Comedy Central has decided to censor Muhammed, and all mentions of him, from an episode of South Park. This decision is notable for several reasons, not the least of which because Comedy Central would never censor anything else. (Amazingly, the writers of South Park were careful not to actually depict Muhammed at all to begin with- he was always covered up by a truck or a bear costume).
There's a great op-ed that was published in Sunday's New York Times about the implications of this troubling decision. The article ends up being a critique of American culture, and shows how this censure is actually a small indication of a culture in decline.
With God utterly absent from American public life, moral relativism has given rise to a crass, nihilistic free-for-all completely void of Christian morality. America is no longer confident in itself, as American culture is more than happy to mock its history, its past, and its traditions. Just look how de rigueur it is to mock Tea
Partiers and other uneducated hicks who haven't yet figured out that it's not cool to be proud of America.
Not able to stand up for itself, the once proud, free people of America begin to cower in the face of a resurgent Islam.
As Douthat puts it:
"In ours, though, even Parker’s and Stone’s wildest outrages often just blur into the scenery. In a country where the latest hit movie, “Kick-Ass,” features an 11-year-old girl spitting obscenities and gutting bad guys while dressed in pedophile-bait outfits, there isn’t much room for real transgression. Our culture has few taboos that can’t be violated, and our establishment has largely given up on setting standards in the first place.
"Except where Islam is concerned. There, the standards are established under threat of violence, and accepted out of a mix of self-preservation and self-loathing.
"This is what decadence looks like: a frantic coarseness that “bravely” trashes its own values and traditions, and then knuckles under swiftly to totalitarianism and brute force.
You can read the whole article here