The raffle will be drawn next week – prize is a signed, attributed copy of Wrong Again, God Boy. It’s not too late to join the fun.

Discussion (34)¬

  1. DocAtheist says:

    Wow. Author, you just never cease to amaze me! You nailed that concept so cleanly and succinctly, even Mo seems shocked and bowled over.

  2. Dr John de Wipper says:

    Or rather, religion can be a nice tool to trick the supervising instances to have them believe criminals are going to behave… maybe until released?
    OTOH, in prison (nowadays, at least in Europr, especially moslem-) prisoners can radicalise (themselves or eachother) towards REALLY bad acts…

  3. Robert Andrews says:

    A guy I know was in prison. Every thing is a scam there. men will often become Christian to impress the parole board; or just to get out of there cell once a week to go to church.

    So who’s tricking who?

    “An atheist is a person with no invisable means of support”.– from the web.

  4. Trevor M says:

    Robert – I treat those surveys saying 95% are xtian with suspicion for this reason

  5. WCorvi says:

    Steven Weinberg said, “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

    Often prisoners spout the bible and redemption in order to not be raped.

  6. TheLordOfUp says:

    “You mean religion can be a useful tool for tricking criminals into behaving themselves?”

    If you consider anything that helps reform criminals to be “a useful tool for tricking criminals into behaving themselves”, then yes. But you seem to be implying that religion is uniquely awful for it, which presupposes that:
    -Converting someone to follow a religion is merely “tricking” them.
    -Criminals changing their behavior because of a religious conversion lack the free will to actively choose what to believe in and how to live their life.
    -By extension, all criminals are unable to actively choose what they believe and how to live their life.

  7. Brilliant yet again, Author. I really must find some new superlatives to describe your work.

    On of our most egregious serial killers became, so he said, a devout Christian once arrested and jailed for life. (Which in his case was actually true because he died of cancer in prison.) This was a man who reported that he had nailed a child’s head to a picnic table with a twelve inch spike and that child was still crying for his mother while being buggered. After his conversion, he became a good person; he claimed that all was forgiven through the mercy of Jesus; he was bound for heaven. I have to wonder how that child will greet his arrival there.

  8. Matt says:

    I was trying to work out the meta levels in this, but then just laughed because its funny.

  9. smee says:

    Very good Author! Examples of prisoners in British jails finding god and never committing a crime again are legion! Just look at the vast number who’ve discovered Islam and as a result no longer pose a threat to society ..Oops! I’ll get me coat!

  10. Jerry www says:

    Does Mo equate finding god with getting a shiv in the back as a crime stopper?

  11. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Too many comments in moderation?
    what is this, in the name of tarnation?
    The computer is having another fit
    On its data, and its thumb it does sit
    In mindless electronic contemplation.

  12. Art.25 says:

    I’m happy to say that after the somewhat less funny joke last week, I find this week’s joke VERY funny – as if that matters to you all in general, and Author in particular πŸ™‚ !
    WCorvi, thanks for that quote, I was looking for it.. But I thought it was from Christopher Hitchens… I know he used it somewhere on youtube…

  13. Art.25 says:

    This joke is so funny, because of the “I mean NO” that Mo utters at the end. This simple “No” can mean a lot of things : no, religion isn’t a useful tool, or no, criminals will behave badly DESPITE of it, or no, criminals will behave badly BECAUSE of it… or, all of the above… Genius, that joke that is !

  14. two cents' worth says:

    If a criminal claimed to have “found reason” (to have been persuaded by reason to behave morally), would the warden or parole board weigh that any differently than if the criminal claimed to have “found God”?

    While we might hope that reason had actually convinced the criminal to change their ways, they might be merely paying lip service to morality. On the other hand, I suspect that “finding reason” is less likely to be a scam than “finding God,” because I doubt that the warden would let the criminal out of their cell once a week to go to a meeting of a non-religious group such as the local ethical society.

    You might enjoy the TED Talk on reason as a moral force at

  15. pink squirrel says:

    so is it perfectly ok to be a mass murdering bestio-pedophile cannibal who has slaughtered and da’esh traumatised millions -as long as you seek ‘god’ on your deathbed?

  16. pink squirrel says:

    Often prisoners spout the bible and redemption in order to not be raped.

    whereas those who are free often spout the bible so they can do the raping

  17. BobUnco says:

    Was going to comment about the number of religious believers in custody, but others nailed it (reference to DH’s comment unintentional).

    Re Two Cents’ Worth’s comments: IME, parole boards would be a bit suspicious of either claims to religious conversion or conversion by rationality, through bitter experience in the first case. If the offender has done some appropriate programs, reports would show the level of their engagement and understanding of the concepts being presented and this would carry weight, especially if the offender can articulate what they have learned outside the group.

    Pink Squirrel: From my religious days, I think the answer is that accepting Jesus as your saviour on your death bed makes it all OK. Off to celestial choir practice for eternity.

  18. Someone says:

    Anyone remember the HBO show Oz?
    That not only had great (albeit fictional) insight into prison life but the application of religion to control the behaviors (and minds) of prisoners.
    It also showed that if you were associated the wrong religion, such as it were, you could easily end up dead or worse.
    I have a feeling reality isn’t too far off from that.

  19. BitingSocialCommentar says:

    What about those times petty criminals were turned into mass murderers by religion they caught in prison? Like… Those guys from Paris?

  20. pink squirrel says:

    thanks Bobunco
    I think I will refrain from accepting jesus AND indulging in evil/genocidal behaviour
    strange really how I lack religion and ‘god’ in my life and yet I feel no urge or desire to perform evil acts, believers would have it that, being an ignostic atheist, I should by now be fornicating with pet animals in public etc. Am I missing out ?

  21. deadhead says:

    That’s not exactly that way. Most of the prisoners declare themselves as christians, muslisms.
    Atheists Now Make Up 0.1% of the Federal Prison Population (US)

  22. Totally OT but Just had to share this with my mates here. My son sent me this email last week:

    Hi everyone,
    I have some exciting news. Something was missing from my life. So I went on a journey, and I’ve found Jesus! Seriously.
    And Jesus loves me. And Jesus loves you too!
    Did you know he is black?

    Naturally I freaked and sent the following response:

    Happy for you C_____ but hoping you are fucking with me.

    Only to receive the following from his fiance:


    C______ came up here on his journey, he was very lonely with me and the kids all away, but….now that he has met Jesus he is happy again. So let’s all support and rejoice ….this has been a long time coming. I am so happy we can share Jesus together. I would love to tell you about our experience.

    Bless You,


    Okay, this shit is getting serious. My son has a blood condition and I was getting worried. I sent the following:

    Dear L____:

    I hope you understand that I love C_____ with all my heart and support him in any way I can. But I do not greet this news with the excitement and joy you express. I find it very worrying.

    In my world there is a real and physical cause for everything. In this case I worry that C______ may have had a stroke. This is particularly worrisome because of C______’s unique condition.

    If you love C_______, I hope you will encourage him to see a doctor and request an immediate MRI, just to rule out this possibility and put my mind at ease.

    Doing so might save his life. Or it might just confirm that he’s had a common religious experience and we can all be happy for him.

    With love


    I guess my obvious concern made them decide they had puled my chain hard enough. My son sent me the following:

    What’s the big deal dad? Jesus is a great dog. His name is pronounced Hey Soose.

    Okay. He’s my son. No doubt about that. πŸ™‚

  23. Dr John de Wipper says:

    I like it.
    In Dutch, Jesus is spelled Jezus. And je zus (with the space) means “your sister”. So generally when someone says “Jezus saves you” or “Jezus is wit you”,or comparable, my standard reply is : “What the fuck do you know about that I don’t?”

  24. Dr John de Wipper says:

    Eeech. Fuck HTML. In the last sentence, after “know”, I did type ” ” , but without the spaces surrounding . Obviously HTML screwed up.

  25. Dr John de Wipper says:

    Oh NOOOOO!!! ANYTHING between a “less than” and a “greater than” sign is removed, EVEN when isolated wirh spaces.
    After “know”, I intended “less than (sisters name) greater than”.

    Sure hope it is still somewhat intelligible.

  26. Art.25 says:

    Darwin, I’m laughing my *ss off with the trick your son pulled on you ! Hope you recovered from it, though ! πŸ™‚

  27. pink squirrel says:

    re criminals were turned into mass murderers by religion they caught in prison
    not so sure that is true
    good people need no justification to be good
    bad people would be bad whatever path in life
    the thing with religion is that it attracts evil/bigoted/facist minded people because it allows them to justify their evil/bigoty/facism
    which would otherwise have no justificiation

  28. pink squirrel says:

    have to ask what sort of parent calls their baby son
    if it any wonder he grew up to be a C____

  29. jb says:

    From my religious days, I think the answer is that accepting Jesus as your saviour on your death bed makes it all OK. Off to celestial choir practice for eternity.

    The Catholic Church requires repentance to be sincere, or it doesn’t count. Just saying the words isn’t enough.

    Well that’s something I guess. A lot of Mafiosi are going to be very unhappy…

  30. two cents' worth says:

    DH, I’m sorry to hear that C____ made you waste good adrenaline worrying about him, but I suspected a hoax as soon as I read, “Did you know he is black?” Perhaps the fact that I had grade school classmate named Jesus (“hey ZEUS”) helped to prevent me from being taken in.

    If you’re considering hoaxing him back, maybe you could tell him that you’ve decided to demonstrate your commitment to atheism by changing your will so that the Author of Jesus and Mo will inherit everything πŸ˜‰ .

  31. pink squirrel says:

    celestial choir practice for ETERNITY
    heaven forbid
    perhaps I had better start sinning sincerely

    The Catholic Church requires repentance to be sincere, or it doesn’t count
    the catholic church requires?
    I thought it was supposed to be ‘god’ requires

  32. Abhijeet says:

    DH – I bet your son was getting back at you for some trick you’d played on him in the past. Great story! πŸ˜€

  33. WalterWalcarpit says:

    We once had a Spanish exchange student lodge with us. His name was pronounced ‘Heysous’ albeit spelt the familiar way.
    I’ll never forget the sight of my youngest brother standing at the bottom of the staircase looking heavenward and calling out “Jesus! Breakfast’s ready”

  34. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Cracking comic, Author. A real hoot, this one. Thanks for all that you do.


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