Our country was supposed to be based on a simple principle: Majority rules. That idea has worked well for more that 200 years, but occasionally comes under fire, as it is today.
In Washington, a minority of Senators are filibustering two of President Bush’s judicial nominees -- judges who enjoy the support of a majority of the Senate. Meanwhile, Democrats, the minority party in the Texas legislature for the first time in millennia, fled the state to prevent the Republican majority from passing a redistricting bill.
At least in politics, though, there’s still some benefit to being in the majority, most of the time. In entertainment, the mantra is “minority rules.”
Consider the new Jim Carrey movie, “Bruce Almighty.” In a film that’s supposed to be a comedy, “God” gives his powers to Carrey’s character, a failed reporter. “God” then steps out, allowing Carrey to wreak havoc on earth.
Imagine, the very idea of an omnipotent God going on vacation. Of God allowing his power to be used by a human for vengeful purposes. Only in Hollywood would that be considered funny. For most of us, it’s merely insulting.
And that’s the problem. Even though the vast majority of Americans come from a Judeo-Christian background, Hollywood considers it A-OK to insult our beliefs. When was the last time you saw a movie that insulted Hindu beliefs? Islamic beliefs? Wiccan beliefs? Never, because they all have the advantage of being in the minority.
That’s not to say that Hollywood should mock minority beliefs. Of course it shouldn’t.
But it also shouldn’t mock majority beliefs.
The problem goes much deeper. Back in 1998, after the Southern Baptist Convention ruled that wives should “submit graciously” to their husbands, Newsweek published a political cartoon showing a Baptist man dragging a woman along by her hair, caveman style. That’s a fundamental, and likely intentional, misunderstanding of what the Southern Baptist ruling meant. It was anything but a license for men to mistreat their wives.
On the other hand, in many Muslim countries, women are intentionally mistreated. They’re not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. They’re not allowed to vote in most Middle Eastern countries. They’re often forced to cover themselves from head to toe so men won’t be tempted to look at them. They’re often forced to take part in arranged marriages. And men are allowed to be married to several women at once.
Why point all that out? Well, imagine a political cartoon showing a Muslim man walking ahead of his several wives. There’s a blazing sun and the women are all decked out from head to toe in black robes, with sweat literally pouring out. “Hot enough for you?” he asks.