Blasphemy is a victimless crime.
A 16 year old was arrested, in the Gold Coast, on Monday for wearing an offensive T shirt. The T-shirt in question is a Cradle of Filth band T-shirt. The T-shirt depicts a semi-naked nun masturbating, with the words “Vestal Masturbation”, on one side and the words JESUS IS A C**T on the other.
For those of a sensitive nature the picture of the T-shirt is at the end of this post.
The story has been in several news media, but Ben Dillaway reported at goldcoast.com.au that it was blasphemous. In his article there was also the following quote from a local minister:
The Reverend Matt Hunt of the Helensvale Baptist Church said it was sad people spoke about the Lord in such a way.
“It’s fairly common language these days to express sadness, anger or hurt,” he said. “It’s a degrading word to use and Jesus is anything but that. It’s like calling white black.”
Mr Hunt said using the Lord’s name in vain was a serious sin.
I tend to agree somewhat that the C word can be considered degrading and/or offensive by some. However, the rev will have to get over the fact that a very large number of us don’t believe Jesus exists. Thus it’s no more a ‘sin’ calling Jesus a bad word than it is calling the tooth fairy a bad word.
The goldcoast.com.au article has a comments page which understandably has had a large number of comments. Over 300 at time of writing, perhaps this might beat the Unleashed article which currently has over 1180 (see my post How to get 1000+ Comments).
The comments basically fall into one of three types:
The religious person who thinks it’s blasphemous and evil and the guy should have been charged
The people (religious or not) who think that anything goes, freedom of speech and all that, and the guy should not have been charged.
The people (religious or not) who think that the C word and/or pictures of semi-naked women masturbating is/are offensive.
Then there are all the off topic arguments.
Personally the C word is one of the few swear words I try not to use in the public arena. I have been told by several women they find it the most offensive of all the swear words. However I do use it occasionally, but if someone says to me they don’t like hearing that word, or any other swear word, I will do my best not to use it in front of them. Some call this the “Grandmother Test”, would you use the word in front of your grandmother?
I have no problem with people ‘insulting’ Jesus as a) he isn’t real and b) religion should not be above critique or criticism, just because it’s religion.
However the C word could be considered offensive, as could a picture of a, mostly naked, woman masturbating (the fact she is depicted as a nun should be immaterial). Especially when displayed in a open public arena.
If the guy has been charged for offensive behaviour then it’s up to the courts to decide if he’s guilty (based on current acceptable standards). Any charge of blasphemy or insulting imaginary beings should be, quite rightly thrown out of court.
Do I find the T-shirt offensive? I think its funny but a bit too rude to be wearing in general public.
Do I think the police should have charged him? I think that unless the police had had complaints, and not from religious people being offended by the supposed blasphemy, they should not have charged him. Don’t the police have more important things to do? The police should not be the sole arbiter of public decency, perhaps they should have just cautioned the guy in the first instance?
Here’s the offending T-shirt,
What do you think?
Should anyone be charged with offensive behaviour for wearing it?
Would you wear it?
Is Jesus a Cunt? (see I can say the word)
If you read through the comments watch out for the troll that goes by the name of Zac. Zac if you read this, please read FAQ 1 and FAQ 2 before even considering leaving a comment.
I had heard about this on the radio, but hat tip to Nut Watch for bringing the offensive T-shirt story to my attention again.
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