Tag Archives: Jesus

On Giving

Have you ever done something you felt good about?  Like, hey, maybe you gave money to save a kitten from the wrath of Alice.  And then someone else comes along and says, “Well, you know, those kittens misuse those funds.  Just the other day, I saw a kitten with a brand new catnip toy.”  It’s like you had this cool new balloon and someone just went and stuck a pin in it.  Cause you know, balloons will just deflate anyway, right?  Look how they helped you out there!

Haha, suckers!

You can’t trust kittens.

I’ve had this experience a lot of times.  In case you didn’t know, I’m generally a very cheap person.  There’s a reason for this.  I’m also a fairly poor person, so the cheapness thing really works well there.  But sometimes I try to give to a good cause.  When I was a kid, I liked giving to the Angel Tree fund.  You’d pick an angel off the tree with the name of some kid who needed new clothes.  And you bought the clothes and wrapped them up and gave them to the Salvation Army people, and then those guys gave them to the ones in need.  Some kid got new clothes!  Yay, me, I helped.

That feel good feelin'.

That feel good feelin’.

At least I thought I did, until one day a friend told me, “Well, you know, they return those clothes and then use the money on something else.  Like watches.”  Like, ZOMG, really?  That’s horrible!  They took money I freely gave, not expecting anything in return, and. . . and. . . they bought a new watch?  Holy crapsters!  Poor people don’t need to know what time it is!  All they gotta do is sit back and watch the welfare checks pour in.

Alice, you jerk.

Alice, you jerk.

Oh, yeah, cause that’s the life, you know.  Here’s a secret.  I took government “hand-outs” once.  It was for purely selfish reasons.  I wanted to feed my kids.  I know, right?  I was proud, and I didn’t like going to those appointments on the “bad side of town.”  It sure as heck wasn’t convenient.  You had to have documentation, and you had to bring your kid to get her finger pricked (Four-year-old Thing One yelled “My haaaand, my haaaand” when they pricked hers), and sometimes you were there for hours.  But I was at home with my kids then, because I felt that was the best place for me to be.  Oh, yeah, and because if I’d had a job, the salary would have all gone to daycare.  That too.

But, Alice, if you didn’t have enough money, you shouldn’t have had children!  It’s your own fault!  Maybe it was my fault.  But it wasn’t their fault.  So I sucked it up, and I got a card for food, and I bought government juice and cheese and eggs.  One day I had a cart loaded with the stuff, and saw the lady behind me watching.  I felt embarrassed until she said, “I’m glad my money goes to help sweet little families like yours.”

That comment cost her nothing.  But it made me cry.  She could have looked at it an entirely different way.  She could have poked a hole in my already partially deflated balloon.  But she saw it another way.  She saw giving the way I see it.  I work full-time now.  My kids are older.  We are hardly rolling in dough, but we can get by, so even though it might smart a little, I’m glad the government takes money out of my check.  Because once I needed that little bit of help, and now others need it.  Believe me, very few people are getting rich off of handouts.  If they are, I have to commend them.  Those panhandlers stand there day after day, asking everyone who comes by for a dime.  I figure they earn their money at least as well as most people with office jobs do, especially when roughly 80 percent of their time is spent facebooking.

 Not that I know anyone who does that.

I'm totally workingggg!

I’m totally workingggg!

People are going to judge, no matter what.  I know people might have wondered how someone who needed help buying groceries could afford a decent car.  What they didn’t know was that my bleeding heart liberal parents sold it to me well below cost.  And I spent my tax return on it.  My parents have worked hard their entire lives.  No one gave them help.  They put themselves through college.  They worked, they saved.  But my father said, “I worked hard, and no one helped me.  So I want to use my check to help other people.  That’s how it is supposed to work.”

That’s how it is supposed to work.  Isn’t that what most religions talk about?  Tis better to give than to receive?  I know Jesus was totally out there going, hey, hey, wait a second, where’s my take?  Here I go and give you guys a fish dinner, and do I get anything?  Well, see if I help you jerks out anymore!

I'm not giving you guys any more muffins.

I’m not giving you guys any more muffins.

Yeah, no, he just gave to people.  And he didn’t check their credentials first.  He didn’t go, “Hey, stop stoning that lady!  She . . . oh, wait, she’s a prostitute.  Go on ahead.  Don’t mind me!” He helped her.  He helped lepers.  When a man asked how he could get to Heaven, Jesus said, “Give all your money to the poor, and follow me.”  And yet, I see so many religious people who oppose welfare and government programs for the poor.  Guess what?  Jesus wrote me, and he thinks you guys who vote against that stuff suck.

Not really, Jesus wouldn’t do that.  He’s too nice.  But I’m not.  If you never, ever help anyone without expecting something in return, you suck.  If you gripe when people raise money to help out someone in need, you suck.  Once you give, you give.  It is no longer in your hands.  They can do with it what they will.  What they do has no effect on what you did.  You still gave of yourself.  You still did the right thing.

For what else are we on this planet for, if not to help one another?

You Better Watch Out : Scary Santa Songs!

Ah, Santa Claus.  He’s a hoot because he gives you a chance to lie to your kids and get away with it.  It’s for a greater cause, of course – getting the little punks to behave lest they lose any of their much wanted merchandise.  Recently, Santa has gotten lazy, though, and enlisted the help of the elf on the shelf.  This little freak narcs on kids to Santa for an entire flipping month.  He’s so creepy.  That . . . that grin.  And he keeps moving around.  You never know where he’ll be.  Some elves even stage elaborate pranks.  This scares the heck out of me, and I’m not even a small child.

Get thee behind me, elf.

Get thee behind me, elf.

Why do you need an elf anyway?  Isn’t Santa scary enough?  Oh, sure, Coca Cola painted him as a fat old jolly fellow in a red suit, but they also made polar bears look adorable, and those things can rip your face off.  All you have to do is listen to songs about Santa to make you start questioning this kind little fairy tale we all tell to our kids.  Well, most of us think it’s a fairy tale.  Fox News had four commentators on – there’s actual video – discussing Santa’s ethnicity.  In case you were wondering, he’s white.  According to Megyn, Fox News Host, that’s a “verifiable fact.”  Also in discussion was Jesus who naturally was also white.  So I guess that explains why some minority children get crappy gifts.  Anyway, some people believe in Jesus and others don’t, but I’m pretty sure most people over eight or so realize Santa is imaginary.  And thank goodness for that.  Here’s just three songs that point out why I find Santa kind of scary, and you should too.  But first, check out the scariness of Fox News.

Exhibit A: Santa Claus is coming to town

This has to be the worst one of the bunch.  Just for kicks, try replacing “Santa Claus” with “Serial Killer”.

You better watch out, better not cry

Better not pout I’m telling you why

Serial killer is coming to town.

See?  Happy, happy!  Note that you can also replace “Santa Claus” with “Christian Grey” and get the same effect.  These next lines, slightly edited by yours truly, show that Santa is really not to be trusted.

He sees you when you’re sleeping

He knows when you’re awake

He knows what your address is man

So lock your door for goodness sakes

Elf on the shelf really can’t come close to that kind of terrifying wackiness.  I don’t even think he has a song unless you count “Somebody’s watching me” or “Every Breath You Take”.

Just think of this comin' down your chimney.

Just think of this comin’ down your chimney.

Exhibit B: Up on the House Top

This one’s just really, really odd.  I had to look up the lyrics because they didn’t make sense and they still don’t make sense.

Ho, ho, ho, who wouldn’t go

Ho, ho, ho, who wouldn’t go

up on the house top click, click, click,

down through the chimney with good St. Nick.

Well, I wouldn’t go up on the housetop and I’m not so sure we should be encouraging children to do this either.  Hey, there’s some weirdo on the roof, Willy, why don’t you go check that out?  Don’t worry, honey, you can slide down the chimney to get back down!  Then you can open your stocking and see what totally appropriate toys Santa got you!

Next comes the stocking of little Will

Oh, just see what a glorious fill

Here is a hammer and lots of tacks

Also a ball and a whip that cracks

Holy crap.  I’m thinking this is just asking for a trip to the ER and multiple lawsuits here.  Little Nell better hide her dolly unless she wants her brother to hammer some tacks in her.  Or use his whip. I can’t believe whips weren’t on the top toys list for Toys R Us this year.  Ah, the good old days when you could give your kids fun stuff like whips, hammers, and lawn darts.

The next song really confuses the heck out of me, but it does lend credence to the theory, sported by my then four-year-old daughter Thing One, that Santa works for God.  Something like middle management, I guess.

Hey, Santa, God here - go deliver some presents.  Try to mention the kid, okay?

Hey, Santa, God here – go deliver some presents. Try to mention the kid, okay?

Exhibit C: Here Comes Santa Claus

Hang your stockings and say your prayers

Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!

Why do we need prayers?   Are these prayers that Santa is okay, or prayers that Santa leaves our house untouched?

Santa Claus knows we’re all God’s children

That makes everything right

We are?  All of us?  What about the kids who are other religions?  Do they not count?  I thought Santa was Pagan.  When did he convert?  I’m really confused here.  Maybe Fox News could explain this to me a little better.

So let’s give thanks to the Lord above

That Santa Claus comes tonight

We’re thanking God for Santa Claus?  So then – God created Santa?  But wait, if Santa’s not real, then is this song lying about God?  I mean, talk about a way to mess with a child’s mind there.  Or does Santa just hire out maybe?  Like he works for Pagans sometimes, and Christians sometimes, and Muslims sometimes, but this particular song writer just assumes that Santa is Christian?  If this isn’t a Fox News Christmas Song, I don’t know what is, you guys.  Let’s thank baby Jesus for sending us white Santa Claus who stalked us and snuck in our houses and gave us weapons, la la la la la!  Yay!

Do you hear what I hear?

I hear Christmas songs!  They’re everywhere.  Sometimes you don’t even realize they’re playing in the background!  Since I’ve made it a habit to pick on other songs with my song reviews, I think I would be remiss to leave out Christmas songs.  I like using the word “remiss”.

This morning I heard the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and I had all these questions, as usual, because I wonder about lots of pointless stuff.  These lyrics are kind of whack if you think about it.  Basically we’re talking a long game of “telephone” starting with the night wind and ending with a “mighty king”.  They’re all talking about Jesus – sorry, spoiler there.  But the first one to talk, remember, is wind.

Whoa . . . did anyone else hear that wind talking or did I eat some bad clover?

Whoa . . . did anyone else hear that wind talking or did I eat some bad clover?

Said the night wind to the little lamb

Do you see what I see?

(Etc)

A star, a star dancing in the night

With a tail as big as a kite . . .

Wait a second.  I mean, nevermind that the wind is talking, and talking to a lamb for that matter, but “tail as big as a kite?”  Did they have kites back in Biblical times?  I mean I know the Chinese invented them oh wait, Google search . . . there are birds called kites too.  But we’re talking something with a long tail, since you always see the Christmas star with this long freaking tail right?  So I think they meant the toy kind of kite.  Which is like, kind of anachronistic, though why I’m bothering with this at all considering the next part I don’t know.

Pretty long tail for a bird.

Pretty long tail for a bird.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,

Do you hear what I hear?

Whoa, back up and explain this to me again.  The wind told you there was a big song in the trees . . .

Whoa, back up and explain this to me again. The wind told you there was a big song in the trees . . .

Hang on a second.  Okay, so the lamb goes on to tell the boy about a song above the trees with a voice as big as the seas.  That’s totally tripping right there, but here’s the kicker.  The kid doesn’t freak out about this at all.  He just totally takes it in stride.  Which begs the question.  Did animals just normally talk in Biblical times?  I mean, I think there was some tale about a donkey, and weird stuff did happen like say a bush spontaneously bursting into flame, but those were supposed to be unusual, I think.  So if this isn’t a normal occurrence, we’ve got one really laid back kid.  Anyway, the shepherd boy decides to spread the news to the king, because of course the night wind couldn’t be bothered to just deliver the message to everyone itself.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king

Do you know what I know?

Yawn, peasant speaking . . .

Yawn, peasant speaking . . .

Like, how did the shepherd boy get to the mighty king?  I mean, he’s a shepherd boy.  Was he all surrounded in holy light or something, because I can see that getting a king’s attention.  But just some shepherd boy?  I can just see the king going “Hey, get back to your freaking flock and quit eating those shrooms, you brat!”  But okay, the kid gets an audience with the king somehow.  He goes on to say

A child, a child shivers in the cold

Let us bring him silver and gold

Wait, what?  First off, what the heck are silver and gold going to do for a cold child?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to bring him a blanket?  Or, say, let him hang in the palace where he could be warm?  But even weirder, how on earth did the shepherd boy get that a baby was born, a baby that needs silver and gold, from a lamb yammering on about big old songs above the trees?  I mean, wtf?  He sure deduced a lot from that nonsense.  Kid should be an English major.

Dude, I'm a baby.  What am I gonna do with silver and gold?  Chew on it?

Dude, I’m a baby. What am I gonna do with silver and gold? Chew on it?

So the king not only lets the kid speak, but does what he says.

Said the king to the people everywhere,
listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
listen to what I say
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light.

It was tough getting a signal in Bible times.

It was tough getting a signal in Bible times.

I have to say – I like this last part.  Pray for peace.  There is a new baby, new life, new hope.  It makes me want to believe this crazy story.  But I have to ask – where is Jesus now?  Is our world not in need of peace, goodness, and light more than ever?  Has he not seen reality television?  Or am I missing something important?  Maybe a child is being born right now that will bring goodness and light.  Or maybe it’s one of our own children.  I know Thing Two would be a good president if only because she likes telling people what to do and will not let up until you do it.

Maybe it’s none of these things.  Who knows?  I mean, this all started with an animal listening to the wind.

Do you hear what I hear?  Blarrrrt.

Do you hear what I hear? Blarrrrt.

Jack Chick’s “The Trial” Dissected

Ding Ding!  Wait, no, it’s not Law and Order.  It’s much worse. Chick Tracts.  Have you ever heard of them?  If not, you are in for a hell of an introduction.  Jack Chick was a whackjob that figured the best way to introduce people to God was through badly drawn and horribly written tiny comic books that cheerfully warned people they were going to roast in Hell unless they converted STAT.  Today I bring you Senator Jason of Crimes against Divinity whose dissections properly tear apart, with hilarious effect, the insanity of these steaming piles of crap. It’s a lengthy post, but well worth the read.  When you’re done, head over to his blog and read his others.  You’ve never had a trip down the rabbit hole quite like this. 

*Note: If you are offended by criticism of religion, you might not want to read this – but you’ll be missing a great post and a chance at discussion.*

******

I have the place to myself. No parties, no beer, no wild women clinging to the rafters. Instead, I have committed myself to your entertainment. That, and I figure that it’s either this or teaching myself Python programming or SolidWorks and to be honest, I’m tired of everything I do in front of this computer being work related. Well, there is Skyrim, but I think I’ve explored every single cave and sniped every dragon worth his weight in bones and scales from Riften to Markarth by now. Plus, we all know that I can’t get enough of Chick’s little passion plays.

Some call it an addiction. Others call it a desperate bid for attention. History will decide.

Right here, in a nutshell, is the reason why you can’t resist reading. See, the conservative Christian persecution complex is a pretty powerful thing. It has managed to convince grown adults that as believers, they are the modern-day victims of oppression, bigotry, hatred, and contempt as the secularists try to force religion into the shadows – much like Saints Bartholomew and Antipas of ancient times. Any day now, Christianity will be outlawed, atheism will be the law of the land, and believers will become nothing more than second class citizens, unable to hold a job, buy property, or get married without renouncing their faith and abandoning Jesus Christ.

In fact, the one and only thing holding back this new holocaust is the fact that … well … Christianity is the de facto religion of the United States, followed to some degree or another by about 85% of the population and the overwhelming majority of our lawmakers. It’s kind of tough to suffer persecution when you’re still basically running the show. Guess we’ll have to wait on those lions for another few hundred years.

With that bow on the back end of her dress, the girl on the left looks more like a wind up doll than an actual person. There’s even something a little “uncanny valley” about the way her arms are positioned. You can almost imagine the bow slowly turning as the internal clockwork moves her ever so slowly toward her friend in an odd, stiff-jointed shuffle … eyes blank, knees locked, with just the faintest sound coming from her mouth like an echo from a forgotten dream: “Jee .. sus … Jee … sus …”

I’d tell my mom about that too. And then never come back to school ever.

Meanwhile the kid on the swing in the background is going to kill himself.

“WHATWHATWHAAAAAAAT????”

It’s tough to tell from the picture on the cover if the protagonist of the story is Li’l Suzy or not. I know she’s a favorite of one of Jack Chick’s other illustrators, but I don’t know if they do crossovers between artists. (Uncle Bob, on the other hand, has featured prominently in Jack’s work – see “Gladys“, “The Nervous Witch“, etc.) Either way, you kind of get the feeling of what’s coming. It’s simple: add two kids (or one kid and a Victorian-Era clockwork automaton) talking on a playground, an over-reactive mother, that stupid dog he loves to draw (see blond girl’s shirt), and a sense of paranoia desperately begging for strong medication, and you have a recipe for another opportunity to win some souls!

“But Mom … – ” Nobody tells my daughter that Justin Bieber auto-tunes his voice! NOBODY!!

So Chick has it in for the ACLU. Big shock there. What’s even more of a shock to my system is laying eyes on that melting, gelatinous mass of skin, tweed, and soul-wrenching ugliness that is supposed to be one of their lawyers. Holy hell, Jack … first it was Ms. VD Spreadlegs, Holly, then Gladys. This guy looks like someone painted a face on the underside of their big toe. I guess you really want to make it easy for your target audience to figure out who to root for. Ahh, if only it were this easy in real life.

Speaking of which, has anyone seen a picture of Jack?

I guess we’re supposed to take from this that not only do you not like the ACLU, but also lawyers in general. And a lawyer for the ACLU, well … God just doesn’t bother with those people. They’re born, they live, they die, they go straight to hell. I’m not sure it even matters if they convert. Calvinism is funny that way.

You want 10 million dollars? For something a little girl said to your kid on a playground? Are you mad? What the hell country do you think you’re living i-

Oh … uhh, right. Carry on.

Ah. “Ann”. So this isn’t the famous Li’l Suzy. And here I was hoping the saga would continue. Maybe next time.

Here we come to the theme of the tract titled “This Would Never Happen“. If you go to the ACLU (or the American Humanist Association, or the Freedom From Religion Foundation) to bring up some gross violation of the First Amendment like a public school teaching creationism or posting the Ten Commandments in the front of a court building, the most they’ll do is sue to have it taken down since it violates the Establishment Clause.

As we’ve seen from recent events, though, it doesn’t always work and we’re stuck with two stupid monuments trying to talk over each other. That’s some good work, boys.

“Ms Gordon, you are charged with a major hate crime!

“… and I’m so intensely focused on this case that I will ignore the two bald, eyeless Nosferatu cosplayers coming at me from the crowd!” On second thought, they might just be zombies … in which case you’re safe since they only feed on brains.

Oooh, major hate crime, huh? Was she beating up the Jewish, Muslim, or atheist kids? Did she spend her recess holding up a sign that says “God Hates Fags?” Was she passing out pamphlets that say that same-sex parents are unfit and molest their children?

Stay tuned … only a few panels to go …

I’d like to say something, actually … isn’t it bad practice by the media to question a 6 year old regarding a legal trial instead of her mother? Where is her mother, anyway?

I could be jumping the gun here. She’s one of Chick’s Christians; in other words, the pure, wide eyed young believer who is innocently spreading the word of God’s free love gift to all of her friends while the hard, cruel, unbelieving world tries to punish her for her message. She’s so young and naive, she doesn’t even understand why they’re angry. Who would be angry at such a loving god?

Ah may barf.

Also, if watching the 24-hour cable news channels gives any good indication of this, religion – especially Christianity – is so institutionalized that you’re not going to get much attention at all if you say you have any kind of personal relationship with God. In some parts of the country it’s even expected, even if it isn’t necessarily always true … as Wolf Blitzer demonstrated when he was in Oklahoma. Point is, this would never happen, and the news channels wouldn’t even give stories like this a first glance before going instead to a novelty piece about a three legged pug that can fart the first few measures of Stairway to Heaven.

Your honor, if it pleases the court, I am now going to pass a cantaloupe through my rectum. You’ll pardon me if I look a bit strained.

I have news for you. The four major religions you are going to call to the stand really don’t care about what some other person’s religion has to say about salvation, especially since they all have something to say about the topic, they’re all different, and they all claim they’re right. Who cares? Humanity’s been doing this ever since we were walking upright.

As for brainwashing, I’m afraid that’s one of the goals of religion. Why do you think people are told all of these stories about Heaven, Hell, and the importance of not just being good, but truly believing, in order to avoid eternal torment as soon as they can understand language? That way, by the time they’re old enough to be able to think for themselves, it’s become so hard-wired into their heads that they don’t even bother questioning it.

Sooooo … I’m on the edge of my seat. What did she say?

You have got to be kidding me. Okay, let’s start at the top. Hate literature is material that promotes the restriction of a person’s or group’s human rights, or the ridicule, hatred, or violence against a person or group. This just talks about Christianity’s requirements for getting into heaven. Obviously, this is what Jack’s would use as his opposition’s example of “hate literature”, since it clearly doesn’t fit the bill.

The problem no matter what passages most mainstream Christians use as a guide for morality in our modern secular society, there’s still some pretty nasty, evil stuff in the Bible that can’t be ignored simply because we consider irrelevant, outdated, or inconceivably brutal.

That said, Ann’s parents (assuming they exist) would potentially have been in trouble if their daughter were handing out some home-made leaflets to her classmates condemning homosexuality, especially if it pointed to passages like Leviticus 20:13 – which specifically calls for putting them to death. Other than that, Ann herself would probably have been sent to a counselor if she demonstrated such an unshakable obsession with God that it interfered with her ability to get her work done … but that’s really about about it.

Sorry to burst your bubble, Jack. I understand that reality would have made for a boring tract, so instead of representing real life we have a bad episode of Perry Mason with some South Park and what looks like The Muppet Show thrown in. Kudos.

I think that’s Dr. Zaius to the left of our lawyer friend’s head.

Danny O’Tool? Really? This guy’s ugly as hell with enough real estate in the eyebrow department to pull off a direct, front-to-back combover, so I can only guess he’s supposed to be one of the bad guys. Yep. I guessed right. And he’s covered in religious regalia, so he must be from the Catholic Church.

I don’t get his problem. They follow the bible – or at least they say they do – and if the bible says there’s no other way except through Jesus, then what’s the issue? They’re all good. Ah, I remember now … Jack says Catholics aren’t Christians because they worship Mary and their Death Cookie.

In my 20 years of Catholic upbringing, I have NEVER heard of the Church as “the Mother Church”, or, for that matter, Mary being worshipped as God’s equal. Maybe I went to a more liberal branch and never knew it. I know we used to say Hail Marys, especially for confession … but I was always left with the impression that we were just giving respect to the woman who supposedly gave birth to God 2.0 without so much as dinner and some flowers.

The teachings of the church come from, among other places, the bible, which is designed to teach a narrow doctrine. Religions kind of do that. Your occupation and the history of your own church should have made you pretty familiar with that idea.

Sorry, I don’t know what got into me. We’re all supposed to be siding with innocent, wide-eyed Annie and her harmless bible teachings … and we forget that people like Danny base their teachings off the very same thing.

Oh shit, I almost choked on my Cheetos. Abdulla Ab-Du-La? Drawn suspiciously like Ayatollah Khomenei? Come on. I know that we’re supposed to think all Muslims look alike and all, but damn, Jack. If you can’t do something well, don’t do it at all.

“Islam is outraged!” Well, that’s one thing he has right. They do tend to get a little heavy handed with the fatwahs. And the rioting, depending on where you are. It’s not so much because anything from Christianity “destroys” their religion, but the fact that you’re not submitting your will to Allah … and that demands a paddlin’. It might even get you a beheading if you’re in the wrong part of the world.

By the way, it’s “peace be upon him”, ya dingus.

As for you, Rabbi … you pretty much have it. If that statement is true, then no one but people like Jack are going to go to heaven. (Though the Jewish outlook on the afterlife is a little different from the Christian one.) The rest of us have an eternity of hot poker colonoscopies and molten lead enemas to look forward to. At least the company will be more interesting, at least until the break’s over.

By that rationale, I really hope HP Lovecraft isn’t right. I mean, shit.

I think many things should be removed from the bible, following the recommendations made by Thomas Jefferson. It’s amazing what he did with a half dozen copies of the bible, an Exacto knife, a glue stick, a 12-pack of PBR, and the presence of mind to know that morality isn’t contingent upon belief in a personal god. Moving a little further in time, I submit that the “women’s bible” (complete with lavender font and calcium-enriched pages) should be banned outright. What chutzpah is it to make a book for women about a religion that, among other things, promotes the subjugation of its target audience?

Oh hey they got Christopher Lee to cameo! Awesome! Jack even got the scowl down to a T. He should have kept his hair long, Saruman style. Sure, he kind of looked like an Afghan hound, but you wouldn’t dare tell him that to his face.

I’d really like to know where an intimate knowledge of Greek and Hebrew would help in identifying another way to heaven if you’re just looking at the bible. Regardless, I can’t understand why Jack is so afraid of a good, modern day translation being derived from all of the original Greek / Hebrew manuscripts we have today by actual biblical scholars (not the church or fundies), as opposed to what was used to make the KJV.

“… what did you say to Debbie Baxter?”

I told her that hush puppies were made out of real dogs, and that if you spun around three times in front of a mirror chanting “bloody Mary”, you’ll see the devil. From the mouths of babes comes the truth, after all. How could someone this young and innocent possibly be wrong?

I remember going to a church where a friend of ours was a pastor. We weren’t believers then either, but we went because he’s a friend and he asked us to. After the mass, we were walking around the “fellowship” area where people gathered and talked for a bit before heading back home. I recall seeing quite a few people with the same unsettling look on their faces that Annie has on hers. They walked around you, blinking noticeably less than they should, giving you the feeling that they were not only looking at you, but at a point somewhere in the middle of your head like they were trying to find your soul in the same way you find those secret images in a Magic Eye poster.

We didn’t stay long.

To be fair, though, I never ran into that kind of off-putting, wall-eyed serenity growing up … guess it depends on the church. Needless to say, I don’t think we’re going back.

It just occurred to me … doesn’t Annie get any sort of legal representation either? Where are her parents? Couldn’t they afford lawyers? Did they choose to let their daughter represent herself? I’m sure that if they were in the courtroom, they would be good looking. I mean, they’re Christian, after all. I guess maybe if she had outside support, it would ruin the defenseless Christian thing he’s got going.

“Mom, is our lawyer’s head getting bigger? Like, is he calling me to the stand so he can eat me?”

“Ugggh, it’s horrible … the stress is so much that my head has started radiating its own natural light. I can’t get to sleep at night because I can actually see the insides of my own eyeballs!” Again, Mom’s Spidey Sense notwithstanding, stuff like this happens a lot more frequently when the status quo is disrupted in a religious part of the country. Case in point, I saw this sort of reaction from my old CCD teacher, who would damn near have a nervous breakdown when anyone started pushing back on the stuff she was telling us. If you see atheists suffering a case of apoplexy, it’s usually because kids like Annie have the backing of the school district and no one seems to be aware that there’s any problem at all.

Florida, I’m looking in your direction …

“I didn’t get to tell her the best part.” Well, that’s because your mom doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who listens much. But by all means, Debbie, please tell Evil Mr. Whipple what happened next. Squeeze nothing and walk away slowly.

“After Annie told me to convert, I asked Jesus into my heart. Then we went over to Amir and his friends and started beating the crap out of them because they’re a bunch of unbelievers. It’s okay … god told us to, like he told Saul to wipe out the Ammonites. Then we started speaking in tongues and casting out demons. I know for sure we were saved because we were able to stomach the cafeteria food without being chained to the toilet for the next hour. Hallelujah!

I’m so happy now! I can do whatever I want and hide behind the bible while I do it! It’s like a blank check!!”

Uhh … that is the way it works now … right?

Wait a second. I’m no lawyer but how did the kid manage to convince the judge to dismiss Mom’s case? The trial wasn’t about the philosophy of Christianity but about whether Annie committed a hate crime. This might serve to explain some of Jack’s interpretation of the law in other respects, such as the use of his images for satirical purposes.

Heh.

Guess he hasn’t noticed me or my timeless inspiration, “Enter the Jabberwock” yet. (Wait, why am I sending you over to him? Ignore the link and read mine! I need the attention!!)

Then a STARTLING event occurs …”

It was a zombie jamboree
Took place in the New York cemetery
Oh, it was a zombie jamboree
Took place in the New York cemetery

Zombies from all parts of the island
Some of them are great Calypsonians
Since the season was carnival
They got together in bacchanal
And they were singing …

… sorry. Was the first thing I thought of and I had to go with it. I got nothing else.

They were all buried next to one another? Must have gotten close after the trial.

“A much higher court takes over …”

Judge Judy?

Boy, Jesus, you sure changed since your rebellious younger days, didn’t you? Now you’re all fire and brimstone like your father … other you … whatever. Well, if you ever decide to beget another son-who-is-still-you, I hope he’s just as bad as you were at that age. I wonder how he would react to how you’ve turned out?

Ah, impetuous youth …

I will never allow sin into Heaven

Maybe not, but you certainly let it have free reign on Earth, and even helped along a number of times.

(Job 1:6) – One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

(Job 2:1) – On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

Where were you, O Lord, when you and the Prince of Darkness himself were considering Job? Did you kick his ass out when you saw him? NoooOOOOooo … you asked him where he came from, he gave some half-assed answer which, by the way, you should have known. When did Satan go from (no pun intended) the Devil’s Advocate to the bad guy? Oh, right … New Testament.

(Isaiah 45:6-8) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.

Yeah … you’re a real hardass with the “true source of evil”. Humanity, on the other hand, gets the shit end of the stick as usual. Just as the Pharaoh whose heart was personally hardened by God so He could make a point. And the less said about the entire books covering the genocide of Israel’s neighbors, the better.

BEHOLD I AM THE GOD OF NEGATIVE SPACE, INTRICATE LINE PATTERNS, AND THE “SPRAY” FEATURE IN MS PAINT.

Okay, I’ve had enough. I did this in another tract, but it bears repeating since Jack has a habit of pulling this crap. John 8:24 talks about faith, but let’s open our Bibles to Matthew, Chapter 25:

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Jack doesn’t really focus much on the rest of the passage. He loves the first verse, but conveniently omits the fact that God is condemning people here for lacking mercy, compassion, charity, and love for one’s fellow man. No surprise, since given the material in these tracts, it’s something I personally doubt we’d see in their author either.

Who the hell is that guy at the end? It looks like a young Weird Al after a fight with an electric shaver, a bottle of hair gel, and a collection of unsolicited fashion tips from Don Johnson, circa 1985.

Oh, this is supposed to be the token queer gay homosexual to give the group of sinners a little more diversity. I’m not sure who the two guys in the back are supposed to be, unless they’re just some unexpected cameos from Mad Magazine.

“Satan does not want you to believe the gospel, so he and his followers call it ‘hate literature’.” Well, it depends. If someone quotes a passage from the bible like the Sermon on the Mount, or even Matthew 25:41-46 as a way to encourage good behavior, I don’t really see a problem. When another person starts picking out passages to spread the message that women are inferior to men, or we should be discriminating against (or criminalizing) homosexuals, citing verses that say they should be put to death, well … we’re going to have a problem. Talk like that is meant to encourage people to take action in response, even if it does ask that they throw away the last 3,200 years of societal modernity to do it.

The bible has it all, and more. Owning people and giving guidelines on how severely to beat them, the appropriate amount of money to pay a girl’s father for “damaged goods” if you rape her, and scores of tales about wiping out entire peoples because they didn’t meet God’s approval. Despite this, I wouldn’t call it “hate literature”. It’s certainly not what we should use as a basis for our modern moral and legal code, but it has some value as a historical and cultural text.

Personally, I think it would have more value put in a museum somewhere while we base more of our rules of law – as Richard Dawkins put it – on secular moral philosophy and rational discussion … but hey, I’m just a godless heathen.

That’s right, you can trust us! We’re showing you the way to God’s FREE LOVE GIFT, so you’ll be saved, and go to heaven where there are angels playing harps, an endless supply of bagels, cream cheese, gravalox, and scores of free slobber-free, house trained puppies that will always want to play fetch with you! Who could possibly reject something like that? By which we mean you shouldn’t reject it. You really, really, shouldn’t. It would be bad. Very bad. We’re talking being cast into a lake of fire by one of God’s angels, where your skin will blister and burn off, and demons will eat your eyes while the Fallen Angels play jump rope with your intestines. And don’t forget the hot pokers. They’re still aimed directly at your ass, without a jar of Vaseline in sight.

Remember, God loves you!

**********************

Alice’s Christmas Special

Yay, it’s time for another Christmas special with Alice.  Is it that time of year already?  That time when everyone is happy, slappy with joy and the spirit of Macy’s and crap?  Yes, yes it is!  Am I going to ruin this lovely day for you just like I did Halloween and Thanksgiving?  Most likely.  Unless it’s ruined already.  If so, settle on down and let me tell you a story.

The story of Christmas goes like this.  Once upon a time, there was this couple who had to take the census but they lost the form so they had to go all the way across town to get another one.  But they were totally on welfare, see, so all they had was this used donkey that was on its last leg.  Literally, it just had one leg.  Made travel difficult.  Also, the girl, Mary, was preggers, and wanted to stop and pee for the 45th time that night.  Her husband, Joseph, was all “Like, we’re almost there, jeez” but he stopped anyway because you don’t mess with hormones.

Mary: I have to pee.Joseph: Again?

Mary: I have to pee.
Joseph: Again?

They tried to get a room at the inn, but the innkeeper was like, crap, it’s Christmas, like I have any rooms?  (buh-dum-dum!) Then Mary had to go into labor, because babies always pick the most convenient times to be born.  So Joseph, being a man, decided they’d just deliver the baby in that sterile barn over there.  And Mary said, “Are you freaking kidding?” But like, the nearest hospital was like, a long way away and the one-legged donkey was dead so they went to the barn.

Fortunately, there was a cow that happened to be a super good midwife, so Mary managed to deliver the baby with only the usual amount of horrific pain and screaming.  This was a memory she treasured up in her heart, for who wouldn’t want to remember giving birth while a dirty sheep bleated in your ear?  So they had this baby boy, but he wasn’t any ordinary boy, he was the son of God. That’s how the story goes, shut up.  But even being a special baby, the cow still charged them for the lowing and the innkeeper said they had to pay him up front for use of the barn and they didn’t have insurance so they weren’t gonna get to stay much longer.  That’s the breaks.

Did you at least bring me a diaper genie?

Did you at least bring us a diaper genie?

Anyway, they named him Jesus, and Joseph like tweeted the news out to the land, and people started showing up with presents and stuff.  There was gold, and incense, and Frankenstein – I’m not sure why he decided to come.  But no one brought baby wipes or Huggies, because that might have actually helped Mary out some.  Some obnoxious kid came with his drum and played until they kicked him out.  And Mary said to Joseph, “We will never buy Jesus a drum.  Ever.”

Then Santa Claus landed his sleigh on the roof of the manger, and Joseph said, “You are not part of this story.”  And Santa said,  “Look, I brought you guys the diaper genie.”  And Mary said Santa was okay with her.  So he got to stay.

Santa was totally there.  Shut up.

Santa was totally there. Shut up.

So anyway, all this happened on Christmas Day, which is why we celebrate Christmas by buying each other lots of expensive, useless crap in remembrance of the Wise Men and Santa and their gifts.  Oh, and Jesus too, because he grew up and did some cool stuff before we were jerks and killed him.  But that’s another story.  I’ll save it and mess up your Easter.

Now that you’ve heard the story, I’ll leave you with this picture of Thing Two’s gingerbread house.  She said, and I quote, “I ran out of licorice for the “Keep Out” sign.  And it looks like a homeless guy’s house.  Best I could do.”

homeless gingerbread man house1

Christmas is tough for gingerbread people.

Merry Christmas.

Alice

50 Shades Dumber Interviews Christian

In case you’re just joining us, we’ve already interviewed two characters from Ana Bobana’s memoirs.  Taylor, Christian’s assistant and most likely prisoner at the moment, and Ana herself.  Lucky us.  Now let’s see, who is next on my list to cover Chapter 3 . . .

ChristianComes complete with Red Room o' Pain supplies

Christian
Comes complete with Red Room o’ Pain supplies

Christian: You!  You are the one who talked to my property.

Alice: I . . . come again?

Christian: Taylor and Ana belong to me.  Everything belongs to me.  You know the song.  This land is my land. This land is my land.  This land is . . .

Alice: That’s not how the song goes.

Christian: Why aren’t you fainting from multiple orgasms?

Alice: Cause I think you’re an asshole.  And I’m not scheduled to interview you.

Christian: Yes you are.  I am going to tell you about my romance with Ana now, Alice.   Be prepared.

Alice: You’re seriously creeping me out.

Christian: But first I want to know, what did Ana and Taylor tell you about me?  Because if you ask me questions, I get to ask questions too.

Alice: That’s not how an interview works.  And anyway, didn’t you tape record it all?

Christian: Of course I did.  But Ana mistook my tape recorder for a sex toy and . . .

Alice: Yeah, that’s enough!  Taylor hates you and Ana is convinced you’re Jesus.  The hot Jesus, like the one in that Mel Gibson movie.

How Ana sees Christian

The real Christian

Christian: Jesus isn’t nearly as awesome as I am.  Now, about that romance.  When she left me, I was having a dark night of the soul, so to console myself, I bought the company she works for.

Alice: You did what?

Christian: I know, right?  Like Jesus could buy real estate.  Moving on, we shared some very sexy emails.  I am a master emailer.

Alice: You bought your ex-girlfriend’s company?

Christian: How else could I track her every movement?  I have to know that she’s eating.  And what she’s eating.  And when.  And with who.  The usual boyfriend kind of thing.  Oh, I discovered she ate a banana.

Alice: Fascinating.

Christian: Isn’t she?  She beguiles me!  That’s why so many men want her, but they can’t have her, because she belongs to me.  I have the papers and everything.  She’s even registered with the American Kennel Club.

Ana’s papers

Alice: You do know she’s actually a human, right?

Christian: No, no, no.  She’s a woman.  Tsk.  Now where was I?  Oh, yes, that new boss of hers, Jack Hyde, wants to steal my Ana, and he can’t have her.  I once loaned him some Tinker Toys, and he never gave them back.  I can’t risk that again!

Alice: Um, how do you know he’s trying to “steal” her?

Christian: She went to Fifty’s for drinks with people from his company.  He was there.

Alice: The bar is called Fifty’s?  Seriously?

Christian:  I had to stake my claim on my woman!  It was difficult to get over to her, because women kept fainting in my path or throwing themselves upon me.  They just can’t withstand my sexual prowess or the way my pants hang.

Alice: How do your pants hang?

Christian: I have no idea, but it’s sexy, damn it.  I informed Jack Hyde that I was the boyfriend.  And then he said he was the boss.  For a moment, I thought I might have to pee on her to prove my point, but Hyde realized what a fine specimen of man I am and wisely backed down.

Alice: So you grabbed her by the hair and dragged her home to the cave.  I got it.

Christian: But you must hear of our ride in the car!  Taylor came to pick us up in my AUDI.  I drive an Audi.  It’s a fabulous car.  There’s a phone in the steering wheel and everything.

Alice: I don’t think you realize the fucks I do not give.

Christian: I told Ana that I bought the company and she seemed a little annoyed with me.

Alice: I can’t imagine why.

Christian: Nor I!  But I made her laugh, because I’m so witty and all, and she forgot all about being angry with me and let me into her apartment.  She wanted sex, of course, but I wanted her to eat first, because my Ana must eat.  I have this need for her to eat because once I . . .

Alice:  Yes, yes, you went without food when you were four.  We know.

What was it Christian was concerned about again?

Christian: Oh, crack mommy was so neglectful, which is why I am now sad.

Alice:  You’re not sad.  You’re a psychopath.

Christian: Ana’s cupboard was bare, not even a bone.  So we had to go to the grocery store.  Can you imagine?  Me, at a grocery store?

Alice: I can’t figure out why there is a scene at a grocery store.

Christian: So Ana cooked, and showed me how to chop a pepper.

Alice: That’s a good skill for her to remember.

Christian: And we flirted, and bumped into one another, and the sexual tension was just so high, but I made sure she put the chicken in the fridge before we got to the sex.

Alice: Very practical of you.

Christian: And then we made love.  First I took off my socks . . .

Alice: I really don’t want to hear this.

Christian: There was groaning, and begging, and she tried to suck off my royal staff of manhood and then I ordered her to have an orgasm and she did.  I think the training is going well.  She really responds to the Snausages.

Alice:  That was . . . truly horrible.

Christian: I would love to stay and tell you more, but I am a very busy man.  I have emails to compose.  And mergers.  I make frequent mergers.  It’s exhausting.

Alice: Um, hey who’s that over there?  Is that one of your old subs who is jealous of Ana and is hoping to make a plot point?  Possibly?

Christian: Oh, dear.  The situation!  I must go!

Alice: Huh, his pants really DO hang that way when he runs.

Woman at the Well

We dare you!

We dare you!

I picked up a Bible today (it happens!  No lightning bolts either!) and opened to a random page.  And it occurred to me that, just as your average citizen has as much chance of predicting the stock market as a broker, that I could find meaning in this book as well as a concordance or a preacher.  I mean, that’s why we got Martin Luther – so we can screw up this ancient text along with the priests.

Anyway, despite being raised a middle-class heathen, I have always had a fascination with this book.  Most people do not like to do Bible study with me, since I spend the entire time asking silly questions like “Why is that guy named Beazlethorp?”  So I will just have to study this on my blog (don’t worry, I’ll go back to other meaningful things, like hellish children’s shows, next time).

The Samaritan Woman

So a Samaritan, a Roman, and a Pharisee walk into a bar . . .

So a Samaritan, a Roman, and a Pharisee
walk into a bar . . .

This is a story from the Old Testament’s sequel, the New Testament, in which God has a kid who tries to save the world and all sorts of predictably bad stuff comes of it.  This particular story has Jesus taking a load off by a well owned by a Samaritan woman.  Now I’d heard of Samaritans (there was a good one) but I wasn’t sure what they were, so I turned to my library research skills and picked this up from Wikipedia: “Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by those returning from exile.”

Got that?  Me neither.  Moving on.

Jesus says “Gimmie some water.”  Sheesh, Jesus, didn’t Mary teach you to say please?  Were ya born in a barn?  No matter, she’s way ruder back to him.  She says, “No way, cause you’re a Jew and we Samaritans don’t deal with you.”  Ah, random prejudice!  Now Jesus, being God’s son with awesome super powers, could do one of three things at this point:

A) smite the crap out of her

B) teach her about God and stuff

C) ignore her.  I mean, it’s a woman.

Jesus, being Jesus, decides to tell her about God.  But tells her in his usual way –with riddles.  He has to get his jollies somehow.  So Jesus says, “Well your water is not so great, my water is living water.  And if you drink it, you’ll get eternal life.”  Which makes one wonder why he asked for water in the first place.  Well, she thinks that sounds pretty cool, so she asks for some of his water.  And Jesus tells her to get her husband, and when she fibs to him, he points out that she’s had five husbands.  Oh, oh, Jesus googled stalked her!  But she’s impressed and says “You must be a prophet!  Any idea when that Messiah guy is coming?”  And Jesus – looking all cool – is all, “Yeah, that’s me, pretty much.”

Then the Disciples (I like to call them the 12 Stooges) show up and want to know why he’s talking to a girl.  And the girl goes into the village to tell everybody how he knew all this stuff about her, and wondering if he’s the Messiah or just a stalker.  Then we’re back to the disciples, and they’re trying to get Jesus to eat something (great, this is going to be like the water thing again, right?)  Bingo.  He tells them he has food they don’t know about.  Nanner.

So the disciples, who keep in mind KNOW he talks in riddles, take it literally and ask “Hey, did you give him food?  No way, did you?”  And Jesus, after slapping them each on the back of the head (it doesn’t say this, but I’m thinking it had to happen), says “My food is to do the will of him who sent me.”   Well, did he will you to have a sandwich?  I could just imagine going out to eat with him.  “I’ll have a living water and the will of God.  To go.”   Anyway, he goes on to talk about reaping and harvesting and stuff, because apparently the writers have ADD and totally forgot about the rude well woman.   And Jesus never did get a lousy drink.

So that’s the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.  The meaning of it is to be nice and give someone water, cause you never know, it might be the Messiah, and he might want to tell you a long, confusing story.  I think.