COMEDIANS GIVE MUSLIMS A PASS
Catalyst July/August Issue 2008
In June, Lewis Black, a repeat Catholic offender, released his new book, Me of Little Faith. In the book, Black holds no punches when it comes to attacking the Catholic Church, Orthodox Jews and Mormonism. But when it comes to Islam, Black gives the religion a pass.
Black’s chapter on Islam, titled “Islam. All I’m Saying Is, I Got Nothing to Say,” is the shortest in the book. The chapter, which is only three paragraphs long, begins with the following: “I have nothing to say. Nothing. And let’s leave it that way.” But yet Black has no problem saying that the “history of the Catholic Church is littered with more bull****” than he can put up with or that the Church has a “history of being greedy and violent and underhanded and a home for sexual predators.”
Black’s book was endorsed by the late George Carlin, who died on June 22. Carlin trashed religion for decades, but like Black he had no stomach for bashing Islam. Indeed, he justified Muslim violence. He readily admitted, “When all those beheadings started in Iraq it didn’t bother me.” In fact, the beheadings were easy to explain: “You strap on a gun and go struttin’ around some other men’s country you better be ready for some action Jack.” Catholics, however, were never the victims in Carlin’s playbook—they were always the victimizers.
The pass that Bill Maher has given Islam takes it a step further—Maher understands the difference between Muslim violence and Islam. Maher said, “I don’t think the hate that comes from the Muslim world comes from religion.” But Maher has never cut Catholics a break when they have acted irresponsibly—their behavior is caused by their religion.
The most sickening of this is the spectacle of pundits that congratulated these comedians for “pushing the envelope” and being countercultural. There is nothing courageous about pushing buttons that everyone knows are safe.