If Christians in the south rioted over Bill Maher’s anti-religion movie, this would be a lesson about the necessity of Free Speech in the face of protests, with a whiff of amused contempt about the excitable yahoos. If Christians in Africa rioted over the movie, there would be a more nuanced response, because of the horrors of colonialism are a chock that stops whatever remains of the Western press’ moral sense, and also the general who-knows-who-cares attitude towards Africa you get anywhere but the BBC. I mean, it’s a mess. Put it on A6. If Christians in China rioted over the movie, it would be a story about the government’s difficulty to control information in the Internet age, and there’d be a reference to the Falun Gong crackdown, and it would all peter out with a quote from someone in a college office somewhere.
Can’t quite imagine Buddhists rioting over it. Can’t quite imagine Hindus giving a rancid fig for Bill Maher’s opinion. Can’t imagine Copts or Zoroastrians or devotees of Odin pounding the table and shouting THIS SHALL NOT STAND and marching off with a gun to set things right. For that matter, can’t imagine Christians in the South, Africa, or China deciding that the rest of the day shall be devoted to yelling about the existence of a movie written and performed by a comedian who’s just got religion’s number, totally, like no one else ever.