If you looked up in air in Toronto on Monday, you wouldn’t have seen Superman. Nope, you would have seen a plane pulling a sign behind it reading “Jesus Sucks”. It was the latest stunt pulled by one of the “stars” of the stupid reality TV competition Kenny vs. Spenny. Kenny, who was the one who hired the plane, claims that he did it just to irritate people but that he really doesn’t believe that Jesus sucks.
Of course, there are those who are offended by this mockery of their Lord and I can’t say that I entirely blame them. My first reaction was one of incredulity. As I have time to think, three things come to mind:
1. This kind of mockery is not new. On the walls of the Roman Palatine is a graffito dating to shortly after 200 A.D. It is a drawing of a crucified ass [donkey]; a mockery of a Christian prisoner named Alexamenos who worships Christ (who is the donkey). The writing says, “Alexamenos worships his god.” Throughout history, Christ has been mocked and ridiculed. Of course, it is hurtful to Christians who honour the Lord, but it is not new nor is it particularly worse now than it has been in the past. Nor is it entirely surprising,
2. It says something about Christians, doesn’t it, if we are seen as rather soft targets for such a stunt. Kenny knew full well that the worst that he would get was some disapproval from Christians. No lawsuits, death threats, or dragging before human rights tribunals. This is a good thing, I think. There is no call or need to respond to such a provocation in a provocative manner. As my wife wryly noted, it was a good thing he didn’t have “Mohammed Sucks” on his sign or he would either be running for his life or in hiding!
3. As offensive as Kenny’s message was, I support his right to say it. Does this surprise you? Then you haven’t been reading my blogs carefully enough. Yes, it was offensive. Yes, he will need to answer to God for it. But no, it is not illegal nor should it be. We have no right to be protected from being offended from offensive messages propagated by offensive people. I disagree with his message, but I support his right to say it.