Random Comic
today

today

Hopefully they’ll have come to their senses by next week.

If you haven’t heard about the spot of bother that the University College London’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society is having with the Student’s Union over a J&M image they used on their FaceBook page, you can read about it here. There is also a petition you can sign.

There is a great deal to say about this subject, but I just want to express my admiration and gratitude to the students of UCLASHS for standing firm on this issue, and for doing so for all the right reasons. You are an example to us all.



Discussion (101)¬

  1. HaggisForBrains says:

    For such a simple cartoon, in the context it has given me the best laugh in a while – thanks. I second your comments on UCLASHS, and of course have signed the petition. I’m sure the Streisand effect from this will only lead to a widening your readership.

  2. Ian Jones says:

    I filled the painful silence by loling out loud.

  3. PeteUK says:

    The religious dickwads don’t realise that they are the best publicity campaign for secularism, and very cost effective too!

  4. Signed the petition days ago when PZ alerted me to the situation. I think the word is getting out.
    Great strip, Author. Thanks yet again. You do have a way with, or without, words.

  5. Jan Witkowski says:

    This is particularly ridiculous given that UCL was founded with an explicit secularist agenda.

  6. HaggisForBrains says:

    I don’t intend to hijack another thread, but may have to issue a POTWA against Ian Jones for tautology, unless, of course, it was deliberate for effect.

    PZ and B&W both have interesting threads going as a result of the UCLASHS affair (no, I’m not going to add “gate” onto it!).

  7. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @HFB, thank you for not adding ‘gate’, a habit of the media that I never understood. ‘Gate’ has never meant ‘scandal’, otherwise the original ‘gate’ would have been called the ‘Watergate gate’.
    BTW, I’ve just posted the ‘5 ands’ solution on the previous strip.

  8. NoAstronomer says:

    I find the suggestion that ‘This is nice’ offensive.

  9. So it’s OK to not have Mo with an image of a drink that looks like beer — but its ok to have Jesus with an image of a drink that looks like beer? Hmmm … I thought the Muslims should have been upset about both, no?

  10. HaggisForBrains says:

    @AoS – Thanks for the answer – that’s brilliant, and oh-so-simple once you see it, like a good magic trick.

  11. Unruly Simian says:

    @BM I don’t think the Muslim group recognizes Jesus as a religious icon and therefor nor insult can be inferred.

  12. jean-françois gauthier says:

    @us: jesus is the last prophet of islam—as is mo.

  13. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Universities used to have open minds
    Today their head is up their behinds
    To ban a cartoon
    Show’s the brain of a goon
    If not in college, where does discussion, one find?

  14. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ Nassar – +1!

  15. Ian Jones says:

    @HaggisForBrains, I got you. But hold on, is not your moniker some sort of tautology itself? Bearing in mind what they chuck in the stuff, before BSE anyway!

  16. Ian Jones says:

    Author- you made Mo say ‘tit’ in the last panel, I am so outraged that I will burn down your intertubes, you unbearded kufaar!

  17. Dalai Llama says:

    Huh. Just found out about this all through J&M, despite being not only a current student at UCL, but also a member of the ASHS. Though to be fair, final year essays and other work commitments have been sucking up my attention recently. I hereby resolve to attend more ASHS events, just as soon as I finish this damned essay – which actually happens to be about gender and religion in Algeria, notably the veil. The course this essay is for is remarkably fair-minded, critical yet respectful, thus upholding the principles of this university to which I am proud to belong, not least for its notable history in these matters (first UK uni to accept women and non-Christians).
    Last year, a close friend of mine was the president of UCL LGBT, and organised several debate events with the various religious societies, which I am proud to say demonstrated on all sides a high level of intelligence, courtesy, understanding and respect. Hopefully this current situation will prove no more than a blip on our record.

  18. Chip Camden says:

    Signed the petition. I’d rather be offended by some things that are published than to have any expression suppressed.

  19. Brilliant, author.

    Background including the full correspondence between the president of UCL’s atheist society and the one Muslim student who complained to them (minus names) here –

    http://www.alexgabriel.co.uk/post/15579305298/atheists-face-muslim-led-censorship-from-ucl-union

  20. Stonyground says:

    I read on the thread on RD.net that one guy has discovered J&M for the first time because of this affair. Haggis for Brains has been proven correct by citing the Streisand effect by at least one extra reader. It might spoil the fun if a lot of outraged Mo fans came over here being outraged, I suppose it would depend whether we got trolls or chew-toys.

  21. Don says:

    Right, petition signed, sleeves rolled up. They are not getting away with this.

    ‘…a number of complaints were made…’ Well, I guess ‘1’ is a number, but they are either dishonest or woefully lacking in grammar skills.

  22. HaggisForBrains says:

    Speaking on behalf of UPOTW (United Pedants of the World), if I may, Don is right, it should be “a number of complaints was made”.

  23. sosusk says:

    so they think it’s offensive that Cartoon Mo drinks beer but not that he lives with Jesus and always loses the arguments with the invisible barmaid?
    this kind of argumentation really makes you think that they have their priorities right. :S
    Of course, I signed the petition in a desperate effort against human stupidity. :)

  24. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Nassar, that is truly your best to date. Your verses are so improved so quickly that one wonders if you may have taken the same road as Robert Leroy Johnson.

    I love this cartoon, it reminds me of the old saying about it being ‘better to stay quiet and let the world think you’re an idiot, than to speak out and confirm it’.
    Just one point; I didn’t think that the world’s favourite spirit-ual host, our beloved barmaid, did get offended by the boys. Often amused, regularly bemused, but with too much sense to be offended by their nonsense.

  25. Tris says:

    Not that any non-Muslims should be bound by the 7th century martial law of a far away and extinct empire, but it seems unlikely that this cartoon will deify Muhammed in that way his anti-idolatry laws intended to prevent. Recalling that this prophet ordered the political assasination of two poets for making fun of him in print, it seems unlikely that Muslims will afford skeptical inquiry the power of the image for purposes of satire without a fight, be it scripturally sincere or otherwise.

  26. James Rowland says:

    I have signed the petition, and left the following comment:

    A tolerant society does not permit sectarian rules of piety to be imposed on ANYONE against their will. A wise society protects the right to criticise – and even ridicule – ALL ideas, for this is how falsehoods are exposed. Egos be damned, sometimes offence is DESERVED.

    Religions need no encouragement in their eternal quest to dominate and control human thought, yet this is EXACTLY what this spineless appeasement has delivered: A purported centre of learning, witlessly conspiring with forces that corrode society and culture. Shame on you, UCLU. Shame!

  27. MadTom says:

    The Quran gibbers about ‘likeness’. What I want to know is what they compare it to – do they have another picture somewhere?

  28. scottspeig says:

    As a born-again christian, I signed the petition. While I find some Jesus & Mo cartoons a bit too insulting, I won’t agree to have them censored. A little excessive really. I hope the society wins their case.

  29. @scottspeig Nice to have a born-again Christian who understand that not everybody shares your beliefs, but everybody has a right to their own. If all born-agains were like you, we might ease up on the sarcasm.
    But since that isn’t the case, please tell me, how do you reconcile the idea of a loving God with a God who will send me to Hell for eternity simply because I’m too stupid to believe in Him? Seems a strange definition of love to me. Wouldn’t you call that cruel and unusual punishment?

    That’s one of our stumbling blocks when it comes to joining you. Not the biggest, perhaps. But definitely one of them.
    I think my biggest stumbling block to joining with your side is that I see no evidence that God exists, and no need to fantasize that He does. We seem to get along quite well without a divine overseer watching our every move. Don’t you know right from wrong without somebody threatening to punish you? Or reward you, for that matter.
    I could go on, but I’d like to hear from you.

    By the way, go ahead and insult me if you feel like it. I think it’s your right.

  30. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Having just read the back story, one has to wonder why devout Muslims are looking at an advert for a ‘drinks social’ in the first place. They couldn’t just be looking for reasons to be offended……..could they? Or was the ‘alarm’ raised by that worst sector of humanity, namely those who like to get offended on behalf of others?

  31. Author says:

    The story has made The Guardian. Pedants might have fun discussing the grammar of my quote.

  32. @Author: “The student atheist society at UCL have my complete support. I am full of admiration for the firm and principled stance they are taking against religious censorship,” he said. “My primary reason for drawing the cartoons is to make atheists laugh.”
    I may lose my membership in the UPOTW, but I see no problem with the grammar in this quote. What am I missing, guys and gals? (And he’s made this atheist laugh many times. So he gets points for veracity.)

  33. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Frankly, this episode demonstrates why I no longer tolerate religious tolerance. Although I find it hard to believe UCLU could be so naive and do wonder …
    (I got here from a Guardian tweet – so a service certainly was provided)

  34. Author says:

    @DH – Maybe you are such a good pedant that you see nothing wrong with the conjugation of the verb in the first sentence. That is encouraging, because neither do I – especially as it is consistent with the second sentence. But some might argue that the collective noun “society” should be followed by a singular verb. I think that is more usually the case in American English.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DH; the problem lies in the first line. As a society is a single entity, albeit one made up of numerous individuals, the it should read “The student atheist society at UCL HAS my complete support”. Had the line read “The members of the student atheist society have….” then it would have been correct.

  36. HaggisForBrains says:

    Firstly, I don’t think I could bring myself to criticise someone who has given us all such entertaining and though-provoking cartoons.

    I agree with AoS in principle, but personally always have a problem with the best way to parse a sentence with a collective noun. Generally I don’t worry too much if it is quoted speech, but tend to agonise when writing.

    Enough pedantry; I’m pleased to see J & M getting such good coverage, and all of it positive (with perhaps the obvious exception). I look forward to the influx of new blood as a result (welcome Walter), but please take care, Author, and protect your identity.

    I personally think this current carton is a brilliant riposte to the situation.

  37. durham669 says:

    @DH – You’ve identified my main objection to bible god. How can a loving god subject his creation to eternal torture for the simple act of not believing in him? Why does bible god say, “Love me or else!” But then why does bible god have human emotions like jealousy and anger? Evidence that bible god was created by men, perhaps?

  38. @Author But, as the prescriptive grammarians, whom I dislike, might respond, I took the collective noun “society” to mean “members of the society” with the words “members of” being, as prescriptive grammarians would put it when insisting that every sentence must have a subject even when it doesn’t, “understood.” If the phrase is “members of the society” then it takes the plural verb. If prescriptive grammarians can do it, so can we. But I’m not that kind of pedant. :-)

  39. John Duggan says:

    Religious Knowledge class in our liberal Jesuit school was always a good opportunity for some ribbing of our decent instructors. They were especially uncomfortable with our suggestion that God would only condemn us to eternal punishment for our our trivial misdeeds (which were actually his fault, as he made us) if his range of infinite characteristics included the capacity to be infinitely vindictive. It would be nice to believe that God, if he actually exists, has a sense of humour

  40. @durham669 I’ve never understood how anybody could have any doubt that the bible God was created by human beings, and not the other way around. I was just reading someplace that the biggest crisis of faith for fundies is when they go to seminary and actually start to learn about how their holy book came into being. It freaks them right out, because they all were taught that every word was dictated by God to some guys who worked for King James.
    How anybody can look at that book and think it is the inerrant word of God is one of the neglected miracles of religion.

  41. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @HFB & DH. I don’t think that I would have noticed Author’s minor slip had he not invited scrutiny, and in any case now that I know his nom-de-plume – Mohammed Jones – I can forgive him anything. Clever Author, naming yourself after my favourite 1970’s ’10-a-penny’ chews.

  42. Aw Hell Naw says:

    I also found out about J&M this afternoon when it the article was crossposted to Durham Uni Secular/Humanist Society. I’m now up to date on the entire archive, have saved about half the pages for future use in debates and nearly had to change my jeans.

    :P

  43. Peakcrew says:

    So much to comment on!

    1) Signed, with the comment “There is no right not to be offended”.

    2) NBH – I don’t usually bother with your postings, but this one is good!

    3) Delighted as I am to come here and see the high level of language skills, let’s not put off people who don’t have the same level that many of us do. Language is a communication tool, and not being able to wield it as skillfully as others does not make a person unworthy to listen to.

  44. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “Ian Jones says:
    January 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm
    @HaggisForBrains, I got you. But hold on, is not your moniker some sort of tautology itself? Bearing in mind what they chuck in the stuff, before BSE anyway!”

    Ian, the moniker is only tautology if you are making the assumption that it is a reference to the constitution of the cranial contents of the poster. How do you know that it wasn’t taken from a line in Thunderbirds? “Dinner’s ready guys, there’s meatballs for Virgil, haggis for Brains, 20 Lites and a bottle of Bolly for Lady P..”.

    @Peakcrew, a little gentle joshing can work wonders; just look at the improvement in Nassar’s prose. Besides, would you rather go through life repeating the same mistake over and over; or have somebody point it out to you, enabling you to correct the mistake and learn something along the way (something that, in my experience, non-English speakers appreciate far more than supposed native English speakers)?

  45. European says:

    Back to the cartoon, I think yesterday’s little news item (click on link) reminds us that silence is still crucial for survival in some parts of our world…

  46. European says:

    The link was under the user name in the first message (sorry, haven’t posted for a while), might try to copy it in here: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/281142/20120113/victorian-man-punished-saudi-arabia-75-lashes.htm
    Btw @author, this little box below, ‘I am not a spammer, I swear’ – does that imply that spammers don’t swear ;-) ?!

  47. @European Thanks for that link. It’s nice to be reminded that I never want to go anywhere near Medina, or Saudi Arabia for that matter.

    One might wonder: If piety can only be achieved through force, threats, and punishment, what level of sincerity might we expect of the pious. In his heart of hearts do you suppose that Mansour Almaribe is more religious after this experience or less? What would it take to get him to forsake the intolerant religious idiocy he went back to Saudi Arabia to participate in? Or is this the religious version of S&M. Yes, I’m a dirty dirty boy. Please beat me.

  48. mary2 says:

    @DH, the Australian government has thanked Saudi Arabia for their leniency in this case! The original sentence included more lashes and a ridiculous prison sentence. Whatever he did to offend them, the poor bastard went there on pilgrimage so he is (or at least was) presumably a religious man.

  49. Sean Ellis says:

    Jesus and Mo is featured on this week’s Pod Delusion podcast, by the way, over at http://poddelusion.co.uk.

  50. Author says:

    Excuse the sniffing. I have a cold.

  51. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Or should that be WE’VE WON?

    Either way, excellent news and a victory for common sense. Plus, of course, increased traffic to our beloved J&M site helping to spread the genius of the mighty Author ‘MoJo’.

  52. HaggisForBrains says:

    Sadly, the Pod Delusion have airbrushed Mo out of the illustration! Do these guys have no balls at all. Kinda misses the point of the whole episode.

    @ AoS Thanks for the LOL comment on my pseudonym. Mrs Brains likes it too. In fact, @ Ian Jones, sheep’s brains are not usually a constituent of haggis, they’re far too good for that. The name arises from a disparaging comment my old dad used to make when I said something particularly stupid “you must have mince for brains”. I decided to make it a bit more Scottish to emphasis where I come from. Also, as R Burns would say, I consider myself a “Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race”

  53. Author says:

    @HaggisForBrains – in defence of the Pod Delusion guys, the reason they left Mo out of the pic is because iTunes is their main distributor. If iTunes decided a picture of Mo was not on – and, given their highly censorious reputation, they might well do – then the Pod Delusion would lose the majority of its audience in one fell swoop.

  54. @Author and some might consider that a small price to pay for integrity, but of course this is coming from a guy who blogs under a pseudonym for fear of official and otherwise retribution. Damn but reality can be a hard mistress sometimes.

  55. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ Author – fair enough, but perhaps they would have been better not publishing the cartoon at all, in these circumstances, as without Mo it did not add to the discussion there. Anyway, a good result for the students, and for J&M.

  56. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Reading the update it appears that the SU may still take action against ASHS, not for using the image but for resisting the order to remove it, which – as I pointed out on RD.net earlier – would be akin to a court finding the defendant innocent, then punishing him for pleading Not Guilty in the first place.
    Stop the planet, I want to get off.

  57. Neuseline says:

    My family and I have all signed the petition.

    Let’s be clear about one thing: Anyone who is offended by anything CHOOSES to be offended. S/he might as well choose NOT to be offended. The book “Your Erroneous Zones” by Dr Wayne W. Dyer explains it very well.

  58. fenchurch says:

    I suspect that certain religious folk spend a lot of time reaching into their sensitive cracks to unbunch their panties– would explain the obsessive ablutions.

  59. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @fenchurch; I suspect that certain religious folk spend a lot of time reaching into their sensitive cracks in order to refill their heads. It would certainly explain the effluence they constantly spout.

    @DH. We all have the right to self-censor, whether that’s by the use of a ‘nym’ or airbrushing out an image, and it’s a tactic that can be beneficial if it means that our message reaches its’ maximum audience; it’s when censorship is imposed on us by others that the problems start.
    Pondering this particular strip and the issues that motivated it has led me to think that J&M would be just as effective in ridiculing religion as it is currently, and maybe even more so, if Mo was represented by nothing more than his speech balloon – a play on the ‘invisible friend’ but one which no Muslim could find offensive as no attempt is being made to depict an image of the prophet.

  60. @AofS Interesting thought, though I think the body double idea is a better joke. Perhaps the complaining Muslim should have been told that it wasn’t the actual Mo drinking beer, but a body double, therefore no grounds for taking offense. I doubt he/she knew that.

  61. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Just to clarify, in my post above I’m not suggesting that Author should change the cartoons to avoid giving offence, to me there’s nothing funnier than somebody taking offence on behalf of a long-dead goatherd and his – possibly TLE-induced – visions, and if the cartoons lead to just one Muslim realising the inanity of taking offence at a mere drawing as they stand, then they are having a positive effect, and if they don’t, well they’re still bloody hilarious, and I would stand with Author in resisting any attempts to impose censorship on them. I just love the idea of a bunch of religidiots offended by a ‘depiction by non-depiction’ of their prophet – because we all know that they would – and I’m curious as to how they would word their complaints.
    So, come on chaps and chapesses, get composing those imaginary complaints; a virtual box of choccy’s goes to the best!

  62. @AofS I am deep offend say show blessed Mohamed (PBUH) is invisibly which saying emaginationary you atheists all have sex the road like dogs no respec anything now insult our holy proffet (PBUH) is real millions Muslims no invisibly like you say show and I not threaten you dead.

  63. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @DH, the body-double is indeed good, but I have been reading the comments following the NH article linked to in Author’s cover story, and according to someone there, a body-double used to depict a depiction of the prophet is still a depiction (or something like that, it all gets so tiresome), all of which leads me to a new idea, namely that not just his image, but the prophet’s name itself, either spoken or written, should really be disallowed by the most fundamental Muslims, particularly if they can find offence with my ‘invisible man’ ploy.
    I think that it’s fair to say that most people will instinctively put a face to a name, so if I see or hear mention of God, a mental image springs up of the traditional white-haired, bearded guy in robes; when I read posts here I get a vague mental image of the writer; if I hear Phil Collins my mind’s eye sees an arsehole, etc. Now, if ANY depiction of Mo, whether direct or by proxy is wrong, yet his very name causes a mental depiction of him, then his name has to be forbidden to prevent every Muslim on the planet from participating in false idolatory. To take it further, maybe the Koran itself should be banned by his followers; who can read a book – or be read to – without imagining the author of said book in some guise?
    All we need do now is convince them that THAT kind of self-censorship, the holy prophet and his book censored by his own followers, ought to be the ultimate goal for a group so bent on censoring anything and everything that they deem to be offensive or blasphemous………but I shan’t hold my breath.

    On a side note, why do the complainants assume that Mo has beer? To my certain knowledge dandelion and burdock, when properly made with all natural ingredients and carbonated through a soda syphon or a pub’s post-mix dispenser, bears an uncanny resemblance to stout ale, complete with a tight and creamy head. Surely they can’t be leaping to the most offensive – to them – conclusion for the sheer pleasure of being offended……….can they?

  64. Ian S says:

    Is it just me, or is the fourth comment down on this discussion of the issue (when coupled with the author’s avatar) sheer, beautiful irony? :D

    http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f18/disgusting-ucl-athiest-society-post-cartoons-prophets-55062/

  65. Dan says:

    Don’t the reactionaries realise that if no one gets offended nothing will ever change. Oh, wait, hang on… I get it.
    The ‘being of offended’ is passive aggressive censorship and should be resisted vigorously.

  66. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @DH; Brilliant response sir, the best chuckle I’ve had for a long time. It could almost have been copied and pasted from one of the loons on the site Ian S. links to above (take a look, it’s comedy gold. “May they catch something that makes them poo their pants” Heh, curses ain’t what they used to be.), but I’m more than certain that you’re above such intellectual dishonesy.
    That said, should I feel slightly disturbed at how easily you slipped into character? Methinks you’ve seen more than your share of raving fundies if you can echo their sentiments so precisely, right down to the utterly illiterate, yet strangely coherent writing style.
    So folks, do I award the virtual choccy’s now or wait to see if it can be bettered?

  67. @AofS While I bask, yea verily wallow, in your appreciation and praise, I must tell you that I had strong reservations about posting that parody and probably wouldn’t have done so if it hadn’t been for the influence of a stiff drink and the fact that my unusually politically correct partner laughed when I read it to her.
    My parody was disturbingly close to racism. I shouldn’t be making fun of people for their lack of language ability.
    You did nail me with one observation: my reference to atheists having sex in the road like dogs could have been a cut and paste from our old friend Mohammad, long banned from these comments. I rather miss him. It’s seldom that we find such a pure example of willful ignorance, intolerance, and pig headed stupidity, all expressed with that “utterly illiterate, yet strangely coherent writing style”. I do admire purity.

  68. Mahatma Coat says:

    @ author, DH & AoS: If you want ‘members of’ to be understood, to legitimise a plural verb, what would you say if you did want to use ‘Society’ as a collective noun? Russell said that a pedant is someone who prefers that his statements are correct. I take comfort from that.
    @Neuseline: This is not quite on topic but could be adapted. ‘Nobody can make you feel inferior unless you give them permission to.’ Eleanor Roosevelt. Nobody can offend you …. It’s a curious thing that, more & more, if someone is offended, s/he requires someone else to change his/her behaviour. It’s already been said, but there is no God-given (sorry!) right not to be offended, nor to be respected. Should we not offend (insert the name of your favourite dictator, etc.)? Should we respect people who fervently believe things for which they have no evidence?
    @European: No, ticking the box asserts that you are not a spammer because you swear.
    @ HforB: Do you know how to start a pudding race? Sago.
    That’ll do for my first post.

  69. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ Mahatma – welcome to the house of fun!

    @ HforB: Do you know how to start a pudding race? Sago.

    You have forced me to invent a new abbreviation: GoL (Groaning out Loud) ;-)

  70. @ HaggisForBrains That could catch on GOL.
    @Mahatma Coat love yer handle there. Welcome to irony central.

  71. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ DH – I agree re Mahatma Coat. I’ve always enjoyed wordplay, and recent addition WalterWalcarpit is another one I like. If you ever see someone called Duncan de Sorderlée appear, it’s likely to be my sock puppet.

  72. Jerry w says:

    Am I the only one offended by Mo’s remark?
    Breaking the wind or breaking the silence,
    it’s a matter of a few degrees or, sometimes, decibels).
    Just asking…..

  73. chigau says:

    An invisible Mo would still need to be able to drink his pint.
    So he’d still be real.
    I fergets me point…

  74. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    If it’s GoL (love that, thanks HFB) jokes you want:-
    What’s red and invisible?
    No tomatoes.

    I think that if I wanted a sock puppet name, it’d have to be Phil McAvity (or his partner, Ben Doone).

    @Mahatma Coat, congratulations; your first post here and you’ve spawned a new acronym. Impressive going, welcome to the cuckoo’s nest.

    Finally, I must say that for a bunch of rabid, satanic, depraved (sex the road like dogs – genius. I miss him too DH, I still marvel at your patience with him), hate-filled atheists, we’re a very welcoming bunch. Irony central indeed.

  75. One of my favourite names is the one given to the son of the founder of Loblaw’s chain of stores. His father named him Robert Loblaw, but his friends called him Bob.
    Another name I overheard salesmen talking about in the Vancouver airport. “Bud Oble. Name sounds like a flat tire,” one of them was saying as he walked through to his flight.

  76. Unruly Simian says:

    I was at a meeting on one of our military bases for a project. The superintendant of the project was late but started the meeting without him. He walked in late, He was of Middle East decent, dark hair, dark complection, rings on every finger. He walked in and interrupted with ” I am very sorry for being late. My name is Hussien Kamelbach…”. I was the only one who busted out laughing!

  77. HaggisForBrains says:

    OK, I was trying not to tell this one, but as a financial adviser I genuinely had a client called Mustafa Kamell. I found it hard not to see him as an extra from Laurence of Arabia.

    Time to get a new cartoon out, Author, before this thread gets totally out of hand.

  78. TRIALNERROR says:

    Solomon Binding, Commissioner for Oath

  79. HaggisForBrains says:

    Oh yes, and a solicitor in Oban, now retired, called Robin Banks.

  80. Gordon says:

    A blogger on twitter (Rhysmorgan) has also been threatened with expulsion by his school for posting a strip from here on his blog in support of UCL. He posted in his own time and was still threatened if he did not remove it. he also received violent threats as a result from piers. Its an absolute disgrace!

  81. Tumsup says:

    I read that as ‘Sex in the road WITH dogs’ and thought, yeah, so? We’re a diverse bunch.

  82. WalterWalcarpit says:

    @HfB thanks for the welcome. I felt at home just as soon as I came in.
    And ;) for recognising the moniker. I used to have it on a business card & would enjoy the understandings creep across a reader’s face (on one occasion actual ROFL) and, perhaps shamefully, always think just slightly less of those that did not even care to notice.
    A contribution from my real life resulted from stepping into an elevator in Brisbane to be confronted by a sign declaring Schindler’s Lifts – max 10 people.

    And I shall enjoy especially this site for its celebration of language – English in particular is wondrous for both its apparently haphazard precision (a pedants’ panderland) and its propensity to appropriate new material that just works (without deference to a committee of censorians).

    But mostly I shall take to this site because it is a place to contemplate with humour the absurd nature of religious behaviour.

    Perhaps, on that note, @Author, you might like to add this to your comics or other places sidebar? http://www.youtube.com/user/NonStampCollector
    It’s a uTube channel for a thinker that uses simple animation to interrogate the Bible because “The Bible is a demonstrably revolting and appalling piece of writing”. 
    I am not sure if se is the first, but the appropriation of the term Non Stamp Collector is little short of exquisite. (If atheism is a “religion”, … then Not Collecting Stamps is a “hobby”. )

  83. Pete Bennett says:

    Some of my atheist friends have suggested that your comic is deliberately inflammatory and just an attempt at “trolling” and “grandstanding”; going so far as blocking and unfriending me for making jokes at the expense of their ernest statements (that my suggestion that this comic is satire and defensible free speech were laughable in their eyes). I can only conclude that the atheist taliban were right and this is an organ of hate designed to destroy the very foundations of our society!

    What say you in your defense?

  84. Theist says:

    I really hope the cartoonist is punished twice as hard for this. Nothing even remotely humorous or witty about this. Just an attack on religion which you will all probably argue and say ‘it’s freedom of speech, were all entitled to it.’ We will see who will be speaking on the Last Day!

  85. Today has been one hell of a day for censors – well, today and yesterday; two days for censors.

    1 shut up. 2 shut up. 3 shut up.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/01/1-shut-up-2-shut-up-3-shut-up/

  86. carolita says:

    BTW – congrats on the Dawkins blurb!

  87. Peri P Laneta says:

    Sad that the one place where freedom of thought should be celebrated — the university — has become subverted.

  88. scottspeig says:

    @DH – Sorry about delay – busy in work :S

    My personal belief is that when you see Him face to face, it will not be Him sending you eternal damnation but you yourself will choose to go there.

    Also, you seem to want to put your relative morals on a being that has absolute morals (and what would make you the correct arbiter of justice? You only think you are right because a lot of other people agree with you).

    As for God existing – I see it in every sunrise, every animal birth. The Universe is my evidence (I think philosophically, the creator theory is more realistic than darwinism) plus of all the healings I am aware of – deaf hearing, blind seeing, cancer cured, dead rising etc. The miracles are what point me to God in order to seek Him and engage. As to why Jesus, well, I was brought up as a christian (A-ha I hear you cry!), but I have experiential history that confirms my belief from then.

    As for censorship etc – I think that you should have freedom of speech etc but I would possibly allow a law that enabled libel of deceased to be prosecuted so if Author claimed Jesus was homosexual, then that would be a crime. However asking the question would not.

  89. fenchurch says:

    @scottspeig – Jesus WAS gay… he never married, hung around with dudes, got his friends to eat him. But before you get mad, note that I *fully* support the gay community and parasexualities like the obvious foot fetish thing that was going on.

    See, the fanfic of the bible isn’t limited to the imaginations of just you and your club– anyone can project their desires and fears onto any character in any story. I project one of sexual liberation, kinkiness, and marriage equality. GO, Gay Jesus!

    Using your same logic re: Apollo’s chariot is proof of god, the universe is also proof of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Russell’s Teapot (whee, all this assertion-without-evidence thing is a breeze!).

    Don’t understand your point about our being unable to evaluate the morals of another entity’s stance, nor do I see how you’ve made case for a being with “absolute morals”– check out the Euthyphro dilemma for an easy dismissal of god as a source of morality.

    It’s very simple– we decide what is moral (WE are, each of us, the arbiter of what is moral!), and act upon said morality in a code consistent with our beliefs, and judge others based on it.

    A rapacious, partisan, blood-loving, gay-hating, slave-endorsing god is an asshole par excellence…. just look at the facts of the deeds attributed to the character (which you can do for both real and fictional, and even feel emotion for the portrayal, such as in movie villains) and use what’s left of your own mind to decide. Or use models such as Jung’s to apply the test of whether an action is moral (i.e. would this action still be OK if everyone were permitted to do it?)

    What is moral isn’t even a majority stance, so I don’t see where you get off making the accusation that one thinks they’re right because the majority agree– bear in mind, for skeptical free/critical thinkers, recognising an ad populum in one’s own argument would, of course, oblige one to find a support without that fallacy.

    Sorry to hear you have so many incorrect assumptions and unsupported assertions. :( But I hope that someday you can break free from the slavery of conscience that’s got you pinned due to your religious indoctrination.

  90. Mahatma Coat says:

    Thanks for everyone’s appreciation but I can take credit only for a long memory. The handle is from a Goon Show, or at least from Spike Milligan.
    @WW, in Perth the company is styled Schindler Lifts and I’ve long felt that a great opportunity was missed.

  91. scottspeig says:

    @fenchurch – my logic of the universe proving God does not prove the Christian God, but of a creator as I find the philosophical arguments on a creator vs a non-creator universe more plausible and coherent. The bible is a collection of 66 historical documents that claim to know this creator. I find the biblical data quite plausible (and has quite the historic accuracy). I then have experience of supernatural encounters (agreed, these could be hallucinations projected from my mind [as I believe Dawkins agues]) and healings that cannot be explained by science.

    My faith does not purely rely on one thing but on many, and I believe that I am free of the bondage of the slavery that you are unknowingly captive to.

    As to the morality stance – I believe in a biblical God that is the arbiter of an absolute moral code. DH claimed that he thinks this god is morally corrupt due to the eternal damnation of unbelievers. What DH was doing was projecting his moral code onto God. Yet God is the arbiter of the absolute moral code and as such is not subject to DH’s morals. He may believe God doesn’t stick to his own moral code which would be a better argument, but one scholars have been dealing (successfully in my mind) with since long before I was around!

    As for claiming Jesus was gay – There is no evidence to suggest he was. Indeed if anything, you would have to say that Jesus just wasn’t sexual in that sense. He hung around massive crowds but quite clearly didn’t engage in sex during this time. Obviously you only have close male friends with whom you have sex, otherwise your assertion just makes no coherent sense. (Hanging round men = gay)

    Anyway, we’re way off topic – Go Author! Woo! Good strip! :D

  92. scottspeig says:

    @fenchurch – as can be seen above (no edit!!) I assumed you were a man. If you are :) if not, then I apologise. :)

  93. fenchurch says:

    @scottpeig – I have heard your line of thinking from other non-skeptics, in that something unexplainable, instead of being shelved pending harder data and sound conclusions, becomes a kind of proof for mysterious forces in the universe. Why not let unknowns remain X instead of substituting the God of the Gaps?

    The bible is a collection of 66 documents voted in by committee from a larger pool of available “inspired” writings– doesn’t that fact alone make you suspicious of its contrived nature? Also, since forgeries were rampant at the time (think of 2 Thessalonians 3:17), its authenticity of authorship and value as a historical record is also suspect, given its internal contradictions and lack of extra-bibical, contemporary support that might, say, vouch for extraordinary claims made such as of graves opening and zombies walking the earth.

    You are 100% entitled to your beliefs, including those without proof and sufficient evidence. I know that our minds go about accepting info differently and that one can’t really convince the other; I just hope in this life (the only one we’re sure to get) that it doesn’t cause you harm.

    DH has every right to project his moral code onto a god– how else would he be able to decide whether the god was moral or not? How did you decide it? Perhaps no one else is subject to DH’s code, but if one runs afoul of it, why not point it out where one differs?

    If god thinks it’s OK to harden hearts and reboot the earth with a flood to cause harm to millions unjustly, and we don’t, then we are sitting in judgement and can claim moral superiority to such a god with homicidal, thuggish tendencies.

    I don’t see any evidence of Jesus’ heterosexuality, BTW. Not even a wife as a beard! Oy vey.

    (It’s OK you thought I was a man– I’ve been called worse. ;-) )

  94. Mahatma Coat says:

    @ Fenchurch: I knew that you were a sheila. Fenchurch is about the only fictional female I can recall falling in love with.

  95. Chris says:

    Genius.

    BTW, I discovered your site thanks to people complaining about you. They make an excellent PR department.

  96. fenchurch says:

    @Mahatma Coat – cheers, mate… I wonder if it’s because there’s an inverse relationship between god belief and readership of science fiction/fantasy (other than holy books).

  97. Cephas Atheos says:

    Still love you, Fenny. Just glad your parents didn’t meet at East Camberwell station. Much more multisyllabic.

    I assume your soles remain 24.4mm above ground?

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