About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Ah, the sweetness of candy Jesus
Nonetheless, the fact that Cavallaro's exhibit at Lab Gallery, inside the Roger Smith Hotel in Manhattan, was canceled out of outrage is positively disturbing. Bill Donohue, of the infamous Catholic League, commented that “My Sweet Lord” (the rather unimaginative title Cavallaro gave to his creation), is “one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever.” Oh Jeez, I mean, oh shit, God forbid (darn, I've done it again!) we offend Catholic sensibilities!
What Donohue and company just don't seem to understand is that there is no constitutional protection from insult (well, there is, in Iran). Indeed, the US Constitution protects the right to offend, even in poor taste. The only reasonable defense against offense is not to go see the exhibit, or to make a chocolate statue of Cavallaro and give it a ridiculously small penis for all to see. If we are talking about offense, I am personally offended by the very existence of such a bigoted group as the Catholic League. Ergo, they should immediately cease to exist, according to their own logic.
By the way, apparently Cavallaro's idea wasn't even that original, since one can find plenty of Jesus sweets for purchase on the Internet. Try the Jesus large lollipop, for example, which you can buy for only $5, and can be made sugar free for an additional 25% (taking stuff out after having put in to begin with is apparently a costly proposition). Incidentally, when the statue will be dismantled, who is going to eat Jesus' penis? Or are they going to throw away all that good chocolate?