broke

Do you like having Jesus and Mo around? Maybe you’d like to help ensure their continued presence and reappearance on the internet by becoming a Patron? There are real-life rewards, as well as one totally made up one (can you spot it?).

$1 per month – “guaranteed” admission to post-death paradise
$2 per month – access to PDF downloads of the first 6 J&M books
$4 per month – PDFs, plus an entry into a monthly raffle prize draw
$10 per month – PDFs, monthly raffle, and a signed, personalised print of your choice
$15 per month – all of the above and a signed copy of Kenan Malik’s The Quest for a Moral Compass (only 2 left)
$20 per month – all of the above, plus a signed copy of the latest J&M book
$50 per month – all of the above, plus a specially created image of you at the bar or in bed with Jesus and Mo

Go here if interested:

Whether you are a Patron or not, thanks for reading Jesus & Mo!


Discussion (42)¬

  1. DocAtheist says:

    Author, your cartoon brings back memories: Generations ago, children watched Popeye cartoons on black and white TV. A character who popped up every now and then used to beg for money by saying, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Imagine if the cartoonists fed this subtle message to children to warn them of religion’s post-death promises, even if they didn’t consciously realize it!

  2. W. Corvi says:

    Well, I suppose that no one ever asks for their money back, for the post-death paradise bribes. Satisfied customers, every one.

  3. Quine Duhem says:

    Religions frequently assume that morality is reducible to personal utility: you do good things now to gain better results in the afterlife. This doesn’t appear to be especially moral since each act treats the the recipient as a means to an end. The only pity with the otherwise excellent cartoon is that the barmaid gives Jesus & Mo the beers because she likes having them around (personal utility) and not because it is good to be charitable.

    Be good to others in 2017! No reward required or expected!

  4. […] The new Jesus and Mo, called “broke,” came with an an email note saying, “As you might notice, today’s strip is a thinly disguised marketing ploy to try to get you to become a Patreon of this comic.” I am, and you can be too by clicking here. […]

  5. two cents' worth says:

    DocAtheist, you’ve brought back fond memories of my early childhood, when I watched the animated Popeye cartoons 🙂 . Wimpy is the name of the character who offered to pay on Tuesday for a hamburger today. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Wellington_Wimpy ) He was the inspiration for the Wimpy restaurant chain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimpy_(restaurant) ). I don’t know if Wimpy meant then what it does now, but I think it adds to the “subtle message to children to warn them of religion’s post-death promises.”

  6. pink squirrel says:

    If the ‘afterlife’ is so much better than the ‘predeath’ -why are so many xians ‘pro-life [sic] anti-abortionists-surely if there was really an ‘afterlife’ then all aborted foetuses and zygotes are actually better off

  7. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    In order to proselytize
    It is necessary to patronize
    Atheists who question
    Things requiring mention
    To dispose of pious lies.

  8. Walter says:

    @ 2cents worth

    Reminding children to beware of future promises is Santa’s job. An elaborate ruse with much support and it’s considered dĂ©classĂ© to tell children there “ain’t no sanity clause.”

  9. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Nassar, whatever you’re taking, please don’t stop. Your rhymes have always been entertaining but just lately it’s been for the right reasons.

    Pink squirrel, don’t be silly; everybody knows that a baby has to be baptised to get into Heaven, and I can’t see how to achieve that pre-abortion. Post-abortion is too late, of course, so unless the Church has an army of nano-priests rready to do the job internally…….

  10. Oozoid says:

    I think Wimpy’s message was a warning that was misinterpreted or ignored which left us with a ruinous global debt bubble.

    (On the subject of subliminal messages, is it mere coincidence, the acronym formed from the initials of the ‘four major prophets’ – Josiah, Ezekial, Daniel and Isaiah? And ‘XP’ being Greek for ‘Christ’?)

  11. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    If it’s coincidences you want, Oozoid, how about the Watergate Hotel having a fire break out earlier today – at the same time Trump was squirming and Godwinning all over the place at his press conference?
    Watersportgate!

  12. J Ascher says:

    It’s always good to expose religion for the three card monty act it is!

  13. Graham ASH-PORTER says:

    Mo is stoney broke, so won’t stone the barmaid???

  14. Oriole says:

    Your package offers are unclear. Could you clarify the following:

    1. does the $2 package still include post-death admission to Paradise?

    2. Have you considered a more expensive package that offers pre-death admission to Paradise?

    3. Do you get to pick your paradise?

  15. Author says:

    1. Yes, all levels include the post-death Paradise promise
    2. No, but I’ll have a think about it.
    3. Yes, you are promised the post-death Paradise of your choice.

  16. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Oriole, re your #2; you’re in it, and it’s your round.

  17. Peter says:

    I have pledged (from Feb 1st). How does one get access to the downloads? Also above it says “first 6 books” but in Patreon it says one book of your choice. Which is true?
    Oh, by the way, I am a huge fan and I enjoy the strip thoroughly!

  18. Author, I would like to be a patron. Unfortunately I am so broke these days that I can’t even pay attention. Not even at a dollar a month. I don’t want to cry the blues, but the situation is so bad that I can’t afford a bottle of scotch until the end of the month, and maybe not even then. As I’m sure my mates here will understand, that is bad indeed.
    If this situation changes, you’ll be among the first to know. In the meantime, I do hope that others are in better financial shape than I and that Jesus and Mo stick around. It’s what I live for.

  19. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin, having heard you sing, I for one would love to hear you cry the blues.

  20. two cents' worth says:

    DH, I’m sorry I can’t give you practical help, but I’ve asked the barmaid here to keep your glass full of the Scotch of your choice. I hope your situation improves soon.

  21. FreeFox says:

    Cripes, DH. Maybe you should set up a patreon for some whisky. Until then, have a virtual dram on me. Cheers. ^_^

  22. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Has nobody else realised that in Author’s analogy, we readers are J and M?
    I’m not sure whether to feel insulted or honoured.

  23. plainsuch says:

    pink squirrel
    Fetuses and zygotes have no frontal cortex so are not persons so only go to heaven if all animals do. Fish, lizard, squirrel, pigeon etc.

  24. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    plainsuch, try explaining that to the pro-life loons. They’ll tell you that God inserts the soul at the moment of conception, based of course on absolutely no evidence whatsoever, so the moment Mr. Sperm meets Ms. Egg they magically produce a fully-fledged microscopic baby.
    If those loons truly believe what they say, then they must logically (sic) believe that every time they (at least the fertile ones among them) make love they are being watched by an old man who is going to wait until they’re done, ensure ejaculation has occured, track the swimmers to see if one meets an ova, then have a fumble around inside the woman to add his own contribution to the mix, making God the ultimate voyeur and themselves exhibitionists,.
    Quite perverse, these religious folks.

  25. jb says:

    AoS — If “not a single sparrow can fall to the ground” without God knowing about it, then he is going to be the ultimate voyeur in any case I would think.

    Seriously, once you accept the existence of the supernatural, then having a soul implanted at birth is no more difficult to believe than the rest of it. And if your definition of murder is killing a creature that has a soul in disobedience to God’s will (it’s his property after all!), and if you believe that a fetus or fertilized egg has a soul, then abortion is in fact murder, period.

    Logically it’s all quite sound (which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not any of it is true), and that’s a big part of what makes arguments about abortion so intractable. Religious thinkers may be mistaken, but they are not stupid or irrational, and treating them as such isn’t as useful as a lot of people seem to think it is. The thing is, most believers are not rigorous thinkers (neither are most non-believers!), so there are actually a lot of arguments that can reach them. In general though I don’t think a direct attack on the worldview that they consider to be the foundation of their lives is the most effective way to go about it.

  26. pharmakeusubik says:

    No accounting for taste. She might be better off with the guys and gals from Existential Comics.

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    jb, it may not be the most effective way, but by God it can be fun, especially when it’s the door-to-door mob or other unwanted/uninvited proselytizers on the receiving end of the ridicule.

  28. Fartin' Martin says:

    If we get the paradise of our choice, I’ll take the Muslim 72 virgins. Sounds less boring than sitting around an old man, say “Wow” for eternity. Unless, of course, the virgins are 30-year-old male computer geeks who had been living in their parents’ basement.

  29. Acolyte and JB, I just had a brief argument with a male anti-abortion dude on Facebook. After a bit of backing and forthing, I had to surrender to all of his logical arguments. He’s right, no matter how arrogant I think it is for a man to voice opinions about what a woman should be allowed to do with her body. His logic applies to our prescriptions against murder, rules for wearing bike helmets, and all the other ways that society is given the right to dictate our behavior. If you believe, as he does, that a fertilized egg is a baby, then there’s no argument to be made against his point of view.
    Of course it’s plainly stupid to believe that a fertilized egg is a baby. But the “acorn isn’t a tree” falls on deaf ears, as to all other arguments. I am frankly at a loss as to how to argue the pro-choice position. The argument that banning abortion will not reduce the number of abortions but only cause more women to die doesn’t work. They respond that they have no interest in making murder safer for the murderer.
    The obvious way to reduce abortions is to educate women and make effective birth control available. Some anti-abortion people (I refuse to call them pro-life. Not until they abandon the death penalty and pay attention to child poverty.) will accept this as a possibility, but wouldn’t you know it. They think abstinence is better, despite the fact that it doesn’t work. Of course the real agenda here is to control women and their sexuality. That’s something they will never admit.

  30. FreeFox says:

    I never understood the religious point of view that life begins at conception. Clearly the biblical evidence (if you believe in it) indicates that the soul is linked to breath, and thus that the sanctity of life begins at birth. The Republican fetal heartbeat bill on the other hand seems to be nothing but pure sadism, with absolutely no redeeming scientific or social feature.

    There is a pretty great quote by Jean-Paul Sartre about the Anti-Semites of his time, and it is eerie how easily it can be applied not only to the angry religious fundamentalist, whether it’s a Jihadist or a religious Republican, but also to the “alt-right”, your avarage “TheDonald” subreddit or 4chan member, or the Brexit, Trump, LePen, Erdogan, or AfD neo-nationalist:

    “[fanatics of your choice] have chosen hate because hate is a faith to them; at the outset they have chosen to devaluate words and reasons. How entirely at ease they feel as a result. How futile and frivolous discussions appear to them. If out of courtesy they consent for a moment to defend their point of view, they lend themselves but do not give themselves. They try simply to project their intuitive certainty onto the plane of discourse.
    Never believe that [f.o.y.c.] are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The [f.o.y.c.] have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors.
    They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past. If then, as we have been able to observe, the [f.o.y.c.] is impervious to reason and to experience, it is not because his conviction is strong. Rather his conviction is strong because he has chosen first of all to be impervious.”

    I stumbled on the quote in a brilliant reddit comment about real story of the fake news epidemic and how the term mutated in a few weeks from a useful signifier to a panacea against all rational arguments.

  31. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin, pre-microscope, there were some who believed that the man’s ejaculate contained a fully-formed miniature person (homonculus?) and the woman’s role was merely that of an incubator, which if true would be a strong argument against abortion, masturbation, contraception, etc., each of which would be killing these tiny people.
    Now we know better yet attitudes haven’t changed, the only concession to our new-found knowledge being to put back the creation of personhood to the point of conception, and yes, if this is somebody’s starting point in abortion debates then it is hard to think how to change that mindset.
    I do wonder how many anti-abortionists genuinely understand that control of women is at the heart of their movement, so well has it been packaged as a religious issue, as an ‘anti-infanticide’ campaign, or a combination of the two. This is, I feel, the area to exploit if one seriously wants to get through to these people, especially the women,* and the seeds of doubt have to be sown in their minds early if they’re going to be at all effective.
    As for the others, I’ll stick to ridicule because eventually, banging one’s head against the wall can get painful, even when that head is as thick as mine.

    * Risking a Gofwin here, but I believe that the difference between female pro-life activists and the Jewish Nazi collaborators in WWII is a mere matter of degrees.

  32. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Good morning, Freefox. How’s tricks?

  33. FreeFox says:

    Good morning, Acolyte. Tricks are actually pretty well at this moment, though of course I can’t really talk about them.

    Tbh I have recently been quite depressed, wondering at the purpose of everything I’m bloody doing. Late last year I had assisted under quite some risk and exhausting effort a young person’s return to their family from a rather bad place – for money, mind you, not purely out of the goodness of my heart – only to find out a few weeks later that the kid had died from an infection due to bad conditions for refugees. I even tried to pay back my fee, as the family certainly could not actually afford it, but was refused and left to ponder the painful question if things had gone differently had I worked for free. But where is that line? How much are you supposed to sacrifice faced with this relentless wave after wave of evil, stupidity, ignorance, greed, and all around misery? What is the point in even trying?
    I’m still not certain how to deal with these questions, but from a purely, uh, professional perspective, current tricks are going pretty darn good. Let’s see who ends up dead, destitute, or in despair this time when the dust settles.

    As for the “control of women” argument as the true purpose of anti-abortion morality, while I am not disinclined to believe it, I have never quite understood it all the way. As far as I do understand it, it roughly goes like this:
    Without reproductive control (contraception, abortion, etc.), women cannot enjoy sex as much as it always might mean pregnancy, birth, and motherhood; also more children tie women down and keep them from self-actualisation in the rest of their lives regarding partnerships and careers.
    And that by itself seems true enough. But on the other hand, since you need two people for sex, unless this was part of some hidden gay agenda, it also limits the availability of women for fun sex with men. And since it’s usually part of the real-men-are-the-providers school of thinking, the very men arguing for it would be the ones who actually have to pay for the children, reducing their own freedom. So it seems a two-sided sword at best. Unless you assume a top-down conspiracy of rich people interested in keeping men desperate for paid work and thus easier to exploit – which would make it less of a feminist and more of a socialist argument.
    (Also in real life capitalism seems to be quite capable of adapting to women in the workforce by reducing salaries so you need two earners in a family where previously one sufficed.)

    So what exactly is the anti-abortion-as-oppression argument when you get down into the nitty gritty?

  34. southface says:

    IS Mo always a leftie?

  35. micky says:

    I’m not sure I buy the ‘control of women’ argument for anti abortion or anti contraception, I’d always assumed it was more to do with growing the tribe/congregation as quickly as possible.

  36. WalterWalcarpit says:

    I’m with Micky. I don’t think there was ever that much of a conspiracy.
    All of the arguments above to a greater or lesser extent are merely examples of how the minions of a tribe or congregation have manifested their own excuses for taking part.

    FreeFox, thanks for posting that fantastic Satre quote and the link. Incredible how pertinent it is right now.
    And I know what you mean by a certain hopelessness. We might well have lost our chance of ensuring a long term survival of humanity when Al Gore lost to baby Bush but I now rather fear that the end of a climate compatible with humans might be brought forward to the lifetime of our children.
    And that is if we can keep his fingers off the big red button.

  37. pink squirrel says:

    how to achieve that pre-abortion
    I can think of four ways baptism could be done pre abortion
    [assuming it actually has any meaning]
    1 inject or otherwise add ‘holy water’ to the sperm or testicles
    2 inject or otherwise add ‘holy water’ to the mother/and or the collection of mindless cells lining the womb directly
    3 only permit baptised Xian women to have abortions
    4 use ‘holy water’ in the abortion process/technique
    it depends what is the important factor involved in ‘baptism’
    is it the water? the magic spell cast by the priest? the conscious choice of the baptised victim? or ‘god’

  38. pink squirrel says:

    re ‘Risking a Gofwin here, but I believe that the difference between female pro-life activists and the Jewish Nazi collaborators in WWII is a mere matter of degrees’
    perhaps but that ignores the deep emotive aspect of ‘human life’
    ‘maternal instinct ‘ must play a part in many female pro-lifers
    a related aspect is the treatment of the dead in general -a lifeless [and ‘souless’] corpse is just rubbish only fit for disposal- but few societies see the dead in that way -even if most burn them or place them in personalised individual landfill. -the subject is somewhat more emotive and complex than your comparison would suggest.

  39. pink squirrel says:

    talking of ‘animals going to heaven’
    if they did- then which ones ?
    is there a lower limit of sentience ?
    moreover most animals are ‘sinful’ as they indulge in unmarried sexual behaviour and none believe in [human?] deities – so presumably they are hell bound [ unless of course some deity worshipped by animals is the ‘one true god'[ it has been suggested that wild chimps have been displaying something of the sort ] -so perhaps the ‘one true god’ is the lord of the nematode worms.

  40. Son of Glenner says:

    It is absurd to postulate that nematode worms, whether parasitic or free-living, should have a concept of “god”.

  41. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Son of Glenner, don’t let the absence of a smiley cloud your opinion, if something said here sounds absurd, it’s usually meant to be read as absurd. Despite the differences of opinion that pink squirrel and I have had, I feel duty bound to say that she doesn’t believe that nematode worms have a concept of God.

  42. pink squirrel says:

    It is absurd to postulate that nematode worms, whether parasitic or free-living, should have a concept of “god”.
    Yes but I did not say they would have such a concept
    what I was stating was that IF there is an actual ‘god’ that exists, THEN maybe it is primarily interested in some other species than humans or maybe ‘god’ is mainly interested in fusing hydrogen in stars
    I was not saying that that species was necessarily sentiently aware of it
    it is presumption to believe that any god that might exist would be interested primarily in humans or even interested in them at all

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