Friday, December 18, 2009

Wow this is very Innapropriate

I was just going to add this story to an addition of "Hitting the High Notes" but after giving it a re-read I figured it deserved an entire post of its own. Ok so I was reading this article about a billboard in New Zealand showing Mary and Joseph in bed together. The billboard is trying to draw attention to "alternate theories of Jesus' birth" by showing the apparently no longer Virgin Mary in bed with Joeseph during a post coital moment. Mary is looking upwards and Joeseph looking forlorn as if he wasn't able to perform adequately and uses the following caption. "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow." As if God actually had intercourse with Mary and was a good lover and Joseph couldn't measure up.


Oh wow, how inappropriate is this? I can understand that there are alternate theories to how Jesus was conceived and how his life, death, and resurrection are portrayed in the Bible and throughout Christianity but throwing this in the face of believers in the form of a billboard is just wrong. In my opinion it's not being used "to challenge stereotypes about the way that Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story." as vicar, Archdeacon Glynn Cardy of St. Matthews Anglican Church claims. It's being used for it's shock value and it's ability to draw anger from believers. I am a Christian who considers myself pretty open and accepting of other religious views but this one goes too far for even me to tolerate so I had to post it here. Maybe I can use it to start a discussion.

So I would love to hear what you guys think? Is this billboard just a way to get a discussion going? It is just for shock value? Is it blasphemous? What do you think? Please keep it civil though folks...

-Doc

34 comments:

Matt-Man said...

Ha...Are you kidding me? While I find it funny, for the group who put it up to say it was simply to look at alternatives about JC's birth and to start a converstion about it, is a crock.

Even as a Christian myself, there are many reasons to believe that Dec. 25th is not the birth of Jesus, and the entire details surrounding birth are debateable, this billboard doesn't really address those things.

This group needs to step up and just say, "Okay, you're right guys; we were just trying to be funny."

I would agree that they accomplished that and would appreciate their honesty.

Cheers Doc!!

Paige said...

As someone who was raised Christian (and not to sure what I'd call myself today), it wasn't really offensive as much as just silly. But nothing irritates me more than when people really take things to that kind of level and then back off. They wanted attention and were willing to offend to get it. Man up and admit it.

Doc said...

I agree with both of you guys Matt and Paige... They knew what they were doing, just own up to it and not pussy foot around their real intentions.

3 Men and a Lady said...

I think it's crude and yes, I consider it blasphemous. Maybe we don't know EVERYTHING about Jesus' birth, and that's okay. As long as we get the main point of it is what really matters. There's no need to portray it that way.

I wonder what would happen if something like that done to a Muslim religious figure. Heads would roll. Literally.

Kim said...

Like Matt-Man I don't actually believe Dec 25th is Jesus Birthday but that doesn't make this billboard appropriate.

I don't even find it funny, at all.

Joker_SATX said...

Doc,

New blogger to you here. I just stepped over from Matt-Man's blog. I saw your comment where you used the word Controversy and I just had to take a peek. Its my weakness I guess.

Anywho, in regards to this post, I love it, I love it, I love it! Why? Because it gets people to think. It gets people to put their puritanical bullshit beliefs aside and make them realize that there may be more possibilities out there. And that, my friend is a true step towards the evolution this world needs.

Lu' said...

It is sacrilegious and is simply in poor taste. They should have taken the money used to put up that lame billboard and fed some homeless with it! I'm not a "thumper" but I am Christian. I can appreciate religious humor. I get mine over at Bagwine Ruminations. But I chose to go there it is not forced upon me like a billboard is to people.

Southern Belle said...

Hmmmm...I am not sure what to say on this one! Weird it is, but so what if they put it on a billboard? As long as you have your own belief, it should not bother you what other people believe or do or think! But this is just my opinion and you know what they say about that? Opinion’s are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink! BTW…. I was born of the Virgin Susan and born on December 25th, but I don’t think I will put it on a billboard.

Karen said...

I am a pretty staunch Catholic. I wouldn't hang the poster in my dorm room, but I think it is funny. Poor taste - of course. But I like to think that even Jesus has a sense of humor.

I forwarded the link to your site to my uncle who is a Priest. I bet even he would roll his eyes at this and suppress a chuckle.

terri said...

Wow. I was raised in a strict Catholic family and was a practicing Catholic until recently. And while I struggle with how to practice my faith (or not) I still have a solid belief in God. My sense of humor can be irreverent at times and I'm no stick in the mud, but I can't help finding the billboard completely offensive.

It's not a means of opening up discussions. It's completely making fun of the basis for Christian belief.

Doc said...

I like that this has been able to open up discussion... and even bring new people to the blog.

(Heck, am I guilty of the same thing I am blaming this church of?)

The AbsolutGator said...

Where to start...

Extremely poor taste to use a depiction of Joseph and Mary's sexual relationship to start a discussion. Not to mention, I don't think they had that fluffy of pillows back then.

I have to ask: How does this poster get people to put their puritanical differences aside and look at other possibilities? This poster was not meant to contribute to a discussion on the validity of Christ-based religions. Someone that believes wouldn't put their values aside to have a discussion, they bring them into it.

And it does matter what other think and do. Having another belief is okay. But when those beliefs get people to think and do acts of violence or self-deprecation, it most certainly matters. Just ask the families of the victims from 9/11 or who have lost someone to suicide.

I also find if funny when people say they believe in God, but don't think going to church or reading the Bible is important...they are good people. From my experience, these people are usually more wrapped up in themselves and/or too damn lazy to get out of bed on Sunday.

Thas my opinion...and it smells rosy!

Chandra said...

I am a Christain and I DO go to Church every week and holy days..you know all the required stuff. I'm certainly not a bible thumper though and can find humor or whatever in alot things...you know Catholic Aerobics... however, I find this extremely blasphamus...really, is there nothing sacred? Not even the birth of Jesus?

Christine said...

Personally, I find it hysterically funny. Thankfully, I did manage to remove the stick from up my butt ten or so years ago.

Matt-Man said...

I have to take exception with Mr. Gator. Not going to Church is not necessarily a sign of laziness nor is not readig the Bible a sign of lack of faith.

I know the Bible backwards and forwards but that does not make me a "good" Christian.

I don't go to Church ever, unless I am going to my polling place to vote or someone dies. That fact does not make me a "bad" Christian.

My faith in God does not need a middle man at a "house of worship" nor is my faith in God and the knowledge of His word in the Bible any good if I do not practice it.

I, as can others, not attend an organized Church and knowingly or unknowingly do God's work and still be a good person. And I can do it while laughing at the billboard in question, because such things do not shake my faith; they merely shake my funny bone. Cheers!!

The AbsolutGator said...

Correct, it is not a sign of a lack of faith. But it can be a pretty good indicator. Hey, I used to be the same way. I said I was a Christian, but never went to church, read the Bible, volunteered in my community or anything socially redeemable. I was usually too hungover (ask Doc for stories....better yet, don't). However, since starting regular attendance several years ago, I believe I have gotten a better understanding of the teachings the Bible presents and a better awareness of those around me...of all faiths.

Also, I thought I showed that I could still find humor in it, like most things. My pillow comment was mildly funny...wasn't it?

Southern Belle said...

Ok, AbsoluteGator.... I think bringing 911 victims and their families into this is taking it a bit far. My point is that a Billboards, road signs, TV commercials and in general advertisements just don’t get ME worked up! I feel that other people should not get worked up as well. Let it go and just believe what you want to believe! And what smells like roses to you may smell like crap to others.

Dana said...

I should have a problem with this, but I don't! It's funny.

Look, I am a practicing Christian. By Gator's definition, I'm a GREAT Christian - reading my bible - going to church - even serving with the middle school youth group. This billboard goes against EVERYTHING I believe, but it's still funny.

Blasphemous? Not anymore than my views on the birth of Jesus would be considered blasphemous by a Jew ... or by the group that purchased space on this billboard.

Come on people! We can allow others to have their opinion - their say - even when it is in conflict with ours.

The AbsolutGator said...

Worked up...I haven't even got warmed up!

Seriously though, I haven't skipped a heartbeat over the trashy poster. But evidently my comment got your worked up Ms. Belle. They were targeted and right on. I guess what I thought and believe did matter...hmmm?

Dana, I didn't define what a good Christian is...far from it...I'm not worthy enough to judge. I do agree w/ your final statement somewhat. Just remember, as the old saying goes, your rights end where my nose begins.

I'm still smelling roses.

Southern Belle said...

Worked up? Over this? Amused and entertained yes! Just keep smellin them roses, but remember they have thorns!

Doc said...

Wheew, I go out for an office lunch look what happens...
hey everyone is entitled to their opinions and enititled to share them... I am glad we have this space to share and debate them.

Everyone makes good points. In my opinion religion can not only bring out the best in people but in extreme cases (ala 911) also the worst. But in the case of this billboard I still think it's purpose was to enflame and not just start a discussion.

The AbsolutGator said...

Ouch!

Glad we can have fun and express our opinions at the same time. Thats what blogging is all about!

Jay said...

That poster is offensive and wholly inappropriate.

I love it! LOL ;-)

Doc said...

Absolut... did you just prick your finger on a thorn?

The AbsolutGator said...

Doc, you know what they say... mess with the roses, you get the thorns.

Doc said...

Absolut, Very clever co-opting of a bull metaphor

Four Dinners said...

A nerve has been hit eh?

Religion is bullshit.

In the unlikely eventuality I ever meet God/Buddah/Allah etc etc etc I will inform them of this immediately prior to going to hell....where at least it will be warm....;-)

3 Men and a Lady said...

I think the billboard was meant to stir up opinions and maybe debunk the mainstream Christian view of Jesus' birth. And if people are offended by it, they have every right to be. And if they aren't, then fine, that's their business. Being bothered by it doesn't mean there is a stick up their ass or they have no sense of humor. And if they aren't offended doesn't mean they are satanists. Whether it's funny or offensive is all relevant to one's personal beliefs and sense of humor, which obviously varies greatly from person to person. What's funny to one person may not be to another, and that's okay.

Can't we all get along?? ;-)

The Mountain Cat said...

What did Jesus ever do for Santa Claus' birthday??

Doc said...

I love 3 Men throwing out the Rodney King line!

Babe in Babeland said...

I actually think it's pretty funny, and this is coming from a believer. But I'm not really too uptight about these things. I take my faith very seriously. I just don't think that that sort of billboard will really impact people into believing or not believing, and I honestly think Jesus has a sense of humor. God has a sense of humor for that matter. He made farts, and chameleons, and flamingos. And people...people are so funny, and God created us. So I don't know...I kinda understand why people would be offensive, but don't you think it's kind of sort of funny?

NicNoleo said...

I think they were trying too hard to be funny and it isn't...and believe me, I know funny :)

It's just stupid and totally unnecessary. And yes, they knew what they were doing.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I think it's funny, but I also think it's kinda wrong on many levels. It definitely does not change what I believe (Mary was born a virgin and died a virgin).

Hilary said...

Good thing I'm not Christian. I might have to feel offended.. but I don't. :)