It’s only necessary to look at the personal, seemingly malevolent sarcasm of Frank O’Brien’s June 23 letter, “Right to express religious views,” and Jennifer Kim’s June 23 letter, “Mild wisecrack in comparison,” to see what is wrong with the Christian mentality.
O’Brien, in particular, insists that he doesn’t see a necessity in taking seriously the views of Amy Chavez in her June 1 column, “Everyone’s own path to enlightenment,” yet he clearly feels the need to write a long letter on the subject. Hamlet might say he “doth protest too much.”
It’s interesting to note that both O’Brien and Kim make Drusilla de Lanor (June 13 letter, “No offense taken to ‘that guy“) out to be oversensitive for accusing Brian Redmond (June 9 letter, “An offensive religious reference“) of bullying. This is a twisting of De Lanor’s words, as De Lanor in fact is talking about Redmond’s appearing to play the victim.
Jesus was a historical figure, and deserves no more or less respect than anyone else, regardless of how many artworks he’s in. (Including those made when nonreligious subject matter would entail a quick trip to the stake.)
After all, how many people would descend into apoplexy if they heard Epicurus called “that guy in the Garden” or John Cleese called “that funny bloke from Weston-super-Mare”?
Chavez’s article is actually a fairly accurate description of the phenomenon of Western Zen Buddhism. O’Brien’s view of such accuracy as “derogatory” is fairly typical of the postmodern multiculturalist tendency, where all religions tend to stick together and accuse every rationalist of bigotry as a way of silencing dissent.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.