Somehow, this picture seemed especially appropriate on Easter:


Now watch for J.B. Handley, some other anti-vaccine zealot, or a quack to quotemine the title of this post. You know it’s coming…

In the meantime, it’ll be back to the usual topics (and maybe one topic not so usual) next week. Happy Easter, you rabid band of freethinkers!


  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    April 4, 2010

    The one who posted that sign is afraid of thought because it is a foreign concept to him or her.

  2. #2 Pareidolius
    April 4, 2010

    That’s just sad. Willful, nay, prideful stupidity. Sad.

  3. #3 Tony P
    April 4, 2010

    Wow – I hadn’t been aware that I was on of Satan’s minions. Some might think that though.

  4. #4 Arancaytar
    April 4, 2010

    That reminds me of the photoshopped “Behead those who say Islam is violent” poster. By which I mean, it sounds almost too deliberately hilarious to be real… but alas, it probably is.

  5. #5 Zarathustra
    April 4, 2010

    And………… A Believer is his own Slave.

  6. #6 Prometheus
    April 4, 2010

    This, sadly, is a common feeling among all religious fundamentalists, even that fundamentalist religion that holds “vaccines cause autism” as its central dogma.

    As far as being one of “Satans [sic] minions”, I’ve been told that before. In fact, I’ve asked to be cremated after I die in order that I might acclimate myself to the climate of my eternal resting place.

    Frankly, if my choices are to be a brain-dead follower in this life or spend the hereafter on the eternal rotisserie, I’ll pack my barbecue sauce. The fact is, it’s important to use our talents in this life.


  7. #7 Melissa (oddharmonic)
    April 4, 2010

    My husband’s stock response to statements like the sign’s is “If God didn’t want people to have free will, then why did He give it to them?”

  8. #8 sirhcton
    April 4, 2010

    And to think, many governments and their established religions used to be wary of “Baptists and other freethinkers.”

  9. #9 Art
    April 4, 2010

    Man … I really have to jump on this information. Minions of Satan, unlike the foolish Christians, are supposed to get their reward in this life. Satan owes me a whole hell of a lot of back pay. I may have to sue for breach of contract.

  10. #10 Old Rockin' Dave
    April 4, 2010

    And an enslaved thinker is what?

  11. #11 Scott Cunningham
    April 4, 2010

    Wow. Such burning stupid. It surpasses the fires of hell.

  12. #12 Alas
    April 4, 2010

    A friend once told me that the devil marches into an open mind. Maybe he was a member of this congregation?

  13. #13 Ktesibios
    April 4, 2010

    Orac, that reminds me of an experience I had back in a previous life as a recording engineer in Philly.

    I happened to be doing a tracking session for a gospel group; we had all of the lead and backing vocals done and we were doing “ad-libs”, little interjections on the lead vocal track which would be used during the final fade. The lead vocalist was, of corse, a preacher.

    Unlike “ad-libs” in R&B songs, which are normally so pre-planned that they ought to be called “ad-servs”, the rev really was improvising, with whatever happend to pop into his head.

    At one point he hollered “A man should pray- and never think!”

    Unfortuneately, since I was the chief technician as well as a staff engineer, it fell to me to repair the forehead-shaped dent I left in the console.

  14. #14 David
    April 4, 2010

    That’s just an unfortunate misspelling and another attack on America’s Christmas celebration.

    It’s supposed to be Santa’s Slave…

  15. #15 Anonymous
    April 4, 2010

    That’s right, one should always follow the loving gentle traditions of their church. (via Gawker)

  16. #16 DLC
    April 4, 2010

    A free thinker is truly free. A Baptist is a slave for life.

  17. #17 Ken
    April 4, 2010

    @4, I haven’t seen that poster, but I happened to be visiting London on the day of an Islamic protest against the Danish cartoons and saw firsthand the now-famous protester sign that read

    “Freedom of expression go to hell”

    Fortunately Orac wasn’t in the neighbourhood at the time, that would have taken out yet another of his irony meters…

  18. #18 Daniel J. Andrews
    April 4, 2010

    This, sadly, is a common feeling among all religious fundamentalists,….

    Who-a! What are the fundies drinking down in the U.S.? That’s certainly not true up in Canada, least from my experience with fundies (which is a lot more than most people have). I’m surrounded by fundies up here–family and friends–and I once was a fundie long ago (complete with five years Bible College training). My profs emphasized many times over the importance of critical thinking, of thinking for yourself, of not taking anyone’s word for something but checking it out yourself. I received more training in critical thinking there than I ever did when went back to school and switched into the sciences years later.

    Anyone I know (or knew) would strongly reject that sign as idiotic (also theologically unsound, e.g. the Apostle Paul was a free thinker and very learned man, and often wrote about the importance of testing, thinking, for yourself).

    If that sign is real and put up there by that church then it is a church not well versed in the Bible, or has been swayed by a dominating theologically unbalanced preacher, or the term “free thinker” has some specific and different meaning to the people in that community. It is also possible it was meant to provoke so people would come in to see what the hell that church was really saying (a poor strategy, imo, for obvious reasons now).

    Just did a quick google search: That sign is at another church. I checked a few fundie message boards and most commenters are condemning it too. Still, seeing that sign put up in the first place reflects very badly on fundies as a whole (as if they needed any more “bad reflections”).

  19. #19 llewelly
    April 4, 2010

    I guess this means Orac must be Satan’s slave

    Uh oh. How long before Big PharamTM becomes jealous?

  20. #20 Joseph T Major
    April 4, 2010

    The Satan’s Slaves were (maybe still are) a motorcycle gang in California (and perhaps other places).

    Hey, wow, skeptics chain-whipping woo! What will go on the colors? “This is my hog, ‘Randi Roolz!'”

  21. #21 Free Lunch
    April 5, 2010

    Satan owes me a whole hell of a lot of back pay. I may have to sue for breach of contract.

    I hear that Daniel Webster specializes in these recoveries.

    Anyone I know (or knew) would strongly reject that sign as idiotic (also theologically unsound, e.g. the Apostle Paul was a free thinker and very learned man, and often wrote about the importance of testing, thinking, for yourself).

    But each congregation or denomination seems to expect you to think freely and come to exactly the same conclusion they did. They mouth the words, but don’t seem to know the tune. The Baptist tradition once did support individuality, but now, they all say “I’m not.”

  22. #22 Rene Najera
    April 5, 2010

    Do they mean a thinker who is free or someone who thinks freely?

  23. #23 Andreas Johansson
    April 5, 2010

    A man can’t serve two masters. I therefore conclude all the quacksters accusing Orac of being in the pocket of big pharma are outrageous liars.

    They probably fondle pigs too.

  24. #24 IDM
    April 5, 2010

    Another bit of failure is the cameraman’s finger that’s partially on the lens.

    And I wonder where the church sign that says “Baptists are gods bitch.” Without the apostrophe, you can have fun with polytheism.

  25. #25 IDM
    April 5, 2010

    “A Baptist is gods bitch”*

    I need more caffeine in the morning. Maybe if I dilute it enough it’ll be more effective. /s

  26. #26 Calli Arcale
    April 5, 2010

    Fortunately, this extreme an expression against free thought is rare in Christianity; while the Calvinists tend to believe things are preordained (which would make free thinking an illusion), even they wouldn’t be likely to say something this ridiculous. But, sadly, there are some who embarrass themselves by not thinking about what’s coming out of their mouths. So not being a free thinker clearly isn’t helping this person very much….

    My response to the sign would be this.

    If you are not a free thinker, how do you know you are not Satan’s slave already?

  27. #27 ursa major
    April 5, 2010

    (Satan sets fresh cup of tea on table by the newspaper)

    Satan: Is there anything else I can do for you Master?

    Ursa: No thank you, just run off and play with the Christians.

    (Ursa sips tea and reads the news)(Satan wanders off to possess a priest or something)

  28. #28 VikingMoose
    April 5, 2010

    are we sure this is a real-life sign and not one of those “generate a sign” type pics?

  29. #29 Fuzzzone
    April 5, 2010

    I suspect they’re using the term as a (rather old-fashioned) reference to secular humanists and atheists. While it isn’t a widely used term these days, it’s preserved in at least one journal that I’m acquainted with:

  30. #30 Jean-François Bélisle
    April 6, 2010

    Freedom is slavery? Well, isn’t this Orwellian?

  31. #31 VikingMoose
    April 6, 2010

    yeah. I’m skeptical about this…

  32. #32 Anonymous
    April 7, 2010

    VikingMoose –
    thank you for that fantastic link!

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