Butler snaps, writes angry column

By Mike Butler
November 16, 2000

Nice costume, eh? I figure it’s Halloween time. Let’s get in the spirit. And since I’m in a pleasant mood, this week’s column will not be about the administration. Instead, I’ll tell you a scary story.

I haven’t watched television in two months. No, that isn’t the scary part. I don’t have cable in my apartment and we don’t have an antenna for the TV so have no idea what’s on the idiot box. Among the many shows I’ve missed during this time, like South Park and programming from the World Wrestling Federation, I also missed the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Thankfully I’m connected to the internet so I haven’t been completely cut off from the world. During a visit to my favorite website, Seanbaby.com, I found an interesting story concerning a commercial that aired during the Olympics. This is where the scary part begins.

Nike ran an ad where middle-distance runner Suzy Hamilton is in a cabin in the woods and gets attacked by a Jason-like psycho with a chainsaw. But Suzy, being the athlete she is, out-runs the psycho who stops running after her, huddles over wheezing for air and goes home. The tag-line to this commercial is “Why Sport? Because you’ll live longer.” So it’s a parody on slasher horror movies. Clever idea for a commercial, right? Not according to the hyper-sensitive.

Many women were outraged at this commercial because they felt that the ad was promoting violence against women. Nike was flooded with angry letters and E-mails from offended viewers, most of them women. With all the controversy over the ad, NBC pulled the ad off of their Olympic coverage. I don’t know whether the commercial is still on the air and I don’t care.

But what I do care about is how our society gets offended and outraged at the drop of a hat over anything. Well, this was the last straw for me. I am sick of parents’ groups, women’s groups, men’s groups and mainly religious groups for going on the warpath when something they don’t like appears on TV. When people think that a commercial about a woman using her athletic talent to escape a gruesome death at the hands of a chainsaw-wielding maniac is promoting violence toward women, then I must strike back with a vengeance.

I am calling for the banning of the Bible in all bookstores, libraries and schools. I find it offensive and it promotes violence. I now present to you specific examples to support my argument.

Example one: The story of David and Goliath. David slays Goliath by hitting him in the head with a rock. This is clearly promoting violence against tall people. It’s practically saying “Hit tall people in the head with rocks.”

Example two: The crucifixion of Jesus. This is some pretty graphic stuff right here. The scourging at the pillar, the crown of thorns, the nailing to the cross, the spear in the side and then finaly the death of Jesus. This is far more violent than anything on network TV or basic cable. What kind of effect do you think this graphic imagery has on kids? What happens if a child reads this? They could get the idea that they should gruesomely crucify people. And as you might not know, crucifixion is a horrible way to die.

Example three: Many groups that are against homosexuals claim that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin and that those who commit homosexual acts will be thrown into hell. I did some research and found this to be true. It’s in the book of Romans. Sounds like the big book is promoting intolerance here, which inevitably leads to violence. And don’t even get me started on the Crusades. I could take up another page commenting on that.

Example four: The wedding at Canaan. Jesus turns all the water into wine. Well, what about the people who didn’t want wine? What about the wedding guests who were recovering alcoholics? The Bible is promoting alcoholism which can lead to violence, namely domestic violence. And domestic violence is a huge issue with women’s groups.

These are just some basic examples of how offensive the Bible can be if you use the same logic that people used to get upset over the Nike ad. Pretty scary, huh? Not quite as scary as a chainsaw wielding maniac or seeing “Coyote Ugly,” but it’s bone-chilling nonetheless.

I would like to address the crusaders against things on TV that they don’t like. There’s a device in your home called a remote control. When the offensive commercial or program shows up on your TV, CHANGE THE CHANNEL. That’s what I do, or at least did when I could watch TV.

But I guess some people just want to feel righteous and so they want to “fight the good fight.” But I’ll take being intelligent over being righteous any day. I guess we don’t value intelligence as much as we used to.

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Mike Butler

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