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Saturday, May 08, 2021

I want everyone to know that Jesus had absolutely nothing to do with my success as a writer.

I also hate puppies and kittens, and I throw rocks at the elderly in my spare time.

Before you stop reading this, Facebook-stalk me and send me hate-mail, know this:

First of all, I don't really have a measure of my success as a writer, unless you count the ninth-grade English award I won. Second, I'm Jewish. Third, I love puppies, kittens are okay and I enjoy helping the elderly.

However, if someday I win a Pulitzer Prize, I will change my religion to Pulitzerism. Or maybe I wouldn't.

And finally, the apology.

My deepest apologies if my opening line offended anyone. Obviously you can tell I was mistakenly trying to start the next Crusade. Or maybe, just maybe, I was parodying comedian Kathy Griffin's latest Emmy Award acceptance speech, in which she jokingly denied the Jesus' role in the recent success of her career.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kathy Griffin repeated her acceptance speech from the awards show that will air on E! and said the audience laughed, realizing she was kidding when she told Jesus to "Suck it."

However, Catholic League President Bill Donohue decried Griffin's speech and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said they would censor her comments.

So maybe it wasn't the greatest route to take. No one should be told to suck it - especially Jesus.

I think she should've modeled herself after Sally Field, who in her 1985 Oscars speech proclaimed "I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!" It gets just as many laughs (perhaps unintended by Fields) without the potential for a religious uprising against Griffin and the Emmy Awards.

But she didn't. And here we are again at another freedom-of-speech fork in the road. Just when you thought we had beaten that extremely dead First Amendment horse to pulp - to the point where it doesn't even remotely resemble a horse anymore - someone always finds a way to resuscitate it. I mean, come on. First Amendment rights are so 2002 with the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" incident. Way to be original, Griffin.

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I know E! reserves the right to pick and choose what it airs. However, it's dangerous to allow religious groups to have a say in what we see on television. Our First Amendment rights are stomped on enough in this country without our entertainment being regulated by religious groups.

The Catholic League and all other religions groups for that matter shouldn't be able to selectively outcry at public actions. So it's offended by Kathy Griffin's joke and not offended by about every minute of MTV? I guess it's okay to offend the Catholic League's sensibilities and engage in stereotypical satanic activity - as long as you don't mention Jesus.

Don't think I'm crucifying the Catholic League or other religious establishments. I'm essentially scrutinizing the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' censoring of a self-deprecating joke truly directed at the cliché, overdramatic nature of the Emmy Awards. For the love or unlove of God, lighten up. Maybe the academy should change their name to the Academy of Television Arts & Theology.

But let's move on to more pressing issues like Britney Spears' doped-up comeback performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. If that's not blasphemous, I don't know what is.

Stephanie Rosenberg is a junior majoring in journalism. Her column appears on Thursdays.

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