RELIGION > German Christians fume over Jesus cartoon

KASSEL - Germany

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A controversial cartoon about Jesus displayed in the German city of Kassel has caused a furor among Christians there, Der Spiegel reported. 

The cartoon hangs in a window at the biennial art exhibition Documenta, and depicts Jesus in agony on the cross as a voice calls down an offensive expression from heaven. 

“I find it problematic when a cartoon disparages the very heart of a faith,” Barbara Heinrich, a Protestant official in the city, told German news agency DPA. 

Local Catholic priest Harald Fischer has likewise criticized the cartoon, according to the local paper, the Hessische-Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA). 

Museum head Martin Sonntag told the HNA that caricatures are by their very nature offensive to some observers, rejecting requests to remove the poster. “But we can’t remove cartoons after every complaint,” he said. 

The artist behind the caricature, Mario Lars, likewise expressed surprise at the burgeoning debate. “It was not my intention to hurt the feelings of the faithful,” Lars said. “I was just making a joke. [The church] should stand aloof from such things and address more important problems. Such a large commotion over a small joke isn’t good for the church.”


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Murat U

9/16/2012 8:18:45 PM

Ahmetcan, I don't think someone's religion ought to be respected by default, only tolerated or ignored, respected if they like, but there should certainly be no *demand* for respect. The concessions, exemptions and special treatment granted to religious people who endlessly ride on the wave of 'you must respect me' is not conducive to an open society. It is contributing to the ever increasing sensibilities of the religious and will only cause tension and strife. Religion must be open to jokery.

mara mcglothin

9/14/2012 5:53:08 PM

RIMON I do believe it is not our job to rank the "piousness" of anyone, be it Christians or Jews or anyone else. Isn't judgement of others beliefs and ideas what has gotten so many into trouble these days. REDTAIL Spot on! Good one. I guess we need only to wait for the Pope to put out a fatwa---I mean a contract on the artist! PRISONER Don't judge others!

illawarrior hill

8/25/2012 9:22:01 AM

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say and write things that others might not like, and it includes the freedom to criticise religions and politics. There will always be people who are offended by remarks of others. Get over it!

Ahmetcan Caglayan

8/23/2012 6:50:15 PM

@ Rimon Tree, 76% of Europeans call themselves Christians. But this is a fact you will deny. 53.5 million Germans, or 65% are Christians. Back up your claims with facts. Religion must be respected, even if you deny religion you must respect the believers.

Rimon Tree

8/23/2012 2:47:23 PM

@ Prisoner Most of the Europeans are NOT really Christians, most are secular and only keep the Christian main feasts out of a certain tradition and to have some more days off work, which has got nothing to do with religion. A carricature like that would not stir much of the public and most people laugh about the excitement. The catholic church, which is small in Gemrany anyway, is on the decline and now they just try hard to get some attention.

The Prisoner

8/23/2012 1:06:41 PM

Religion pokes it's head above the parapet- then it cannot complain if some people 'take the mickey'. How Germans can be christians anyway confuses me!

Red Tail

8/23/2012 12:55:17 PM

Why not send some Christian extremists and try kill all people involved and then continue threaten them. A good old riot when the young male defenders of the the religion also burn down half the town, smash windows and shout slogans all while you have head bands tied around your forehead with something like "God is good". That is a civilized way of solving perceived blasphemy.........
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