There have been a lot of hurt religious sentiments recently. It’s such a shame.

Discussion (61)¬

  1. WalterWalcarpit says:


  2. The hook. The hook. I shall try to put this ditty to music. Thanks for this one, Author. As always, you are right on target.

  3. pajh says:

    We need guitar tabs. And preferably a full orchestral score.

  4. MythInformed says:

    Betty Nice!

  5. jerry w says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the Born-Again Smothers Brothers, performing their all time favorite “Abraham always liked you best”.

  6. theGreatFuzzy says:

    Brilliant. I don’t think I’ll follow that with my doggerel.

  7. oldebabe says:

    OOOOOOOOH. Too good.

  8. Mick McT says:

    Re the tune…with a bit of licence it will just about fit to “Banging in the Nails” by The Tiger Lillies…if you haven’t heard it, you really should.

  9. HaggisForBrains says:

    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory hallelujah!
    Don’t hurt our religious sentiments!

  10. “Law” and “war” don’t rhyme for North American speakers of English. :- )

  11. Mary - Canada says:


  12. Oddmetersam says:

    Reminds me of a true story: I played bass behind enemy lines in a full-blown gospel band/choir years ago (the only openly non-Christian in the group). Once, during sound check, they were testing a brand new piece of gear in the PA signal chain and couldn’t get it to work — no sound at all. The singer on stage became so exasperated from saying, “Test”, about a million times he finally said, “Hell”, into the mic just as the sound kicked in…and the new device had been set to maximum digital delay and the PA had been foolishly turned up to full volume. “HELL–HELL–HELL…” reverberated throughout the huge church complex for a good 15 seconds before someone finally unfroze and scrambled to pull the plug! To the added chagrin of my fellows, I couldn’t hold it and laughed so hard I thought I’d puke.

  13. Author says:

    @Ophelia – the perils of rhyming for an international audience!

  14. kev_s says:

    Encore!? I think not! Next!

  15. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Lovely! All we need now is Tim Minchin to set it to music.

  16. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Another chorus of whimper and howl
    The dogmatists once again growl
    The atheists too
    Join the chorus of the zoo
    They sound like an orangutang’s bowel.

  17. beechnut says:

    Ah, Sunday Night At The London Palladium…I remember it well. D’you think they’ll get an offer? The lyrics are excellent comedy, but I wonder what the tune is like. And I’m not sure that the original Mo had much of an ear for music…

  18. JoJo says:

    @ophelia North American speakers of English? I’ve been to North America. Half the population speaks Spanish. The rest just do the best they can. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Tabularasa says:

    Rainy Day Muslims # 3-16

  20. Cassanders says:

    Absolutely fabulous!
    Jesus and Mo meets Tim Minchin? ๐Ÿ™‚

    In Cod we trust

  21. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ Ophelia – same problem north of the border – they don’t rhyme because we don’t add an extra letter onto the end of words ending in a long vowel. I’m disappointed in you, Author. You clearly haven’t spent enough time up here.

  22. Author says:

    @ Haggis – That’s harsh! Law/war is a decent enough rhyme in Scottish, though not as close as in most English accents. At least the ‘a’ phoneme is the same, unlike in the American.

  23. Sevenlegs says:

    Thankfully the Spanish inquisition failed in a similar quest recently. I still suggest everyone watches this cookery show and joins in on the 29th. Why should it only be Catholics who get to eat the flesh of Jesus

  24. hotrats says:

    Always amusing to see the outrageous expressing outrage.

    Huffy Christians are generally the lesser menace these days, currently threatening nothing worse than Disestablishment (breaking links with the State) over gay marriage and their right to express homophobia.

    This would be welcome all round, and one wonders if the Church has thought through the implications;
    1) the bishops could all stop bleating and frothing at public expense in the House of Lords (and return to harmlessly bleating and frothing in the House of the Lord),
    2) the next monarch would not be Defender of the Faith as defined 500 years ago by a desperate would-be divorcee,
    3) we can hold the next Coronation in the O2 Arena,
    4) the Church Commissioners can start paying tax on their huge property assets,
    5) all the CofE schools would have to accept gay teachers, and
    6) the BBC can finally take ‘Songs of Praise’ off the air (win-win!).

    But where radical Islam is concerned, judging by their stated aims what really offends is the continued existence of all other cultures โ€“ in other words, civilization itself. To bend to their outrage is to tacitly collude in our own destruction.

    But what is the alternative? You canโ€™t engage in dialogue with anyone who automatically exempts themselves from any and all criticism, like any tyrant or psychopath. Perhaps the most we can do is to continue to expose the grim face behind the smug mask, and make the barbaric realitiy of suicide bombing, stoning, amputation, honour killing, misogyny, child brides and implacable intolerance the de facto public image.

    We could justifiably add to the list of charges indoctrination, scriptural literalism, paedophilia, genital mutilation, sanctioned homophobia and an ideology that welcomes the end of the world โ€“ but seeing that Judaism and Christianity have both so far failed to address these issues, that would be unfair.

    An Islamic state only needs a very small nuclear capability to be able to turn hurt feelings into issuing demands that cannot be refused, and then it will be too late for high-minded debates on what constitutes offence.

    In the words of the old humanist prayer, โ€˜May God save you from his most enthusiastic supportersโ€™.

  25. hotrats says:

    Alternative tune for these lyrics -‘Hotplate Heaven at the Green Hotel’ by Frank Zappa – listen at:

  26. Myrhinne says:

    Ophelia, we all know that Jesus was educated in England so naturally he speaks with an English accent.

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Myrhinne, if the legend is correct, he came to Glastonbury (a little early for the concerts), so if he learnt English there he’d have a lovely West Country twang. “‘ere, anybody seen moi descoiples”?

  28. McQuaid says:

    Jerry W… Ashera always liked you best.

  29. Poor Richard says:

    aaww there, there

  30. Poor Richard says:


    Everybody likes a new folk song. (oxymoron, I think)

  31. nothere says:

    This song plays so well in my head as generic hillbilly gospel that I can’t get it to stop. Just add banjo (lots of banjo). Maybe you can get Jesus a banjo, a left handed banjo I think.

  32. Brother Daniel says:

    @hotrats: The title “Defender of the Faith” predated Henry’s split with Rome by 9 years. It was given to him by the Pope, when he wrote an article against the Lutherans.

  33. Len says:

    Can’t wait for the CD. Where’s Simon Cowell when you need him?

  34. hotrats says:

    @Brother Daniel:
    So it did, and so it was, and admittedly it’s an amusing historical irony, but in fact the ‘Fid. Def.’ that they put on Sterling coins is not the honour given by the Pope, which implicitly meant Defender of the Catholic Faith; it was the lack of an heir and divorce that turned it on its head, into Defender of the Protestant Faith (presumably from its Catholic critics), which Henry effectively re-awarded to himself as head of the new church.

    It would be very unusual for the Vatican not to rescind the original honour as soon as the split occured, they were pretty strict on keeping track of apostasy in those days.

    While the name was unchanged, its cheeky retention after a religious ‘coup d’etat’ bound the new CofE to the will of the Crown, and that is the sense in which all future monarchs inherited it, and the sense in which a disestablished monarch would not.

    I did actually say ‘as _defined_ … by a desperate would-be divorcee’, and while ‘redefined’ might have been more precise, it would have needed its own explanation, tangential to the thrust of the point.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    European; sad news indeed, but one can’t help thinking that he bought it on himself. If a country’s laws explicitly forbid something, no matter how ridiculous, ’tis best for an individual not to flaunt it. It’s akin to visiting Mecca dressed in a J&M tee-shirt. When in Rome, and all that.
    Mass disobedience is one thing, but going solo is just asking for trouble. It’s almost as though he were setting himself up publicly as an atheist ‘martyr’, but all the retroactive petitioning and gnashing of teeth is seen to be just so much barn door closing. Yes, the internet has been shown to be a powerful weapon for change, but all weapons need to be used with care. One doesn’t discharge one’s weapon in the midst of the enemy in the hope that the cavalry will ride to the rescue in time, but rather gathers the troops first to fight from a position of strength.

  36. hotrats says:

    It is interesting to see how this story has been spun: you would think from many of the reports in the humanist blogs that Alexander Aan was convicted of being an atheist, or for writing ‘There is no God’. Although he was charged with blasphemy and proselytising atheism, these charges were dropped.

    He was convicted of ‘deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity’ after he shared comic strips from of the prophet having sex with his servant, and an article describing the prophet being attracted to his daughter-in-law, on his Facebook page.

    Although the cartoons in question are just literal depictions of stories in the Koran, backed up with chapter and verse, they deal unshrinkingly with the Prophet’s philandering and the revelations he claimed absolved him of guilt. Of course all depictions of the Prophet are blasphemous to Muslims, and these focussing on his sex life are particularly irreverent.

    It does seem that he was taking an unnecessary risk by creating an online presence where he could not make his case without incriminating himself. He could easily have classed himself as Buddhist, Confucian or Hindu, all of which have established atheistic strands, and pursued his case by appeal to these traditions and their divergence from the constitutional ‘One God’ of Indonesian law, which all public servants must swear belief in.

    Although the six allowed religions have equal legal status, the courts are effectively the enforcement arm of the Wahabi Moslem sect, against Christians and Ahmadi Moslems. The Saudis have in theory made a major investment in ‘education’ in Indonesia, in practice funding fundamentalist indoctrination centres and campaigns against other faiths.

    In the 1980s and 1990s a flood of Saudi and Kuwaiti anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-Shi’a, anti-Ahmadi and anti-liberal tracts flooded the cheap book market in Indonesia. The Saudi Embassy attempted to intervene in Indonesian religious debates, and graduates from Saudi ‘universities’ have had an increasing impact on public debate.

    The courts’ lenient treatment of harrassment, vandalism and physical attacks on Ahmadi and Christian congregations is a reflection of Saudi affront and impatience with Indonesia’s multi-faith status, and an obvious agenda of turning it into an exclusively Muslim state, even though Bali is 95% Hindu, and nearly all the inhabitants of Java follow unrecognised traditional ‘minority’ religions.

    In this atmosphere of constant provocation to intolerance, and no tradition of, or legal support for, free speech, it does seem that Alexander Aan would have done better to find a way to campaign against the law without explicitly breaking it. This would be difficult – the issues are constitutional and there is no appetite for change from the legislators, and no mechanism for individuals to challenge constitutional issues – but at least he wouldn’t be banged up.

  37. colyte of Sagan says:

    Very interesting Hotrats, thanks. I’ve taken the liberty of copying your post onto a thread at , with full accreditation of course. I trust you don’t mind?

    Just a small point; the idea that the depiction of Mo. is forbidden is a relatively recent one. I was watching a BBC4 documentary on Islamic art (probably still on the bbci player) and it turns out that early artworks were littered with the guy’s image. Even at Mothership Mecca there are several revered pictures of him on public display. I get the feeling that the ban came as part of the Muslim search for reasons to be offended (an opposite to the Ian Drury & The Blockheads song, Reasons to be Cheerful: part 3).

    Finally, did you see the reply I left for you and Beechnut on the last comic? Stew’s better than sex? Even my memory’s not that bad! ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Whoops! Mis-spelt my own moniker there.

  39. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Now that’s going to look odd unless my original post appears above it.
    Author, did my initial post of about 5mins. ago vanish off to moderation because the username was mis-spelt?

  40. Author says:

    @ AoS – Yes.

  41. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Thanks, Author.
    There’s a dyslexia joke there, but I don’t think I should… ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. hotrats says:

    # Iโ€™ve taken the liberty of copying your post onto a thread at , with full accreditation of course. I trust you donโ€™t mind? #
    Not at all – it’s always worth confronting lazy journalism, and the facts were assembled via Google News in a matter of minutes, just by ignoring the tabloids. Oh and I did like ‘Saganic Rites’, your alias in

  43. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, I’m often amused by the regulars on They set themselves up as intellectuals whilst continuously doing just what they accuse the ‘opposition’ of. Lazy journalism is one, the setting up of straw-man arguments another, and if you want to see mass anthropo-centrism in action all you need do is post a suggestion that other animals can have feelings, thoughts or emotions.
    Personally, I prefer the honesty found here rather than the constant competition to be the ‘bestest atheist in Richards eyes’ over there.

  44. Peakcrew says:

    @AoS – yes, I stopped reading after yet another blindly doctrinistic flaming for suggesting that animals other than humans have sentience. That site has as much religion going on as some of those they claim to despise.

    I am not a spammer, and I do swear.

  45. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Peakcrew, although they’re quickto deny it, there certainly seems to be a ‘Cult of Richard’ growing there. I wonder how often RD. himself looks at what they write and bangs his head repeatedly into the screen. I once made a comment on altruistic behaviour in chimpanzees and found myself being called naive and childish. Many of them appear – as Daoloth points out – to believe that evolution did indeed stop at the neck, and not a one of them seems to see the irony in their pleading a special case for human intelligence.
    I do still visit the site, but more to read the comments and have a wee chuckle at the arrogance and smug pomposity on display. It’s a shame really, because there are some very clever people there, but it’s the ones that feel the need to prove their intellectual ‘awesomeness’ that spoilt it for me.

  46. daoloth says:

    AoS. Well put. I believe it was some long-haired hippy type who muttered soemthing about motes and beams in this connection some time back?
    Its always easier to see the other fellers problem. When science works (and having just come back from ABS/ HBES I can happily say it does work sometimes) it is collaborative. We need each other to be critically synpathetic but to show us our flaws, And we need to be able to accept those criticisms in a fair spirit rather than be doctrinaire. Far easier to rest in smugness–of whatever flavour.

  47. hotrats says:

    I could never forgive the Good Professor for agreeing to atheists being renamed ‘Brights’. It seems to encapsulate all that is poorly thought through in the God Delusion – namely that you can’t share your insight with people whom your text is systematically rubbishing for ignorance, stupidity and gullibility.

    Like the unselfconscious snobbery of ‘Bright’, the book cries out for its well-crafted proofs to be put into their psycho-social context. Much of our behaviour is deeply irrational, and generally goes as unquestioned as the dogmas of religion. Dawkin’s dismisses the perennial existential uncertainties upon which religion preys, and the manifold social pressures to conform and rebel that comprise most people’s individuality.

    In doing this, he just gives ammunition to those who claim that atheism equates to an arrogant rejection of ‘un-scientific’ emotional depth and experiential diversity. People do not yearn for the supernatural, or Gods, or love, or create art or music, for rational reasons.

    Mocking his target audience’s capacity for normalized irrationality dilutes the very point he is trying to make; the road to truth and wisdom has no ‘comfort zones’ from whence you can issue authoritative insults to your critics. If it applies to the fundamentalists he criticizes, it surely applies to him.

    Brights? Oh puh-lease.

  48. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I’d forgotten about ‘Brights’. I’d assumed it was meant to be an ironic play on ‘enlightened’ that failed….badly.
    TGD was, I suppose, largely an excercise in preaching to the choir; the title alone would have put many believers off reading it, but it was for that a good read containing arguments which, with a little softening of the edges, could be used to break the news more gently. I think that what Richard might sometimes forget , and a lot of his ‘followers’ certainly forget, is that religious people can be clever too, and clever people do not respond well to being patronised.

    On a side issue, has anybody else noticed that the site’s administrators seem to be increasingly moderating – or censoring – comments? Just take a read through a few comment threads and see how often you come across “Comment removed by moderator”. I know a lot of it is due to trolling, but it’s starting to feel as though one (not of the ‘in-crowd’, that is) may soon need to qualify any and every comment with peer-reviewed papers to avoid the moderators’ ‘delete’ button. Our friend FreeFox would have a field-day playing with their heads over there, and it’s something I’d like to see, but I’d bet my last penny – and I’m not a gambler – that his comments would vanish almost as soon as they were posted.

    Anyway, gripe over. I still hold Richard in great esteem despite his fallibility; not only because it was through TGD that I found his website, and from there I followed a link…….HERE. And for that I owe him a debt of gratitude.

  49. Brother Daniel says:

    @hotrats, re “fid.def.”: You win; your historical kung fu is superior to mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. hotrats says:

    @Brother John:
    Aiyaha—hoo! …and another stack of Tudor roof tiles shatters in half…

    Seriously, sorry if I sounded so adversarial that you feel beaten, I should have made it clearer that you had an interesting point, and I certainly didn’t want to rubbish you for raising it.
    I will only have ‘won’, in the sense of getting what I would like most, if you keep contributing, secure that this particular pedant is not waiting to pounce.

  51. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    That’s exactly what I was talking (ranting?) about. The perfect lesson in how to concede a point of fact with grace and humour, and to be told that one is correct without feeling the need for a smug comeback. It’s what makes this site a pleasant place to be. Perfect timing. Thanks, chaps.
    But Hotrats, please not the Tudor tiles. Have you no idea how much originals cost from a reclaimation yard nowdays? Please do the decent thing and use repro’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    FreeFox, remember the fun I had with Jon at asbojesus? He’s put a new cartoon (sort of), and I couldn’t resist.
    Everybody, for a good example of supposed Christian forgiveness, take a look here . I do so hope I’ve put the moggy amongst the winged rats, so to speak.

  53. hotrats says:

    Nice post, but on expicitly Christian sites I always have the lurking mental image of fish in a barrel, waiting to be shot.

    I think the best tactic is to include a link to J&M in each post, so people can upgrade the quality of both cartoons and debate for themselves – like I just did on the current AsboJesus page.

  54. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for better cartoons over there; they seem to be based on self-pity, more whingey than funny. But having said that, it does seem to be populated largely by ‘wounded’ Christians disillusioned by the church if not yet by religion itself. My hope is that now they have started to see for themselves the problems inherent with religion, a little rational debate may just have a positive effect. I think that for the moment at least, it would be highly hypocritical of me to go in just to take the piss, considering the conversation we’ve been having here. I’ve already said over there at the thread that although I won’t pull any punches, and if they’re happy with me making firm but fair comments, then I’m more than willing to engage in debate, and Jon (the cartoonist) for one seemed to respond positively, so one never knows.
    Don’t unload that .22 just yet though; depending on their reactions there’s always the possibility that we can go a-hunting after all.

  55. Brother Daniel says:

    @hotrats: No worries at all. You didn’t come across as adversarial. I’m always happy to be corrected (or have my knowledge expanded).

    For what it’s worth, I’m a regular at a site that is widely condemned (within the online atheist community) as an abomination, for its incivility. So my skin is fairly thick by now. ๐Ÿ˜€

    @AoS: I peeked at your comments on ASBOJesus. Nice job there.

  56. hotrats says:

    I didn’t mean ‘upgrade’ in the sense of emulating J&M, more that they should come here for their cartoons instead.
    I gave up on finding anything amusing at AsboJ – well, the first time I visited.

  57. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Brother Daniel, thank you. I’m not sure if it acheived the desired effect though. My last comment has gone unanswered as yet, and there’s been the sudden addition of a fresh cartoon (sic) which will obviously draw attention away from the thread I commented on. Maybe I was closer to the truth than I thought when I suggested that they feared the consequences of merely doubting the big guy. Why else would they continue to profess love for a god that’s seemingly happy to let them suffer in his name? There’s none so blind as those that will not see, as they say.

    Hotrats, my apologies. I confess that I misunderstood your comment, which for some reason I took to mean that, by coming here Jon might get some ideas on how humour actually works.

  58. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Dearest Author, re my comments; “Hotrats, my apologies. I confess that I misunderstood your comment, which for some reason I took to mean that, by coming here Jon might get some ideas on how humour actually works.”.
    I’ve just realised how that could be misinterpreted, so please may I assure Your Humourness that what I meant was that whilst Jon may indeed see here how humour actually works, I doubt that he has the wit to learn from the Master and translate it back into a decent cartoon on his own site.

    There, I feel a lot better now.

  59. Ziusudra says:

    Hurt religious sentiments? That’s the trade mark of the most obnoxious religion: Islam

  60. ottebrain says:

    I rapped this to myself. Roftl lol encore sil’vous plait!


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