Another Conservative Atheist?

The Human BibleI really like Robert M. Price as a New Testament scholar. He does good work and I’ve learned a lot from him. But by listening to his lectures and reading his blog, it is clear that when it comes to politics, he isn’t a very clear thinker. For example, during one interview, he mentioned that he thought that abortion was almost always morally wrong. By that, I assume he means that abortions could be all right in the case of the life of the mother. I think too highly of him to think that he would be for the pernicious rape exception. But that’s still quite a statement: the right of a woman to her own body is trumped by a brainless three day old fetus.

That stuck out to me because I had heard a comment of his about the comic strip Jesus and Mo. It is kind of like a road picture, but instead of Hope and Crosby, it has Jesus and Mohammad. It is silly and insightful and even, I would say, sort of sweet. Price asked rhetorically why there hadn’t been a fatwa taken out against the writer. Here’s this week’s cartoon; see if you can’t spot a reason why Muslim’s might not find this cartoon so offensive:

Jesus and Mo

I think that there isn’t anything particularly hateful about the cartoon and that it makes fun of a number of religious icons (Moses is sometimes in the strip as well). I think that Muslims probably feel a little insecure when it comes to their faith given the dominance of the United States and our creepy obsession with Christianity. So given that this comic is making fun of religion generally and not their religion in particular, I suspect that don’t see a big problem.

The picture that this paints to me of Price, however, is of a guy with very typical conservative prejudices. And other than his formal work and his pop culture obsessions, I don’t see him as a particularly reflective guy. And that’s all fine. I just hope I don’t start hearing a lot more of his ideology when all I really want to know is more about the Bible from a historical and analytical standpoint.

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