Blasphemy: It's in the Eye of the Beholder

Conservatives versus Fun lovers

I recently received an email from a strongly right-leaning friend. It announced that the US Post Office will be issuing one-dollar coins. This is something that other countries have – a coin for the amount of currency closely equivalent to the buying power of the US dollar. However, our country has tried and failed to sell the public on such a coin. This email is tried to sink the latest effort.

Why are the conservative right-ers trying to maim this effort?

It is because the coin will not be minted with the words “In God we trust” on it.

Oh, good grief! I considered replying to the sender to inquire when was the last time he read the US Constitution? Particularly the First Amendment and its establishment clause? However, he is a friend and as I noted, a passionate right-winged conservative type. Therefore, I know a photo I recently viewed might REALLY drive him into a frenzy.

If it's not words, it's not profanity?

The photo is entitled “Blasphemy. A ticket to Hell has never been funnier.” What, you imagine, could possibly be contained in this photo? We frequently think of blasphemy as profane words, not photographs. We recall the saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words, but…..alright, I’ll tell you.

These sisters are smiling

Blasphemy: A Ticket to....Perdition

The setting is obviously an art museum. There are 3 creative-minded men standing next to a painting. As one looks at the photo, the painting takes up the left half and the three men occupy the right half. If you have been to a wedding reception in the last 20 years, you most likely had a chance to see guests dancing to the Village People’s song “YMCA.” When the chorus sings the letters “Y-M-C-A,” people move their arms to make the shapes of each letter. It’s pretty standard in my neck of the woods. So, in this blasphemous photo, the men are forming the letters M, C, and A, in the correct order. What’s missing? The Y, of course!

Is this TOO far?

The missing Y is supplied by the painting.  The painting is huge and of a sole figure whose arms are indeed stretched out and above the level of his head.  Although his arms aren’t as high as the typical dance-floor letter-makers, in the context of being with the three men, one easily knows he is the “Y.” Have you guessed who the he is?  It is Christ.  But it gets worse.  It is Christ hanging on the cross, his weakness and body weight obviously dragging his body down, while his hands are affixed and immovable.

Google search the title

The image we are discussing has copyrights reserved, so I cannot include it in this article. However, if you search with quotation marks "Blasphemy. a ticket to Hell has never been funnier" you will find it.

Would God get the joke?

It sounds potentially hideous, doesn’t it? But, I laughed out loud when I saw it. And I’ve laughed at it many times since. This started me on my own reflection: would God get the joke? Would h/He laugh? I can imagine many reasons why he would not. If I saw a photo of one of my sons being crucified and others were doing the YMCA, I would not be the least bit amused. However, this Holy Trinity being is someone bigger, wiser, and gooder (yes – “gooder”) than I. I also think that he might be slightly tickled. Or pleased. Pleased that his son lived with these weirdo humans and they are making a connection to him. That they are not feeling that the God-son is unapproachable, untouchable, unhuman.

God likes to laugh, yes?

Nothing you can say can turn me away from "My God"

The Christian Bible contains the words, “Jesus wept.” I fully believe that at many times in his life, Jesus laughed. Belly-laughed. Belly-laughed until his stomach hurt and tears rolled down his cheeks. So, can he be the “Y” in YMCA or is that blasphemy?

Copyright 2008 Maren E. Morgan

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