June 2, 2009
Doonesbury angers Jews and their ‘crabby and snarky’ old God
I didn’t know anyone still reads the Sunday comics, but apparently Doonesbury still has its fair share of followers. And quite of few of them are ripe pissed about a strip Sunday, which, according to JTA’s Ron Kampeas, “which manages to raise two classical anti-Jewish tropes in just six panels (most papers drop the first two panels): The ‘Old Testament’ God is vengeful, as opposed to the loving New Testament God; and the bad guys, the truly hateful villains, are the moneylenders.”
Click here to see the comic strip. It shows a young girl, pictured, reacting to a church sermon by the Rev. Sloan.
“Well, whenever you read from the Old Testament, God is always crabby and snarky to everyone,” the girl says. “But the New Testament isn’t about anger at all—it’s about love.”
I’ve never read Doonesbury, so I don’t know if it’s creator, Garry Trudeau, is usually that preachy. But the girl goes on to say that Jesus was a pacifist—“he wouldn’t harm a flea”—except for when he had to deal with those awful moneychangers.
Now you can see why Jews might have been offended by the comic strip. Trudeau’s comic drew him a letter yesterday from Rabbi David Saperstein and another from the Anti-Defamation League. Here’s what the ADL had to say:
Trudeau has never been accused of being an anti-Semite. Rather, he’s accused of having a sharp pen and being a keen observer. But his exegetical ability appears to be a bit weaker. Ben Weiner, a New York-based rabbi, has a good analysis at Religion Dispatches.