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Jesus, Freddie Mercury and Gay Marriage

Following the big news events last week surrounding gay marriage, we received lots of great cartoons, from both the right and the left, about whether gay marriage should be legal in this country (check out our complete collection here).

Mr. Fish is one of my favorite cartoonists and probably the farthest left of any cartoonist on our site; his gay marriage cartoon included the unlikely paring of Jesus Christ and former Queen frontman Freddie Mercury:

I asked Mr. Fish to write up his thoughts about the cartoon, and here’s what he had to say:

The cartoon was drawn in reaction to the vote in North Carolina approving a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. It took me a full day to work through my rage before figuring out the cartoon.

Like so many other progressive cartoonists, my initial instinct was to attack all Southerns in the United States and to classify them as backwoods hicks crippled by a history marred by prejudice and intolerance and legislative buffoonery. Not wanting to join the chorus of such vitriol, though I didn’t find it at all disagreeable, I decided to illustrate the hypocrisy that I heard when listening to those in support of the ban who insisted that their decision was Biblically motivated.

While I don’t believe in the Gospel and think that the subjective nature of Scripture allows for innumerable interpretations and conflicting readings, I do appreciate the historical significance of there having been a big-mouthed radical hell-raiser named Jesus Christ living in Bronze Age Palestine who got in trouble with the political and religious elite for saying that the poor and the sick and the homeless and the misunderstood minorities and the unjustly vilified riffraff were NOT worthless human beings.

It seemed to me that such a committed revolutionary thinker, if presented with contemporary culture, might tend towards acceptance of our glorious differences as human beings rather than condemnation.

What are your thoughts about the cartoon? Either comment below, or drop us a line on our Facebook page.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

71 replies on “Jesus, Freddie Mercury and Gay Marriage”

how incredibly crude and offensive. how does him drawing this cartoon make him any better than those who are against gay marriage? it makes him worse than the people he thinks so awful of. last time i checked, here in America, you are allowed to believe what you believe, be it with popular media/mainstream ideas or not.

Yes, Jesus would have been accepting towards people of gay and lesbian lifestyles, but not necessarily in agreement with their lifestyle choices.

So why are you so upset, Amanda? Here in America, MANY of us believe you, and people like you, are hypocritical bigots. We also believe there's nothing offensive or "crude" about thinking Jesus might have loved men. Chill out, and accept your side has lost this battle.

So, it's crude and offensive when Mr. Fish believes what he believes but not when you do? Huh.

And nowhere in the new testament does jesus makes a stament againts same sex marriage, seems that for such an important issue that would be first in his agenda right?

This is disgusting and disturbing on so many levels, there is truely nothing sacred anymore. Homophobe? No, never have been, the farthest thing from my mind is to walk up to someone and say "Before I decide if I like you whats your sexual preference?" My point is only leave marriage alone. Leave it as the sacred religious rite that its always been. Otherwise carry on, I don't care. Just leave marriage alone.

"last time i checked, here in America, … "

Unless you fall in love with someone if the same gender … ?

I thought this cartoon was very eloquent and showed exactly the hypocrisy of religious extremists. They conveniently forget "The Golden Rule" and "The Ten Commandments."

I didn't say anything about Mr. Fish's beliefs did I? I didn't offend his beliefs, I didn't degrade his beliefs, I didn't even say what I believed, I simply stated he is being crude and offensive towards others beliefs. He is the one who did that to others beliefs… I never commented towards his beliefs.

Thank you, rolando. That's exactly what I was going to point out, but you did so quite nicely!

you can still believe what you want to believe… if you believe it's fine, then believe it, all I said was people can believe what they want to believe and nothing is wrong with that… whether it is pro or against same sex marriage

Why not draw a picture of Freddy and Mohammed? I'm not a Christian, but I find either quite offensive. With that being said, Mr. Fish can draw anything he wants. From Christians he'll get messages of offense. From the others, he'll get a fatwa.

This is over the edge. Do one of Mohammed in that and we'll probably wake up tomorrow to read your death notice…a capital murder result. How many suspects? Right. The situation with marriages today they have a 50-50 or less chance of long-term success; but I think that many marriages are entered into with one partner not knowing what is really in the mind and heart of the other. Twenty-five years after I marrioed, I found my now "ex" was still in love with a ghost (defined as memory) of a former lover to whom he was engaged and lost a year before we ever met. Damn good long-term secret. try living a lie that long…but I did not know it. Funny part, my "ex" has remarried ten years ago. Poor guy! And then the sanctity of marriage is brought up again? Heterosexual or gay, the institution itself is in big trouble.

I didn't talk about my beliefs… which do follow the bible… I simply said he doesn't need to be crude or offensive towards other people's beliefs when sharing his. He has a right to his beliefs, but doesn't need to cross into being outright offensive towards others. If a cartoonist who was against gay marriage made an ugly and offensive cartoon YOU would have a hissy fit over it, would you not? If you think it is okay for ppl to post political cartoons on this website that are outright offensive and crude towards gay rights, then fine… but some how I doubt that you would be in favor of that cartoon, right? You can express your opinions and beliefs all day long without crudely offending other people's beliefs.

The sacred religious rite, eh? Like Rush Limbaugh (who loved it so much he's done it four times so far)? Or Newt Gingrich (ditto, but who gets rid of women when they "look old" or are cancer-ridden)? Or Brittney Spears, whose marriage lasted just 55 days? Or the Kardassian (or however her name is spelled – who cares???) whose multi-million dollar extravaganza lasted 71 days? Or did you mean the Clintons, whose marriage has lasted, so far, nearly 30 years? Or the Obamas, who have a strong and long-lasting marriage? I didn't think so. No. You meant those marriages of which YOU approve. H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.S.Y. Thy name is Republican.

I wonder what Mr. Fish's life expectancy would be if he had depicted Mohammed as a homosexual rather than Jesus? lucky for him he ridicules a religion that teaches its followers to leave vengeance to God.

You follow the bible? Do you avoid shellfish, not wear blended fabrics, not plant two different kinds of plants in your garden plots or go out looking for adulterers to stone to death?* If you follow the bible, follow ALL of it, not just the parts you agree with.

*Try reading A.J. Jacobs' book "My Year Of Living Biblically", in which he tried to follow all of the niggling little rules in the bible and see how far he got.

To Irenek, John and paseodelnorte:

What all of you said is idiotic. Since most of the people who are opposed to same-sex marriage in the US are basing their opposition on what they hold to be Christian doctrine, to make a statement by using a figure from a non-Christian religion would be pointless. You three obviously know nothing about satire or irony.

"[L]ucky for him he ridicules a religion that teaches its followers to leave vengeance to God. " Oh Yeah? Tell that to Matthew Shepard, David Gunn, Shannon Lowney, Lee Ann Nichols, John Britton, James Barnett, Robert Sanderson, Emily Lyons, Garson Romalis or Greg McKendry.

How, Why or When I follow the Bible is a daily choice (and struggle) I make that I don't answer to you about. However, um, adulterers to stone to death? You cannot be serious, that is one of the primary teachings in the Bible to NOT do … you know, being since Jesus said let he who has not sinned cast the first stone… come on, now… I try my best to never judge, as taught by the Lord and I love people, regardless of whether they believe my beliefs or not. I could care less what you think of my beliefs for I do not answer to you. I am simply saying Mr. Fish should do the same and respect others beliefs. I don't care he doesn't believe them, that is something only he needs to address, and I definitely don't care to hear your recommendations on my faith or how I live my life. But, thanks for the thought.

Nunuv, you are basing your remarks on the subject of same-sex marriage. The topic of the conversation here is the depiction of a religious figure in a culturally sensitive situation.

Would Mr. Fish or any other cartoonist draw Mohammed or Allah in this manner? I think not! They would be crapping in their pants from sheer fright of retailiation from the Muslims. Catholics turn the other cheek but the Muslims lop off your head for dipicting disgusting "cartoons" such as this.

Ok, lemme see if I get this right; Drawing a slashfic picture of what happens to be YOUR favourite character is as bad as voting to limit the rights of a minority? One does not = the other.

Jesus would have said—no, that's right, he actually did say–"Forgive them father, for they know not what they do."
That probably applies as blanket to pretty much anybody and everybody on either side who is arguing about this cartoon.

A couple of points here: #1 Mr Fish is going for shock value- he got it from those who are Christian in their beliefs. #2 If you did this with any other religion then someone would be in trouble with the MSM and the LEFT. # 3 Those who believe that the Old and New Testaments are one and the same have no Biblical education. The Old Testament was written specifically to the Jews to set them apart from the rest of the world. The diet, dress, and customs were all meant to be different than the heathen nations around them. The New Testament, after Christ's ascension allows for the Jews and Christians to eat what they want, worship wherever, ect…
#4 Jesus did comment on the gay/homosexual lifestyle in 2 ways: He attended the marriage in Canaan and blessed it and throughout the New Testament (the Word of God) says directly that a man loving a man or a woman loving a woman in a sexual relationship(sodomy) was an abomination in the sight of God. He- Jesus still loves the person but cannot love the sin they commit.

I am not a Christian but an agnostic but I respect all faiths and religions and never mock any diety. That diety may not mean anything to me but to someone it is still a diety. The cartoonist is an idiot. I wish he had done it against Islam than he would be hiding in a closet for all his life.

This is why America is falling apart – I mean fell apart years ago! God Bless America? America turned its back centuries ago…

I don't know what the answer is to the question of right or wrong regarding same sex marriage. I do know, however, that the Jesus who is my Lord and Savior would not turn anyone away – from his unconditional love. I really do have a hard time with the cartoon even though I understand its meaning and can see it being very significant to gay couples. I might even have a greater issue to deal with in myself if Jesus was in bed with a woman – but that's my problem to work out.

The point has been made again and again since Obama spoke his feelings last week and I think everyone so inclined has milked it enough. Let's move past this.

yes, this cartoon is about shock value. thankfully, it doesn't depict marriage or love or even Jesus Christ. it depicts freddie mercury and robert powell (remember him, the one who made Christ look like a drugged-out zombie in the movie 'Jesus of Nazareth'?) in bed, presumably pre- or post-coitus. nothing to do with love or marriage.

When we speak of homosexuality, we're talking about sex, not sex for the reason it was created, to propagate the species, but sex for the simple pleasure of it. If your sexual pleasure is derived from a member of your own gender, fine. But is this something really to be proud of? Or ashamed of? What's the big deal I see marriage as a sacred institution originally instituted to guarantee children a mother and a father. I have seen kids grow up with two mamas or two papas. Kids usually end up screwed up. Not a good idea. Most homosexual relationships are very temporary. .Not all of them, but most of them.
If sex was invented to guarantee the continuation of mankind, and other species, then homosexuality defeats that purpose. Actually, I strongly believe in 'live and let live'. I can tolerate homosexuality. But the thought of obtaining sexual pleasure from the mouth or anus of one of my own sex really disgusts me. And if the only way Charlie can be happy is to marry Ernie, well, sorry, Charlie.

Of course, Jesus never lived in a land called "Palestine". I wonder why Mr. Fish saw fit to use that misnomer in his write-up. The land Jesus lived in was called Judea — Jew-dea, get it? Time to accept that it was (and is) the land of the Jews.

Jesus' message is NOT about tolerance. It's about God. If you choose a lifestyle over God then you have chosen that lifestyle.

Also a religion who's Messiah said "Judge not, lest ye be judged thyself"
Yet, as a liberal leaning independant in NC, I see an awful large amount of judgement coming from people who are constantly asking "What would Jesus Do?"

Really now?
Let's see chapter and verse on that.
Also – which version of the bible?

After all one has to remember that much New testiment was carried orally for at least 300 years, before being penned into different languages, in addition to the Letters of the appostles which where written in the languages of the various people they where sent to. This was all compiled and written in Latin and kept from the general population by the church for a good 700 or more years. Have you studied Latin? I have. Latin is not English and it does not translate easily.

This whole article really offended my sensibilities. I was raised Methodist and so as with most Methodist churches we are neither radical to the right or the left. In fact I very much dislike what is going on in the house of the US Congress right now. However I have deep seated idea's of Christ that were planted in my brain as a child and they are nothing like Mr. Fish's Cartoon. I would have appreciated a warning about what I was about to see, before I opened this morning's Cagle Newsletter. This was very poorly handled. I am not objecting to the creater of this cartoon, only the fact that it just appeared on my screen without warning me that it might be very offensive, which is was.

The issue was Christian opposition to same-sex marriage in North Carolina, not something happening in Saudi Arabia.

False equivalency. This is about rejection of same-sex marriage in North Carolina, supposedly on "Christian" grounds, not legal ones. If this was about rejection of same-sex marriage in Saudi Arabia, maybe you would have a point.

What part about "judge not lest ye be judged" or "love thy neighbour as thyself" don't you understand?

Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. The biblical proscription is old testament, same as the one concerning shellfish. You can't lay your prejudices on Jesus this time.

It may be a sacred religious rite to you but to others it's a social contract that outlines the legal and moral responsibilities of the parties entering into it. You have no right to deny someone the same rights and responsibilities you are privileged to have.

Yes, you did. You called him crude, offensive and awful. Funny, that's how I feel about homophobes.

Actually, most of the New Testament was not carried orally. It was carried in letters that were copied and re-copied over time to distribute to the various churches. They were eventually compiled when Christianity was made the legal religion of the Roman Empire. Until Constantine legalized the religion it was carried by letters and never in one place. The Catholic church did keep it from the general population but the Ana-baptists never let go of their versions of Hebrew /Greek translations since they were routinely persecuted by the Catholics and later by the other Protestant religions. Latin does not translate easily and if you look at the KJV you will find words that are in italics which signify that there was not an English word for that word from the Greek and they had to create one for the translation. The Old Testament was originally in Hebrew and the completed New Testament was done in Greek and then eventually translated to Latin.
I will refer to the 2nd chapter of Peter as to what God thinks of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and Peter gives that as an example of how bad someone can be in the eyes of God and yet HE still will save them. I will post other New Testament references if you wish but as I am on my break at school I am limited by time. The KJV, NKJV and NIV all make the same reference to 2 Peter.

2 random comments.
Naturalist have observed episodes of homosexual behavior in nearly all primate species. Must be in the DNA.
I wonder how temporary heterosexual relationships would be if marriage between a single man and a single women was outlawed.

That is so fricking sad for the humanoids. I am happy for Jesus and Freddy though. Hurray !!

Comparing apples and oranges John, animals mate on instinct and react according to the mating season. A dog will hump a human's leg but that doesn't make him human. I know you said primates! Humans are not animals, unless you believe we "evolved" from the slime of nature. (yeah, all the random necessary molecules just found each other and we just moved up the evolutionary ladder LOL).
Humans make choices about who they mate with, I don't care who they mate with but states get to define what the definition of marriage is so let them.

Mr. Fish's courage would have been exceeded only by The President's … if only he had depicted The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) instead of Jesus Christ, or added on the other side of Freddie.

Sorry Rolando where did you say your degree in biblical studies was from? Jesus did in fact say that marriage was between a man and a woman. And that anything outside of that was considered a sin.

You can "tolerate homosexuality"? How big of you. It sickens me when people use faith as an excuse to walk all over other people's basic human rights.

Romans 1:26-27, you can look at almost any translation- KJV, NKJV, NIV, NIT they all pretty much have the same thing. The Apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells you what God thinks of the homosexual lifestyle in the New Testament.
By the way, the Old Testament law was written to and for the Jewish people to set them apart from the countries around them. They were supposed to be different in dress, diet, worship, ect..
Since GOD never changes his stance on what HE terms sin (we humans have an interesting take on what sin is but that is a different discussion), if GOD said it was wrong in the OT then HE is not going to change HIS mind in the NT.
We humans choose to do what we want and I have no problem with that I just wonder where it will stop- when do you stop redefining marriage? Where is the line in the sand so to speak?

For the mos part very true static, the New Testament (Greek Septuagint) was placed in book form until almost 300 years after the death of Christ. It was mainly the copies of the letters of the apostles that were recopied over and over again that circulated until the putting together of the New Testament. After Constantine legalized Christianity the Greek NT was translated into Latin as you descried.
I used the reference in 2 Peter to make the connection between OT and NT but probably the best NT reference for God's take on homosexuality is Romans 1:26-27. Almost all translations have the same wording- KJV, NKJV, NIT, NLT are just a few.
I would say this, the meaning behind 2 Peter is that if God judged the sin this way back then in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah, He will judge the sin again. If you read the context of 2 Peter and Romans together the basic understanding in this- God considers homosexual actions wrong and He will judge it. Not my words but His.
I could care less what someone does with someone else in their own home- that is free will but I do draw a line on the marriage issue from this standpoint: where does it stop? I used the absurd example of what was the difference between someone who wants to have sex with an animal or child and was quickly pounced on by others as there is no connection between that and homosexual acts. I concur there is no direct connection and people who would have sex with animals or children are quite sick. Here is a connection: up until 1974 homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder. That changed for no medical reason- there was none cited by the APA they just removed it from their list of disorders. How long before they do the same for the others listed as an example above? Or, how long before someone challenges the definition of marriage saying that they want to marry more than one person? I know, that was challenged a long time ago and actually went before the SCOTUS but it could be challenged again. Just some thoughts.

What does that have to do with anything? Does anyone know the religion of the people who voted for or against? I stand by my statement. Ever since the blow-up in Denmark, cartoonists will not draw a picture of Mohammed, but have free reign over depictions of Jesus, because they know which depiction will get them at the very least *threatened,* or even killed. Christians will just yell. Muslims will kill.

For your information, I know a lot about satire and irony. Unless one has the ability to see into the religious souls of each person who voted for or against, my statement is valid.

I, for one, don't care what people do behind closed doors. I am not a Christian. Yet I think that this depiction is offensive, not because of its content, but because of its hypocrisy. The religious figures used in cartoons of this sort will always be of a Judeo/Christian nature. I assert that cartoonists are too cowardly to use Mohammed in this same way because they want to live in (relative) peace, not get a beheading threat from the Muslims.

Which is exactly what would happen.

Muslims kill gays. I wanted to see if it is male to make a charge to their prophet.
He'll never do it because he knows I run great risk of being killed. In doing so he takes with Jesus Christ that Christians are tolerant, because it will hurt him, despite his BLASPHEMY!

Well, there are several points I would agree with you on. The focus on the Declaration of Independence is one of them. Society sets it's boundaries as to what constitutes a marriage. I have no problem with the idea that states should vote on it- let democracy rule. If a state votes for it great, if not then a civil union should suffice. I have no problem with what people do in their bedroom, as a Libertarian I believe you should be free to do what you want.
I did not quote the OT because there is a difference in the OT ans NT. The law was done away with- Christ come to fulfill the law but more importantly He allowed the the Jews or Christians the freedom to not have to be constrained by the overbearing rules of the law. (over 2,000 by the time of Christ's birth) That being said, what calls an abomination I am pretty sure He is not going to change his mind on. Sin is sin in His eyes, only humans see a difference in the degree of sin.
Although we do not let the church make laws and enforce them- we have relied on churches to influence the laws that are created. James Madison is quoted as saying " the people make laws and the churches make the people- you cannot have moral laws without moral people" According to George Washington- " the 2 pillars of our countries government are built upon are individual freedom and the morals of Christianity. If you take one of these pillars away than our government cannot function"

This is purely against christian beliefs and for all you people who are christian and support same sex marriage, in the bible it says that marriage is intended for the man and woman nowhere does it say that two men or two women. how much worse could this be all over Google if you search up Jesus all these purely slanderous images come up portraying Jesus in disgusting slanderous ways he is the one who created you
and this is how you repay him? That's just sad all you people should look further into the christian faith and learn what being a christian is all about.

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