Most people I know have their own sacred cows; for many politicians that I have observed through time, it is money, privilege and status; for artists it is their creative output or for the religious it is their holy icons or creeds.
Any human being who has devoted her or his life to something they believe whole-heartedly in, are devotees. There is no doubt that those without a religious faith and who are passionate about something in their lives are real devotees in the truest sense of the word. Most do not accept criticism well, yet despite the discomfort and disquiet that criticism brings it is almost universally accepted that your particular devotion and what you create out of that, is up for grabs by the rest of the world’s societies and is allowed to come under the most fierce of criticism or lampooning.
Somehow in there, the religious are telling us that they are a breed apart, that what they are particularly devoted to, you shall not write/draw or paint in any sort of negative or critical way and they are very loud and aggressive if one does so. Some even go to extremes where another human life is worth less than their insulted icon. In the face of the calamitous state we find ourselves in as 21st century human beings occupying a lonely little dot in the universe, there is no doubt that belief in and prayers to a multitude of gods worldwide have brought about nothing but untold misery, century after century and all, if one has the eyes to look, easily observed in almost every country.
Despite the irony that Zapiro’s cartoon was not even focused on the god depicted, I believe all religious creeds and icons, without any malice intended, are fair game and adherents should learn to lump it with the rest of us devotees.
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