Returning to an old theme.

Discussion (56)¬

  1. Alfie Noakes says:

    A corker!

  2. smee says:

    Hi from Somerset
    Glug, Glug!

  3. smee says:

    It,s not the gays it’s the Environment Agency

  4. CLINT says:

    In the immortal words of Homer: “It’s everyone else’s fault but mine.”

  5. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Excellent. Even acts of god are open to interpretation.

  6. john matthews says:

    The flooding is Allah water boarding England – Frankie Boyle

  7. Brendan says:

    Would it have been even more powerful without the last quote?

  8. Sinnataggen says:

    Ah yes. But remove anthropocentrism – and anthropomorphism – from the concept of God, and what are you left with? A figment of your (very private) imagination. In a word: nonsense.

  9. KNiZ says:

    Actually, maybe they’re sitting in a desert area, and the comments are being REWARDED by rainfall! Makes the cartoon more Zen…

  10. Jobrag says:

    That’s the trouble these days not enough smiting, God would be a lot more credible if he flung thunderbolts about with more abandon.

  11. inquisador says:

    Old themes are good. Old themes never get old.
    After all, how many big themes are there?

  12. omg says:

    How did you interpret this one: Jesus hit by lightning and lost a few fingers.

  13. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    How can a person accurately surmise
    The universe’s actual size?
    How big can the enlightened
    See without getting frightened
    Can this be seen by the ordinary mind, or the wizened?

  14. LindaR says:

    Others have said it before… but why not send gay couples to tour drought-ridden areas? 😉

  15. ScepticSarah says:

    Hi everyone- long time lurker, very infrequent poster here, and i’m very sorry for going immediately vastly off topic, but I’m in awe of the wisdom & intellect I see here so regularly so hoping you lovely people can help me out! A friend who I genuinely respect and like a lot, despite her strong Christianity, has just gone through a horrible experience (stillbirth of a long awaited baby). She has asked me to pray for her and the baby. She kinda knows I’m an atheist although we don’t discuss it (I’ve lost friends this way before) but I don’t know how to reply- ignoring her request seems rude, any wimping out with ‘ok’ seems disingenuous but now is not the time to debate why prayer is as much use as a chocolate teapot- any of you lovely folk developed a handy phrase for this type of situation? Any advice much appreciated! Thanks!

  16. ThickAsABrick says:

    A good response would be to offer some practical support, like cooking a meal and dropping it off at her house (assuming she doesn’t live too far away).
    I would also suggest posting your question on http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/. There are lots of people there with helpful advice for this kind of situation.

  17. Sinnataggen says:

    Sceptic Sarah
    Your dilemma is a real one and, as a caring and honest person, you must respond with both love and honesty. And you are quite right, this is not the time for a religious argument. But, however distressed someone may be, telling lies to comfort them can surely serve no good purpose. If this dilemma were mine, I would tell her how distressed I am over her loss, and that I truly want her to feel able to call on me for support and friendship. But I would also say (as gently as possible) that I hope she will understand that while I respect her religious beliefs, I do not share them – and I think it would be dishonest and wrong of me to pretend to pray for her.

  18. Joe+Fogey says:

    Sceptic Sarah – say you’ll be thinking of her, and do what you can to help, as ThickasaBrick suggests. Listening to her may be the best help you can give. I wouldn’t discuss the issue of prayer unless she brings it up – if she does, I would try to talk to her about why she feels it important that you pray rather than empathise. It’s possible she will get angry with you – but if as you say she knows you’re an atheist, she may be looking for someone to get angry with.

  19. Sinnataggen says:

    I would like to add a little postscript to my previous comment, ScepticSarah. Your friend is probably undergoing a crisis of faith at this time, wondering how her omnipotent and all-loving God could have taken this innocent life. Asking for the prayers of others may be her way of keeping a sense of divine abandonment at bay. And no, your own request here is not “vastly off topic” – it is of fundamental importance to anyone who aspires to intellectual honesty in our pluralist society: just as J&Mo do.

  20. Mary2 says:

    ScepticSarah, If prayer makes her feel better then pray with her. Easy to start off with a gentle ‘You know I don’t believe but…’ As you say, now is not the time to debate theology. You don’t need to lie but she needs the comfort – just hold her hand and say out loud that you hope she finds the strength to deal with this horrible time etc. Just the comfort of having someone sit with her and talk out loud about what she is going through – as others have said, there is no need to lie or pretend. This is about her beliefs, not yours. She knows you don’t believe but she needs your help.

    Even better: sit with her, hold her hands and get her to do the praying. ‘You know I don’t believe but I’m happy to be here with you while you pray…’

  21. Chiefy says:

    ScepticSarah, not to be pedantic, but I would say that your friend’s horrible experience was not in spite of her Christianity, nor because of it. Bad things just happen at times, to anyone. In my experience as a former Christian, I did not find my faith to be very comforting in bad times. What I did find comforting was the compassionate presence of friends. I second ThickAsABrick’s response; being there to help means a lot, even if it seems there isn’t much you can do.

    As far as praying, I tell people I don’t really pray, but I will keep them in mind. This is not the time to go into your own theology, or atheology.

    Just saw Mary2’s response. Second to that, too.

  22. SpaceWeed says:

    ScepticSarah, there is a thing (please bear with me, this is rather long and complicated) called USENet. It has “newsgroups”. These are like extended conversations in a bar, or pub, or Students’ Union. Each conversation is started by an initial poster then a thread of conversation develops. One of these groups is called, for reasons I won’t go into, “atl.callahans” or AC. Many of the contributors to AC are extreme sceptics on the subject of fairy tales and superstitions but they are trying to be nice, well-meaning, sympathetic people. Right, got all that?
    Okay, so bad things sometimes happen to long-time “members” of AC, people who’ve been posting there and contributing to threads of conversation, threads, for many years. These people consider each other friends even if they live on different land-masses and never meet.
    So, when bad things happen, they ask for Good Thoughts.
    It’s like a “prayer” only without the superstition and done in the full knowledge that being sympathetic and compassionate, sharing the pain of a friend, doesn’t really do any physical good. It just makes the friend who’s suffering feel better to know you like them. That you care. That you are there for them in their moment of grief.
    AC people also send {{Hugs}} by USENet post. Virtual hugs. They, too, work only in the mind and spirit of the recipient.
    Tell your superstitious friend you care, you sympathise, you have compassion, and talk about her loss. Do not avoid the subject. That’s a killer. Pressing conversation about it is also a killer. Hug her, hold her hand, be there for her, make a cup of tea occasionally. And, best of all, leave her the hell alone when she needs it.
    If you can, explain “Good Thoughts”, or something similar that is all your very own and tell your friend you are sending lots of them.
    Does any of this help?
    Or you could do what my “friends” did when we lost our four-month old daughter and completely ignore her, let her stew, watch her spiral into utter depression until she gets psychiatric help and is drugged into a stupor but that is not really a good plan. It certainly didn’t work well for me.
    I’m sending Good Thoughts for you and your friend. Many, many of them.

    On the topic of the cartoon: until April 2012, England was in the middle of a massive and prolonged drought. There were usage restrictions on domestic water supplies in some regions.
    In late March, early April, 2012, the heavens opened their floodgates and the torrents began. They have not stopped since.
    My wife died in the March.
    No, it wasn’t the same-sex marriages. Nor was it the faithful doubting the powers of the Thunder Gods as Mo’ implies.
    But this prolonged spell of the Earth weeping in pain is not a coincidence.
    Gaia cries for her.
    So now we know how to stop the floods, don’t we? Just bring her back.
    That would also make me happier.

  23. SpaceWeed says:

    Mary2 : Pray with her?
    Anyone who knows me would feel very uncomfortable were I to do that. They would know the discomfort I would be feeling so they wouldn’t ask it of me.
    Heathen infidel I am but I do have compassion. I will sit with a sorrowing friend through the dark ages of grief but I just can’t pray.
    I’m not obnoxious about it, and I don’t mind if anyone else does it but I find myself unable even to fake it.
    I send “Good Thoughts” and compassionate sympathies to ScepticSarah and her friend.

    A thought for ScepticSarah, as Sinnataggen implies this is probably NOT the best time to go hunting for a convert to rationality and reality. Pushing an agenda of an uncaring, dead, mechanistic universe when someone is suffering is at best a touch insensitive.
    Not that you would have, of course.
    But it has occasionally crossed my evil and twisted mind that times of crisis and sadness are the best times to catch the faithful. It’s cruel, so I probably would never do it but it’s a tempting thing to think about.
    A nice leaflet starting: “So, in your time of sadness, what have 28,000 gods done for you?”, perhaps?

  24. ScepticSarah says:

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions, love them, thank you.
    @ chiefy- my grammar probably at fault here, but I wasn’t suggesting her experience had anything to do with her religious beliefs, but that I genuinely value her friendship in spite of them.

  25. “But it has occasionally crossed my evil and twisted mind that times of crisis and sadness are the best times to catch the faithful. It’s cruel, so I probably would never do it but it’s a tempting thing to think about.”

    You are right, you would probably never do it. I only wish that christians would follow your example. Some of them seem to think that such times are the best time to catch atheists, when they are really vulnerable. They are the ones with evil, twisted minds.

    Sadly, your friend’s spiritual adviser (priest, minister, whatever) is probably telling her it’s all part of some great unknowable plan.

    You’ve been given some good advice here, it seems to me. My first wife and I lost a child at birth, and our divorce several years later can be traced back to her inability to grieve properly. I did my best, but she just would not talk about it. If your friend wants you there to pray, be there, give her hugs, and help her grieve.

  26. omg says:

    I can not believe that some churches will profit from the misery of the people to sell they BS. I think you can find a few example like this on the internet.

  27. two cents' worth says:

    ScepticSarah, my heart goes out to your friend—and to you, as you try to comfort her. Sticking to your question about how you should respond if she asks you to pray for her and the baby, if you’re not face-to-face with her, your response could be along the lines of “I will hold you and your baby in my heart.” If your friend asks you face-to-face, I second Mary2’s suggestion that you “sit with her, hold her hands and get her to do the praying.” If she wants you to say something as you “pray” with her, you can express your own thoughts and heartfelt wishes–for example, “We know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Grief shared is grief diminished. May [your friend’s] family and friends give her comfort. May she remember how much she is loved, and may her heart be at peace.”

    As Joe+Fogey wrote, “Listening to her may be the best help you can give.” If you can listen to her face to face, that’s even better–sometimes you can best respond not by saying something, but by just putting your hand on hers, or giving her a hug. If your friend steers the conversation towards religion, you can gently remind her that you don’t share her faith, and try steering the conversation in another direction. You can also suggest that she talk to her minister/priest/pastor about it.

    If you’d like to let us know how this situation turns out, I, for one, would be interested to hear what you end up doing in response to your friend’s request for your prayers, and how well your response worked.

  28. Mary2 says:

    SpaceWeed, I love your response to ScepticSarah. Perhaps I need to clarify mine. I was not suggesting “faking” anything: SS specifically mentioned that her atheism was implied rather than boldly stated within the friendship. I was not suggesting anything other than your ‘good thoughts’ but, if the grieving person needs to direct those thoughts to Gaia, Zeus or Allah, that should be ok – it is her time of need. Perhaps we have different ideas of what constitutes praying. I am not suggesting that an atheist recite the liturgy or call upon beings she doesn’t believe in. In my experience of people praying in times of need it is often just a begging for the strength to get through, a begging to be OK, a begging to be looked after: something that atheists also do even though we lack a supernatural identity to grant us our wishes. This kind of praying, for a person in desperate need, should, surely, not be beyond our powers of friendship to grant? I am an ethical vegetarian but if a friend is in desperate need of a comfort food dinner I will them cook a shepherd’s pie faster than lightening although I will refrain from eating it myself. This is not the moment for me to judge someone else’s coping needs. For me this is about how to help with someone else’s needs without compromising my own beliefs. There is a time for standing one’s ground and a time for doing what the other needs (within reason 😉 ) . I realise this has probably not clarified anything but it is, in my view, a line with a wide grey area on each side. I would have no problem leading a prayer with this friend with “If the god of my friend whosey-whatsit is listening please help her get through this time …” Clearly states that I don’t believe but without denying a friend the comfort they need.

  29. SpaceWeed says:

    Mary2: yerp, we’re on the same page and it’s written in compassion and kindness and shared pain being lessened with a hug. You are nice people.

    My wife would on occasion ask me to hold her while she prayed. To me, it was like asking Santa, Satan or the Wicked Witch Of Woking for intervention but she felt better doing so so it was important to me. The holding, the shared warmth, the knowledge that somewhere out there in the vast darkness another soul cared and reached out was what I thought I was supplying. If she took more from it, fine.
    She’s gone. [Which hurts.] To her, when she was aware and here, she has “gone to a better place”. Okay. So be it.
    To me, she has just gone.
    She was all of the light and warmth and joy of this world and she is gone. I fucking hate that she’s not here. I dearly would love to think she’s somewhere ethereal in the company of our cats, my lost dog, our baby girl and all the lost loves. I can’t.
    Oh, I can imagine it. I’m a writer, I tell stories, and do what passes for poetry. I can imagine her in heavens unbounded enjoying herself but it is, to me, no more real than the movies of “Buffy” and The Count.
    She believed. She prayed. I looked on and held her.
    And marvelled that a woman so wise, so worldly, so strong and intelligent and clever and well-educated could believe in fairies, even big bearded ones.
    To me, she doesn’t believe anymore. She doesn’t anything anymore. To her, should I be completely wrong and should there still be a “her”, she doesn’t need belief, she now knows.
    If I’m right, I’ll never know. If she was right, is right, I’m in sheep dit.
    Basically, I can’t see that it matters. I loved her. I was well loved in return. I still love her. I always will, so long as there is a me to love with.
    I wish she was still herself, in whatever phantom zone she finds herself but I am only me and I can’t operate as though she were still “here” in some fashion.
    I won’t pray for her, though I do visit her church and light a candle for her on her birthday. Why not? All it costs is some effort, a few pence for the charity box and a candle. If she is right, if she is still right, it is a significant touch that a venomous infidel like me would do such a thing. If not, no one save me [and several million drinkers at the C&B] will ever know. I can live with that, until I don’t.

    | |
    | |

    Merry Christmas and Happy Birthdays my loves, wherever you are.

    Note: Wikipedia articles may or may not contain a truth for certain values of “truth”. Other online and offline information sources are available. Use of various Heavens may be restricted to members, management, staff and affiliates. Void where prohibited. Sales taxes may apply, though collection may be indirect and vaguely metaphorical. No three-legged, pink, one-eyed, long-tailed, nectar-eating Unicorns were harmed during the construction of this message, to my direct knowledge. Many disclaimers apply. Some datclaimers apply. Dotherclaimers may apply by way of online proformas and will be considered on a non-gender-biased basis. Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. It was not accidental.
    I can take being mocked for lighting a candle for my beloved, I’m a big lad, I can handle it.

  30. SpaceWeed says:

    re SpaceWeed’s latest: if John-the-Bap or whoever can get away with seeding WikiP all over the place, I reckon it’s okay for lesser beings to try.

  31. SpaceWeed says:

    Y’know, some days it does not pay to get out of bed.
    I just did a huge, and quite funny though often bathetic and seriously sentimental post, to which I replied. The original post has vanished. The reply sits there like an eloquent non-sequitur example of insane ramblings. Now, I look like an eejit.[1]

    Mary2, you’re right. You are “good people”. I’d offer you a hug but you’re upside-down and backwards or something and I don’t have long enough arms. So feel free to accept a hug from someone who loves you in proxy.

    | |
    | |

    A candle for my loves.

    [1] I can take looking like an eejit. I’m secure in my masculinity, semi-humanity, intellect and wisdom. I’m a big lad, I can take a joke. I even have a sense of humour. [How the fuck can you live in this cosmos without one?]

  32. Author says:

    Sorry about that, Spaceweed. Your comment went into moderation automatically because it contained a lot of links. It’s there now.

  33. hotrats says:

    “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ? Oscar Wilde

    A bit of prescient advice?

  34. SpaceWeed – I feel for and share your loss. First anniversary of my loss in a few weeks. The main difference is my late wife was a confirmed atheist to the end, and incidentally had no time for Pascal’s Wager or talk of foxholes. Make the most of our time here, it’s all there is. I send you manhugs (I’m secure in my masculinity too).

  35. two cents' worth says:

    Here are some {{Hugs}} for you, SpaceWeed. As the saying goes, it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Your next round here at the Cock & Bull is on me.

  36. two cents' worth says:

    {{Hugs}} and a round for you, too, HfB.

  37. Poor Richard says:

    SKEPTIC SARAH : your friend ‘s catchword needs to be “there’s nothing supernatural about a stillbirth.”

    As to the cartoon: God needs to join the NRA and sharpen his aim.

  38. Jobrag says:

    OMG; I think God wanted a gay statue repair company to get the job, but being the frankly incompetent deity he is he didn’t really think it through.

  39. SpaceWeed says:

    Dear Author: thank you. I was not aware of the “many-links go to moderation” rule. I am now and I’ll remember. Many applejuices. [And now I look like a doubled-up-numpty for whingeing about a missing post that isn’t. Life can be so hard for us Writers.]
    HaggisForBrains and two cents’ worth: Thanks, folk. I’m having a pear cider and a burger-in-a-bun. Nice, thank you.
    HFB: your girl seems like a nice person, brave, too. I would have liked to meet her.
    I’m of the opinion, though it probably can’t be tested, that guys in foxholes more often wish for their maternal parent or the process of fornication to intervene on their behalf than any divinity. The more rude term for genitalia relevant to both of those would possibly be the third most popular thing “prayed” to. Combinations may also be used.
    I doubt divinities come anywhere near the top hundred. I am of course going on my own experiences in lesser situations than foxholes but I expect extrapolation works.
    HFB and tcw: thank you for the long distance {{Hugs}}. {{Hugs}} to you,two, too and to Gentle Author and a gentle, non-committal, gender-neutral {{Hug}} for Mary2, ScepticSarah and ScepticSarahFriend.

  40. SpaceWeed says:

    Poor Richard : “there’s nothing supernatural about a stillbirth.”
    No, but it is devastating for the female. I know about that.

    Some would argue your point and suggest that *everything* has roots in the supernatural in that the Prime Cause has its grubby fingers in it somewhere. Like YWH peeing on us when we’re naughty which causes English floods. Or Tiamat’s orgasms causing earthquakes off Bristol – would that be around her bristols? [Rude, sorry.] [But not sorry enough not to do it.]
    Some would amplify your thought and say : “well, of course not. Nothing has any supernatural qualities or causes because ‘Nature’ , the cosmos unwinding, is all there is.”
    And some would say it doesn’t pigggin’ matter because ScepticSarahFriend is in pain and needs a hug.
    Most of us in this pub probably hang around in group 2.5, leaning more to the huggy bits though there are some group 1 type YWH-ers.

    On the subject of what-not-to-say-EVER, here’s a good example:

    “YWH took her because he needed another angel.”

    I’m not in jail – sorry to spoiler the story but I’m not – so you can probably guess no one ever used that one in my hearing. Indeed, had I spouted such odious crap, the wife would have gone for me, and she was a Catholic.
    To make it worse, the incompetent half-wit [going with the flow of the stories for the sake of mockery] made hundreds of millions of alate robots before it ever ever tried to make humans. It got hissy when a few of them had been poorly programmed [by YWH itself, incidentally] and quit working for it, and there is absolutely no way anything even remotely human would make a good robot for long. Then there’s the part of the story that says the YWH git is extremely durable and made a very durable, entropy-free storage unit for dead guys. If that’s so, and time isn’t an issue for the grotty beardy why take her then? Why not just curb its vast sadism for a few decades and prevent some suffering?
    Because it’s “In The Plan”? So? Change the farking plan, buddy. Grow a sense of compassion.
    Of course, for us mockers, it’s not a supernatural being doing all this bad stuff, it is merely the cosmos rolling over us with feet the size of worlds.
    That’s a shame. It would be nice to have someone to blame. And to have a chance to strangle the verminous bastard in a few years.
    That’s a funny film, by the way though the ending is wrong. I would have preferred the other conclusion.

  41. SpaceWeed says:

    HFB: or as Ellen Ripley would say: “sometimes it is better to light a flame-thrower than to curse the darkness.” [Ellen’s another one I would love to meet. Pity she’s fictional and won’t be born for centuries.]
    And regarding that latest linkie, don’t you just love USAliens? Their rules are stranger than those of any bible-writing beardy sky-daddy.

  42. Mary2 says:

    SpaceWeed. I hear you and you have my empathy. Sometimes I laugh at the irony (or hypocrisy – take your pick) of the amount of time I have spent counselling ‘believers’ who needed my help to shore up beliefs in times of need. They always knew my beliefs (or lack thereof) but found comfort in sharing with another person.
    I frequently envy believers. I think it would often be very comforting to think there was someone out there who cared for one no matter what (not enough to take away the pain etc. but it is ok because it is all part of the great plan), someone who would look after one and would ensure that everything happened for the best. It would be comforting when watching the love-of-your-life die or to be able to think they had gone to ‘a better place’. But, in reality, I don’t think belief in the supernatural makes it better. Losing your partner, other-half, sunshine just plain sucks and nothing but time makes it feel even slightly better. Like HBW I’ve been there too although a very, very long time ago. He was a god-botherer and I felt it gave him comfort so what more could I want from that.
    Personally I think that if Yahweh existed, he’d have a lot of f*ing apologising to do.
    In the meantime: more hugs, virtual or otherwise, for everyone who needs them.

  43. ScepticSarah – you may have taken us off topic, but like in any good pub, that happens often here, and is one of the joys of drinking here. I think you prompted a good discussion, and I hope that it has helped you. I don’t think there are many other places where you could comfortably ask for advice on such a delicate subject. Please let us know how things go with your bereaved friend.

  44. SpaceWeed says:

    Mary2: thank you.
    And I did have someone to take away the pain. To share the pain. Who could cry on my shoulder, fall asleep with her head in my lap, see a rainbow and go all childlike in wonder. I could have shared the loss with her but that’s not a logically valid proposition as she’s the lost one.
    https://xkcd.com/104/ would be a plan had I the faintest idea of how to start.
    I’m sorry you lost your friend. His … shall we say “minor flaw’? … probably didn’t prevent the cuddles. Just supporting YWH, Ally Akbar, Miss Terry[1] or Harry Dresden doesn’t in and of itself necessarily suffice to make you a bad person. Not always. My girl was a case very much to point. She was nice, wise, clever, lovely, generous, accepting and gracious yet she believed.
    It can be done. Even the supporters of YWH-Ally-Akbar [2] or Rangers can be nice.
    Relatively. Sometimes.

    [1] She’s one of mine. A Blackhat[TM]. Berne, DCMA all that jazz.

    [2] It’s pronounced as if written “wee-alley-ackbarrrrr”. With a rolling series of r’s.

  45. SpaceWeed says:

    Mary2 said “…just plain sucks and nothing but time makes it feel even slightly better. ”
    I would have used less polite and far stronger words than “sucks”, but you are right that it does.
    Time will eventually erase the pain totally. Even were I to be essentially immortal, which currently seems to be the case, I’m told that time will get me in the end. Even old gods die.
    I’m currently assuming that the pain will stop then.
    Though knowing my luck Wee-allyakbar will be sitting on his throne [where he does the peeing that causes the floods] awaiting my arrival.

    Which leads to a YWH-AllyAkbar question: if she’s such a good little girly and gets to go to nice storage area then she’ll be re-united with all her family and friends and pets and children and stuff, yes? But I am an infidel, denier, unbeliever, heathen and all-around general scumbag so under Wee-allyakbar’s regime I’d be going to the lost luggage storage area where things get kicked around and cooked for ages. Also right? So how can she be happy when I’m missing from the group photo? Mind-altering drugs? Memory destroying sub-harmonics? Soul-changing soap-operas to distract her so she doesn’t notice?
    I’m thinking Wee-allyakbar hasn’t thought this through.
    Unless, of course, it can supply her with one of its badly-programmed flying robots skinned-up to look like a less-evil clone, robot-duplicate of me.
    But wouldn’t that be evil, treacherous betrayal? Hardly the actions of a loving, merciful and forgiving big daddy, is it?
    I’m thinking YWH-Ally-Akbar isn’t very bright.
    Or, to put it in sane language, the confidence tricksters and parasites who invented that snow-job didn’t do the back-story well enough. There are holes in it you could drive a DeathStar through.
    “No, Suzy, Mummy won’t be coming with us to Heaven. Mummy was a slatternly heathen and has to be cooked in lost-luggage while we have beers and chocolate fizzy ice creams and lots of virgin raisins. Isn’t that sooooo loving and merciful of Wee-Allyakbar?” And little Suzy was sooooo comforted.

  46. SpaceWeed says:

    We interrupt our regularly scheduled carping on and on about WeeAllyAkbar’s armies of darkness and witlessness to bring you two pieces of extremely sad news:
    The world has lost two remarkable women and our species is vastly the poorer for it.

    We now return you to our regularly scheduled mockery.

  47. Chiefy says:

    One would at least have to say that those two ladies lived very interesting lives. Thanks for the notice, SpaceWeed.

    Regarding getting the back-story straight: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3276#comic. Unintended consequences and all… Well, it’s the kind of thing that helped me (finally) see the absurdity of it.

  48. Just dropped in for a quick pint and a hello to the regulars. Nothing of any import to add to the conversation I’m afraid. Cheers, all.

  49. Mary2 says:

    I’ve never had a satisfactory answer to that one SpaceWeed. I have heard that those in heaven will have a slight memory loss so they will not remember those of us on the slow cooker but, if that’s the case, it’s not really our loved ones in heaven is it? I doubt very much my mother would be happy not to remember any of her children (for example) and I am very much hoping the current love-of-my-life (another god-botherer – gee I have strange tastes in spouses) would kinda rather remember who I am.

    I like your idea of those in heaven just being so busy they kinda don’t notice we are not with them. ‘Another flower arranging class dear?’ ‘Yes, but I’m getting the feeling that there’s something I should be remembering”

  50. SpaceWeed says:

    Mary2, there’s no real delicate way of putting this but I’ll be as careful as I can considering the relationships involved.
    On the subject of memory manipulations and fixing stuff, the bomb-chested martyrs need loads of virgins. Perhaps nice Mummies don’t remember having children because they’re fixed so they didn’t?
    Next time you are discussing the afterlife with a priest, maybe that topic could accidentally arise? I’d be very interested in his reaction.
    Oh,dear. Felines and Columbiformes spring to mind.

  51. SpaceWeed says:

    Anyone having a holiday in Uganda in the near future?
    Fancy reporting a certain Yoweri Museveni for “suspected unnatural homosexual acts”?
    Let’s face it, he’s a politician, the probability that he has never sodomised a male child is so small they don’t issue numbers tiny enough to measure it.[1] It seems that unlike many African bosses he didn’t graduate from the English public school system so “experimentation” is not entirely a given but has any politician ever not abused his power and position?
    Reporting him wouldn’t even be homophobic, it would be both your duty in the light of “traditional African values” (meaning English Victorian values forced on Africans for less than a century) and anti-paedophilia. Poetic justice is a phrase that also springs to mind. “Hoist” and “petard”, too.
    If you could rope in a few top priests, too …
    Or am I being a bad person, again?

    Yes, I know. It’ll never happen, anyone who tried would get rapidly disappeared, there would be absolutely no consequences and any reporting of him would “unhappen” but it’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
    It would probably take someone with no relatives, no friends, no money and a terminal disease giving them two hours to live to even attempt such a thing.

    No, I’m being a bad Weed again. I must stop trying to promote this insane and ludicrous idea. Still … anyone know anyone who qualifies? It could be fun.

    [1] I’ve *met* politicians. As a class they haven’t any. They’d boff a hot exhaust pipe if it was a freebie. Or if they could “expense account” it.

  52. SpaceWeed says:

    Mary2: I think the Mary2-SpaceWeed Transformational Conjecture On The Nature Of Ongoing Cerebration In Dis-carnate Post-Christian Pseudo-Forms has just answered a major question that has puzzled humanity for millennia.
    “Assuming eternal conscious existence, why are Christian marriages confined to terrestrial life terms only?”
    Why “till death do ye part”?
    Because the deal is a “soul” gets mind-wiped and recycled as a semi-facsimile of the being it was attached to. It’s an imperfect recording device, not the original being. And the Church has always known this.
    That’s the Big Secret. That’s the thing Christians were never meant to be told.
    Yes, the “soul” does record your life but when it detaches it is edited by the upstairs committees.
    The “you” doesn’t “live forever”. “You” are expendable and expended. Only a few, trivial, minor experiences are kept in the recording device.
    There is no immortality! But the more you fit the boss’s plans the more of “you” is stored. And the Church agrees to this accommodation because it’s the best deal they could reasonably expect.

    Oh, bugger. I think we should all run …
    The really seriously special Men In Black Armour are going to be hunting anyone who knows this …
    We’re in trouble. Again.

  53. omg says:

    I think, that describe quite well the way religions work :
    “…using sleight of hand, optical illusion, ventriloquism, puppets, balloons, clowning, juggling, storytelling, and other visual arts.”

  54. SpaceWeed says:

    omg : thanks for that. And here’s one you might like.
    When one of the Papas got shot a while back[1], the entire mafia of clerics and other parasitic hypocrites rushed the poor, dying pontiff to a couch in the nearest church where they preyed for him for days until he got all better. Their prayers reached the big beardy Wee-ally-akbar and it performed mackerels [which is where the “loaves & fishes” story started] of pre-literate, stone-age surgery and cured the Littler Daddy’s wounds.
    And without infection too!
    They did this in full view of international TV, radio and printed Press.
    Just to show they really, truly do believe that the superstitious shite that is good enough to kill your daughter is good enough for them, too and that they aren’t lying, thieving, parasitic, hypocritical frauds but that when it comes to their eyesight, their teeth, their bullet-wounds and their back-pain they, too will refuse antibiotics, corrective lenses, toothpaste, dentistry, modern high-technology micro-surgery and painkillers and totally and utterly rely on prayer.
    Of coursethey do.
    We all saw them do it. Didn’t we?

    [1] If he’s a “Daddy” to his entire flock of sheep-like family members, does that mean he is also committing incest along with the paedophilia? And as the lesser priestlets are also called “Daddy” shouldn’t they, too, be done for incestuous relations? That might be easier to prosecute as many, many religious folk wouldn’t like the idea.

  55. SpaceWeed says:

    SpaceWeedy latest : “where they preyed for him for days until”
    Well, that part at least was true as they did prey on the gullible for funds for the hospital bill but it was supposed to read “prAyed”.

    Author? Where’s my 5 minute edit gone?

  56. SpaceWeed says:

    Re the astronomical plant’s previous-but-one: I’m actually inclined to believe it about the toothpaste. I’ve met priests. Foul-mouthed creatures. Sort of like Orcs but without the grace, soul, erudition, charm, wit and humanity. A touch more self-centred than a gnome-troll hybrid and far less forgiving than a vampire with an impacted canine.
    Their hygiene often leaves a lot to be wished for, but I suppose that’s to be expected. They think smelliness will drive the daemons away. In some rather spectacular cases they may well be correct.
    I feel another published paper coming on: “On The Efficacy Of Exudations From Fermenting Dermal And Oral Plaques As An Anti-daemonic Prophylactic.”


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