Letters to the Editor

Letter: Mocking religion

October 15, 2012


To the editor:

Apparently this week is Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s week to deride and mock Mitt Romney’s religion. Will he have the courage to mock Islam sometime soon? Surely he could find some good reasons, e.g., murdering innocents, oppressing women, banning all religions except radical Islam, etc.

Oh, that’s right. Mormons have not threatened to decapitate people who insult their religion like radical Islamists have. So, I imagine Trudeau will confine his insults to Mormons and others who don’t endanger him.

And I thought mocking a candidate’s religion was uncivil. It certainly was during Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign whenever the Rev. Mr. Wright of “God damn America” fame was mentioned. Oh well. Trudeau likes to change the rules, I guess.


Glenn Reed 5 years, 7 months ago

The comics in question start here: http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2012/10/08

I went ahead and looked at the comics you seem to have a problem with.

I don't think there's much critique of the church going on in the strips. The focus seems to be on the perception that Romney can't seem to maintain a steady position on any single issue. I mean, all of them have the same formula of the Romney saying one thing, then immediately switching positions to please the person he's talking to.

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh, hey. Thanks, LTE writer. Thanks for encouraging me to start reading Doonsbury again to see what all the fuss was.

Corey Williams 5 years, 7 months ago

Where is the derision and mocking? If you want that, all you have to do is listen to any BOTT radio station long enough to hear them say mormonism is a cult.

asixbury 5 years, 7 months ago

By definition, every religion is a cult. This is not an insult.

cult noun 1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies. 2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult. 3. the object of such devotion. 4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. 5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

5 years, 7 months ago

"every religion is a cult. This is not an insult."

No, it's merely a distraction. When a Christian says something is a cult, he has a very specific definition in mind: "a group, church or organization whose central teachings and/or practices are claimed to be biblical or representative of biblical Christianity, but which are in fact unbiblical and not Christian in nature." http://www.apologeticsindex.org/2765-cult-of-christianity

In short, by the Christian/Bott Network definition, Islam is not a cult because it does not claim to be Christianity. Judaism and Buddhism and Hinduism and Pastafarianism are not cults. However, Mormonism is such a cult. It claims to be Christianity or, like Jehovah's Witnesses, claims to be a recapturing of an essential Christianity that was lost in the dim and distant past. In fact, according to ChristianAnswers.net, there are really only two cults: Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses. Most of the rest you've probably never heard of unless you are a connoisseur of such things. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aiia/aiia-top10cults.html

Corey is correct: Bott and plenty of others have called it a cult, and that definition should not change just because one of them is now almost president.

oldexbeat 5 years, 7 months ago

odd -- seems to one-god types that the jesus cult is the big problem. And that greek trinity thing just doesn't wash out the one-god problem. I mean, three in one is great for a candy, but a god ?

from archive.org Billy Graham page

"A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith. It is very important that we recognize cults and avoid any involvement with them. Cults often teach some Christian truth mixed with error, which may be difficult to detect.

There are some features common to most cults:

• They do not adhere solely to the sixty-six books of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. They add their "special revelations" to the Bible and view them as equally authoritative.

• They do not accept that our relationship to Jesus Christ is a reality "by grace through faith" alone, but promote instead a salvation by works.

• They do not give Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, full recognition as the second Person of the Trinity, composed of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Some of these groups are Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists, Scientologists, and others." (BEFORE IT WAS EDITED TO TAKE MORMONS OUT )

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

I can think of little that mocks religion more than petulant whining over false indignation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

And right on cue, snap provides a perfect example of it.

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

Extremist environmentalists are to biologists are the same as the sentiments in this letter to the teachings of Jesus.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

Omnipotent gods do not need mere humans to defend them. The gods will strike when they are ready.

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

You haven't read much Doonesbury. He was making fun of an Muslim dictator not that long ago. I don't think he was making fun of Mormonism. He was making fun of Romney's decision to avoid the draft, not because he was against the war, but because he had a plan. Like all the soldiers who died in VietNam, didn't have a plan? I didn't mind someone avoiding the draft if they were really against the war, but you were a coward otherwise. Even Bush joining the National Guard was better than Romney running off to France. I had plenty of friends join the National Guard, so they wouldn't be sent to VietNam.

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

I don't know what his views on the Viet Nam war were. If he supported the war, then yes, he was a coward.

5 years, 7 months ago

He supported the war before he opposed it.

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

Clinton was against the war. Anyone who was against the war, and did what they could to stay out of it were just as brave as those who believed in the war and went to fight it. Then there were those who opposed the war, but went and did their duty anyway. Those who were for the war, but used everything they could to get out of fighting it, were the cowards. Does this clarify it for you?

oldexbeat 5 years, 7 months ago

Seems the point to Gary's cartoons is that Mitt will believe, with energy, anything for a while. Anything. Anytime. Go Mormons -- the rightwing nut churches will fall down before the Angle.

fiddleback 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry but Mormonism doesn't need anybody to defame it; like the faiths before it and the even more ridiculous ones like Scientology that came after, it's based on some pretty amusing prophet worship (in this case of a convicted fraud), buttressed by some gigantic leaps of faith. It doesn't even have the ancient game of telephone to hide behind, as it all came about less than 200 years ago, and Smith's life and deeds aren't so disputable as those of Jesus or Mohammad.

JustNoticed 5 years, 7 months ago

I love his rip on Dennis Miller, the court jester. That's spot on.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

The religion isn't the issue. His policies are.

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

Translation: "No, I'm not interested in specific occurances unless they fit into my grand narrative of large, orchestrated persecutions and conspiracies by a particular voting block that I can't prove except by providing anectotes and specific occurances, assuming I just don't state that such is the way it is."

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 7 months ago

All religion is a fraud.

It has been made up lby very mortal and common people who are trying to find some "truth" in the Universe and failing that, choose to fabricate, forumulate and create invisible "gods", "prophets" and other religious icons that they can use to empty the wallets of culeless people who take their dogma seriously. Christian churches claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and do his good works, then dupe people out of their money, under the guise of "doing "God"s" work. Then building huge facilities and monuments to themsleves with their ill gotten gain.

Millions of dollars supposed to go to "God's" work go into huge buildings, national organizations with huge enterprise locations, and a lot of stuff that does not seem to do much to follow the ideas of Jesus, who travelled around on foot and preached to ALL PEOPLE, not just the Catholics and Baptists.

Other religions are guilty of similar fraud, the supposed "disrespect" of exhaulted "phrophets" is viewed as good cause to go out and riot and kill people

Another "religion" requires that it's members cough up 10% of their income to become a "member in good standing" All others are shunned, definately a "good Christian and family value. Coffee, tea and alchol consumers need not apply.

"I thought Romney was a Mormon, just what is his attachment to this "tea bag" crap, I thought his religion required abstinance from this stuff???

Sorry folks, but I worked for many years in a church related profession and in that time I have observed some of the most outrageous splurging of church money on huge projec ts that had nothing to do with helping out the "poor and lost" as Jesus required of his followers. If he were ever to return to Earth, as the Holy Biblle relates to us, I am sure that he would be most dismayed and angry at just what clueless humans have done with his teachings and intentions.

5 years, 7 months ago

"I am sure that he would be most dismayed and angry at just what clueless humans have done with his teachings and intentions."

He already said as much: "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ " - Matt 7:22-23

Christ was at least as cynical about religious leaders as is any modern critic. Hypocrisy and evil in the church are more likely to prove Jesus a prophet than a frustrated idealist.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 7 months ago

"And I thought mocking a candidate’s religion was uncivil. It certainly was during Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign whenever the Rev. Mr. Wright of “God damn America” fame was mentioned."

News flash. Jeremiah Wright is a christian minister.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 7 months ago

Another accomplishment of the Clinton administration!

pusscanthropus 5 years, 7 months ago

Mormons have to wear special underwear to enter the temple...now that's something to poke fun at!

avarom 5 years, 7 months ago

There called space panties...because they think their Ass is out of this world, but that just .............Depends.

pizzapete 5 years, 7 months ago

The Mormons never killed anyone? What about the Mountain Meadows massacre? Never oppressed women? What about polygamy? Wouldn't you consider forcing young girls to marry much older men who already have several other wives a form of oppression?


yourworstnightmare 5 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, the idea that mormons never killed, subjugated, or oppressed people is laughable. Polygamy with young girls and massacres of indians and non-mormon settlers for starters.

Satirical 5 years, 7 months ago

This election must be tough choice for all the bigots- a Black Muslim (Obama) vs. a Mormon Cult Member (Romney)

At least Garry Trudeau is transparent in his bigotry, unlike many others on the LJWorld.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

Religion: The belief that an unseen, all powerful entity made everything in the universe just for you, and that your special, ancient and often rewritten texts are the right ones and all those other religions are completely wrong without a single shred of evidence...

Makes perfect sense.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 7 months ago

Geez...I thought some of you would rip me apart, Some of you are even agreeing with me!

I need to get out my Bible and find some documentation!

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

I guess I just don't see the need to call religion a fraud, a hoax, whatever. It's like calling that ugly person ugly. Why would anyone feel the need to do that? No good will come of it. Why not just smile at that ugly person, or that religious person and go about your life.

5 years, 7 months ago

Because it makes the modern man feel clever, sophisticated, and more intelligent than his ancestors have been. And if the modern insecure man needs anything, it's something to convince himself that everyone before him was a moron, and that evolution is culminated in him.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 7 months ago

yeoman, the very human flaws of His followers do not detract from the deity and importance of Jesus himself.

in fact, they point to the need for Him.

***note, muslims practice polygamy too. today in Libya a man can marry four women. the rule of four is practiced by muslims in our country in some creative ways but it is practiced despite our prohibition.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 7 months ago

Islam is one of the worst offenders, one of the most destructive and odious of religions, along with christianity and judaism.

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