Pharyngula

This is my body….take….

MAJeff here, playing “host” this Sunday.

i-9099d5540cf82c3e5ea05f76063735e8-folsom-last-supper.jpg

The image above is a bit dated. It was a poster produced for last year’s Folsom Street Fair in San Francsicso. (For those out of the know, the Folsom Street Fair is a queer leather/BDSM festival.) Of course, the tighty-righties got terribly fussy over it.

Now, if you like your christ-cock a bit more hippie-ish, or if you’re a show-tune queen, this might be more up your alley:

That’s from the upcoming film, Hamlet 2.

Of course, you could just get your jesus-jizz the old fashioned way:

i-11dc665bb191650e8761c134068297b0-25grec03-500.jpg

That’s El Greco’s Carducho’s Stigmatization of St. Francis, which is part of a traveling exhibit of Spanish art from the reign of Phillip III. I saw the show in Boston a few weeks ago. Very nice exhibition, overall.

The erotic had been central to many forms of religious expression, not the least of which are the various “saintly ecstasies.” However, move it into popular cultural forms, or turn “the savior” into a black leather queer, and you’ve crossed a whole lotta lines.

Well, pull out a video recorder. Give him a dildo and you can watch Jesus fucking Christ on your DVD player or via streaming video.

Comments

  1. #1 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    Jeff,

    Just out of curiosity, did PZ know you were going to post this, or did you just surprise him with it?

    -jcr

  2. #2 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    He said post whatever I want. He had no idea of anything I was going to post.

  3. #3 wazza
    August 10, 2008

    I’ve just finished reading Corpus Christi by Miri Rubin. Very interesting book… one point was that religious women often had a bit of a sexual thing for their homeboy.

    And of course, there’s St Teresa’s vision of an angel visiting her at night and piercing her with a fiery spear…

  4. #4 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    So, he trusted you, and you decided to get him another shitstorm like the cracker incident without checking with him first. Nice. Real nice.

    It’s one thing when PZ decides for himself to freak out the bible-thumpers. It’s quite another when you decide to do so for him from the cover of a pseudonym. But hey, what’s it to you? Those loonies don’t know where you live, or how to send hate mail to your boss, do they? No skin off your nose, is it?

    -jcr

  5. #5 PaulB
    August 10, 2008

    Your selection of a Gay Poster & a portrait of Jesus, works well, like a clenched fist inside a well-lubed latex glove. I am yet to see an image of jesus in which he doesn’t look anything but, colourfully exuberant!

  6. #6 adavis
    August 10, 2008

    The painting is by Vicente Carducho, not El Greco.

  7. #7 Ian Robinson
    August 10, 2008

    I’m with JCR on this. The only point of this post seems to be to try to piss people off. Lame. Maybe PZ should have just used the delayed posting feature and queued a series of archive posts from a few years ago on interesting science topics, during his break.

    Ian

  8. #8 brtkrbzhnv
    August 10, 2008

    That poster reminds me of the Ecce Homo exhibition that toured Swedish churches about ten years ago. http://www.ohlson.se/utstallningar_ecce.htm

  9. #9 Harry
    August 10, 2008

    To be honest, if PZ said that Jeff could post whatever he wants, then I imagine that he has tanken into consideration the fact that one of his guest is quite likley stir up a wee bit of a storm, and is fully prepared for it. And, if he will forgive me for being presumptuous, I can imagine him being slighly dissapointed if one of them didn’t!

    I don’t think that the images and video posted here are anywhere near as controversial as the whole “cracker” thing. Not least because these are just re-posts of some things that other people have done and not something that the author of the post has done himself.

    Besides, I know we dont often credit the religious masses with having much in the grey matter department, but I think that even they should have the brains to see that this wasnt posted by PZ himself.

  10. #10 Kismet
    August 10, 2008

    #6 is right. It’s Vicente Carducho, not El Greco.

  11. #11 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    The only point of this post seems to be to try to piss people off.

    Which is fine and dandy, if the person doing it is going to take the heat himself. PZ might forgive him for it, but from where I sit Jeff has betrayed PZ’s trust.

    -jcr

  12. #12 Harry
    August 10, 2008

    Ian, I think that instigating an informed discoussion on the prevailence of eroticism in religous artwork is a fairly valid point of this post. I’d discuss it myself if I knew anything atall about art, but I don’t so I’ll just shut up now.

  13. #13 John Morales
    August 10, 2008

    Bah. Talk about nervous nellies and worrywarts.

    It’s just a guest post, I don’t find it particularly controversial.

    Go MAJeff.

  14. #14 Kismet
    August 10, 2008
  15. #15 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    Which is fine and dandy, if the person doing it is going to take the heat himself. PZ might forgive him for it, but from where I sit Jeff has betrayed PZ’s trust.

    If PZ has concerns about what his minions have been posting I am sure he is quite capable of handling it himself. What you think is really unimportant, not least because most people here already have you down as someone who has trouble thinking on occasions.

  16. #16 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    If PZ has concerns about what his minions have been posting I am sure he is quite capable of handling it himself.

    Perhaps you missed the little detail that he’s going to have very limited communications while he’s traveling.

    What you think is really unimportant,

    Same to you, sunshine.

    -jcr

  17. #17 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Actually, the points were several.

    1) Yes, it as an aim at tweaking some folks. I’ll admit it.
    2) Part of that flows from my own position in queer movement/theory. Eroticising the public sphere–or pointing out the ways it’s already eroticized–and doing so in sometimes transgressive ways is what I do. That, and the next point, explain my own use of language.
    3) I was feeling playful. Part of it was just an excuse to use the middle video, which had me laughing my ass off.
    4) I added the Carducho (the site where I got it from had it listed as El Greco) specifically to stir discussion on the eroticism in these issues. What’s really the difference between a painting of St. Theresa’s ecstasy and the top poster? If you look at images of her, she’s actually getting off, while they’re just sitting there having dinner.

    Folks don’t like it. I’ll email Skatje. If she thinks it’ll bring her dad too much trouble, I’ll ask her to pull it.

    This also reminds me of my favorite comment on the site, ever. Can’t remember who said it or on which thread but it was: “Sometimes I think the crucifixion was a daddy-son scene that went horribly awry.”

    PZ did say anything–well, anything short of kiddie porn were has basic words, and that’s a line I’ll leave for Cardinal Law.

  18. #18 Tom Morris
    August 10, 2008

    Concern trolls on Pharyngula? I’m shocked, I really am.

    For the background to the Folsom image, have a read of what WingNutDaily had to say. It even quotes everyone’s favourite cracker-obsessed Internet lawyer, Catholic League president Bill Donaghue. Guess he thinks that crackers deserve Constitutional protection but gay human beings don’t.

  19. #19 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    Yes, it as an aim at tweaking some folks. I’ll admit it.

    Nothing wrong with that. What’s out of line is doing it where someone else is going to take the flak.

    -jcr

  20. #20 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    Perhaps you missed the little detail that he’s going to have very limited communications while he’s traveling.

    No, I did not miss that part. I did miss the part where PZ made you the moral guardian of his blog though. Clearly your ego did not feel the need to actually be asked to take on such a role before doing it. The fact that he asked Skatje to delete inappropriate content also seems to have escaped your notice, or you just got pissed off that he put a 17 year old in charge rather than you.

    Still it is the kind of behaviour I would expect from a social Darwinian.

  21. #21 JoJo
    August 10, 2008

    Upon reading John C. Randolph’s and Ian Robinson’s comments, I’m reminded of one line from Owlmirror’s lolcat commentary on crackergate: Concern trolls are concerned.

    Personally I think “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” is funny and catchy. It’s in the same mode as Jesus Christ Superstar. Sure, some fundies will be appalled, but that’s to be expected. So, John and Ian, your concern is noted. You may now go back to libertarian trolling or whatever else you normally do.

  22. #22 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    I did miss the part where PZ made you the moral guardian of his blog though.

    I think you need to work on your reading comprehension. My objection isn’t to the content, it’s to the fact that Jeff is bringing this heat on someone else, without clearing it with him first.

    -jcr

  23. #23 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    I think you need to work on your reading comprehension. My objection isn’t to the content, it’s to the fact that Jeff is bringing this heat on someone else, without clearing it with him first.

    And that is any concern of yours why ?

    What makes you think Skatje is not better placed to deal with inappropriate content than you ? She actually has the power to delete the post, all you can do is bleat.

    Really, give your ego a day off, lest your head swell so much it explodes.

  24. #24 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    It’s in the same mode as Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Jesus Christ Superstar never struck me as satirical.

    -jcr

  25. #25 Kismet
    August 10, 2008

    John: your concern is duly noted. If you noticed, MAJeff is emailing Skatje to verify the appropriateness of the post.

    My objection isn’t to the content, it’s to the fact that Jeff is bringing this heat o someone else, without clearing it with him first

    Besides the fact that the first word in the post is MaJeff and the poster is PZMinion, Bill Donahue isn’t linking to this post. Godbots are highly unlikely.

  26. #26 Valis
    August 10, 2008

    I think you need to work on your reading comprehension. My objection isn’t to the content, it’s to the fact that Jeff is bringing this heat on someone else, without clearing it with him first.

    -jcr

    Hey, who died and made you god?

  27. #27 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    What makes you think Skatje is not better placed to deal with inappropriate content than you ?

    When did I say anything of the kind?

    Really, give your ego a day off, lest your head swell so much it explodes.

    Do you have a sixth-grader helping you come up with these? You’re not very skilled at it, you know.

    -jcr

  28. #28 LisaJ
    August 10, 2008

    I’m supporting Jeff here. Rock me sexy jesus is frigging hilarious. How could he not post it? And hats off to him for finding a very creative way to do it. I thought we were against censorship here.

  29. #29 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    I’m ready for some serious Jesus jizz. Someone hit me up, please.

  30. #30 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    Bill Donahue isn’t linking to this post

    You know that already, only two hours after the post was made? I hope you’re right.

    -jcr

  31. #31 John Morales
    August 10, 2008

    JCR, I think we get you by now. To carry on is perverse and tedious to others, especially as the author has already accomodated you.

    ObT: I didn’t know the painter, but I was pretty sure it didn’t have the “El Greco” look.

  32. #32 BaldySlaphead
    August 10, 2008

    Once you’ve walked around the Vatican and seen that they smashed all the tiny cocks off the statues, you have a pretty good idea exactly how closely the religiously inclined feel their art comes to eroticism.

    Would anyone be hugely surprised to hear half of the sculptures the Catholic heirarchy felt the need to vandalise are little boys/ cherubs? Insert your own disapproval here: _________________________

    Not my choice of erotica, but entirely reasonable post, Jeff.

  33. #33 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    #29:

    tacky, very tacky.

    -jcr

  34. #34 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    When did I say anything of the kind?

    When you decided to bleat here rather than e-mail Skatje directly.

    You have e-mailed her right ? Only if you did not, it becomes even harder to take your complaint seriously. Maybe we could ask Skatje to confirm when you e-mailed her.

  35. #35 Julian
    August 10, 2008

    Don’t worry about what Randolph says; this shit is tame. Seriously. The argument you’re making here is no different than what you’ll hear in any intro to art history class in the United States. Heck, such arguments are even made in any history class that touches on the Renaissance or the Romantic Movement. I doubt that Dr. Myers would give a flying flip about this, and on the incredibly unlikely chance that it stirs up something, I am of the opinion, having been a reader and posted here for awhile now, that his reaction won’t be to get pissed off at the guest poster, but to shake his head at yet another example of religious fanaticism, bullying, and general insanity.

    Speaking of ecstasy and the divine, what do you folks think about this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ecstasy_St_Theresa_SM_della_Vittoria.jpg

    And if you think that’s risque, you should read her journals *wink* But seriously, beginning in the Renaissance and really ratcheting up through the mannerist and baroque movements, sculpture became a genre just absolutely filled with eroticism. One could say that the history of art as image has really just been the story of incredibly expensive, high class porn. :)

  36. #36 Kismet
    August 10, 2008

    Everyone needs to go watch the Priest Off! video if they haven’t seen it before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGZSvdSsoAE

  37. #37 Nightcap
    August 10, 2008

    Your sensitivity gives you credit, John. You worry not for yourself, but that someone *else* might be offended by this posting, and that it might in some way injure PZ’s reputation. Your tender concern for PZ is noted. “As you do unto these, the least of my brethren…”

    Come to think of it, that quote could also accompany the Folsom Street poster… :->

  38. #38 David Duke
    August 10, 2008

    PZ manages to smear Catholics and queers in one blow! (chuckle)

    Now, how about some funny picture of Jews and blacks?

  39. #39 Mondo
    August 10, 2008

    MAJeff you don’t need to explain yourself to random concern trolls. Post with impunity.

  40. #40 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 10, 2008

    I didn’t know that Jeff created this content?

    I’ve seen two of the three pieces before and I know about the Hamlet 2 movie. All Jeff did was collect them. Not sure I see an issue here and I doubt PZ will either.

  41. #41 Sili
    August 10, 2008

    Boo – beaten to St Theresa.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, then.

    Unfortunatly Ghastly’s Ghastly Webcomic doesn’t have a search feature so I can’t find the relevant strip there at the moment.

  42. #42 John Morales
    August 10, 2008

    And the first troll sighting comes about.

  43. #43 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Posted by: David Duke | August 10, 2008 8:35 AM
    PZ manages to smear Catholics and queers in one blow! (chuckle)

    Now that’s some desperate trolling.

  44. #44 Alexandra
    August 10, 2008

    JCR, Internet Hall Monitor, not afraid to take names.

  45. #45 Logicel
    August 10, 2008

    MAJeff’s post brought to my mind Normal Bob Smith’s dressup Jesus. Dressing Jebus in a pink tutu work wonders for the years of my faking respect for Jebus in order to survive my forced childhood indoctrination. Very liberating and very fun.

    http://www.jesusdressup.com/

    I always have been intrigued by the prevalence of Mardi Gras type events in various cultures, which combine art, subterfuge, sexual innuendos, identity swapping, all held together with a sticky mix of pagan and religious beliefs.

    The almost palpable sexuality that is under the surface of devout religious worship is a great topic for discussion. Religion is supposed to cripple/crush the so-called animal urges, but instead religion keeps them simmering–this innate sexuality of us human animals–hot and close to boiling over.

    MAJeff writes: Give him a dildo and you can watch Jesus fucking Christ on your DVD player or via streaming video.
    _______

    A very creative idea, thanks for sharing!

    However, I must wonder if clever and sociologically minded MAJeff is doing something similar to what a psychology lecturer did to a class in which I was a student (several decades ago). He pretended to be a student so he can watch the personality dynamics resulting from the problem that the lecturer is perceived as being absent! If so, then I vote that jcr is given the dunce’s cap for his pushy, meddling, almost Christian approach to a non-existent problem. As PZ made it clear that the minions can do what they what to do, therefore they are not doing anything that he does not want them to do. Hence, there is no problem to solve.

  46. #46 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 10, 2008

    PZ manages to smear Catholics and queers in one blow! (chuckle)

    Now, how about some funny picture of Jews and blacks?

    Try and pay attention. I know it’s hard.

  47. #47 stogoe
    August 10, 2008

    If you’re going to shit on everything we do, jcr, perhaps it’s time for you to get the fuck out. We get that you’re upset that we beat the crap out of your ideology, jcr, but trolling isn’t the answer. Just go away.

  48. #48 Nerd of Redhead
    August 10, 2008

    MAJeff, post what you want that is OK by PZ’s instructions and the Seed contract. I find censors to be very offensive, and I would call for censoring the censors except for the irony factor that would cause my post to be censored.
    The Redhead is an artist, and has dragged me to a few art museums. The amount or eroticism in art, even religious art, is large.

  49. #49 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    You worry not for yourself, but that someone *else* might be offended by this posting, and that it might in some way injure PZ’s reputation.

    PZ’s reputation isn’t in jeopardy. Its more about the fact that he’s been known to get death threats from people who take their superstitions very seriously.

    -jcr

  50. #50 Nerd of Redhead
    August 10, 2008

    Augh. I meant amount of, not amount or in the last paragraph.

    Rev BDC, KoT, you should bestow some lesser titles that those of us with spastic digits.

  51. #51 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    we beat the crap out of your ideology,

    Actually, you don’t. You in particular try to, but you fail.

    Just go away.

    Not your call to make, sunshine. If PZ asks me to quit posting here, then I will.

    -jcr

  52. #52 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    Post is fine, what’s there to be excited about ? There’s not even a penis ? Oh My God !

    Now, let’s see the concern trolls who get pissed off by this come out of the woods. And I’d like to remind particularly a few of the male british comentators here, that this old victorian prudishness of yours is not something that has afflicted all of us.

    And frankly, I’m not surprised with who was the first one to show up !

  53. #53 xebecs
    August 10, 2008

    And on the eighth day, under the influence of way too many jello shooters, god created trolls.

  54. #54 Nerd of Redhead
    August 10, 2008

    JCR, you have expressed your concern. Most of the other posters, including me, don’t agree with you. However, it has almost reached the point where you are trying to bully the rest of us. PZ should not have to be the one to give you a time out. You, who claim to be a responsible adult, should do so on your own.

  55. #55 Nana FCD
    August 10, 2008

    Out of prurient curiosity, was there a time when the crucified christ was depicted without a loin cloth covering his naughty bits?

  56. #56 spurge
    August 10, 2008

    jcr posted

    “Its more about the fact that he’s been known to get death threats from people who take their superstitions very seriously.”

    and whose fault is that?

    Why are you not bitching on some religious site that they send death threats when they are offended.

    Quit blaming the victim.

  57. #57 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    You’re right guys, I’ve been a bad little troll. From now on, I’ll let PZ get death threats. If something happens to him I’m blaming you all.


    -jcr

  58. #58 Alexandra
    August 10, 2008

    From now on, I’ll let PZ get death threats. If something happens to him I’m blaming you all.

    Anyone else spray coffee on their monitor when they read that little gem o’ petulance?

  59. #59 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    I did not post #57. For those who are calling me a troll, I will point out that posting under someone else’s name about the most trollish thing you can do.

    -jcr

  60. #60 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    No jcr shouldn’t go away.

    Prudishness is an important subject that we often fail to discuss on Pharyngula, one of those residues of religion and monarchy that still pervades non religious parts of society.

    So jcr and Ian, why are you being so prudish ?

  61. #61 Michael
    August 10, 2008

    This muscle-daddy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:National_Shrine_Dome_V.jpg

    would fit right into the Folsom poster. But in addition to the (homo-)eroticism in that painting one can’t help but notice just how tall/blond/blue-eyed their supposedly Middle-Eastern messiah is.

  62. #62 maureen
    August 10, 2008

    What sort of “Land of the Free” is this, anyway?

    Can’t cope with Janet Jackson’s nipple decoration! Can’t cope with female sexuality generally! Can’t cope with gay sexuality! Can’t cope with the multiple eroticisms in religious art! Boo-hoo!

    PZ is a pretty astute guy. He already knows and loves MAJeff – as do many of us – not just because he too is astute but because he has a sense of humour and once in a while he’s outrageously gay.

    The boss gave the man the key. Trust his judgement.

  63. #63 Kismet
    August 10, 2008

    I don’t know what’s worse: the troll or the troll claiming that he’s not trolling and he’s being trolled.

    Irony meter is breaking

  64. #64 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    You’re right guys, I’ve been a bad little troll. From now on, I’ll let PZ get death threats. If something happens to him I’m blaming you all.

    Okay.

    WE HEARD YOU ALREADY.

    And we decided we don’t give a fuck what you think. Case closed.

    Every post you make in this thread, after #33 (and some before it), IS ENTIRELY ABOUT YOU and the attention you desire.

  65. #65 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    My memory might be off, but I think the Folsom Street Fair flap was the first I heard of Billy Donahue and his thin skin.

  66. #66 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    I think the Folsom Street Fair flap was the first I heard of Billy Donahue and his thin skin.

    First I heard of him was in an episode of South Park.

    -jcr

  67. #67 wazza
    August 10, 2008

    I’d just like to point out that I called St Teresa first…

    also, has anyone else seen those crucifix dildos?

  68. #68 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    GrammarRWA

    it’s obvious that #29 and #57 are fakes. They should be deleted by mdoderator. This is not tolerable.
    jcr’s #33 was in reaction to someone using his pseudonym to post #29, so obviously, it had to be entirely about him.

    It gets crazy when someone starts using someone else’s pseudonym. This should never be tolerated.

    I actually thought it was impossible but apparently there’s no assocation of pseudonym with email, so we have to trust that people don’t do it, and the moderator needs to intervene if this happens, otherwise it gets really messy.

  69. #69 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Whoever is doing it, stop fucking posting under other people’s names. Not cool.

  70. #70 JoJo
    August 10, 2008

    I tweak bible thumpers myself when the occasion arises, but I don’t do so in a way that would bring the heat on anyone else. That’s what I objected to.

    As has been said numerous times, your concern is noted. We’re all impressed by how you valiantly strive to protect PZ’s reputation and keep him from harm. Hooray for you. You’re deserving of the John Ashcroft Award of Greatness in Sanctimony (Pat. Pending).

  71. #71 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    It gets crazy when someone starts using someone else’s pseudonym. This should never be tolerated.

    Actually, I don’t use a pseudonym. I’ve been posting under my own name since the days of dial-up BBS’s and FIDONET.

    -jcr

  72. #72 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    Whoever is doing it, stop fucking posting under other people’s names.

    Thank you, Jeff.

    -jcr

  73. #73 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    GrammarRWA

    it’s obvious that #29 and #57 are fakes. They should be deleted by mdoderator. This is not tolerable.
    jcr’s #33 was in reaction to someone using his pseudonym to post #29, so obviously, it had to be entirely about him.

    I mentioned “after 33″ because 33 was understandable for that reason. Unfortunately after all the concern trolling from JCR, 57 isn’t obviously a fake. Of course no one should hold it against JCR for clarifying that someone is impersonating him. The easiest way, though, would be for JCR to declare that he will say nothing more about the issue. Then the impersonator will have nothing to work with.

  74. #74 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    jcr,

    but I don’t do so in a way that would bring the heat on anyone else. That’s what I objected to.

    there must be something with the content of MAJeff’s post that leads you to believe that it could bring heat on PZ.
    Can you elaborate please ?

  75. #75 Aquaria
    August 10, 2008

    Art on a science blog?

    Niiiice!

    Sheesh how can anyone bitch about linking religion and erotic art? As if the Sistine Chapel isn’t teeming with tons of examples, and a frightening number of them homoerotic. Nah, there’s nothing curious about a bunch of supposed angels who look suspiciously like human males, naked and coiled around a long, thick, white column.

    If the erotic in art bothers the cracker munchers, they’d better stay away from their great cathedrals!

    Great post, Jeff. Thanks!

  76. #76 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    Can you elaborate please ?

    *vigorously slices at wrists and throat*

  77. #77 bric
    August 10, 2008

    That Fulsom Street poster has of course come in for criticism elsewhere, with the strangely familiar refrain from Andrew Sullivan “Next year, guys: do a similar parody on a sacred Muslim scene, if you have the balls. Easy, cheap blasphemy impresses no one.” I have to admit (despite being old, English and male)to always being impressed by cheap, or even expensive, blasphemy.
    As Michael Petrelis points out, that splendid anti-clerical Luis Bunuel created a similar scene in Viridiana http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2007/09/savage-sullivan-unaware-of-bunuels-last.html
    And we recall the wholly positive effect of the ludicrous Gay News Blasphemy trial in 1977 http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/11/newsid_2499000/2499721.stm

    The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name

    by James Kirkup

    As they took him from the cross
    I, the centurion, took him in my arms-
    the tough lean body
    of a man no longer young,
    beardless, breathless,
    but well hung.

    He was still warm.
    While they prepared the tomb
    I kept guard over him.
    His mother and the Magdalen
    had gone to fetch clean linen
    to shroud his nakedness.

    I was alone with him.
    For the last time
    I kissed his mouth. My tongue
    found his, bitter with death.
    I licked his wound-
    the blood was harsh

    For the last time
    I laid my lips around the tip
    of that great cock, the instrument
    of our salvation, our eternal joy.
    The shaft, still throbbed, anointed
    with death’s final ejaculation.

    I knew he’d had it off with other men-
    with Herod’s guards, with Pontius Pilate,
    With John the Baptist, with Paul of Tarsus
    with foxy Judas, a great kisser, with
    the rest of the Twelve, together and apart.
    He loved all men, body, soul and spirit – even me.

    So now I took off my uniform, and, naked,
    lay together with him in his desolation,
    caressing every shadow of his cooling flesh,
    hugging him and trying to warm him back to life.
    Slowly the fire in his thighs went out,
    while I grew hotter with unearthly love.

    It was the only way I knew to speak our love’s proud name,
    to tell him of my long devotion, my desire, my dread-
    something we had never talked about. My spear, wet with blood,
    his dear, broken body all open wounds,
    and in each wound his side, his back,
    his mouth – I came and came and came

    as if each coming was my last.
    And then the miracle possessed us.
    I felt him enter into me, and fiercely spend
    his spirit’s final seed within my hole, my soul,
    pulse upon pulse, unto the ends of the earth-
    he crucified me with him into kingdom come.

    -This is the passionate and blissful crucifixion
    same-sex lovers suffer, patiently and gladly.
    They inflict these loving injuries of joy and grace
    one upon the other, till they die of lust and pain
    within the horny paradise of one another’s limbs,
    with one voice cry to heaven in a last divine release.

    Then lie long together, peacefully entwined, with hope
    of resurrection, as we did, on that green hill far away.
    But before we rose again, they came and took him from me.
    They knew what we had done, but felt
    no shame or anger. Rather they were glad for us,
    and blessed us, as would he, who loved all men.

    And after three long, lonely days, like years,
    in which I roamed the gardens of my grief
    seeking for him, my one friend who had gone from me,
    he rose from sleep, at dawn, and showed himself to me before
    all others. And took me to him with the love that now forever dares to speak
    its name.

  78. #78 llewelly
    August 10, 2008

    John C. Randolph, #4:

    So, he trusted you, and you decided to get him another shitstorm like the cracker incident without checking with him first. Nice. Real nice.

    I guess you weren’t here when PZ posted about the chocolate Jesus. It’s unlikely that this post will generate a ‘shitstorm’. It’s even less likely that PZ would be upset even if it did. I’m sorry, but I think your concern is misplaced.

    As others have pointed out, MAJeff’s post would not be unusual in a college art history class.

    PS, Nana, FCD, the Cosimo Cavallaro’s chocolate Jesus, which my link is about, depicted Jesus without a loincloth in luscious chocolate.

  79. #79 Lee Picton
    August 10, 2008

    #55 //Out of prurient curiosity, was there a time when the crucified christ was depicted without a loin cloth covering his naughty bits?//

    As a kid, I sometimes wondered how that little wisp of cloth managed to stay up, but it never occurred to me that the linen bit was a sanitizing fiction, since crucifixees were, of course, as I later found out, nailed up buck nekkid. When I began to review crucifix crotches, I noticed something else bizarre – there was NO BULGE under said wisps. Ah, the questions that raises. Was the wonder worker a dickless wonder himself? Or was the offensive part so teeny weeny, the wisp was to conceal the lack of manly proportions? And that little bit of linen – it’s so clean looking! Does no one want to face what really happens to a corpse just after the last breath has been taken? I think I’ll stop here, as I don’t like the visual either.

  80. #80 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    GrammarRWA,

    I think it is obvious that 57 is a fake. And 59 is authentic, so are all following ones.

    The only other possibility would be that 57 is authentic and all following ones are fakes, which is invalid because that would mean that the real jcr would have never complained about someone using his signature.

  81. #81 MH
    August 10, 2008

    Hamlet 2 looks like fun! Predictably, some Christians posting on IMDB are exhibiting fatwa envy.

    Kismet #36, that was hilarious! If only it worked.

    If you like irreverent, biblically themed musicals, AD/BC is great. Click here to watch it. (Duration: 28 mins)

  82. #82 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    negentropyeater ,

    there must be something with the content of MAJeff’s post that leads you to believe that it could bring heat on PZ.
    Can you elaborate please ?

    It’s on PZ’s blog, not on Jeff’s blog. PZ is the person whose real name is associated with this site, whose home and office addresses are easily discovered, and who has already had some rather lurid death threats sent his way by people who are clearly unhinged.

    -jcr

  83. #83 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    I was thinking of this this morning, but couldn’t think of what to do with it.

    One of the things I find interesting about the sado-masochistic homoeroticism of the Folsom Street poster as compared with something like Passion of the Christ is how erotic violence is or is not acceptable. Controlled violence applied to the body for pleasure and which can be ended via the utterance of a particular word is a big ol’ no-no. Uncontrolled violence used to harm someone who cannot escape is the basis for eternal salvation. The visceral thrill of torture is more acceptable than the embodied thrill of participation. Violence unto death is ok, but not violence unto orgasm.

  84. #84 Alexandra
    August 10, 2008

    Jesus without a loincloth

    Michelangelo’s Last Judgment on the Sistine chapel wall (much later than the ceiling job) caused a jcr style “shitstorm” due to the unconcealed wobbly bits. Google “Il Braghettone” for the story of the church’s response.

  85. #85 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    I guess you weren’t here when PZ posted about the chocolate Jesus.

    Yes I was, and the key difference is that he posted that himself.

    -jcr

  86. #86 MarkW
    August 10, 2008

    negentropyeater:

    I’d like to remind particularly a few of the male british comentators here, that this old victorian prudishness of yours is not something that has afflicted all of us.

    It doesn’t afflict all of us male Brits either.

    I’m surprised at JCR’s reaction to this post.

  87. #87 MH
    August 10, 2008

    Lee (#80) wrote: “Ah, the questions that raises. Was the wonder worker a dickless wonder himself? Or was the offensive part so teeny weeny, the wisp was to conceal the lack of manly proportions?”

    Well, if Jesus was indeed born of a virgin, and God didn’t impart any holy DNA, then the only explanation would be that he was a product of parthenogenesis, and was an XX male. From Wikipedia:

    XX male syndrome (also called de la Chapelle syndrome) is a rare sex chromosomal disorder in men. Usually it is caused by unequal crossing over between X and Y chromosomes during meiosis. Symptoms include small testes, gynecomastia and sterility. Many males with this condition also have effeminate characteristics.

    Men typically have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome in each diploid cell of their bodies. Women typically have two X chromosomes. XX males have two X chromosomes, but otherwise appear to be male.

    So, in answer to your second question, Lee, yes. :-)

  88. #88 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    GrammarRWA,

    *vigorously slices at wrists and throat*

    I’m still interested to know what is his “concern”. As said earlier, I suspect that jcr is being prudish. So I’m testing this. I’m interested with this subject (see post 52). If you aren’t you don’t have to follow the conversation.

  89. #89 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    MarkW

    I know, a few, jcr and Ian. My dad is a prudish male brit (and a french mother), so I know a little bit about the problem, and its consequences.

  90. #90 John C. Randolph
    August 10, 2008

    negentropyeater,

    If you’d like to continue the conversation, feel free to drop me a note at jcr at mac dot com.

    -jcr

  91. #91 MH
    August 10, 2008

    Aquaria (#76) wrote: “Sheesh how can anyone bitch about linking religion and erotic art? As if the Sistine Chapel isn’t teeming with tons of examples, and a frightening number of them homoerotic.”

    Talking of disturbing imagery in Churches, this is… well… words fail me:

    Screen-shot of stained glass window on Six Feet Under.

    (btw, the whole of that site is full of win!)

  92. #92 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    MH,

    Thanks for posting that. When I teach Sex and Gender, I use some work on intersexuality (esp Fausto-Sterling and Kessler) in the classroom. Students are sort of shocked when they find out the kinds of variations human bodies come in, and when they hear about the integration of people with 5-Alpha-Reductase deficiency are into the institutional patterns of life in parts of the Dominican Republic (“guevedoce”), and also the types of surgical interventions carried out on intersex infants’ bodies here in the U.S., and intersex people talking about their lives, well, the students get very confused.

  93. #93 MH
    August 10, 2008

    John C. Randolph is British?!

    {hangs head in shame}

  94. #94 Kismet
    August 10, 2008

    JCR

    You have a lot of positive, funny and creative things to post quite often and the fact that you are taking a rather heterodox and undefensible stance in this particular thread does not ipso facto make you a troll.

    But sometimes we all make mistakes and are wrong about something. Admitting you’re mistaken regarding your stance in this thread is not a sign of weakness but rather a willingness to be reasonable. Sometimes it’s best that we change our minds.

  95. #95 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 10, 2008

    Well this seems like a good enough spot to link to one of my all time favorite piece of art for making the fundy types get their loin cloths in a bunch.

    Andres Serano’s Piss Christ.

    I was a volunteer at SECCA during the whole hubbubb.

    Fuck you Jesse Helms.

    Mr. HELMS: Mr. President, the Senator from New York is absolutely correct in his indignation and in his description of the blasphemy of the so-called artwork. I do not know Mr. Andres Serrano, and I hope I never meet him. Because he is not an artist, he is a jerk.

    good one jesse.

  96. #96 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    negentropyeater@81: a misunderstanding. I didn’t mean that I doubted JCR@59, only that it was not obvious to me. (And now I’m glad to put this to rest!)

  97. #97 Nerd of Redhead
    August 10, 2008

    JCR, your concern has been noted time and time again. Most of us disagree with you. You cannot accept that. Unless you can show some appropriate documentation that you are the official Pharyngula “master of that which is appropriate”, it would be politic for you to drop off of this thread for a while. Your “concern” has reached the bullying stage.

  98. #98 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 10, 2008

    SerRano

  99. #99 MH
    August 10, 2008

    No problem Jeff (#93). Intersexuality is fascinating, but I get the impression that it’s almost a taboo subject for many people.

    I should have pointed out, btw, that the parthenogenesis plus XX male syndrome to explain Jesus isn’t possible, because intercourse still has to take place for the latter, and as far as we know, the former can’t take place in humans.

  100. #100 Martin
    August 10, 2008

    @ John C. Randolph: On behalf of everyone else here, STFU already. You’ve made your point, and repeated it about 100 times. It is not your problem, it’s up to Skatje and P.Z. to look at and decide. MAJeff has done nothing wrong outside of your own head unless either of them say he has, so stop hurling crap at him – it just makes you look a bit weird. You’re getting a bit obsessive over this Pharyngulista business.

    @ MAJeff: Thanks for a very thought-provoking post. I’ve not really thought about Jesus and erotic art before, but it’s a fascinating subject I’ll be looking at more when I get the time.

  101. #101 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    No problem Jeff (#93). Intersexuality is fascinating, but I get the impression that it’s almost a taboo subject for many people.

    Lots of “body issues” are taboo.

    Fisting, for instance. A major focus in my teaching is social organization. How are different bodies and practices organized into social life? And then, move to the effects on people, meaning systems, etc. But I always start with organization and varying levels of social life. Talking about the structure of gender, I can’t help but bring in human bodies, and the ways they’re made to fit into systems of organization. Same with Race. When I teach sexuality, I do it with activities, desires, bodies, etc. and the first conversation of the semester, “What is sex?” goes into some interesting directions. When they find out the types of stuff people engage in–sometimes their classmates–well, it takes some work to keep the place from descending into chaos. But I bring ‘em back.

    Damn, I miss teaching Human Sexuality courses.

  102. #102 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    jcr,

    what I found so formidable with Pharyngula, is the possibility to have multiple spontaneous conversations with a diverse group of interesting people on a given subject. It’s like an extended living room.

    I don’t do conversations via email exchanges, not unless I’m like really studying something.

    So forget it.

  103. #103 Ken E.
    August 10, 2008

    Content sure declines fast when PZ takes off. Why do I have to see some form of “fuck” every other paragraph? I guess civilized discourse has turned into just coarse. Well, fuck that.

  104. #104 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    Hi Ken E!

    Fuck you :)

  105. #105 MH
    August 10, 2008

    BDC (#96),

    From the Wikipedia link you provide for Piss Christ:

    Sister Wendy Beckett, an art critic and Catholic nun, stated in a television interview with Bill Moyers that she regarded the work as not blasphemous but a statement on “what we have done to Christ” – that is, the way contemporary society has come to regard Christ and the values he represents.

    Sister Wendy Beckett is wonderful. I encourage everyone who has an interest in the religious view of art to read the bnet interview: A consecrated critic.

  106. #106 MH
    August 10, 2008

    @ #102, taboo subjects are often the most interesting!

    @ everyone who is sick of JCR’s whining, two words:

    Greasemonkey and Killfile

  107. #107 JoJo
    August 10, 2008

    Grammar RWA #105

    Fuck you :)

    Hey hey hey! Let’s knock off the foul language. Ken E was just whining about the use of “fuck.” That’s no reason for you to tell him to fuck off. For your penance, I want you to fuck yourself three times.

    Oops, I just noticed you included a smiley with your fuck you. According to the Rules of the Internet, that makes it okay for you to be nasty, rude and sneering. Never mind. You don’t have to fuck yourself at all.

  108. #108 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 10, 2008

    Yes she was a voice a reason in the maelstrom of insanity surrounding that issue. SECCA came under serious scrutiny during the whole escapade and while I didn’t revel in the chaos it was extremely interesting to be apart of it.

  109. #109 CW
    August 10, 2008

    Greasemonkey and Killfile

    I must be doing something wrong, I can’t get that to work here. (Not that I’d ever killfile someone here, but still…)

  110. #110 Matt7895
    August 10, 2008

    Its a shame this blog has hit such a low. I know PZ would have never posted something like this, and he probably intended for his guest bloggers to write about something a little out of the norm, but this is just puerile and immature, and it gives Pharyngula a bad name.

  111. #111 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 10, 2008

    but this is just puerile and immature, and it gives Pharyngula a bad name.

    The department of redundancy department approves of this message.

    I on the other hand think MAJeff was making a point with some humor added and succeeded. Again, I’m curious why a few people are deciding it is their position to make a judgment call that is really PZ’s ( and Skatje’s at the moment) to make.

  112. #112 bric
    August 10, 2008

    I’m hoping someone here might enjoy the delicious ironies of Brian Sewell on the Last of the Medicis ‘. . . a sad reminder of how religion manages to ruin absolutely everything’.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3G618-hxgA

  113. #113 CW
    August 10, 2008

    this is just puerile and immature

    Maybe you could explain exactly what your objection is. (Assuming it’s not just prudishness and/or homophobia.)

  114. #114 BG
    August 10, 2008

    I always thought the whole xian cross represented a flaccid penis. I am not kidding about that. I was under the impression that earlier religious traditions sometimes focused on male “power” or “sacred seed” type stuff and phallic representations in xianity was part of the whole “co-opt pagan religions” method they used to convert people. Didn’t men used to swear oaths with their hand over their genitals? For example in the bible there were oaths seemingly sworn that way: Genesis 24:2-3 (KJV), Genesis 24:9 (KJV). Testes is derived from the Latin word for “witness” or “testify”. Seems the modern church in its various forms should be no stranger to this topic.

  115. #115 Dave Godfrey
    August 10, 2008

    Christians in “Its OK if we do it but secularists and minorities we don’t like can’t play” shocker. In that poster Jesus being black and gay is going to really irritate the fundamentalists.

    PZ’s posted about a whole host of different Jesuses (Jesi? Jesum?). Buttplugs, 200kg chocolate statues, Virgin Mary vibrators, and all sorts of other things. If he didn’t like this kind of thing posted he wouldn’t have done it himself.

    I’m calling Poe on Matt7895. Anyone who’s offended by this is going to have run screaming from Pharyngula after the Great Desecration anyway.

  116. #116 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    I know PZ would have never posted something like this

    That sounds like a challenge!

  117. #117 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    Is one role of art not to challenging peoples perceptions ? If that is a role of art, and I happen to think it is a pretty important one, then people are going to get upset over some of the imagery, or at least that imagery they comprehend. There is much symbology that is now lost on most people, so that images that would have once shocked, and still might if those likely to be offended actually understood them, no longer do so, and are often considered amongst the greatest ever paintings.

  118. #118 Matt7895
    August 10, 2008

    Firstly, I’m not a homophobe or an offended Christian. I am an atheist, and quite a big fan of PZ.

    I just think its wrong that one of the people that PZ entrusts his blog to while he’s on holiday decides to post something like this. Pharyngula isn’t the right place for it.

  119. #119 CW
    August 10, 2008

    I just think its wrong that one of the people that PZ entrusts his blog to while he’s on holiday decides to post something like this. Pharyngula isn’t the right place for it.

    Again, what exactly is inappropriate about it?

  120. #120 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    I just think its wrong that one of the people that PZ entrusts his blog to while he’s on holiday decides to post something like this. Pharyngula isn’t the right place for it.

    Wrong place for what ?

    You have failed to tell us what you find wrong.

  121. #121 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    I must be doing something wrong, I can’t get that to work here. (Not that I’d ever killfile someone here, but still…)

    Hm. Tough to diagnose. Here’s how the installation should have gone, if it helps:

    install greasemonkey
    restart firefox
    check for new menu option, Tools > Greasemonkey > Enabled
    install killfile
    refresh a pharyngula thread
    check for “kill” and “hide comment” options next to commenters’ names
    if that didn’t work, check for new menu option, Tools > Greasemonkey > User Script Commands > Get Latest Killfile Script

  122. #122 Matt7895
    August 10, 2008

    Hmm, I don’t know, perhaps the gay sexual content? Oh, and that’s not me being homophobic, since I would be just as opposed to any straight sexual content. This isn’t the place for it.

  123. #123 CW
    August 10, 2008

    I would be just as opposed to any straight sexual content.

    And that’s not prudishness because… what?

    Here’s how the installation should have gone, if it helps

    It helped! Thanks much.

  124. #124 Matt7895
    August 10, 2008

    I can only speak for myself, and it is my own view that Pharyngula is the place to come for science writing and commentary on religion and politics. It isn’t the place to come for pornography and explicit sexual discussions (unless in situations where the latter is part of a scientific essay of some kind, like PZ’s evolution of the penis essay a while back).

  125. #125 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    Hmm, I don’t know, perhaps the gay sexual content? Oh, and that’s not me being homophobic, since I would be just as opposed to any straight sexual content. This isn’t the place for it.

    What sexual content ? There is not even any nudity, let alone images of sex in what has been posted. The first image is referencing “The Last Supper”. I suppose you would be equally opposed if Jeff had posted an image of da Vinci’s original.

  126. #126 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    No sexytime?

  127. #127 CW
    August 10, 2008

    Pharyngula is the place to come for science writing and commentary on religion and politics.

    You mean like this?:

    The erotic had been central to many forms of religious expression, not the least of which are the various “saintly ecstasies.” However, move it into popular cultural forms, or turn “the savior” into a black leather queer, and you’ve crossed a whole lotta lines.

  128. #128 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Hmm, I don’t know, perhaps the gay sexual content? Oh, and that’s not me being homophobic, since I would be just as opposed to any straight sexual content. This isn’t the place for it.

    So, that’s why you didn’t say “sexual content.” Nope, had to specify gay. I’m sure there’s no homophobia at all.

  129. #129 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    pornography?

    Where?

  130. #130 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    I can only speak for myself, and it is my own view that Pharyngula is the place to come for science writing and commentary on religion and politics. It isn’t the place to come for pornography and explicit sexual discussions (unless in situations where the latter is part of a scientific essay of some kind, like PZ’s evolution of the penis essay a while back).

    Pornography and explicit sexual discussions ?

    I missed that. Where was it ? Not above, that is for sure

    Can PZMinions please flag when they post porn ? I seem to have missed some, and I am not happy about it.

  131. #131 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    and commentary on religion and politics

    How about we discuss trends in religion and politics that drive people toward wild overreactions like calling a poster with a couple of bare male chests “pornography”

  132. #132 bric
    August 10, 2008

    I’ve tended to assume that objections to homosexuality are overwhelmingly religious in origin; I know gay Christians, even a couple of gay Moslems but in general gays are non-religious. So you might say that gay sociodynamics and cultural influence is ipso facto ‘commentary on religion and politics’. Similarly, discussion of pornography is almost inevitably going to have a religious dimension; there is a seminal thesis waiting to be written on anti-clericalism in the work of J D Cadinot (a noted French gay pornographer). So it is interesting to find atheists drumming up outrage in the manner of the late lamented Mrs. Whitehouse.

  133. #133 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    I wonder. Was it porn when PZ posted a photo of his own nipple?

  134. #134 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    Hmm, I don’t know, perhaps the gay sexual content?

    You mean the picture for Folsom street fair ? Wow, we must really have a different view on what’s sexual content, you are really prudish then.

    That’s really interesting, a poster with no sexual content but advertising something which is sexual is sufficient to get you all excited ?
    Your brain does really fabulate a lot !

  135. #135 Matt7895
    August 10, 2008

    Again, you are ignoring what I have actually written and you are instead accusing me of homophobia, which I have already denied. I have no objection to homosexuality. What I do have an objection to is a puerile discussion of it on what is usually an excellent science and political writing blog by a well respected biologist. It is demeaning.

  136. #136 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    The other thing about Folsom, is that I include hetero-leatherfolk under the moniker “queer.” I should have been more, um, explicit about that.

    Check out the photo. You’ve got all the genders flirting with each other. Is some of it gay? Sure. Is some of it hetero? Sure. Is any of it “straight”? Not on your life.

    And again, the only real activity happening in the Poster seems to be flirting.

    Honestly, the Stigmata almost seems to be the most sexual…at least in terms of activity.

  137. #137 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    So anyway, what was going on in the artist’s head that made him portray the cross as a headless angel spooning Jesus? I really don’t understand that one.

  138. #138 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Again, you are ignoring what I have actually written and you are instead accusing me of homophobia, which I have already denied

    We are accusing you of homophobia based on what you have written. Your denial doesn’t work. Homoeroticism squicks you out, that’s very obvious.

  139. #139 mattmc
    August 10, 2008

    Geez MAJeff you really got the concern trolls concerned with this one. I guess all the gay sexual content makes some who are not comfortable with their own sexuality (or lack thereof) feel all icky… Oh well, I for one think the guest posters have been excellent.

  140. #140 Grammar RWA
    August 10, 2008

    Again, you are ignoring what I have actually written

    How about you quit ignoring everyone who asked “what is pornography here?”

    The conversation doesn’t even make sense until you answer that question.

  141. #141 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    Matt7895,

    Just tell us what is wrong with the images Jeff has posted.

    I do not see any explicit sexual content, nor pornography in them, so unless you are clearer in your objections it would seem that you are something of a prude, and a homophobic one at that.

    I do see an image that is based on da Vinci’s Last Supper being used to promote a gay pride event. Unless your objection is to religious imagery being used to promote secular events, and you indicate that is it not your objection, then I fail to see what your problem is other than it is a gay pride event that is being promoted.

    I imagine you also object to “The Lord of the Flies” being used as a set book in schools. I just hope you never learn one of the set books I had was Golding’s “The Spire”.

  142. #142 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Ya know, a couple days ago someone asked how they’d get their daily ejaculate to go with their coffee if PZ were going to be gone. Just thought I’d help out.

    I do see an image that is based on da Vinci’s Last Supper being used to promote a gay pride event. Unless your objection is to religious imagery being used to promote secular events, and you indicate that is it not your objection, then I fail to see what your problem is other than it is a gay pride event that is being promoted.

    It’s not really a gay pride event. It used to be almost exclusively gay, but it’s pretty much a BDSM/Leather street festival.

    It’s roots were in gay pride-type festivities, though.

    One of the facets of contemporary life is that we have more and more people building social and cultural communities around sexual identities and practices. Gay men and Lesbians have been the most successful, but other groups have done similar things. Patrick Califia (back when he was a radical leather-dyke named Pat) got in a ton of trouble among lesbian feminists for writing that she’d rather have leather sex with a submissive gay man than a vanilla lesbian.

    Sexual politics, including representations and identities, are central here. Some sex–hetero, sanitized, marital, etc.–is acceptable. Open, overt, blatant male homoeroticism isn’t. Neither is open, overt, blatant sexuality that is might be a little “dirty.”

  143. #143 Ron Sullivan
    August 10, 2008

    This is the perfect blog for this post; as I recall, Pharyngula is where I discovered this marvel. As a diehard Fleischer Brothers devotee, I’m eternally grateful.

    I’ve always had another take on Piss Christ than Sister Wotsis’ quoted above. The work is reputed to be a crucifix immersed in urine. But it’s all sealed up; how does the view know it’s not just, oh, apple juice or dyed water?

    One takes it on faith, of course. And then, if one is intellectually myopic enough, one gets all pissed off about it.

    Yes, by the way, there are old traditional naked-corpus crucifixes. Hard to find nowadays, of course. I suppose they tend to get dressed up in loincloths by many of their current curators, which makes me wonder about another venerable Catholic tradition.

    Has anyone ever done any scholarly work on the aesthetic/traditional connection between the Infant of Prague and dress-up dolls like Barbie?

  144. #144 Falyne, FCD
    August 10, 2008

    Concerned trolls are concerned.

    Seriously, if you don’t think PZ would approve of this thread, find the subject interesting, and be altogether proud of any shitstorm MAJeff could manage to whip up, you reeeeeeeeally need to lurk moar.

    Although I’m definitely in the “why is this causing a shitstorm; it’s not that bad!” camp, as well…..

  145. #145 Jams
    August 10, 2008

    Vanilla? SMers can be such arrogant turds. I swear, SM is to sex as Star Trek is to conventions.

  146. #146 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    It’s not really a gay pride event. It used to be almost exclusively gay, but it’s pretty much a BDSM/Leather street festival.

    Ok, I will plead guilty to that misunderstanding.

    The image does not disturb, me but nor does it make me want to attend the event. Given I am not in the demographic the promoters would be seeking to attract I do not think that is a problem. I can see how some sensitive souls might get upset by it, but that is their problem. Some people are drawn to the BDSM scene, and I do not see why events aimed at such people should not be promoted. With regards its use here, Pharyngula has always been a place where opinions are expressed in a robust manner. If someone gets upset by that then maybe this is not the place for them.

  147. #147 Brownian, OM
    August 10, 2008

    So lemme get this straight:

    JCR, libertarian extraordinaire, is calling for greater regulation of guest posters?!

    Clearly, MAJeff should have charged us for this post. Then it would fall into the domain of the market and everything would have been hunky-dory.

  148. #148 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    [I really need to learn how to block quote here]Firstly, I’m not a homophobe or an offended Christian. I am an atheist…
    ____

    Hmm, I don’t know, perhaps the gay sexual content? Oh, and that’s not me being homophobic, since I would be just as opposed to any straight sexual content. This isn’t the place for it.

    ____

    I can only speak for myself, and it is my own view that Pharyngula is the place to come for science writing and commentary on religion and politics. It isn’t the place to come for pornography and explicit sexual discussions (unless in situations where the latter is part of a scientific essay of some kind, like PZ’s evolution of the penis essay a while back).[/I really need to learn how to block quote here]

    For an self-avowed atheist, you sure seem to be carrying a lot of the religious baggage concerning sexuality. Granted I haven’t read every comment, but I don’t recall seeing anything anyone who doesn’t see sex as dirty and shameful could call even remotely pornographic.
    Yes, there is some frank talk about sex, sex items, and body parts, but these are things any group of clear-headed adults should be able to discuss freely and openly without the puritanism that cripples such discussions in much of the (particularly religious) world.

  149. #149 SplendidMonkey
    August 10, 2008

    Someone brought up Sister Wendy Becket and that reminded me of Sister Randy. My favorite Animations (they’re all wonderful) in Art History 101 – “Pull My Finger” and in Private Lessons – “Susan Sarandon”, and “Thigh Crunch”. Also see “Man In A Tree”.

  150. #150 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Vanilla? SMers can be such arrogant turds. I swear, SM is to sex as Star Trek is to conventions.

    Please, I’m as vanilla as they come. Those were Califia’s words. However, in Public Sex Califia wrote, well, I can;’t find my copy of the book right now (it might be in my office), that folks are basically sex radicals–even folks who only do it in the “missionary position with the lights off”–if they understand that there’s more than one way to get off and they’re into letting folks explore and find those ways. My own life is both highly non-normative and very, very ordinary and dull at the same time. Part of the point is doing away with the connection between statistical and moral norms when it comes to sex. Just because not everyone is into something doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

  151. #151 Kagehi
    August 10, 2008

    They are not ignoring what you wrote Matt, they have pointed out how a) PZ has posted things **already** that are more questionable, and b) the only thing making “this one” questionable, according to your own words, seems to be gay references. The first point invalidates any legitimate argument you might make about it being wrong do to general content, and the later… doesn’t look so good with respect to your views on the subject.

    And, the argument that this isn’t at least as political, or imho ***more so*** than prior posts by PZ containing similar subject matter, is just.. mind boggling.

  152. #152 MH
    August 10, 2008

    Ron (#144) wrote “I’ve always had another take on Piss Christ than Sister Wotsis’ quoted above. The work is reputed to be a crucifix immersed in urine. But it’s all sealed up; how does the view know it’s not just, oh, apple juice or dyed water?”

    Good point. It actually brings us back to the cracker ‘desecration’. Just as there is no way of knowing if the piss is piss or apple-juice, there is no way of knowing if the cracker in PZ’s bin was consecrated or not, because they are superficially identical. It seems like certain people are quick to believe the worst because they want a reason to be offended. Perhaps they want to feel offended (persecuted even) because it reaffirms group identity, which in turn reduces insecurity.

  153. #153 MH
    August 10, 2008

    Tabby #149,

    To use blockquote, just surround what you are quoting with:

    {blockquote} and {/blockquote}

    but use pointy brackets instead of curly ones.

  154. #154 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    That’s what I said, prudishness and all it’s manifestations in today’s modern society, even non religious, are residues of religious brainwashing.

    Until recently for example, a female artist drawing a picture of a young male nude would have been considered taboo. Men would have been considered an object of desire, which would have been unacceptable until only 50 years ago.

    There’s still an overwhelming tendency today for graphic artists, both male and female, to celebrate flesh with a nude female model rather than with a male nude model.

    An interesting consequence is this : men paint boys, and people say, oh, they must be gay artists that’s why, but on the other hand, most of our woman artists, most of their subject’s are women, women, women, and nobody says, oh, they must be lesbian artists then.

  155. #155 CW
    August 10, 2008

    Just as there is no way of knowing if the piss is piss or apple-juice, there is no way of knowing if the cracker in PZ’s bin was consecrated or not, because they are superficially identical. It seems like certain people are quick to believe the worst because they want a reason to be offended.

    But since both crucifix and the (+) wafer are symbols, does it matter if the “desecration” is actual or merely symbolic? If you can’t make the intellectual leap out of the fog of sympathetic magic (and clearly it’s beyond many people) then saying the apple juice is piss is desecration regardless of whether it actually is or not.

  156. #156 Carlie
    August 10, 2008

    So, Matt (not Penfold), you seem to claim that your objection is mainly that the topic veers too far off of science. Why, then, did you not protest in the politics thread below this one? It’s just as far off the area of science, it just doesn’t have any pictures of gay people (although it probably could).

  157. #157 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    I can think of one image that invokes both BDSM and homo-eroticism that was widely accepted in the mainstream, and that was Xena, Warrior Princess.

    Of course the fact that the central figure was an attractive woman, and the sidekick an attractive female helped, as did the fact the BDSM imagery went no further than just the heroine being clad in leather.

    Of course such imagery is not threatening to heterosexual males, indeed for many it is a turn on, so that could explain why it attracted far less criticism than the image for the Folsom Street Fair.

  158. #158 Jams
    August 10, 2008

    “Just because not everyone is into something doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” – MAJeff,

    Exactly my point. Well said.

  159. #159 Thrillhouse
    August 10, 2008

    Grammar RWA @ #138:

    So anyway, what was going on in the artist’s head that made him portray the cross as a headless angel spooning Jesus? I really don’t understand that one.

    I didn’t think I’d have to read through over 100 comments before that came up. I wish I had an answer because I was wondering what was with the cruxifix/wings with feet myself. You’re probably right about it being an angel and I’ve seen them depicted in all sorts of weird ways.
    I don’t see why this thread is causing so much of a fuss. This is a site that occasionally talks about religion and how it (to put it lightly) can get a little crazy at times. It seems valid to discuss Christianity’s often uncomfortable relationship with sexuality and its attempts to depict spiritual ecstasy while being so prudish toward the corporeal version. I think it provides a nice contrast of two of the main themes around here. The scientific community loves the physical world and seeks to better understand it and appreciate it for what it really is. Members of the religious community in many cases seeks to censor and deny the real world (like covering up all of the naked bodies on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling) in favor of a mythologized ideal that is often times incompatible with what we know through observation and testing of how the universe and humanity operates. Then again, I might just be way off base. Either way, if PZ has survived this far, this post won’t be the end of him.

  160. #160 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    So, Matt (not Penfold), you seem to claim that your objection is mainly that the topic veers too far off of science. Why, then, did you not protest in the politics thread below this one? It’s just as far off the area of science, it just doesn’t have any pictures of gay people (although it probably could).

    And I didn’t create the “Art” tag out of whole cloth. That category was one of PZ’s already existing ones.

    This is so fascinating to watch. I really had no idea how people who frequent the site would react to this. It’s kind of interesting to watch the effects of breaching the boundaries between public and private, sanitized and dirty, hetero and homo. What’s interesting is that the top image seems to be a such a focus. The image itself is so tame…and beautifully composed.

  161. #161 ThirtyFiveUp
    August 10, 2008

    This is unacceptable; not even as an example of dementia.

    I did not wade through the many comments before giving my own take on your post.

    Hand in your OM.

  162. #162 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    I can think of one image that invokes both BDSM and homo-eroticism that was widely accepted in the mainstream, and that was Xena, Warrior Princess.

    That’s interesting. I used to watch the show with a good friend of mine.

    Of course the fact that the central figure was an attractive woman, and the sidekick an attractive female helped, as did the fact the BDSM imagery went no further than just the heroine being clad in leather.

    DING! DING!

    It’s the leather, not the BDSM.

    There’s an interesting point in there–and I’m not sure what sense to make of it–between the erotic aesthetic of leather-wear, and the practice of BDSM sex. It’s not a complete overlap, and it’s something that’s in my comment above about being non-normative and boring simultaneously. There’s more in the comment that I’m not willing to unpack right now, but there is an odd juxtaposition between aesthetic and desire, look and activity, going on.

  163. #163 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    The image itself is so tame…and beautifully composed.

    My guess is that it’s because the subject “Folsom Street Fair” isn’t really that tame at all !

    Wooh hoo, I had a lot of fun last time I was there ;-)

  164. #165 craig
    August 10, 2008

    Wow.
    Such a tame post and we have these ridiculous concern trolls complaining that it will cause a shitstorm, and the only people throwing shit are they themselves.

    Move out of Pocatella Idaho, people… this stuff is routine, daily material in any city with a decent arts scene.

  165. #166 Falyne, FCD
    August 10, 2008

    Craig,

    I just moved from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, to Chelsea in NYC.

    Can I just say how awesome that transition was? ^____^

  166. #167 Pete
    August 10, 2008

    Boy you guys really hate Christianity. Why don’t you just do the science we came here to read? And really, no one gives a shit if someone is stright or queer or what the fuck they are. Grow the fuck up.

  167. #168 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    Tabby #149,

    To use blockquote, just surround what you are quoting with:

    {blockquote} and {/blockquote}

    but use pointy brackets instead of curly ones.

    Thank you, MH #154. Too much time spent on message boards caused me to focus too much on the square brackets.

  168. #169 cactusren
    August 10, 2008

    MAJeff, I found nothing objectionable in your post, or anything that was somehow taboo to discuss in Pharyngula. I think a discussion of eroticism in religious art is a great post for a Sunday morning, and I thouroughly enjoyed reading it (aside from having “Rock me sexy Jesus” stuck in my head now). I’m just sorry I don’t have anything meaningful to add to that discussion.

    For those of you who found this offensive, or even thought it was porn, I recommend you don’t watch the Olympics right now. Water Polo = lots of muscular, almost naked men in a pool, wrestling for control of a ball. Oh, but there’s no leather–does that mean its not homoerotic?

  169. #170 craig
    August 10, 2008

    Falyne, can I move in widcha? I’m stuck back in the boonies. :(

  170. #171 craig
    August 10, 2008

    I suspect we have one troll and several sockpuppets.

  171. #172 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    Boy you guys really hate Christianity. Why don’t you just do the science we came here to read? And really, no one gives a shit if someone is stright or queer or what the fuck they are. Grow the fuck up.

    Hate’s too strong a word. Loathe maybe? I’m admittedly not fond of it or any other superstition. As it is, Christianity’s the only religion has a direct influence on my life despite my non-adherence to its nonsense.
    For example – no one gives a shit if someone is “stright” or queer? Of course they do, which is why it worked so well as a fear tactic in getting Bush so many extra votes from people who weren’t sufficiently scared by Muslims. That’s why so many states have enshrined “traditional” marriage in their constitutions. That’s why I have to wonder what will happen here in Canada if Stephen Harper ever gets his much fantasized about majority in parliament. That’s why Phelps and his clan got little play in the main stream media until they started picketing military funerals.

    Somebody here does have some growing up to do, Pete, but I’m afraid you won’t like the answer to that one.

  172. #173 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    I suspect we have one troll and several sockpuppets.

    I don’t.

    I suspect there are several confused–simultaneously freaked-out, pissed-off, and turned-on–people.

  173. #174 craig
    August 10, 2008

    The more I think about this post the more I love it.

  174. #175 Suggestion
    August 10, 2008

    MAJeff:

    I think when Matt7895 refers to the post as “puerile” what he means is not that the content is offensive but the tone, diction and pejoratives. Your posts are fantastic! Sometimes the language just seems a bit out of line.

    The post is fine in terms of content, pictures, and analysis and is a perfectly O.K. topic for discussion, but perhaps the diction could be a little more formal. Yes -homoeroticism, BDSM, and intersexuality are fine. Discussion of the juxtaposition of religion and sexuality Wilde, for one, found Catholicism to be extremely prurient. That, for example, could be an interesting topic to discuss.

    Here are some of the words that could be perhaps changed a little bit so as not to be quite so profane:


    -jizz
    -fucking
    -cock
    -queer


    In addition, MAJeff, telling people to “fuck off” and the like doesn’t seem too mature. It would be nice if you could administer justice and the like without resorting to that type of language.

    I just think all of us shouldn’t be so quick to bestow unflattering names upon others and use fuck with greater frequency than Catcher in the Rye. Let’s try to disagree respectfully.

  175. #176 Stephanie Z
    August 10, 2008

    …folks are basically sex radicals–even folks who only do it in the “missionary position with the lights off”–if they understand that there’s more than one way to get off and they’re into letting folks explore and find those ways.

    MAJeff, I don’t think this gets talked about enough. I was recently arguing with someone who couldn’t tell the difference between BDSM and pathological sadism. Of course, my challenging his assumption meant that I was defending my practice of BDSM.

    Uh, my what? Not that I corrected him, in part because it wasn’t any of his business and in part because if he wants to think he’s “met” someone who’s into BDSM, it might make him think a little harder about his assumptions next time.

  176. #177 Carlie
    August 10, 2008

    Look, now there are complaints about the language! Well clutch my pearls, there’s a new one.
    I think sociology is a fascinating way to look at the human animal, and therefore fits right in, using whatever language the person posting about it thinks appropriate. If you want to complain about naughty words, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place (and haven’t been here long).

  177. #178 Thrillhouse
    August 10, 2008

    MAJeff, OM @ #163

    This is so fascinating to watch. I really had no idea how people who frequent the site would react to this. It’s kind of interesting to watch the effects of breaching the boundaries between public and private, sanitized and dirty, hetero and homo. What’s interesting is that the top image seems to be a such a focus. The image itself is so tame…and beautifully composed.

    I don’t understand the focus on the first picture, either. There’s really nothing wild going on there (although there are certainly some eye-catching bits on the table) and I think the whole “check out our take on The Last Supper” thing has been done so many times that it just seems like a standard way to do a group shot. I mean that’s not even really mocking religion. It’s modeled on a painting that depicts a religious scene in a way that couldn’t possibly be anywhere near period accurate anyway so it’s not like the original perfectly captures a moment of historical or even biblical fact. Acting as if the paining is sacred seems to veer closer to idolatry than anyone should be comfortable with. Is PZ going to have to put a Da Vinci through a shredder next?

  178. #179 craig
    August 10, 2008

    Suggestion, I take your point and I do think you’re right in thinking that’s what tipped some over the edge.

    But as a subject, “profanity” has always perplexed me. It seems frankly stupid.

    Words are vibrations of air molecules used as symbols when in the form of speech. They are lines of pigment on paper or screens used as symbols when in the form of writing.

    What the words symbolize is the important part… so why is “shit” profane” and “poo,” “excreta,” etc. NOT? They mean the same thing.

    The idea of “bad words,” the very idea of profanity is fucking stupid. If the words were meant to offend, it doesn’t matter WHICH words were used, the target can take offense – or better, the target can shrug and move on with his life.

    If the words were NOT meant to offend, than suggesting there is something offensive in the symbols chosen to deliver the message rather than the message itself is just fucking stupid.

  179. #180 LisaJ
    August 10, 2008

    That’s why I have to wonder what will happen here in Canada if Stephen Harper ever gets his much fantasized about majority in parliament.

    Tabby, this really worries me too. What’s even more frightening is that I know alot of people who voted for him and still think he’s a reasonable candidate for Prime Minister and is doing a good job. Bush Lite scares me.

    Well clutch my pearls, there’s a new one.

    Carlie, that was hilarious. Made me laugh.

  180. #181 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    LisaJ – I don’t know if you’re an Albertan too but all I have to do is look at the government that’s been running this joint for over 40 years now, see what they’ve been wanting to do but have been constricted by federal law and the Charter of Rights, and I shudder.

  181. #182 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    The idea of “bad words,” the very idea of profanity is fucking stupid. If the words were meant to offend, it doesn’t matter WHICH words were used, the target can take offense – or better, the target can shrug and move on with his life.

    This interests me, but maybe for not the reason you intended.

    Most, if not all, of you will be aware I am British. One thing that strikes me is how many Americans do not seem to differentiate between civility and politeness. To me civility is saying please ,thank you, not telling someone to fuck off etc. Richard Dawkins is always civil. He even managed not to punch Ted Haggard in the face when interviewing him. Dawkins is not always polite, as sometimes he says some beliefs are so vile, and so undeserving of respect that they need to be called on what they are. Pointing out that the Catholic position of homosexuality is a bigoted one is not a polite thing to say. It is however possible to say it with civility.

    Of course it is not always appropriate to treat people with that much civility. I do not really see the need to be civil to a Catholic parroting their Church’s position on gay rights for example, whereas I would probably be civil (in fact I am civil) to religious people who do no push their religious values into the public sphere. It is for this reason I have something of a soft spot for liberal Anglicanism. To give an example, the Archbishop of Canterbury is on record as considering civil partnerships for gay couples as being the equivalent of marriage for heterosexuals. I do not always agree with the Archbishop, but I found I do share similar views with him on how society should work, especially when you compare his views to his more evangelical colleagues, or worse, those of the Catholic Church or more protestant religions.

  182. #183 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    LisaJ – I don’t know if you’re an Albertan too but all I have to do is look at the government that’s been running this joint for over 40 years now, see what they’ve been wanting to do but have been constricted by federal law and the Charter of Rights, and I shudder.

  183. #184 Svetogorsk
    August 10, 2008

    Acting as if the paining is sacred seems to veer closer to idolatry than anyone should be comfortable with. Is PZ going to have to put a Da Vinci through a shredder next?

    Peter Greenaway got there before him.

    (I wish I’d been there – his transformation of The Last Supper into an intricate multimedia spectacle sounds absolutely riveting. And Greenaway is another artist who’s never been exactly shy of fusing religion and eroticism).

  184. #185 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    LisaJ – I don’t know if you’re an Albertan too but all I have to do is look at the government that’s been running this joint for over 40 years now, see what they’ve been wanting to do but have been constricted by federal law and the Charter of Rights, and I shudder.

  185. #186 craig
    August 10, 2008

    “Pointing out that the Catholic position of homosexuality is a bigoted one is not a polite thing to say. It is however possible to say it with civility.”

    I’d agree with this… though I would add that sometimes it’s necessary to say something without politeness OR civility.

    Telling someone to “fuck off” is sometimes warranted.

  186. #187 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    Thrillhouse 179,

    I don’t think it’s the picture, but “Folsom Street Fair” some people seem to have a problem with.

    It could be a picture of a teddybear with “Folsom Street Fair” on it, you’d probably get similar reactions.

  187. #188 LisaJ
    August 10, 2008

    Holy cow Tabby, I don’t know what happened with your triple post there (and they’re all separated by 10-15 minutes, which is weird). Maybe you just really want me to reply to your post? :)

    I am not an Albertan, I’m an Ontarian. But yeah, I feel the same way. Shudder, shudder. Especially since Canadians as a population don’t really seem to take politics in our country very seriously. It’s scary how easily someone could come into office and really screw things up, and most people wouldn’t even be expecting it.

  188. #189 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    I’d agree with this… though I would add that sometimes it’s necessary to say something without politeness OR civility.

    Telling someone to “fuck off” is sometimes warranted.

    Absolutely. I think a bit more of telling religious to shove their bigotry up their backsides is needed.

  189. #190 Buffybot
    August 10, 2008

    A book worth reading on this subject is ‘A Cultural History of the Penis’, by an author I’ve forgotten. There’s a chapter about a period in mediaeval/renaissance art where Jesus during and after crucifixion was depicted with an erection, with discussion of the complicated theological wankery and symbolism used to justify it.

  190. #191 Danio
    August 10, 2008

    Great Darwin’s Beard! I come back from a West Coast unplugged morning to find the place in shambles and the air thick with the acrid stench of smelling salts.

    MAJeff, this is an awesome post, and as a Sociologist you must be thrilled with your experimental outcome here :D I tip my leather biker hat to you.

    A suggestion for the concern trolls: those pearls you’re clutching would make excellent anal beads. Give it a try, it might be just the release you’re looking for.

  191. #192 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    A book worth reading on this subject is ‘A Cultural History of the Penis

    So going to be looking for. Thanks.

    One of my favorites is Lacquer’s Making Sex, which has an incredibly discussion of medical illustrations of reproductive organs that I still use in my classes. A friend gave me Technology of the Orgasm about the development of vibrators as technologies for inducing orgasms in “Hysterics” as a means of curing female mental illness.

  192. #193 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    A suggestion for the concern trolls: those pearls you’re clutching would make excellent anal beads.

    *squeals with glee*

    *oink!*

  193. #194 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    A book worth reading on this subject is ‘A Cultural History of the Penis’, by an author I’ve forgotten

    The author is David Friedman. I have the book, but have yet to read it. The reviews I have seen suggest that in what it covers it is excellent, but that it is rather limited in that it only seems to deal with European culture (Greeks, Romans and descendent cultures , including American).

    I am far from an expert, but Indian culture, to give just one example, would seem to have quite a different view on the subject.

  194. #195 Rey Fox
    August 10, 2008

    Wait a minute…Last Supper? I didn’t recognize it until someone pointed it out. No one’s recoiling in shock from the central figure. There’s no red-haired guy holding up a finger at Jesus. The people are posed in two rows. It’s just a bunch of leather daddies at a table! Yes, once again we have a clear-cut case of people wanting to be offended.

    I was just watching the extras on the Fawlty Towers DVD the other night, and while discussing Basil, John Cleese mentioned something about people who say “I’m not a prude, but…” invariably meaning “I am a prude, and…” Seems appropriate here. PZ says all sorts of disrespectful things about religion and such and there doesn’t seem to be a problem, but juxtapose it with sexuality, particularly gay sexuality, and suddenly the hand-wringing starts. I don’t get it.

  195. #196 Buffybot
    August 10, 2008

    The title of the book is actually “A Mind of Its Own” – I only gave the subtitle. Author is indeed David Friedman.

  196. #197 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    Wait a minute…Last Supper? I didn’t recognize it until someone pointed it out.

    Well I assumed that is what it was. 13 people in the image, similar structure to the image etc.

    I could be totally wrong of course.

  197. #198 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    I was just watching the extras on the Fawlty Towers DVD the other night, and while discussing Basil, John Cleese mentioned something about people who say “I’m not a prude, but…” invariably meaning “I am a prude, and…” Seems appropriate here.

    Perfect quote.

    And what a great show. My aunt, a few decades, videotaped a marathon during one of those PBS pledge drives, and I ended up with the tapes. Unvortunately, I no longer have a VCR.

  198. #199 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Well I assumed that is what it was. 13 people in the image, similar structure to the image etc.
    I could be totally wrong of course.

    That’s what it was modeled after. I can’t remember where I saw the conversation last fall, but as I recall, the photographer (or at least someone very centrally involved) is a queer Catholic; one of those folks who also sees sexuality and sexual practice as a form of spiritual practice (I don’t get it–intensely emotional and sometimes cathartic, I can go for, and I think that’s what a lot of these folks mean by this….).

    Again, I could be off, but my recollection is that was modeled after the Last Supper as both parody and adoration.

  199. #200 craig
    August 10, 2008

    Oh and one other thing… I don’t see how the fact that the guest bloggers are guest bloggers means that they have to try to mimic PZ’s style or sensibilities.

    MAJeff is posting from his own point of view and his post should be read in that context only… and, if read from that context, it’s perfectly understandable and appropriate.

    Anyone saying it reflects poorly on PZ or makes him a target for criticism is a person who is either an idiot, a dishonest person merely taking advantage of what they see as an opening, or a control freak who thinks everyone should “stay on message.” A republican, in other words. Or a “framer.”

    I don’t think PZ has ever shown himself to be the kind of person to try to dictate to others how they express themselves.

  200. #201 LisaJ
    August 10, 2008

    I don’t see how the fact that the guest bloggers are guest bloggers means that they have to try to mimic PZ’s style or sensibilities.

    Craig, I’ve been thinking exactly that. With some people you just can’t win. I can just imagine what some people may have to say if we guestbloggers were caught trying to mimic PZ’s style too closely. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  201. #202 Matt7895
    August 10, 2008

    Of course the guest bloggers shouldn’t copy PZ. I’m sure the reason PZ chose to have guests on is so they could share their own viewpoints on the usual kind of things PZ posts here. That’s why I was very surprised and disappointed to see that one of them chose to abuse that invitation by posting this kind of juvenile, puerile story here.

  202. #203 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    YIKES! Sorry about the triple post earlier. We’re having network issues here and the tubes or whatever it is that makes up the Internet kept crapping out on me and I didn’t think I was posting.
    My apologies.

  203. #204 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 10, 2008

    That’s why I was very surprised and disappointed to see that one of them chose to abuse that invitation by posting this kind of juvenile, puerile story here.

    You still haven’t explained why, as a self-avowed atheist, you’re so uptight about sexuality. It’s supposed to be the religious amongst us who get all upset over something so dirty and shameful instead of seeing it as part of the natural human condition that should be discussed opening and frankly.
    Instead of calling people who aren’t shocked by sex juvenile, join in with the adults who enjoy a wide variety of adult conversations, including sexuality.

    Unless, of course, you really are a concern troll.

  204. #205 MAJeff, OM
    August 10, 2008

    Matt,

    I’m still waiting for you to identify the pornography.

  205. #206 CW
    August 10, 2008

    this kind of juvenile, puerile story here.

    What kind of juvenile, puerile story? What is it that makes it so? We keep asking, you keep not answering. If you can’t explain could you at least pick two new adjectives, to give us a clue so that we may try to puzzle out your objection for ourselves? (Although, truth be told, I think we pegged your actual reason for objecting right out of the gate.)

  206. #207 Matt Penfold
    August 10, 2008

    I could see why a discussion of the nature Jeff has tried to start may not be suitable for all age-groups. I would expect anyone over about 16 to be capable of handling such a discussion, and many younger than that would have no problem either. It does not seem to be much different in degree of “adultness” than “The Lord of the Flies” is, or “Moll Flanders” and we expect kids to be able to handle such books by the time they are 16. I first read “The Lord of the Flies” when we studied in English when I was 13. We did “The Spire” for A-Level (and in terms of “adult” material “The Spire” is far ahead of Flies. Think of the spire being a phallic symbol, and themes revolving around infertility, impotence and infidelity.)

    If I was to learn of a teacher introducing a topic like this when teaching 6th formers (16-18 year olds) I would not be worried in the least.

  207. #208 Nobody
    August 10, 2008

    MAJackoff tries to piss people off.

    BIg surprise.

    He’s Little Paul’s minion, which makes him a brainless fuckbucket, no different than his master.

  208. #209 octopod
    August 10, 2008

    You know, all you terribly concerned individuals, why is this not a fascinating topic? Why is it not in the spirit of Pharyngula? It’s certainly an examination of society, religion, and politics.

    Although it’s probably at least 50% performance art. MAJeff, you’re super awesome at picking this one out. I’d never suspected that this kind of thing was so heavily present in a community like the one here. Fascinating. It’s a combination of heterosexism with…well, is there a word for the belief that one ought not talk about or analyze sex? Cryptosexualism, perhaps?

    Let me restate, then, more clearly: There is a startling and dismaying amount of cryptosexualism here, for a lot of people whom I had previously assumed were fairly rational and comfortable about the physical world. Nothing here is toxic sexuality — no rape jokes, no creepy objectifying fetishism, no “Romansexual” ownership frame for sex. And yet all these purported rationalists are shitting their pants over OMG ONOZ TEH INDECENCY.

    I guess some of Twisty’s gang sure knew what they were talking about when they mentioned a remarkably strong undercurrent of traditional patriarchy in the atheist community. I just had to go look for myself. Again, fascinating. At least this outs some of the sheep in goats’ clothing that we’re harboring here.

  209. #210 melior
    August 10, 2008

    I always loved the magnificent but brief Religious Art Appreciation class taught by Sister Wendy, of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade.

  210. #211 Louis
    August 10, 2008

    Just a quick word of support from another Pharyngula regular.

    Nice post MAJeff, interesting themes. Worry not about the concern of trolls.

    However, I am VERY CONCERNED about something. I have read the thread and found many mentions of pornography, puerile, juvenile and disgusting prurient materials. I have yet to see these in this thread or in your post. I DEMAND MORE MUCKINESS IMMEDIATELY. I expect more from a Pharynguloid guest poster.

    Dammit I have seen biologist nipple and copulating Cephalopoda on this site. The mere insinuation of two male mammals getting it on, or that some art may have been influenced by some male who made it desiring to get it on with another male, is simply not enough. Nor is the mentioning of a parade organised for people who like their testicles stamped on (or to stamp on the testicles of others). This is simply not rude enough!

    I have written a complaint to Skatje (who has discussed bestiality on her blog after all) demanding more filth and better quality of smut.

    I expect the term “hemipenis” to appear in one post, or perhaps a full and frank discussion of hyena clitorises before the end of the day. Honestly, this obsession people have with primate sex is ridiculous. Look at the bonobos I say. Are they concerned? No. But they do have a goofy post orgasmic smile on their simian countenances and hurrah for them!

    Louis

    P.S. On a very slightly serious note, I have always found it amusing that violent imagery is so much more tolerated than sexual imagery. A kid of 15 can see a movie about decapitation but a movie containing two chaps getting it together, or perhaps a writhing pile of lesbians frottering each other rigid with a variety of implements, is restricted and has to be bought from special shops under the cover of darkness by adults only. If anyone offered me decapitation or an orgasm I know which I’d choose.

  211. #212 craig
    August 10, 2008

    “Craig, I’ve been thinking exactly that. With some people you just can’t win. I can just imagine what some people may have to say if we guestbloggers were caught trying to mimic PZ’s style too closely. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

    Well I think it’s pretty clear now that the people who are essentially complaining that Jeff posted something that PZ wouldn’t have or might not, actually would be complaining just as loudly if PZ had posted it. They simply would have had to find a different lie to cover their true motivations.

    The bottom line is that these are people who cannot tolerate their ideas being criticized, who seek to silence any criticism, and who are so inherently dishonest and immoral that they will use any lie to cover their true motivation.

    Their motivation is as simple as “nobody can criticize me!” but they know that won’t fly, so they choose whatever lie is handy.

    PZ not here? Then the “PZ wouldn’t approve of this!” and “It’s not fair to PZ!” lies are what they chose… “defending” PZ as if they wouldn’t be sending death threats if he posted it himself.

    Theocratic control freaks and censors, which is proof that not only is this thread absolutely on point and proper, it’s necessary.

  212. #213 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    I’m still waiting for you to identify the pornography.

    I told you Jeff, the pornography is in the head !

    You just need to mention “Folsom Street Fair”, and that’s pornagraphic already.

  213. #214 Zeno
    August 10, 2008

    Wow, over 200 comments already!

    Except … that’s nothing for Pharyngula. Leave Jeff alone, concern trolls. He’s got a genuine theme here, and it’s not nearly as far-fetched as some may think. After all, why is “religious experience” a euphemism for orgasm? Kismet already provided a link to Bernini’s sculpture of “The Ecstasy of St. Theresa,” but check out her own words for the full effect. If she had been a boy, her erotic fantasy would have been a wet dream:

    I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.

  214. #215 Bride of Shrek OM
    August 10, 2008

    You know I first read this post when there was only about 3 comments and I admit, my gut reaction was sort of “urrg” about the whole thing. But, unlike Randolph I was smart enough to not fire off a quick emotional response because for once I thought I’d have a good think about it all first.

    Having had time to mull it over in my head I’ve changed my mind and think its an excellent post. Eroticism is prevalent in religious iconography, it literally pervades it from medieval artwork to Madonna writhing around in her “Like a Prayer” vid. MAJeff is only giving us some modern day examples of this to demonstate how little has changed over the centuries.

    MAJeff is a sociologist and a teacher, he pushed my buttons, challenged me and made me think. I rejected my suppositions and reached new conclusions…. I’d say thats the hallmark of a damn good teacher!

  215. #216 Falyne, FCD
    August 10, 2008

    Zeno, fyi, girls have wet dreams too. It’s not quite as messy, though. ;-)

  216. #217 Zeno
    August 10, 2008

    Re #217:

    See? Pharyngula is educational. I learn something new every day. (Is it really a wet dream if you don’t have to do the laundry afterward?)

  217. #218 negentropyeater
    August 10, 2008

    If anyone offered me decapitation or an orgasm I know which I’d choose.

    Well, that might be the explanation then…

  218. #219 Kerry Maxwell
    August 10, 2008

    Well I guess my concern that your first guest posts were not *gay enough* were unwarranted! Jeff, I’m the guy from Skeptics In The Pub who brought up *Kinder Toten Lieder*, to which you replied ” Fuck God! Give me Mahler!”.

  219. #220 Zeno
    August 10, 2008

    The Kindertotenlieder are just heart-breaking and difficult to listen to, even though I love Christa Ludwig’s recording of them. Das Lied von der Erde is easier to manage and is one of my favorite Mahler compositions.

  220. #221 Jonathan Lubin
    August 10, 2008

    Sorry to come in so late on this discussion, but don’t folks think we should give some thought to what the original painter of the Last Supper would have thought of the poster? Since Leonardo was such a raving queen, I think he would have loved both the discussion here and the poster.

  221. #222 Kseniya
    August 10, 2008

    What’s all the fuss? I mean, it’s not like MAJeff attacked the Second Amendment, or something.

  222. #223 foxfire
    August 10, 2008

    @ Bride of Shrek #216: Exactly!

    @ Melior #211: Thanks to Sister Wendy I now must clean my computer screen (note to self: do not click on humor links while drinking)

    MAJeff – Thank you for the post and #216 captures my thoughts about this thread far better than I could state it. I thought the poster was kinda creative (and I’m an older het female) – that bronze hunk in the middle is quite easy on these eyes ;-)

    @ Louis #212

    P.S. On a very slightly serious note, I have always found it amusing that violent imagery is so much more tolerated than sexual imagery. A kid of 15 can see a movie about decapitation but a movie containing two chaps getting it together, or perhaps a writhing pile of lesbians frottering each other rigid with a variety of implements, is restricted and has to be bought from special shops under the cover of darkness by adults only.

    Yes and that is an interesting point that’s quite sad actually. I see the self-anointed “purveyors” of Truth who champion war, homophobia, irresponsible procreation, pillage of the planet’s resources, superstition over reason and evidence, rage over the “immorality” of freethinkers and moderate theists who don’t buy their bullshit. It makes me nauseas.

    Concern Trolls: I imagine PZ will let you know when he needs you to monitor his blog. If you don’t like a particular thread, don’t read it. It’s really simple, kinda like changing the channel on TV. If I need you to monitor what I’m exposed to on teh innertubes, I’ll let you know.

  223. #224 Steve
    August 10, 2008

    This is just sad. There is nothing intelligent put forth from the author of this blog. It’s a shame that this is coming from people with advanced university degrees. Most of the people posting are just filled with anger and hate and have little to no insight. Most people posting seem to see life as a waste of time and have little constructive to say. Since most people are atheists, you should at least concentrate on that which is beautiful in life and leave these topics alone.

  224. #225 foxfire
    August 10, 2008

    Hey Steve (#225) – It’s just amazing how you have derived a conclusion without presenting any evidence whatsoever to support your point: Most of the people posting are just filled with anger and hate and have little to no insight. Most people posting seem to see life as a waste of time and have little constructive to say.

    As for:

    Since most people are atheists, you should at least concentrate on that which is beautiful in life and leave these topics alone.

    I’ll let you know when I need your advice on how I should react and respond to a topic on this blog.

  225. #226 wrpd
    August 10, 2008

    Just a few random comments:

    The stained glass picture from Six Feet Under looks like an Anglican confirmation service, based on the dresses worn by the two bishops.

    The order of the transition from testify to testes is reversed. In older days a person sometimes swore an oath by holding on to the testes of the other person. The Latin word testes meaining testes later morphed into the word testify.

    Last night I caught a clip from EWTN about “love”. The speaker, Tom Dubay, an old, wrinkled, white-haired, gay priest, was talking about a man being attracted to a woman (the sin that dare not speak its name never speaks its name on EWTN). He said that the attraction may arouse a man’s passions, either noble passions or ignoble passions and he said “We all know what the ignoble passions are.” What century are these people from?

  226. #227 Steve
    August 10, 2008

    #226 Foxfire -response: My point is that you as well as many others can’t look at what is beautiful in life and appreciate it. Assuming you have a college degree, why not do something productive with it? I didn’t see a course, “Ridiculing Religious Beliefs 101″ at any University I attended. It’s just sad. Sure you’ll try and attack this viewpoint but I just feel sorry for you. Why not just try and do something constructive? The use of profanities by some people shows a lack of education and class.

  227. #228 swangeese
    August 10, 2008

    1. Zombietime has pictures from that festival up. To each his own, but getting urinated on is not my idea of a good time. And yeah I know that isn’t a fair representation, but that photo was mind bleach worthy.

    Anyway I think that the poster is awesome.

    2. Rock Me Sexy Jesus has been stuck in my head for days.

    3. The cross in that picture looks like two feline hairballs put together.

    If you want more religious porn, look no further than the movie “Passion of the Christ”. Christians get exicted over a bloody and dying man being tortured which is far worse than bawdy attendees at a BDSM festival.

    Or in the Bible, there’s God implanting Mary with his divine seed. I can’t remember if it was consensual or not.

    Of course sex is a big part of the human experience. Christianity worships death so it follows that it would be opposed to life affirming sex. And since banning sex altogether isn’t possible, the follower is made to feel ashamed for having a normal sexuality and a list of restrictions is placed upon sex. Virginity is also prized and those with sexual experience are considered dirty and used.

    Additionally I suppose the Bible looks down on gay sex because there is no illusion that it is solely for pleasure. Whereas hetero sex was permitted (within religious laws) because there was the chance of conception. It was regrettably the only way to increase the group. Today, the real reason fundies oppose artificial birth control is because they think that no one should have sex for pleasure.

    And yes I’m aware of Natural Family Planning, but let’s be honest- it’s a great way to get pregnant.

    But if you do have sex for pleasure and end up with an STD or an unwanted pregnancy, then that is a deserved punishment. Adherents feel like a person is cheating the system if a person walks away seemingly consequence free. Masturbation is frowned upon for similar reasons.

    Anyway with all of the boasting of their superiority over non-human animals, perhaps religious types ultimately hate sex because those drives remind them that they are mere animals. No amount of religion, court systems, or technology will eradicate human (animal) desire. Since non-human animals are seen as lower, these instincts are considered to be bad or unenlightened.

    So homosexuals ,who have solely non-reproductive sex and are different, are great targets for discrimination.

    Christians have perverted a neutral and natural thing into something dirty. Jesus’s message wouldn’t have been diluted by the sex act. And virginity doesn’t give a person special powers or authority.

    There is nothing wrong with abstinence, but there is something wrong with thinking that self-loathing is a virtue.

    Christianity hates people that don’t hate themselves.

    I’m stoned on allergy meds and my brain feels like a cotton ball so hopefully this all made some sense. And there’s the chance that I’m reading too much into this and Christians are just simply mad that their impotent god cannot smite anyone.

  228. #229 foxfire
    August 10, 2008

    #228 Steve:

    My point is that you as well as many others can’t look at what is beautiful in life and appreciate it

    And you know this about me (personally) how, Mr. Sanctimonious?

    Assuming you have a college degree, why not do something productive with it?

    I already have [done something productive] and I do so now. Are you under some kind of illusion that one can’t be productive unless one has a college degree?

    I didn’t see a course, “Ridiculing Religious Beliefs 101″ at any University I attended.

    Honey, I’m just focusing on keeping Creation “Science” and Intelligent Design out of the Biology classroom (comparative religion classes – no problem).

    but I just feel sorry for you

    Save your energy – read a science book.

    The use of profanities by some people shows a lack of education and class.

    Define what you mean by “profane”. If you mean “treat as not sacred” then I completely disagree that use of profanity “shows a lack of education and class”

  229. #230 James the Less
    August 10, 2008

    #229

    Yes, it was consensual. By these words, Mary gave her consent to be the Mother of Christ:

    Then Mary said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word!” The angel, having thus delivered his message, and having obtained the consent of Mary, departed from her.

  230. #231 Steve
    August 10, 2008

    Foxfire #230: Please read the last 2 lines of the above blog with the sentence: “Well, pull out a video recorder………” I can’t rewrite the profanity myself sorry. This is beyond keeping religious belief out of a science classroom. Well, I’m glad to hear that you and everyone else here appreciates the beauty in life.

  231. #232 foxfire
    August 11, 2008

    #232 Steve: You apparently missed (or didn’t “get”) the previous paragraph:

    The erotic had been central to many forms of religious expression, not the least of which are the various “saintly ecstasies.” However, move it into popular cultural forms, or turn “the savior” into a black leather queer, and you’ve crossed a whole lotta lines.

    I believe MAJeff’s closing statement was intended to be “shocking” to reinforce (demonstrate) the point of the paragraph immediately above. That possible might be some kind of literary technique (I don’t know). I found it quite effective.

  232. #233 Cath the Canberra Cook
    August 11, 2008

    MAJeff, awesome post, thank you. And wait, what? Pat Califia is a guy now? Louis @212, LOL! Well said.

    I am a bit bemused about the concern trolls. Whoever would have expected atheists to be sexual prudes? Odd.

  233. #234 Ron Sullivan
    August 11, 2008

    CW in #156,quoting, um, someone else replying to me on Piss Christ:

    Just as there is no way of knowing if the piss is piss or apple-juice, there is no way of knowing if the cracker in PZ’s bin was consecrated or not, because they are superficially identical. It seems like certain people are quick to believe the worst because they want a reason to be offended.
    But since both crucifix and the (+) wafer are symbols, does it matter if the “desecration” is actual or merely symbolic? If you can’t make the intellectual leap out of the fog of sympathetic magic (and clearly it’s beyond many people) then saying the apple juice is piss is desecration regardless of whether it actually is or not.

    The parallel between Piss Christ and Crackergate occurred to me too, yeah.

    Here’s the thing, CW. The wafer isn’t a mere symbol; it’s supposed to be the actual thing it’s a symbol of. The map is the territory; this here is a pipe, etc. Makes me think of intussusception of the thought processes, myself. The crucifix is a symbol, and insulting that is bad enough, but I’d bet a beer or two that half the huff is that it’s also a sacramental and assumed to be blessed, which makes it all more concrete. If an object is blessed–one-syllable “blessed,” meaning having had incantations said over it by a priest–Catholics aren’t even supposed to sell it, never mind treat it rudely. (Google on “simony” for fast clues. It’s a sin.)

    So the big offenses here aren’t just a matter of rudeness to symbols and by extension to the concepts symbolized; they’re physical insults (in the sense of, say, “surgical insults”) to, well, God himself I guess.

    I grant you that it’s hard to imagine this stuff in the absence of really good drugs, but to a lot of people it’s everyday reality. I was raised with it, and it’s still an interesting exercise to try explaining it in rational terms. It’s not just sympathetic magic–that would almost make more sense–it’s physical identity.

    What’s that sociological principle about persuading people to profess belief in really weird things so it’s harder for them to back away from them and the group that officially professes them?

  234. #235 Rick R
    August 11, 2008

    I post semi-regularly at Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s blog. There was one poster over there who was (or seemed to be) pretty rational on most topics related to separation issues. But when the subject of gay marriage came up, he instantly turned into a bigot. It was very strange. He stressed over and over again that his opposition to gay marriage wasn’t related to christianity, but was (in his words) ‘unnatural’. We tried and tried to pin him down on what the hell he meant. He just spun round and round, saying that being deaf was also unnatural. So deaf people shouldn’t be allowed to marry? He never made any sense at all.

    Strange. Just goes to show that sexophobia and squeamishness aren’t exclusively religious in origin. Or maybe they are, but have seeped into the wider culture, infecting even so-called progressives who carry around some unquestioned assumptions.

  235. #236 Robert Byers
    August 11, 2008

    This is repulsive because of the people involved and its comment.
    If the establishment does not want gays insulted and held in contempt by words or actions as is historical and wishes to punish and censor such attitudes THEN how can such insult and hatred as this poster spews be suffered.?
    If things like this are allowed to attack peoples deep convictions and culture and the long precedent of it THEN there can be no moral/social prohibition or questioning of anything negative said about homosexuality even in hatred.
    If there are common social regulations then they must be equally applied to have credibility and legitamacy.
    The bad guys are showing their true colours.
    The gay agenda comes from profound error and psychological dysfunction of very sad and rejected people.
    They could heal themselves, faster with Gods help, and with natural contentment love and not hate. Not all hate but anyone involved or consenting to things like this fit the bill.

  236. #237 Owlmirror
    August 11, 2008

    This is repulsive because of the people involved and its comment.

    Syntax FAIL.

  237. #238 John Morales
    August 11, 2008

    Ron @235, intussusception.
    Good one – I love finding new words, rare as it is.

  238. #239 John Morales
    August 11, 2008

    Robert Byers @237, it’d be nice if it were repulsive enough to repulse you.

    Besides, Jesus doesn’t look all that repulsive to me, merely extremely gay. Looks good on Him.

  239. #240 maureen
    August 11, 2008

    Robert Byers,

    The original poster here is more than capable of standing up for himself but before he wakes allow me to get my three-hap’orth in!

    The way in which a society manages sexuality and regards the different sexualities is a matter of interest and the comparison between different societies at different times is fascinating. It is of interest to sociologists, of course, but as it affects so many people in so many ways it should be of some interest to anyone who considers himself either educated or aware or, maybe, even awake.

    Likewise, the eroticism in all religious art – as many religions as we can think of and as far back as we can observe – is well documented and worthy of study. After all, the oldest piece of art we know is the Venus of Willendorf, 25,000 years old and about to have its own commemorative stamp in Austria. We cannot know precisely why it was made but it would be hard to deny that it is both religious and erotic. If you are unaware of this piece there’s a very good photo of it on the BBC News website. It is 11 cm tall – now imagine handling it!

    The interplay of images, visual and literary, between religious and non-religious art is perhaps a study for the specialist but there is no reason why it should not be mentioned. If people are interested they will pick it up. If they are not they will go and play somewhere else.

    I totally reject your assertion that anything about the human body should be defined as repulsive. If you are still fighting your way out of that particular religiously-induced trap then fine but don’t do it here.

    It is a very long time since I was religious but I see to remember that Jesus was given to breaking taboos, including sexual taboos, in the process of his teaching. Why not try to live up to his example?

    As for all this nonsense about healing – I have never met MAJeff but I don’t imagine that he has any more interest in being healed of who he is than I am interested in being healed of being a woman. We all know how much time, effort and misery certain religions have invested in that that especially stupid “search for a cure.”

    We women fought hard for the right to define and proclaim our own sexuality and the differences in our sexuality. I will, of course, fight for the right of anyone on the planet to do exactly the same – even when what they fancy doing doesn’t turn me on one little bit!

  240. #241 negentropyeater
    August 11, 2008

    Byers,

    how do you know Jesus and the apostle weren’t all homosexuals ?

  241. #242 RHM
    August 11, 2008

    Fantastic thread!
    Contrary to some opinions posted, I find this entirely appropriate as a topic worthy of Pharyngula discussion.
    Human sexuality and religious influence of same – how could it NOT be?
    So much to digest, but one point that comes through to me: beyond the fear of death (the great unknown), sex is #2 as the “Big Scary.”

    Thanks MAJeff!

  242. #243 Carlie
    August 11, 2008

    I vaguely remember that there were hypotheses that Paul may have been gay, given the way he talked about sex and women in his Biblical letters. Is there anything scholarly behind that, or does it fall in the realm of religious urban myth?

  243. #244 Falyne, FCD
    August 11, 2008

    Carlie-

    It’s entirely possible Paul was gay. I’m not sure of any scholarly reasons for that, though. He does repeatedly espouse the virtues of celibacy, and implies that *he* is celibate, in all his letters. I’ve heard that as support for an interpretation of asexuality.

    Then again, if he genuinely didn’t want any, it’d be kinda odd for him to be so worked up over it, ne? So, I don’t know.

  244. #245 Kseniya
    August 11, 2008

    foxfire #224:

    Yes and that is an interesting point that’s quite sad actually. I see the self-anointed “purveyors” of Truth who champion war, homophobia, irresponsible procreation, pillage of the planet’s resources, superstition over reason and evidence, rage over the “immorality” of freethinkers and moderate theists who don’t buy their bullshit. It makes me nauseas.

    This is a commonly and well understood point, but I’ve rarely heard to better-stated.

    Steve: Yawn.

  245. #246 JeffreyD
    August 11, 2008

    I have little free time to read these days so I am very selective. Typing is also difficult for several reasons so this will be short. I am glad I chose this post. Thank you MAJeff for a fine and funny and good post.

    Time to come out of the closet I guess. I am hetero but have never been “straight”, whatever that means. BDSM, consensual, has been fun at times, and has been put aside at times. If any one cares or knows the term, I am a Dom. One thing I learned years ago, intimate acts are only kinky the first time. (smile)

    Oh, and for the prudes and concern trolls – fuck.

    Ciao y’all

  246. #247 khan
    August 11, 2008

    But if you do have sex for pleasure and end up with an STD or an unwanted pregnancy, then that is a deserved punishment. Adherents feel like a person is cheating the system if a person walks away seemingly consequence free. Masturbation is frowned upon for similar reasons.

    There is a similar dynamic in the objections to the birth control pills that are taken continuously (meaning moths or years without a menstrual period). There is a feeling that somehow the woman is ‘getting away with something’ (not suffering as godthingy intended).

  247. #248 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 11, 2008

    I didn’t see a course, “Ridiculing Religious Beliefs 101″ at any University I attended.

    I did. Though the course’s official title was “Critical Thinking”.

  248. #249 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 11, 2008

    I am a Dom

    Hehe, pleased ta meetcha.

    intimate acts are only kinky the first time. (smile)

    Oh, it’s so true. But that’s cool…I wouldn’t want to live my life just for the next kink. I don’t discuss it much on these sorts of boards (it’s generally off topic), but people are often surprised at how mundane my life is despite having two collared subs at home. Hey, I gotta go to the office 8 – 5 just like my fellow drones, and I spend many an evening watching a little TV or catching up on my reading before I hit the hay. That I have two people leashed up and sleeping on doggy beds on the floor next to my bed long ago lost any kink value or novelty and gets discussed less than some of my coworkers discuss their children’s sleeping habits. It’s just No Big Deal for us, though some who’d like to live vicariously through us very much want it to be.

  249. #250 Dale Husband
    August 12, 2008

    John C. Randolph blabs:

    Just out of curiosity, did PZ know you were going to post this, or did you just surprise him with it?

    So, he trusted you, and you decided to get him another shitstorm like the cracker incident without checking with him first. Nice. Real nice.

    It’s one thing when PZ decides for himself to freak out the bible-thumpers. It’s quite another when you decide to do so for him from the cover of a pseudonym. But hey, what’s it to you? Those loonies don’t know where you live, or how to send hate mail to your boss, do they? No skin off your nose, is it?

    Which is fine and dandy, if the person doing it is going to take the heat himself. PZ might forgive him for it, but from where I sit Jeff has betrayed PZ’s trust.

    It’s on PZ’s blog, not on Jeff’s blog. PZ is the person whose real name is associated with this site, whose home and office addresses are easily discovered, and who has already had some rather lurid death threats sent his way by people who are clearly unhinged.

    PZ Myers himself warned us about such people:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/plonk.php
    Concern trolling A particularly annoying form of trolling in which someone falsely pretends to be offering advice to favor a position they do not endorse; a creationist who masquerades as someone concerned about the arguments for evolution as an excuse to make criticisms.

  250. #251 John Scanlon FCD
    August 12, 2008

    My impression from the early comments was that jcr was telling MAJeff to get to the back of the bus… again.

  251. #252 bric
    August 12, 2008

    Readers of this thread may enjoy Charlie Brooker’s latest religion-inspired review, of a sordid little programme called Make Me a Christian
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2008/aug/09/television.television?gusrc=rss&feed=media

  252. #253 bric
    August 12, 2008

    Readers of this thread may enjoy Charlie Brooker’s latest religion-inspired review, of a sordid little programme called Make Me a Christian
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2008/aug/09/television.television?gusrc=rss&feed=media

  253. #254 Qwerty
    August 12, 2008

    It is amusing that so many people got upset over a picture with men grouped to look like DaVinci’s Last Supper. Just shows the power of DaVinci’s art as I am sure that no one would actually eat a last supper or any meal with no one sitting on ONE SIDE of the table!

    That said, I read an intersting article some time ago about the restoration and preservation of DaVinci’s Last Supper. It will cost millions of dollars but should restore some of the color and preserve it for the foreseeable future. So, there is also mucho science involved in the preservation and/or restoration of art works.

  254. #255 thalarctos
    August 14, 2008

    Until then, the guest bloggers are doing a marvelous job and have my full support!

    I wonder whether JCR will apologize to Jeff for his accusations now.

    My guess is no, but I could, of course, be wrong.

  255. #256 Darin
    August 17, 2008

    Ah yes, how easy it is to paint someone you disagree with (JCR in this case) as a troll. Uncle Trofim is so proud!

  256. #257 wnelson
    August 17, 2008

    Wow, MAJeff, nice attempt at a new low. Good to see a science blog continue to reach new levels of cultural insensitivity.

    Science on a science blog, anyone?

  257. #258 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    wnelson,

    Science on a science blog, anyone?

    As if you were really interested in Science.

    At the moment you wrote your comment, there were under “recent posts” (see it’s on the top left margin, can you see it), many pure science threads :
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/08/my_connection_to_sonic_hedgeho.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/08/i_wish_i_was_a_paleontologist.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/08/usher_syndrome_part_ii_a_compl.php

    Why don’t you go and comment there, instead of chosing specifically this thread ?

    Just to demonstrate that you are a pathetic homophobe ?

  258. #259 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    Robert Byers,
    You are a sad excuse for a human being. You could heal yourself of the loathsome perversions of bigotry, if you would only hate less, and stop obsessing over what other people choose to do with their bodies. You don’t even have to give up your religion – there are examples showing that Christianity is not incompatible with joyful acceptance of the diversity of consensual human sexuality.

  259. #260 wnelson
    August 17, 2008

    Anti-religious bigotry has nothing to do with science exploration. I guess Dow Chemical is now sponsoring a cheap-O version of anti-religious Tourette syndrome?

    Sounds suspiciously like people responding to an existential threat.

  260. #261 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    W.r.t. the religious and the erotic, I’ve long found it highly amusing that the UK Tories (Conservatives) are fond of singing a setting of William Blake’s “Jerusalem” at their annual conference, apparently without realising the significance of the lines:
    Bring me my bow of burning gold!
    Bring me my arrows of desire!
    Bring me my sword, O! Clouds unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire!
    Blake was a religious mystic, who frequently saw visions, but was highly unorthodox, viewing the OT’s creator God as evil (he called him “Old Nobodaddy”), and regarding sex as a sacrament.

  261. #262 MTreat
    August 17, 2008

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you — for reminding me why this site is irrelevant to those of that are seeking to grow and learn in a civil fashion.

  262. #263 Flabbergasten
    August 19, 2008

    I think it’s funny when people project their own sexual perversions onto art or literature and act as if they are offering some insight into the artist’s true intentions. What, may I ask, is at all erotic about the painting of St. Francis and Jesus?

  263. #264 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 19, 2008

    I think it’s funny when people project their own sexual perversions

    Oh how cute.

  264. #265 Flabbergasten
    August 19, 2008

    “Oh how cute.”

    Hmmm, very powerful argument. But seriously, what is erotic about the painting of St.Francis and Jesus? Do tell. Anyone?

  265. #266 thalarctos
    August 20, 2008

    Uncle Trofim is so proud!

    Oh, well, if it’s Soviet-era analogies you’re interested in, there are much more apt ones to be drawn.

    For example, by trying to shout down Jeff’s freedom of speech and by refusing to apologize to Jeff, even after he’s been demonstrated wrong on the facts in accusing him of “betraying PZ’s trust”, JCR brings Stalin’s famous dictum to mind: “Not a single step backwards.”

  266. #267 Me
    November 4, 2008

    Give him a dildo and you can watch PZ Myers fucking Octopussy on your DVD player or via streaming video

  267. #268 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 4, 2008

    Hmmm, very powerful argument. But seriously, what is erotic about the painting of St.Francis and Jesus? Do tell. Anyone?

    Sorry I missed this 5 months ago. But sexual perversions where?

    Give him a dildo and you can watch PZ Myers fucking Octopussy on your DVD player or via streaming video

    worst.comment.ever.

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