Is it offensive to photoshop the Pope?
Benetton has withdrawn the advertisement which shows Pope Benedict XVI kissing Islamic Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb. Perhaps understandably, a number of Roman Catholics found it offensive, and Fr. Lombardi at the Holy See called it 'unacceptable'.
But if it be, why is not also 'unacceptable' to photoshop images of any world leaders kissing each other? Benetton have not pulled their posters of President Barack Obama smooching Venezuela’s Hugo Chàvez, or that of Chancellor Merkel snogging President Sarkozy.
Are not these offensive to their followers? Do not Democrats find manipulated images of their saviour offensive? Why should religious leaders be preserved from 'unacceptable' parody or satire? We are not, after all, talking about the images of Mohammed or Jesus or any demi-god; we are talking about fallible men (except, of course, in dogmatic matters of faith).
And if be offensive to show the Pope kissing, is it not also offensive to juxtapose the Archbishop of Canterbury with Animal? Is that not designed to provoke? Who deterimes the threshold of offence?
Give a Jew a bacon sandwich, and he’ll roar with laughter, and what's more there will be no lawsuit for infringement of their human rights or a call to jihad. Islam is no laughing matter, Mohammed no joke, and Allah apparently incapable of humour. One must hope this incapacity for levity does not become too widespread, or Rowan