Right-wing Christians have no sense of humor.
Or, rather, they have a skewed, politically correct sense of humor that demands their beliefs and ideas be shielded against all criticism while they freely make fun of people with a social station lower than themselves.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, famed astrophysicist and host of the television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, knows this. It’s why he decided to poke fun at them on Christmas Day with a tweet.
On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 25, 2014
Did you see anything anti-Christian in there? I didn’t. I see a likely joke; it got a chuckle out of me. I also see actual history; Isaac Newton is believed to have been born on Christmas. But I don’t seen an attempt to offend, and DeGrasse Tyson himself said as much in a later Facebook post:
My sense in this case is that the high rate of re-tweeting, is not to share my enthusiasm of this fact, but is driven by accusations that the tweet is somehow anti-Christian. If a person actually wanted to express anti-Christian sentiment, my guess is that alerting people of Isaac Newton’s birthday would appear nowhere on the list.
However, something doesn’t have to be explicitly anti-Christian (or even anti-Christian at all) upset right-wing Christians: all it takes is the daring to be politically incorrect and challenge their ownership of the day: Congresscritters even jumped in the fray; Representative Steven Smith, from Georgia’s 15th District — a member of the Tea Party no less — felt it necessary to air just how aggrieved he was: It’s amazing how thin-skinned they are.
Others weighed in as well, writing, “Hi @neiltyson, trolling Christians on Dec 25 is so EDGY. Please let me know when you troll Muslims on Ramadan. Merry Christmas!,” and, “Looking fwd to witty jabs during the spiritual days of Islam, Buddhism, Judaism etc. Or is it reserved for the easiest target?”
They keep calling themselves the “easiest target” — I can’t help but think that’s them patting themselves on the back, accompanied with a “Yeah, but you know, you keep pushing it.” If it sounds like they’re making themselves out to be passive-aggressive, self-aggrandizing whiners engaging in victim politics. Normal Christians, if not getting a chuckle out of it, wouldn’t walk away offended at the suggestion that someone else was born on 25 December and changed the world by 30; especially when you consider that Newton’s discoveries, and his assistance in the invention of calculus, have had a huge, near immeasurable impact on the last 400 years.
I also find it funny how few of these self-aggrandizing Christians know that Muslims revere Jesus as well. Jesus, or Isa bin Maryam, is regarded as prophet, just like Muhammad is. It’s the whole “son of God” thing that (most) Muslims take issue with; to them, that’s blasphemy, and in the final days, Jesus will repudiate the claim and God will support him. An attack on Jesus is an attack on Islam.
Thankfully, deGrasse Tyson wasn’t attacking anyone.
Of course, once provoked . . .
Merry Christmas to all. A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA). — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 25, 2014
The truth, as they say, hurts. But there’s no reason not to get a few laughs out of it.