Special thanks go to Cristina Odone for helping with this week’s strip.

Discussion (62)¬

  1. Great strip, Author. Thanks. And for the hilarious link. So few people can tell the difference between “occult and religious values”. Because…. uh… because there is no difference.

  2. boatie says:

    Christina Odone is totally bizarre. Whenver I read her work she totally bemuses me

  3. IanB says:

    TBF paganism and/or witchcraft sound a bit more fun that christianity. Although the risks of hedgehogs and holly shouldn’t be underestimated when dancing in the woods.

  4. And at least the Pagans and Wiccans are a bit more relaxed about the whole nudity thing. Christians seem to get very uncomfortable at the idea of people even having naughty bits, never mind putting them on display.

  5. I wonder how many Christians reading this strip can see the irony.

  6. Star-stuff says:

    Thank you for a hilarious start to my day!!

  7. Jerry w says:

    Another IronyMeter (™ © ®) explodes in my face only hours after the warranty has expired, fortunately I’ve learned to wear protective wear so I didn’t expire as well.

  8. swisswatch says:

    I wondered if you’d pick up on Odone.

    I especially love it when she uses words like “shrill” about atheists. A spectacular lack of self awareness.

  9. Bodach says:

    Mo shouldn’t read the bible; too much violence and sacrificing in there.

  10. Chris Hunt says:

    There’s a good counterblast to Ms Odone’s article in, of all places, the Church Times:

  11. Peakcrew says:

    I think her name is mis-spelled – it should be “Odious”, I think.

  12. Isn’t that piece just a mind-twisting piece of irony? “Fear of being judgmental is so ingrained today that no one dares distinguish between occult and Christian values, the tarot and the Torah, the animist and the imam.” Well how do we distinguish between them? Go on, explain it to us!

  13. M says:

    Why is Mohammed reading a Bible and not a Quran? And I’m not sure I get what the punchline is supposed to be beyond “ha ha, aren’t people of faith silly, with all those prejudices and stuff!” If it’s supposed to be “ooh, look how hypocritical people of faith are, when they condemn practices they themselves have participated in!”, then your facts are inaccurate, as Christianity has never practiced human sacrifice (I’m less knowledgeable about Islam, but I doubt they have either). If this refers to the crucifixion, then “human sacrifice to appease an angry deity” is a simplistic way of putting it – the position of the church has, since the decline of Aryanism in the fifth century, been that Jesus was God, and therefore God was sacrificing HIMSELF, in human form. Only one school of thought (imo, an outdated one) believes that the crucifixion was done to “appease an angry deity” – there are many theologies of atonement, most of which focus on Christ’s death as victory through pacifist submission and nonviolence leading to light and new life out of darkness – Christ’s enemy, and the one who was demanding his death, being death itself, not God.

    For some examples of religious humour that have a working knowledge of the faith they address, rather than pandering to stereotypes, see – the fact that the author is a (snarky, sarcastic, irreverent, iconoclastic, funny) Christian (yes, it’s possible to be one!) might prejudice you against him, but I hope you’re open-minded enough to see past that.

  14. Author says:

    M asks: Why is Mohammed reading a Bible and not a Quran?
    He’s cribbing.

  15. durham669 says:

    M says: Christianity has never practiced human sacrifice.

    M then goes on to say that indeed Christianity is based on human sacrifice only it isn’t because God was sacrificing himself, in human form mind you.

    Cognitive dissonance rears its head yet again.

  16. HaggisForBrains says:

    Laugh out loud at this one, Author.

    @ M – Re human sacrifice: Exodus 22:29-30; Numbers 31:25-30, 40-41; Judges 11:30-39. H/t to Also 2 Kings 3:26-27.

    Fucking hell, I’m still not a spammer – how many times must I tell you!

  17. Why is Mo reading the bible – well what would he bother reading the Koran for?!

  18. ScottyC says:

    Talking snakes and donkeys, lots of people raised from the dead, living inside a big fish, sacrificing ones daughter for victory in battle, ect..ect..How does this crap survive?? Even with all the fear mongering and indoctrination. Probably because for a long time it was the ONLY provider of community. Well, not any more! As science closes the gaps and secular communities spring up and the Internet becomes all available, it’s goodbye fairy tail believers. May take a while, but I think it’s happening now and we’ll get there soon!

  19. ScottyC says:

    But then what will we have to make fun of??! Ehhh..I’m sure we’ll find something..

  20. ScottyC says:

    That Tale*..I should get back to work..

  21. Phillip says:

    I know many xtians that are just that clueless. Well done Author.

  22. Tomas the Doubter says:

    Awesome, author!

  23. machigai says:


  24. Don says:

    ‘the position of the church has, since the decline of Aryanism in the fifth century, been that Jesus was God, and therefore God was sacrificing HIMSELF, in human form. ‘

    Took a while to figure out how to spin human sacrifice as something other, didn’t it?

  25. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “Those crazy Pagans”! Love it. In other news, a kettle and a pot were today involved in argument over colour.

    Not a lot of support for Odene’s worldview in the Telegraph comments is there?

  26. kev_s says:

    So if Jesus was god not man, why was he supposed to have called out something like “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?” (I don’t have the Bible reference but learnt that in Sunday school.)
    That doesn’t make sense if he was God unless God is used to talking to himself.
    But I’m sure M can come up with another mind-ending explanation for that.

  27. oldebabe says:

    Re: cannibalizing/human sacrifice and blood drinking, isn’t that all included in the Christian `communion’ service, tho symbolically?

  28. nelmonster says:

    Thank you author, jesus and mo really make my day brighter.

  29. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    kev_s, the short answer is that it didn’t happen. However, the best (as opposed to ‘most believable’) explanation I’ve heard is that the spirit of God entered the very human Jesus at (immaculate) conception, giving himself a surrogate – very literally a Host – body over which he had complete control. Once he was sure he’d got his message across, ie. once the nails were being pounded in, he no longer needed the host body so pissed off back upstairs leaving Jesus to suffer in a very human fashion.

  30. Stacy says:

    @M ” And I’m not sure I get what the punchline is supposed to be beyond “ha ha, aren’t people of faith silly, with all those prejudices and stuff!””

    “Blood drinking and a bit of ritualized cannibalism” is a clear reference to the ritual of Communion. A ritual practiced in Christianity for much of its history and still practiced by many denominations. The RCC, at least, continues to hold to the doctrine of transubstantiation.

    @M “For some examples of religious humour that have a working knowledge of the faith they address….”

    We have that, thanks. Sounds like you lack a working knowledge of the faith you profess.

  31. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    The thing about abstract notions
    Is that dullards only understand physical motions
    To grasp the concept of the abstract
    They are to stupid to, it’s a fact
    Should soak their heads in their magical potions.

  32. Dalai Llama says:

    @M – had a quick look at Asbojesus. It’s… just not very funny, I’m afraid. Certainly nowhere near J&M standards.

    And as for J&M supposedly ‘pandering to stereotypes’ – in case you hadn’t noticed, the cartoon is based on a real article written by a real Catholic. There’s even a handy link provided just underneath. Did you even read the article J&M is satirising? The sad thing is, many religious people DO behave in a stereotypical, bigoted way. Not all, but still far, far too many.

  33. swisswatch says:

    @Dalai Lama

    I looked at the website too. There are a couple of light laughs there to be fair but agree not quite up to JMo standards.

  34. kev_s says:

    @Acolyte of Sagan Agreed it probably never happened … but if I try to inhabit the warped world of the believer for a moment, the idea that the host ‘pissed off upstairs’ (nice one) and the man was left to suffer surely brings us back to the fact that this was a human sacrifice after all … at least after the nail-hammering bit.
    And they always talk about ‘Christ dying for our sins’ but if the host had pissed off it was just some mere human body that died; the host was having a G&T in the clouds while all this was going on.
    So Mo is right.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    kev_s, ‘warped world of the believer’. A spot-on description of a world that’s only seen through the rose-tinted glasses of faith; it’s certainly not a world that I recognise with my boring old rational vision.

    Nassar, what happened? After all of your recent improvements in both style and content this is a giant leap backwards. A terrible poem today I’m afraid!

  36. Brother Daniel says:

    “since the decline of Aryanism in the fifth century” — you mean Arianism, not Aryanism. Only one letter different, but it’s a significant one.

    “religious humour that have a working knowledge of the faith they address, rather than pandering to stereotypes” — you have not shown any deficiency in this regard on the part of J&M’s author; you have merely assumed it. (Speaking of stereotypes….)

  37. Mahatma Coat says:

    @ AoS The immaculate conception was that of Mary, mother of Jesus, by Mary’s mother. Mary was born without the stain of original sin. It has long puzzled me how you could tell by looking at a person that she did not have the stain. How was the hypothesis tested?
    A debate was broadcast in Australia between Richard Dawkins & Cardinal George Pell, in which Pell insisted that only Homo sapiens have souls, that no other animals do. Dawkins pointed out that there was no unique first human being; it was a gradual progression from some species of primate to H sapiens. (I think that was in answer to a question from the floor.) So, the question is ‘When was the our species first blessed with a soul?’ Hmm…

  38. truthspeaker says:

    “Don says:
    May 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    ‘the position of the church has, since the decline of Aryanism in the fifth century, been that Jesus was God, and therefore God was sacrificing HIMSELF, in human form. ‘”

    Because that makes so much more sense than regular human sacrifice.

  39. kennypo65 says:

    The difference between a cult and a religion is that in a cult there is someone at the top that knows it’s a sham. In a religion that guy is dead.

  40. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Mahatma Coat, I’ve no idea what the stain of original sin would look like, but I’ll guarantee that Cillit Bang’ll shift it.
    As to when we were first blessed with soul, I’d say it was sometime around the middle of the last century. Franklin, Sledge, Pickett, Burke, Cooke, Redding……

  41. Daoloth says:

    @M. I believe that the sacrifice is not the cruxifixion, per se, but the body and blood of christ. These are meant to be really present–or kinda sorta present– (depending on faith) at the Eucharist. It is not theologically controversial to say that Jesus was offering himself up for sacifice in a replacement for the Jewish blood-offerings. It is notable that the Christian beliefs seamlessly melded with other sacrificial rebirth gods (e.g. Mithras in the UK). The patterns of cross-cultural belief in redeemer gods show remarkable similarity sometimes even in the absence of shared history. For example if I describe a redeemer god as someone with a magical birth, who died for our sins and was resurrected and will bring justice to the downtrodden I could be describing Christ. I could also be describing Krishna son of Devi (Hinduism); Quetzlcoatl of the Mexica; Mithras of the Pagans/ Persians; Attis of the Galatian Phygians; Osiris of the Egyptians; Dionysus of the Greeks; Zoroasta, or the Buddha. In some cases these are clearly the same person (e.g. Dionysus comes from Osiris) but in other cases they arise separately. For example, Mithras predates Christ by 600 years. In many cases the life histories (e.g. virginity of mother, cannibalism of the martyr) and words used about them (e.g. “light”, “redeemer”) are strikingly similar. Of course they all could be “prefiguring the real one”–as C S Lewis argues. To say that they have nothing in common is disingenous.

  42. hotrats says:

    Believers will make no apology
    For sacrifice-based ideology
    And through wafer and wine
    They digest the Divine
    In an otherwise taboo anthropophagy.

  43. charlie says:

    Excellent look at religion. I enjoy your work very much. I wish you well and all the best.

  44. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Daoloth, your excellent post called to mind this, from John Dryden’s ‘Absalom and Achitophel, Part I’*;
    “Gods they had tried of every shape and size
    That godsmiths could produce or priests devise”.

    *Not that I’ve read the entire work of course. I saw the line in a book of quotations once and your post reminded me of it.

  45. nelmonster says:

    I was amused to see at the side of the Church Times rebuttal piece to Ms Odious’ article, a heading entitled, ‘real life’. The irony is painful

  46. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Fenchurch, I’ve just left a reply to your last post ( a good question by the way) on the previous thread.

    Nelmonster, irony meters don’t last very long around religion. See Jerry W’s post at 7th from the top for confirmation of this fact.

  47. machigai says:

    That one was just awful.

  48. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @M, against my better judgment I had a look at that asbojesus site. ‘Dull and unfunny’ doesn’t do it justice and the hypocrisy displayed is almost breathtaking. As an example, one strip has the Queen offering Jesus an MBE for his ‘tireless work towards the healing of humankind’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean), with Jesus refusing with the words “No thank you Your Majesty. But if you were to give away all that you have to the poor, that would be wonderful”.
    Well, I couldn’t let that pass without comment so, as all other comments seemed to focus not on the hypocrisy but on the U.K. monarchy and our honours system, I posted this to redress the balance;
    “As much as I hate to disagree with the posters above, this strip clearly has nothing to do with the U.K. honours system and everything to do with the hypocrisy of religion. I mean, neither the C. of E. nor the R.C. churches are exactly poverty-stricken organisations by any stretch of the imagination. Between them they own vast tracts of valuable real estate, not to mention the billions upon billions of pounds worth of art, gold, silver and precious jewels and gems kicking around their various opulent palaces, cathedrals and stored in bank vaults. And that’s before we get to the billions of pounds of cold hard cash – tax-free of course – that they extort out of the gullible (and out of the mouths of the needy) year-on-year.
    Practice what you preach eh? Try getting your heads out of your darker orifices for once.”

    I wonder if I’ll get a response? I shan’t hold my breath…..

  49. ddragoonss says:


    THAT one? Only THAT one? Don’t make me blush.

    And I’m a spammer, I did lie.

  50. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    ddragonss, don’t be so harsh. Our resident poet’s talent has recently blossomed. I think we should put this offering down to a tragic but hopefully temporary lapse.

    And I am most definitely NOT a spammer. Can’t stand the nasty reconstituted slurry. How they’ve the nerve to call it food is beyond me.
    SPAM? Spew-making Processed Atrocious Muck!

  51. fuzzy says:

    @AoS:I wonder if I’ll get a response? I shan’t hold my breath….

    You can stop wondering.

  52. swisswatch says:

    AoS, thought I’d add my tuppenceworth to that debate. Be nice to kick them off into a decent debate

  53. Victor Onrust says:

    Very nice! However: Shouldn’t
    “Blood drinking and a bit of ritualized cannibalism” be
    “A bit of ritualized blood drinking and cannibalism”?

  54. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Victor, a good point. However, it really should be ‘ritualised’

    Fuzzy and Swisswatch, I had a glance at the response earlier. As a counter-argument it was less a defence of his church and more a 6-yrs-old child’s “Well, everybody else does it”. I’ll pop in later to see if I can add anything, though judging by the initial response it’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel.

  55. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I’ve posted a response to that asbojesus chap; intrigued to see what he makes of it.

  56. FreeFox says:

    @AoS: I kinda agree the comic (on asbojesus, not here) is pretty lame… but I really hope you’ll dig into his latest response to your comments… ^_^

  57. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Not right now FreeFox, got my eldest grandson staying tonight and he’s restless. I’ll sharpen my claws for the asboj. guy in the morning.
    Night all.

  58. ddragoonss says:

    PS: It’s not simbolical or ritualized, after the Eucharist, it’s the REAL blood and flesh of the woodworker jew itself.

    Alchemy to cannibalism, that’s paganism at his best.

  59. FreeFox says:

    @ddragoonss: Um, Alchemy was a very Christian (if heretical by most church standarts at the time) movement. Check out Christian Rosenkreuz…

  60. Hylander says:

    I’m more interested in the newspaper headline. I want to know which schools are promoting rampant sex, because I’m obviously attending the wrong one.

  61. Deter Stupidity says:

    I think there is an important difference between paganism and the Abrahamic religions. There is a truth for the latter. “Only God knows…” I also think there is a truth(truth is reality is the universe), although I of course don’t claim to know it. I do participate in the universe however. Paganism is more erratic, in general, although the Abrahamists indeed have their moments of bizarre behavior. Of course, all should be kept out of public schools and government. All considered, I prefer those who recognize that there is a truth. Otherwise, we don’t need schools–just ceremonies, etc.

  62. MK says:

    “I’m not sure I get what the punchline is ”

    Sorry, M, but lack of mental aptitude is not a virtue.


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