In 2011, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone staged the Broadway musical satire, "The Book of Mormon." The New York Times critics raved.
In 1999, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, Alanis Morissette, and Jason Mewes all starred in a spoof of Christianity called "Dogma." The New York Times critics raved.
In 1987, Andres Serrano hoodwinked taxpayers into paying for his picture of Christ in a urinal. The New York Times demanded that it be displayed despite protests, saying, "A museum is obliged to challenge the public as well as to placate it, or else the museum becomes a chamber of attractive ghosts, an institution completely disconnected from art in our time."
On Sunday, law enforcement officers shot and killed two jihadist terrorists who threatened a contest to draw satiric cartoons that mock Mohammad, just as Americans had mocked Brigham Young, Jesus and Jehovah. New York Times commentators have yet to have the opportunity to weigh in on the subject, but previously after the Charlie Hebdo attack, the Times editorial board:
In Israel, mocking Muhammad can bring a prison term, as it did for Tatiana Susskind, a Russian immigrant who posted drawings of the Prophet as a pig in Hebron in 1997.
She was accused, among other things, of committing a racist act and harming religious sensitivities, and sentenced to two years in prison. Laws like those in France against “words or acts of hatred” are based on what is often a subjective judgment. And any constraints on freedom of expression invite government abuse.
Tastes, standards and situations change, and in the end it is best for editors and societies at large to judge what is fit — or safe — to print.
That the tragedy in Paris has served to raise these questions is in no way an insult to the members of the Charlie Hebdo staff who perished.
Shocking people into confronting reality was, after all, what their journal — which they proudly called a “journal irresponsable” — was all about.Yes, we don't mean to insult you, but you were “irresponsable.”
The Daily Kos reaction? "The details are yet to come, but this sounds like another Charlie Hebdo attack, except that the event was a deliberate provocation with Dutch racist Geert Wilders in attendance. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were equal opportunity lampooners, not deliberate provocateurs. Just the same, murder is not the answer to offensive speech."
Provocation is liberalese for they deserved it.
Israel is wrong about censoring lampoons of Mohammad, but it is in a war zone, constantly under attack by rabid jihadists. American liberals have no such excuse. I put up with Piss Christ. Deal with Mohammad drawn as a pig.