This is the story which prompted this strip.

Discussion (42)¬

  1. CanuckAmuck says:

    Yep, the truth hurts.

  2. Someone says:

    The sentiments raised by today’s comic and in that story remind me of those instances where there doesn’t appear to be any lines between religion, idolatry or plain hero-worship.

    If you are a devout follower you are likely going to ignore, forgive and even accept the faults and flaws of your figure of worship, because for believers their icon’s influence and message transcends the negative aspects far beyond what the doubters and unbelievers would have to say. Doesn’t matter if your icon is a prophet, messiah or some asshole who happens to be good at guitar and has a history of abusing his family.

    Why, you might even be so obsessively on your idol’s side, to be part of “something greater”, you’ll defend to the death (preferably someone else’s) their honor and glory. Because nothing solves a debate like violent overreaction. Even if said overreaction is typing madly on your keyboard whatever wish-fulfilling garbage that enters your head.

    Anything to be comforted, I suppose.

  3. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble
    When I’m perfect in every way,
    I can’t wait to look in the mirror
    ‘cos I get better looking each day.
    To know me is to love me
    Well I must be one Hell of a man.
    Oh Lord it’s sure hard to be humble
    But I’m doing the best that I can.

  4. Michael Brand says:

    In fairness that could also apply to some Mormons..

  5. Anonymous says:


    Stolen from Barron Nights?


  6. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Oh dear, more hurt butts
    Who’s is it, can it be Muhammads?
    What is given, no name
    But due to his fame
    Many guessed he’d be the putz.

  7. Son of Glenner says:

    Anonymous: Mac Davis, actually.

  8. dr John de Wipper from the previoius thread. “And I “‘accuse” you of also being guilty of my most serious one (unjustified assumption DH): immediate lowering of intellectual expectations for religeous people.”

    Not guilty. One thing I don’t believe is that believers are less intelligent. In fact, it always amazes me the intelligence and accomplishments of absolute nutbars. I do make the assumption that they are intellectual cowards, that they are victims of extreme cognitive dissonance, and that they usually decide what to believe based on the logical error of argumentum ad consequentiam, i.e. life would be meaningless and I would feel terrible if there were no authoritarian sky daddy watching my every move and promising me life after death if I just believe. I constantly marvel that very bright people can believe the most obviously silly stuff. But there’s no doubt that they are intelligent.

    I have come to the conclusion that intelligence didn’t evolve to help us sort out reality. It seems to have evolved to help us argue for positions we would like to believe.

    In my youth it seemed the prevailing wisdom was that the best decision would be made coldly and rationally, which was why men were so very much better at making decisions than women (hey, don’t shoot the messenger). We now know that without emotions, no decisions are possible. People with brain damage that removes all emotions are incapable of making ANY decisions. When you think about it, this seems obvious. Without emotions, every possible action is equally desirable or repulsive. And it all gets more complicated by our response to aggression.
    This explains it well.

    Acolyte, one of my favourite songs. I sing it whenever I get too full of myself.

    Nassar, your poetry continues to redefine the art form. Way to go.

    I’m obviously not very good at this lurking thing.

  9. Matt says:

    “Said Rima Shahid, Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana:
    ‘It is a horrible billboard. I’m outraged by it, but saddened at the same time … and I would like to know who is behind it.'”

    I wonder why.

    ‘It seems very cowardly to me. If you have some kind of stance, you should want to stand up next to your statement.’

    Now why would anyone not want to own up to criticising Mohammed. What could they POSSIBLY be worried about?

    As an aside I note the great and good are outraged and saying that it is all lies. Hmm, perhaps they could explain exactly which parts and why.

  10. RESIDENT says:

    You now, the Mormons I’ve talked to have stop believing the BS and just believe in Loving God and their neighbors. I think it’s possible that many Muslims have done the same. I know many former Christians who are now Spiritual, preferring to Love rather than judge.

  11. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Anonymous, SoG, I’ve no idea where I got it from, but in my head it’s sang in an exaggerated C+W voice, how I’d imagine the love child of Dolly Parton and Hank Williams, raised by Garth Brookes and Tammy Wynette would sound.Thanks for the attribution, SoG.
    Oh, Anonymous, The Barron Nights? Some things are best left in the past.

    Darwin, I always think that ‘lurking’ sounds somewhat sinister. People only lurk when they’re up to no good.

  12. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Spoiler; the Muslim response is mainly technicalities and hair-splitting.

  13. HaggisForBrains says:

    Breaking news in UK. Tim Farron, professed christian, and leader of the Liberal Democrat Party (centre party), has resigned as leader, because his christianity was at odds with his leadership (over-simplification). Compare the USA, where you can’t get elected unless you wear your christianity on your sleeve.

  14. pink squirrel says:

    So thats the definition of a perfect man- perhaps that is as close to perfection as muslim men can get ?

  15. pink squirrel says:

    interesting that the best defence the various muslims offer is ‘ But the OT bible condones similar things’
    really -so effing what if it does

  16. “People only lurk when they’re up to no good.” I don’t know where the term came from. Buried in the history of the Internet and blogging I guess. I suppose we could try to supplant it with “monitoring”, but that doesn’t have the emotional ring to it that lurking does. To me, lurking implies reading with interest and waiting to jump in guns blazing if somebody trifles with your pet hobby horse. Not necessarily up to no good. Perhaps ready to defend the honour of the empire or something.
    You know me. If somebody posted in favour of male genital mutilation, for example, I’d be on ’em like ugly on an ape, eh. My lurking would terminate immediately. 🙂 Does this mean I am up to no good?

  17. GodlessToo says:

    Someone says: “The sentiments raised by today’s comic and in that story remind me of those instances where there doesn’t appear to be any lines between religion, idolatry or plain hero-worship.”

    So you could replace Jesus and Mo with Trump and May.

  18. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin, I think it’s something about the aesthetics of ‘lurk’ as a word rather than an action which to me make it sound unpleasant regardless of definition. Odd maybe, but I find there are quite a few words that look and sound like they can only mean something negative.
    Do I have word-bigotry?

  19. Deimos says:

    Aos : I always preferred her hover to lurk, it’s the same effect but done from a higher viewpoint.
    Also regarding idolatry, I’m seeing more reality tv “stars” than the May-fly woman. However neither can hold an adult level conversation so it’s a tough choice.

  20. Theovinus says:

    A fair amount of today’s online slang has all-but-forgotten origins in the old Usenet days. We look so hard for hidden implications it’s easy to forget that those old-timers had, besides a strong sense of community, a shared sense of humor.

    “Lurk” came into wide use, not to disparage lurkers, but simply because it’s funny. Granted, lurkers’ behavior was clearly incomprehensible to their opposite numbers, who let no declarative sentence go unchallenged. Both types still abound.

    “Troll” is another example–nothing to do with goblins under bridges. It’s a verb, referring to a mode of fishing that involves dragging bait through a body of water in hopes of getting a bite.

    I feel old. But I like the company!

  21. Some Dude says:

    Someone says: “If you are a devout follower you are likely going to ignore, forgive and even accept the faults and flaws of your figure of worship(…)”.

    Many times is not simply ignoring or forgiving the bad stuff. If you think like a religious zealot who has been indoctrinated into that ideology since age zero, you probably think of those acts as holy, beautiful and moral actions.

    In the case of Islam this is very simple: the Quran says lots of times that “Muhammad is the perfect role model for all mankind”. If you have learnt not to question anything at all and to get your moral code from an ancient book of dubious origin, your moral assesment of any action goes like this: is it good or evil? -> I don’t know, let’s check the Quran -> Quran says “go check Muhammad, he is the perfect role model” -> check the Hadith -> If Muhammad did it, then it’s perfectly moral, if he didn’t, then it’s either evil or not recommended.

    That’s why, in my opinion, these individual muslims that are mentioned in the article (link in the description by Author), who took tremendous offence at the billboard, probably think that those actions are perfect, since their beloved prophet did all of them. However, they know this kind of acts are not palatable for our Western minds, so they’re angered by the very possibility that this billboard may raise consciousness of how bad Islam really is amongst the ignorant unbelievers they want to deceive. In my humble opinion, these zealots are probably not disturbed at all by the fact that their perfect role model had sex with a prepubescent nine-year-old.

  22. Acolyte, you do have a point. Words have emotional resonance. For example, words with hard C beginnings, like Communist or Catholic or cost and castrate are generally nasty sounding, except then we have community and compassion. So it’s not a universal rule.

    I find ‘lurk” to have a slightly comic sound. A relative of lurch, lounge, and lawyer.

    Back when I was teaching English in China I would draw two shapes on the blackboard. One was all pointy and angled, and the other was all curves and cloud like. I would tell the students that in another culture they have many more names for shapes than we have, where we only have words like square or triangle. One of these shapes they would call a loofaloo and the other is a tickatuck. The students had no trouble identifying which was which.

    So I wouldn’t call you a word-bigot. I think you just need to make friends with some of the words you find onomatopoeicly repulsive. 🙂

  23. Son of Glenner says:

    DH: “One of these shapes they would call a loofaloo and the other is a tickatuck. The students had no trouble identifying which was which.”

    So what’s the “correct answer”?

  24. HaggisForBrains says:

    My answer would be tickatuck = pointy and angled, and loofaloo = curvy and cloudlike. If you agree, thumbs up; disagree, thumbs down. Vote now!

  25. smartalek says:

    @ DH:
    That Oatmeal comic is a bit of brilliance.
    Thanks for linking to it.

    ps — say, what’s happened to “I am not a spammer”??
    Has it been that long since I last posted a comment here?

  26. smartalek says:

    I know many former Christians who are now Spiritual, preferring to Love rather than judge.”

    My theory is that we (here in the US, whence I’m writing) are approaching one of those “tipping point”s.
    Europe is already way ahead of us, and appears to have gotten there without more than a bit of background grumbling — which I find amazing, considering how many wars were fought over sectarian differences on that continent over the centuries, up to and including within the last two decades, and how many died for same.
    Already we’re up to 23% acknowledging in polls being “religiously unaffiliated,” and, among those 23%, a full 7% admitting to atheism (3%) or agnosticism (4%).
    Given the social price one might pay in many parts of the country for such a stance, I suspect the actual numbers are significantly higher.
    And w/r/t some of the more obnoxious tenets, progress is far further along than those numbers alone might make it seem.
    Even among the evangelicals (the most hidebound of our traditional types), in the younger cohort (18-35 year olds), the majority now favor same-sex marriage.
    If they can’t even get their own kids to keep up the hate, they’re pretty much done for.

    Yeah, I know, wiki — but they’re citing a Pew poll from 2014, so maybe not so easily dismissed

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Theovinus, are you sure about that definition of troll? The fishing technique you describe is, as far as I’m aware, trawling rather than trolling.

    re. religious vs. spiritual; I wish these ‘spiritual’ people would just pick a bloody side.

  28. Acolyte, I believe that trawling is a different technique, utilizing a large net (
    as opposed to trolling, which uses a bated hook on a line, or multiple lines, that are dragged slowly through the water in hopes of a bite.

  29. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I stand educated. Apologies to Theovinus.
    I guess that the next time a troll is sent packing the only thing left to say will be ‘So long, and thanks for all the fish’.

    Haggis, that was crafty. Working well, too.

  30. Graham ASH-PORTER says:

    How did Mo know it was referring to himself?

  31. dr John de Wipper says:

    ‘So long, and thanks for all the fish’.

    So, now it is galaxy-wide?
    Douglas Adams himself would have been surprised (although, he DID manage to surprise his readers time and again)

  32. Theovinus says:

    dr John de Wipper:
    Douglas Adams himself would have been surprised (although, he DID manage to surprise his readers time and again)

    Yup, he sure knew where his towel was! Deeply missed. Adams, not the towel.

  33. Someone says:

    Some Dude, I am in agreement with you. Makes me think of a line from Star Trek:
    “Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind.”

    Except I don’t think the Borg Queen had sex with a nine year old.

  34. dr John de Wipper says:

    Except I don’t think the Borg Queen had sex with a nine year old.

    Not enough data!

    — What is the duration of a Borg year?
    — At what age are Borg males mature? (eg. a queen bee only mates with males born that same year)

  35. Someone says:

    @dr John, Data was fully functional and I’m sure he was older than 9 years old by the time First Contact came out, so he was plenty enough for copulation.
    Oh hang on, that may not be what you meant.

    Considering the Borg assimilate rather than procreate, I believe the Queen’s sexuality was largely aesthetic; kissing she would do but any other physical interaction usually involves machinery. They aren’t age-discriminate with assimilation, however, considering their tendencies to artificially enhance and accelerate the growth of children (including infants) to hive-minded adults with no real gender or personality traits.
    On the other hand, if you are going to make the argument of which self-proclaimed perfect leader of an ever-growing army of brainwashed disciples perverted the minds and bodies of their subjects (including children) worse, the Borg Queen or Uncle Mo, you might have a hard choice on your hands.

    I’m choosing Mo only because I’ve never seen a real-life Borg (yet).

  36. dr John de Wipper says:


    Unless you address any muslim as “a Mo” I very much doubt if you saw “Uncle Mo” any more than you have seen a Borg.
    As a matter of fact, you DID see impersonated Borgs if you have seen those episodes of Startrek, but since Uncle Mo is not even allowed to be drawn (let alone staged), you have not even seen effigees of him…..

  37. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Apart from the impersonated Mo in these very cartoons, dr John.

  38. dr John de Wipper says:


  39. jb says:

    The Ontological Argument — a proof for the existence of God — argues that a perfect being (God) must exist, because if it didn’t exist it wouldn’t be perfect, which would be a contradiction. But it’s never been clear to me what “perfect” even means when applied to a being, as opposed to, say, a sphere, or why the argument doesn’t prove the existence of the perfect anything, like the perfect tree, or the perfect dinner party.

    A more concrete alternative is to define “perfect” with respect to a specific instance of whatever it is that you want to apply the word to, the way that the meter for a time was defined by a specific measuring stick. If you’re doing it this way, then sure, it makes perfect logical sense to define Mohammad as the reference “perfect man,” and measure everyone else with respect to him. See, problem resolved! (If you think it makes just as much sense to use you instead, well, start your own damn religion…)

  40. HelenaHandbasket says:

    When the Trump election was in full swing I spoke to a number of self-described evangelist christians online. I have no reason to think that they weren’t as described. A lot of us (especially those who had just seen Brexit occur) could see that Trump was going to do a lot better than liberals could allow themselves to believe (sorry Scott Adams, you dont have magical powers by “predicting” demagoguery through reading a couple of Robert Cialdini books).
    The conversations always went something like:
    “Why are you voting Trump?”
    [Incoherent rambling about Shillary and libtards]
    “No, seriously. I’m not a Democrat, I don’t give two craps about American partisanship. You are a Christian, he breaks every commandment and posseses each deadly sin. What gives?
    They would then link me to a film of Trump as an old testament preacher (I swear I’m not making this up). They sounded like this
    I seem to remember reading that something like 40% of the American electorate describe themselves as Christian evangelists. A lot of them see Trump as akin to an Old Testament Prophet. They aren’t unaware of his sinfulness. They think it simply doesn’t matter because he is leading them to a promised land.One of them said to me (and I’m going to edit out the racism) “Solomon married a black woman and that was ok”
    How should this promised land be described? One where black people know their place (which certainly isn’t in the White House)? One where gays and lesbians kept their disgusting habits quiet? One where America was great again ? (Give us a precise year where this was happening)
    Yes yes. They are sick of being called racists and bigots. How about “gullible fools”. They ok with that? How about “rubes”? Would that be acceptable? How about ignorant hicks who are embarrsing themselves by turning the Shining City on the Hill into a dictatorship?
    I think we should be told

  41. DC Toronto says:

    jb – the problem with an ontological argument is that it assumes a set of facts that lead to the conclusion you wish to achieve. They are generally pretty circular in their reasoning as well.
    where it breaks down for me is that either this perfect god is too incompetent to create better humans on earth, or he is a dick who purposely creates people who are imperfect and do bad things or he is a spiteful vindictive asshole who has been mad since eve ate the apple and makes most of humanity suffer.
    none of these sound like a perfect being.

  42. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    The problem with the ontological argument is that it assumes the existence of a perfect being, or as a lawyer might say, it assumes facts not in evidence – as does every argument for the existence of a god.


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