Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Christians "Inherently" Take Mockery Better Than Muslims. Here's Why That May Be...

There's an article from The Washington Post that gives a little insight into why it may be that Christians, at least the ones who tend to better understand their own faith, have thinker skin when it comes to being mocked.

One of my colleagues was interviewed for the article, and his quotes offer some insightful ideas as to some reasons why Christians tend to inherently accect that mockery will come their way...

To Mark Galli, managing editor of Christianity Today, the American willingness to offend Christianity, but extend deference to Islam regarding the current batch of Muhammad cartoons, can be understood through a series of cultural and political differences.

First, he notes, Christians worship a man who was persecuted, beaten and killed. The sense that people might persecute Christ's followers is an inherent part of the Christian ethos, he says, so Christians are inherently likely to tolerate offense. Muhammad, a prophet who died after an illness, did not leave behind a religion with that mindset, he says.

The second factor, he theorizes, is that American society assigns different rules of social conduct for majority and minority cultures, in which the dominant culture isn't supposed to ridicule smaller ones. It's done, of course, but it's seen as bad form.

"Christianity is fair game for mocking because it's an established presence here, it's always been a majority, and there's no sense of followers being a persecuted minority," he says. "When people can be publicly mocked in this country, it means you're a player, and you're going to take your lumps with everyone else. There's not that sense with Muslims. People are more cautious."

Read the entire article, "America's Irreverent Sense Of Humor."


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