This week’s series in Dilbert caused quite a stir. It featured a new guy in the office whose name is pronounced hay-soos and spelled Jesus. I drew those strips a few months ago, and in my typical careless way I didn’t realize they would be running around Easter time. Oops.
You can see the series at www.dilbert.com while they are still in the archive.
As you might imagine, I got a lot of e-mail about this strip. Comments were about evenly divided between people who are deeply offended and people who think it was my best work yet. Interestingly, the people most amused often described themselves as religious, and those offended often noted that they were not especially religious.
My favorite rhetorical question, which I received an alarming number of times, was “Why don’t you mock Mohammed next? Huh? Why not?”
Well, aside from the blindingly obvious reason that I prefer life over death, I didn’t realize I was making fun of Christianity this week. It’s a standard cartoon practice to take well-known historical or fictional stories and put other characters in those roles. I did the same thing with The Wizard of Oz, and no one thought I was insulting Dorothy.
Anyway, I had to answer a lot of angry e-mail. Here’s a typical letter I received, with my pithy answer at the bottom.
In a message dated 3/11/2008 9:54:25 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, (address deleted) writes:
Hello! Mr. Adams,
Mr. Adams I just want to tell you that I don’t really appreciate you making a mockery of my faith. I used to think that your comic strip was funny, now I think it is very disgusting and not funny at all. I have found your last comics strips in reference to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ very offensive. There is a place for everything and there is a place for humor and humor has its limits, especially when it comes to those things and issues that some of us hold as sacred. I will pray for you and that some day you may come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Otherwise you will find Him some day as your judge, and He will justly judge you for your sins and whether or not you believe in Hell that day you will believe and you will repent when you see Him face to face, but then it will be too late. Repent from your wicked ways and stop making fun of my Savior.
Thanks for your time.
Pastor (name deleted).
Thank you for taking time out from feeding the poor to complain about comic strips. I know Jesus would have played it the same way.