song

It’s been a while since the boys sang a song.


Discussion (184)¬

  1. Sparky_shark says:

    Putting “church” and “school” into the same sentence gives me chest pains.

  2. E.A.+Blair says:

    Parochial schooling had its origins in the US in the 1844 Philadelphia Bible Riots. The Catholic bishop of Philadelphia noted that the heretic King James Bible was being used for religious instruction and prayers in the public schools, something that would send Catholic children to hell. He suggested that Catholic students be allowed to read from the “real” Douay–Rheims Bible (as approved by his holiness Sixtus V) and that Catholic children be exempted from heretic lessons, the school board agreed, but the suggestion was not always followed. When a Catholic school director later said that if reading the bible was not something that could be agreed on it should be left out of the curriculum, the Protestants said that the Catholics were trying to ban the bible (sound familiar?) and rioted. Several Catholic churches were burned and a number of others became armed camps. When the dust finally settled, the Catholics began opening their own schools – and sectarian education was born in the US. In the 1890s, a court case was brought by Catholic parents in Edgerton, Wisconsin on precisely the same issue – the use of the heretic bible in public schools. Eventually, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided in favor of the minions of the papist Whore of Babylon, and bible study was removed from Wisconsin schools. The Edgerton Bible Case has been cited in nearly every school prayer court battle since.

  3. Thank you for this song. Numerous groups in Ontario are working to abolish publicly funded Catholic schools in the province. This comic is one more piece of support for their efforts.

  4. W. Corvi says:

    I’ve been waiting for the bible to be put back into the schools – here in AZ it has been reintroduced as literature with an impact on society (a not-so-subtle subterfuge foot-in-the-door). Then the holy wars will start over WHOSE bible gets used. It will be similar to the current situation in Iraq, I predict.

  5. Stephen Mynett says:

    Wonderful people, they all know exactly what their god wants and despite claiming to all worship the same one change the rules as they see fit and often claim their bible is the exact word of a god.

    As far as the other very important debate goes, the yeast-extract reformation, I am a fan of Promite. Unfortunately I can’t find it in Europe.

  6. Chiefy says:

    Perfect punchline! Thanks, E.A., for the little history lesson. I was not aware of that bit of church rivalry. It seems we can thank the Catholics for accidentally promoting secularism.

  7. Macha says:

    State schools in England (i.e. schools funded by the taxpayer) are in a mess, brought about largely by successive Secretaries of Education tinkering with the system.

    At the core of this shambles is the role of religion. For a typical urban family, the choice of school for their children amounts to 4 schools in the catchment area. On average, two of these schools will be non-denominational (i.e. not connected with any church). The other two will be faith schools, typically a Roman Catholic and a Church of England. The faith schools, depending on their funding arrangement, can insist that both teachers and pupils are “of the faith”. Even the non-denominational schools are legally required to carry out a “daily act of worship of a broadly Christian nature”.

    And I’m paying for all that.

    The supporters of the system generally defend it by saying something like “it didn’t do me any harm”, which I think is kind of missing the point.

  8. ccdarling says:

    Jeez! Come on! Couldn’t Jesus at least play a tambourine?!

  9. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Atheists demand all schools not be segregated.
    Parents should have no say how children are educated
    This will lead to unintended results
    Of schools being run by aggressive local cults
    Who demand to them, the world be subjugated.

  10. Steeve says:

    Did Art Garfunkel need a tambourine?

  11. Stephen Mynett says:

    I prefer Garfunkel and Oates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NicfLmpYuy8

  12. WhatsGoingOn says:

    I still find it highly obscene to concentrate on religion while remaining oblivious to the mass murder of millions of innocent muslims in the middle east.

    Are we supposed to so easily forget how the Iraq Sanctions 1992-2001 killed 1 millions children, how numerous weapons inspectors resigned in protest over the politicization of the inspections regime, including the head inspector, and how the subsequent 2003 invasion proved that those inspectors were exactly correct?

    It be great if that part could be somehow worked in at least once in a while.
    Otherwise one is always led to wonder, why the blatant omission? Serving what purpose?

  13. ShallowEnder says:

    Steeve, isn’t “Art Garfunkel” German for “playing silly buggers with telephones and fax machines”?

    Author, I quite like Middle Eastern and North African music. It’s nice to have some every now and then, thank you.
    One slight criticism, in two thousand years how come Josh never learned to play any ethnic instruments? You’d think he’d be proud of his adopted dad’s culture. Or is it a case of teenaged rebellion?

  14. ShallowEnder says:

    E.A., your people are lucky. In England there’s been church schools since way before there were any Christians and now we have scores of sects of them. Along with guild schools, trade schools and other types. Education in UKland is complex and always has been.
    It would have been nice to start off with a clean slate but twenty millennia of history, invasions and immigrations make that unlikely.
    Still, it helps make Britain fun.
    That and bacon sarnies.

  15. simplistic_atheist says:

    and I thought Mo is not a big fan of MUSIC!!!!

  16. Stephen Mynett, Garfunkel and Oates have been improving their singing and playing. Thanks for that link.

    Author, once again a truly brilliant punch line. I think I should write the song.

  17. Ephphatha says:

    Right on, WhatGoingOn!

    And thanks for reminding me of the following great song…

    http://youtu.be/pDQ_EA5DJqI

  18. Stephen+Mynett says:

    There are some amazingly intelligent people in this world that seem to think that we cannot do or think about more than one thing. Obviously because this is a religious humour site no one involves gives a toss about anything else in the world. I had not realised this until now, so grateful for the information and I will immediately stop supporting Amnesty International, Doctors without Frontiers, stop sending all of the surplus hypodermics I do not need from my Factor VIII kits to be used in the third world and, of course, throw away all of my free range eggs and demand the chickens are properly tortured before they lay.

  19. Ephphatha says:

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
    Matthew 5:9

    http://youtu.be/Q7iLPnDCQ1g

  20. smee says:

    Shallowender: Only fun if you’re one of the privelidged elite who are privately educated, and have all of the power and take the best and well remunerated jobs. Judges, Doctors, Scientists, Officers in the Armed Forces, Lawyers, Stockbrokers, Lords etc.

    Wonder what Britian could have achieved if all of these positions were filled with people who got them on merit not as a result of priviledge?

  21. Micky says:

    Ephphatha is spamming for jesus.

  22. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    Gah! Do we have to be subjected to yet another “how dare you be upset about that bad thing instead of this bad thing” argument? Ugh.

  23. JohnM says:

    @ Mickey & @ Robert
    Just pretend the troll isn’t there – know what I mean, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Yes, it’s the wicked rationalists who are divisive – and intolerant, of course, as we are constantly reminded. Oh, the irony!

  25. Macha says:

    I see the old man, wandering alone,
    eyes desperately seeking something known,
    hopes gone, lost in a past world previously explored,
    divisions rendered and somehow strangely healed,
    at once diminished, but yet now grown,
    and hurriedly vanishing in that last light,
    finally annealing for an unknown new fight.

  26. JohnM says:

    In keeping with qn increasing trend here of ‘debate-through-YouTube-clips’ I offer the following,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xLUEMj6cwA

  27. WhatsGoingOn, oh for fuck sake. I spend enough emotional energy on the problems you mention without killing the buzz at the C&B. But since you seem to need it, here goes: I am terribly upset about all the people being killed for whatever reasons wherever it is happening. I’m disgusted by the Pacific garbage patch, the acidification of the oceans, the loss of polar ice. I’m really bent out of shape by the Enbridge Pipeline and super tankers plying waters off my pristine coastline. Arctic oil exploration gives me sleepless night. And isn’t it a shame how the media concentrates on trivia like sports and celebrity gossip while ignoring the rape or our planet and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor. Death to gays laws in Nigeria and Russian laws against promoting homosexuality are terrible human rights violations. Fracking should be banned. There. Will this hold you for a while. I’d like to finish my pint now.

    Micky, yes indeed. We now seem to have a resident troll. Most of us have taken to ignoring him/her, having given up on actual communication. Come to think of it, we may now have two resident trolls if WhatsGoingOn sticks around.

  28. Chiefy says:

    Spamming for Jesus, spamming for Jesus, you’ll come a spamming for Jesus with me….

  29. Macha says:

    .. and if you miss the one, you’ll never get another one,
    Bee-dee-dee-dee-bom-bom …

  30. hotrats says:

    ….and he sang he littered
    the site with random bible quotes
    you’ll come a-spamming for Jesus with me.

    Altogether now…

  31. hotrats says:

    Not to forget credit to Micky for catching the mood so cleanly.

  32. Ephphatha says:

    ‘What’cha gonna do when we come for you?’
    http://goo.gl/NsVl1W
    Resistance will be futile:)

  33. Chiefy says:

    “I see the old man, wandering alone, eyes desperately seeking something known…” Macha, that’s lovely. What’s it from?

  34. WhatsGoingOn says:

    DarwinHarmless,

    I did say work it in “once in a while” didn’t I?

    Was there something wrong with saying it that way?

    Or do you just like getting your panties in a bunch whenever obvious contradictions spin your head around?

    Or is it that the last pristine thing that you don’t want defiled is the inexorable perfection of faultless atheism?

    Or is it just that your mad that nobody is falling for your crap anymore?

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    What’sGoingOn, please give us one valid reason for Author to ‘work in’ your pet concern rather than the billions of other issues that concern billions of other people. What makes you so special that it’s your pet peeve that Author should be working into his cartoon? Jesus might want you for a sunbeam, but Author sure as shit doesn’t want you as his advisor.
    Even better, as this is a comic intended to amuse, please let us know how you would make light of such a tragic situation in cartoon form, complete with a killer (no pun intended – maybe) punchline.

    When you’ve finished doing that, maybe you’d be good enough to explain just what makes you think you can waltz into the C&B with the ‘why don’t you care about what I care about? bullshit, assuming that just because we’re not all wailing and gnashing teeth about it here that we somehow don’t care – despite not knowing any of us personally and therefore having no idea what we do and do not care about – only to throw a childish tantrum at one of our most long-serving, esteemed and erudite regulars when he informs you of just how wrong your assumptions are.

    Or, if you’d rather not engage in adult conversation but would prefer to continue in the vein of our other wee troll – namely sniping from the sidelines with irrelevances and getting all weepy at our responses – you could just save yourself a lot of time and simply take your crap – the crap that nobody ever will fall for, either here or anywhere else where the average I.Q. is higher than the average shoe size, and fuck the fuckity-fuck off.
    Your village wants its idiot back.

    Love the punchline in this one, Author. Thank you for making the distinction that it’s the parents that are religious rather than the kids. To paraphrase Dawkins, there’s no such thing as a Christian child; it’s a child of Christian parents.

  36. ShallowEnder says:

    smee, I was not privately educated. I learned stuff in public Libraries [against the wishes of a tiny minority of Chief Librarians who thought adult books were inappropriate fare for a child, aided and abetted by most Librarians who were proud to help] and in publicly funded secular schools. I still got a relatively good job and was redundanted at an early age.
    It can be done. You can cheat the bastards and claw your way out of the murk and mire they would have us condemned to.
    You can even have a life after work though you don’t deserve it. I managed it so it can’t be too hard.
    Apart from life itself, and the genetic inheritance that comes with it, I got nothing from my endless stream of ancestors. I left the ancestral home with a second hand suitcase and a week’s worth of dole. Everything I have, from family to the house and garden I now own I have bought with my own sweat.
    I owe the greater society for helping to educate me and for feeding me in the few days when I was between schools and job, but I think my years of taxes have paid off that debt.
    I am not a self-made man. I had help. But I have helped in return. I think I have paid those debts, too.
    I could have been a judge, or a lawyer, a general or a banker. I chose Science as my career instead and it was good to me.
    Before you sneer at someone for having a few days of enjoyment in the twilight of their life learn their story, numbnuts.
    We are not all the children of privilege and wealth.
    Yet some of us win.
    Enough to be relatively comfortable.

  37. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Trolls are just like buses; none for bloody ages then two of the buggers turn up at the same time.

    ShallowEnder, sorry I missed your invading army yesterday. Could we re-schedule?
    Funny what you were saying about my lot (the Marmite Atheists) being the depraved and evil ones.
    Back in the late 20thC the U.S. gub’mint set up a think-tank charged with looking into why the Middle-East was such a hotspot for trouble (missing the bloody obvious, of course), and what could possibly be done to resolve things. They approached many of the country’s top scientists, politicians and intellectuals, one of whom was Gore Vidal.
    To summarise Vidal’s contribution: for reasons of climate (and religion) most of the Middle-Eastern population wore head-to-toe clothing, giving them very little exposure to the sun. Lack of exposure to the sun led to a vitamin D deficiency. One effect of vitamin D deficiency is a tendency to be short tempered, meaning that disagreements that elsewhere would be settled more-or-less peacefully were more likely to escalate to violence.
    Yeast contains vitamin D, but od course over there they have their bread unleavened.
    Marmite, being a concentrated yeast extract, is an excellent source of vitamin D, and Vidal suggested sending shed-loads of the delicious black, sticky spread over, giving them a much-needed vitamin boost and so calming tempers.

    Pity he forgot that Marmite is possibly more divisive than religion.

    So, we Marmite Atheists may indeed be evil and depraved, but we can keep our bad sides in check far longer than you vit. D-lacking Marmite Hateists. Note who was the first to declare war!

  38. WhatsGoingOn says:

    Acolyte of Sagan,

    Well, how about because it is extraordinarily related to the topic at hand for one?

    How about you stop bullshitting?

  39. WhatsGoingOn says:

    Haven’t you guys realized yet that the “We’re talking about more than one thing” argument has already played out and run its course?

    Time to look for a new witty repartee guys, sorry to let you down since maybe you were hoping this one would last a bit longer?

  40. ShallowEnder says:

    Acolyte, I did not decalre war, old son, I declared a popular uprising by the villagers with torches and pitchforks, as is de rigeur in every horror movie since 1912.
    That is an entirely peaceable and gentile act of a gentleman.
    Eating Marmite isn’t.

    WhatsGoingOn, in the 1885 words of the famous and erudite scholar, Mr. Clint Marty Eastwood, “lighten up, jerk!”
    I’m poking gentle, mocking fun at my pal the acolyte of sogginess and being politely ribbed in return. It’s all good.
    Meanwhile, two hundred girls are threatened with mass, serial rape and worse and Ephphy and her priests are condoning it.
    So why aren’t you all bent out of shape over that one? Could it be because holy men are doing it?
    And in other news, did you know there is a robot falling between the moons of Saturn? What are you doing about that?

  41. ShallowEnder says:

    smee, sorry I got all pissy.
    But you don’t know me, so don’t assume I’m one of the privileged ones.
    And for fux sake use a fukken spell checker. I would suggest learning to spell but that is a lost cause in today’s Internet.
    [My mistakes in this message were deliberate.]

  42. ShallowEnder says:

    Lastly, talking of speel-chakkers, “decalre” should have been “declare” in my latest but one before this. That wasn’t inability to spell words properly, it was inability to type and lack of adequate proof-reading. Again.
    I will now take me out behind the shed and spank me until I learn to do better.

  43. WhatsGoingOn says:

    Well at least I’m not going around finding every half-assed way of letting atheism of the hook that I can.

    How many of you can say that?

  44. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    What hook (off, not of) would that be? You going to Godwin us next? The argument you’re doubling down on strongly implies that the thing we’re complaining about isn’t really bad.

  45. WhatsGoingOn says:

    Robert,+not+Bob:

    Not really. See this is what happens when you are not intellectually honest. You start finding that you accuse people of doing what you are the one in fact doing.

    You mean to tell me that you can’t think of any offense committed by atheism? Not even a little small eensy one.

    Are you going to prove my point so easily for me?

    I mean, you sure do seem to be primed for the defense once you can hear one from me. Doesn’t that already make my case?

    (Thanks for the spelling correction, I can already see I’m going to enjoy myself here)

  46. WhatsGoingOn, “Or is it just that your mad that nobody is falling for your crap anymore?”
    I don’t have a mad. Oh… hold on. You mean “you’re mad”. For most people I’d put this down to typing fast in a fit of temper and not niggle about such a common and trivial mistake, but I’m not feeling that charitable toward you. This and the “of the hook” error confirms it. You’re not in our class.

    Thanks for adding some spice and intellectual contrast to the conversation here. Without visitors like you I’d forget what an erudite crowd I usually drink with.

  47. WhatsGoingOn says:

    Wow, am I supposed to take that seriously?

    You’re really trotting out the horseshit now, aren’t you.

    I mean, if that’s your “class” I nor, I’m absolutely certain, the vast majority would be interested in being part of it. Especially since it seems based on the assumption that only a select few have more than one concern.

    Have fun guys, it’s been entertaining.

  48. Macha says:

    Have I missed a case of metamorphosis?

  49. Macha says:

    Chiefy says:
    June 25, 2014 at 11:03 pm
    “I see the old man, wandering alone, eyes desperately seeking something known…” Macha, that’s lovely. What’s it from?

    I’m embarrassed to confess it came out of my own head. I can get very poetical at times, especially after 3 glasses of Côtes du Rhone Villages

  50. stevegallacci says:

    WGO’s core complaint seems to be boiling down to atheism is responsible for Bad Things (TM) going on in the world ?? Huh? But what he really means is those who are not following his pet imaginary friend are doing the Bad Things (TM), so I suppose he figures that non-fellow followers = atheists. Did I get that right?

  51. Mary2 says:

    Damn, catching up on 51 new posts in less than 24 hours and reading the aptly titled WhatsGoingOn when s/he says ‘faultless atheism’. Given the tone of their previous posts I was absolutely certain it was going to say ‘fundamentalist atheism’.

  52. Mary2 says:

    WhatsGoingOn, How can atheism (or any other ism) commit an offense? An ism isn’t capable of committing anything. People commit things. People commit things in the name of isms (and itys – as in Christianity) but I’ve yet to hear anyone commit something in the name of atheism – no, wait, I know of Atheist organisations who feed the homeless, they do that under the banner of atheism.

    If you read the last couple of comment sections you will see we spent an entire week having this same hackneyed ‘atheists are murderers too’ argument with Ephy. I’m not playing again.

  53. Hi folks. I woke up this morning feeling a bit ashamed of myself. I’ve been giving free play to my inner curmudgeon and bringing down the jovial tone of the C&B. Trolls are fun, but exchanging insults with anybody isn’t my style and I’ve been too quick to rise to the bate.
    I think I shall lurk for a while until I get my sense of humour back. I’ll just turn my collar up and slouch down a bit, or maybe there’s a seat available in the snug. It’s time to work on the song lyrics suggested by this strip. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything.

  54. Okay. First effort. I invite improvement. I hear this with a melody reminiscent of familiar hymns.

    Don’t Be Divisive lyrics.

    In this world so full of corruption
    We must keep our children away
    From all who would start them thinking
    From all who would lead them astray
    To send them to school with the masses
    Invites Satan into their hearts
    In schools we control
    We can safeguard their souls
    And keep them from thinking bad thoughts

    So please don’t be divisive
    Don’t protest against faith base schools
    We know very well
    You’re all going to hell
    Our kids must not mix with you fools

    We take as our right to teach children
    About talking snakes, shame and sin
    We want them to stay as close minded
    As all of their parents have been
    To open the door to free thinking
    Would not serve to keep safe and secure
    The world we adore
    Full of hatred and gore
    Our kids must remain separate and pure

    So please don’t be devisive
    Keep sending your money our way
    If we keep kids apart
    We can hope they won’t start
    To see other ways of thinking are okay

    We know there is but one solution
    To all of the problems we face
    And that’s to ask our magical master
    To fix up the whole human race
    It’s not helped in the past, we admit this
    But it’s our tradition to pray
    So please leave us alone
    To teach kids on our own
    And keep the twenty first century at bay

    And please don’t be devisive
    There’s no need to oppose what we do
    We know you don’t like us
    But leave us our children
    To teach them that we don’t like you.

  55. WBA says:

    I am reliably informed that even god is an atheist, but I’m not sure if he has much of a singing voice.

  56. two cents' worth says:

    Acolyte of Sagan, I, for one, prefer to get my Vitamin D in the form of odorless vitamin pills, which stave off not only irritability but also depression. (This suggests another possible reason for the problems in the Middle-East: depressed people tend to find it hard to come up with solutions to problems, and they have little or no hope that their problems can be resolved, so why try to resolve them?)

    That said, I beseech the Marmite Atheists not to hold our antipathy to the “black, sticky spread” against those of us whose visceral gag reflex to Marmite and the like cannot be suppressed. You are more omnivorous than the rest of us, and therefore more likely to succeed in the evolutionary sense of the word, but I hope you will find it in your hearts to treat the rest of us kindly, just as you would treat people with celiac disease or food allergies 😉 .

    ShallowEnder, please refrain from stirring up the pitchfork-wielding mob. That’s like declaring war before trying to resolve a dispute through diplomacy. (Remember, the current budget covers neither pitchforks and torches, nor medical care for mob members who are injured in the melee. Besides, if we start with the pitchfork-wielding mob, how can we escalate our actions should we need to do so?) There is no accounting for taste; as long as they don’t force it on us, the Marmite Atheists have the right to enjoy Marmite (or the like), even though it has a high “ick” factor for the rest of us. If we encourage them to enjoy their Marmite in the privacy of their own homes (or other places where we can’t smell it), and promise to do the same regarding whatever activities of ours they find icky, I think we can live in harmony with them 😉 .

  57. Ephphatha says:

    Thanks WhatsGoingOn. I enjoyed watching everyone trip over their own feet again as they tried to defend themselves against the torrent of criticism that their own words leave them wide open to.

  58. two cents' worth says:

    Darwin Harmless, thanks for sharing the lyrics of Don’t Be Divisive. Which hymn tunes do you have in mind for it?

    I find this issue interesting, because where I live (in the USA), religious schools are private schools–unlike our public schools, they receive no funding from the government. In fact, when our current public school system was developed, one of the arguments in its favor was that, because religion is not taught at all in public schools, they provide an environment where children can more easily become familiar with people from different religions and sects, and learn how to interact with them in a civil manner. As the children become adults, they are able to use this skill in their daily lives, reducing sectarianism and increasing harmony in society in general.

    As the UK becomes increasingly pluralistic, I suspect that some may cling to the state religion because it affirms their identity as citizens of the UK (or of England, at least). However, I gather that the percentage of the UK population that belongs to the C of E is falling, and it seems that having a state religion is becoming just a tradition (like having QCs wear wigs in court) rather than serving as a significant force for binding the people of the UK together.

    Regardless, in both the UK’s system and the USA’s system, some children are segregated into separate schools according to the religion of their parents. (One of my cousins in Arizona, who became a Jehovah’s Witness, went so far as to have his children home-schooled, lest they be contaminated by the influence of other religions or by free-thinking.) In the USA, all religious schools charge the parents tuition, but the public schools do not. Some religious schools also accept students that are not members of their religions. Some parents (religious or not) are willing to pay the tuition not because they want their children to have a religious education, but because their local public schools do not provide a good education, or have recurring problems with violence, or both. To help minimize the number of students in religious schools, we need to support non-sectarian schools so that they can provide their students with a safe environment and a good education. [Rant on underfunded public schools deleted 😉 ]

    Religious schools are not the only problem. As people spend more and more time online, where the Internet’s invisible hand encourages them to gather only with those of like minds, what can be done to get people to become familiar with others who think differently, to interact with them civilly, and even to work with them to address the problems of the world and to live together in harmony?

  59. Jerry www says:

    WhatsGoingOn:
    When you wrote “Or is it just that your mad that nobody is…..”, did you mean to write
    “Or is it just that you’re mad that nobody is…..”? You might as well at least be grammatically correct.

  60. Chiefy says:

    Nice job, DH! All we need is someone to perform it, perhaps on Youtube. Garfunkel and Oates would be good.

    Macha, no reason to be embarrassed; that is high quality work. I look forward to reading your epic soon. Let us know if you need more wine.

  61. hotrats says:

    DH:

    Version 1.1 for further appraisal;
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_CHsbdk0JhfWFN3UWlvSzE0R2c/edit?usp=sharing

    Brilliant! I’ve tweaked a few lines for scansion and singability, but I hope it’s still recognisably your work. When all suggestions and amendments are in, it might be fun to record a sung version.

  62. aarken says:

    Does anyone realise that King John of England wanted to introduce Islam as the religion of the country?

  63. Mary2 says:

    DH, you don’t sit in the shame corner for long, do you? 45 minutes of self imposed punishment during which you write a fabulous hymn. Back in the corner til you do the next one.

  64. ShallowEnder says:

    Acolyte: I don’t have vitamin D deficiency in spite of never eating fruits. And I’m not irritable. I’m a fluffy puppy.

    Darwin Harmless: have you never noticed that The Creature [the Marmite Eating Monster] always survives the pitchfork-wielding mob? That’s why I send them and not someone efficient [like me]. Lots of noise and fury and vented spleens but little real damage. It’s all good clean fun. Like the Hogmanay Old Firm matches.

    Ephphy: are you also writing under the ‘nym “WhatsGoingOn”? Honestly, darling, you don’t need to. We’d hug you even should you espouse WGO’s idiocies under your Ephphy banner.

    But, darling Ephphatha, dearest child, my sweetling, I’ve decided to give up taunting you. You need never fear my evil, nasty, satanic, infidel, heathen questions again. Neither will I mock your sincerely held beliefs, nor deride your faiths.
    I truly hope your faith comforts you and keeps you safe.
    Have a nice life.
    Have a nicer afterlife if there is one.
    Bye.

  65. Okay, here’s a brand new slapped together in one take, obviously, recorded on my phone rendition of “Don’t be Divisive”. Full of mistakes and stumbles, but there it is. Gotta love modern technology.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZCieJFkNVk&feature=youtu.be
    I think I’ve stolen the melody but I can’t quite place it. It came out kind of cowboy/western gospel or something. A song is what it is. Hard to control. I’m still tweaking the words and scan.
    If you can do better, please be my guest. 🙂

  66. Author says:

    @DH – That’s lovely! 🙂

  67. Stephen Mynett says:

    Great stuff Darwin Harmless. Towards the end it got me thinking about them doing want they want with their children’s education. Perhaps a more up-to-date version of the Jesuit quote is more apt in these times, “Give me the child and I will give you back a Jihadist.”

  68. Chiefy says:

    You’re on a roll, DH! How much do you want to bet that someone is going to think it’s a serious piece, and hit you with an “amen” and “Praise the Lord!”

  69. Ephphatha says:

    No, ShallowEnder, I’m not also WhatsGoingOn, and you can take that to the bank because it would be a sin for me to lie to you. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised if the administrator can see our IP addresses.

    DH, your uneducated / misinformed lyrics make the case for the defense of separate schools. Nice job;)
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/02/08/educating-children-catholic-schools-doing/

  70. Chiefy, you anticipated Ephphata’s amen by one post. Way to go.

    Thanks guys. I’ve been praised by Author. My day is complete. 🙂

  71. IanB says:

    aarken says:
    Does anyone realise that King John of England wanted to introduce Islam as the religion of the country?

    Based on the unverified claims of one person. I’d be sceptical of its veracity given how bound to religion by the terror of damnation and promise of jam tomorrow the average person from villein through to the nobility. There was a great deal of turmoil during the argument between John and Innocent and a real fear of being sent to hell because no christian burial was allowed but apostasy – I doubt it. The argument between the King and the Pope was over ultimate control, John eventually gave in and left that battle to Henry the 8th who saw seizing church property as an ideal way of financing the kingdom.

  72. HaggisForBrains says:

    Great stuff, DH. And as a bonus, a glimpse of that famous beard at the end!

  73. NSPike says:

    DH – nice!! I’ll be honest, I read the lyrics and went ‘yeah that’s not bad’ – then I listened and went ‘Wow I like that!’ I’m also a guitar player and I attempt to be a singer/songwriter from time to time, so I know how a little encouragement can go a long way – I think you have a really nice voice that suits the style perfectly. Thumbs up from me.

  74. Author says:

    @DH – If you put up a version without mistakes, I’ll Tweet it and put it in the next email update.

  75. oake says:

    Ephphatha “No, ShallowEnder, I’m not also WhatsGoingOn, and you can take that to the bank because it would be a sin for me to lie to you.”

    So the only reason you didn’t lie to ShallowEnder is through fear of your god?
    What a thoroughly unpleasant person you must be.

  76. HaggisForBrains and NSPike, blush.

    Author, now that is motivation. Give me a day or two and it’s done.

  77. And I missed a few comments in my excitement. Mary2, I forget that these posts are time stamped. Just 45 minutes? Seemed longer. Actually, it seemed timeless.

    Hotrats, version 1.1 is great. I’m not sure what I will sing for the mistake free version that Author has requested, but your alternative lines work perfectly. I do hate to lose the concept of rejecting the twenty-first century, but there’s nothing wrong with alternate versions.
    I think in the repeat of the last chorus your version will make a nice change, so I’m going to use both for sure.

  78. hotrats says:

    DH:

    Thanks, and I agree about the 21st Century (though it’s really the 20th that’s being ignored!) but creationism deserves a mention, so perhaps ‘And keep evolution at bay’ would work, and tie in with your nom-de-plume. On rereading, second thoughts about ‘fig-leaves’ – the original ‘shame’ scans better.

  79. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin, if that (or the 2nd take) doesn’t go viral then I’m a Creationist. Excellent stuff, Sir.

    ShallowEnder, two cents’ worth, all Marmite Hateists, I wouldn’t dream of imposing my love of Marmite on anybody else (impressions given by my newly-installed Marmite moat notwithstanding – that’s just added security from the torch-wielding mobs; I have a bit of a fear of fire owing to an incident back in the 1970’s concerning an angry mob and one of Molotov’s finest ruining a damn fine shirt. That’s fair, isn’t it?), so the worst that could happen would be us having to sit at seperate tables should we ever meet for breakfast. Other than that, I’m sure we’re all adult enough to accept our little differences. No need to write a new manual of atheism for each side of the Marmite divide, nor to attend seperate functions, meetings, etc..
    We have the same fundamental (that one’s for Ephy) view on life, we shouldn’t let such minor differences divide and weaken us.

    Look, religion, and see how easy life can be with just a little mature consideration.

    Now, sadly, dearest Ephy said ….and you can take that to the bank because it would be a sin for me to lie to you.”
    Is this the same Ephy that claimed to have been a long standing atheist, despite not having a clue what atheism really is? The same Ephy that told me I was flat-out wrong with my suggestion that he was originally Christian, had a crisis of faith, spent some time looking for something to re-affirm his faith, found that something and returned safely to the fold, only to tell Darwin that he was originally Christian, had crisis, sought, found and returned?
    That Ephy?
    Just asking, that’s all.

    Finally, Darwin, brilliant stuff.
    So good I praised it twice. 🙂

  80. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    aarken says:
    June 26, 2014 at 9:58 pm
    Does anyone realise that King John of England wanted to introduce Islam as the religion of the country?

    King John who was excommunicated in 1209 for seizing and / or imposing taxes on Church property, and was so distraught he relented to enable him to be re-admitted to the faith? The same John who in 1216 knew that he had a good chance of dying during what turned out to be his final journey, so insisted on having a high-ranking Church official – the Archbishop of Lincoln if memory serves – to administer the last rites should the worse happen?
    As it happened, he died at Newark-upon-Trent, just 20 miles short of his intended destination of Nottingham.
    It was most likely his earlier treatment of the Church that led to the story of him wanting to impose a new religion on the country. He didn’t, he just wanted the established Church to spread the wealth a little – something the tight-fisted buggers still refuse to do!

  81. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Please ignore the superfluous question mark at the end of my 1st. paragraph above.
    Edit function, edit function,
    Wherefore art thou
    Edit function?

  82. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Christ on a bike, we need that edit function back. I’m breaking in some new pain meds (sciatic nerve trapped good and proper; had pain like severe cramp from left buttock to left ankle for over a fortnight. Might explain why I’m a bit grumpier than normal) and they’re playing havoc with my proo freading abilities.
    Anyway, ignore that stuff about ignoring the question mark.
    Thanks, friends.

    Oh, Darwin, did I mention that your song is brilliant? A few tweaks a la hotrats’ suggestion and I’d go as far as ‘sublime’.

  83. Ephphatha says:

    Clueless… I mean Shameless… I mean ‘Harmless’… I hate to spoil your fifteen minutes of fame, but surely you are not as blind as you pretend to be. First of all, claiming that my amen was the same kind of amen that Cheesy predicted was just the only way you saw of getting out of the corner you’ve painted yourself into, right? Kind of like how AoS pretended to have been testing me.

    Secondly, Catholic schools in Canada (your home country?), just as in the US, apparently also produce smarter students while spending less money per pupil, all of which is paid by Catholic ratepayers… not Darwin ‘fundless’ atheists like you:

    http://goo.gl/H5zrDw

    http://goo.gl/UbA7oO

    Therefore, your “keep sending your money our way” song lyrics amount to nothing more than an anthem to your own misinformed stupidity and the undiscriminating, low standards of those who applaud it.

    Yet more proof that facts do not actually matter to fundamentalist atheists.

  84. Chiefy says:

    Thanks for the mention, Effy. I appreciate the thought, especially coming from a good Christian lady such as yourself. You have the compassion of William Lane Craig and the depth of understanding of Ray Comfort.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist responding to your Christian love. I’ll go back to ignoring you now.

  85. Macha says:

    DH, I am humbled. In my earlier days, I enjoyed picking out a tune, but the passing of time and the onset of arthritis has put paid to all that, but I never got near to your inventiveness. Please could we have it each week?

    To move back onto what is vaguely topical, religion and schools. As I said before, in the UK, roughly 50% of state-funded schools are Faith Schools (the vast majority CofE or RC). They exist in two types and the type which is held more powerfully in the clutch of the Church is able to select pupils on the basis or their religion and is free to indoctrinate them with Jesus and also selectively employ religious teachers. For being able to do this, the Church funds all capital works (although I give them a generous rebate of 90%). The state pays all running costs.

    On the face of it, these schools produce above-average results. However, if you subtract out socio-economic factors, this is highly debatable.

    But none of this addresses the real point, which is the fundamental question of whether it is right or wrong to indoctrinate children about religion. I can’t understand how anyone can argue that it’s acceptable to do this. However, that is exactly what these types of school do, perfectly lawfully and all funded out of my pocket.

    Of course, children should be taught about religions. If, when they are old enough to make an informed decision, they choose to lead their lives following either a bloke in the ancient past who committed suicide on a wooden cross, or one who had a fondness for young girls, then so be it.

    On the bright side (dee dum, dee dum …), there seems to be increasing support in the UK for taking religion out of schools.

  86. Macha says:

    Just a point to note, since everyone seems to be in the Land of Zeds, is that our resident Evangelical Nutjob appears to be getting even more strident and insulting. I’m still waiting for its “proof” of whatever it was – or maybe I missed it?

    If you look at the E-counter however, the rate of idiocy appears to be abating, having hit a peak some while ago.

    Maybe it’s getting bored, I certainly am.

    It also seems to have driven away many customers. Maybe it’s time to show it the door before profits slump?

  87. Holepicker says:

    Re Smee:-

    >>Only fun if you’re one of the privelidged elite who are privately educated, and have all of the power and take the best and well remunerated jobs. Judges, Doctors, Scientists, Officers in the Armed Forces, Lawyers, Stockbrokers, Lords <<

    I hate to pick holes here but Doctors pretty much get their jobs based on Merit or get struck off. Lawyers get their jobs based on merit or don't get clients. Judges get their jobs based on merit as they are usually lawyers who have worked their way up. Stockbrokers don't broke stock for very long if they are no good at it.

    You may have a case for Officers in the Armed Forces. Being a Lord isn't a job. It is a title awarded by the Queen which carries responsibilities. Not all Lords come from privilege.

    Can I suggest that Politicians and local government tend to be the main places that people can get jobs without any actual skills? It may be easier to get some of those jobs if you are well educated. However it does not mean that they are not attainable if you are not.

  88. Oh dear. Ephphatha has beaten my muse black and bloody. Maybe I’m wrong about spending money to indoctrinate children with religious beliefs.
    Oh well, in for a penny, in for another pounding. Version 2 is uploading as I type this. (30% with another 27 minutes to go). When uploaded it will live at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-VZSPd2Fl8&feature=youtu.be

    This version incorporates some, but not all, of hotrat’s suggestions. It’s mostly stumble and mistake free, but I’m not sure the performance level is as good as version 1. I’m coming to understand why a recording artist spends days and weeks in an actual sound studio, with expert sound engineers providing technical support, to record half a dozen songs on equipment much better than my mobile phone. I’ll never be satisfied with this, so I might as well throw it up there.

    I’m now feeling inspired to get together with my old composer friend and do a proper recording, add a fiddle track, a bit of banjo, maybe some harmony on the chorus (with a middle eastern accent?), and then cut a video together with stills that fit the lyrics. Damn, that sounds like a lot of work. Maybe some day but not this weekend.

    We’re having a teacher strike where I live, due to a misguided government that would rather spend money on lawyers than obey a court order to live up to their signed contract, so there’s much talk about what is wrong with our education system. This comment on Facebook caught my eye: “I wrote to my mp expressing my disgust and frustration… I asked for justification of the 300 million funneled into private education. My money going to a school that can refuse to educate my child?” Exactly, but worse is money going to schools that miseducate the children they do accept by indoctrinating religious nonsense and perpetuating religious segregation.

    No, Ephphatha, I think my song has a point and you missed it.

  89. steve oberski says:

    Ephphatha you are a lying sack of shit.

    Catholic schools in the Canadian province of Ontario are funded from general revenues and not from the taxes of Catholic ratepayers.

    There is absolutely no evidence that the Catholic school system produces “smarter” students and if you are anything to go by the opposite appears to be true.

    What the Catholic school system does do very well is to discriminate against homosexual students, banning gay-straight alliances.

    They also ban the administration of HPV vaccine, put thousands of girls at risk.

    This is exactly the behaviour one would expect from an ideology that get’s it morals from goat herder snuff porn.

    I find your support of this genocidal, homophobic and misogynistic criminal organization to be truly disgusting.

    You truly are an example of the damage religion can do to people, you poor intellectually and morally stunted human being.

  90. Macha says:

    I’ve lived in France for a good while, so know quite a lot about the education system here and although there are plenty of unsatisfactory aspects, religion ain’t one of them.

    In France, the principle of Laïcité (secularism) is important. This means (among other things) that religiosity in schools (displaying your affiliation, praying, preaching, etc,) is illegal – so, no wearing of crosses or headscarves, no prayers in assembly, no statues of dead bodies on crosses, no RE lessons.

    This has been going on since the revolution, and appears to have had no measurable effect on religiosity in general. So back in the UK, children are being indoctrinated purely as a show of power and control.

  91. Mary2 says:

    Ephy, the childish avatar puns and name calling just make you look … childish.

    In Australia all tax payers fund religious schools as well as funding chaplains and religious instruction in our secular public schools (public schools in Aust actually being public not like public schools in the UK which are what we call private) – therefore the ‘keep sending your money our way’ lyric is perfectly appropriate.

    DH, Excellent job, sir! Is it too late for me to accept that marriage proposal?

  92. Author says:

    @DM Perfect!

  93. hotrats says:

    DH:

    I’m coming to understand why a recording artist spends days and weeks in an actual sound studio, with expert sound engineers providing technical support, to record half a dozen songs on equipment much better than my mobile phone.

    For a field recording in audio verité with no EQ, compression or multi-take editing, it sounds pretty damn good to me, both in performance and sound quality. Well done that man.

  94. botanist says:

    DH – wow. So good 🙂 I second hotrats and fall in behind our Mary in your queue.

  95. Macha says:

    DH : I can’t get the tune out of my head now. Dammit!

  96. Mary2, alas I am currently taken. But our love can be perfect, platonic, rather distant and unlikely if that’s okay with you. 🙂

    Author, thanks. So happy you approve.

    Hotrats, Botanist, Macha, it feels so good to be appreciated. As an added bonus, I think it is praise from my playmates that has poor Ephphatha foaming at the oral orifice. What fun we all have, eh.

    And Macha, yes, I’ve also given myself my own ear worm. Sorry about that.

  97. While we’re on the subject of education, check this out.
    http://www.alternet.org/belief/right-wing-christian-group-tried-convert-citys-kids-theyre-fighting-back?page=0%2C0

    I find this kind of well oiled right wing indoctrination machine quite frightening. The comment from one parent really hit home: “Before we were all Loyal Heights parents together,” he said. “Now we’re divided into groups and labels: you’re a Christian, you’re the wrong kind of Christian, you’re a Jew, you’re an atheist.”
    One might call the Good News Club an othering machine.

  98. Ephphatha says:

    SteveO, you are the lying sack of…, not me. One third of Ontario’s student population is Catholic / one third of taxpayers in Ontario are Catholic, according to the second of two references I offered. How is it then you arrive at the conclusion that atheists or anyone other than Catholics pay for Catholic education? You provided no references. Your word is worth nothing by itself. Back up your claims or go back to sleep.

    Mary2face and Cheesy;), both of you and almost all of the other regulars here have been having a field day with mocking my user name. Now, I know how unaccustomed fundamentalist atheists are to being roughhoused by theists, and how they think they are the only ones who should be doing the roughhousing, but if you cannot take what you dish out then perhaps you should stop dishing out. People who live in glass houses…

  99. Ephphatha, also, people who live in tin houses shouldn’t throw can openers. 🙂

  100. Macha says:

    Ephphy: your style of interaction reminds me of the playground taunts heard during my children’s school days. It amounts to :

    “Whatever you say, whatever you do, a thousand times more than you”.

  101. HaggisForBrains says:

    Just in from a day vintage racing – DH, that’s ephphing brilliant. Worthy of Tim Minchin! Author, if he hasn’t already qualified on Patreon, I think that deserves a Clerihew!

  102. HaggisForBrains says:

    On reflection, finding a suitable rhyme for Harmless is a bit of a challenge – sorry!

  103. Ephphatha says:

    Perhaps at some point, maybe from now on (now that I think that I’ve made my point), I may switch from the fire and brimstone, Old Testament approach to the New Testament love my enemy, turn the other cheek approach. But I suspect that my hand will just get bitten if I extend an olive branch to this unruly gang.

    Let’s test my theory. Please prove me wrong…

    http://youtu.be/yAAmYdc8lSU

  104. Holms says:

    “No, ShallowEnder, I’m not also WhatsGoingOn, and you can take that to the bank because it would be a sin for me to lie to you.”

    You seem to think that merely being christian means you are guaranteed not to lie. That’s a good one! 🙂

    Aside from that, you are losing the (thin) veneer of maturity you started with when you first arrived. Your intellectually dishonest arguments were of course bad enough already, but your downward spiral towards name calling was the icing on the cake.

  105. Macha says:

    Ephphy : “now that I think that I’ve made my point”

    You think wrong. You have a point?

  106. HaggisforBrains, “Worthy of Tim Minchin!” Oh, I wish. But seriously no. Not even close. Not even Roy Zimmerman. But thanks.

  107. Holms says:

    “Perhaps at some point, maybe from now on (now that I think that I’ve made my point), …”
    You haven’t actually made much headway on any point, thanks to your habit of recycling tiresome ‘classics’ we’ve heard and refuted a dozen times before.

    “… I may switch from the fire and brimstone, Old Testament approach to the New Testament love my enemy, turn the other cheek approach.”
    Amazing. You appear to have completely forgotten the fact that, a couple of threads ago, you tried to pretend that you were the nice one being viciously mauled by rabid dogs atheists. We stopped you short on that one, pointing out your lousy attitute very early on, but now you have the nerve to pretend you never made that pretense!

    Hence, your characterisation of the exchanges we’ve had so far rings hollow, and your alleged turning over of a new leaf seems dubious. But hey! We’ll see.

    So. How about you start us off with a shiny new argument for christianity / against atheism? Preferably one that isn’t:
    – snide
    – passive aggressive
    – openly aggressive
    – intellectually dishonest
    – lifted directly from a list of gotchas apologists use all the damn time – we’ve seen them all!

    P.S. The only good bit in Jesus Christ Superstar (to my tastes anyway) is on the Deep Purple live album Nobody’s Perfect, track 2, starting slowly from about 3:50. It is all too brief! Does anyone know if there is a full version of that somewhere? The only Jesus Christ Superstar albums I’ve been able to find have been the boring non-Ian Gillan version.

  108. Macha says:

    Ephphy: you seem keen on JC Superstar. A 70’s musical with a happy clappy theme. Although some of the tunes were quite catchy, do you seriously think that Webber-Rice had a deeper message? Nope, the real theme was “let’s make loadsa money”.

    You then bleat about going all “New Testament”, giving up the smiting and taking up the hippy loving. Please don’t, that would quite repulsive and would make me feel quite ill.

    Thank you

  109. Chiefy says:

    Excellent, DH! I will be sharing that with all my heathen friends, and the nice religious nuts as well.

    On the (slightly off-) topic of going all New Testament, I ran across this: http://youtu.be/7gvv_UM7CYg
    Enjoy.

  110. Macha says:

    Does it mean we’re to get more of this ….?

    http://youtu.be/uY1jSWy4Eck

    Heaven forefend!

  111. Mary2 says:

    Actually Ephy, I have never referred to you as anything other than ‘Ephy’: a shortened version of your name. I also refer to everyone else by shortened versions of their names – even Darwin Harmless as ‘DH’ which, in my country, also stands for something far less pleasant than our resident minstrel. You are correct that I have not pulled up our other commenters who have played with your avatar and I acknowledge there is some hypocrisy in that but the main reasons are that a) they are actually witty, and b) they are generally playing with the ‘ph’ as ‘f’ sound not being kindergarten meanies. Your persecution complex is showing again. I think the saddest thing is that you believe your name calling counts as some kind of noble and intellectual ‘rough-housing’. You’re going to have to work a lot harder than that.

    DH, speaking of our newly announced deep and abiding love, perhaps you could stretch your talents to a screen-play. I’m sensing we have the makings of a Rom-Com: the long distance love affair of two people who would walk past each other in the street and know nothing other than what’s expressed in the comments section of a comic site.

    In a mark of even higher praise, DH, you had my believing Christian spouse (yes, Ephy, we don’t go round pitchforking religious people) snorting with glee at your hymn.

    Ephphatha, Olive branch? You must be kidding. Several of us tried that weeks ago. I’m sorry to be harsh but you have an extremely over-inflated sense of your own skill at intellectual banter and manipulation. You have gone from being someone with whom we could have had discussions of disagreement and reluctant admiration to being a mosquito interfering with our watching of the footy.

    Macha, Of course the Webber-Rice team are prophets of deeper meaning! I have been scouring Cats for years to find the answers to life, the universe and everything. You just know that a musical entirely about singing cats has to be profound.

  112. hotrats says:

    For those who may have been wondering why there was no suitable hymn-tune to set DH’s verses to, I have a brief explanation.

    Like the limerick form on which it is based, it takes its appleal from triple rhythms.
    The-world-is so-full-of cor-rup-tion is an automatic 3/4 rhythm – waltz time (though an established folk form millenia before Strauss) which was always seen as too frivolous and frankly enjoyable to be suitable for sacred use.

    Compare On-ward Chris-tian so- oh-oh ol-diers in its relentless, and highly marchable 4/4.

    I may be wrong, and I would love to hear of a 3/4 hymn.

  113. oake says:

    Hotrats, a couple come to mind:
    Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
    Oh worship the king all glorious above (I think that’s the title – it’s been a while since I was at school having to sing them.)

  114. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Ok, Ephy, I’ll lift my sending of you to Coventry and speak to you directly. If you really want to hold out the olive branch you could start by presenting us with the scientific proof of God’s grace that you claim to have. Remember, scientific proof has to be peer reviewed and published in a reputable scientific journal, so no Christian Science / religion affiliated sites or YouTube videos.
    That’s not too much to ask, is it?

    By the way, consider your ‘SteveO, you are the lying sack of…, not me. One third of Ontario’s student population is Catholic / one third of taxpayers in Ontario are Catholic, according to the second of two references I offered. How is it then you arrive at the conclusion that atheists or anyone other than Catholics pay for Catholic education? You provided no references. Your word is worth nothing by itself. Back up your claims or go back to sleep.’

    To be precise, one third of Ontario syudents are the children of Catholic parents, they are simply labelled with their parents’ religion and by their names being entered onto the Catholic membership list simply by dint of having been baptised as babies, a process they had no say over.
    Now, when I went to school, which was admittedly a long time ago, if one third of a population was Catholic, that leaves two thirds – a vast majority – of non-Catholics. When governments collect taxes, they don’t ear-mark the taxes paid by Catholics for Catholic-only causes, the money goes into one big pot. This means that every tax-dollar that goes towards the running of a Catholic school consists of 33.333rec. cents of Catholics’ taxes and 66.666rec. cents of non-catholics’ taxes, and the contributers to the latter include atheist tax-payers.
    It really would help your cause if you took the time to think things through. It really isn’t a sin to question what you are told, no matter who is telling you. When you just take things at face value you end up making stupid statements such as the one I’ve just quoted from you, and then you wonder why we’re having trouble taking you seriously.
    Anyway, enough with the advice. Show me the evidence you claim to have access to. Time to put-up or shut-up, kiddo.

    Darwin, love the song. As a life-long heterosexual who’s never had even a glimmer of sexual attraction to another man, after listening to that you can add me to the list of potential suitors! 😉
    I will be sending the link to your song to everybody I know who will appreciate it (and to those who need to hear it), and I implore everybody to do the same. This has to go viral.
    I genuinely feel privileged to share my local with so many talented and intelligent people, and more so to be able to call you all friends.

  115. Well, the flood of marriage and/or hookup proposals has me absolutely giddy. I seem to have fallen into a nest of sapiosexuals. What luck. My kind of people. When I can attract a committed heterosexual like Acolyte, my heart really starts to go into tachycardia.

    Mary2, it just tickles me that your partner is a Christian and has enough of a sense of humour to enjoy my efforts.

    As for my song going viral, who can say. The Internet is a fickle creature.

    I rather enjoyed the animated version of Tim Minchin’s “Woody Allan Jesus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcixH4yc4_w And more of this kind of thing would be welcome.

    Okay, now I’m on a roll. Can anybody point me to other Jesus and Mo strips where they sing a song? I know there’s been a couple but I can’t seem to find them with a search.

    hotrats, good observation on hymns being traditionally in march time, 2/4. I think 3/4 time or more properly 6/8 time is more common in cowboy gospel, which is what my effort brings to mind. Like with “Drop kick me Jesus” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO5Y1OuQIxo

  116. botanist says:

    DH when searching for ‘tonight’ I found a few:
    and 12-11-2010
    react 10-01-2011
    away 1-02-2011
    both 17-02-2011
    ours 21-09-2011
    bogus 18-01-2012
    stuff 7-11-2012
    ready 12-12-2012

    That should keep you busy today.
    Can others suggest other ‘search words’ to find more?

  117. IanB says:

    Macha says: Of UK church schools
    On the face of it, these schools produce above-average results. However, if you subtract out socio-economic factors, this is highly debatable.

    Anecdotal I know but when my SiL a devout christian (unlike my brother) and a regular church attender put my nephew down for the CoE school they declined him because he was a bit of a problem child[1] and would drag down their average achievement. Much easy to obtain higher results if you can exclude the ‘thickies’. There you go christian values in action, no place for mumbo jumbo in education.

    Holms says: Of Ephphatha
    You seem to think that merely being christian means you are guaranteed not to lie. That’s a good one</i?

    Apart from the swearing to tell the truth whilst holding a book of lies bit a rather dim friend of a friend was convinced that when a case she was involved in went to court the opposition would have to tell the truth once they'd sworn an oath on the bible. I think the gales of laughter from the masses may have opened her eyes.

    Ephphatha says:
    now that I think that I’ve made my point

    You have? sorry I missed it somewhere in the reams of drivel you continue to spout

    [1] FWIW He’s turned out to be a decent young man making a living with his hands.

  118. IanB says:

    Please can we get the edit function back?

  119. Macha says:

    Ephphy stole it and the bugger won’t give it back

  120. JohnM says:

    @DH
    I’ve taken the liberty of sending the (updated) link for your delightful song to the BHA, suggesting they might like it as an anthem for their No Faith Schools campaign. In reference to which, they are very close to reaching their donations target to fund the campaign for another year:
    https://www.justgiving.com/nofaithschools/

    @botanist as they always seem to say “and together we’re …” I suspect you may have found all of the J&M duo’s songs.

  121. JohnM says:

    Oops. I thought “botanist” had searched “together” but in fact he searched “tonight”. So perhaps a search for the phrase I gave might do it.

  122. JohnM says:

    Damn it. Bring back the edit function now. I just hate reading my own typos.

  123. hotrats says:

    oake:

    Thanks, and I forgot the popular evensong hit, ‘The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended’ (Saint Clement). As one might expect, they all proceed at a fairly stately tempo.

  124. oake says:

    hotrats
    You were right, though. The vast majority of hymns seem to be written in march time, because I ran through dozens in my head to find those two.

    I guess waltz tempo is a bit too laid back to inspire that essential missionary mindset.

  125. hotrats says:

    oake:
    I think in this case we have to consider tempo more than metre. DH’s cowboy gospel is taken at a conversational speed, which is:
    a) pleasurable in its own right in a bouncy, uninhibited way, and
    b) demanding of brain-power to keep up with the flow of the lyrics, part of the charm of Noel Coward, Flanders and Swann, Tom Lehrer et al.,
    both of which qualities make it unsuitable for the worshipful masses.

    I can’t think of a similarly fast-paced hymn – perhaps someone else can?

  126. Ephphatha says:

    Thank you for responding in a civilized tone, AoS, and to the other(s) who more or less did the same.

    I don’t have enough time today, but sometime within the next few days I will offer my scientific explanation of evil and suffering in the world, even if it does not fit in with the theme of this weeks comic.

    Meanwhile, before leaving the subject of who is paying for separate schools in the province of Ontario, located in DH’s beautiful and otherwise;) civilized country of Canada, you said:

    “When governments collect taxes, they don’t ear-mark the taxes paid by Catholics for Catholic-only causes, the money goes into one big pot.”<i?

    Not true, AoS, in the example I offered of Ontario:
    http://www.cdsbeo.on.ca/students-parents/direct-your-taxes/

    Steve Obtuski is a… (insert his insult against me here).

  127. Ephphatha says:

    p.s, Even if you had been right, AoS, that taxes (in the example of Ontario that I offered) are not directed to Catholic schools, your explanation of how non-Catholics would still somehow be paying for Catholic schools is ludicrous! The same reasoning could be used to show that Catholics pay one-third the cost of public schools, which spend more than three times as much.

    Which leads me to quote your own words, that you intended for me, back to you, just as I did for steveO:

    “It really would help your cause if you took the time to think things through. It really isn’t a sin to question what you are told, no matter who is telling you. When you just take things at face value you end up making stupid statements such as the one I’ve just quoted from you, and then you wonder why we’re having trouble taking you seriously.”

  128. steve oberski says:

    Ephphatha you are a lying sack of shit.

    The application for school support only affects the applicants right to vote for members of the local catholic school board.

    It has absolutely no affect on the on the direction of tax revenue to the local school board.

    For example, from the Ottawa Catholic school board (near and dear to my heart as I was indoctrinated in those schools as a child):

    When you designate yourself as a separate school supporter, there is no financial benefit to our Board. … Your education taxes, at a rate mandated by Ontario, are pooled with those from all taxpayers in Ontario.

    Not one thing that you have said that is independently verifiable has been true, you sad sack pathological liar for baby jebus.

    This is exactly what I would except from someone whose morality is informed by the carrot of an eternal party with baby jebus and the stick of eternal suffering and torment.

    You really are a completely amoral person in the true sense of being amoral, your code of conduct is not derived from what you judge to increase and decrease the well being of other human beings but from fairy tales mindlessly regurgitated by a child abusing, homophobic and misogynistic criminal cartel.

  129. hotrats says:

    steve oberski:

    ‘If you’ve got something to say, just come out with it. Don’t hide behind hyperbole and innuendo.’
    Holly, Red Dwarf

  130. steve oberski says:

    Speaking of hyperbole …

    FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
    You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t’ mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi’ his belt.

    SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
    Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at six o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of ‘ot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!

    THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
    Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to ‘ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick road clean wit’ tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit’ bread knife.

    FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
    Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

  131. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Steve, have you just been watching the Monty Python night on BBC1? Excellent stuff and some great memories for those of us of a certain age.

    Oh dear, Ephy, you really don’t have a grip on reality, do you? I tell you that under the current tax system non-Catholics pay two-thirds of Catholic school costs and you come back with ‘The same reasoning could be used to show that Catholics pay one-third the cost of public schools’ as a counter-argument. That’s not a counter-argument, old son, that’s just very basic maths in action. In what way does that invalidate my point?

    Look, it’s very simple. If every tax-dollar paid to the government can be broken down as one-third from Catholics and two-thirds from non-Catholics, then every tax-dollar the government spends can be broken down the same way. It matters not whether they spend twice-, three times- or ten times as much on non-Catholic schools, each individual dollar would still be a one-third / two-thirds split.
    Of course, it isn’t as simple as that, since the maths above assume for the sake of simplicity (and judging by your response even that went over your head. But I tried. Oh Lordy, I tried) that all taxpayers pay exactly the same amount of tax, which in the real world they don’t. Plus, the amount of tax paid by individuals is barely a drop in the ocean compared to the revenue raised through corporate and business taxes, meaning that the tax paid by Catholics is nowhere near a third of the total tax revenue, nor is the tax paid by non-Catholics two-thirds.
    Then there’s the question of how many Catholics are tithe-payers. I’m not certain if the system is the same in Canada as it is here, but I’ll make the assumption (and am happy to be corrected) that the amount tithed is tax-deductable, or in other words, the amount tithed is deducted from earnings before the tax bill is calculated. This means that, dollar for dollar, a tithe-paying Catholic pays less in tax than a non-tithe-payer with equal gross earnings, making the tithe-payers’ share of the government’s tax-dollar spend even smaller and the burden of the non-tithe-payers that much larger.

    Add to that the fact that the amount of tax paid by individuals will vary greatly according to their income and your initial ‘a third of taxpayers are Catholic; a third of pupils are Catholic; ergo, Catholic schools are self-funding’ argument looks even more foolish than it is wrong, and as it is very wrong then that takes some doing.

    You might have had a more valid point if the Church paid tax, but it doesn’t so you don’t.

    I stand by my advice to you. Think things through.

    Now, about that scientific evidence. I see you’ve shifted the goalposts somewhat. You originally claimed to have scientific proof of the grace of God, but now it’s been downgraded to your scientific explanation. Now that’s hardly the same thing, is it?
    You are a bullshitter, and a crap one at that. You can’t keep track of your own lies from one comments section to the next, and you don’t even have the moral fortitude to put your hands up when you’ve been caught out in those lies or shown to be talking shite. How many times have I asked for an explanation of how my hypothesis of your religious life so far, the one that you told me was wrong on all counts, differs from the tale you told Darwin Harmless about your religious life so far? Yet you’ve been strangely silent about that.

    Then there’s your disingenuity with your insulting of Steve. Do you actually read the articles you link to? Nothing that Steve told you was wrong, and the links you supplied actually proved Steve’s point, yet you still insist that you’re right.

    Ephy, old love, I told you it was time to put-up or shut-up. You haven’t put-up, so please, please shut up. You are doing nothing but embarassing yourself, and sadly you lack the self-awareness to realise it. You came here claiming to be doing nothing more than trying to sow a few seeds, but all you’ve done is scatter manure.
    It’s time for you to stop digging. You’re not even amusingly stupid anymore. At least the barely literate WhatsGoingOn (appropriately named after possibly the most annoying song of the last century, and for his/her permanant state of mind) had the sense to realise (s)he was way out of her/his depth and flounce out in a huff.

  132. Macha says:

    When and if Ephphy comes up with “whatever clips from Youtube seem to support my flexible hypothesis”, I hope he doesn’t try to claim either Plantinga’s and/or Craig’s burblings as its own. For both those individuals previously mentioned reckon they’re Big Knobs in the world of Religiophilosophy and having a Little Dick trying it on with their material might piss them off.

    However, on the other hand, reiterating the mutterings of someone named after an animated Chipmunk and another who looks like a newly-released psychopath might provide some sport.

    The Pythons btw are having a final get-together throughout July. Their final broadcast is going out live on UKTV Gold and is to be streamed at various cinemas worldwide.

  133. HaggisForBrains says:

    I realise that Author has his hands full writing clerihews for his Patreons, so here’s my tribute to DH:

    Darwin Harmless
    Is clearly not armless
    We’ve seen his hands play the guitar
    Like a star!

  134. HaggisForBrains says:

    While I’m in the mood:

    Ephphatha
    Would ratha
    Send us a link
    Than think.

  135. steve oberski says:

    The Pythons were a formative influence in my youth and they more than anyone else made me come to the realization that nothing is sacred and no idea is immune to criticism and ridicule and nobody could do it better than they did.

    Thanks for the information on their final get together, that will be a treat.

  136. IanB says:

    Ephphatha says:
    sometime within the next few days I will offer my scientific explanation of evil and suffering in the world

    Your explanation. So it’s no longer a proof? Not peer reviewed, no evidence but your explanation. Right, you’re sliding further and further from your promise.

  137. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Ian, that’s religion in a nutshell. They’ve been moving the goalposts since long before goalposts were invented.
    Now that’s a miracle!

    Haggis, in the spirit of Carry On.., what an excellent pair of clerihews, sir.

  138. Ephphatha says:

    SteveObtuski, you are *STILL* the lying sack of…, not me.

    The self direction of school taxes in Ontario invalidates your point that those revenues just go into one big, nondescript pot where everyone, like you, is free to forget where the money comes from in the first place… and then dare to argue, as you do, that it should not be spent according to the wishes of those who are paying.

    As clearly stated at the same link I already provided:

    “When you designate yourself as an English Separate School Supporter, you help foster a strong political voice through your elected representative (Trustee), in ensuring YOUR RIGHTS (my emphasis) to a Catholic education in our province.” http://www.cdsbeo.on.ca/students-parents/direct-your-taxes/#sthash.oxpXMnyk.dpuf

    The province of Ontario is obviously just saving administrative costs by leaving school tax dollars paid by Catholics in general revenue instead of specifically designating them, on paper, to Catholic schools.

    The rest of your gibberish is just baseless ad hominem, name-calling. Grow up and maybe I will stop responding in kind by calling you SteveObtuski.

    AoS, first of all, you have yet to concede that if Catholics are paying one-third of every public school dollar spent then they are more than making up for the two-thirds they do not spend on their own system given that the public school system is three times as large! The math we are talking about here could not be more simple and straightforward. So, it seems you are pretending (again) not to notice the reality of what I am saying since no one could possibly be as blind as you are making yourself out to be.

    Secondly, if atheists were not free to (and do) set up their own non-profit organizations with the power to issue donation receipts for tax purposes, just as churches do, you would be making a relevant point by raising the subject of tax deductible tithing. But this renders your point invalid: https://www.atheists.org/donate

    Please start thinking things through yourself, AoS. I am growing very tired of doing your thinking for you while getting blamed for not doing my own thinking.

    Lastly, to IanB and AoS, I did not change one iota my description of the evidence I intend to produce concerning the glory of God as it relates to evil and suffering in the world. Stop trying so hard to find faults, no matter how small, in what I say. It only makes you all look desperate. I only called it “my” evidence because I am the one who will be presenting it, you fools!

  139. Ephphatha says:

    M2f: “You are correct that I have not pulled up our other commenters who have played with your avatar and I acknowledge there is some hypocrisy in that but the main reasons are that a) they are actually witty, and b) they are generally playing with the ‘ph’ as ‘f’ sound not being kindergarten meanies.” June 28, 2014 at 10:56 pm http://www.jesusandmo.net/2014/06/25/song/#comment-186444

    Mary2face, don’t blame me for using a more accurate user name to address you and others. You incriminate yourselves. Or do you forget saying the following:

    M2F: “Walter, FKS, et al. Don’t you meanies take my fun away! Walter, I’m not sure whether I count as one who is ‘debating’ or ‘just baiting’ or a bit of both but, as one of the old-hands here puts it, “chew toy”!! ;)” May 22, 2014 at 10:32 pm: http://www.jesusandmo.net/2014/05/21/train/#comment-185635

    Hypocrisy and denial are so thick in the air in this forum that you can cut it with a knife.

  140. Macha says:

    Stop all these semantic distractions and come up with your proof.

  141. Ephphatha says:

    “Semantic distractions” are what I am shooting down, Macha, not what I am offering up.

    Stop making phantom arguments!

    I have already presented plenty of proof for what I have had to say. Or do you forget being reduced to phantom waffling on the subject of quantum physics debunks materialism? I tried to show mercy to you by letting you fly under the radar since you were the only one who tried to bring one candle power of illumination to the subject, but instead of trying to pass the Quantum Randi Challenge or addressing why you should not have to, you and AoS were reduced to dancing around the questions raised like a couple of circus monkeys working for shelled peanuts.

    Observe what a much more intelligent and intellectually honest atheist thinks of the arguments coming out of quantum physics: http://youtu.be/GDJ9BL38PrI Unfortunately, he does not say in this clip why he dismisses those arguments, but I’m sure he tries to do a much more honest job than you did wherever he presumably does make specific rebuttals.

    And stop trying to rush me into new subjects when people are still raising dumb arguments to try to discredit what I have already been saying! It just makes you look desperate.

  142. Macha says:

    Your reference to the QRC is interesting. It relates to an area of QM which is both poorly understood and very interesting. Einstein hated the notion of non-locality, “spooky action at a distance” and introduced the idea of hidden variables. These were shown to be invalid by Bell in the 1960s, although his reasoning has been much disputed, However, it’s still the accepted interpretation of QM.

    As I said before, Young’s slit experiment and its modern derivatives, such as the puzzling Quantum Eraser experiments, are probably fundamental to our understanding of the way the universe works.

    Nothing to do with God, all to do with Physics.

    Fine tuning (or not) is also very interesting. But nature does as nature is and Physics will eventually explain it, not a parochial myth.

  143. ShallowEnder says:

    On a bright, sunny day, in the 21st Century, when there should have been starships, useful electronic androids, power too cheap to meter, immortality, cities falling around the Earth, cities on the Moon, cities on Mars, Man taking his first steps into the deep, deep void on his endless journey into an eternal bright future, we have hundreds of young girls kidnapped and forgotten in the name of a phantom big daddy in the sky and millions of honoured and respected old men supporting the act.
    No condemnation. No anger from the high towers. No armies of the young and brave to fight to free them.
    They are forgotten. They are no longer “news”.
    No one speaks for them.
    This should never have happened. There should never be any excuse, not *ANY* excuse for what was done. And should it have been done by lunatics and psychotics they should immediately have been hunted down and jailed and the girls freed.
    England should have sent in a swarm of cops. Not soldiers, policemen to arrest and to rescue.
    America, the moral high ground, the world’s policeman, the John Wayne of countries, should have.
    Hell, Japan would have been applauded had it sent in a force and cleaned out those vermin.
    Yet nothing was done and Ephphy and her priests and their friends and colleagues still treat with those who treat with the criminals who did this.

    On a bright Summer’s day hundreds of girls are living or dying in terror.

    And *I* am doing nothing.

    I really am as worthless as the religious folk.

    As evil, venal, selfish, craven and cowed.

    I’m disgusting. But at least I am disgusting under my own terms. I do nothing because I’m weak, small, powerless and ten million metres away.

    They still suffer, and the churches and priests still wail about how good and merciful their fairy in a skirt is.

    I’m as bad as the vermin.
    I’m off to cook and eat a venison sarnie.

    Last Post.
    ++++++++

    The wind keens loudly.
    All the voices are missing.
    The kindred are gone.

  144. Macha says:

    Another thing. I really wish you’d stop these infantile insults – “much more intelligent ..” and so on. If you have something significant to say, state it clearly and offer up supporting evidence. If this is disputed, then defend it properly, or accept the queries and deal with them.

    Stop “proving” your arguments with links to wherever. Your Youtube link to the Christopher Hitchens clip about Fine Tuning was irrelevant to everything. Fine tuning is a topic of great interest to Cosmologists and its relevance to the way the universe exists, is a mystery. A link to CH, slightly inebriated, as a proof of anything, is just silly.

    I expect you to ignore my past two posts, because you cannot address the issues.

  145. Macha says:

    ShallowEnder: It’s all very grim and it makes me angry. All I can do is to fall onto the pile of human despair …

    Ah, love, let us be true
    To one another! for the world, which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.

    I’m just glad, that when I awake, the sun shines again, birds sing and my neighbour says “bonjour, ça va?”

  146. Ephphatha says:

    p.s., AoS: Even forgetting that corporate profits come from the pockets of both theist and atheist customers, safe to say, I’m sure, that the percentage of theist vs. atheist corporate tax contributors reflect those of personal tax contributors. Here is an example from today’s news of an exclusively theist corporate tax contributor as defined by the US Supreme court: http://www.vox.com/2014/6/30/5857064/read-the-supreme-courts-majority-opinion-on-hobby-lobby

    ShallowEnder, whose user name may be the only one here that leaves no room to be made more accurate by me, I agree with the self-condemning spirit of your last post and accept my share of the blame.

  147. IanB says:

    Ephphatha says:
    to IanB and AoS, I did not change one iota my description of the evidence I intend to produce concerning the glory of God as it relates to evil and suffering in the world. Stop trying so hard to find faults, no matter how small, in what I say. It only makes you all look desperate. I only called it “my” evidence because I am the one who will be presenting it, you fools!

    Hardly desperate, bored with your lack of delivery, you’re twisting and turning but not actually producing any evidence or inclination that you’ve thought this through in any way. I am inclined to think being mortal that I may well be dead of old age before anything shows up that could be accepted as a convincing proof.

    As for the fine tuning argument it’s not a proof of a deity. It’s probable that the various constants are related in a way yet to be discovered, that does not imply a creator. If they were different it wouldn’t be as it is that’s all. The universe is hardly tuned for humans in any event, the bit we can occupy is a vanishingly small portion. Heck we can only occupy about 12% of the surface of the earth and for us it’s only been habitable for what 1 billion years[1] or so out of the 4.5 billion of it’s existence.

    [1] I know there were no mammals around then but that’s about the time a breathable atmosphere arrived from memory.

  148. Macha says:

    IanB: why doesn’t the plank listen? It ignores anything challenging, twists anything it thinks is twistable, changes topic when in a corner, insults when it doesn’t have an answer.

    I’m afraid that the only alternative to an infinitely long future of crackpottery is to ignore it big time. Then it can swan off, claiming victory and singing hally-bloody-looya with its friends.

    PS: that all probably amounts to “moot points”

  149. Mary2 says:

    Ephphatha, now you have degenerated even further from conversing with us through kindergarten name-calling to just plain mewling. I am embarrassed for you: you are so certain you are The Big Intellectual but you are just making yourself look silly. Your constant deferral of your Big Proof of Evil and ‘don’t rush me’ is like a 5 year old insisting on showing us a magic trick which he has half forgotten.

    ShallowEnder, Hear hear.

    All, I’m bored with the idiot now. Time to ignore it and hope it will go away. Can you imagine the stink if one of us went onto a Catholic website and started calling the members names? We would be blocked before offering a second post. Too much time spent watching YouTube and not enough paying attention to high school lessons in reasoning and critical thinking.

  150. Ephphatha says:

    I will now make time I don’t really have to address your feeble, stand-alone stupid, phantom arguments, Macha.

    First of all, if I had not provided links to substantiate the claims I have made (and/or to substantiate the corresponding scriptural claims I have quoted), presumably you would accuse me of making unsubstantiated claims. That is, if you are worth your salt. So, a perfect example of your nearly exclusive reliance on making meaningless, phantom arguments is faulting me for providing links to YouTube, or whatever other sources I have used to advance arguments, substantiate my own claims and those found in scripture.

    Secondly, after being provided with plenty of evidence that strongly suggests a single consciousness is ultimately controlling the universe, which behaves like one big quantum computer, you simply claim, without providing any evidence or references, that the answer, whenever it is found, will have nothing to do with a god-like, single consciousness.

    Disqualifying evidence without qualifying or substantiating your objections is one of the most common fundamentalist atheist (and fundamentalist Christian) character traits. Clearly, you are simply hoping to confuse your small and extraordinarily forgiving audience here with a bunch of circular bafflegab about Bell theory disputed by people who, like you, cannot pass Quantum Randi Challenge… which, by the way, is quite clearly the only direct path to disqualifying the evidence at this point, short of any valid alternative way yet to be identified by you or anyone else.

    As the narrator of the Quantum physics video says in conclusion, “one can simply refuse to go with (theists) to the logical conclusion, but that does not refute the (evidence or) conclusion.” To simply claim, as you do in response, that the required refutation will eventually come later from the field of physics does not begin to address the questions materialists must currently answer via the QRC if they want to continue in good conscience to be materialists.

  151. Macha says:

    @Ephphy : what happened to the olive branch?

    On our terrain we have a small olive grove. It’s not large, just large enough to be interesting.

    I love the Oliviers, they exude a kind of timelessness. They have beautiful light green foliage and produce small white flowers in spring. They are the essence of Provence. The essence of the South.

    It’s a challenge to keep them in order. Without pruning they can run riot and become barren, and with bad pruning they can die. Pruning is an art, which luckily I have had some beginner’s lessons from an old Tunisian olive farmer who was more than happy to take on a new pupil. He summed it up by saying (and this is also old Provençale advice), “make sure a bird can fly through the centre”.

    They produce fruit in December. We take the olives to the Mill and get enough delicate yet peppery oil to keep us going for the year.

    That’s what life is about.

  152. Macha says:

    I’m not often driven to expletives, but for fuck’s sake, what are you drivelling about?

  153. Macha says:

    You seem to be confusing materialism with atheism, whereas you really should be relating it to what you would probably refer to as scientism. You see, atheism really is nothing more than a lack of belief in the supernatural, whereas scientism is the investigation of the universe through theory and experiment underpinned by mathematics.

    Now in a sense you’re correct, science works by observing things that can be measured and consequently it is materialistic. This used to be summed up as science answers the questions of “how” and religion+philosophy answer the questions of “why”. This is no longer the case, because science has now started to consider deeper issues, such as how the universe began, if free will actually exists, origins of morality and so on.

    Your lot still insists that some higher, supernatural power has the answer. This may be so, but until some evidence for this is forthcoming, we should assume not.

    I’m open minded, I’m willing to accept that some great consciousness in some sort of hyperspace is meddling with what I think and do, but I need some evidence. Otherwise, I’m going with science.

    Regarding the QRC. All you’ve done is to provide links to it. My challenge to you is to explain the challenge succinctly, in your own words, without reference to proxies, or insults.

  154. Chiefy says:

    I’ve seen that video, Macha. If it’s the one I am thinking of, it’s a very smooth production based around misunderstandings of quantum theory to justify a lot of woo. “We don’t understand how the universe works, therefore God.” I guess that’s what she’s driveling on about.

    Effy, so far the only thing you’ve said yourself concerning your god concept is that it is some kind of universal consciousness. I don’t buy the argument, but even if I did, that does nothing to reconcile a particularly Christian type of god with the amount and nature of evil in the world. Theodicy fail.

  155. Macha says:

    It’s linked to that particular video before – includes Physicists doing what ifs, taken out of context.

  156. two cents' worth says:

    ShallowEnder, I, too, worry about the hundreds of young girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, but can do nothing to help them. I remember listening to the BBC News recently and hearing a Nigerian official explain that the authorities were being cautious in their approach to rescuing the girls because they were afraid that, if they simply attacked the kidnappers, Boko Haram would execute all of the girls before they could save them. If I were advising the Nigerian authorities, I wouldn’t know what course of action to recommend–any ideas that come to my mind prove, upon further thinking, to be full of holes 🙁 . Does anyone in the pub have any ideas that might work?

  157. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Ephphatha says:
    June 30, 2014 at 6:36 pm
    SteveObtuski, you are *STILL* the lying sack of…, not me.

    The self direction of school taxes in Ontario invalidates your point that those revenues just go into one big, nondescript pot…
    then says, in the same post..

    The province of Ontario is obviously just saving administrative costs by leaving school tax dollars paid by Catholics in general revenue instead of specifically designating them, on paper, to Catholic schools.

    I thought it was just one comic to the other that he forgot what manure he’d left and so was free to contradict himself, but the same post!. Phuck me with a cactus and consider me tickled.

    He then says to me ‘AoS, first of all, you have yet to concede that if Catholics are paying one-third of every public school dollar spent then they are more than making up for the two-thirds they do not spend on their own system given that the public school system is three times as large!

    Doesn’t he understand plain Queen’s English? From my post in the wee small hours of yesterday….Oh dear, Ephy, you really don’t have a grip on reality, do you? I tell you that under the current tax system non-Catholics pay two-thirds of Catholic school costs and you come back with ‘The same reasoning could be used to show that Catholics pay one-third the cost of public schools’ as a counter-argument. That’s not a counter-argument, old son, that’s just very basic maths in action. In what way does that invalidate my point?
    In other words, Ephy, yes, under the present tax system Catholics’ tax-dollars go towards non-Catholic schooling. As for the disparity in the size of Catholic / non-Catholic spublic schools, did you not read the post I’ve just quoted from, the one where I went on to say
    Look, it’s very simple. If every tax-dollar paid to the government can be broken down as one-third from Catholics and two-thirds from non-Catholics, then every tax-dollar the government spends can be broken down the same way. It matters not whether they spend twice-, three times- or ten times as much on non-Catholic schools, each individual dollar would still be a one-third / two-thirds split.?

    As for trying to bring quantum physics into the debate; you do know that not even the best and brightest of quantum physists actually understand the subject, don’t you? To try to use it as a proof of God is as pointless as me trying to use what happens when black holes collide with wormholes to prove the existence of invisible purple gridgewockerbundies.
    Sorry for shouting, but YOUR CLAIM THAT CATHOLIC SCHOOLS ARE SELF-FUNDING DOESN’T HOLD WAYER, AND THE LINKS YOU SUPPLIED ACTUALLY MAKE THAT VERY CLEAR. YOU HAVE A VERY SIMPLISTIC VIEW OF THINGS AND SEEM UNABLE TO SEE BEYOND THE HEADLINES. I AM AWARE THAT THIS IS A SIDE EFFECT OF RELIGION; YOU ARE PROGRAMMED NOT TO QUESTION WHAT YOU ARE TOLD IN CASE YOU DISCOVER THAT THE EMPEROR IS BUTT NAKED, BUT WE HERE ARE NOT CONSTRAINED BY THOSE RULES. WE DO QUESTION WHAT WE ARE TOLD. WE DO LOOK BEYOND THE HEADLINES. WE DON’T ACCEPT OUT-OF-CONTEXT QUOTES, YOUTUBE CLIPS OF A PISSED ATHEIST TALKING ABOUT THINGS HE REALLY DOESN’T UNDERSTAND (Shock! Horror! Criticisng a late shining star of atheism! Yes, Ephy, we are free to say so when anybody is wrong, even those said to be important to our supposed cause. You should have heard some of the things said about that sexist idiot Richard Dawkins by his fellow atheists after his Dear Muslima faux-pas; I’d bet the fortune I don’t possess that you’d never dare criticise your ‘great leader’ in that fashion. Go on, give us a giggle and call Jesus a naughty name!) OR ARTICLES IN LINKS TO RELIGION-AFFILIATED SITES AS EVIDENCE OF ANYTHING BUT SLOPPY THINKING.
    I SORELY REGRET TAKING YOU OUT OF COVENTRY; YOU ARE CLEARLY AS INCAPABLE OF RECOGNISING A RATIONAL ARGUMENT AS YOU ARE OF COMPOSING A RESPONSE THAT DOES NOT ESSENTIALLY BOIL DOWN TO A TYPED VERSION OF STICKING YOUR FINGERS IN YOUR EARS AND CHANTING, BEFORE CALLING US A BUNCH OF MEANIES FOR TELLING YOU THINGS THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW BECAUSE NOT ONLY ARE THEY RIGHT, BUT THEY CONTRADICT WHAT YOU BELIEVE TO BE TRUE.
    IF YOU’VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION, EPHY, YOU WILL HAVE NOTED THAT WE NASTY ATHEISTS ARE CAPABLE OF PROMOTING OUR ARGUMENTS IN OUR OWN WORDS. WE DON’T DEBATE VIA LINKS, AND WE DON’T ARGUE THINGS THAT WE DON’T UNDERSTAND. IF WE DON’T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING BUT ARE INTERESTED ENOUGH TO WANT TO UNDERSTAND IT, THEN WE LEARN ABOUT IT BEFORE TRYING TO TALK ABOUT IT. WE DON’T SIMPLY SCAN A FEW HEADLINES AND DECLARE OURSELVES COMPETANT IN THE SUBJECT.
    YOU COULD LEARN A LESSON FROM THAT, AS YOU SEEM NOT TO UNDERSTAND ANYTHING THAT YOU’VE SAID SO FAR, SINCE THE ONLY THING THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US IN YOUR OWN WORDS ARE PATRONISATION AND INSULTS; YOU’VE RELIED ON GOOGLE FOR THE REST!
    IT’S TIME TO GROW UP, EPHY, AND UNTIL YOU DO YOU ARE BACK IN THAT WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL BACKWATER AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED. I WILL SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN ONLY WHEN YOU CAN SHOW THAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF A MATURE, REASONED DEBATE (I won’t add ‘intelligent’ because I have no issue with people of low intelligence, it’s those who obstinately refuse to learn that irritate the very bowels of my being).
    HOWEVER, LIKE IAN I FEAR THAT MY MORTALITY MAY BE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN WHETHER WE EVER CONVERSE AGAIN.
    I MAY REFER TO YOU FROM TIME-TO-TIME, BUT I WILL NOT BE ADDRESSING YOU DIRECTLY. I ONLY ASK THAT YOU SHOW ME THE SAME COURTESY.

    Again, sorry to all for the block-caps rant, but that idiot is so obtuse I’m afraid he brings the worse out of me.

    Well, as it’s a clear night I’m off into the garden to spend an hour or two with my 6″ Newtonian reflector telescope to get a look back a few million years.

  158. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Well, what d’you know? It’s clouded over.
    Still, something I forgot to mention earlier is the sublime poetry that Macha has treated us to.
    Any plans to publish, Macha? Like Darwin’s song, your writing deserves a wider audience.

    This is most certainly a pub of contrasts; from the sublime to the ridiculous, and all before last orders.

    Love to all.
    G’night.

  159. Macha says:

    AoS: Thank you, but gosh no, it doesn’t even scan properly. The Matthew Arnold verse always makes me feel maudlin, which can be therapeutic.

    I’m not going to address E directly, but will note that the personal insults are dropping off his keyboard more regularly and becoming more strident.

    And how can a grown up reasoning human being seriously believe that references to Youtube clips constitute “evidence”?

    He’s possibly correct, the universe may well not be mechanistic. I’ve seen arguments based on Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem on that theme. Hell’s bell’s, even I can use the theorem to prove God. I’m surprised he hasn’t latched onto it – maybe there aren’t any accompanying videos and he would have had to come up with some original thoughts.

    He seems to be offering the Xtian God/Jesus/Spirit Combo as the answer to all these unexplained “mysteries” of how the Universe ticks, instead of thinking more widely. His so-called solution is too limited, too parochial and doesn’t scale.

    There, more phantom points.

  160. Macha says:

    I probably meant Hell’s teeth

  161. ShallowEnder says:

    I know, I’m doing an Ephpy by just linking to this page and providing no song, poem or thought of my own but I know not everyone is in UKland and this is a tiny bit of relatively good news, for a change.
    I did try to find other sources but the story as yet only appears elsewhere in an UKlander daily comic called “the Daily Telegraph”.
    And that’s it for me. I’m gone.

  162. ShallowEnder says:

    re my penultimate: that should have read : ‘I did try to find other sources but the story as yet only appears elsewhere in an UKlander daily comic called “the Guardian”.’
    I really must learn how to read, someday.

  163. IanB says:

    It seems we’re playing chess with a pigeon.

  164. Sam Huff says:

    @Macha

    Re: Dover Beach

    Well now, I knew this girl. It’s true she had read
    Sophocles in a fairly good translation
    And caught that bitter allusion to the sea,
    But all the time he was talking she had in mind
    The notion of what his whiskers would feel like
    On the back of her neck.

    . . .

    All the way down from London, and then be addressed
    As a sort of mournful cosmic last resort
    Is really tough on a girl, and she was pretty.

  165. JohnM says:

    @ ShallowEnder

    At least you haven’t referred to the Independent as a daily comic, even though on occasions it does seem to be trending that way.

  166. JohnM says:

    It’s really very simple. Simply ignore the troll totally. Do not reply. Do not make reference to it. Do not make reference to anything it says. Trust me, it will go away. This kind of narcissist needs to see a reflection each and every time it looks into the abyss public bar at the C & B

    Just behave as you were doing before the blight descended.

  167. JohnM says:

    Oops HTML fail. “abyss” should have a strike through.

  168. Macha says:

    I’m a dummy at all this. How do you embed HTML in posts.

    Please ….

  169. Macha says:

    ShallowEnder : “doing an Ephphy”. That’ll run and run …

  170. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Macha, for html you need to wrap the command (is that the right word? Computers and the associated lingo are not my strong point) in the ‘lesser than’ and ‘greater than’ symbols (the ones that share keys with ‘comma’ and ‘full-stop’ respectively) at the start of the word or sentence you want to highlight, and the same but with ‘forward slash’ between the greater-than and the command at the end.
    An example (imagine the brackets are the lesser-than,etc. symbols) for italics would be [i]words you want to italicise[/i].
    The basic commands are i for italics, b for bold, and strike for strikethrough.
    Smiley face, winking face and sad face are simply : – ) ; – ) and : – ( but without the gaps.
    HaggisForBrains does this so much better.

    By the way, Macha, I love the sound of your locale. Positively idyllic.

    IanB says:
    July 1, 2014 at 11:52 am
    It seems we’re playing chess with a pigeon.

    🙂
    I was thinking about his style (sic) of debate today and decided that he’s simply mistaking the arrogance of youth for the wisdom of age.
    I’m more than convinced from what and how he writes, coupled with the complete lack of anything even approaching an original thought, that he’s barely out of his teens – if out of them at all, Church-school educated, young and fresh enough to have a real zeal about spreading the word and far too inexperienced to understand the concept of choosing one’s audience carefully.
    I’ll know how close I am according to how vehemently he denies it.

    On the subject of the troll (I’ve started to see that as The Troll, accompanied by Carmina Burana playing loudly), my current read is The Tribes of England by David Miles, a look at how the make-up of the peoples of Britain has come about from pre-historical times beginning about 700,00 years ago to the present (scintillating stuff, eh? Well, the old grey matter needs a bit of a break after all the reading on Chaos I’ve been doing of late*).
    Around 780-800CE a group of Irish monks made the sea crossing to the Faroe Islands, an Island group in the hostile North Atlantic which at the time was largely unexplored and so little was known about them.
    The monks referred to their voyage not as one of discovery, but rather a peregrinato pro Christo, a ‘pilgrimage for Christ’, intended to take them ‘selflessly into the unknown – pilgrimage as a form of penance, and a spiritual quest into the northern equivalent of the desert’.
    It made me wonder whether our seed-sowing troll is undertaking his own peregrinito…, selflessly journeying into the unknown world of atheism as a form of penance for his own lapse or crisis of faith, making a spiritual quest to spread the word into the interweb equivalent of a religious desert – the public bar of the Cock and Bull?.
    Or is he merely the human form of thrush? You know, an irritating (insert slang term for the genitalia of your choice here).

    Anyway, folks, the sky’s clear, my ‘scope’s set up, and so I’m off outside for an hour or two. If you hear a scream anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere during that time you’ll know it’s clouded over again.

    *What’s the quote I’m trying to think of, something about ‘thinking is supposed to hurt’?
    I’d google it, but I want to get outside while I can.

    Love to all.
    G’night. 😉

    Here, ‘ang on a mo. Where did that ‘Preview’ button come from. Please tell me it hasn’t always been there.
    Ah, just tried it and got ‘Preview error’ message.

  171. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Just popped back in to say; Mars looks lovely, Jupiter even better (rings and a couple of its moons) and a shooting star to boot. Ain’t the Universe a wonderful thing!
    Off back out now to see more of Jupiter before it sets, then a swift change of eyepiece to look back through time.
    Better than church anyday – or night!

    Oh, JohnM, I promise to try to ignore The Troll (Dah Da Dah Da etc…) from now on, but it’s going to be hard. To use a phrase I picked up many moons ago in Sheffield, he makes me grip my shit.

    That preview button doesn’t actually do anything.

    G’night.

  172. Holms says:

    Your ‘new leaf’ didn’t last very long, Ephphatha – your very first reply after claiming to offer the olive branch still managed to be insulting! If your claims about your own damn behaviour lasts all of ZERO posts, I am not filled with confidence that you are being very honest about this exchange.

    “Secondly, after being provided with plenty of evidence that strongly suggests a single consciousness is ultimately controlling the universe, which behaves like one big quantum computer, you simply claim, without providing any evidence or references, that the answer, whenever it is found, will have nothing to do with a god-like, single consciousness.”

    You haven’t provided squat. You have continually delayed and delayed on delivering this vaunted ‘scientific proof of god’ you keep claiming to have, but it has yet to arrive.

    Also, you have been soundly debunked on the idea that catholic schools in Ontario are self funded, or that catholic school funding is earmarked or otherwise collected separately. Nice try with your constantly shifting goalposts though!

  173. Macha says:

    AoS: many thanks

  174. HaggisForBrains says:

    Well done, Macha! I keep a few regularly-used HTML tags in a text window which lives permanently on my lower taskbar. so, for example, if I want to use italics, I can copy and paste <i></i> into the comment box here, and then insert the italic section in between the two tags. Don’t ask me how I showed the < and > signs – if I told you I’d have to shoot you ;-). To insert a link uses the same principle, but is a bit more complicated for me to show here. If you’re interested, go to W3Schools HTML Tutorial for more info. I really could do with a working edit function right now to ensure I haven’t made a complete arse of all that.

    AoS – I’m glad to see that you’ve calmed down now. Nothing like a bit of astronomy to sooth the fevered brow. I hate to say this to a friend, but I come to the Cock and Bull for a bit of quiet banter. I generally walk out of pubs if someone starts shouting, regardless of the provocation. I’ve said this before, but I do think it’s time to ignore the troll. Letting it wind you up is not good for your health, and it spoils the atmosphere in here. I generally enjoy your comments, so please don’t spoil things. John M is right:

    It’s really very simple. Simply ignore the troll totally. Do not reply. Do not make reference to it. Do not make reference to anything it says. Trust me, it will go away. This kind of narcissist needs to see a reflection each and every time it looks into the abyss public bar at the C & B.

    Cheers,
    Haggis.

  175. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Macha, you’re welcome.

    Haggis, I know, and it’s very rare I lose my rag with anyone to that extent, but as I said in my last post I promise to try very, very hard to ignore it. As JohnM pointed out, trolls are a narcissistic bunch that cannot survive without seeing their reflection, so it’s time to turn the mirror to the wall.
    I have always believed in giving trolls the time and opportunity to amend their ways and to realise that if they would only wind it in a little they could actually join in and enjoy the benefits of the experience and knowledge of others, but this particular troll has had long enough to prove that it isn’t here for reasoned debate, nor to learn from the grown-ups.

    Now, where’s that bloody ‘Preview’ button gone? I’m sure it was there ten hours ago – even though it didn’t seem to do anything.

  176. Stephen Mynett says:

    AoS, this is obviously not as good as the real thing but for a Freeware App I think it is pretty cool: http://www.stellarium.org/

  177. two cents' worth says:

    ShallowEnder, thanks for the link to the article with the good news! I hope that the arrest of the members of the Boko Haram intelligence unit will prevent further abductions and violence, and that the kidnapped girls will soon be returned to their families.

  178. two cents' worth says:

    Stephen Mynett, thanks for the link to Stellarium! I’ll send it on to my sister, who will enjoy it even more than I will. She studied astronomy in college (but ended up majoring in accounting because the job prospects were better in that field). She’s quite ill, and lives far away from me, so I can’t do much for her. I hope that Stellarium will provide her with a welcome distraction.

  179. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Thanks, Steve, it’s now saved to my ‘favourites’.
    I bought a planetarium for my 4-year-old grandson; he now goes to sleep whilst touring the Galaxy. He loves it when he stays over with us and gets to see the real thing through my ‘scope and can now name all of the major constellations (his little brother likes his sleep too much to bother at the moment).
    It’s also cured his fear of the dark since he realised that a) nothing bad has ever happened to him when stargazing, even on the darkest of nights, and b) no dark = no stars, so now he gets impatient waiting for the sun to set.
    Another victory for science.

  180. Stephen+Mynett says:

    AoS, that is a difference between science and religion. In science, the unknown is fascinating and something to try to study, while religion thrives on the fear of the unknown by providing preposterous explanations for things that are not understood.

    Two cents, I hope your sister enjoys it. My haemophilia means I have odd times when I am stuck in the house and computers, internet and stuff have been brilliant, allowing me to stay in touch with the outside world.

  181. Mohamad says:

    In Al-Quran, the process of human creation was same as research in science, but in Origin of Species, the silliest book that believed by atheism have no perfect answer the process of human creation.

    In Al-Quran, human was made from soil, through science, research done was proven in human bodies have same mineral in soil.

    In Origin of Species, Darwin said humans are from apes, but why the rest of apes now not transform to human yet?

    So ridiculous human was from apes because the transformation apes to human is not logic.

    May atheism tell me how the apes transform to human? Is one day the apes leg transform to human leg, tomorrow ape hand transform to human hand? How the process, how long the process needed?

    There are no atheism can give me the answer because they know their belief was wrong, but they still stupid to believe it.

  182. Cephas Atheos says:

    @DH : listened, liked, shared, subscribed. Earworm indeed!

Comment¬

NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.