Religion has not been "pulled down the tubes."
Jesus and God have not been harmed.
Civilization is not going to fall because of bad taste.
I was at the roast. The Penn & Teller piece did make me wince. Seeing the image of Christ ridiculed and humiliated was painful. But I have to admit that the sheer audacity of the skit made me smile.
I know that Jonathon and Penn & Teller are athiests, and have a great deal of anger at the church and the faith of Christians. Some of it deserved. We should remember what the church has sometimes done to stifle freedom of thought and the rights of others to pursue happiness as they saw fit.
Whenever we Christians have tried to defend God or religion, we have made the biggest mistakes in the history of the church--the Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch trials, etc.
Humor that is shocking, offensive, and in bad taste is very important to the health of society, and even to the health of the church. Christians should learn to be able to take it with humility and patience when it is turned on them. Sometimes, we can learn and grow ourselves from having our pride pricked, or our stuffiness mocked.
The response of the "ayatollahs" of the world who demand that anyone who questions or ridicules the "faith" should be put to death is one of fear and insecurity--it is not the response of true faith.
It assumes that God needs our help and protection. That somehow Christians can be shaken or weakened in their faith because someone dares to question or ridicule it. What weakness!
Whenever God or Christ is attacked, ridiculed, or questioned, it is good for the cause. People are wrestling with the questions of faith. The worst that can happen is for God to be ignored.
So, everyone lighten up. It was a joke. It may have bruised some sensitivities, but it did not hurt anyone. Love bears all things, and whenever the cross is raised, people will be drawn to Christ. I have never heard so much discussion about Jesus at a magic convention as I did at WMS. Rejoice, brethren. Relax.
I am still a big fan of Penn & Teller and the Amazing Jonathon. Their bold, take no prisoners brand of humor is refreshing, and I think very important to the health of the world and to the faith as well.