Discussion (44)¬

  1. Suffolk Blue says:

    Am I the first? A lifetime’s ambition realised!

    Great strip, as ever.

  2. jean-françois gauthier says:

    very hard to comment on this without immediately running into godwin’s amended law of trump analogies.

    illiterate herder 1: “i swear to you, man, jesus tells it like it is, he’s gonna make judæa great again!”

    illiterate herder 2: “i dunno, it’s just, i see him walking around with a dozen grown men in robes, telling everyone he’s the son of god…”

    illiterate herder 1: “he’s gonna drain the gehenna. he’s standing up to the pharisees. he’s fighting for the little guy and he’s bringing back the pyramid-building jobs that the edomites took from us, bro, woooh! keep on rocking in the promised laaand!”

    (sorry neil.)

  3. Son of Glenner says:

    Author – your strips just keep on getting better & better! This strip is hilarious. Thank you, O Revered One, I feel like bowing down to worship you … but that would be just silly.

  4. Thor says:

    Right on the money. I have been annoying hardcore christians for a long time by referring to the bible as a collection of fairy tales…which it is. 🙂 I don’t know the koran well enough to comment, but I suspect it is a haven for fairies and their stories as well.

  5. […] Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “fake,” came with the email note: […]

  6. jean-françois gauthier says:

    @thor: it does have al-buraq the winged, prophet-carrying horse.

  7. eoinkenobi says:

    Is there a certain cohort of people out there who just like to be told what to do, who want a strongman figure to boss them about, even treat them pretty roughly? Religion certainly seems to foster a certain level of masochism, and the most ardent believers sometimes seem to be the ones treated the worst. Thoughts?
    Author, another fantastic strip, thank you.

  8. Friendly Extremist says:

    @Thor You just raised a very interesting point.

    As far as I know, the main difference between the Bible and the Koran is the timelapse in which they were written: the Bible is a compilation of several different books by different authors, and it was written through a pretty huge period of time (no less than 1500 years), so, as you say, it’s full of “fairy tales”, metaphors and analogies. The Bible is supposed to be “inspired” by God (not dictated) so the personal style of each author is also taken into account, it’s not supposed to be the exact word of God (which makes it easier for Christians to dismiss violent parts).

    On the other hand, the Quran was supposedly revealed in a very short period of time (within the lifetime of Muhammad), somewhere around the 7th century a.d. It is also supposed to have been dictated directly from God, word by word. This makes the Quran a much more straight-forward book, not full of analogies and fairy tales, but mostly full of commandments. Also, the fact that it’s supposed to be “dictated” and not “inspired by” makes it much harder for Muslims to reject violent bits of it, as it is the record of “God’s exact words” and it should not be changed in any way.

    That’s why, in my view, the Quran is a much worse and dangerous book than the Bible based on the consequences it can have today, even though they’re both stupid.

    I am not an expert, but I thought this could be a good debate to have. 🙂

    Again, congratulations to the Author 😀

  9. two cents' worth says:

    eoinkenobi, you asked, “Is there a certain cohort of people out there who just like to be told what to do, who want a strongman figure to boss them about, even treat them pretty roughly?” In short, yes. Aside from the fact that there are groups who believe in certain religions, the existence of the BDSM community illustrates this. (I must mention that the people I know in the BDSM community treat each other–and people outside that community–more ethically than many followers of fundamentalist religions do.) What gives me hope is that there are other people (including followers of certain religions, such as Quakers and Unitarian Universalists) who value thinking for themselves and who stand up for their own rights and the rights of others.

    I studied Latin and Greek when I was in college. One of the things that I learned from this–and that I’ve seen exemplified from time to time–is that human nature hasn’t changed in millennia. Thanks, Author, for providing yet another example of this 🙂 .

  10. Friendly Extremist says:

    You’re totally right. I think that the “masochism” you mention is probably caused by plain fear of an abhorrent afterlife of suffering and torture.

    The way some extremely religious people restrain themselves from their most desired pleasures (sex, drinking and so on) blows my mind. Even if you have the choice to be happy, it seems to me that you have to suffer to be a good believer.

    There’s a very good J&M strip on that:

    Cheers! 😉

  11. Wonko the Sane says:

    @Friendly Extremist

    A hardened cynic (hi!) might suggest the Koran was carefully designed to make the violent, congregation-expanding bits especially hard to reject or sidestep. The flying horse was an error on the credibility front though.

    Author – thanks for brightening up a dull week.

  12. bear47 says:

    I also agree that there are people who want to be lead, even if only by man made tall tales. They get force fed a particular brand of religion at a very early age and then blindly keep on accepting it as some truth.
    Some others who even when having been force fed this mess, grow to begin to question the “holy books” they are supposed to accept without question. My personal awakening came at about age 13/14. The question I asked that nearly got me excommunicated from the Lutheran church was; why did doG plant “that” tree? I figured an all knowing being (aka;doG) should have known they would eat the fruit he told them not to eat. In my young mind, and even now, any supposed “fall” of humans is all the fault of this doG.
    The first time I heard the song “Imagine” by John Lennon, I knew he was right. I still listen to that song quite often and I do imagine how life would be so much nicer if we all took it to heart.
    I try every day to treat all I come in contact with the way I want to be treated. Live and let live.

  13. cjsm says:

    @friendly extremist

    My recollection is that the Quran has been changed over the centuries by the usual suspects – copy errors and document degrading there by being illegible. I am not a scholar, so if someone knows different, feel free to correct me.

  14. Mort says:


  15. wrinkel42 says:

    cjsm. What do you remember of when it was right?

  16. John Macdonell says:

    Well done!

  17. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    What, the news is fake?
    There must be a dreadful mistake
    That news reader guy
    Why would he lie?
    Lke politicians, he’s on the “take”.

  18. Laripu says:

    “Old bullshit”. Perfect description.
    On the other hand, it’s amazing how the adherents have turned the message. American believers think Trump must be great because of how richly god has blessed him. They forget “blessed are the poor” and “it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle”.

    Hypocrites. Stupid hypocrites who will swallow “old bullshit”. They’ll believe anyone who pisses on them, and tells them it’s rain.

  19. extro24 says:

    The earliest Quran’s were written in a mixture of Aramaic and Arabic. The didn’t have the dots of today’s Arabic, so many words have different meanings. Instead of the 72 virgins the Aramaic actually talks about “white grapes”. And there are no boys – they are “cool white grapes”. In addition, Mohammad is not the “last” prophet – he is a “witness” to the prophets.


  20. extro24 says:

    The Koran seems to have started as a lectionary of Syriac Christian missionaries.


    Another link to the text: https://archive.org/details/ChristophLuxenberg

  21. clive_p says:

    I think that there’s an even closer connection with the bible (and maybe other holy books) than this. In order to gain adherents, religious leaders have to persuade their flock that these collections of myths are really historical facts. To do that the flock have to suppress any skepticism, indeed pretty much abandon their critical faculties. Then for the rest of their lives they have trouble distinguishing facts like modern scientific knowledge from myths like creationism and indeed fake news from real news. If we could somehow stop religious indoctrination, which mostly occurs at a young age, maybe would would end up with a more educated and skeptical populace where fake news would be much less likely to propogate?

  22. Someone says:

    Ba-dum tiss!
    Showed this strip to a friend at work and she smiled, shook her head and said “Can’t argue with that.”

  23. Deimos says:

    Every time I study the Koran, I’m reminded of a scene in the TV series firefly. In that scene their genius savant edits a bible to remove all the contradictions etc. I can see a young Mo with his Torah, Bible and a big bag of early mid eastern Biros. First remove the bits He didn’t like, then insert lots of contemporary bits about killing anyone who annoyed him that week, finally slide in some recruitment stuff. Voila- one holy book ready to rock. Oops almost forgot, insert flying horse after epileptic fit and ban booze due to making a fool of yourself at Uncle Achmeds wedding.

  24. dr John de Wipper says:

    while I do not support a lot of the ideas of Mr. T.,
    it would seem that most of (at least European) politicians are mostly shocked because of the unprecedented fenomenon of Mr T. actually keeping his pre-election promises. The HORROR!!

  25. Grumpy says:

    Brexiteers, Trumpeteers and nothing between the ears, all swallowers of bullshit.

  26. Ian says:

    The Sana’a Koran is now known to be a palimpsest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sana'a_manuscript

    As for Grumpy’s comments about Brexiteers swallowing bullshit, In the 1970’s we certainly did. We believed the politicians that told us moving from the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) to the European Economic Community (EEC) was simply changing to a larger trading group. Had they told us that the ultimate aim was total political union it would never have happened. Politicians and Priests what a partnership!

  27. Ah yes, everything old is new again. One more time I am going to recommend a great book for those interested in the question of why people follow authoritarians. Free on line. Some of you have read it, but it’s worth revisiting in this age of alternative facts.

  28. smartalek says:

    Wait, what?
    Wasn’t “Darain Harmless” known as “Darwin Harmless” before?
    Are my eyes messing up now…
    Or were they messed up previously?
    Or is that a typo?
    So confused.
    But back on point — iirc, that pdf is a complete text of the classic Bob Altemeyer study on the right-wing authoritarian mindset.
    Tells you everything you need to know about a certain breed of True Believer.
    A bargain at ten times the price.

  29. Graham ASH-PORTER says:

    So easy to get false news published, but even more worrying to get real cruel news suppressed!

  30. dr John de Wipper says:

    G A-P:
    So, looking at the recent decree in Turkey?

  31. What the hey? How did my name get changed. I’ll bet it was autocorrect on my smart phone. Too damned smart. Always trying to figure out what I’m going to say and then making an absurd wild guess. Usually wrong. Thanks smartalek for pointing it out to me. I never would have noticed.
    At least the avatar was correct, eh.

  32. And now it looks like I must wait for moderation for my email address to be recognized by Author. Some days this new techie stuff gets frustrating, eh. Smartalek, I posted a response. Should show up soon.

  33. Oops. Still no joy posting a response to smartalek.
    I wrote a response. It didn’t post, pending moderation I suspect. So I put in another, totally valid, email address and tried again. It also didn’t post. (Actually, I see now that it posted but without the avatar.)
    Can’t seem to find the right email address to make this work. Now I’m pestering Author. If this doesn’t post, I’ll give up.
    Ah, the joys of technology, eh. Gotta love it.
    And I finally read smartalek’s entire post. Thanks for endorsing the link to Altemeyer’s book. I like to spread it around. Really gives people an insight into a sad mindset.

  34. Author says:

    All through now, DH. The only one I had to approve was the gmail one – not sure why you can’t see your last two. Quite surprised Darain got through.

  35. Katwink says:

    Last week I saw a very ernest-looking Sean Hannity declaring that the reports of X (can’t remember the topic, but irrelevant) being broadcast on the liberal media were Fake News. I suddenly understood why, all of a sudden, there was a kerfuffle over fake news: the right-wingers invented it to discredit those who do try to report accurately. Except now we can’t be really sure who that is, right?
    Thank you, Author, for your glorious work! Been enjoying the sly humor and reasoned comments for a while.

  36. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Katwink, have you seen the Donald’s latest tweets regarding ‘fake’ news? This one’s a beauty;

    Donald J. Trump ? @realDonaldTrump
    Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.
    12:01 PM – 6 Feb 2017

    Denial and narcissism rolled into one. Also, I think that last sentence would be far more accurate without the comma.

    Oh, and welcome to the C&B, the most congenial pub you could wish for…..usually!

  37. Acolyte, it seems the Donald is trying to establish that the only trustworthy source of news is a Donald Trump tweet. Sadly, his followers seem to believe it. And what a world we will have if it becomes the generally accepted belief. I gasp in horror.

    Like unto people believing that a man found gold tablets written in “reformed Egyptian” in New York but was able to translate them using “seer stones” in his hat. I guess some people will believe anything their authority, or their book, says. Boggles the mind it does.

    Here’s Bill Nye expressing exactly how I feel about these people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWW2z-yAQpQ

    Author, thanks for sorting that all out.

  38. Grumpy says:

    Please say a prayer for the victims of the Bowling Green Massacre.

  39. two cents' worth says:

    Grumpy, lest future visitors to the Cock & Bull wonder what you’re talking about:



  40. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Grumpy, that’ll be the Bowling Green alternative massacre.

  41. hotrats says:

    jean-françois gauthier, Friendly Extremist, Wonko the Sane, cjsm:

    There used to be a convention at the Cock and Bull not to use the @ sign to address other posters, on the basis that
    1) names are not email service providers and
    2) we don’t write ‘at’ people, but ‘to’ them.

    Name + : was thought to be more direct and polite. At the risk of sounding like grumpy old fart, it would be nice to reinstate this practice.

  42. dr John de Wipper says:

    Second that.

  43. HaggisForBrains says:

    hotrats, well said. Grumpy old farts rule!

  44. Anon says:

    “A tale as old as time…”


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