September 7th, 2011
With the abortion debate rekindled and raging once again in the UK, this resurrection seemed timely.
If you need a bit of fresh religious satire, I recommend today’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It is a work of genius.
For a more detailed take on this, read Half the Sky. Most of it is more about women than about religion, but…
Spot on, as ever – though this strip is hoist by its own petard somewhat in that Mo already knows, of course, that Christianity (like Islam, like all religions) is ALL about control.
Control indeed. Anti-choice folks need to know that, if a government is given the power to force a woman to have a baby, then it has the power to force a woman to have an abortion.
And that time is a-comin’.
I’m envisioning of a pro-lifer situation room, no one making eye contact while the duty priest yells into the microphone:
“ABORT MISSION, ENEMY INTELLIGENCE IS ONTO US, ABORT, ABORT, ABORT.”
Good point. Have you noticed that those who make the rules about this subject are MEN! There was a great cartoon years ago when paul the VI published the encyclical about birth control. I showed a bedraggled woman with several children pulling her dress and a baby at her breast. She was yelling at the pope, “You no playa the game, you no makea the rules!”
When meeting the powers that be
Control freaks will rapidly see
That what they did was not very well
On earth made a hell
Instead of the heaven of equality.
Funny stuff! But seriously, one of my big worries is that these two groups notice how much they have in common and begin to cooperate. I don’t think that would bode well for secularists.
@John Forest; I think we can all rest easy in our beds for a while longer yet, there’s just too many compromises to be made before those two can join forces and ‘compromise’ is not in the religious vocabulary. They say that the USA and the UK are ‘two countries seperated by a common language’; in the same vein Christianity and Islam are two religions seperated by common beliefs. I’ll be calling an arse a fanny and spelling ‘colour’ without the ‘u’ before the followers of these cults are standing shoulder-to-shoulder, and I’m with the Amish on change when it comes to my language!
@AoS: LMAO (And that is arse, not ass… :p )
It’s slightly odd to argue that Christians should believe life begins at birth when rational people don’t. There’s no scientific reason to privilege that particular line in the sand as the point when life begins, nor do you need to believe that to be pro-choice.
@FF: I aim to please 🙂
BTW, I’ve left a response to your last point on the previous thread and (are you sitting down?) I’ve sort of agreed with you! Well, to an extent anyway.
@mano: Some believe that life begins at forty, but I wouldn’t advocate the right to abort life up to that point. I mean, I’m certainly pro-choice but hey, there’s limits! The ‘line in the sand’ over this particular issue will by neccessity have to be a very wavy one indeed.
@mano: All Author is doing is pointing out a contradiction. Christians claim that God mandates the idea of life beginning at conception, but if they were really going by what the Bible says, they could just as easily conclude that God thinks of birth as the starting point. Author isn’t commenting on scientific truth, only on the internal problems within the Christian mindset.
(For what it’s worth, the Bible verse I’ve always seen referenced is Luke 1:41, where the fetal John the Baptist “leaps” in his womb when he hears Mary greet his mother. Not exactly an ironclad case for the conception-based paradigm, but at least evidence against the breath-based one.)
@some Matt: You think there is any coherent paradigm beyond the sort of plot-based one you find in Star Trek episodes where stuff works or rules must be adhered to (or can be broken) simply because the plot requires it?
As one who holds myths in high regard I am always pretty put off by silly scholastic effords to read too much into them. For anyone used to any reading beyond textbooks it is pretty obvious that neither the breath of life nor John’s leap occur on the same level as an ethical discussion about the begin of life as protected by society.
@AoS: Regarding Contact, thanks for clearing that up. To me it still feels like he’s (surprisingly) breaking a lance for faith, but maybe it just is a criticism of the alien contact meme and I’m too biased to see it…
To drag Joe Campbell from his grave, using the leap of joy or the breath of life as pro-life or pro-choice arguments means “reading the words in terms of prose instead of in terms of poetry”.
@some Matt: If Christians accept that there’s a contradiction here, it might lead them to replace their biblically inconsistent mumbo-jumbo with biblically consistent mumbo-jumbo, but I’m not sure that’s an improvement.
Aha—so the Bibolater is where God keeps his absolute moral truths. Nice! Now I know what to look for on Amazon.
Oh no. I’m seeing the comments, but the comic is nowhere to be found. Did author piss off a repressive dictatorial regime by any chance? What’s going on? Anybody care to copy this strip to another URL for me?
@AofS I blush at your kind words (near the end of the previous thread), but also must protest that I am far from erudite. Certainly not in the company of, say, Jared Diamond, or a any one of a large crowd or real scholars. In comparison I’m a brash snotnose. But I do appreciate your mistaken opinion. Nice to think I have somebody fooled.
I don’t think that it’s possible to have biblically consistent mumbo-jumbo, and even if you could, I don’t want my neighbors to stone me for digging the garden on Sunday, or should that be Saturday or Friday maybe, better do it on all three just to be on the safe side.
@Author. Thanks. And once again you hit the nail on the head. It’s all about control of other people, mostly women. Delightful.
It’s interesting the way the Christians have managed to rewrite European history, leaving out the centuries during which any woman who practiced the matriarchal shamanic arts was burned at the stake. That transition from matriarchal authority, the wise woman-healer otherwise known as a witch, to patriarchal was far bloodier than most people know, with, in some cases, the women of entire villages burned alive. The abortion issues is just a last, faint, hurrah in that horrible campaign.
@AoS “Some believe that life begins at forty, but I wouldn’t advocate the right to abort life up to that point.” You crack me up. Totally.
There’s a Hadith stating life begins at 120 days, being breathed by an angel into the embryo, after having read “four words” concerning its fate. So Mo must believe embryos actually do breathe. I think this cartoon comes unstuck when Mo and Jesus argue between themselves. They are actually much more ludicrous as a team.
@FreeFox: Of course I don’t abide by that sort of exegesis. I was just humoring the mindset for a moment, basically playing along with Jesus and Mo’s discussion.
@mano & @Jobrag: There’s an interesting philosophical point there that I haven’t come to a conclusion about. Is it better to encourage Christians to adapt to modern thinking in the hope that their faith becomes “harmless,” or to rub their noses in the absurdities of their faith in the hope that they’ll break away from it entirely?
For instance, among American Christians, there is a tendency to view our country’s constitution – especially as they imagine the framers intended it – almost on par with the Bible. While I find that perspective kind of ridiculous and sometimes dangerous, I prefer that they include an Enlightenment document in their functional canon (no matter how philosophically shaky that union may be) rather than that they “clean house” and revert to a true fundamentalism adhering strictly to Old Testament law, slave-beating and all, which to my mind is the most logical position for a Christian to take.
I suspect the underlying problem for Christians and Muslims, and other religious pursuits, is the need to offload their own problems and guilt complexes onto “someone else”…anyone will do, as long as they don’t or can’t resist. The search for mythical scapegoats, so that they don’t have to be personally responsible themselves. If it isn’t witches or heathens as in the past then it could be “migrants” or other religionists not of their particular stripe. Even “God” is a mythical scapegoat – his “acts” and his “will” are deemed responsible for all the random events that happen in their lives, good and bad.
In this case it is simply “women” as a group who don’t comply with expected norms. That some of them are asserting some sort of resistance to being blamed for no reason and to being controlled irks the religionists and pricks their conscience. Hence the hackles raised. Of course, once that fails, the mindless ranters will move onto someone or something else.
Woohoo. The hard refresh did nothing, but this morning the strip is visible again. Go figure. Maybe all is forgiven.
Now we just need a new troll to liven up this discussion.
Well, DH, I’m busy this weekend… 😛
Okay, FreeFox. Please accept my apologies for calling you a troll. It’s just that when a guy comes on a site populated by atheists and skeptics and proceeds to tell everybody he believes in Loki, faeries, Santa Clause, and Huckleberry Finn and then goes on with a straight face to describe how God sounds when paying him a personal visit… I hope I can be forgiven for questioning your sincerity and suspecting that much of what you say is simply to provoke a reaction because of a need for attention, a common characteristic of trolls. I was in an irritable mood that night. Bad body chemistry I suppose. No excuse, I know. Intemperate of me, and I really do apologize. (Thinking back to that night, I think what got to me was something you said about us not existing as personalities, or some such thing. We may be emergent phenomenon, impossible to explain by examining the parts in isolation, but we obviously exist.) In truth I usually find your comments very interesting. You are obviously very well read and well voiced. If you need a bit of attention from this group of curmudgeons and realists, who am I to deny it. But really, you should write a book. Have you thought about doing that?
@FreeFox Besides, I said we need a NEW troll. Your routine is pretty well documented at this point. 🙂
@DH: Oh, sorry if this sounded cross. We’re good, mate. (Humour/subtext are bloody hard on comments, huh?) Anyway, a true believer should be able to stand some mockery without backing down, you know. Crown of thorns and all that. Matyrdom is part of the job-description. And you’re right of course, for sheer entertainment, I’m in dire need of some team members. Alas, if you discount idiots my side is lonely… 😉
But, hm, yeah. I did. Just follow my link. (Just a bit busy these past months, but I will continue…)
Hey, your comics usually have some good points, but here your are just misquoting. Ex 21.22 states that if someone cause a women to give birth before term, without harm, he’s to be fined. But next verse shows clearly that if harm occurs, life should be paid for life. You may find this just or not, nice or not, but being accurate seems a basic requirement.
(Ex 21.22-25 from the “English Standard Version”): When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
See “O”. No charge. http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/20429/abcs-evangelical-christians-2/