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Monday, December 18, 2006

It's A Secular Christmas Charlie Brown!

Here's an interesting quote I ran across from cartoonist Charles Schultz (who died in 2000), creator of, in my opinion, the mind-boggling mundane, trifling and unfunny "Peanuts" comic strip (which even as a kid I thought "Peanuts" was unforgivably repetitive, lame and an ass-suck of a comic - I mean, how many times can Lucy yank the football away from Charlie - and that's supposed to be funny?) :

    "The term that best describes me now is 'secular humanist,'" (Schultz) explained.

    "I despise those shallow religious comics," he said. "Dennis the Menace, for instance, is the most shallow. When they show him praying--I just can't stand that sort of thing, talking to God about some cutesy thing that he'd done during the day. I don't think Hank Ketcham [Dennis' creator] has any deep knowledge of things like that."

    He cringed when I mentioned Family Circus, the strip by Bill Keane that is strewn with cutesy references to Jesus (who wants to protect children on school buses, but can't because of laws about separation of church and state!) and those sickly-sweet images of invisible deceased grandparents looming protectively over the kids.

    "Oh, I can't stand that," Schulz laughed. "You could get diabetes reading them, couldn't you?"

I don't know that "Dennis The Menace" can be correctly identified as a "religious cartoon" per se, shallow or otherwise. And I'm going out on a limb here, but I highly doubt that anyone ever forced Schultz, at gun-point, to read "Family Circus".

I find it interesting that Schultz had no apparent problem or conflicts of interest with the spiritual message in "A Charlie Brown Christmas", especially Linus' ingratiating soliloquy on the meaning of Christmas, which for Schultz - according to his own words - should have induced him into a state of a diabetic coma.

I guess Schultz found the Dollars that rewarded him for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" far outweighed any hypocrisy on his part.


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