Saturday, April 01, 2006

Where’s the riot?

Something interesting happened on my way to work yesterday. As I was driving in DC’s wonderful traffic and listening to the local news station (hoping their traffic reports might guide me around the worst of the traffic snarls), a commercial came on. The very happy-sounding narrator began telling the story of Genesis. You know, the part of the Bible that describes how God made the universe. When the narrator starts up his rendition by stating that, in the beginning, “there was nothing - not even a bagel!”, you just know this isn’t going to turn out well for the story.

As the narrator continues, he pauses in various places to allow another voice-actor, playing the part of God, to speak his lines about how whatever was just created was “pretty good.” This fast-forward retelling of the Bible’s opening story culminates when the narrator tells us that God, after creating man and woman, notes that something’s missing, and it’s not bagels. It’s fun, and that means God needs to create bikes. Yes, you read that correctly: bikes. As in: bicycles. As in: here’s where “God” and the narrator put in their plug for some bike seller’s big sale and ya’ll should just come on down!

Or something to that effect.

As I listened to this commercial spot I realized several points.

  • Some marketing group somewhere thought that hijacking the story of Genesis was not only not offensive, it was downright clever.
  • That same group thought that having that story - and God, I might add - depicted as rather goofy was also not only not offensive, it was downright clever.
  • That the production house, director, and actors clearly had no issue with making the spot.
  • That the radio station advertising people had no issue with accepting the spot and running it on the air with no disclaimers about how their station respects the beliefs of all its listeners and intends no offense.

And as quickly as I thought of these points I was able to identify why they were so. Because none of those people are, in any way, concerned that their actions would garner death threats, get them killed, or light off a riot that would burn DC for a week. These people feel completely fine with co-opting components of the Christian faiths and broadcasting them. If some Christian has a problem with that, well then they just get to live with it. Freedom of Speech, and all, right?

Can you imagine them performing the same commercial based on the Koran?

I have stated before that our media and the Left in this country have no issue with disrespecting Christianity while loudly thumping their chests and proclaiming their “tolerance” and desire to avoid offending any religion. When I point out to some of these folks that their actions say that every religion is to be respected except mine, they get steamed and tell me I’m imagining things. When the attitude that Chistianity is fair game becomes so ingrained into our media that commercials like this are casually made and aired without a second thought, they prove my point more eloquently than any words I have.

What I am asking is not that they muzzle themselves where Christianity is concerned. Witness the lack of any rioting to give weight to the argument that we Christians are confident in our religion to the point where we can endure people who speak ill of it. What I’m asking is that they treat other religions no differently. If Islam is worthy of the media self-censoring, then so should Christianity. If Christians aren’t worth that level of action, then neither should Muslims be. Equality of consideration is what we’re asking for. I think our tolerance of the treatment we get deserves it.