Pharyngula

Department of “Duh!”

This is what health departments are reduced to in the face of lunacy. Health officials in the Philippines have issued a warning to people taking part in Easter crucifixion rituals.

The health department has strongly advised penitents to check the condition of the whips they plan to use to lash their backs, the Manila Times newspaper reports.

Real nails are used in the re-enactments
They want people to have what they call “well-maintained” whips.

In the hot and dusty atmosphere, officials warn, using unhygienic whips to make deep cuts in the body could lead to tetanus and other infections.

And they advise that the nails used to fix people to crosses must be properly disinfected first. Often people soak the nails in alcohol throughout the year.

People are flagellating themselves and nailing themselves to sticks in a public spectacle of stupidity, and health officials are warning them to get a tetanus shot? How about “Stop doing that,” instead, or alternatively, “Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore”?

Comments

  1. #1 ChrisGose
    March 20, 2008

    I’m pretty sure Jesus wasn’t granted the courtesy of disinfectant and a tetanus shot.

    These fundies think they are hardcore but they aren’t.

  2. #2 danley
    March 20, 2008

    Lockjaw and the Easter Bunny.

  3. #3 Monado, FCD
    March 20, 2008

    Maybe it’s a bravery ritual. People hang themselves from hooks and similar nonsense at Body Modification parties.

  4. #4 Jon Merz
    March 20, 2008

    Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore

    Having a rough morning, PZ?

  5. #5 True Bob
    March 20, 2008

    So WTF do these people think? Do they think they are cheeses? Do they think everyone must be crucified? Is it a pathetic cry for attention? I’m more pious than you? What motivates an otherwise sane person* to mutilate themselves?

    ___________________
    * enormous assumption

  6. #6 Richard Eis
    March 20, 2008

    I think it’s an attention thing. Cool tattoo but hey, check out these weeping holes in my hands…I may have tetanus…waaaay cool.

  7. #7 JJR
    March 20, 2008

    What exactly is a “well-maintained” whip?

    Centurion: Soldier, is your whip well-maintained?
    Soldier: Allow me to demonstrate
    [whips prisoner, who wails in agony]
    Soldier: Affirmative, sir. Still functionally effective.
    Centurion: Carry on.
    Soldier: With pleasure. Hail Caesar!
    [the beating continues]

  8. #8 factician
    March 20, 2008

    I dunno, this sounds to me like the “Please use clean needles while injecting yourself with drugs.”

    It’s a public health measure intended as a stop-gap solution, not to actually solve the underlying problem of drug addiction (or whipping-yourself-for-god-addiction).

  9. #9 Tulse
    March 20, 2008

    Yep, it’s called “harm reduction”. It’s what we do when people insist on doing stupid stuff, so that doing the stupid stuff won’t involve secondary damage (beyond the stupid stuff itself).

  10. #10 glopk
    March 20, 2008

    Well, how about the requirements that climbers’ ropes and crampons be well maintained? Or that NASCAR racing machines have battery breakers and roll bars?

    I think this agency is doing a good job in the face of public stupidity. The hint that such practices are dangerous is educational in itself.

  11. #11 Mooser
    March 20, 2008

    “Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore”?

    All life is valuable, even the lives of the misinformed. Maybe if you didn’t believe in god you might know this. Of course, compared to god, no one on earth is worth a shit, are they?

    A belief in god combined with a lack of compassion is a terrible thing.

  12. #12 DaveL
    March 20, 2008

    While I can understand the principle of harm reduction, what’s shocking here is not what’s being said so much as what isn’t being said:

    “What can we say, as public health officials, about lacerating your flesh with whips and driving nails through your hands? Don’t do it!

    When the principle of harm reduction is applied to substance abuse, we don’t avoid conveying the message that it’s still a bad thing.

  13. #13 alex
    March 20, 2008

    the crucifixion is the most morally repellent thing about christian doctrine for me. if i was somehow convinced that the Bible, the word of God, the life of Jesus etc were all actually entirely true, i’d still have to refuse the acceptance of another person’s death and torture as payment for my own misdeeds.
    not only is the crucifixion story completely immoral, it also contradicts Jesus’ own teachings. i don’t know how otherwise comparatively moral Christians can not just accept, but celebrate something so obviously foul – on top of all the more optimistic superstitious crap they swallow.

  14. #14 hyperdeath
    March 20, 2008

    What these people are doing can be described in two words:

    “Sucking up”.

    They’re not doing it out of devotion, or righteousness, or piety. They’re doing it to suck up to god. They hope that their snivelling display of masochism will gain them points in the afterlife.

    They’re not even that courageous. Yes, it requires a lot of nerve to go through with it, but ultimately they expect everything and more back. It’s not self-sacrifice, but a calculated investment.

  15. #15 Dianne
    March 20, 2008

    This is definitely a harm reduction issue. If you told people who are willing to whip themselves or let themselves be crucified, “Don’t do it” they’d ignore you. What do you know, you heathen? Tell them to watch their equipment so as to avoid unnecessary damage to themselves and they might listen. Thus, fewer people in the ER or hospital with miscellaneous preventable injuries and illnesses. And a free show for the tourists.

  16. #16 Michelle
    March 20, 2008

    Can you point me to the part in the bible that said that to look cool in the eyes of God you have to hurt yourself like his miraculous son was?

  17. #17 J
    March 20, 2008

    “Crucifixion’s not so bad. Gets you out in the fresh air.”

  18. #18 wÒÓ†
    March 20, 2008
  19. #19 MartinM
    March 20, 2008

    And apparently once just isn’t enough for some people:

    Sometimes people repeat the penance year after year, like the fish vendor who will be nailed to the cross for the 15th and last time on Friday to give thanks for his mother’s recovery from tuberculosis.

  20. #20 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008

    So there are Roman soldier reenactors who are going to nail nails into people’s hands? To help a bunch of morons prove their insane devotion to Jesus?

    And that’s okay?

  21. #21 Kim
    March 20, 2008

    “how about the requirements that climbers’ ropes and crampons be well maintained? … a good job in the face of public stupidity.”

    I see what you mean, but I think the link you make is somewhat missing the point!

  22. #22 Larry
    March 20, 2008

    Always look on the bright side of life
    [whistles]
    Always look on the bright side of life
    [more whistles]

    For life is quite absurd
    And death’s the final word.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.
    Forget about your sin.
    Give the audience a grin.
    Enjoy it. It’s your last chance, anyhow.

    I guess they just must be python fans.

  23. #23 Carlie
    March 20, 2008

    And they advise that the nails used to fix people to crosses must be properly disinfected first.

    There is so much to dissect in that statement that I fail to find words to even try.

  24. #24 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    “What motivates an otherwise sane person* to mutilate themselves?”

    The insanity of piety fed by blind faith, that’s what.

    What they do here is just an example of the irrationality a person will gleefully engage in because they think that their acts are gaining favor with, or pleasing their deity.

    Piety fed by power-lust leads people to fly planes into buildings, strap bombs to their bodies and blow up innocents, burn witches, etc. etc. etc..

  25. #25 Cuttlefish, OM
    March 20, 2008

    It’s bondage (and I don’t mean light)
    But being sub to God’s all right?
    A little more than strange, I think,
    But then, that’s not the way I kink.

  26. #26 Left_Wing_Fox
    March 20, 2008

    CalGeorge: Yep, it’s ok. The vast majority of Body modification relies on someone else to stab, poke, sear, and inject things for the person getting the mod.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_modification

    Gonna agree with most of the folks on here, the practice is ridiculous, but it’s easier to reduce the risk of damage than stop people risking themselves. My concern here is with the coersion aspect that makes people think that this is somehow a required activity, rather than a completely optional one.

  27. #27 Brian Macker
    March 20, 2008

    Factician, I pretty much agree. Equivalent of needle exchange for the addicted.

  28. #28 Bob Felton
    March 20, 2008

    Everybody needs a hobby, I guess.

  29. #29 J-Dog
    March 20, 2008

    Larry – Yeah! And just think of the View!

  30. #30 H. Humbert
    March 20, 2008

    So who do these pious individuals get to whip them? Friends? Family members? The local atheist group? Can I volunteer to be a whipper?

  31. #31 LC
    March 20, 2008

    What sort of whips are they using though?

    The slappy strips of leather ones which make a loud noise a not much else like they are engaged in some weird BDSM ritual?

    Or are they going for the real whips which can peel off several inches of skin with one whack (and thats before you include metal barbs). If its the latter, why don’t they just go to Saudi Arabia where they can have a professional flog them within an inch of their lives?

    And as for their ‘cruicfixions’, I guess they don’t include the bit where a spear stuck through their lungs (or broken legs if they prefer). Lack of faith probably.

    I wonder what volume of scarce medical resources there cretins will consume when the docs have to put them back together so they can do it again next year.

  32. #33 Quidam
    March 20, 2008

    It does rather diminish the concept of the Crucifixion as being unsurvivable and intolerably agonizing.
    “We do not know, we cannot tell, what pain He had to bear”
    Yes we do, just ask Jorge.

    I wonder if anyone watching this thinks, “Hang on a moment, if these guys survive being crucified every year for 15 years, then crucifixion is easily survivable, so just maybe Jesus didn’t die on the cross and was just resuscitated not resurrected. But that would mean the prophecy was not fulfilled, there was no blood sacrifice and He didn’t die for my sins. That would mean that the very premise of Christianity is fundamentally flawed”

  33. #34 Emmet Caulfield
    March 20, 2008

    The RCC “frowns on the practice”. That’s no surprise: Jesus was only nailed up once for 3 to 6 hours, it doesn’t look like nearly such a big deal if a Filipino fishmonger can do it 15 times.

  34. #35 Tukla in Iowa
    March 20, 2008

    I hope it’s not too late to ask my mom for a well-maintained whip for Easter.

    I guess there’s always my birthday, if it is.

  35. #36 MartinM
    March 20, 2008

    It does rather diminish the concept of the Crucifixion as being unsurvivable and intolerably agonizing.

    Well, they’re cheating a bit; they’re tied to the cross as well as nailed to it. I suspect the nails aren’t carrying any weight at all.

    On the other hand, they don’t have the luxury of divine restoration after three days. But I suppose ‘Jesus had a really bad weekend for your sins’ doesn’t have the same ring.

  36. #37 Kseniya
    March 20, 2008

    Geez. What’s the safeword? “Lama sabachthani?”

  37. #38 bernarda
    March 20, 2008
  38. #39 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 20, 2008

    Crucifixion was used as an extra-painful method of death penalty for millennia. It’s not survivable if done right.

  39. #40 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 20, 2008

    Crucifixion was used as an extra-painful method of death penalty for millennia. It’s not survivable if done right.

  40. #41 Carlie
    March 20, 2008

    If they get an infection, do they go to the doctor to get antibiotics?
    “Sure, God, I’m willing to put a nail through my hand for you, carefully avoiding going through the bones, of course, but I’m really not going to put up with an MRSA infection for you. That’s just a bit too much.”

  41. #42 CFX
    March 20, 2008

    Martin,

    Agreed. They’re cheating not only in using ropes, but misplacing the nail site. Everyone knows for a proper crucifixion the nails have to be placed in the wrist. What’ s the point in going through the Jesus chainsaw massacre if it’s not historically accurate?

  42. #43 noncarborundum
    March 20, 2008

    i don’t know how otherwise comparatively moral Christians can not just accept, but celebrate something so obviously foul

    Somewhat surprisingly (to me, at least), if you believe that God sanctions something, it seems very easy to ignore its moral dimension. Take the story of Abraham and Isaac, for example. I find Abraham’s willingness to slaughter his own son unfathomable, but the Muslim calendar has a major holiday, Eid al-Adha, to celebrate this very willingness (which is perhaps not surprising for a religion that calls itself “Submission”). I’ve been invited to Eid al-Adha parties by a Muslim friend, and no doubt they’re about as religious as the tree-trimming festivities my wife and I hold at Yule time, but I just can’t bring myself to attend.

  43. #44 True Bob
    March 20, 2008

    CFX,

    I suppose they are not then True Christians, but a bunch of poseurs.

  44. #45 Rey Fox
    March 20, 2008

    Whip maintenance is, of course, part of the sacred bond between man and God, as evidenced in the Whipsman’s Creed.

    THIS IS MY WHIP. There are many like it but this one is mine. My whip is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My whip, without me is useless. Without my whip, I am useless. I must crack my whip true. I must whip straighter than any enemy who is trying to out-pious me. I will….

    My whip is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its handle, and its lash. I will keep my whip clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…

    Before God I swear this creed. When a problem comes along, I shall whip it. Whip it good. Amen.

  45. #46 Interrobang
    March 20, 2008

    I find it weird that so many of you seem to be freaked out at the concept of a “well-maintained whip.” Aren’t there any other equestrians here but me? Basically, a well-maintained whip isn’t falling apart, has the handle still firmly attached to the lash, doesn’t have any of the metal or fibreglass bits sticking out, and is overall in reasonable condition. I can understand this concern — a whip flying apart at the wrong time could injure a bystander.

  46. #47 Sarcastro
    March 20, 2008

    Life of Brian wasn’t the first thing I thought of, I immediately went to The Young Ones

    …nailing themselves to sticks…

    “That’s a really negative way to kill yourself, y’know. Like, I’ve tried it hundreds of times. There’s no way you can hammer in the last nail”.

  47. #48 Elf M. Sternberg
    March 20, 2008

    LC: As someone with quite a number of kinks outside of the closet, I can assure you that the whips in my closet do far more than just make a lot of noise.

    I have to agree with the posters who think the health department is doing what it can in the face of a mass of human beings following their bliss, as crazy and bizarre as it sounds. We can’t all be latte-sipping, tweed-wearing bookworms sitting ’round the hearth sipping beer and trading hearty bon-mots between read-aloud chapters of Origin of the Species. Grief, what a boring planet that would be.

  48. #49 Moshe
    March 20, 2008

    And to think I just had to listen to a Christian-Fascist rant about how stupid Shi’i are for physically abusing themselves during ashura.

  49. #50 Tukla in Iowa
    March 20, 2008

    Yeah, all joking aside, I keep my whip well maintained, just like the collars and the other accessories. Good replacements aren’t cheap, and more importantly they have sentimental value.

  50. #51 Anonomouse
    March 20, 2008

    “Stop doing that,” instead, or alternatively, “Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore”?”

    Because it doesn’t work. People will do it anyway and get infections. The health officials are attempting to deal with the reality of the situation.

    On a positive note, your reaction to this health warning is so very similar to my reaction about the the Anti-OverDose drug you posted a few weeks ago.

    Nice to see your heart stop bleeding. F’ing Hypocrite.

  51. #52 bernarda
    March 20, 2008

    Maybe those guys should just stick to walking on water. It’s not so hard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2XQ97XHjVw

  52. #53 MartinM
    March 20, 2008

    On a positive note, your reaction to this health warning is so very similar to my reaction about the the Anti-OverDose drug you posted a few weeks ago.

    The major difference being that PZ is blowing off steam, whereas you were entirely serious about letting drug addicts die.

  53. #54 Anonomouse
    March 20, 2008

    “The major difference being that PZ is blowing off steam, whereas you were entirely serious about letting drug addicts die.”

    Martin the Telepath.

  54. #55 Mark
    March 20, 2008

    “How about “Stop doing that,” instead, or alternatively, “Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore”?”
    3 words: “huge tourist attraction”. The government doesn’t want this to stop, or for people to die, because less tourists means less income.

  55. #56 Jaycubed
    March 20, 2008

    Give me that old time religion
    Tis the old time religion,
    Tis the old time religion,
    And it’s good enough for me.

    Makes me whip everybody.
    Makes me scourge everybody.
    Makes me burn everybody.
    And it’s good enough for me.

    Give me that old time religion
    Tis the old time religion,
    Tis the old time religion,
    And it’s good enough for me.

    It will do when you’re screamin’.
    It will do when I am reamin’.
    It will do when you’re dying.
    And it’s good enough for me.

  56. #57 Tukla in Iowa
    March 20, 2008

    Yeah, all joking aside, I keep my whip well maintained, just like the collars and the other accessories. Good replacements aren’t cheap, and more importantly they have sentimental value.

  57. #58 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008

    Finally, a country that is stupider than ours.

    .
    .
    .
    191. The United State of America
    192. The Philippines

    What a relief.

  58. #59 Doug
    March 20, 2008

    Every year a Darwin award comes from the Phillipines. It must be divine intervention.

  59. #60 Russell
    March 20, 2008

    I don’t know why y’all are so riled. I think we ought to encourage Christians here in the US to emulate this practice. “What? You think you’re devout? Ha! Look what they do in the Philippines.”

    After all, there also is a form of harm reduction when a stupid belief results in a really stupid and obvious behavior. Not to the believer, of course. But think of the children.

  60. #61 ray
    March 20, 2008

    Thank you for completely generalizing the entire Philippine population, my fellow open-minded scientists.

    ::deep sigh::

  61. #62 YetAnotherKevin
    March 20, 2008

    Hi, Elf. Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed “travellog” (sp?) back in the day.

  62. #63 Rey Fox
    March 20, 2008

    ray: You’re welcome.

  63. #64 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    “Thank you for completely generalizing the entire Philippine population, my fellow open-minded scientists.”

    Thank you for completely generalizing the entire community of open-minded scientists, my fellow generalizer.

  64. #65 Virginia
    March 20, 2008

    Quidam said: It does rather diminish the concept of the Crucifixion as being unsurvivable and intolerably agonizing.

    This is an important point, which I’ve wondered about since the days of my Catholic grade school classes. We were taught that Jesus had to endure the horrible suffering of crucifixion in order to atone for all the sins of humanity, past and future. But in fact, he suffered for a few hours and then it was over. The scourging and crown of thorns probably was a favor to him, since the blood loss saved him from the days of agony on the cross that others suffered. And of course we don’t need to look far in our history and literature to find many more lingering and horrifying tortures.

    If this ordeal of a few hours was enough to atone for all the sins of the world, then why is the eternal torture of hell necessary. The crucifixion pales by comparison with the infinite torment of hell, which by definition would have to vastly exceed all suffering in human history. There’s a huge disconnect here.

  65. #66 ray
    March 20, 2008

    Touche. The point remains.

  66. #67 James F
    March 20, 2008

    All generalizations are bad!

  67. #68 tus
    March 20, 2008

    yes make sure to sterilize the needle before administering the lethal injection…you wouldnt want the prisoner to get tetnis.

    just what this reminds me of.
    well while you are hacking away at your flesh and piercing yourself with metal spikes, make sure to sanitize them ahead of time, wouldnt want to do something UNHEALTHY.

    but of course saying “you’re all fucking retarded, stop that already” wouldnt go over well, cant question their religious practices.

    they should just go all the way, whats a crucifixion if the person just gets down when its done. you gotta keep em up there til they die, whip em while they are on the cross and pierce em with a spear (allegedly…i dont think piercing crucified people with spears was roman practice, think standard practice was to leave them there til they died, either bleeding or starvation, whichever comes first.)

    then they can become eligable for the darwin award.

  68. #69 kmarissa
    March 20, 2008

    Touche. The point remains.

    Considering the frequency with which US citizens and non-US citizens alike generalize the entire US population on this blog (sometimes we narrow down to a single US state), we can’t resist spicing things up a bit by generalizing other populations as the occasions arise. Australia had its turn recently. It’s just fair play.

  69. #70 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    Ray

    #57 was the only post I read that disparages an entire nation (actually 2 of them) because of the insane acts of a vocal minority. But it was an even-handed flame, in proper context.

    I do not see how the substance of the posts on this thread support your initial assertion. I feel it was a complete exaggeration to state that this thread “generalizes the entire Philippine population”. So I don’t think the point does stand until I see some examples that I perhaps overlooked.

    If there are generalizations however, I do agree that they should be viewed as ridiculous and counterproductive.

  70. #71 Jonathon
    March 20, 2008

    I know that the Philippines are not the only place in the world where this nonsense goes on, but they seem to have more than their fair share of it.

    Quite frankly, this is disgusting. I do not believe that Jesus would have wanted people to nail themsleves to crosses and whip themselves in homage to him. And speaking as one who doesn’t believe in Jesus’ divinity or resurrection, focusing so much on Jesus’ execution misses the entire point of Jesus’ teachings. Rather than nail themselves to crosses, they should be re-reading the Sermon on the Mount and reminding themselves of Jesus’ true teachings.

    I am reminded of Ashura, an important day in the Shiite sect of Islam, where people cut themselves and beat themselves in remembrance of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali. Not much difference if you ask me.

  71. #72 poke
    March 20, 2008

    Countries that had Christianity essentially forced on them seem to take it a lot more seriously than Westerners (see also Africa). It’s like Stockholm Syndrome writ large.

  72. #73 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    #71, I think it is perhaps a bit deeper than that. I’m no expert, but there’s is something very suspicious about dogmatic thinking and self-loathing. There are many examples. It’s really something for PhDs to look at. Here is a link that gives some historical perspective of the act of self-flagellation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagellant

    Somehow I think all of these kinds of mechanisms and behaviors humans invent, whether pleasurable or not, are there to help our completely unprepared emotional and intellectual faculties come to grips with our self-aware state of being and our place in reality.

    It would seem that these mechanisms and behaviors helped us in the past to get to this point in our history. I’m not quite sure they’ll be of much use to us for much longer. And they may end up even killing us all.

    But that’s just a guess, I’m no expert.

  73. #74 Sastra
    March 20, 2008

    Elf M. Sternberg #47 wrote:

    We can’t all be latte-sipping, tweed-wearing bookworms sitting ’round the hearth sipping beer and trading hearty bon-mots between read-aloud chapters of Origin of the Species. Grief, what a boring planet that would be.

    Sigh. Boring? On the contrary, it sounds exotic. Tell you what, keep your whips in the closet and you get to host the next PharynguFest.

  74. #75 kmarissa
    March 20, 2008

    Sigh. Boring? On the contrary, it sounds exotic.

    I could do without the tweed though, at least during the summer months–a bit itchy. Plus, I’m not sure that I’d enjoy sipping lattes and beer at the same time.

  75. #76 Marcus Ranum
    March 20, 2008

    They all need psychiatric counselling under suicide watch.

  76. #77 Cat Faber
    March 20, 2008

    And they advise that the nails used to fix people to crosses must be properly disinfected first. Often people soak the nails in alcohol throughout the year.

    Am I really the first to say “Ew. Yuck.”?

    For the person who tried to compare this to climbing mountains, I’m thinking “no.” Climbing mountains is for enjoying the experience of hiking into the wilderness, demonstration of skill and strength in in the technical climing, and satisfaction in the achievement and the beauty of the view from the top. No part of it is inspired by the desire to please a supernatural being with a taste for torture.

  77. #78 LCR
    March 20, 2008

    I spent 9 months in the Philippines and had the opportunity to witness this ritual. I was staying with my husband’s family (Filipino) so I was able to get some perspective from his very religious aunt. If you are not familiar with Filipinos (at least those around Manila), they tend to practice very colorful, indigenously altered version of Catholicism, almost psychodelic in nature. The more graphic the demonstration of their belief and the more blatant their guilt over their sins (whatever they might be), the better. Ironically, they also practice the great sin of pride in taking part in this. Their family members have bragging rights for the next year because one of their own has shown their devotion to God in such a gory, public way. You can elevate the status of your family in the community and the church by taking part in this. Not to defend the practice, but there are a lot of social pressures to engage in this demonstration and not all of them are related to God.

    From a personal perspective, it was a shocking experience to observe, not to mention just plain unnerving with all of that blood flying everywhere.

  78. #79 Pete
    March 20, 2008

    #71: …had it forced on them more recently. “Westerners” weren’t always Christian either, and it was mostly forced on them too. And I’m not sure they take it more seriously than the Western fundies.

  79. #80 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008
  80. #81 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    @woot #18:

    good composition, but too much saturation and contrast boost; also a bit oversharpened.

    if you are using autolevels, try fading it by 50%. if not, just tone down the contrast enhancment by at least half, and don’t boost the saturation by more than 10%.

    for the sharpening problems, again, try knocking down the sharpening pass by at least 30%. If your photo editing proggy uses unsharpening filters, try that instead, and experiment with the radius/percent to get a more pleasing effect.

  81. #82 Nentuaby
    March 20, 2008

    #33

    You’re missing a point, actually. Crucifixion IS easily survivable, that was the whole deal of the punishment (which, remember, was a brutally sadistic Roman form of execution before it ever played a role in anybody’s religion).

    The entire point of crucifixion was that it did not kill the victim quickly. Instead, he was left in incredible pain on the cross while he died of exposure, dehydration, and slow blood loss over several days. That said, certainly the torments the bible describes would have killed the man, especially the piercing with the spear.

  82. #83 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    We can’t all be latte-sipping, tweed-wearing bookworms sitting ’round the hearth sipping beer and trading hearty bon-mots between read-aloud chapters of Origin of the Species.

    Aside from the fact that I can’t recall ever sipping latte and beer at the same time, I like the image…

    brings back some fond memories.

  83. #84 SteveM
    March 20, 2008

    whip em while they are on the cross and pierce em with a spear (allegedly…i dont think piercing crucified people with spears was roman practice, think standard practice was to leave them there til they died, either bleeding or starvation, whichever comes first.)

    As I understand it, the Roman practice was to break the legs so they could no longer bear any weight, this would put so much stress on the diaphram that the victim would not be able to breathe and so suffocate to death. Jesus was speared to spare him the broken legs, but I forget who convinced the guard to do that and exactly why.

  84. #85 timquick
    March 20, 2008

    I am an atheist, a former philosophy professor, and enjoy rough humor some times. I respect you and read your blog everyday (though I seldom comment). But this really is to much:

    “Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore.”

    I know you didn’t mean it, but that is not a joke. It’s not funny. It’s not a throw away line like “drop dead”. I really think you should avoid such eliminationst rhetoric. It’s neither healthy nor civil. Nor funny.

  85. #86 Mark
    March 20, 2008

    #67: “(allegedly…i dont think piercing crucified people with spears was roman practice, think standard practice was to leave them there til they died, either bleeding or starvation, whichever comes first.)”

    That was after he died, though only mentioned in John.
    http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults2.php?passage1=John19&book_id=50&version1=9&tp=21&c=19

    I can picture this dialog:
    soldier1: “That guy looks like he’s already dead.”
    soldier2: “Let’s poke him and see if he’s faking.”

  86. #87 apk
    March 20, 2008

    I’m afraid that this is where my ideas part company with PZ’s. I am vociferously anti-religion, but I am most certainly not anti-people, religious or not.

    “Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore.”

    This gets us nowhere.

  87. #88 Chili Pepper
    March 20, 2008

    You lot really do focus on the little issues. When are we finally going to see calls for seatbelts to be installed on the crosses? Is anybody giving the flagellators good advice on how to properly warm-up and stretch before their workout?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  88. #89 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008

    “When are we finally going to see calls for seatbelts to be installed on the crosses?”

    All Roman guards must use approved rubber-tipped spears.

    Mail & Guardian:
    Victor showed no fear, smoking a cigarette, waiting in line for his turn on the cross.

    But he cried out and openly wept as the 13cm stainless-steel nails — pre-soaked in alcohol to disinfect them — were driven through his palms with an ordinary carpenter’s hammer.

    Victor was one of at least 19 Filipinos who underwent ritual crucifixion on Good Friday in the northern village of Cutud, as part of a bloody annual spectacle that continues to shock tourists and outsiders in this devoutly-Roman Catholic nation.

    It was his 17th year imitating the Passion of Christ. He said he was doing it so his mother would recover from a chronic illness.

    And because he likes the attention?

  89. #90 So Larries
    March 20, 2008

    While I don’t do much of that sort of thing myself, I can only state my objection to the inability of these people to recognize the limits of their fun & games, and have the sense and decency to NOT believe their particular sports make them moral authorities.

    Frankly, PZ and most of the crowd here is not only often square, but oddly middle-class prudish in their judgement of the fantasy games of others, even when it has no significant social/political effect.
    Please be a little more honest, some of you. Look at your own hobbies and obsessions and notice that they are just as absurd as at least the more savvy self-crucifiers.

  90. #91 Glen Davidson
    March 20, 2008

    Speaking of “Duh,” in a major coup for ID, it turns out that humans can make things:

    Thankyou RRE.

    Intelligent Design is not restricted to design detection alone.

    In the paper, the scaffold and the active site of this enzyme were both INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED. The active site using theoretical physics, and the scaffold by combining known protein domains.

    The use of “guided evolution” to tweak the design showed the destructive nature of many mutations, but it also showed that at the present state of our knowledge, we are not able to do fine tuning of scaffolds. It is easier to produce and test a huge number of random substitutions than it is to design, produce and then test the effects on enzyme kinetics of small conformational changes. This is where the guided evolution was used.

    This is brilliant ID research. This is the sort of work that ID proponents should aspire to. This, much more than Craig Venters “copy” cell, is mirroring the work of the Designer.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/intelligent-design-research-published-in-nature/#comment-189577

    Wow, humans can be designers! Take that, evolutionists.

    Meaning that there is a God (who made enzymes which appear to have evolved sans foresight). See?

    I know, I know, pointing to ID/UD tard is so easy, and yet when they come up with such great “ID research” I am left wondering if they can even be taught what words mean, let alone to come up with a scientific hypothesis.

    Of course he’s misusing the sense of “guided evolution” by implying that it’s some ID god tweaking evolution, when of course it is a good analog of natural selection, in that they’re setting up “environmental pressures” to achieve an outcome–the only difference being that the outcome is predetermined (by context, not mechanism) in this case.

    Gee, so they turned to mutation and environmental selection precisely because it is a good way to deal with the complexity that the IDiots want to claim is what their “designer” causes. This gets back to an inconvenient fact, that it is evolution that deals well with coordinating complex interconnected systems, while rational design processes are strained when dealing with a great deal of complexity–and of course they never produce the patterns that we see in evolution (other than by mimicry). Somehow they especially neglect to mention the latter aspect.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  91. #92 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    Wow, humans can be designers! Take that, evolutionists.

    I’m sure all the anthropologists are excited about this news.

  92. #93 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    Please be a little more honest, some of you. Look at your own hobbies and obsessions and notice that they are just as absurd as at least the more savvy self-crucifiers.

    you know, you’re right. I’ve often thought that posting here is at least as absurd as self-crucification.

    *rolleyes*

  93. #94 Tulse
    March 20, 2008

    Frankly, PZ and most of the crowd here is not only often square, but oddly middle-class prudish in their judgement of the fantasy games of others, even when it has no significant social/political effect.

    Wow. I sure don’t know where this comes from (may I remind you that it was PZ’s daughter who argued against the immorality of bestiality?). Folks here have all sorts of interests, and in my experience are generally extremely tolerant of everything except stupidity (especially when it is manifested in unreflective religiosity).

  94. #95 miller
    March 20, 2008

    Do they actually nail people to crosses? :P

    I vaguely remember being taught that being nailed to a cross causes enough pain to instantly kill anyone who isn’t Jesus.

  95. #96 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    This gets us nowhere.

    Darwin Awards

    http://www.darwinawards.com/

  96. #97 kmarissa
    March 20, 2008

    Frankly, PZ and most of the crowd here is not only often square, but oddly middle-class prudish in their judgement of the fantasy games of others, even when it has no significant social/political effect.

    I thought the point of the post was that this behavior has enough of a public health effect to prompt health officials to issue public warnings.

  97. #98 Ray
    March 20, 2008

    Wil you or nil you, people have a right to express themselves in ways which seem illogical and, in this case, dangerous to others.

    Freedom is simply that.

  98. #99 James F
    March 20, 2008

    #90

    Thank you, Glen. I’m going to write the authors to let them know that Dembski is invoking their work out to support ID claptrap.

  99. #100 kmarissa
    March 20, 2008

    @Ray

    And we have every right to rant at length about how disgusting and depressing we find their expression to be.

  100. #101 Roger Scott
    March 20, 2008

    Bloody hell. What fools.
    If the Christian story is true, Jesus meant to be crucified. Why then the centuries of persecution of Jews for killing Christ? Especially when stoning was the Jewish method of execution and crucifixion the Roman method. And it was the Roman governor who condemned Jesus.
    What a mess!

  101. #102 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    Ray #97

    If they were expressing themselves using such methods in the name of human rights or humanitarian cause, then fine.

    It’s not the fact that they are expressing themselves in an eccentric and barbaric way. That is there right. It’s the reason WHY they are doing it which I think most here find disturbing, irrational, and mis-guided.

  102. #103 Miles
    March 20, 2008

    Whipping oneself is old hat, I want to see some of these whack jobs come back from the dead! It doesn’t take much for a deity or commoner to get whipped to a pulp, but coming back from the grave is the religious man’s money shot (and makes a man worthy of praise).

    Had he not become a zombie Jesus would have never even made the back page of the Jerusalem Times.

    To hell with the self-flaggelators – show me the zombies this Easter!

  103. #104 Janine, ID
    March 20, 2008

    Maybe those guys should just stick to walking on water. It’s not so hard.

    Posted by: bernarda

    Uh oh! It’s magic!

  104. #105 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    #103 Wow. That took me back.

  105. #106 Jaycubed
    March 20, 2008

    If they were really devout they would have themselves broken on the wheel so they could suffer horribly yet not commit the blasphemy of “emulating christ in his sufferings”.

    Always remember to have your tongues cut out first so you can’t accidentally “take the lord’s name in vain”. And always use red-hot scissors so you don’t die too soon from bleeding to death.

  106. #107 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    Always remember to have your tongues cut out first so you can’t accidentally “take the lord’s name in vain”. And always use red-hot scissors so you don’t die too soon from bleeding to death.

    shhh! You’re giving away all the secrets!

    …and ruining my chances for selling them in book form.

    :p

  107. #108 Quidam
    March 20, 2008

    Nentuaby: The entire point of crucifixion was that it did not kill the victim quickly. Instead, he was left in incredible pain on the cross while he died of exposure, dehydration, and slow blood loss over several days. That said, certainly the torments the bible describes would have killed the man, especially the piercing with the spear.

    “Certainly”? How can you possibly say that?

    There are many documented survivals from crucifixion,
    Josephus reports how after finding two of his friends crucified requested that they be cut down and given to his care. They survived.

    In Jesus case we read that his legs were not broken (which was usually performed to ensure and hasten death), the crucifixion was supervised by a sympathetic centurion, Pilate (an experienced crucifier) expressed surprise that Jesus had succumbed so quickly but accepted the centurion’s word. Jesus body was not examined but taken by friends and cared for by Nicodemus, reportedly carrying healing herbs.

    Even if we take the Bible at face value, this is hardly convincing.

    If the crucifixion wasn’t fatal, why must a single spear thrust be? Even more people have survived spear wounds than crucifixion.

  108. #109 J
    March 20, 2008

    #102

    To hell with the self-flaggelators – show me the zombies this Easter!

    Can’t help with Easter, but how about zombies on Mother’s Day?

  109. #110 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008

    Fake Roman Soldier: Nail gun or wooden mallet?

    Fake Jesus: Which do you recommend?

    Fake Roman Soldier: Neither.

    Fake Jesus: Let’s toss a coin.

    Fake Roman Soldier: You sure you want to do this?

    Fake Jesus: My mom is sick, this will cure her.

    Fake Roman Soldier: Uh, no, that’s a myth.

    Fake Jesus: ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME THAT DRIVING ENORMOUS NAILS THROUGH MY PALMS IS UTTERLY POINTLESS!? No wonder everyone hates the Romans. Start hammering, dickhead!

  110. #111 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    #105 & #106 got me thinking…

    I wonder if we could promote self-flagellation contests. It could be a national league of sorts. Teams of the devout would compete in arenas and stadiums to see who could “out-do” each other. There could be gnashing-of-teeth-ometers and wail-ometers to measure the and rank the “fervent belief” of the competitors. The victors would certainly gain favor in their deity’s eye.

    Then there’s the ticket sales, pose-able dolls, posters, even Happy Meal toys.

    Kind of like Ultimate Fighting meets Benny Hinn.

  111. #112 Brownian, OM
    March 20, 2008

    I don’t know what’s got everybody’s Underoos all riding up. I think there’s no better way to spend a long Easter weekend than nailing (or getting nailed) by someone.

  112. #113 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    I don’t know what’s got everybody’s Underoos all riding up. I think there’s no better way to spend a long Easter weekend than nailing (or getting nailed) by someone.

    yeah, but did you properly sterilize your equipment?

  113. #114 UChicagoNerdette
    March 20, 2008

    @111

    After all, it is a fertility holiday.

  114. #115 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008
  115. #116 Sivi Volk
    March 20, 2008

    I really don’t have a problem with this, so long as it’s consensual. If you’re going to do it, injury is preferable to death. But then, I have a hangup about penile bifurcation. I guess everyone has their own issues with things other people do.

  116. #117 Sastra
    March 20, 2008

    And they advise that the nails used to fix people to crosses must be properly disinfected first. Often people soak the nails in alcohol throughout the year.

    “Oh, for heaven’s sakes, Al, would you put that jar away. The Hendersons don’t have to “guess what it is.” I wish you wouldn’t bring that damn thing out every time we have people over.”

    That said, I’ll second apk #86 and agree that the “we just want you to die” rhetoric at the end of this post is kinda gruesome itself. The problem isn’t the people; it’s their religion, and what falls too easily out of its irrational and disturbing basis.

  117. #118 Dale
    March 20, 2008

    Re: nailing yourself to a cross.
    They should try this instead…

    http://omg.lycos.co.uk/virals/2585.jpg

  118. #119 Andy C
    March 20, 2008

    When I saw this I thought it must be a piece of satire from The Onion. That is just staggering. I know nothing of this nature should really surprise me anymore, but…

  119. #120 Jaycubed
    March 20, 2008

    If You’re The Messiah and You Know It Clap Your Hands . . . .(silence)

    If You’re The Messiah and You Know It Clap Your Hands . . . .(silence)

    If You’re The Messiah and You Know It,

    Shouldn’t Take Too Much To Show It,

    If You’re The Messiah and You Know It Clap Your Hands . . . .(silence)
    .

  120. #121 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008

    The guy on the National Geographic video quit after three minutes. Wimp!

    Which leads to the obvious question… shouldn’t there be a listing for this sport in the Guinness Book of World Records?

    Longest hang time?

    Most consecutive crucifixions?

  121. #122 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    Longest hang time?

    Richard Harris, in “Man Called Horse”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066049/

  122. #123 tonyJ
    March 20, 2008

    A friend of mine, an atheist, has been suspended from her job until she can prove she is fit for work because she self harms. These people seem to do it as something to be proud of, are they going to be suspeneded from their jobs? Does being a christian mean you can mutilate yourself and be thought of as rational? Why is one person thought of as mentally unsound and yet these people are not, yet it seems to me they both self harm and also are delusional.

  123. #124 Azkyroth
    March 20, 2008

    (may I remind you that it was PZ’s daughter who argued against the CRIMINALIZATION of bestiality?)

    -Tulse

    Fixed it.

    Jackass.

  124. #125 Brownian, OM
    March 20, 2008

    yeah, but did you properly sterilize your equipment?

    Does the alcohol have to be administered externally, or will few glasses of Bushmills do?

  125. #126 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    will few glasses of Bushmills do?

    nope, sorry:

    Often people soak the nails in alcohol throughout the year.

    what proof is Bushmills?

  126. #127 Chris
    March 20, 2008

    #50:

    “Stop doing that,” instead, or alternatively, “Please use rusty nails and whips clotted with rotting gore so that you’ll die sooner and we won’t have to worry about you idiots anymore”?”

    Because it doesn’t work. People will do it anyway and get infections. The health officials are attempting to deal with the reality of the situation.

    So you’re saying *just* telling people not to crucify themselves would be like abstinence-only sex education? They’re going to do it anyway so you may as well help them do it safely?

    It’s already consensual (apparently), you can work on making it safe, but I don’t think you’re going to make much progress on the sane front. Oh well, it’s a notoriously ill-defined term anyway.

    P.S. #37 = win.

  127. #128 Tulse
    March 20, 2008

    Azkyroth, your edit does indeed make the the original comment more accurate, but may I ask why the original warrants your response, given the context in which I made it?

  128. #129 Dany de Culla
    March 20, 2008

    Religion is the infection. Ever if it did blow over just being able to pick up and go.
    An End to Romans, Hippocrats and Christiansí.

  129. #130 Dany de Culla
    March 20, 2008

    Religion is the infection. Ever if it did blow over just being able to pick up and go.
    An End to Romans, Hippocrats and Christiansí.

  130. #131 Alex
    March 20, 2008

    Hippocrats? Huh?

    People who vote for large Democrats?

  131. #132 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2008

    Azkyroth, your edit does indeed make the the original comment more accurate, but may I ask why the original warrants your response, given the context in which I made it?

    not to speak for azky, but if i had to guess, i would say it has to do with that mischaracterization being the source of much debate in the original thread.

  132. #133 herrflick
    March 20, 2008

    The Philippines is pretty much a third-world country still. This means that the standard of living is pretty crap compared to that which I enjoy. In that context, hammering nails into your hands is not such a strange thing – if life is hard, a little nail in your hand is not going to hurt so much. And it’ll impress your friends.

    Let’s hope that the standard of living for these people rises to the point that the hope they derive from their religion is no longer needed.

  133. #134 So Larries
    March 20, 2008

    I repeat my annoyance at the attitude of the self-approving here, on this thread and this site, who continue to imply tat they are, if not faultlessly, the pricks on the crown of sense and moderation.
    I’m all for science and rationality, but only because it offers a interesting path toward life, love, joy and understanding.

    Please consider reading THE ESSAYS OF MONTAIGNE: OF CANNIBALS before rolling your eyes, and express modesty other than by declaring you happen to wear pants.

  134. #135 CalGeorge
    March 20, 2008

    Rexella wants to know if I was there “when they nailed him to the tree.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWM5T4fgaB0

    Not exactly there, Rexella, but I saw it on YouTube, does that count?

  135. #136 ams1020
    March 20, 2008

    there was a man who had been doing the same thing for 22 years now. he was so proud of that fact. apparently nailing doesnt hurt too bad. they feel the pain when the nail is being removed. the reason they do it is because god performed some “miracle” on them or their loved one (i.e. cured of a disease, better business etc. ). they said their pain is nothing compared to what jesus did for them.
    the health wouldn’t tell them to stop because that event apparently draws tourists thus generating income for the government.

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=112653

  136. #137 Chaotic Nipple
    March 20, 2008

    Virginia said: This is an important point, which I’ve wondered about since the days of my Catholic grade school classes. We were taught that Jesus had to endure the horrible suffering of crucifixion in order to atone for all the sins of humanity, past and future. But in fact, he suffered for a few hours and then it was over.

    Ah, someone who paid less attention in Catholic grade school than I. As it was explained to _me_, Christ’s suffering was not merely physical, but spiritual; In those few hours, he suffered All The Torments Of HELL!!!!1!! And his pain was therefore far worse than that of your ordinary, garden variety cricifixee.

  137. #138 Lyle G
    March 20, 2008

    Penitent crucifixion has been practiced in the South Western US. But not, I think, with nails

  138. #139 Jennifer
    March 20, 2008

    #1 ChrisGose: I’m pretty sure Jesus wasn’t granted the courtesy of disinfectant and a tetanus shot.

    These fundies think they are hardcore but they aren’t.

    Well, yeah, but I was thinking more along the lines of how hardcore these guys are compared to our own home-grown variety. I can’t imagine any of our pale and fleshy brethren driving nails or spikes into their bodies. But fortunately, there’s no need for them to do so, because in the true spirit of American ingenuity, they’ve determined as they do in so many of these dilemmas of life, that it’s best to outsource the pain and suffering. They don’t want to imitate Christ’s suffering; they want someone else to take responsibility for that, and they’ll help by hanging the metaphorical burning tire around his neck.

    The other thing the whole “these fundies think they’re hardcore” idea reminded me of was a trip I took to Mardi Gras one year. Every year Mardi Gras attracts a fair number of flamboyant and vocal god-botherers. My brother and I were wandering around Jackson Square when I spotted a guy dragging this huge cross down the sidewalk. Looked like it was made out of railroad ties or something similar. But I noticed that he had a little wheel mounted on the other side of the base of the cross. He wasn’t using the wheel, because he was dragging this cross…but the wheel was there. We had been drinking somewhat immoderately so I walked up behind the guy and started tapping him on the shoulder, while my brother mimed furiously off to the side “no, no!” But it was too late; the guy turned around and looked at me and said, “what?” I said, “you know, it would be a lot easier to move that cross around if you would flip it over and roll it on that little wheel.” He just stood there and stared at me for a minute, then started stammering, “but…but…but… JESUS didn’t HAVE a WHEEL!!” I said, “well then, why do you?” He just stared at me for another minute, and then without saying a word, turned around and started dragging his cross off down the sidewalk.

    Thus illustrating two principles: first, that a drunk with a mind unburdened by the woo-woo is still more rational than a sober fundie; and second, that American fundies are uniquely American in that they’re all about what’s quick and easy and gets attention…they’re like Vegas Elvis. You know, where’s the feeling, man? I suppose it’s like a lot of other things in this country: if you can’t buy it, if you have to make it yourself or do it yourself, it’s not worth the bother. Mix that apathetic noncommittal for personal investment with religion, and you’ve pretty much got the recipe for the mega-church.

  139. #140 missingpoints
    March 20, 2008

    Well someone has to take up the slack. We atheists and cafeteria catholics in the Philippines spend holy week in the beaches trying to pick up foreign chicks. :)

    But seriously, like #77 said religion in the Philippines is a weird amalgam of hardcore Catholicism and pagan rituals. The self-flagellation thing is a form of blood magic. The people who do it have made a “deal” with god to do them a favor, which they repay by hurting themselves. God isn’t a loving, caring friend for these people; he’s a powerful SOB that you have to bargain with.

  140. #141 Adrienne
    March 20, 2008

    What I find creepiest of all in this story is that the guys crucifying themselves are actually a huge tourist attraction! I mean, can you see someone organizing a tourist cruise around this…come see a bunch of guys get nailed to crosses so as to imitate Jesus! What would Jesus do? Come see for yourself!”

    How ridiculously freaky is *that* idea!?

  141. #142 Freakedout
    March 20, 2008

    Did anyone see the photos related to this, because it is obviously very painful for these folks to do this and the thought of somebody else driving a nail into somebody’s hand is just as painful…not to mention scary. It starts with a nail and at some point, you will be using guns to stick into people, too….

  142. #143 dorris
    March 20, 2008

    You don’t have to go to the Philippines to see bizarre and life-threatening displays of “faith” by ignorant people. Just head on down the road to any backwoods southern Appalachian town and check out the snake-handling and rat-poison-quaffing that goes on every Wednesday and twice on Sunday.

  143. #144 Planet Killer
    March 20, 2008

    Well, that is a good thing. Now Dawkin’s can see why he is wrong. He would never admit to it. After all Athiesm is just another religion, replacing God with Science.

    Science has improved our lives but it has also done the opposite affect as well. Kind of like religion.

    It’s good that there are some scientists out there who not only do good work, but they also follow through with common sense.

  144. #145 Gabie Tanjutco
    March 21, 2008

    And about right now, I am even more pissed off at my country’s stupidity and insolence. :)

    I swear, our Health Dept is too stupid. :|

    Our country is too religious. :|
    and now, all the malls are closed to. :|

  145. #146 missingpoints
    March 21, 2008

    ^ What?!?

  146. #147 SteveM
    March 21, 2008

    @100:If the Christian story is true, Jesus meant to be crucified. Why then the centuries of persecution of Jews for killing Christ? Especially when stoning was the Jewish method of execution and crucifixion the Roman method. And it was the Roman governor who condemned Jesus.

    Certainly you have actually read the Bible where Pilate pleads with the crowd to release Jesus and the crowd (Jews) demands that Pilate crucify him? Thus ensuring that just about everybody can be blamed for Jesus’ death.

  147. #148 Charon
    March 21, 2008

    #10: “how about the requirements that climbers’ ropes and crampons be well maintained?”

    1. There is no such requirement in the US. Nor anywhere else that I’m aware of (Andes, Himalayas, NZ, Can., Alps).
    2. Climbers are not trying to hurt themselves. They are engaging in an activity that might hurt them, but so is anyone who drives a car.

    I know no one will ever see me down at the bottom of this comment thread, but… I had to say something anyway.

  148. #149 Ichthyic
    March 21, 2008

    ^ What?!?

    I’m guessing it was an attempt at parody.

    I know no one will ever see me down at the bottom of this comment thread, but… I had to say something anyway.

    *waves*

    you’re absolutely right.

  149. #150 missingpoints
    March 21, 2008

    @Gabie(#144): Hinay-hinay lang ‘tol. Please don’t generalize. What some people in some provinces do isn’t representative of the general population. And give the DOH a break, it’s just doing what it can to reduce the risks. Remember, this is the same department that goes against the church and distributes condoms.

  150. #151 Bargal20
    March 21, 2008

    In response to the Catholic Church’s “discouragement” of modern crucifixion, may I yet again remind everyone of Opus Dei’s devotion to “mortification”.

    Just imagine Supreme Court Justice Scalia wearing a cilice around his fat thigh, and reconsider some of his decisions in light of that…

  151. #152 microtherion
    March 21, 2008

    It was his 17th year imitating the Passion of Christ. He said he was doing it so his mother would recover from a chronic illness.

    I guess that’s what you have to resort to if you have to rely on a single-prayer health care system.

  152. #153 LoveVoodoo
    March 21, 2008

    Whips- disinfecting them first? That is amazing, I didn’t know whips had to be disinfected :) I wonder if our members on LoveVoodoo.com are disinfecting their whips??

  153. #154 myql
    March 21, 2008

    Jebus last words: “Hey, I can see my house from up here!”

  154. #155 Jaycubed
    March 21, 2008

    Here’s some videos of Mexicans crucifying themselves, courtesy of god is for suckers.

    http://gods4suckers.net/archives/2008/03/20/its-that-sm-time-of-year-again/

    .

  155. #156 Mikewot
    March 23, 2008

    [IMG]http://leighm.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/christ-middle-finger.jpg[/IMG]

  156. #157 batongpatay
    March 29, 2008

    As a Filipino, let me try to put this practice in context. The act of being crucified is not done lightly by the participants. Most of the time, this is part of a person’s panata, which can be translated to vocation. As missingpoints # 139 points out

    “The people who do it have made a “deal” with god to do them a favor, which they repay by hurting themselves.”

    They are certainly trying to repay God for a favor that have been granted to them or as Calgeorge # 88 quoted it is a form of making yourself worthy of being given a favor by God, in Victor’s case by letting his mother recoverer from a chronic illness.

    But there’s no bargainining, If Victor’s mother does not recover from her illness, Victor will not suddenly lose his faith in God because God did not fulfill his end of the bargain. God, after all, works in mysterious ways. The bargain is one sided, the person asks God for a favor and to show he is deserving of the favor, promises to God to fulfill a certain obligation. Which is the reason why people crucify themselves multiple times, they promised God to do this thing, and they will do it until they die or are too frail to do it.

    And crucifixion is not the only promise one can make, there are other panata’s. There are people who visit a certain Church yearly, people who give donations to charities, People who pray any number of prayers everyday. Anything can be a panata as long as it is inconvenient for the person doing the panata. And a panata is directly proportional to the importance of the favor. Those who engage in crucifixion have been given or are asking for very big favors from God.

    We can laugh at their antics but as has been pointed out, the Philippines is still a Third World country. Many of our countrymen subsist in less than a dollar a day. Powerlessness is taken as a given, and sometimes, only God can give one hope.

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