Offensive or funny?

Krista - posted on 05/27/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I just read this editorial in my local paper. With all the religion discussions going on in DM right now, I thought I'd see what you think of this article:

This isn’t a happy ending
By Dana Smith
Posted 1 day ago

It is difficult to see a happy ending in a story that shouldn't have had a beginning in the first place.

First, a disclaimer: I am a Christian first and a newspaper editor second, and that doesn't always mesh together well.

At the same time I'm not protesting, insulting, or attacking people who don't share my faith. Common sense – and my faith – tells me it will only push people farther away and create divides and misconceptions that don't need to exist.

But in this often murky world of a newspaper editor who happens to be Christian there are those times – and those headlines – where the worlds come smashing together, and I can pretend I don't see it or look at the issues head on. And, if I can be honest, I don't always want to.

As you might imagine there aren't a whole lot of grey areas in these issues, and people can get very creative with hate-laden e-mails from anonymous and fake e-mail addresses. (Chickens.) And there are those who won't really allow there to be grey areas in this issue either.

Case in point: A Canadian punk band decided to take my faith to a low that even I wouldn't have expected. First, they made their album cover look like a Bible. Bad enough.

Then, in gold lettering on the cover, is the album title, Holy S**t.

But wait, there's more: It's also subtitled The Poo Gospel. I can't even share the depiction of Jesus they have created on the inside.

Want the best part? This lovely piece of 'art' was backed by the federal government. The last line of the band's album acknowledgements reads, "We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage."

Oh, Canada.

I'm sure there are all sorts of projects that have been funded I wouldn't agree with, but can anyone share with me how it is possible hateful garbage like this gets federal cash backing?

And let's consider the uproar if this same level of hate and vulgarity were aimed at any other faith group or ethnicity? Do you really believe the feds would back it? Not a chance. But hey, this is Christianity. If Family Guy can mock it, surely our government should be able to back this without hesitation, right?

In a surprise twist (although not really a surprise because they already generated the press buzz they needed) the band behind all this (who I'm not naming on purpose so they don't get the cheap thrill of Google hits on their name) has decided to return the more than $13,000 in funding and is pulling the album. Great, thanks for all that.

But that doesn't explain how this had the green light and thousands in funding in the first place, does it?

This is where the man central to my faith, the one so openly and disgustingly mocked by this group, still shows me I have much to learn as I nearly bust my keyboard pounding this out.

They spit on him. He said nothing. They whipped Him, and He said nothing. They crucified Him, and He prayed for their forgiveness.

I guess I can only try and do the same.

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Tara - posted on 05/28/2011

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If the editor had taken a wee bit of his groaning time to do some research (all available online with a few searches in a couple of minutes) he would have found out that when this band received their funds the album cover had not been designed nor named. The feds didn't sit down with a finished product in their hands and say "yea that looks like something we could give them money for, let's get out the check book"
It was a paper application, no one in government other than a paper shuffling clerk actually saw the application. They get tens of thousands of applications every week for grants, some are granted some aren't.
It doesn't bother me in the slightest even if they had known, this is a free country, we are not bound by any religious tenets, we are NOT a christian country. We separate church and state with everything.
I saw the album cover and the inside pic. Not offensive to me, but I'm not a Christian. But if I were I would still want to keep our freedom of expression in tact.

Krista - posted on 05/28/2011

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The way the grant process works, I can pretty much guarantee you that the grant was applied for and received LONG before they titled the album and designed the cover art. If this newspaper editor took his job as seriously as his Christianity, and had done 10 minutes of research on Arts Council grants in Canada, he would have known this.

But hey, if it makes him feel better to have his persecution complex fed...

Jenn - posted on 05/29/2011

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I don't find it offensive. Musicians have a tendency of pushing their limits to gain attention - this is nothing new. I don't think that their attempts worked for me though, as I hadn't heard of them until you posted this. And I'm pretty sure the government didn't "back them" - it was likely a grant of some sort that came from the gov't - but all kinds of things get gov't grants: music, movies, etc. and I'm certain that there isn't some gov't official sitting around reviewing the end products. Besides, wouldn't it be considered discrimination to only give grants to those who they deemed "appropriate"?

Sal - posted on 05/27/2011

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gee a punk band mocking conservative christian morals, who'd a think it!!!! yes laughted at the holy shit, it is catchy after all, should the govt fund them, why not, there should be a seperation of faith and state anyway (yes i know that was a whole other thread) and if they were rejected on the basis that they album title might offend someone then that is taking away their right to free speak, if the album was called i'm recruiting for a torrist group so we can blow this country up then may be i'd be less supportive, and what were they going to call it "we love the govt because they gave us the grant to make this so vote for them"

Carolyn - posted on 05/27/2011

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eh, chances are they appllied for a grant to make music, and the government simply cut a check and that was the end of that. Im willing to bet no government official/ employee even saw it, and the Logo was sent in an email for the design guy to add it.

i thinks its disrespectful of the band , funny in an interesting idea kind of way. But "supported' or backed by the government, unlikely.

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Tara - posted on 05/29/2011

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Exactly Jenn, had they actually viewed it then said "no we won't fund that anti-christian crap" and then proceeded to turn down the grant application based on the fact the gov. thinks it is ant-christian, that group could claim discrimination.
And you would be surprised (or not) about some of the things people can get grants for in our country!!!

[deleted account]

remember the old addage? Turn the other cheek. Well turn it. They are allowed their freedom of speech and though I don't agree with what they are doing I am pretty sure that they don't want you praying for them either so don't waste your breath. Just turn the other cheek and walk away. (literally and figuratively)

Katie - posted on 05/28/2011

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I have to say I don't really get the family guy comment. Doesn't family guy mock everything equally? I am not a religious (hah) viewer but I've seen a good number of episodes and can think of jokes made at the expense of jews, catholisism, muslims, the deaf, the blind, dwarfs...Just to name a few. I think that the band had a funny idea and it probably got them enough publicity to get a little further ahead in the music industry. I think that this editor needs to settle down a bit and maybe read think for a minute about what he's writing before he sends it out.

Rosie - posted on 05/28/2011

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i dont' think the gov should've been involved, but like others said they probably didn't know what they were funding. just some music didn't give it a second thought.

Sal - posted on 05/27/2011

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oh one of our local priests runs a fireworks company and its called holy smoke, should he be allowed to use that name or is it offensive to use it as a marketing ploy

Joanna - posted on 05/27/2011

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As soon as I read that it was called "Holy Shit" I laughed... There's stuff out there mocking everything, every religion, culture, etc etc. But yeah, maybe the government will be more aware of who/what they're giving money too fromnow on.

[deleted account]

I'm not offended. It's an album cover. There has been controversial album covers for decades. But I have to say that the Governmental agency that shelled out the $13000 without really asking more questions is the one to blame. Not for some band's album cover, which will more than likely make this a popular album and sales will sky-rocket.

Sneaky - posted on 05/27/2011

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I think their music must be pretty crap if they need to generate publicity like that . . .

Charlie - posted on 05/27/2011

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I don't think the government should have got involved in it but I do think it is funny .

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