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Blasphemy Day International.

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Discussion (63)¬

  1. Chiaroscuro says:

    If god exists he must be a fan of this comic.

  2. Daoloth says:

    She is

  3. mike says:

    I think that first panel stands pretty well just by itself.

  4. cina murtad says:

    dear atheist, jesus loves you, but you’re still going to hell… ^^

  5. JohnnieCanuck says:

    She is not.

    She told me so right before She went to her room and slammed the door. Should have heard the language. I’ve never heard anyone swear like She does.

    Good thing clouds are non-combustible, because She sure was slinging around that Holy Fire stuff, just like the old days.

    Luckily only a few angels lost wing feathers this time, so none of them ended up joining the ranks of the previously ‘fallen’ down below.

  6. My new militant atheist uniform has arrived at last. It has such pretty epaulets, and as for the jackboots – you’ve never seen anything like them.

  7. JohnnieCanuck says:

    Do the believers get a safeword?

  8. Uncle Roger says:

    We’re not really militant, you know. It’s not that we want to stop people from believing in whatever silly stories they like — if just that if you turn your brain off, you shouldn’t have a say in, well, anything. You don’t get to vote, you don’t get to be in a management position at work, heck, you don’t even get to decide what you can have for lunch. You basically have to go through life with a cork on the end of your fork.

  9. Don says:

    That’s going to be a pretty hard sell, Uncle. Maybe we could frame it so it didn’t offend anyone, but still keep the basic idea.

  10. Eedjit says:

    But Brown believes that spending non-existent money will fix the economic crisis! And the G20 protestors believe that everyone actually cares about them. And your story is quite silly too..

  11. Maggs says:

    Surely, blasphemy is only worthwhile if you are a believer as an atheist has too much else to do with her time; there’s not much point abusing something you don’t believe in. I guess it’s the same for the all mighty too.

  12. Paper Hand says:

    Maggs: the idea is for atheists to make the point TO believers that there is nothing to fear from blasphemy. Nothing bad’s going to happen if I insult Jesus or Mohamed or the Buddha or whatever, or if I desecrate a piece of bread or a book or something. The intended audience is the believers.

  13. MrGronk says:

    Gosh Ophelia, I didn’t know militant atheists had a fetishist wing :)

  14. mishahu says:

    Hey Paper Hand, you can go insult Jesus or Buddha anywhere and anytime you like with not much problem. But insult Mohammed and you’d better have somewhere safe to hide.

  15. Hobbes says:

    That’s because the Radical Muslims are more insecure than the other fundis.

  16. Daoloth says:

    Uncle Rog- That is brilliant. Marlowe said something similar “I count religion but a childish toy and hold that there is no sin but ignorance”.
    I hope our Christian buddy drops by again for a word.
    As for not offending people- is that our fault? If a sober and accurate description of someone’s beliefs sounds like abuse then maybe the fault lies with them.

  17. Aikenhead's Ghost says:

    Random, non-specific blasphemy is so unscientific. I suggest we turn Blasphemy Day into an experiment, like those encouragingly negative intercessionary prayer studies. Let’s have a mass repetition of what the 19th C parliamentarian Charles Bradlaugh used to do. On a given day, we challenge the god of Abraham, Jesus and Mo to strike us dead within 5 minutes. If there is no sudden increase in mortality, especially among the young, fit and disrespectful, it might be a small poke in the eye for the Leviticus Lobby. How about Good Friday, the holiest day in the Christian calendar? (That’s April 10th for those of you in non-Christian countries.) So, let’s hear it for Bradlaugh, who did it many times without experiencing even a tiny thunderbolt. For added effect, do it while passing (or even inside) a church. Saying it aloud is optional. We are told that God can read your thoughts.

  18. Intelligent Designer says:

    I think a party of, I don’t know, 50 or so infidels, spontaneously standing up in church and chanting “Jesus fucking Christ!” repeatedly should have an interesting effect! A video on YouTube could then inspire copycat ‘happenings’ around the world! Not that I want to shock and offend at all :-P

  19. Matt Oxley says:

    YHWH is way too damn cool to fuss with Atheists!

    good job author

  20. kiyaroru says:

    Awesome alliteration, Author!

  21. Stonyground says:

    Uncle Roger that is a brilliant post, I hope you don’t mind if I borrow it and use it elsewhere.

  22. ricus says:

    mike , agree – 1st pane

  23. engman says:

    Love the papers they are reading – spot on and very funny!

  24. JMo says:

    More cannon fodder for the Author. New Afgan law makes it legal for a husband to rape his wife…..Gotta love those loving peacful Islamic people…

  25. jerry w says:

    I hope god doesn’t strike me dead, but a little buzz once in a while is something I could (so to speak) live with.

    After all Jeebus, I’ve still got some serious revenge issues to deal with, and as a side note, far too many bills I’ve yet to pay off.

  26. Uncle Roger says:

    Stonyground – help yourself. Who knows, maybe the idea will catch on? (And this could be the mascot: http://www.sinasohn.net/images/corkfork_sm.jpg)

  27. Maggs says:

    Paper Hand, if an atheist thinks that he has to be evangelistic about his atheism, he has completely missed the point. There was another point in my post, if you didn’t get it on your first read, try again.

  28. Turandot says:

    Great comic. I’ve always wondered by the gods of today, especially the god of Islam, is such a pussy. He is unable to do a thing to protect himself or his reputation and must rely on his minions to do his dirty work.

  29. Lagomorph76 says:

    as a not-so-militant atheist, i’d like to take the stand against invasive blasphemy. we don’t want them spewing drivel on our sites, we shouldn’t invade their sacred space either. chanting profanity in church would just be wrong; we shouldn’t need to resort to their tactics to spread our beliefs.

  30. The god of Islam is ‘such a pussy. He is unable to do a thing to protect himself or his reputation and must rely on his minions to do his dirty work’ – meaning women are weak cowardly parasites.

    Tell that to the barmaid.

  31. Ah – so ‘pussy’ was not being used in the sexist sense in that comment? It was being used in a different sense? What sense would that be, exactly?

    Here’s a thought experiment. Suppose you were talking to the barmaid – would you say to the barmaid ‘The god of Islam, is such a pussy. He is unable to do a thing to protect himself or his reputation and must rely on his minions to do his dirty work’?

    Maybe you would, maybe you would. But I wonder. I don’t think it’s accidental that none of my male friends and correspondents ever use ‘pussy’ or ‘twat’ or ‘cunt’ that way in conversation or correspondence with me. If there’s a reason for that…then perhaps there’s something wrong with the terminology; perhaps that something is that it’s sexist.

    But do correct me if I’m wrong – do explain what ‘pussy’ actually means in that sentence; I’d love to know.

  32. author says:

    I have always thought that “pussy” in this sense was a reference to the domestic pet.

    The OED seems to confirms this:

    (1) b. slang (chiefly N. Amer.). A sweet or effeminate male; (in later use chiefly) a weakling, a coward, a sissy. Also: a male homosexual.
    In quot. 1904: a man likened to a house-cat; a dependent or ‘domesticated’ man.

    1904 ‘M. CORELLI’ God’s Good Man xxi, I shall invite Roxmouth and his tame pussy, Mr. Marius Longford. 1925 S. LEWIS Martin Arrowsmith vi. 65 You ought to hear some of the docs that are the sweetest old pussies with their patientsthe way they bawl out the nurses. 1934 M. WESEEN Dict. Amer. Slang 193 Pussy, an effeminate boy. 1958 L. DURRELL Mountolive viii. 157 ‘I first met Henry James in a brothel in Algiers. He had a naked houri on each knee.’ ‘Henry James was a pussy, I think.’ 1967 ‘ICEBERG SLIM’ Pimp (1998) v. 78 Look Preston, I got lots of heart. I’m not a pussy. I been to the joint twice. I did tough bits, but I didn’t fall apart. 1972 T. O’BRIEN Combat Zone 45 You afraid to be in the war, a goddamn pussy? 1988 J. D. PISTONE & R. WOODLEY Donnie Brasco 119 If he beat me up or cut me, then I would be a pussy in everybody’s eyes. 1993 G. DONALDSON Ville 20 He believes the only thing worse than being a pussy is being a big pussy. 2004 J. MENO Hairstyles of Damned 125, I..wanted to ask her to Homecoming, but I was a pussy and embarrassed about being in love with her because she was fat.

    There is a separate entry (3a) for the “coarse slang” sense.

    Perhaps the two meanings have become conflated in recent times?

  33. larryniven says:

    Yeah, sorry – I suspect most people definitely mean to refer to a body part. The etymology may indicate otherwise, but that really doesn’t tell us anything about how people currently understand the word.

  34. Paper Hand says:

    @Maggs

    When religious people keep to themselves and stop trying to get their beliefs legislated, when they stop trying to stiffle criticism, when they stop trampling over everyone’s rights, then we’ll be quite happy to leave them to their silly superstitions. But until then, we’re going to fight.

  35. Paper Hand says:

    I have always thought that “pussy” in this sense was a reference to the domestic pet.

    It may have originated that way, but, at least in my experience (for all I know, it could be an America-Britain difference) it’s not used that way anymore. People will sometimes replace “pussy” in contexts like that with the more vulgar “cunt”, for example, but never with a word like “cat” or “kitty”. The fact that another word for “female genitalia” can be substituted, but not another word for “Felis catus” suggests that the first meaning is intended.

  36. Comments at my place (where I asked about the word) indicate that a lot of people in the UK genuinely don’t realize ‘pussy’ means anything stronger than sissy, so it appears that it is more ambiguous there than it is in the US. But then I wonder why Ian Fleming had a character called Pussy Galore?

  37. Toast in the machine says:

    I took ‘pussy’ in Turandot’s comment to mean ‘coward’ or ‘weakling’. I don’t see that taking it to mean ‘vagina’ makes sense in the context, and it doesn’t seem reasonable to extend that further by equating ‘vagina’ with ‘women’. From my experience of American usage of English, I thought the ‘coward’ meaning was pretty common over there too, and I think it stands alone regardless of its derivation.

    My impression is that most British women under about 40 or so use ‘twat’ in the sense of ‘idiot’ or ‘dickhead’ quite freely. ‘Cunt’ much less so. ‘Pussy’ somewhere in between.

  38. Nope. It means coward but with the female genitalia meaning very much included. Try using it here as if it just means coward, and you’ll find out.

  39. Boogliodemus says:

    When we read about the pussification of the western male, it doesn’t mean men are sexual receptacles, it just means they have been doofusized/wimpified like the guy in “Everybody Loves The King Of Queens”.
    After all a purring pudenda is preferable to a sour puss.

  40. Ophelia Benson says:

    And you know that how?

  41. Toast in the machine says:

    …the god of Islam, is such a coward. He is unable to do a thing to protect himself…
    To me that has exactly the same meaning as with ‘pussy’ instead of ‘coward’.

    I don’t see how it’s reasonable to equate that with ‘women are weak cowardly parasites‘.

    I wonder if your reading of it is dependent on the second part:
    He is unable to do a thing to protect himself or his reputation…
    - which I hadn’t thought about much until re-reading it now. I can see how, if you a priori take ‘pussy’ to be a reference to women, the ‘protect his reputation’ might suggest a patriarchal, sexist view of women’s sexuality. I don’t think it comes close to justifying your initial response though. And it’s a circular argument.

  42. yours truly says:

    Ophelia – pussy has some separate meanings as you well know, otherwise you would be arguing that the guy was trying to claim that Allah was acting like a cat.

    The meanings that I am aware of being in common usage are that you can talk about a pussy as an object and be referring to either a cat or a vagina, or you can talk about a person as being a pussy and be describing either an effeminate man, or a coward of either sex (or even a cowardly animal, so you could say, “that pussy is such a fucking pussy”). These meanings can be used completely independently.

    So given that Turandot said “is such a pussy” as opposed to “has a nice pussy”, I think it is fairly clear what the implied meaning was.

  43. yours truly – No I don’t well know, or rather I didn’t well know when I first commented; I didn’t know the word was much more ambiguous in the UK than it is in the US. In the US it doesn’t have separate meanings in that sense – calling a man a pussy is asking for a fight. As a friend of mine says, if Obama drops by, be careful about calling him a pussy.

    Turandot’s comment looks as sexist to me as it did at first. If I’m wrong Turandot is of course welcome to tell me so, but for now, I see pussy there as meaning exactly the same thing as twat or cunt.

  44. yours truly says:

    “calling a man a pussy is asking for a fight.”

    It is here too, but only because it is alleging cowardice or male femininity. In the case of calling a woman a pussy, if you were to say “that woman is a fucking pussy”, it would mean cowardice and nothing else really. No-one would usually think that you were calling them a vagina.

    If on the other hand you said “that’s a nice bit of pussy” while referring to a woman then the meaning is obviously sexual.

    Also in the UK calling someone a cunt has a totally separate meaning from calling them a pussy. A cunt is someone who is being deliberately nasty, usually in an aggressive way. A twat on the other hand is more reserved for people who repeatedly display idiocy on a grand scale, especially in an antisocial manner.

  45. And all three are sexist epithets.

  46. Wait…

    “It is here too, but only because it is alleging cowardice or male femininity”

    This is what I’m saying, obviously. That is sexist. It is sexist to tell a man ‘You’re such a girl.’

    Jeezis. This stuff is unreal.

  47. yours truly says:

    Alleging male femininity is not quite the same as calling them a girl. It is more along the lines of calling them a sissy. Yes it is referencing gender stereotypes, however you could argue that it is just as sexist towards men as it is towards women as it infers that it is not acceptable within society for men to act in a way that is perceived to be stereotypically feminine.

    As to the general use of sexual terms as insults, what about calling someone a dick, a cock or accusing them of talking bollocks? I presume that is also sexist.

    I’m all for treating folk equally, but I’m not sure that equal rights really has anything to with someone accusing a fictional deity of being a bit of a pussy.

  48. Yes I know it is calling them a sissy, and yes it is indeed referencing gender stereotypes. You could argue lots of things, but in the real world it is women who are being insulted there. (Of course it is a man who is being more immediately insulted, but he is being insulted by being compared to women. If Terry tells you in a scornful tone that you are as stupid as Chris, it is Chris who is being most insulted – it is Chris who is the standard for what is insulting.)

    Yes, calling people a dick probably is sexist, which is why I’ve stopped doing it.

    I’m not claiming that equal rights is completely dependent on who calls whom a pussy, or anything like that – I’m just claiming that a sexist epithet is just that. It doesn’t help.

  49. yours truly says:

    I’d say that in the real world, the set of people feeling particularly insulted would probably be you and any particularly touchy theists who might have read the comment as well. I would be highly surprised if there was a mass of women who were insulted as there are so many women who use the term pussy themselves as an insult to mean cowardly or sissy and who fully understand the context.

    The word ‘woman’ itself comes from a root meaning of ‘shame/pudenda-person’. Should I stop using that word as well? At what point do you draw the line? There are lots of words that can offend by association, but if we tried to eliminate them all then we would have very few words left to use at all.

    Even the word ‘is’ has opponents who would like to see it be thoroughly removed from the language due to the way that it shapes our thinking. They also have a more convincing argument than the one you have put forward for not using pussy as an insult. I suspect that that would be problematic and fairly unenforceable however.

  50. “At what point do you draw the line?”

    At cunt, twat and pussy. At currently contemptuous/hostile words for the female genitalia used as epithets. That’s where. And I wouldn’t call it drawing the line, but if I accept your term for the sake of argument, I would also stipulate that by drawing the line I mean criticism, empatically not censorship. I have to stipulate that because the ‘Of course I can call you a cunt!’ crowd loves to conflate the two.

  51. kiwiatheist says:

    Aw c’mon you guys, get over yourselves. You’re starting to look silly now.

  52. yours truly says:

    But you already accepted that ‘pussy’ was not being used in the sense of ‘female genitalia’, but was being used in the sense of ‘sissy’.

    As for the use of names for genitalia as swear words, I could understand your point if it is was only words for female genitalia that were used in this way, however that is obviously not the case. People use dick, cock, bollocks and knob just as much as they use cunt or twat. Even penis is an insult, although weirdly, vagina generally isn’t. You then have non genital words like arse or tits that are used as well, or verbs like fuck, shit or piss. To even try and make the argument that the usage is automatically sexist, especially given how interchangeably the various words are used by women as well as men, just doesn’t stand up to analysis.

    As to the folk who are saying “of course I can call you a cunt”, well it may be offensive but it isn’t sexist against women unless you can demonstrate that those people only use words for female genitalia when swearing at women, or never use the names for male genitalia when swearing. Also, sometimes it is justified. Some people behave like utter cunts.

  53. No I didn’t – I agreed that ‘pussy’ was being used in the sense of ‘sissy’ but certainly not to the exclusion of the female genitalia. ‘Pussy’ means ‘sissy’ only because it alsom means female genitalia. That’s how figurative language works.

    Yes yes, I know about the other genitalia words, and I don’t use them either, for this reason.

    “Also, sometimes it is justified. Some people behave like utter cunts.”

    Meaning, some people behave like utter female genitalia – yet you want me to agree that that in no way equates evil malicious badness with women.

    Godalmighty.

  54. Maybe I can make this clearer with an anaology. Suppose you encounter some people using ‘nigger’ exactly the way people now use ‘cunt.’ Suppose one of them explained to you, “Also, sometimes it is justified. Some people behave like utter niggers.” Would you be persuaded? Would you say “Oh, right, so they do, I see your point; never mind then.”

    I doubt it, and I hope not. At any rate, the point is (obviously) “niggers” (like “cunts”) doesn’t inherently mean evil malicious bad person. Epithets are constructed by people who want a strong word for various kinds of people they don’t like. There is nothing inherent in the word “cunt” that causes it to mean evil malicious bad person – its official meaning is simply female genitalia. The fact that people (men) choose that to mean evil malicious badness is pretty unmistakably to equate the female genitalia and by extension women with evil malicious badness.

  55. yours truly says:

    I am so glad to have just had a conversation with my sister ( she could make a sailor blush. Oh hang on, she is a sailor, never mind )

    but to reply to the point you said above -

    ” Maybe I can make this clearer with an anaology. Suppose you encounter some people using ‘nigger’ exactly the way people now use ‘cunt.’ Suppose one of them explained to you, “Also, sometimes it is justified. Some people behave like utter niggers.” Would you be persuaded? ”

    My answer would be Chris Rock doing stand up.
    His use of the word ‘nigger’ is one of the sharpest acts I’ve ever seen.
    And he used ‘nigger’ in exactly the same way that most people use ‘cunt’.

    We are the masters of the words we use as long as we understand how to use them.

    Words mean nothing without context.
    Context is all.

    So when women use ‘cunt’ to mean evil malicious badness, are they all self hating? Or just making use of language in the way that they like?

    One thing that I am completely sure of is that really sexist men would be appalled by women calling people cunts.

    And what is it with this ‘godalmighty’ shit?
    Use a proper swear word for fucks sake, we know what you mean.

  56. “My answer would be Chris Rock doing stand up.”

    Chris Rock is Chris Rock. You do realize such an act would have somewhat different resonances if it were done by a white person, right?

    “So when women use ‘cunt’ to mean evil malicious badness, are they all self hating?”

    Verging on it, yes.

    “One thing that I am completely sure of is that really sexist men would be appalled by women calling people cunts.”

    Oh please – what is that supposed to mean? That I’m objectively sexist and just pretending to be anti-sexist? Give me a fucking break.

  57. yours truly says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realise that when you said ‘people’ that it was cheating for me to pick a brown person for my example.

    As for the self hating thing, when men use the word ‘dick’ to describe someone they find objectionable, are they also being self hating?

    Also, just because I think that a lot of really sexist men would have a problem with women using the word cunt, doesn’t mean that I think that everyone who has a problem with that word being used is sexist.

    I could draw you an explanatory Venn diagram if that would help.

  58. Ophelia Benson says:

    I didn’t say it was cheating. I implied that it doesn’t support your claim. It doesn’t.

    I didn’t say think that everyone who has a problem with that word being used is sexist. I asked what your question was supposed to mean, and asked if it meant one suggestion. I didn’t know what you meant, which is why I asked.

    Clearly you’re not engaging any more, you’re just firing shots. I won’t waste any more time.

  59. yours truly says:

    I’m not just firing shots. I just think that the meaning of words is entirely dependent on the context within which they are used.

    and hai kiwiathiest – I generally look silly anyway. It tends to go hand in hand with my extreme bloody-mindedness.

  60. smallMassiv says:

    I like how this discussion about the benefits of not being offended by blasphemy has suddenly devolved into a discussion over whether or not we should be offended by the use of genitalia as a means of derision. Everyone loves being a victim!

    How about we *all* grow a thicker skin.

  61. fenchurch says:

    @JMo: I thought you wrote “*canon* fodder”.

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