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Bathed in the poo of Christian love

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, December 4, 2008 2:17 EDT
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Once in awhile I’m mildly grateful for Bill Donohue’s tone-deaf faux outrages over random shit he seems to select by throwing darts at a wall. The latest outrage demonstrates conclusively that Donohue is not a smart man, and probably uses faux outrage to deflect attention from his IQ deficiencies. There’s no way to coyly lead up to the punchline on this, so I’ll just say it straight—Donohue is outraged at a Catalonian tradition that dates back hundreds of years because it offends his love of obsequious ass-kissing of authority. The tradition is far cooler than any American Christmas traditions. They take little statues (usually of peasants) of people squatting and taking a shit and put them in nativity scenes. I fail to see how you get more awesome than that. It’s great, so naturally Bill Donohue is against it, and is raising a fuss because a California museum is displaying an artist’s take on it involving political and sports figures.

Spanish artist Antoni Miralda’s exposition “Poetical Gut” at Copia, a food, wine and arts museum in Napa, Calif., features ceramic figurines of the pope, nuns and angels with their pants down, squatting over their bowel movements.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a 350,000-member group based in New York, has written to the museum’s board of trustees to say it finds the show offensive.

“When it’s degrading, everybody knows it except the spin doctors who run the museums,” the group’s president, William Donohue, said Sunday.

It must be weird to have a brain that does no thinking but yet can churn out faux outrage at breakneck speed. Neurologists should study Donohue.

While to American eyes, the automatic reading of this tradition is about taking the piss out of religious authority, the tradition is not actually about that at all, according the museum director.

In a tradition that dates back to the 18th century, Catalonians hide caganers in Christmas Nativity scenes and invite friends over to try to find them. The figures symbolize fertilization and the hope for prosperity in the coming year, according to Joan.

“It’s really only a game,” he said. “The caganer is not supposed to steal Je-sus’ spotlight in the manger scene. But it’s logical that when traditions like this are exported they can be misunderstood.”

I will continue to secretly believe that this is merely an excuse to cover up sheer awesomeness. Kidding! I believe the guy. But it’s nonetheless interesting that the art show has statues that are famous figures. There’s more than a whiff of insolence to the whole thing. But honestly, I’d think it’s an honor to have a shitting statue of you made. Maybe next year they’ll make one of Bill Donohue.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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