This month’s special xmas raffle prize winner is Roger from Beckenham. Congrats, Roger – you win a signed copy of Wrong Again, God Boy.

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It’s the gift that never stops giving. Until you want it to.

Discussion (38)¬

  1. Robert says:

    IIRC, in the Irish constitution gives the church control of ALL education in the republic of Ireland.

  2. W. Corvi says:

    One year the Crishuns got upset because stores were monetizing the holidays (notably WalMart). So the next year it became “Happy Holidays”. The Crishuns were even MORE upset that the ‘true meaning of the holiday’ was being lost – not being acknowledged. You can’t win. Or maybe Newtonmas. Happy Pearl Harbor day.

  3. Charles says:

    This is wonderful – besides the ludicrous pretense at persecution by the dominant culture, there’s the phrasing ‘I’m afraid to say “I’m afraid to say Merry Christmas these days”‘. This immediately brought to mind “Quine’s Paradox” (W.V.O. Quine, American philosopher and logician,'s_paradox), of the sentence ‘”Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation” yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation.’

  4. Author says:

    I like that, Charles. But you made me realise I missed a trick. Jesus’ last line should have been “I’m afraid to say ‘I’m afraid to say merry christmas these days’ these days”. Maybe I’ll change it…

  5. jean-françois gauthier says:

    the four historical provinces of canada, and montréal and québec city specifically, had constitutionally-mandated catholic and protestant schools and school boards (in english and in french) until about 1998, if i recall correctly. when my atheist parents demanded that i be exempt from “éducation religieuse”, they were told that i could just sit at the back of the class and “not listen”. at one of those classes, in first or second grade, a catholic bishop of some sort had us stand in line to kiss a bible. family lore has it that i told him that i didn’t believe in god, and that he said that “jesus loved me anyway”. i am sometimes reminded of that when i hear christians say that they are somehow persecuted.

  6. jean-françois gauthier says:

    @charles: interesting, hadn’t heard of quine.

    oh, and our head of state the queen is by law “supreme head of the church of england” and “defender of the faith”. i wonder if she ever says “merry christmas” in public.

  7. There need to be single quotation marks (‘ ‘) around “Merry Christmas” in the last panel.

  8. Author says:

    You’re right. Thanks.

  9. two cents' worth says:

    J might want to consider spending the winter holiday season in the USA. According to today’s Say What? at : “You can say again ‘Merry Christmas,’ because Donald Trump is now the president.” —former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski

  10. hotrats says:

    Always nice to see a cartoon get even better with collaborative feedback.

  11. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I take issue with the idea of any religion being classed a minority group in any non-theocratic country on the grounds that one chooses to follow a particular sect, or at the very least can choose to leave it.

    Christianity is the majority religion in the U.K and the U.S.A. whilst Islam and Judaism, Seikhism and the rest are minority religions, but I don’t think that any should be granted minority group status (not sure about atheism, though; can one genuinely choose non-belief?).
    To my simple mind, a genuine minority is a group or class of people that have no choice over inclusion, so taken logically, ginger haired people are a minority group, Christians are not.

  12. Michael says:

    British and American Christians find persecution in being afraid to say ‘Merry Christmas’ even though nobody will blink an eye if they do say it. However they are, in the main, quite silent about the Christians being actually persecuted by Daesh. It seems that whining about faux persecution is more satisfying than doing something about real persecution suffered by others. Of course the Christians being persecuted in the Middle East are Oriental Orthodox, which isn’t the same as Protestant or Catholic Christians.

  13. Son of Glenner says:

    @ AoS (not sure about atheism, though; can one genuinely choose non-belief?)

    In my book, every child is born an atheist.

  14. John Fargo says:

    You’ve apparently not heard but Trump has saved xmas. This is the scariest thing I’ve since since the election. Don-The-Con as the second coming.

  15. HaggisForBrains says:

    DH and AoS – I posted a short reply to you both in last week’s strip.

  16. Suffolk Blue says:


  17. JJ says:

    I’m afraid to say “Merry Christmyth” these days.

  18. HaggisforBrains, I’m sure you are correct that integration won’t happen quickly. It certainly won’t happen without conflict within the home. We’ve seen this with other cultures where paternal/parental authority is challenged, sometimes with violent results. An East Indian grandmother living here in B.C. had her own granddaughter murdered because she married for love, rather than obey her parents. (Oh the shame, the dishonor) Everybody knows who ordered the young woman killed, but apparently nothing is going to be done about it. Such are our extradition laws.
    We’ve also had a kettle full of explosives given as a wedding present, with deadly results and for the same reason. They call these “honor killings”. I just call them killings.

    Author, aside from the absurd “war on Christmas”, the bleat from believers that gets up my nose the worst is “they won’t allow prayers in schools now” Which of course is a total lie. Any students who want to fall on their knees or stick their bums in the air are quite welcome to do it. We just won’t put up with teachers or school administrators leading the revival meeting. In a world so full of religious absurdity, I hesitate to suggest a strip topic, but that one seems to be waiting for you.

  19. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Haggis, an interesting question for sure. I can only imagine it would be a very liberal Muslim government that would open its doors to refugees from the decadent West.
    However, I can offer a chink of light regarding integration into a new and alien society. A few months ago my youngest grandson had his birthday party at the local community centre, and whilst all the kids were merrily raising Hell as 5 year-olds are wont to do when thrown together en-masse, I was heartened to see sat around the same table a group of parents consisting of mostly white British, but also one black British couple, two Polish (presumably) catholic mothers, and a Muslim couple, all laughing and joking and getting along fine.
    I decided to leave religious jokes for another time 🙂

    ps. The Polish are recent immigrants, the othets are 1st generation British.

  20. Someone says:

    @John Fargo, does that mean I should be afraid to say “Happy Holidays” these days?

  21. George Atkinson says:

    When folks noticed Trumpy they’d so cringe
    at pasty complexion turned orange.
    This colourful fake
    inspires double-take;
    his tweets never show him with no whinge.

  22. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Nassar, is that you? Nobody else would rhyme ‘cringe’ with ‘orange’.

    I’m surprised that nobody’s done a Trump version of the obvious tune, so here goes……

    Donald the orange one
    Spouted junk
    And now he’s off to the White House,
    In he’ll go with a trumpety trump
    Trump Trump Trump.

    Donald the orange one
    Told us all
    How he likes to grope and fumble
    Yet still they elected
    This stupid great lunk
    Trump Trump Trump.

  23. George Atkinson says:

    I needed a rhyme to match orange,
    glanced up, and noticed the door-hinge
    was painted, not blue,
    but a more striking hue,
    a bright orange door-hinge, size four-inch

  24. Laripu says:

    Donald Trump will (maybe already is) taking credit for saying “Merry Christmas” to be permitted, as though it was ever illegal. And millions of stupid Americans will believe him. Myself, I usually say “happy arbitrary demarcation of time”…. but I say this any day of the year.

  25. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Laripu, the irony being that the official Trump Hotel Collection cards make no mention of Christmas, wishing instead “Happy Holidays”.

  26. HaggisForBrains says:

    Come to think of it, where is Nassar? Thanks for the Nellie the Elephant parody. For those who don’t know it, here’s the original by Mandy Miller

  27. Son of Glenner says:

    I am also missing Nasser.

  28. two cents' worth says:

    HfB, thanks for sharing! I wasn’t familiar with Nellie the Elephant, and thought AoS was referring to Frosty the Snowman (

  29. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Tis the season, if you’ve been bad
    Because you have done jihad
    Santa will drop on you
    Bombs that are the first clue
    That muslims suckers have been had.

  30. And there he is, with a special Christmas verse. You had us worried, Nassar. Merry Christmas, or arbitrary celebration of the passage of time of your choice.

  31. Son of Glenner says:

    Welcome back, Nassar!
    Where have you been all this time?

  32. FreeFox says:

    ginger haired people are a minority group, Christians are not
    Hear, hear. I’m with you, Acolyte of Sagan! ^_^

  33. FreeFox says:

    By the way, I would like to remind all patrons of the Cock & Bull that as I am writing this, Aleppo is being reduced to rubble by (mostly non-religious) governmental and Russian forces, with a huge civilian death toll. For months there has been no electricity, water at best once or twice a week for an hour or two, food is hard to come by and medical services are in dire need of support in most of the city. If you have been thinking of making any donations, please look into whatever charity of your choice is helping people in the war zone and consider helping them.

  34. plainsuch says:

    Happy arbitrary reason to have a party because the longest night of the year is near. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue though.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Tow cents’ worth, sorry, I thought Nellie was pretty much Universally recognized. It was even recorded as a single by punk-ish band The Toy Dolls (B side the delightfully titled Fisticuffs in Frederick Street). It’s actually quite a good version, too, and no lyric changes so child-friendly.

    FreeFox, I thought you’d appreciate the minority status for redheads.
    I’m a long-time supporter of Doctors Without Borders / Medicines sans Frontiers and also Save the Children, both of which are active in and around Aleppo (and gawd-knows how many more disaster zones worldwide).
    If Trump is going to play Thatcher to Putin’s Reagan as looks likely, that will virtually remove the biggest check on Russian aggression so the future looks increasingly bleak for Aleppo, especially with the rabidly pro- Christian, anti- Muslim bunch that Trump is filling his Cabinet with.
    Stay safe, mate.

  36. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Re-reading my last comment, it appears that my infernal android phone has decided it knows better than I do what I want to type. So, apologies to two cents’ worth, and to Medicins sans Frontiers.

  37. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Crikey, everyone is showing up for a merry Christmas cartoon in the Cock & Bull.
    And I’m not afraid to say it although it does make me orange a bit.

    Happy days to you all.

    Nice one again Author, I lurk these days, since I once left so long a gap that autofill had forgotten me, but you have produced some classics recently.

    Ps. Is there a prize for taking the longest to get the pun in the name of our favourite very, if virtual, local. If so I might lay a claim for I only got it a few weeks ago.


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