Firstly, quick shout out to my brother who in his spare time (or more specifically, when procrastinating from study), he enjoys a bit of video editing. The following clip is not really a piece of editing work at all, but it's a grab from Curb Your Enthusiasm (if you haven't watched the show......watch it....but be warned, it's not for everyone!) which he has spliced and put on YouTube:
Watch it and it will tell you straight away whether you'll enjoy watching the show. Anyway, back to my actual point.
Since uploading, it's received over 100,000 hits and even been used in an article on the Huffington Post website (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/28/catholic-league-angered-b_n_337199.html). The reason for this attention is simply due to the hilarity that Curb serves up - it's because it's sparked a war between Catholics and Jews.
For those that haven't given into temptation and watched the above, I'll give you a quick rundown. Larry David (of Seinfeld fame), the protagonist of the show is on a new medication that caused him to have an aggressive urine stream (for want of a better term). Whilst visiting an employees house, he uses the facilities and experiences heavy splash back (i'm not explaining this for you!) as a result of his medication. The subsequent splash back makes it's way on to a hanging picture of Jesus positioned next to the toilet (the owner of the house is a devout Catholic). The residents of the house mistake the droplet for a tear and believe that a miracle has happened.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Catholics are up in arms as they believe this scene was a direct shot at them and was incredible insulting to their religion (keeping in mind here that Larry David is Jewish).
Before give my opinion on the matter, let me point out that i'm Christian and went to a Catholic school. I simply do not see the problem. Anyone that has watched more than one episode of Curb would agree that this is perfectly in line with the type of humor they have used throughout their six seasons and is very unlikely to have been in anyway motivated as a slight against Catholics. And you know......so what if it was? Last time I checked, it's the Catholics that subscribe to the New Testament......let me channel my inner Catholic school boy and quote from Matthew 5:38-42 - the words of Jesus himself:
"If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you"
More colloquially known as "turning the other cheek".....
Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't presume to be an expert on Biblical interpretation or Catholic Doctrine but if a little bit of urine (fake for the purposes of a fictional television show) on an effigy of Jesus is worse than getting slapped in the face.....then something is seriously wrong.
I suppose it's part of a long tradition of the Catholic church not being able to laugh at themselves. You only have to think back to their reaction to Kevin Smith's movie "Dogma" to see that in full force. I just find it interesting given that being able to laugh at yourself is a sign of humility and Christ is supposed to be the ultimate representation of humility for a Christian (i'm sure some smart arse will argue with me over the difference between "True Humility" and "False Humility" - i'm aware that self deprecating humor would most likely fall into the category of the latter).
I think it boils down to one simple question for me - Would Jesus actually give a shit about this or would he concern himself with some of the slightly bigger problems facing Mankind? Or maybe the Catholics should take a leaf out of the book of Jewish comedy which can traditionally be extremely self-deprecating. Take this joke from Jon Stewart (a very famous Jewish comedian):
There is no Jewish conspiracy to control the banks. You know why? Because we can't agree on a place to go for dinner! We couldn't even get the meeting started!
(authoritative voice) All right, the Jewish meeting to control the banks will now commence.
(grouchy voice) Hey, who died and made you king? Never mind me. I'm no one here. I have no opinions.
Even Larry David's previous show, Seinfeld, constantly had many story lines that poked fun at Jewish stereotypes - I don't recall any major Jewish power brokers or leaders demanding that the show be taken off the air.
Sure, I understand that people will argue that it was offensive because it was someone from another faith making the joke. But I don't believe for a second that the reaction would have been any different - it's a simple fact, the Catholic church cannot laugh at themselves. And yes, there are plenty of media pundits asking the natural question of "What would the reaction have been if a Catholic had urinated on a Menorah or something similar" - and I agree, it would probably have not been well received by the Jewish community. But in the end who really cares! If any community is that self conscious that something like this would affect them so severely - then they have bigger problems than they are letting on. And as I said earlier - even if you are insulted, practice what you preach and turn the other cheek!
So the bottom line - get over it, there are far more important things that deserve your attention!!