Based on this report.

Thanks and welcome to all the new Patrons of Jesus & Mo. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support. Every new Patron stimulates that part of my brain that makes we want to keep posting these poorly drawn vignettes of religious satire on the internet.

Discussion (38)¬

  1. jean-françois gauthier says:

    i’d say that’s a come-to-jesus moment: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=come-to-Jesus%20moment (you asked for it, mo.)

  2. Son of Glenner says:

    Absolutely brilliant strip! – As usual, thank you, Author.

  3. […] Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “drugs” is based on a Daily Mail report on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brains of 19 “devout Mormons” (what—no other faiths?). When the Mormons were scanned while undergoing religious experiences, like reading scripture or watching Mormon videos, the fMRIs (which show blood flow to various parts of the brain) revealed activation of several parts of the brain, notably including the “nucleus accumbens”, a bit that also lights up during hedonistic experiences like taking drugs or listening to music. (You can read the paper in Social Neuroscience here, though I haven’t done so.) […]

  4. surfie says:

    When I read the explanation, I misread Mormon as Muslim.(Don’t ask me why, but it tickled my funny bone even more when I realized my mistake) Somehow thinking of extremists, of any brand, getting high on their religion explains a whole lot of what’s wrong with this world. Isn’t it the goal of drug dealers to get you hooked on their product?

  5. dave says:

    surfie: first sermon’s free, kid!

  6. Walter says:

    Bar Maid?! Or perhaps some female deity. Parvatii? Aphrodite?! Durga?

  7. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    That strange ectoplasmic buzz
    That happens when an atheist does
    Let their soul take flight
    Finally do something right
    For no good reason , just because.

  8. Adelaide B Kent says:

    Maybe Jesus should discuss the matter with the barmaid.

  9. There’s an obvious downside to sex, drugs and rock and roll. Several in fact. Certainly the same can be said about religious experiences. So there’s another point of similarity.
    Love the newspaper headlines. So much of our media is an outrage factory. Get upset, folks. This looks bad. This looks scary. And they have halal meat in the school cafeteria now. Oh no. Clutch those pearls.

  10. jb says:

    I’d be willing to bet that the demonstrators at your typical social justice rally are lighting up the exact same part of their brains. (Especially when they all lift up their voices to sing Imagine!)

  11. jb, probably the same part of my brain that lights up when I play with my fiddle group.

  12. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “…..play with my fiddle group”.
    Glad you got that sentence in the right order, Darwin.

    re. Imagine; I bloody hate that song. Probably because I didn’t like Lennon. “Imagine no possessions”, sang the multi-millionaire!

  13. plainsuch says:

    You know that the Red Hats are lighting up that part of their brains at the Trump Rally. And that’s the part billionaires light up when they get an extra factor of ten in their net worth.

  14. DC Toronto says:

    AoS – I heard no religion and no war …. never registered the part about possessions so I had to look it up. But isn’t that always the way …. do as I say, not as I do
    I hesitate (but only for a second) to use the word ….. hypocrite!
    good to see the gang’s all here

  15. wnanig says:

    Speaking of neurobiology/psychology. What are actually the reactions triggered in certain people when seeing our friends J and M here more specifically?

    In conjunction with – if it was either the Danish Mo cartoons controversy or Charlie Hebdo – I saw a comment somewhere on the internet “This brings me back to the time of the Rushdie affair. We were sitting in the cafeteria when there was a news report about it on TV. A guy that was normally really quiet and timid suddenly stood up screaming uncontrollably at the TV”. What is that reaction most closely related to? Phobia? Conditioning? Panic attack? Identity being threatened?

    To the average “dignity culture” adherent it seems completely unbalanced. Controlling your emotions even when provoked is a sign of strength. In “honour cultures” not reacting to insult seems to instead be interpreted as a sign of weakness. But these unhinged reactions seem to go almost beyond that in many cases. Unless conditioning brings about this effect after a prolonged period of time? Does it matter if you are in the category of people who are easily hypnotisable or not?

    Btw, what are the neurobiological effects, if any, of irony? Irony means not being able to immediately take things at face value. You have to analyse what is being said and look for markers of irony, references, exaggeration/understatement etc. That should need involvement of the cognitive part of the brain. So it needs to have its hooks into the reptile part of the brain and keep it from reacting until the analysis is complete. Could this affect brain neurology after a while? Apparently meditation does, so what you focus on might have an impact. I am of course suggesting that this excellent site might be very beneficial reading for the brain :-).

  16. micky says:

    Sex and drugs and rock and roll, is all my brain and body need – the late, great Ian Dury.

  17. dr John de Wipper says:

    And they have halal meat in the school cafeteria now.
    Only remedy: Get them animal lovers protesting against (unnessesary!!) animal torture.
    I am all but a vegetarian, but I REALLY hate hurting animals (including homo sapiens) more than can be avoided.
    I ABSOLUTELY refuse to eat anywhere they serve halal or kosher.

  18. I should mention that my fiddle group is rather large, sometimes church congregation size. We have members (all unofficial since nobody signs up and no records are kept other than the email list of the organizers) ranging from near experts to rank beginners, ages from nine or ten through to complete senility. The group is split into the A list – rank beginners; the A plus list – those slightly more advanced who know how to hold their bow; and the B list – those like myself who have achieved a certain level of mediocrity. But anybody is welcome to attend any of the groups, if they can stand the boredom of the A list or the frustration of the B list. No written music is allowed and a rather large repertoire has now been learned by ear, so that we can play without pause for an hour or two.

    It’s quite amazing, really. The organizers welcome women and men in their seventies who have never touched a violin before and two months later have them on stage performing with us. They may only be droning on the D string, but they are up there. And we have a heck of a lot of fun.
    I suspect that all the brain activity is highly beneficial.

    It’s ironic that all of this takes place once a week in a cute little pioneer era church, about the only time you could get me through the doors. Each session costs a $2 donation (voluntary) to the pastor to help pay the utilities.

  19. dr John de Wipper, I’d be a lot more sympathetic to those protesting halal meat in the cafeteria it they were motivated by a hatred of animal suffering. Unfortunately, that’s not where their hatred is directed. Hatred may be too strong a word in this case. But certainly they are upset by the their culture becoming less familiar and comfortable.

    Some of the worry is justified, or at least understandable. A mosque near my son’s home started broadcasting their call to prayer every morning at an ungodly hour. Over a loudspeaker. Loudly. Every single morning. I haven’t heard much about that lately. Either the god botherers were convinced to stop, or those annoyed have decided to shut up. For the moment, all’s quiet on the western front.

  20. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    wnanig, your question regarding the reaction to Rushdie is missing a piece of salient information, namely was the man a Muslim reacting to the perceived insults to Mo, or an outraged non-Muslim reacting to the Muslims’ outrage?
    Assuming the former, all I can offer is that the 5-times-daily prayer routine coupled with the intemse training (I was going to say ‘study’ but that’s not quite the right word) of the Islamic holy books foisted upon them from an early age is designed to foster in Muslims a devotion to Mo that transcends love and far surpasses their feelings for family and friends. When the training has taken, Muslims not only personally feel any insult directed at Mo, they are honour-bound to voice their pain and to defend the prophet.
    Any similarity to Jesus demanding that his followers love him and only him are purely coincidental, of course, as is the impression of Mo-worship.

    For your second question, I’d assume that we process irony the same way as we process any other information, with the caveat that not everybody has a well developed sense of irony – far more, it appears, than have a poorly developed sense of humour.

    Well, today’s the day. Good luck, America, things are about to get interesting.
    May I suggest a small change to the inaugural process?
    Have the Supreme Justice hold up a biscuit and say, “Mr Trump, you can have one cookie now, or you can wait 15 minutes, have the cookie and be president”.
    Let’s see just how weak his impulse control really is.

  21. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Regarding Trump, it’s interesting to see that out of the 690 administrative posts requiring Senate confirmation that he should have put people up for, as of yesterday he has proposed 28, with most of the major posts in Defence, Justice, Commerce, Treasury, and so on.
    Considering Trump’s haste to remove staffers from the Obama administration, as shown most clearly when he demanded the recall of all US Foreign Ambassadors immediately, and without having replacements in position, is he going to be the first POTUS to effectively disable the government and render the country defenceless on their first day in office? Or is Trump really a super-human who can do the jobs of the missing 662 staffers and do the work of all US ambassadors worldwide, all by himself?
    Trump, perhaps the only man on Earth whose ego makes even Bono look a picture of modesty.

  22. HaggisForBrains says:

    AoS, I like the cookie test.

    DH, your comment on the newspaper reminded me of someone once pointing out that the Daily Mail seemed to be on a campaign to sort everything in the world into stuff that causes cancer, and stuff that cures cancer. Of course, certain items change from one side to the other on a regular basis.

  23. jb says:

    DH — what sort of music do they play at your fiddle group? I’m interested because I like to play fiddle tunes pennywhistle style on the recorder, and I used to go to Irish fiddle sessions at bars (although I haven’t done that for a while).

  24. Mort says:

    Wonderful. Thanks author.

  25. Jim Baerg says:

    Darwin Harmless: The fiddle group sounds like fun. IRCC you live somewhere in British Columbia. I wonder if I can find a similar group in Calgary.

  26. Son of Glenner says:

    I presume there must be a complementary centre in the brain which has precisely the opposite function, ie generating deep despondency in response to very bad news such as bereavement. I certainly experienced such a sensation moments after DJT took his oath as new POTUS this afternoon. (And I’m not even American!) I suppose, like bereavement, I will get used to it after a while.

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Haggis, re “…..the Daily Mail seemed to be on a campaign to sort everything in the world into stuff that causes cancer, and stuff that cures cancer. Of course, certain items change from one side to the other on a regular basis
    Except immigrants, they will always be on the Mail’s ’cause cancer’ list.

    jb, if there are two instruments which, when played badly, are guaranteed to drive me to distraction it’s the fiddle and recorder. Just the thought of a recorder playing fiddle music badly has triggered me, I tells ya, triggered me.
    Of course, in the hands of a competent player the fiddle can be a thing of joy, whereas a recorder has never sounded like music to my ears. This, however, may just be a prejudice of mine caused by having to sit through too many school recitals, events sure to contain more bad keys than the reject bin at a key-cutter’s academy.

  28. Jim Baerg, there are sure to be fiddle groups in Calgary, but all Calgary fiddlers are high on speed and compete to see who can play the fastest. I don’t think a group like mine exists anywhere else. There’s another group closer to home for me, but they charge way more money and I don’t like the management as much, or the participants.

    jb, we play all kinds of fiddle. Lots of Scottish. Some Irish. Some Quebecois. Even a bit of Cajun. The tune we learned this week is a Swedish march. Tretton de Dads Marsche if I got the spelling right.
    Anyway, we have a penny whistle player in the group. She’s quite good. Also a dulcimer and occasionally a standup bass. If you ever get out west you’d be welcome to join us.

  29. plainsuch says:

    is Trump really a super-human who can do the jobs of the missing 662 staffers and do the work of all US ambassadors worldwide, all by himself?

    In his own opinion, YES. In my opinion, he probably doesn’t realize that those jobs need to be filled. Him and his band of grifters Cabinet are too busy competing to see who can steal the most to worry about petty details of staffing.

  30. John Fargo says:

    A balloon coming from stage right with “baaaa” written in it would have been good considering the area and age that J&M lived.

  31. Abhijeet says:

    Trump, perhaps the only man on Earth whose ego makes even Bono look a picture of modesty.

    In India, we’ve begun to say that Trump is only Modi (our Prime Minister – gawd help us!) painted orange.

  32. Someone says:

    It amuses me to no end that Trump’s inaugural speech essentially ripped off Bane from The Dark Knight Rises.
    He might as well have turned to the Obama, Hillary and the rest and said, “When America is ashes…then you have my permission to die.”

    On topic, I’ll take rock ‘n’ roll, sex and drugs before religion any day. Seems the more sensible choice.

  33. oldebabe says:

    On topic, I’m with `Someone’.

  34. Deimos says:

    I love Trump and Brexit and almost anything that increases the opportunities for chaos, they certainly stimulate my brain. Why ? Because I’ve come to believe that the world is so complex and seemingly random that the only certainty is change, who or what causes the change is unimportant.
    It is only through change that opportunity for improvement exists, without change nothing interesting happens. However very often the unforeseen consequences of change are something nobody sane would have actually planned or suggested.

  35. dr John de Wipper says:

    On the Trump POTUS election:
    I ran into the statement that the only worse thing that could have happened was the election of The Clin(g/t)on Lizard.
    And the worst thing that threatens now is the prospect of #2 having to take over!

  36. jb says:

    AoS — In an effort to change your mind about the recorder:

    One of my favorite pieces, played by one of my favorite performers. Telemann – fantasie nr. 3 (Brüggen)

    The previous piece is actually fairly easy, and I can play it myself without too much difficulty. Here though we’re starting to get serious. Kristine West recorder – Full Movie

    It isn’t quite a recorder that she’s playing here, but the music is lovely, and it’s the sort of thing I’m always aiming at when I play folk music on a recorder. Kristine West – Swedish folk flute

  37. pink squirrel says:

    does this explain the islamist fanatics hatred of music

  38. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Thanks, jb, it is beautifully played but I still have the echo of a bunch of eight-year olds making a noise akin to an asthmatics convention in a smog-ridden city running through my head. Maybe a few more listens, eh.


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