Thursday, 10 June 2010

Why Must Religion be Protected from Humour?

Sent to "The Star", Johannesburg, on Wed 09/06/2010 20:08; published Fri June 11, 2010 as “Seriously, all religions are a joke”, except for the paragraph in blue.

AR Modak wants his or her faith respected ("Even People of Other Faiths Dislike the Cartoon" in The Star, June 8, referring to a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed).

Why should religion, unlike any other human activity, be shielded from humour?

Is it because religion is so open to mockery?

Consider the outrageous claims of religion: There is an invisible being (or several), the existence of which can not be proved, that can read your mind.  The nature and names of these beings are in dispute.  What they want of us varies from religion to religion, but generally involves massaging their egos and enriching their priests.

Several religions are rooted in the Bible, a flawed compendium of doubtful accuracy.  Important parts of it disagree with science and even common sense.  It is not even internally consistent: Some passages flatly contradict others.

Most religions claim to know what happens after death: Pity they don't agree.  Several promise damnation if you don't follow their brand, threats that should be illegal in a democracy.  If I threaten to burn your house down unless you vote for me, I will end up in jail.  Yet a priest can tell you that you will burn in hell forever (a much worse fate), and no action is taken.

Property used for religious services and housing religious officials pays no municipal rates.

Why indeed is religion privileged?

Religion is a con-job, and people have been taken in.

I suspect that many have a superstitious twinge that "God" will punish them if they speak up against religion.  Does it really happen?  Would some Muslims use violence if they really believed that Allah would do it himself?

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