer wants it. You have to see it with your very own eyes to believe it.

                Chirantha Amerasinghe
                Member of the “Protect Innocent from Pastors” Movement in Sri Lanka.

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