Jesus won’t bring you any presents!

I don’t know whether this is staged or not, but it’s bizarrely amusing: someone video taped his mother’s reaction to learning he is an atheist. Mom throws a hissy fit. After a bit of denial, she brings the big guns to bear on the poor guy: if he’s an atheist, he’s not going to get any presents for Christmas, because it’s all about Jesus.

After crushing him with that overwhelming threat, what’s she going to do to punish him when she finds out he posted her tirade on Youtube? It’s good parenting skills to know you don’t launch the thermonuclear missiles with the first offense, because you won’t have any credible escalation options left when you discover the really awful thing the kid has done.

The video has been pulled from youtube, but you can still find it here.


  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    April 10, 2007

    Kurt Vonnegut has said in a few places that if you want to shock your parents and you don’t have the nerve to become homosexual, you should go into the arts. It occurs to me that atheism is also a viable option — perhaps even an escalation.

    Now, I’m in a bit of a fix: both of my parents have written as a hobby (Dad worked on Raymond Chandler-esque detective novels, Mom on Wild West serial romances which would have Fabio on the cover). And as far as I can tell, Mom’s reaction to Dennett’s Breaking the Spell was that he bent so far backwards he endangered his spine.

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    April 10, 2007


    Reminds me of the old question, “Are there tigers in Heaven?”

    If there are no tigers in Heaven, then Calvin will be sad, and nobody can be sad in Heaven. But other people can’t be happy if they’re always in danger of being eaten by tigers. We can only satisfy the requirements by saying that tigers don’t eat people in Heaven — but then the tigers won’t be happy!

    Who was it who said that because he believed in the Bible, he knew that Hell existed, but because he believed in a loving God, he knew it was empty?

  3. #3 Elliott
    April 10, 2007

    There is a way to be an atheist, and not blow your cover by ceasing to go to church. Become a member of the choir. A really good choir doesn’t care if you believe or not; it’s not interested in your “soul”, just your voice. (Remember, I’m talking music here, not the rest of the flicking nonsense.)

    The choir in which I sang for twenty years had the added advantage of singing from the gallery, rather than the chancel. That meant that I might read Dawkins during the sermon.

  4. #4 Blake Stacey
    April 10, 2007


    Everyone should count their blessings that I was raised without religion. If I joined a choir and tried to sing, every fundamentalist from Scottsboro to Montgomery would start screaming in the tongues, for they’d be convinced that Satan was alive and unleashed.

    The only choir I’m gonna be part of is the metaphorical one — you know, the one that Dawkins is preaching to.

  5. #5 Blake Stacey
    April 10, 2007


    Where’s the chocolate in the Bible?

    Oh, yes, it’s the same chapter that talks about America.


  6. #6 Blake Stacey
    April 10, 2007

    The Hippocrates I knew died in 410 BCE. . . .

  7. #7 Blake Stacey
    April 10, 2007

    I get the feeling it was older than Carey — like I read it quoted in a Borges essay somewhere.

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