It's been two months since Comedy Central censored Mohammad out of their cartoon "South Park." Even the utterance of the name was bleeped. The blog Revolution Muslim quoted the world's most notorious terrorist as an inspirational figure. "As Osama bin Laden said with regard to the cartoons of Denmark, 'If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.'"
But there has been no ceasefire in Comedy Central's war on Christianity. The attacks on Catholic Americans just keep coming. On "The Daily Show" on June 17, fake correspondent Samantha Bee interviewed two priests and two nuns who are watchdogging Goldman Sachs for a liberal interfaith group.
Jon Stewart started the Catholic-bashing in his introduction: "Sometimes it's easy to spot the villain in a story. Sometimes it's not." Bee joked to the priests and nuns: "Jesus wants us all to be rich. The Pope gets it. Have you even seen his ceiling?" Later, she joked that these "churchies" are "maybe not the best messengers." When they suggested Goldman Sachs needed more transparency, Bee stressed with a laugh track: "Hold on. The Catholic Church wants more transparency." Referring to this spring's round of media investigations and church statements on priest sexual abuse, she said, "Wouldn't it be better to just lay low for a little while?" She narrowed her eyes and lectured a financial analyst: "Goldman Sachs is losing a PR war to the Catholic Church. That is not easy to do."
Christians should and do allow themselves to be the objects of good-natured comedy, but there is clearly a nasty, even vicious undercurrent here. In an interview on the National Public Radio show "Fresh Air" on June 2, Bee revealed that she loves the church-mocking as a "terribly lapsed" Catholic. "So it is joyful for me to do that. That is pure pleasure for me, I will say."
The comedians appearing on Comedy Central are also piling on Catholics. On June 11, the Catholic Church was mocked in a special featuring comedian Paul F. Tompkins. "Things started to just kind of unravel for her, and it made less and less sense," Tompkins said of his mother turning to atheism. "She said, 'One day, I woke up and I realized it was all just s--t.' Very eloquently put, mother dear."
He described the steady, subtle erosion of faith. "And so years and years go by and then one day, you wake up and say, 'Hey, what happened to all that crazy junk I used to believe in? Boy, I sure like having my Sundays back.'"