Double Standard

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As we can see, in modern America it is taboo to disparage or ridicule any group or to do anything that the most hypersensitive might find offensive. Yet that prohibition does not seem to apply to protect Christians or Christianity. It just depends on whose ox (or pig) is being gored. A billboard in Pensacola, Florida, depicting Jesus Christ with an orange slice above his head instead of a halo, paired with the caption "Jesus was the prince of peas," is a good example. The billboard, ostensibly promoting vegetarianism, was rented by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and was erected to coincide with Passover and Easter. Bruce Friedrich, of PETA, admitted the sign was intended to convey the message that people who eat meat are engaging in cruelty to animals.

PETA placed a similar sign-this one thirty-six feet wide-on Interstate 40 near Wilmington, North Carolina. The sign says, "He died for your sins. Go vegetarian." The words of the sign are right next to a twelve-foot-tall picture of a squinty-eyed pig, which many Christians found particularly offensive. Many also objected to the erroneous implication that Jesus was a vegetarian, saying that he was a meat eater. Few complaints were heard from those who are generally so quick to cry foul at such displays of insensitivity toward sacred figures or symbols of other religions or belief systems.

Indeed, while separationists strongly object to any utterance or symbol that could remotely offend non-Christians, they fail to show a similar sensitivity to Christians. Shortly after Congress passed a resolution urging the president to issue a proclamation "designating a day for humility, prayer, and fasting for all people of the United States," opponents were upset. The Freedom from Religion Foundation opposed the resolution, for example, and in its press release made no effort to temper its remarks toward Christians, referring to their belief system as "primitive." According to the statement, "The resolution is full of references to 'God,' as if belief in one is unanimous. It is insufferable ego to imagine that, if there were a god, it would respond to these demeaning supplications. It is primitive to imagine that the natural laws of the universe could be suspended or altered by group wishful thinking. Ironically, as Congress entertains these meaningless motions, the Iraqi peoples and their supporters are praying to their god for the opposite results!"

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