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« Comic strip artists too lazy to draw | Main | Bush and Condi 'like a normal couple' »

November 30, 2003



In order to distinguish this whole line of reasoning from an empty conspiracy theory you have to ask yourself several questions.
1) Has Johnny Hart used either the waxing or waning crescent moon in the past? How often?
2) Has he ever produced simple-minded strips that had only obvious and superficial concepts on offer? How often? (Ans: quite often.)
3) Has he made gratuitous references to odor or bodily functions?
4) Has he ever commented on past strips, and has he commented, or refused to comment, on this strip?

Your discussion of the previous strip on Christianity was certainly pertinent and telling, but not convincing.

To me, however, the larger point is being ignored. Christians can feel free to criticize there own religion and anyone else can too. There is no fear in today's world that you will be hunted down and killed for your comments and opinions related to Christianity. Many people also have comments to make on Judaism, and receive relatively little flack unless they bring up the sensitive points relating to stereotypes and historical revisionism. Jews will gladly argue with you rationally on both sides of almost any issue. I would characterize the people who took offense to this comic strip as rigid and hysterical with possible indications of paranoia.

Assuming the comic strip is actually intended as these people fear, I find it to be a relatively polite way of expressing the obvious, that Islam does have issues that it needs to deal with.
No doubt, people of good will can work it out. Johnny Hart has not in any way shown me that he is not a person of good will.

Frank Warner

Your questions are good, but I have few answers.

I also leave the door open to the possibility that, even if Johnny Hart was referring to Islam, he was criticizing something wrong within the Islamic world, not with the religion itself. Some people obviously are hiding behind Islam to commit crimes Islam condemns.

I don’t know how often Hart has used crescent or waning moons, or references to bodily functions in “B.C.,” because I just haven’t paid much attention to the comic strips.

I also wonder how often he has used the “SLAM” sound effect in capital letters, vertically. Maybe someone can tell us.

He has commented on this outhouse strip. “This comic was in no way intended to be a message against Islam - subliminal or otherwise,” he said. “It would be contradictory to my own faith as a Christian to insult other people’s beliefs. If you should have any further silly notions about malicious intent from this quarter, you can save yourself a phone call.”

Perhaps malice wasn’t there. But what was there?

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