Outrage: HBO's Larry David Crosses the Line of Religious Respect in Comedic Attempt

Posted: Oct 28, 2009 12:01 PM
Seinfeld creator and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" comedian Larry David is under fire following the latest episode of his HBO series.  Critics are saying he "pushed the mocking of religion and Christian beliefs over the line" in the episode that features David urinating on on a painting of Jesus Christ.

Video HT: Greg Hengler
Fox News has the full story:
During Sunday's episode, David, who created, wrote and produced "Seinfeld," visits a bathroom in his assistant's home and splatters urine on a picture of Jesus. Instead of wiping it off, David leaves the restroom. Minutes later, David's assistant enters the bathroom and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her mother to the bathroom, where both women kneel in prayer.

"When David and Jerry Seinfeld (playing himself) are asked if they ever experienced a miracle, David answers, 'every erection is a miracle,' [Catholic League president Bill] Donohue's statement continued. "That's what passes for creativity these days."

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Calls to HBO seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Deal Hudson, author and publisher of InsideCatholic.com, said he doesn't find any humor in the episode.

"I don't think it's funny," Hudson told Foxnews.com. "Why is it that people are allowed to publicly show that level of disrespect for Christian symbols? If the same thing was done to a symbol of any other religions -- Jewish or Muslim -- there'd be a huge outcry. It's simply not a level playing field."

Hudson said an apology from the show's producers and writing team should be issued.

"Somebody should [apologize]," Hudson said. "When is it going to stop? When is common sense going to dictate that people realize this willingness of artists to do to Christianity what they would never do to Judaism or Islam?"

The episode, "The Bare Midriff," primarily revolves around David's assistant and her belly-revealing attire. According to the show's Web site, a "new pill" increased David's urine flow, leading to the "misunderstanding about a miraculously weeping Jesus."

HBO promoted the controversial scene on the show's site, complete with a "squirm-o-meter" that ranked the urine incident, ahead of David's confronting his assistant about her exposed midriff.

I agree with the critics on this one: it's bad enough that a portrait of the Virgin Mary made of elephant dung is considered "art," but what exactly is funny about urinating on a portrait of Jesus Christ and then mocking those who believe in miracles?  I agree that this type of stunt would not be acceptable if it were associated with any other reason, but I don't think if they were to treat other religions this way it would make it any less offensive. 

What do you think?