Monday, September 05, 2005

Christian Illiteracy

[The following blog post is by Jus Divinum]

Necessary background:

[Phil Johnson's comic book cover]
[Kevin Johnson's reply]
[Steve Hays' commentary]

Kevin Johnson wrote:

The message communicated is one which gives tacit approval to the concept on the cover whether the author gives his approval or not.
How can Kevin so utterly misunderstand satire as a form of rebuke? The only reason satire works is because it analogizes the position or argument under scrutiny to behavior which not only the author of the satire obviously rejects, but which the intended audience of the satire is assumed to reject. It wouldn't be satire if either author or audience approved of the behavior being depicted.

Surely, what Phil intended to convey through the comic book cover and text balloons is that the reasoning and/or polemical stance often taken by the members of the Boar's Head Tavern toward others is as crude, merciless, arbitrary, and objectionable as a man striking a woman in anger. The whole reason the comic book cover can be a critique of the BHT is that it depicts behavior that should be rejected by all and sundry.

To say that the behavior being depicted in a satire is behavior to which the author gives 'tacit approval' just reveals that Kevin doesn't understand satire, and that at its most fundamental level.

Does Kevin really think that Jonathan Swift gave 'tacit approval' to cannibalism?

It is truly agonizing that Phil now (in his latest blogspotting post) has to stoop to actually make explicit his belief that he too is "offended by men who actually strike women. I also wish to remind folks that the guy in that picture was not the hero of the point I was making." The only reason why Phil has to point out the obvious is because some Christians are illiterate. (Just subtract out the two facts to which Phil here draws attention: you simply don't have a satire anymore.)

What's next on the agenda? The scandalous exposure of the apostle Paul as giving 'tacit approval' to emasculation (Gal 5:12)?


  1. JD --

    Kevin (and many of his past/present/future fellow hobos) could not pick the definition of the analogy of language out of a hat it the only other thing in the hat was a roll of quarters. Why should we then expect them to get a subtle use of analogy in satire at all?

    I'm surprised they aren't suing, to be honest. You'd think that if the comic book cover was this offensive, they'd have grounds for damages.

  2. Scripture itself makes use of satire, viz. Jonah, the parables of the rich fool, Lazarus & Dives, the pharisee & the tax-collector.

  3. Here's the kicker:

    At least one woman (cf. Laura's comment at September 3, 2005 01:08 PM) thinks the graphic of a man hitting a woman perfectly depicts the behavior of BHT towards her. So here we have a woman fairly close to the situation testifying that the satire was in fact *accurate*:

    Not so with BHT. It's "erase, ban, and goodbye little Missy; and never forget that men are in charge." That's why the man hitting the woman in the picture seemed so fitting to me. I was the only woman contributor at the time except for one occasional other.

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