Sounds like a 1970s Disney musical.

From a story in The Freethinker, with a hat tip to Zoe Williams.

Discussion (38)¬

  1. Laripu says:

    First of all, great alliteration in the last frame, Author.
    Secondly, jokes:
    1. While, in the Catholic tradition, ensoulment occurs at conception, in the Jewish tradition it only occurs after the foetus graduates from law or medical school.
    2. Could we eliminate the death penalty in America by calling it ‘retroactive abortion’?
    3. In the spirit (!) of commercialization, an abortion clinic could advertise: “No foetus can beat us!” … with some cheesy Elton John music drizzling out in the background.

  2. Caliban27 says:

    Yes! Pollies bringing their religion to politics is always a precursor to the condemnation of “deviant” sexual behavior, never invoking social or economic policies.

  3. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    “There shall be no compulsion in the religion”
    Well maybe, just a smidgen
    If you can’t get it into your head
    To follow islam, you’re dead
    muslim’s proselytize with murderous obsession

  4. Oozoid says:

    The Biblical Scriptures (BS) command us, without qualification: “Thou shalt not kill”.

    Then Leviticus says to kill anyone who engages in incest or bestiality – even the animals, in the latter case. ‘Be it upon their heads’, it says. Meaning what? That ‘soulless’ animals have consciousness?

    When it comes to incest, the Biblical alternative to abortion is to kill the (possibly) pregnant mother.

    The poor soulless animals who believe such BS.

  5. Dr John the Wipper says:

    ‘retroactive abortion’
    Back here we use “could we have a postnatal abortion” when refering to someone who does or says something very undiserable.

  6. Nasssar Ben Houdja says:

    “Post birth abortions” is the term used around here to account for corpses that would prove socially awkward to account to a jury for.

  7. smee says:

    Try living in England. Many local authorities have had to revise their policy of using taxi drivers to transport children about, due to the taxi drivers devotion to their MO based cultural and religious beliefs! Some have even gone to jail! Bum sex is rather mild compared to the depravity of these followers of MO.

  8. Michael says:

    Religion rears its head in other parts of politics besides sex and abortion. In the US the Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), calls global warming a hoax because, among other reasons, “after Noah’s flood God promised us He would never use weather again to punish humanity.” This guy is making public policy because of his interpretation of religious mythology. That Inhofe gets a lot of his campaign funding from oil companies is purely coincidental.

  9. A concise expression of the obsessions of the religious right, Author. They can’t get their minds off bum sex and blastocysts. Of course they don’t call them blastocycst because that would not have the emotional impact of calling them “babies”. And “bum sex” sounds like too much fun compared to the classic “sodomy”.

    Michael, you are quite correct. The religious mind set is interested in more than bum sex and blastocysts, with equally moronic logic. Denial of evolution by educators springs to mind. Given back the power they once had, they would have our children reciting bible verses and prayers in schools again, as they did when I was a wee tad. In fact, they would like to take over every aspect and facet of our lives. Thank God they’ve been somewhat beaten back, at least on my part of the planet.

  10. Dr John the Wipper says:

    Michael & DH:
    Yeah, it REALLY is time to equate religion teaching to minors to child abuse.
    Alas, the privileges of Religion to excempt them from constitutional “Equal Rights” wreacks havoc to the concept…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Since when has the Catholic Church ever upheld the sanctity of life?

  12. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Am I the only one to notice the NBH dropped a comment?

  13. raymond says:

    Jesus would not have split the infinitive.

  14. Son of Glenner says:

    WalterWalcarpit: The NBH comment is much better than the NBH verse!

  15. Walter says:


    “Jesus” would have spoke a semitic language probably Aramaic, so Latin derived concepts such as split infinitives probably have no correspondence.

    In any event there is no reason English speakers should follow Latin conventions.

  16. Cloudster says:

    I remember during the last election cycle in the USA a UK politician commenting that a politician talking about religion in the UK, where you have an established state religion, was considered déclassé. Here in the US, where we supposedly have no established state religion, it’s almost mandatory and they brag about their faith. And then they go violate its teachings seemingly at every opportunity.

  17. HaggisForBrains says:

    WW and SoG – have a closer look at that comment from “NBH”, and you will see that it is likely an imposter. Check the spelling of “Nassser”.

    May I politely suggest to Author that he should check this. I’m not comfortable with someone deliberately impersonating a regular poster, and who knows who may be next. “Sin of Glenner” perhaps? 😉

  18. Grumpy says:

    Or HaggisForBrians for that matter.

  19. Author says:

    Haggis – I’m not an expert but it looks legit to me. Both posts look like Nasser.

  20. Son of Glenner says:

    HaggisForBrains: I know from experience that it is very easy to type in extra letters, so that, e.g., a double “s” becomes a triple, and so on. I have to re-type my moniker (and my email address) every time I comment, and always check my spelling carefully. BTW, it’s “Nassar”, with an “a”, not “Nasser” with an “e”, in both cases!

    Personally, I would not object to being referred to as “Sin of Glenner”, although “Sinner of the Glen” would be more appropriate and more accurate.

    Have virtual drams on me, Haggis and Grumpy. And a double for our hard working Author.

  21. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I think that Nassar is also posting as ‘anonymous’, a conclusion reached by my famously encyclopaedic knowledge of the finer points of computer technology.

    Oh, alright then, it’s just pattern recognition. Those of us who don’t use an avatar have a lovely geometric pattern in its place, and it appears that the pattern we are first assigned stays with us, probably because the system recognises either the e-mail address or IP address of the commenter. Nassar, Nasssar, and anonymous all have the same assigned pattern, hence all are Nassar, or are commenting using Nassar’s details.

    How did I do, Author? Please tell me I got something about computers right for once.

    Haggis, I just love your mis-spelling of the mis-spelling of Nassar.

  22. HaggisForBrains says:

    Thanks Author.

    OK guys, I blame Muphry’s law (and I had to work hard on that spelling).

    The reason I suspected foul play is that my computer automatically fills in my name and email address when I post a comment, so avoiding any mis-spelling. Clearly some of you do that manually, thus giving rise to possible mistakes.

    I rather like “Sinner of the Glen”. Slainte!

  23. GE says:

    @raymond: Could Jesus speak an infinitive so infinite even he could not split it?

    Though I agree with Walter on this one, anyway. English speakers getting hung up about imposing Latin grammatical constructs on a Germanic language is always pretty silly and extremely outdated. Not to mention the allegedly “properly literate” types who have so little formal knowledge that they overcorrect things like disjunctive phrases or the object pronoun that follows a copula. (Okay, full disclosure, I didn’t pull those two examples out of a hat – I’ll admit to a giddy righteousness when I re-corrected two colleagues who ranted about the “poor” English skills of younger folks a while back. But I only throw down like that when someone’s really obnoxious about it. Damned prescriptivists!)

    Meanwhile, withholding discussion of religion seems to be a significant factor in preserving it, whether in political or social circles. Forbidding discussion of any subject is nearly always merely an effort to protect it from scrutiny…and in this case, that’s an obvious one. Religion rarely holds up to much scrutiny.

    “Bum-sex & Blastocysts” sounds to me like the spate of 1980s roleplaying games that assumed the only path to marketing success was an alliterative pair of terms joined by an ampersand. I’m trying not to imagine what happens if you roll a Natural 20 in B&B. 😉

  24. Son of Glenner says:

    GE: For the benefit of a humble, semi-literate, BSc, what the hell is a copula? (I presume it’s not a mistype for a certain architectural feature.)

    (OK, not all that humble!)

  25. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    SoG, I don’t know about you, but personally I tend to follow a copula with a cuddle, then a cigarette.

    GE, I’m curious as to what a ‘Natural 20’ is, and how it relates to a Bed and Breakfast?

  26. GE says:

    Son of Glenner: seriously, it’s not something anyone needs to know in order to be “smart,” so no worries there. It’s just fun stuff to know when people who’ve decided they are terribly smart nitpick others’ grammar as if they’re the emperor-gods of the English language.

    Quick answer, at least for English speakers, is that it’s the verb “to be” (technically, any verb that sets up some sort of existential link from subject to predicate, in a “this is that” kind of way). The obnoxioid in question in my anecdote insisted that, when I declared I saw my brother, “It’s him” was incorrect, because “It is he” is more proper. (He’s wrong. It’s been a subject of debate for quite a long time, and your answer depends on how you view the pronoun in the predicate. Or, like me, depends on not giving a damn how people communicate colloquially as long as you understand them. To reiterate: damned prescriptivists! I was raised by two of them, but quickly rebelled, and I protect my nieces and nephews from their evil designs.)

    Though, humbly admitting back at you: I did in fact typo it as “cupola” in my post for a moment before backspacing and correcting it. 😀

    In case anyone’s unsure about “disjunctive phrases” or disjuncts – refer to the first word of my first sentence to SoG. 😉

    AoS: apologies, I all too often assume (quite incorrectly!) that those who dabble in one form of intellectual dilly-dallying I’ve dabbled in must dabble in all of the other intellectual dilly-dallying I’ve dabbled in. By B&B, I was referring to “Bum-sex & Blastocysts,” and in my previous post, noting the similarity to the “Dungeons & Dragons” imitators of the 1980s. A “Natural 20” there would be a very good roll of a twenty-sided die, granting the player a pretty definitive victory in some sense or another. In B&B…the sense of that definitive victory might be a rather bawdy one, I presume.

    Alternatively, if you were already aware of this and joking back at me: allow me to instead apologize for not getting the joke immediately. I do that occasionally, particularly on line or when my wife delivers a deliciously dry line at my expense.

    But either way: the copula joke was a winner.

  27. raymond says:

    @ walter & GE
    I don’t see how one could split a Latin infinitive.

  28. jb says:

    raymond — That’s sort of the point. You can’t split a Latin infinitive, and since Latin is the supreme model for all grammar, splitting an infinitive in English must therefore be wrong…, somehow…

    I guess you had to be there.

  29. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I do know that one cannot infinitely split a Latin. Once he’s down to the width of a single atom there’s only one more split to be made.

    GE, I was kidding about the B&B part, but genuinely curious about the Natural 20, which to me sounds like the title of one of those reality tv shows about Christian ‘Quiverfull’ families.

  30. GE says:

    raymond: what jb said. 😉 That really is the whole point: Latin infinitives are single words; English infinitives aren’t. They absolutely can be split (since you can put words between other words), and in so many cases, the speaker’s (or writer’s) intention is far more clear when they are, particularly when we’re talking about splitting them with adverbs or negatives. Parts of Latin grammar were imposed on English (from a historical perspective, rather recently!); they’re not intrinsic to it. (And if anyone tells you they are, the phrase “cherry picking” should spring readily to mind. Ask them how many other rules of Latin grammar they know.) 🙂

    AoS: Aha! Got it. I knew at least part of it was likely to be a joke, but the curiosity over “Natural 20” confused me as to whether you had the frame of reference for the B&B/D&D part. Thanks for the gentle clarification.

    And it truly does sound like a “reality” show about a family with far too many children and not enough epidurals – agreed. 😀

  31. Son of Glenner says:

    AoS: For a pedant, you are very disappointing to say, in effect, that a single atom can be split one more time. The classical definition of the word “atom” means something which cannot be further split. “Splitting the atom” is irrelevant unless your Latin person is made of uranium or similar.

    The famous introduction to the Star Trek series (“to boldly go”), is a split infinitive, but, in context, works better than “to go boldly”, as I’m sure you will agree.

  32. Dr John the Wipper says:

    To “split the (any) atom” you “merely” have to be a physisist with the right (quite expensive) apparatus. Even the simplist atom consist of a proton + an electron (not to mention that the proton itself consists of 3 quarks).
    Physics HAS made some progress since the discovery and naming of the atom!

  33. Dr John the Wipper says:

    “Splitting the (any) atom is not limited to ” uranium or similar”.
    If you are a physisist and have the right (very expensive) apparatus, even the simplest atom (hydrogen) can be split into an electron and a proton; and that proton itself can be split into 3 quarks. (of course, quarks are REAL quick to combine again, though not necessarily with their original partners).

    The name “atom” was given when they were just discovered, and at the time considered indivisible. Physics proved otherwise, but the name stuck.

  34. colinh says:

    AoS: a “natural 20” would be rolling an actual 20 on a 20-sided die. As opposed to merely rolling a high number and adding any modifiers you’re entitled to.

    Presumably in B&B it might imply that you’d managed to get someone (perhaps even a male) pregnant in a biologically improbable manner.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    SoG, a joke is very much like a frog; it is possible to take one apart to see how it works, but it won’t survive the process.

    Dr. John, I’m no physisist, let alone a physicist, and I don’t have access to lots of very expensive atom chopping gear, but I have got a feckin’ sharp carving knife and lots of patience. Do you think that’ll work?
    I do hope so. I need to get this experiment finished ‘cos Antonio’s starting to smell and the neighbours are asking questions.

  36. Dr John the Wipper says:

    Do you think that’ll work?

    You would stand a MUCH (by a factor of some 10^20) better chance of flying a 747 trough the eye of the tiniest existing needle!!

  37. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Dr. John, I very much doubt that. I can use a knife but have no idea how to operate a 747 🙂

  38. Dr John the Wipper says:

    Just adding the chance that you do the 747 correctly by accident does not have much influence on the relative likelihood.


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