Re: A Faith-Based Post

1

You've all read it, but I still think it's cute.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-11-09 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
2

1: I had not, in fact, read that. It was cute.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-11-09 9:49 PM
horizontal rule
3

I used to give it to my ESL students, who thought it was particularly hilarious.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-11-09 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
4

I suddenly feel religious. Or perhaps I haven't gotten laid in a while, I'm not sure which.


Posted by: fishbane | Link to this comment | 04-11-09 9:55 PM
horizontal rule
5

I finally understand gnosticism.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-11-09 10:24 PM
horizontal rule
6

The eggs represent God's love, concealed by the base nature of the creation of the demiurge.

It's related to the Church of Jesus Christ the Kidnapped.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-11-09 10:28 PM
horizontal rule
7

For years my dad kept a picture I drew for him framed in his office. It was of Santa taking the eggs away from the Easter Bunny, who wasn't hiding them to Santa's satisfaction. Santa was relieving the Easter Bunny of his duties.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-11-09 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
8

1 out of 1 twelve-year-olds appreciate this post.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:41 AM
horizontal rule
9

Also, is this Jesus dude related to Helen Turley?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:43 AM
horizontal rule
10

But how does the chocolate come in?

It's not rabbit poo, is it?!


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 1:00 AM
horizontal rule
11

It's not rabbit poo, is it?!

Doubt it. The chocolate's well established this side of the pond, but the rabbit never made the flight. Chickens.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 4:01 AM
horizontal rule
12

important easter legend to promulgate: the word oestrogen has the same root as the world easter, and the link is eggs


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 4:18 AM
horizontal rule
13

You forgot where Jesus Bunny came out of the grave and saw his shadow, indicating 2000 more years of winter until Aslan arrives.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 5:28 AM
horizontal rule
14

happy Easter!
today i'll finish my posters and go to the mall to exchange the dysfunctional phone to the functional one, i write this to make sure that i'll go actually to the mall, otherwise could skip that thinking still have time and then after sometime it's like too late and i need an umbrella too


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:07 AM
horizontal rule
15

MOST glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!

And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
--Fuck You, Jesus Bunny


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:40 AM
horizontal rule
16

He can't get through the chimneys because people close the dampers in the spring. duh.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
17

He can't get through the chimneys because people close the dampers in the spring.

Before he ever gets far enough to hit a damper, the whole arms outstretched and nailed to a board thing is going to make chimneys pretty frustrating, even for the Messiah.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:10 AM
horizontal rule
18

Frustrated Messiah.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
19

17: They took him off after he died. What kind of monsters do you think the Romans were?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
20

I was always keen on this spooky hymn:
At the Lamb's high feast we sing,
Praise to our victorious King,
Who hath washed us in the tide
Flowing from his piercèd side;
Praise we Him, whose love divine
Gives His sacred blood for wine,
Gives His body for the feast,
Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest.

Where the Paschal blood is poured,
Death's dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel's hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal Victim, paschal Bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we Manna from above.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
21

when i first read about Jesus mentioned in books i used to think ah, it's their god, very abstract and never actually thought about him as a human being who actually existed
then i gathered from the bits of information here and there that he actually existed, though the fact of his virgin birth and resurrection seem very myth-legend like
perhaps he experienced clinical death and then woke up and people believed it was resurrection, a miracle, what happened after that i don't know, did he disappear after the revival, i think i should sit down and read the whole story once


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
22

it's a bit on the cannibal side.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
23

21: Here it is lovingly told with Legos.

20: Blood and water.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
24

as nearly everyone now accepts, jesus recovered nicely from his crucifixion, married mary magdalene and moved to france, where he founded the merovingian dynasty

(herod -- antipas, not "the great" -- also moved to france)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
25

22 to 20.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
26

Read, the myth requires actual death, because by resurrection death is conquered for all eternity. (Among other benefits).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
27

Oh we carried our Savior o'er the sea
Nailed to the cross for you and for me
To the garden of Eden where innocence dies
In the name of the God who crucifies

(No, I'm not one of those who buy the myth of North American innocence. Still, it's a pretty good image.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
28

"The following is a list of notable persons who have publicly claimed to be from a Jesus bloodline:
Basharat Saleem, the late Kashmiri caretaker of the Martyr's Tomb of Yuz Asaf in Srinagar.
Michel Roger Lafosse, a Belgian false pretender to the throne of the former Kingdom of Scotland.
Kathleen McGowan, an American author, lyricist, screenwriter."

("Notable" seems to be doing a lot of work in that sentence.)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
29

23 very illustrative, thanks, though all sound kinda prosaically explained especially the walking on the sea and reaching the shore immediately, i suspect it's the atheist cartoons
so the water was perhaps the lymph, the empty tomb also is kinda explainable, maybe his followers kidnapped the body as it is speculated in the cartoon or the romans hid it somewhere else to confuse his followers
what i can't understand is why the king nerod would want to kill the baby from the beginning, one would welcome any miracle if it's true, if it's untrue, then just don't pay any attention, i think i don't get fully why the christians were even persecuted in the Roman empire, seems it's nothing that severe teachings, but then again communism was also ideally a pretty attractive ideology and similar perhaps to christianity and that bloodshed followed
the other week i read Helena by Evelyn Waugh thought Evelyn sounds a nice feminine name


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 8:36 AM
horizontal rule
30

i didn't like Helena herself, her questioning is like pretty narrowing, when where exactly, the proof, any and then she believes, i sympathized more with her mentors saying like vague, symbolic things
next week i'm going to read Sienkiewicz's Quo vadis
hope it would clarify things about the early christians


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
31

Wow that's severe but I'm not good typing on the phone


Posted by: Read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
32

At


Posted by: Read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
33

Stupid me the mall is close should have lookedup before going


Posted by: Read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
34

+d, and it's freezing cold, what a punishment


Posted by: Read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
35

Does "Lo!" really equate to "Yo!"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
36

Lo, G.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
37

Read, Herod massacred the children because the Magi had told him about the birth of the King of the Jews, which represented a threat. Nasty piece of work, but we got a nice carol out of it.

I'm in a pissy mood on this blessed day because I went to church, which I'm not in the habit of doing these days. The music just sucks. Countless centuries of rich musical legacy, and they insist on singing the most dreary, unlistenable shit.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
38

You mean like tunes about little tiny children?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
39

Hop.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
40

No, I mean like the ghastly post-Vatican II crap that makes no sense for congregational singing, compared to which the Coventry Carol is as joyous as Messiah.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
41

Now I don't know what stopped Jesus Christ
from turning every hungry stone into bread

and I don't remember hearing how Moses
reacted when the innocent first born sons lay dead

well I guess God was a lot more demonstrative back when he flamboyantly parted the sea,

now everybody's praying,
don't pray on me


Posted by: Mr Brett | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
42

not lupus is funny, and the bunny too, a bit looks like a kangaroo


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
43

We were having a general discussion about religious holidays today, and my 6 year old told me that Christmas is about Jesus, not presents. "Oh okay Buttercup, I won't give you any presents this Christmas then," did not go down well, even though it seemed logical to me. After a bit of arguing, she announced that I have to give her presents "to make Jesus happy". If I don't give her presents it will make Jesus angry with me.

Am feeling slightly sick from eating too much chocolate, and also a bit (guiltily) dissatisfied that my mother cooked (delicious) coq au vin for dinner rather than lamb.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 1:17 PM
horizontal rule
44

Christmas is about Jesus, not presents

"No no, dear. Christmas is about ham."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
45

41: Moses, Moses.
Six-foot-twenty, fucking killing for fun.
Spread, spread, Sea of Reeds.
He's coming, he's coming, he's coming.

He'll save children, but not the 'gyptian children.
He'll save children, but not the 'gyptian children.
He'll save children, but not the 'gyptian children.
He'll save children, but not the 'gyptian children.

He once held the Pharoah's wife's hand...in a jar of acid...at a party.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
46

45

lol


Posted by: Currence | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
47

"No no, dear. Christmas is about ham."

'Don't forget the pork.'

max
['YOu want to go there, you know you do.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 3:00 PM
horizontal rule
48

One of the nice things about conservative Northern Virginians is on Easter day they all dress up nice and go to the races: the Loudoun Hunt holds its annual point-to-point at Oatlands. We have fallen into the tradition of going, bringing more than enough bubbly, betting lightly (there's a totally illegal bookie by the paddock) and generally enjoying what was today a glorious Spring day with just enough of a North wind to moderate the sun.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
49

Oh man, was 47 the troll of sorrow?


Posted by: Currence | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
50

Sienkiewicz's Quo vadis

A favorite of Karol Wojtyła aka John Paul II.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
51

51: yes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
52

Our kitchen sink stopped working for Easter. Thanks a lot, Jesus.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
53

Is the ToS slowly turning into Gollum?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 4:40 PM
horizontal rule
54

I kind of want to buy him a beer, get inside the mind of a troll, ya know? (I assume it's a him.) Yo, troll, if you're ever in Chicago, just holler, I'll buy you a beer.

Or, there should be some kind of troll convention. I don't know, I'm just spitballin' here.


Posted by: Currence | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 5:10 PM
horizontal rule
55

60: That sounds like a threat. Prepare for the Obamajudeofascist stormtroopers at your door.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 5:26 PM
horizontal rule
56

memoir idea: I Was a Teenage Troll


Posted by: Currence | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 5:36 PM
horizontal rule
57

got that bookmarked, Miss Maxness O'Texass?

Why no, Yer Dicklessness! And why should I when you're slinging half-witted insults (I presume them to be insults - if they're not insults and instead are actually Sekrit Attack Plans for storming Fortress Huggy Bunny, please tell!) through a thick veil of spittle? I tell you what, if you get some windex and wipe off your screen maybe you can read whatever the hell it is you're twitching about and then maybe you could write an insult worth being vaguely troubled by.

max
['Anytime, dude.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
58

The music just sucks. Countless centuries of rich musical legacy, and they insist on singing the most dreary, unlistenable shit.

The inimitable Eddie Izzard (start at 3:30).

Now we will sing hymn number fourhundredandfive, "Oh God, What on Earth is My Head All About?"
[sings in flat, dull monotone]
There's something weird -- something phenomenally dreary about Christians singing. The gospel singers are the only singers that just go CRA-zy, going-- joyous.
And it's fuckin' amazing. And it's born out of kidnapping, imprisonment, slavery, murder... all of that, and this joyous singing --
--and the Church of England, well all those sort of Christian religions, which is mainly Caucasian white people, with power and money -- enough power and money to make Solomon blush. And they all sing: [monotone]
They're the only group of people who can sing Hallelujah without feeling like it's a Hallelujah thing [imitates].

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
59

Fortress Huggy Bunny

This made me laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
60

wow, what a curious development, an offer to meet coming from ToS although i gather it's a boxing match, sounds scary like, better to keep things imaginary, 200 kg means weight? isn't it overweight? i recalled a podcast, the podcaster always ends it with the words you all live well, very touching
so ToS lives in LA, do you have a family? my advise if you'd like to address someone why not refer neutrally without insulting words, just number of the comment is okay i believe


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
61
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
62

43, etc.: Read should start matchmaking the various progeny of the various Unfoggetariat. Presumably the next Unfoggetarian generation will have amazing levels of cunning and snark, and the third generation will rewrite the book of snarkitude.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
63

I wonder whether the ToS believes that we all think of ourselves as important super-intellectuals who need to be taken down a peg or two, instead of the depressive 47 year-old balding men in basements that we are actually are.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
64

Jackmormon, are you aware that you're a fat lesbian? And Jewish? You might want to kill yourself.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
65

Speak for yourself. I'm in an attic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
66

Jackmormon, are you aware that you're a fat lesbian? And Jewish?

I, uh...well. That certainly presents matters in a new light.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
67

i mean i'm kinda worried now, like, slow down, ToS
i thought you are a mature left thinking, like lefter than BMcM, philosophy type, over at the Trollblog, now you sound that, delinquent


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
68

And yet, and yet, JM, I doubt that that's how you take important super-intellectuals down a peg or two. Worth a try, though!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
69

68 to 63, of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:04 PM
horizontal rule
70

Worth a try, though!

It's an effective way of annoying the everliving hell out of anyone, but I'm really not convinced that we-all are worthwhile targets. Unfogged is so passé that we didn't even discuss piracy this last week!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
71

Piracy? Banal.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
72

Unfogged is so passé

Like the judgment of a fat Jewish lesbian matters.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
73

Like the judgment of a fat Jewish lesbian matters.

So much for the free flow of anonymous online conversation! Another ideal, shattered!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
74

Ah guess that means you accept.

Yes. I accept the Academy Award in the spirit of humilty and rectitude with respect to whatever reason they gave it to me for. You like me! You really really like me!

Right on, Maxi-pad.

Original! Yet trite! Innovative, yet cliched! It's almost like it hasn't been done 2x1032 times previously. Keep pluggin' Spunky! You'll get something, even if it's due to random slamming your skull into the keyboard.

Set er up, legal and proper, schmutz. Links, rechts.

Set what up?

Better eat yr gefilte fish.

I can't eat spam? Damn.

Presumably this means I'M A JEW! Yay! Now anytime someone gets mad because I criticize some muckity-muck, I can say that on the internet, I'm a Jew, according to some nut somewhere. And that's should count as least as good as an endorsement from AEI!

max
['This is totally cool.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
75

Max, if you decide that the yellow star is an appealing fashion accessory, things will go better for you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
76

if you decide that the yellow star is an appealing fashion accessory, things will go better for you.

A tinfoil star, painted in gold paint! With shiny sparklies all over it.

And then, I can glue it to my forehead.

max
['It's a Disco Kosher Inferno!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
77

the depressive 47 year-old balding men in basements that we are actually are.

Hey! I finally turned 48 this year.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-12-09 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
78

This weekend we have been mostly watching Jesusophile on YouTube. I am about 95% sure he's being satirical, but it took me a few videos to get that far. Fucking genius though, whichever.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 2:50 AM
horizontal rule
79

I'm in a pissy mood on this blessed day because I went to church, which I'm not in the habit of doing these days. The music just sucks. Countless centuries of rich musical legacy, and they insist on singing the most dreary, unlistenable shit.

I went to the Vigil on Saturdcay night, and it was so horrid. The music itself wasn't bad, (we have great musicians at my church), but the liturgics were awful.

There's a new priest in charge of liturgy who grew up in a fundamentalist tradition, lost his faith and came back to Christianity through the Episcopal church. He grew up in the deep South, went to the lefty seminary here and then worked in Southern areas for a while. He has not lost the fire and brimstone qualities of his youth, which is irritating--even in the service of lefty goals. For example, he's gay and goes on and on about it, even when it's totally irrelevant to the text for the day. He's also been substituting readings---which is fine occasionally, but there's a reason that there's a lectionary.

So, for the Vigil he wrote his own stories based on various bits of the Bible. The Genesis one made God a she, which is fine, but it was otherwise dumb.

So yesterday, I went to the regular Eucharist at the Monastery and was soothed. (I'd have had to wait outside in the cold (sunny but very windy) for at least an hour to get into my own church anyway.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 5:27 AM
horizontal rule
80

I didn't go to church yesterday. I haven't been since last Easter, and I didn't want to be one of the parishioners who only shows up at Easter.

I did, however, read to my children last week the story of the Passover in Exodus (they had learned about Passover in school). This weekend, I read to them about the resurrection.

As I have written here before, I'm quite ambivalent about giving my children a religious education. On the one hand, I want them to know the Bible and appreciate their Christian heritage; on the other hand, I'm not religious enough myself to insist on inculcating Christian faith. So I read them all four Gospel accounts of the discovery of the empty tomb, and when they asked "Is that true?", I could tell them, "Many people believe that Jesus rose from the dead. But could all four of these stories as written be true?"

And of course, they had already picked up on the fact that the four Gospel accounts contradict one another on important details, so there's no way that all the Bible could be 100% true.

Saturday afternoon, I found the younger Ruprecht child hammering away on some weeds in the driveway. She looked up at me at said excitedly, "I'm killing Jesus!"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 5:27 AM
horizontal rule
81

I didn't go to church yesterday. I haven't been since last Easter, and I didn't want to be one of the parishioners who only shows up at Easter.

I did, however, read to my children last week the story of the Passover in Exodus (they had learned about Passover in school). This weekend, I read to them about the resurrection.

As I have written here before, I'm quite ambivalent about giving my children a religious education. On the one hand, I want them to know the Bible and appreciate their Christian heritage; on the other hand, I'm not religious enough myself to insist on inculcating Christian faith. So I read them all four Gospel accounts of the discovery of the empty tomb, and when they asked "Is that true?", I could tell them, "Many people believe that Jesus rose from the dead. But could all four of these stories as written be true?"

And of course, they had already picked up on the fact that the four Gospel accounts contradict one another on important details, so there's no way that all the Bible could be 100% true.

Saturday afternoon, I found the younger Ruprecht child hammering away on some weeds in the driveway. She looked up at me at said excitedly, "I'm killing Jesus!"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 5:27 AM
horizontal rule
82

And of course, they had already picked up on the fact that the four Gospel accounts contradict one another on important details, so there's no way that all the Bible could be 100% true.

You should probably tell her that the people who wrote those Gospels didn't think that they were supposed to be writing factual history as we moderns would call it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 5:30 AM
horizontal rule
83

They took him off after he died. What kind of monsters do you think the Romans were?

IIRC the Gospel of Luke says that Joseph of Arimathea, a Jew, took Jesus' body down from the cross. The other Gospel accounts are silent on who does the unnailing. In any event, the Gospel strongly suggests that it was an indulgence from Pilate that permitted Jesus to be buried properly, in contrast to the usual Roman custom of letting crucifixion victims rot on the cross pour encourager les autres.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 5:37 AM
horizontal rule
84

Negotiating the personalities in my family reunion Easter was so grueling that when my sister and I came home from it at about 5:00 we immediately took long naps. Since my mother died there's no consensus about who's the family social organizer, and the sister who's appointed herself gets lots of passive resistance from one sister-in-law and one niece (who in turn is feuding with her husband-equivalent). My sister here and I just try to go along with the plan, but there usually is none.

To top it all off, there was a 17-year-old German HS exchange student there on her third day off the plane. She may never recover.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 5:52 AM
horizontal rule
85

I suddenly feel religious. Or perhaps I haven't gotten laid in a while, I'm not sure which.

Allelujia, He is risen indeed!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 6:02 AM
horizontal rule
86

at our school our RE teacher met the contradictions bit of the gospels head on: he said that if four of us in the class were to write an account of an event we'd all attended, the accounts would certainly differ and thus contradict one another. so do the gospels. this proves they are honest eye-witness accounts of what went on.

however he was an anglican -- albeit bells-and-incense style high anglican, where the priest (=him) wore a dress -- so "100% accurate" was never a claim. anglicans are above all englishmen (wherever they're from), bcz that's what god is: the bits of the bible that are "100% accurate" are the bits that are most english

i was still reeling from the declaration by my best friend (aged 11) that he didn't believe in god. i didn't either, but it astonished that someone my age should have the uninformed confidence to make the declaration. he was 11! how was he old enough to know what he was talking about...? (was how i felt at the time)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 6:06 AM
horizontal rule
87

excitedly, "I'm killing Jesus!"

So, so funny.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 6:16 AM
horizontal rule
88

I've never been able to understand the anti-literal interpretation of the Bible. I can see reading it as literature, and as a historical influence, but making it a text of central importance and truth while agreeing that it can't be literally true (or that it doesn't make any difference if it is) makes no sense to me.

This kind of belief reminds me, at worst, of the horrible authoritarian conservatives whose commitment to the death penalty is so strong that it overwhelms all questions about the guilt of the accused. At best it's a kind of urbane, status-quo, extreme cynicism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 6:35 AM
horizontal rule
89

John, I think the non-literal interpretation of the bible is the older, at least in the educated classes. If I understand it aright, Xtians do not believe that the Bible is the word of god, in the sense that the Quran and the Book of Mormon are believed to be the word of god. It includes quotations attributed to god, but they are always as it were reported speech. Most of it is human narrative. Xtians do believe that the biblical texts are divinely inspired, but in the final analysis they were written by men, who are fallible. And therefore they are open to interpretation.

It seems a lot less authoritarian than the alternative, to me.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 6:48 AM
horizontal rule
90

Fundamentalism of the most literal type is new (since ca. 1800 A.D.?), but the figurative reading also is new (since ca. 1000 AD?) and involved a lot of fudging by Aristotelian or Platonists scholastics who realized that the Bible doesn't make sense. (Probably that's why the Church discouraged Bible-reading, and lay philosophy too.) But the outcome of giving real authority to something which must be read figuratively is pretty negative for attempts at understanding of anything.

Some of the people (Rod Dreyer) most attached to aesthetic smells-and-bells figurative Christianity go all the way over to Orthodoxy, which makes Catholicism look Voltairean, but from what I understand Orthodoxy is a horrible guide to reality. (Solzhenitsyn disageed, of course.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:02 AM
horizontal rule
91

isn't there a jewish tradition that righteousness was not come -- and the messiah he tarry -- bcz scripture, while absolutely the word of god and all, had indeed been mistranscribed by the fallible hand of man

(in my head i associate this with the phrase "jot and tittle"; possibly wrongly)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:06 AM
horizontal rule
92

oh and as yr local lollard, i ought to point out that the protestant revolution depended for its moral and authoritative force on the quoting of scripture against the rule of men (king; state; scarlet whore of babylon etc etc)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:08 AM
horizontal rule
93

The literary theory of the Bible is that it's a repository of metaphors, anecdotes, and sayings. I can still quote scripture better than most, but that doesn't make me a Christian or a believer -- "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose". (That's Shakespeare, though, not the Bible).

Churches give the Bible some kind of importance beyond what I give it, and if it's not literal truth, what is it?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:15 AM
horizontal rule
94

Aesop's fables aren't (also literally true), but that doesn't mean Aesop thought the morals appended were mere silly falsehoods (there's contradictions in Aesop as well). I don;t see there's intrinsically a problem with a church taking a God-as-Aesop line with God's word. Indeed (*puts lollard hat on again*) this was one of the puritan objections to the-church-as-institution, that it was just a vast rent-seeking project of ("literary") interpretation...


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:29 AM
horizontal rule
95

s/b Aesop's fables aren't literally true


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:30 AM
horizontal rule
96

but the figurative reading also is new

Well, up to a point Lord Copper. Unless you count people like Origen and Augustine.

"The Bible, he believed, had been veiled by God in order to exercise those seeking Him. He believed that the Bible's ambiguities provided people with ever-new facets of truth to be discovered."

Arguably Augustine was one those gosh darned Platonist scholars, but then...

I have never paid any attention to Solzhenitzyn's views on anything.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
97

Yeah, I've read some of that stuff by Augustine. It didn't make any sense either. God is not an old man up in the sky with a long beard, but a spiritual substance. Whatever the fuck that is. And Augustine still talked personally to God, so God is a personal spiritual substance.

Getting the separation between the Bible and every other good book in the world is what I can't see. Not just another Aesop or Shakespeare or Montaigne.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:50 AM
horizontal rule
98

Getting the separation between the Bible and every other good book in the world is what I can't see.

Probably it's because you're not in power, John.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:53 AM
horizontal rule
99

the bible = dictated by god (written by men)
aesop = written by aesop
shakespeare = written by infinite monkeys on typewriters

so the (intra-xtian) distinction is that church A says "the author is god = every word is literally true" whereas church B says ""the author is god = it is a NOVEL by god, full of fiction and fable and vast poetic moral truth"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
100

Threadjack! In re: the rescue of Captain Phillips:

1. What will the made-for-TV movie be called?

2. What song will play at the end of the movie as the captain is being reunited with his family and crew and the pirate is being hauled off to jail?

3. How would 1 and 2 have been if the captain hadn't survived?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
101

Or to put it differently: we're not to read the Abraham and Isaac as a transaction between a horrible old man and an even more horrible God. We're not supposed to interpret the Amalekite massacre as genocidal. But why shouldn't we, and what better interpretations are there?

Because once the scripture is established, the literal interpretations are possible.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
102

"the author is god = it is a NOVEL by god, full of fiction and fable and vast poetic moral truth"

Welcome to the Church of Tobias Smollett.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
103

78: OMG.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
104

the literal interpretations are possible.

Not always. And not always while preserving the dignity of god. If you insist on a literal interpretation of the contradictory narratives in Genesis I and II, you are effectively insisting that the creator is an idiot who can't keep his story straight for three pages.

There's a passage in Exodus, which, read literally, appears to say that god followed Moses to a pub and picked a fight with him there. You can go with that. Or you can accept that there's a lacuna in the transmitted text and you deity isn't necessarily a bar brawler. You choose.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
105

103, 78: Stoner outreach preacher, or satire?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
106

not to get all stanley fish, but the earthly answer to the question of "better interpretation" is surely one of "whose rhetoric is the most fruitful" here and now (in ref to the here-and now's idea of the immediate as well as the infinite future)

hence a very wide range of versions of literalism, depending on whether you want to own a telephone or eat shrimp, or whatevs

the literal intepretation of the bible was/is very effective as a street-priest shout against the decadent fineries of the imperial metropole (which is what lollardry sorta kinda was); the bible was newly translated into english, without papal sanction (but, after a serious hitch or three, with local kingly sanction; henry needed a divorce)... the street-priest was preaching to the illiterate and the newly literate, and shared poetic interpretation was not yet a convenient option

come the civil war, and the restoration, and what remains of all the little sects defined themselves round their own shared poetic intepretation, frankly -- the quietist muggletonian version of what the bible meant is pretty far-out

these were communities huddled round a shared book but reading it for their own survival (and the endorsement of things they wanted to do: like share property, or wives, or etc etc)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
107

One of the arguments for established churches is that they water down and co-opt faith enough that it more or less disappears. I actually contradict myself by wishing religion to be more intelligible, since I don't actually want it to be.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:08 AM
horizontal rule
108

I think if people manage to get something out of Aesop's morals even though foxes don't eat grapes, people shouldn't be that concerned about non-literal Biblical interpretation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
109

The god of the Muggletonians was 5' 1". As a fellow short-arse, I think I'd have been quite attracted to Muggletonianism, in the 17th century.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
110

No one anywhere is required or even asked to accept Aesop as authoritative, though. Aesop isn't used as a knock-down argument in political debates. And Aesop is pretty clearly tagged as fiction.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:12 AM
horizontal rule
111

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose". (That's Shakespeare, though, not the Bible).

Doesn't a similar line occur in Matthew? During the temptation of Christ?
...Okay, no one says that, but the devil actually does quote scripture.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
112

Contra 99: I understood the mainline view of the Bible to be that it's part of God's revelation to humans -- "part," because God is also revealed in Jesus, in history, in the workings of the Holy Spirit, and in fact in all of creation. And "revelation" in a rich sense -- God didn't give dictation but rather worked through imperfect human vessels, modes of transmission, etc.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
113

110: is irrelevant to the issue of "the bible: non-literal but authoritative and true" though -- because "the bible: authoritative and true" is the defining belief of a christian church

your question was "but surely that means you have then to say the bible;s literally true?" and we're saying "of course, you don't" (and in fact, very few churches in history HAVE insisted this with full unselective rigour, if any)

i'm arguing that literality is largely a rebel tactic, of the marginalised and uneducated against the aged corrupt centre -- and that it's ephemeral, because if the rebel forces subsequently establish themselves, they do so round shared
interpretations (and procedures of education) much more likely to seem poetic (= bonkers) than literal to outsiders


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
114

112: yes he should have used monkeys on typewriters!

*nails lollard hat to wittenberg church door and goes and eats worms*


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
115

She looked up at me at said excitedly, "I'm killing Jesus!"

Then you might as well teach her the song.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
116

I understood the mainline view of the Bible to be...

Totally true. To have this understanding of the Bible is the only way a thinking person can remain a Christian. And yet, the self-congratulatory term "mainline" conceals more than it reveals: the largest and fastest growing denominations in the USA subscribe to a doctrine of Biblical inerrancy that explicitly rejects the "fallible mortal scriveners" view.

"God said it, I believe it, end of discussion" is ever so much more than a bumper sticker in this fair land.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
117

The next question becomes, "I'f I'm going to have to interpret that much, why should I interpret this particular book?" I don't have any problem with the Bible as part of the cultural heritage or as a repository of anecdotes, proverbs, poems, etc. But to be a Christian I have to put it ahead of other books.

My interpretation of the Amalekite massacre is "On a bad day, God was Hitler" and "If I'm ever trying to convince some Christians to commit genocide, this passage will convenient".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
118

On a bad day, God was Hitler

Our God(win) is an awesome God(win).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
119

"God said it, I believe it, end of discussion" -- again, i think this is primarily used as a game-move by outsiders* when the field is not considered level; viz you so-called intellectuals/liberals/establishment clerics/courtiers blah blah, you have your fancy rules of discourse and logic and all these books you've read and etc, well there's only one book that counts and IT SAYS THIS! sometimes it wins (esp.tactically); sometimes it doesn't --- and the peril for bumpersticker nation is time, because to keep this special-interest polity together as a force, yr gnna have to develop all kinds of other, more immediately relevant material, and that leads you into the heart of the (book-learned) world yr defining yrself against

*and of course those who love to exploit them and profit from them


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
120

119: The odd thing for me is that a fair number of the people that tow the "God said it, I believe it, end of discussion" line haven't actually read that much of the Bible. For the most part though, I think this is a good thing -- generally, I think their image of the Bible is less dangerous than the actual book.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
121

I've looked into it a tiny bit and my understanding is that the fundamentalists interpret all the time too, e.g. Revelation interpretation, or finding prophecies. What they reject is reinterpreting the Bible to make it consistent with science, liberal ideas, or modernity.

There are some thing that are pretty unambiguous, and once you try interpreting them away I get suspicious.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
122

THE BALD LOCUST AFTER HIS KIND IS NUTRITIOUS AND TASTY


Posted by: OPINIONATED LEVITICUS | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
123

120: I've heard this a lot, and I don't doubt it, but I have to say it's completely foreign to me. Almost all the people I've known who were of the biblical-literalist, "God said it, I believe it, end of discussion" sort of mindset (NB: that set contains lots of people) understood that "reading the Bible is really fucking important" was a logical implication of this. Reading the Bible cover-to-cover every single year was incredibly common. Three-year or five-year reading plans were utilized by most of the rest.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
124

123 is consistent with my experience. Of course stuff that is at odds with contemporary right wing evangelicalism is downplayed or argued away.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
125

Reading the Bible cover-to-cover every single year was incredibly common.

Understanding it, however, not so much.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
126

Evelyn Waugh's reaction to reading the bible seems so likely to happen that I can't understand the theocrats actually encouraging it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
127

Agree with 124. I'm not sure I buy 125. I believe they understood the words on the page, at least for the most part. They might not have drawn the same conclusions from them as you would, but that would be true of lots of things--a typical state of the union address, for example. The Bible isn't written like Kant or Hegel; it's not especially difficult to understand.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
128

Based on what's we've been saying, there's no such thing as "understanding" the Bible. It's a fount of interpretations. And that's OK, but I can't see giving it authority.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
129

it's not especially difficult to understand

There's no way to reconcile understanding it and believing it literally.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
130

does leviticus have anything to say about easter eggs? all i have eaten today is one large chocolate egg -- i feel buzzed yet slightly nauseous, perhaps it's the coffee


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
131

It says you're supposed to be eating unleavened bread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
132

Isn't he supposed to have the blood of the fatted calf on his forehead, too, and a houseful of frogs?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
133

Tierce, these are points nicely put. Thanks. John @117: I can think of two answers, neither of which are universal, nor could be.

One is that you are brought up in a culture where the Bible is taken that way. In which case, because the interpretations that stick with you are those which came from people you loved who took it seriously, you will have given them a much greater weight than eg the Koran (which, parenthetically, seems to me to be the book of mormon as imagined by a sixth-century Arab).

Two is that you have had some kind of violent personal experience of the truth or importance of somethign tht Jesus did or said.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
134

126: It wasn't Waugh, it was Randolph Churchill, on a bet from Waugh, who was trying to shut him up when they were both in the mountains with Tito's partisans.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
135

I have my own stock of Bible quotations and examples, and I sometimes even use them with secular people because they're well put. The Bible is a good Bartlett's.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
136

134. True.

which, parenthetically, seems to me to be the book of mormon as imagined by a sixth-century Arab

Pleased to see you say that. The parallel between the Mormon and Muslim foundation stories has for some time struck me as so extraordinary that I wondered whether Smith was familiar with Islam. But that seemed so improbable that I supposed I was missing something obvious.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
137

135: Like, say, Deuteronomy 23:1.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
138

Ecstatic believer: "Everything in the Bible is literally true!"
Mean unbeliever: "In that case pardon me while i WOUND YOU IN THE STONES"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
139

137 provides a hilarious example of difference in translation. According to GOD'S WORD®, the testicles are crushed. CRUSHED!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
140

139: Ignore the Papist idolater.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
141

On a long car trip last night, I spent time marveling at the number of times in the Bible that God either kills children, or orders the killing of children. The Passover story really is just horrible if you stop to think about it for even a moment.

On the other hand, if there were an intelligent designer to the universe, it is clear that it would have no problem with killing children. It is a ubiquitous feature of creation! One value to reading these old, incredibly violent books is that they are far more blunt about the way the world works than anything produced today.

This appears to be a weird attempt to rationalize the fact that God orders genocide in 1 Samuel 15. Sample reasoning: The slaughter of the Amalekites is not genocide because they are not an internal group under the control of the government of Israel, nor are they a minority group, targeted for their ethnicity, etc.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
142

I've told it here before, I think, but this is my favorite Easter/kids-say-the-darndest anecdote. Several years ago, Rory had just learned the Easter story, more or less. A neighbor kid, about 4, came over to play as we were cleaning up dyed eggs. "What's Easter?" the child asks. Rory, always happy to know-it-all, explains that Easter is when Jesus died and then rose again. "Oh!" exclaims the neighbor, in a moment of deep, spiritual epiphany. "So Jesus is a zombie!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
143

Based on what's we've been saying, there's no such thing as "understanding" the Bible. It's a fount of interpretations. And that's OK, but I can't see giving it authority.

Maybe this is a function of reading alot of expert depositions, but it doesn't seem at all unusual to treat a text as authoritative while nevertheless accepting that out understanding of that text will be subject to different or evolving understandings.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
144

Skimming more of the link I gave to "Christian-thinktank" reveals more classic genocide apologetic reasoning.

He summarizes his argument in 22 theses at the end, but this can be paired down further by eliminating irrelevancies and redundancies.

1. By some legalist standard, the killing of every Amelek, including the "suckling infants" is not genocide.

2. The Amaleks had to be annihilated, because they had proven themselves the irredeemable enemies of Israel over the last 200 years.

3. Killing children is acceptable in euthanasia situations.

4. Since the adult Amaleks have to be killed, the only alternative to killing the children is to let them starve to death.

5. Given that this is the only alternative, killing the suckling infants of the Amaleks is an acceptable form of euthanasia.

Dear god, I bet you see this exact chain of reasoning any time people have been called on to massacre infants. I bet the rationalization is always this verbose, too. As Orwell noted, it is the only way you can go about defending th indefensible.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
145

Yeah, there's a lot of that coin-flipping authority in law and religion both. (And economics). You have an agreement to decide a certain question within a certain ill-formed system which you can try to redefine in the midst of the argument. There might not be enough there to decide the question, but as long as both sides firmly agree that there is and that they'll respect the outcome, you get a decision.

Something like this may be Scalia's legal philosophy: the important thing is not to execute only the guilty, but to decide legal cases expeditiously.

My extension of this is that while the social sciences claim to have replaced the Bible as authorities for policy and decision-making, they have done so only to a limited degree, and don't know what those limits are. (Nice try, social sciences! You're probably better than Bible scholars!)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
146

In a way, killing the infants is less horrible than having the murderers adopt them, as happened in Argentina.

It's time for you to know who your birth mother was, _____. Her name was _________ _________, and the day after you were born I chained her up and threw her into the ocean from a helicopter into the ocean about 20 miles east of where we're standing right now.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
147

Given that this is the only alternative, killing the suckling infants of the Amaleks is an acceptable form of euthanasia.

Hmmm... SOP in the ancient world was that anybody could pick up an orphaned or abandoned infant and raise them as a slave (the ones not picked died of course). The big guy specifically forbidding this in the case of the Amaleks would seem a bit strange.

146 is an interesting take: the genocide of the Amalekites as an act of mercy...


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
148

A resource, The Dark Bible.

At no time do I condone or authorize the use of the Dark Bible to support another religion like Islam (which has even worse dark verses in its Quran. See the Skeptic's Annotated Quran).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-13-09 1:43 PM
horizontal rule