One should not offend, except in the service of freedom. Where is the border there? Oh, I forgot, you may also offend in the service of satire. Whoa, baby, in the service of satire? What you say? Can one serve satire? Oh, yes, my little porcupines, one can. Satire is such a flexible little beast… almost anything is allowed in the name of satire. Even the most tasteless things.
But I try not to be tasteless. Mostly. I might make fun of God, whichever God you prefer… but probably not to your face, out of common civility (or out of fear of being punched). Faced with you and your beliefs, I will not ridicule them. I might spar with you a little, if I am bored, but otherwise I will leave you in peace with your beliefs.. Actually I find gods quite nice, in their quaint little way.
The funny thing is, I still say „Jesus!“ when something surprises me or „oh my God!“ when I am shocked, and so on. I’ve grown up an atheist, but nevertheless I am woven in to the Christian net.
My Son is an atheist as well, but his religion teacher says he knows more about the Bible than any of his classmates. Yeah, so why is that, you fucking Christians? Because the atheists tend to think about it all, for Christ’s sake. Because they know a little bit about what stands in the fucking Bible, because they actually (well, some of them at least) read the fucking Bible, because they have actually thought about God, and what the existence of God, true or not, actually could mean. My son’s classmates say: I believe in God. But they probably haven’t spent a single thought on the subject. My son knows about God. He knows about many gods, Christian, Greek, Roman, Norse… he hasn’t learned much about the Eastern gods yet, but he will. If he wants to believe in whatever, so be it. He is free to choose.
If I seem offensive to some people, that’s fine. All I am doing is exercising my freedom of thought and expression. There are times when one has to be offensive, in order to rattle people out of their preconceptions, and that is what satire is about. When your freedom to be offensively satirical is curtailed by threat of reprisal or death, that is bad news for you and your society as a whole. It’s all part of intolerance, of trying to dictate what people must believe. In the end, we have a simple equation: satire = freedom.
Listening to Helter Skelter from the Beatles.