Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Must Christianity Be Consumeristic: Satire as Critique/Satire as Sacrilege

***Disclaimer: This post contains an explicit satirical cartoon that could be offensive to many. ((Viewer Discretion is Advised ))***

Shortly after the violent uproar over the publication of a satirical cartoon portraying Muhammad with a bomb for a turban, the University of Saskatchewan's school newspaper, The Sheaf, published a satirical cartoon of their own (one that they have since issued an apology). In this cartoon, entitled "Capitalist Piglet", a pig dressed as a greedy capitalist bureaucrat and the pig's long haired companion are interrupted mid-fellation by a middle-aged colleague who exclaims "Jesus Christ!" at the at sight of the explicit act of oral sex. In the next frame, however, we find that he did not proclaim the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as a vain expletive, but as a reference to Jesus Christ, the benefactor of the blow-job!
I'm not, in any way, condoning the cartoon. However, I think this cartoon calls us as Christians to take a step back for critical self-appraisal. Have our consumptive habits warranted such a cartoon (a "Don't Let My Car Fool You, My Treasure Is In Heaven" sticker on the bumper of a Hummer)? Is the Church directed by the Holy Spirit to make faithful responses to God's calling, or has the Church made a treaty with the Zeitgeist, the spirit of Mammon, allowing this spirit to direct our economic praxis? How should we respond to this cartoon? Should we confirm its accuracy, by crying "sacrilege", attacking everyone and everything involved without confronting the actual critique (which seems to be a valid one), and continuing our current consumeristic habits? Or should we respond with critical self-appraisal, and, as the body of Christ, respond faithfully to Christ's teaching concerning the poor?