Partisan sniping has taken a satirical turn, with the sudden popularity of a blog called Tea Party Jesus that re-contextualizes inflammatory quotes from conservatives by literally putting them into the mouth of Jesus via cartoon speech bubbles. In one recent example, an image of Christ gazing across the desert is juxtaposed with a quote from Tom Mullins, a Republican congressional candidate in New Mexico: "We could put land mines along the border. I know it sounds crazy." Is this thought-provoking satire, or just cheap shots?
Tea Party Jesus exposes conservative hypocrisy: This is brilliant, says Katla McGlynn in The Huffington Post. "The juxtaposition of hateful, ignorant, or otherwise nonsensical rants with serene photos of JC himself isn't only funny, but says a lot about the people who claim to be Christians." The targets of Tea Party Jesus' satire — from the "predictably fiery Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter to various pastors, radio hosts, and senators" — richly deserve this.
"Tea Party Jesus: Blog puts words of conservatives in the mouth of Christ (pictures)"
This is neither funny nor fair: It's hard to believe liberals would actually find this nonsense funny, says Jeff Poor at News Busters. For one thing, "depicting Jesus Christ making unhinged statements" is blatantly disrespectful to Christians. But Tea Party Jesus is also unfair. "Some of the quotes used by the creator were originally meant to be tongue-in-cheek," but readers are deprived of the original context.
"Disappointing, but not unexpected: HuffPo 'comedy' celebrates 'Tea Party Jesus'"
Disrespectful? Maybe. Unfair? No: Tea Party Jesus does make its point "somewhat crudely," says Meenal Vamburkar at Mediaite. But clicking the speech bubble takes you to the source for every outlandish quote — like the one from Fox News host Glenn Beck, who said, "You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims' families." That may make conservatives squirm, but there's humor in pointing it out. "Because really, you can’t make this stuff up."
"The blog not only has a sense of humor, but clearly makes a point — albeit somewhat crudely."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
- Bob Odenkirk's 6 favorite books
Subscribe to the Week