Religious groups are denouncing a boundary-pushing new episode of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm in which star Larry David inadvertently urinates on a picture of Jesus Christ, leading other characters to believe the image is miraculously weeping. (Watch the scene.) Bill Donahue at the Catholic League has gone so far as to call for David to quit his own show, and commentators are asking: Is David really anti-Christian, or was he just taking a pee?
The show crossed a line: While “people who find images of religious figures in pieces of toast” are ripe for “satirical fun,” says Catholic blogger The Anchoress in First Things, this went too far. It takes “no courage” for a “rich, unbelieving artist” to urinate on Christ. If David is interested at taking provocative potshots at sacred cows, why doesn’t he relieve himself on a picture of President Obama?
“Would he piss on an image of Obama?”
David wouldn’t dare pick on other religions like this: Christians should be taking to the streets over this, say the editors of Georgia’s The Augusta Chronicle. “You can bet your Muslim friends would be.” But because Christians are “more tolerant” than other faiths—remember the violent outrage over cartoons of Muhammad?—they are more “target-rich for ridicule and derision.”
“What now—curb your outrage?”
David is an equal-opportunity offender: “I’m still trying to figure out what conservatives expect from Larry David,” says Simon Maloy in Media Matters. David “routinely mocks” sundry religions, including his own Jewish faith. And no, Muslims aren’t exempt: In one episode he sets up a friend with a less-than-stunning Muslim woman whose “unsightly features are hidden by her burqa.”
“Curb your hypocrisy”
Would Christ himself even be offended? Come on, this is “much ado about nothing,” says John Romano in Yes, But However. Who wants to be part of a religion that’s “afraid of its own shadow?” My fellow Christians need to get thicker skin: “JC can handle whatever Mr. David has to dole out.”
“Right-wing and Catholic Bloggers Take A Play From Hardline Islam Playbook”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: September 30, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Eric Holder blew it as attorney general. His replacement will, too,
- What the Romney boomlet says about the establishment GOP's feeble 2016 field
- Christian conservatives have a terrifying new bogeyman: The Christian leftist
Subscribe to the Week