Main Acceptable Religious Targets Discussion

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12:08:00 PM Apr 21st 2017
I made a large edit and several editions. In the Christianity page I removed the allusions to Judaism and Islam because

1) There are folders for that below, where people can bring that up,

2) It is very apologetic, in the theological sense (apologia means defense) i.e. defending Christianity by saying others do this or that, which in any case is redundant, the page is Acceptable Religious Targets and not Acceptable Christian Targets.

3) There are many faiths and beliefs that are not Abrahamic...there are Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism (which after all invented modern suicide boming with kamikaze pilots), pagan etcetera.

4) I should have thought that this goes without saying, but I think it's important to put this clearly...because religion, and ideology that enforces a certain doctrine, i.e. communist-state-atheism, has often played historically a political role, aspects of that faith and its belief are no longer the exclusive domain of criticism for people in that group. That's the main reason why Acceptable Targets exist. So long as the folder maintains and presents diversity and why those negative stereotypes exist, as well as pointing out where it's not entirely true, than its okay.
09:30:30 AM Mar 11th 2016
Do we really need this page? What does it really add, besides an opportunity for liberal and/or anti-religious tropers to bash on their Chew Toy of choice? Particularly in the section about Catholicism, which uncritically takes the point of view that the Church *should* support "leftist and revolutionary movements". The section on Christianity in general seems to be criticising Jesus for not supporting revolutionary change, which, again, is just a fatal misunderstanding of the Christian worldview. Nowhere is it mentioned *why* this is so.

Basically, the section on Christianity is heavily prejudiced, because it doesn't give the object of its criticism a fair hearing, or a chance to defend itself. The comments made are often of the form "I think religion should be X, this religion isn't X, therefore it's worthy of criticism".
09:45:08 AM Mar 11th 2016
This website is about TV Tropes, aka how tropes are represented in fiction.

Acceptable Religious Targets is about why various religions are attacked and criticized, and what is the basis for that in fiction.

In general, when dealing with criticism of religion, one can expect a "liberal" bias. In European literature and fiction, the Church is seen as an opponent of progressive movements. That is actual books and movies, for instance the movies of Luis Bu˝uel. I also cited Graham Greene a Catholic writer who criticized the Church and other religious writers.

So I don't think the comments are "I think religious should be X", I think it's fairly objective in representing the trope.

This isn't the Useful Notes page for Christianity or the Catholic Church after all.
11:32:03 AM Apr 17th 2016
There are some unsubstantiated points and unnecessary finger pointing at the Catholic Church, though (which Pope was it who denied the Holocaust, exactly?), as well as dodgy interpretations of Christian belief in general. Jesus was not merely a Prophet but the living Son of God and part of the Trinity, and while Jesus did befriend prostitutes and thieves He also made it clear that He regarded them as sinners who needed saving.

It's not a Useful Notes page, true, but there's still no need for spreading misinformation or unfair accusations against a religious group, which may cause offense. I recommend a review and edit to ensure a less accusatory tone and a more objective overview.
12:18:28 PM Apr 17th 2016
I was confused about the Holocaust Denier part myself, I forgot to remove that myself since I corrected the other stuff. As an editor I actually did make the Christianity and other religious sections more balanced, like I pointed out that a lot of people assume the Catholic Church is against evolution when that is a strictly Protestant phenomenon (there is a tendency to assume stuff that is true of Protestants, Witch Burning is common to the Church).

The political criticism is justified since it's about why Christianity is an Acceptable Target in the eyes of certain artists. It's not about whether those statements are fair or correct, or theologically justified, it's about what are the criticisms that are commonly expressed against a belief. I mention the Jesus Was Way Cool trope specifically to explain how and why people critical of Christianity use it. And i mention that Christian artists themselves use it to criticize their own faith, now you might argue if they are "true" Christians or not, but they certainly do deploy arguments on those lines in works which criticize Christianity.

02:59:44 AM Feb 27th 2016
In the Christianity section, I think claims being added about Jewish people running the media and that criticism of Christianity is down to them smacks of Unfortunate Implications
03:11:56 AM Feb 27th 2016
I will do a more objective edit.
01:45:23 PM Sep 3rd 2014
This is a minor issue I have, but why is the entry for Muslims so low down on the page? Shouldn't it be with the rest of the 'major' religions (up there with Jews, Hindus etc)? I suggest it get moved so it's just above Atheists so then all the 'most common' religious groups are together.
02:14:40 PM Sep 3rd 2014
I think it's happenstance.
09:42:33 AM Mar 8th 2014
Regarding the section replying to the example of "Averted in Firefly, where the most optimistic person to ever exist is an atheist." states that *he* thinks god exists but rejects him. Now, am I wrong in thinking that the "most optimistic person ever to exist" isn't Mal, but Kaylee? If this is so, that section (the reply) shouldn't be there.
10:00:39 PM Feb 25th 2013
Is there a point to the "real life" section in any of these? At best, all they do is point out the prejudices that some hold against certain groups, and calling someone else's religion an "acceptable target" IRL smacks of prejudice to me.
08:49:42 PM Nov 14th 2012
Dismissal and mockery of Mormons and Scientologists in their respective entries, comments about how they actually are wrong or ridiculous are ironic and I think inappropriate for this section. Shouldn't they be removed?
09:57:32 PM Feb 25th 2013
I agree with you there. No matter how "silly" you think someone else's beliefs are, this isn't the place to be calling them wrong, it's the place to point out where they're referenced in media.
01:08:20 PM Aug 3rd 2012
Suggest the "Agnostic" section be seriously edited. Starting to go into thread mode there.

Perhaps also a mention that there are two largely separate stereotypes involved: one that agnostics=atheists, with whatever stereotypes attach to atheists (mainly by religious believers); and the other that agnostics are too weakwilled or cowardly or something to admit to being atheists (mainly by atheists).

For Unitarians: there's the stereotype that while Unitarians are insistant on resistance to religious dogma, they can allegedly be insistent on liberal politics. And not necessarily "laid-back" at all about it.
11:20:08 PM Jan 27th 2012
Do creationists count? Or is that just Flame Bait?
07:05:46 AM Jan 28th 2012
Can you make a non-flame bait justification for their counting?
09:58:31 PM Jun 11th 2012
I think the best justification is that I can't think of one that isn't flame bait. And even that is flame bait.
01:19:55 PM Aug 3rd 2012
Creationists are pretty much Acceptable Targets—except among creationists. It's an extremely despised opinion in the mainstream media; to the point where much of the coverage is fear they will take over the country—oe even regret or outrage or shock that they even exist. Made worse because there are places in America where they *are* able to influence (and in Kansas, actually take control of) the school curriculum; fear of a minority gets much worse when it is not completely groundless.

An Internet flame war is likely to be of the "you don't hate the bad people as much as I do!" sort, unless: 1) some actual creationists show up; or 2) the flame war gets too far into implying (or outright stating) that all Christians, or all religious people, or all conservatives, or all Americans, are creationists.

In short—yep, Acceptable Targets. Yep, Flame Bait.

May be the opposite of a Sacred Cow—a subject so widely and deeply despised that it cannot be discussed neutrally.

08:41:24 PM Nov 14th 2012
edited by Crocoshark
I think creationists should definitely be added because there are many examples of them being perfectly acceptable to make fun of them without repercussion. Thus, "acceptable targets". We have entries for other widely ridiculed groups as well, from the immoral (nazis, criminals, drug dealers) to the just never taken seriously (moral guardians, mormons, scientologists).
10:59:23 AM Jan 4th 2012
In the Real Life section under Muslims, there's a bit of discussion of the burning of the Koran. It turns to talking about Muslims threatening to burn the Bible in revenge, and then there's this statement, which I can't be the only one to find very contentious:

"This is partly because Christians have endured persecution for so long that burning a Bible as revenge comes off as pathetic. It's not like printing more Bibles is hard or expensive."

A) Yeah, uh, Muslims have printing presses too. The destruction of the physical book isn't what pisses people off when books are burned, religious or not. B) While there are still Christians that are being persecuted, the vast majority are not, so using this as the reason threats to burn the Bible aren't met with violent reactions seems a bit... off. There are any number of reasons that this happens, but this one comes off as "My religion is better than your religion because my religion has suffered more, so we don't sweat the little things".
04:04:45 PM Jan 8th 2012
If the majority don't get persecuted, could I be the majority?
12:15:01 AM Jan 9th 2012
Perhaps it's better to change it to something along the lines of this:

"This is partly because for the majority of Christians, a Bible is simply a book: While it is somewhat offensive purely as an insult to Christians in general, there isn't any religious significance associated with Bible-burning."
11:56:02 AM Jan 9th 2012
@Stoogebie Sure thing, sport.

@Watercleave Just as the original, that really comes across as being speculation. I really think that while this wiki is supposed to be informal this is one of those things that still has a huge, bold [CITATION NEEDED] hanging over it.

And honestly, this is supposed to be about religious (or non-religious) groups its acceptable to make fun of or denigrate in media. Having a Real Life section is outside of that scope and just attracts whining or "My religion is better than yours" statements like this one.
09:59:44 PM Mar 19th 2011
If you look at the examples in the Atheist section, the vast majority of examples seem to be Exceptions or Aversions. If this trope is so subverted and averted when it comes to Atheism, then why is Atheism even in the Acceptable Religious Targets article?
06:36:53 AM May 8th 2011
Because there are so many examples of athiests portrayed negatively that it was more expedient to list aversions.
10:11:42 AM Aug 1st 2011
09:40:07 PM Feb 25th 2013
If there are so many example, why aren't a few of them in there? It makes you think that it isn't really a trope at all. I didn't realize "expediency" was the purpose of TV tropes. We need more examples if we're going to call it a trope at all.
12:44:12 AM Jan 10th 2011
Can someone explain what the following is supposed to mean?

Amen is a good example of this phenomenon. The Reverend Gregory, who has devoted his life to the church, is treated with respect; Deacon Frye, who is devoutly religious but has not devoted his life to the church, fits the stereotypes listed earlier. There's also an exception: Gerstein, who is devotedly religious but takes action against the Holocaust because he thinks killing people will send Germany to Hell.

This is listed under Catholics — Live Action TV. But this entry makes no sense, because the live action TV show with Rev. Gregory and Deacon Frye called "Amen" was not about Catholics, and the movie called "Amen" with Gerstein was not a TV show, and the two titles had nothing to do with each other.
05:28:03 AM Apr 5th 2010
Buddhists and Catholics really don't seem to belong here. Buddhism is hardly an acceptable target (even people who don't know anything about it respect it), and while Catholic priests may well have a rough time of it, Catholics in general are not remotely acceptable targets in Western media. The Mormons and Polygamists entries might also be combined in some way - Mormons are only acceptable targets because people assume they're all polygamists, and we already have an entry for that near the bottom of the page.
05:54:19 PM Jun 4th 2011
Catholics tend to be Acceptable targets in Real Life, usually by Protestants who will say that they are polytheistic, worship the Pope/Saints/Mary, have wacky beliefs (read: Sacraments), and just in general are weird people.

Of course, Catholics and Protestants have been feuding for hundreds of years and are likely not to stop anytime soon.
06:01:15 PM Jun 4th 2011
Oh yes, expect a joke about Purgatory or Limbo in there somewhere.
04:03:04 PM Jan 8th 2012
"Catholics are hardly an acceptable target?" Actually, you're right; we're not "acceptable targets", the proper term is The Chew Toy of religion. FYI, we are targets who get picked on, and a lot of times, it's something like "knowing nothing about sex" or "secretly a bunch of whores*". And of course we're a bunch of Straw Hypocrites too.

The list from there goes on. We're also bashed for being intolerant...etc. Thing is, you can't just count out Catholicism in this, or at the very least, don't be surprised with the usual result.
05:35:54 PM Mar 5th 2012
^Agreed. Catholicism is subject to bashing both from the conservative side (for not being "real" Christians) and the liberal side (for having some socially conservative stances) and this very rarely receives comment, since, despite countless instances of oppression throughout history continuing right up to the modern day, mockery of Catholicism is viewed as an act of defiance against the establishment.
06:05:00 PM Mar 23rd 2010
edited by lollerkeet
Double post
06:04:58 PM Mar 23rd 2010
The section on Atheists should probably direct the reader straight to Hollywood Atheist, being a more in depth look at the same trope.
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