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Offensive Blog Posts

There has been ongoing debate in the Debian community for a number of years about what standards of behavior should be expected. Matthew Garrett sets a new low by making a joke about Jesus being molested as a child [1]. While I believe that debate and discussion about religion is a good thing, such comments about someone who is widely regarded as a God (part of the Holy Trinity) seems to provide no value and just needlessly offends people. I used to be a Christian, and while I have great disagreements with most Christians about issues of religion I still believe that Jesus (as described in the bible) was a good person and deserves some respect. I don’t believe that blasphemy should be illegal, but some minimum standards should be observed when discussing religion.

Next there is the issue of child molesting, most people agree that there’s nothing amusing in that – so I hope that nothing more needs to be said about violating babies.

Finally there is the issue of rape in general often being treated as a joke in the computer industry (I am not sure how prevalent this is in the wider community). One example that is from a Wired article: “We were raped by Microsoft. Bill Gates did it personally. Introducing Gates to the president of a small company is like introducing Mike Tyson to a virgin” [2]. I admit that finding examples of this on the web is not easy, part of it is due to such slang use being more common in spoken communication than in written communication, another is the vast number of slang terms that are used.

A Google search for “male rape” [3] turns up some informative articles. One FAQ suggests that 3% of men will be raped as an adult [4] – I expect that some guys will decide that it’s not so funny when they realise that it could happen to them.

For people who’s knowledge of the English language is not as good as that of Matthew and I, here is the dictionary definition of the word “violated” [5].

26 comments to Offensive Blog Posts

  • Matthew Garrett

    “For people who’s knowledge of the English language is not as good as that of Matthew and I”

    Fail.

  • You know who else were a bunch of clueless literalists? The Nazis.

  • etbe

    rone: You should look up Godwin’s law.

  • Once again, a superb failure to grasp the situation. And it ought to be Sexton’s law.

  • I can’t see anything wrong with being disrespectful to fictional characters. If they happen to be religious figures, all the better.

  • jc

    I also think there should be some limits. One’s belief deserve respect, if his belief is respectable.
    And about the Christians, nowadays, that’s just too easy.
    Would Matthew be brave enough to laugh at Muslims ? I bet not.

  • Dennis

    FFS, I hate language whining. I hate religious language whining even more. Religions and icons are perfect candidates for jokes.

    Blasphemy is an art, not a sin.

  • etbe

    jc: Also you may respect some parts of someone’s belief system while utterly rejecting others.

    Dennis: I could be described as an atheist, agnostic, or humanist. I am not known for being positive toward religions. But Matthew’s comment goes way beyond the boundaries of decent discussion. Make jokes about merely religious issues if you want, but combine religion with child rape and hardly anyone will be laughing.

  • hank

    Doesn’t it occur to you that the whole point of the construct “a is as bad as b” is to introduce a most horrible, likely imaginary b as to show how bad a is? Given that, you basically agree with Matthew.

  • Bob Dobbs

    Least of all the Catholics…

  • […] absurd religious bullshit in long time. Baby Jesus cries like being stabbed in the eye with a fork. It is like a sweet gay […]

  • Karellen

    Shit, does that mean no more jokes about Zeus? Or Odin? Or Ra? Or the Great Green Arkleseizure? Or FSM? Or the IPU (BBHHH)? Or leprechauns? Or dragons? Or Russell’s teapot? Or crystal healing energy?

    At what point do supernatural pre-dark-age superstitions (or even new-age superstitions) stop deserving respect? How many people need to believe in unsupported mythical nonsense hard enough to be offended by someone taking the piss out of it before you have to stop? 10? 1000? 1000000?

    Heck, why stop at religion? Given that people can be offended by almost anything these days, it would be safest to not say anything ever again!

    Oh, wait a minute. That’s because if people are offended by mere words, that *their* problem, and something *they* need to deal with. Fuck ‘em.

  • js692

    Would Matthew be brave enough to laugh at Muslims ? I bet not.

    You obviously don’t know him.

  • Stoffe

    To Karellen and the others of the same opinion: AMEN!

    ;-)

  • Nathan Myers

    Any expression “Baby Jesus cries when …” is categorically funny or, at worst, inoffensive. To complain about what occurs in the ellipsis is to admit that you actually read it, thereby demolishing any standing you may have to register any sort of opinion. Sorry, them’s the rules.

  • A Jackson

    And I get REALY offended by people that gets offended by what other belives and say about their religions.
    As said, it’s just words about religions that isn’t proved true, and can’t be, as it’s “just” a belief. And taking that out on someone else will offend that person.
    And you getting offended by Matthey’s “joke” as to much free time spending on non issues.

    (No, child abuse is not something to be taken light, but in this context it’s just plain redicolous to bother. Make some real difference instead of fighting wind mills. No, english is not my first language, so piss off if you bother complaing about that)

  • C Jones

    of course the supreme irony here is that jebus is well known for his tolerance and forgiveness.

  • “… comments about someone who is widely regarded as a God (part of the Holy Trinity) seems to provide no value and just needlessly offends people”

    FAIL. They provide plenty comical value and they help highlight the absurdity of Christianity’s faith-based belief system. If the poor Christians are offended, too bad — we no longer live in Inquisition times.

    Besides, anything’s up for grabs in comedy. The minute you decide something should not be made fun of, is the minute you elevate the issue to a holy, unattackable and uncontestable status. Religious kooks would very much return to the ages where religion had the benefit of this status.

  • “Next there is the issue of child molesting, most people agree that there’s nothing amusing in that – so I hope that nothing more needs to be said about violating babies.”

    Two words: Catholic. Priests.

    Human disgraces have this ineffable quality of being sad for people who care, and funny for people who don’t. You know the Germans have a term for it, right? It’s called Schadenfreude, and it’s as human as it gets.

    Sure, you may think less of people who laugh at other people’s disgraces, but you don’t have a right or a way to force them to actually CARE for others.

  • “And I get REALY offended by people that gets offended by what other belives and say about their religions.
    As said, it’s just words about religions that isn’t proved true, and can’t be, as it’s “just” a belief. And taking that out on someone else will offend that person.
    And you getting offended by Matthey’s “joke” as to much free time spending on non issues.”

    I think you mean that we’re tired and bored with people who claim the most outrageously and unfalsifiable lunatic shit, and, using those lunatic claims, then attempt to regulate how we live our private lives — ostracizing, insulting, beating up, or killing those who just want to live their lives alone.

  • craig

    jc: beliefs do NOT deserve respect.

    someone’s *right* to have a belief, any belief, deserves respect but that doesn’t mean you have to actually have any respect for the stupid shit that they believe.

  • jc

    I am rather agnostic, but what I can see on most visitors comments is that you don’t know what you are talking about.
    You just pee on religion because you think it is fiction and it is a kind of fashion in western countries.

    It is sad, it means you are just living like pigs.

    Christ is not fiction, even if you believe he was not a god, he did exist and was probably a great and wise leader. Therefore he deserves a minimum respect.

    Also, I think that any religion which is not offending but promote love and peace, even if it is fiction, deserves respect.

    Moreover, who are you to judge that people believing in God are dumb ? Do you know something that THEY don’t know ? Would you have the clues of the universe ? If so, please share with us. I am really impatient that you open my eyes.

    Use your brain before posting shit and hate. Not believing in religion should not prevent you from trying to get a little spirituality and open-mindedness.

  • Neil McGovern

    JC;
    Have you *read* the old testament? Promoting love and peace certainly isn’t what the bible does.

    Also, religion degrades basic scientific principles. If it is fiction, then no, it doesn’t deserve respect. How far would you go along the line of ‘something not offending’? Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints? Creationism taught in schools? Scientology? Reflexology?

    Moreover, yes, I do. The universe was created as a mountain, trees and a midgit. I hope your eyes are now open.

    Use your brain before blindly following religious doctrines. Believing in religion will allow you open-mindedness.

  • etbe

    Debating religious issues in regard to science and human rights is a good thing. Many ideas that religious people come up with can be easily proved to be bad for individuals and societies that follow them.

    But that doesn’t require beating down religious people who just want to do their own thing without harming others. If someone’s religious beliefs merely amount to trying to be a good person and hoping to be rewarded for doing so after they die then it’s probably beneficial for them and for society. There’s no good reason for attacking religious people who don’t attack you first (the anti-science political parties run by zealots can be considered to be attacking us).

    It seems to me that some of the unreasonably offensive anti-Christian posts blogged recently (and I don’t mean just Matthew’s) will have the effect of driving some Christians out of the free software community. Some of the reactions to this issue make me suspect that some people may actually want to drive Christians out of the community.

    Are Christians an oppressed minority group in the free software community?

  • jc

    Neil :

    Once again, I am not a religious person, but I do respect such people for the good they do.
    Many of them are certainly more useful than you sitting behind your fucking computer and showing science as a kind of new God, as if it got the universal truth.

    If you were a true scientist you would not be so categoric. Any true scientist know that if science explains well our near environment, it is still relative to it, limited to the human scale. What we know is still just nothing.

    So who are you to tell if God exist or not ? You are a dumb if science ever proved there is no God. There is a debate, and there will always be a debate as our knowledge of the universe will be always limited.
    It is forever a matter of belief.
    So you have the right to believe that there is no God and that every thing is just chemicals.
    You also have the right to believe that these chemicals are actually God. Or that God is a kind of awareness superpower.

    Anyway, as you are as stupid as everybody on this earth, you have no fucking right to laugh at other’s beliefs.

  • jc

    Just something : for the anti-christian extremists who post here and seems to focus on my posts, my nickname ‘jc’ is not like ‘Jesus Christ’ but like ‘Jean-Christophe’, my real name.

    Just to make it clear, for those who are blindly hateful.

    By the way, it is indeed very disapointing to see such people belonging to the Debian community.