Pharyngula

I’ve always wanted a handy translation guide for Christian cliches.

Comments

  1. #1 Barklikeadog
    June 1, 2008

    I’ve always enjoyed the “I’ll pray for you” one. My response is usually “no thanks, I’ll decide what’s best for me. You might ask some absurd BS that I don’t want so leave the praying to me” more or less. Then I smile and go on my way. It usually shuts them up for awhile.

  2. #2 SC
    June 1, 2008

    The “unacceptable response”s remind me of Garkinkel’s breaching experiments. Always thought of those as fairly obnoxious, but I find these funny. Is that wrong?

  3. #3 Jim Anderson
    June 1, 2008

    “I’ll pray about it.”

    Translation: “No.”

  4. #4 Cat Faber
    June 1, 2008

    Here’s a good one from one of the comments below the linked post:

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Anybody have any idea how to translate that?

    I’m leaning toward “I have nothing reasonable to say, so I’ll parrot some nonsense.”

    But that seems a little thin. Surely someone in this group can do better than that.

  5. #5 Blaise Pascal
    June 1, 2008

    The best response I’ve heard to the “What will you say to God when you meet him?” question has to be from the old Barney Miller show. Detective Arthur Dietrich (an example of a positive portrayal of a skeptic and atheist in a popular TV show) was asked in one episode what he would say to God if he were wrong, and face-to-face with God, being asked to account for himself and his beliefs. Dietrich’s response: “Oops.”

  6. #6 Dennis N
    June 1, 2008

    “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.”

    Translation: It’s a religion, but I wanna give it special pleading.

    Acceptable Response: That’s so true or I wish more people knew that.

    Unacceptable Response: Isn’t it an abusive relationship where you’re God’s bitch and have no input? He’s constantly telling you you’re unworthy and a dirty sinner, shouldn’t you get out of that relationship?

  7. #7 MAJeff, OM
    June 1, 2008

    Unacceptable Response: Isn’t it an abusive relationship where you’re God’s bitch and have no input? He’s constantly telling you you’re unworthy and a dirty sinner, shouldn’t you get out of that relationship?

    But he loves me. And he only beats me when I don’t do things exactly the way he wants them, and he only wants me to do them because he wants the best for me. He beats me for my own good, because he’s so full of love for me…….

    God a controlling abuser? Obviously.

  8. #8 Desktop Icon
    June 1, 2008

    Is “I’ll pray for you” the christian equivalent of Godwin’s Law?

  9. #9 decrepitoldfool
    June 1, 2008

    #4 – “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    That’s right up there with “Hey, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile!” (always with exaggerated cheerfulness) on the list of things that make me want to Taser somebody.

    Translation: “It never occurred to me that the religion I happened to be born into could be wrong!”

  10. #10 Patricia C.
    June 1, 2008

    “…Faith is believing in something you have no evidence for”… ah, yeah – thats pretty much it. I also liked “there’s no reason to be mean”… er, like when the christians hanged Mary Ayer Parker ‘mean’?
    I liked the site, but the commenters are a buch of sissies.
    Looks like a good place for Kenny.

  11. #11 Patricia C.
    June 1, 2008

    Dammit! The debbel made me type buch instead of bunch – of sissies.
    #5 – Oops, Ops is the pagan goddess of Plenty and harvests. So every time a good christian spills something and says “Oops!” they are actually thanking a pagan goddess and sacrificing some of their plenty to her. The official Roman date to celebrate the proper growth of seeds and plenty is August 25th.
    I usually celebrate by drinking ‘plenty’ of sangria. ;)

  12. #12 Bride of Shrek
    June 1, 2008

    Completely OT but I just drove past the local Baptist church and they’ve put a sign out the front saying “Jesus is my PROZAC”. WTF does that mean? Are they dissing anybody out there who takes Prozac as not being as good as they are? I mean, fuck that annoys me. As someone who takes Prozac as part of a carefully designed and very succesful treatment for my PND its really pissing me off. Is that supposed to mean I can go off my meds and worship their invisible sky fairy and all will be right? Arrogant shits.

    To square the balance, and with just a tad of shit stirring, I have sent an email to Eli Lily alerting them to the unauthorised usage of their brand name. Of course I have included the full contact details for the church so as to facilitate any contact.

  13. “I’ll pray for you”

    My standard response is “Could you spend that time reading a book about global warming instead? It’s far more useful.”

  14. #14 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Anybody have any idea how to translate that?

    sure do:

    “I have completely lost contact with reality in favor of my projection of it.”

  15. #15 SC
    June 1, 2008

    BOS,

    I’m anti-Pharma to the core, but still propose a “Prozac is my Jesus” campaign. How would they react?

  16. #16 Karley
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Anybody have any idea how to translate that?

    “I know you are, but what am I? Neener neener!!!”

  17. #17 HS
    June 2, 2008

    “He is risen!”

    Unacceptable Response: “Like yeast?”

    Ha! Best. Response. Ever.

    Now I have a reason to look forward to easter :p

  18. #18 Kenny
    June 2, 2008

    Translation for this entire blog.

    “We don’t have enough scientific content on the blog, so we make fun of people and mock them and then call it reason.”

    You have to fill the blog with garbage when there isn’t much of anything scientific or anything worth taking a look at. I suppose that is how to be an awesome blogger.

    I really shouldn’t comment much. You are making yourselves look like morons. Carry on!

  19. #19 Patricia C.
    June 2, 2008

    “He is risen!”
    Yep, Viagra happens.

  20. #20 Patricia C.
    June 2, 2008

    Oh, thank gawd Kenny is here. Now we can all be saved. Oops!

  21. #21 JJR
    June 2, 2008

    Jim@3 wrote…

    “I’ll pray about it.”

    Translation: “No.”

    Alternate translation: “I’ll commune with that little voice inside my head I call God, and it will tell me to do what I whatever it was I intended to do anyway, but I’ll be flushed with even more annoying self-righteousness when I do it.”

    Alternate translation 2: “I’ll open the bible at random and read the first passage my finger lands on and try to extrapolate some coherent meaning from it to justify doing whatever it was I wanted to do in the first place.”

  22. #22 Ichthyic
    June 2, 2008

    The Kenny Sez:

    I really shouldn’t comment much.

    Praise GAWD!

    The Kenny finally says something that makes sense!

    However, I would amend it, just a little, just remove one word…

    can you guess which one?

  23. #23 Patricia C.
    June 2, 2008

    really?

  24. #24 Bride of Shrek
    June 2, 2008

    “..isn’t much of anything scientific or anything worth taking a look at.”

    And yet, Kenny, you continue to watch…..why?

  25. #25 Charlie Brown
    June 2, 2008

    Good grief.

  26. #26 Ichthyic
    June 2, 2008

    really?

    hmm, OK, make it two words.

    ;)

  27. #27 Nasikabatrachus
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Translation: “I think that faith is a virtue, but am blind to the implications of saying that an unbeliever has greater faith than myself. Furthermore, my reasoning and rhetorical skills have not developed beyond the stage of arguments on the playground during kindergarten.”

    Acceptable response: “Amen!” + comments about the fossil record, radiometric dating, and the Piltdown man. Excessive use of the word “Darwinism” without a clear definition.

    Unacceptable response: “Really? Is that true for every random sect of Christianity, or is it different for different sects? What about all of the other religions? Do they take more faith than atheism, since according to you they’re false, or do they take less faith than atheism? How much faith does it take for you to be an atheist in regards to Zeus, Vishnu, etcetera?”

  28. #28 azqaz
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Anybody have any idea how to translate that?

    Sure. I, as an atheist, have much greater faith than most christians. I have faith that tomorrow gravity will still work. I have faith that the Carnot cycle will not be invalidated. I have faith that until either species goes extinct humans and bonobo chimps will continue to share 98.whatever percent of their DNA in common. I have faith that Homo Sapiens Sapiens is an ape. A really cool ape, but still an ape. And most importantly, I have faith that all the prayers from all the believers in all the universes won’t change any of that.

  29. #29 Etha Williams
    June 2, 2008

    @#7 —

    Unacceptable Response: Isn’t it an abusive relationship where you’re God’s bitch and have no input? He’s constantly telling you you’re unworthy and a dirty sinner, shouldn’t you get out of that relationship?

    But he loves me. And he only beats me when I don’t do things exactly the way he wants them, and he only wants me to do them because he wants the best for me. He beats me for my own good, because he’s so full of love for me…….

    And don’t forget…the sex with Mary wasn’t rape, since she really wanted it.

  30. #30 Patricia C.
    June 2, 2008

    Now, now Ichthyic and Bride of Shrek, you task The Kenny too harshly. He is after all willing to forgive you and pray for your salvation. You godless, elitist, heathen bastards should thank The Kenny for his concern.
    Don’t panic.

  31. #31 Bride of Shrek
    June 2, 2008

    Patricia C.

    “godless, elitist, heathen bastards”

    Hey, who told you my middle names? Not to worry if Kenny doesn’t come through with the salvation goods though. Ichthyic and I have our eternal damnation all sorted out. Cuban cigars, fine merlots and endless sci-fi/horror flicks. You of course are invited- price of admission, a never ending jug of that sangria of yours. It’ll be fun, we’ll have T-shirts made up and all.

  32. #32 Troff
    June 2, 2008

    Kenny? Kenny, you still haven’t responded to my previous questions; the ones I posted to you politely and asked you to answer.

    Why are you still badmouthing us when you won’t answer our questions? Please?

  33. #33 Amplexus
    June 2, 2008

    “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

    Here at Amplexus Pharmaceuticals we have made it our business to take out the middle-man(god) and bring the Opiates right to you, overnight delivery in discrete packaging straight from our sorting facility in the off-shore Langerhans Archipelago in the German East Indies.

    No Guilt! No Submission! No leaps of faith! Just quality paradise for less!

    – CEO, Amplexus LLC

  34. #34 wazza
    June 2, 2008

    Azqaz: You don’t have faith in any of that; it’s not needed when you have evidence.

    :P

    Oh, and Kenny, any blog about religion counts as science, or more specifically, psychopathology (the study of mental illnesses, if I remember correctly, though many religious leaders are sub-clinical psychopaths, so it works either way)

  35. #35 Chayanov
    June 2, 2008

    But he loves me. And he only beats me when I don’t do things exactly the way he wants them, and he only wants me to do them because he wants the best for me. He beats me for my own good, because he’s so full of love for me…….

    God a controlling abuser? Obviously.

    That actually explains a lot.

  36. #36 Muffin
    June 2, 2008

    “I’ll pray for you.” – “Liar.”

    I like that one. :)

  37. #37 AllanW
    June 2, 2008

    #4:
    ‘”It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”‘

    Translation; ‘I’m normal and you’re a whacko.’
    Acceptable response; ‘I have seen the light! Thank you!’
    Unacceptable response; ‘No, just a functioning brain. Do you qualify?’

  38. #38 Brandon P.
    June 2, 2008

    From the website: “All you need to do to go to heaven is ask Jesus into your heart.”

    What exactly would be the consequences of that? Would the mystical god-energy of the Son of Allah increase the rate my heart pumps blood?

  39. #39 Brandon P.
    June 2, 2008

    BTW:

    “I’m not a racist, but…”

    This isn’t necessarily a Christian-specific cliche. Sure, the majority of Americans who make racist comments probably are Christians, but I have met racist atheists and secularists.

  40. #40 Logicel
    June 2, 2008

    Kennykins wrote: You are making yourselves look like morons.
    _______

    To everyone? I don’t think so, as this blog has a big readership, and readers don’t read blogs they regard as moronic (except for you, of course, Kennykins).

  41. #41 Gib
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes more faith to be an atheist”

    Well, since you think faith is a good thing, it must mean I’m better than you, and that you should respect my beliefs more than your own, right ?

  42. #42 Benjamin
    June 2, 2008

    I actually whipped out the line about Jesus saying to give anything of yours to anyone who asked in a random encounter with an evangelist on my college campus once. He had on a really nice jacket, and after a few rounds of give-and-take, I decided to see if he could live up to his proud declarations that he lived in his heart every moral precept in that book of his.

    So I said, “You know, Jesus said that if someone asked you for something, you should give it to them. So…can I have your jacket?”

    Needless to say, I did not walk away with a jacket.

    Also liked the line about the implications of faith in atheism — atheists being as or more faithful than beleivers. Not sure how it would play out in an actual conversation with a believer, though.

  43. #43 Emmet Caulfield
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Anybody have any idea how to translate that?

    How about “I’m an unctuous asshole, please punch me in the face.”?

    Acceptable answer: “Amen”

    Unacceptable answer: “But you believe faith is a good thing, right? If we have much more faith than you, that makes us better than you, right?”

  44. #44 Torbjrn Larsson, OM
    June 2, 2008

    Some answers are a little tedious, but it’s a good idea. Sometimes such translations can save your sanity:

    Lawyer: “- It isn’t you, it is your tax statement.”

    Translation: “- It is you, you stupid fuck, and your little mistake will make me rich!”

    Outer response: “- Thanks for helping me in my dire situation.”
    Inner response: “Shit happens. But it is funny how it attracts flies!”

    Personally, I prefer the ironic middle man approach; saying something acceptable but meaning something unacceptable. Unfortunately I can’t come up with an english example at this time, but I have a swedish one.

    [Bear with me:] “Yes, but” is “ja, men” in swedish, which can be contracted to “jamen” and sloppily spoken as ” ‘amen”. A sometimes popular response to “Amen!” has therefore been ” ‘Amen visst!”, meaning “Yes, but [for] sure!” by intonation. (So not “Amen, sure”!)

    Sacrilegious and devaluing, but at the same time unapproachable.

  45. #45 Emmet Caulfield
    June 2, 2008

    Now I see #41 :o)

  46. #46 DiscoveredJoys
    June 2, 2008

    I’ve come to the conclusion after several attempted visits by Jehovas Witnesses that there are only two satisfactory responses to whatever they say.

    If you have better things to do, just say “No thank you” and shut the door.

    If you have time to waste, whatever godly gambit they try, respond completely off topic. “Do you know Jesus died for you?” – “I see the lawn needs cutting again.”

  47. #47 Torbjrn Larsson, OM
    June 2, 2008

    Oops, Ops is the pagan goddess of Plenty and harvests. So every time a good christian spills something and says “Oops!” they are actually thanking a pagan goddess and sacrificing some of their plenty to her

    I didn’t know that. Verifying it I noted something funny about the etymology:

    Ops, more properly Opis, (Latin: “Plenty”) was a fertility deity and earth-goddess in Roman mythology of Sabine origin. [...] In Latin writings of the time, the singular nominative (Ops) is not used; only the form Opis is attested by classical authors. [...] The Latin word ops means “riches, goods, abundance, gifts, munificence, plenty”.

    [French] oops [ups] excl ? houp!;
    oops-a-daisy! ? houp-l!

    hoopla [Perhaps from French houp-l, upsy-daisy! : houp (of imitative origin) + l, there; see voil.]

    So it is a lucky meeting of two longer lines of etymologies, probably with onomatopoeia and definitely with some back and forth in the process. This convergence of traits is much too improbable to be a coincidence. It must be design.

    Oops, I believe I will have to convert to paganism!

  48. #48 Plac Ebo
    June 2, 2008

    Christian at hospital: “I’ll pray for you.”
    Me responding: “And I’ll sacrifice a chicken.”

  49. #49 rlrr
    June 2, 2008

    “…Faith is believing in something you have no evidence for”

    “It ain’t supposed to make sense; it’s faith. Faith is something that you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe.”
    — Archie Bunker

  50. #50 Jesse
    June 2, 2008

    A little OT, but I once responded to a Jehova’s witness with “We worship Satan.”

    (I tried telling them we were Jews — don’t ever do that :-) )

    Another good one I used to trot out was “If you know where you are going when you de, then I assume this game of Russian Roulette wouldn’t bother you. I just put three bullets in the chamber. Have at it!”

    Or: “OK, if you guys are all going to heaven, I am going to make the ultimate sacrifice. I will go to hell after being a serial killer of Christians, ‘cuz i want you to go to heaven too.”

  51. #51 Andreas Johansson
    June 2, 2008

    You have to fill the blog with garbage when there isn’t much of anything scientific or anything worth taking a look at.

    Kenny, tell me something: are you a masochist? You only ever turn up in the Christian-bashing threads.

  52. #52 Geoffrey Alexander
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Unacceptable Response: “So if faith is good, I’m better than you?”

  53. #53 Carlie
    June 2, 2008

    Geoffrey – Great response, or greatest response?

  54. #54 Adrian Mos
    June 2, 2008

    I just LOVE:

    “Thank you Jesus!”
    Translation: “It’s easier to thank Jesus than the people who deserve it.”
    Acceptable Response: “Amen!”
    Unacceptable Response: “I’m not Jesus.”

    The unacceptable answer cracks me up ! I’ve got to start using it.

  55. #55 Michelle
    June 2, 2008

    …PFFT! Comedy gold. I love it. :)

  56. #56 Lana
    June 2, 2008

    rlrr, I hadn’t heard the Archie Bunker line before but it’s similar to what a character in a Mark Twain novel said:
    “Faith is believing in something you know ain’t so.”

  57. #57 Sili
    June 2, 2008

    Someone here recently said they answered “I’ll pray for you” with “I’ll dance naked under the oaks at fullmoon for you” – I think I’ll have to try that if the JVs ever come by again.

  58. #58 Barklikeadog
    June 2, 2008

    Thank goodness Kenny showed up. I was feeling as thought his would be a short one. Kenny…nau nau nau I know you are but what am I????? repreat repeat repeat…

    When I was an undergrad I pissed off the whole building when, in-between classes it snowed about 5 inches and someone, with their feet, wrote “Jesus Saves” in the snow. This will date me for those of you who know but I followed it up with “Greenstamps” it lasted about 5 seconds after class let out & that was the biology building.

  59. #59 NRT
    June 2, 2008

    @DiscoveredJoys | June 2, 2008 7:02 AM
    “Do you know Jesus died for you?” – “I see the lawn needs cutting again.”

    Maybe…
    “I see I need a few 5 inch nails for that fence paling”

  60. #60 jpf
    June 2, 2008

    “He is risen!”

    Response: “I’m Jewish. I like my Messiah unleavened.”

  61. #61 jpf
    June 2, 2008

    OR…

    “He is risen!”

    Response: “Really? Then how come he tastes like an unleavened cracker?”

    Ok, I think that covers all the bakery related puns.

  62. #62 Pablo
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Translation: Yeah, I know religion is a bunch of BS, but having no religion is even more BS.

  63. #63 dogmeatib
    June 2, 2008

    “God’s been teaching me about how much evidence there is for evolution.”

    Ohhh, good one. ;o)

  64. #64 BAllanJ
    June 2, 2008

    “It takes much more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.”

    Response:”Repent! Ye of little faith, and become an atheist!”

    On a related note… somewhere int he bible is a quote which sums up for me the incompatibility of religion and science… called the “other beatitudes”…” Blessed is he who does not see and yet believes” I should look the reference up book/chapter/verse style so I can use it better.

  65. #65 cicely
    June 2, 2008

    @51:

    Kenny, tell me something: are you a masochist? You only ever turn up in the Christian-bashing threads.
    Posted by: Andreas Johansson

    Myself, I’m torn between the theories that: 1) he’s here to Minister Unto The Heathen (that would be the rest of us; 2) he’s cast us as the actors in his personal Persecution Fantasy, or; 3) both of the above.

  66. #66 ndt
    June 2, 2008

    That’s right up there with “Hey, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile!” (always with exaggerated cheerfulness) on the list of things that make me want to Taser somebody.

    You know, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to Taser somebody!

    My answer to “it takes more muscles to frown than to smile!” is that it takes even fewer muscles to mind your own damn business. Fortunately I haven’t had a chance to use that one yet.

  67. #67 Irene Delse
    June 2, 2008

    “What will you say to God when you meet him?”

    Isaac Asimov had a funny anecdote about that one. In his autobiography, he tells about dreaming, one night, about being suddenly in Heaven, in front of God and being very surprised. “But I don’t believe in you”, he says. To which God answers (with a chuckle): “Yes, but you don’t make the decision to be admitted here, I do!”
    Then, in his dream, the author thinks a bit and finally says: “OK, so be it. Now, can I ask something? Do you have a typewriter, please?”

    Then he woke up and thought: of course, I’m already in heaven while I write!

  68. #68 Alan Kellogg
    June 3, 2008

    Statement: Jesus loves you.

    Translation: Jesus loves you.

    Appropriate response: Praise Jesus!

    Inappropriate response: As long as he uses a rubber.

  69. #69 themadlolscientist
    June 3, 2008

    Asimov FTW!

    That list is one of the most hilarious takes on Fundy Dementorist jargon I’ve seen in years, and absolutely spot-on true. I ROFLdMAO until I was gasping for breath.

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