Pharyngula

The latest student outrage

i-ec31fbecd48ec7f7cfb1eb0030f44e0e-gayjesus.jpg

Bless their sacrilegious little hearts, the students are trickling back onto campuses everywhere, and doing their part to stir up freethinking mischief. Skatje and Collin are going to be recruiting for the UMM Freethinkers tonight, offering the incoming freshman cookies for their souls and handing out pamphlets. They’re going to have to work harder to top the latest godless scandal at Lorain County Community College in Ohio, where students put up a provocative poster. People were very upset, for some reason, and the poster has since been taken down.

There are lots of comments from students who simply don’t get it.

“You can’t portray Jesus like that. He believes in matrimony, that relationships like that should be done inside matrimony,” sophomore Brianna Holland said.

She said she believes homosexuality is wrong because she is a Christian, but she also said she is proud that her religion teaches tolerance and acceptance.

Why can’t you portray Jesus like that? Were there no gay people in the Middle East in the first century? I’m neither Christian nor homosexual, but I think the poster actually flatters their diety, making him out to be both human and hot. The story behind this encounter is terribly apocryphal, and about as reliable as the stories of loaves and fishes, but it doesn’t say anything bad about Christianity.

The remarks from Ms Holland do, though. So she’s proud of her tolerance and acceptance, and she just thinks homosexuality is wrong, eh? It’s commendable that she doesn’t spout hellfire at them, but there’s something wrong here…

“I have a lot of homosexual friends. I’m not going to tell them they’re going to hell. That’s something they have to take care of between them and God,” Holland said.

God is a useful bully. She doesn’t have to condemn them, she just knows that God will take care of them…probably with the pokers and the lake of fire and the demons and the burning man-bosoms and all that.

Student aide Jessica Hodge said she felt the poster would “pollute the minds” of her children, ages 2 and 5, if they saw it.

“It looks like soft-core pornography,” she said. “I don’t think they’re making a statement at all. They just want to shock everyone.”

Oh, dear. Should colleges all moderate their discourse so it is acceptable to a 2-year-old? Let’s make the university look like a Baby Einstein ad, with lots of plushies and babies and colorful didies, and no controversy at all!

While I sympathize with wanting to shelter kids from the worst of the world until they’re old enough to cope, this picture shows two men hugging — not gang rape, incest, or children being mauled by bears. It shows the kind of values I’d want my kids to absorb — that there is love in the world. It’s a pretty good statement.

A Christian, Hodge said she doesn’t try to force her opinions on others. Questioning religion is fine, but mocking it isn’t, she said.

Man, what a line. Why shouldn’t mocking bad ideas be fine? There’s a long history of satire and comedy that’s all about making fun of widely held ideas — you don’t get much of it on Bob the Builder or Sesame Street, but hey, the college is a place for young adults. They can take it.

I’m all for good, loud, raucous mockery, especially of religion, but this isn’t it. It’s two men in an affectionate pose! How does it mock religion…unless of course, you’re committed to the narrow dogmas of a sect and think any violation of your taboos is accusatory.

Sophomore Dejoune Grantham said the poster is libelous and blasphemous, and in her opinion it isn’t protected by the First Amendment.

“I don’t want my children walking through here and seeing that. It’s filthy,” she said.

Again with the little kiddies defense! Now, who is being libeled? Jesus? Then he can come down and sue. What about the blasphemy? It’s a victimless ‘crime’, you shouldn’t just be able to shut down free speech because it violates your weird dogma, otherwise I’m going to start a religion that finds Republicans heretical and conservatives in general to be offenses against my god, the Dude, and silence Fox News and the Religious Right at last.

It’s a theme. Here’s another histrionic mommy hiding behind her children.

Another sophomore, Amber Cales, said the poster was in a public place, and it was easily seen by anyone who passed. She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.

She said she also felt the poster was just taking a pot-shot at Christianity instead of protesting all religious expression.

“You know if it was something about Judaism or Islam, it wouldn’t be tolerated,” she said.

You knew the Fatwah Envy was coming. Listen, lady, you don’t get to pretend that your faith makes you more tolerant than other faiths while making a passive-aggressive whine to suppress speech you dislike.

The president of the atheist group at LCCC, Aaron Weaver, has a good explanation of their intent.

“The purpose of the poster is to get students to see something they haven’t seen before,” he said. “The chances are it challenges them to challenge something they thought they knew.”

Sure, the poster was attention-seeking, but ultimately Weaver said he just wanted to create enough buzz to get people debating and thinking about why they believe what they believe.

“I understand that people will be offended. People will sometimes be offended for the most ridiculous of reasons,” he said.

He said his fellow students have the right to practice their religions and to express themselves in any way they choose.

Right on. When you’re fighting dogma, the only way to accomplish anything is to shake people up and make them think. It’s an excellent poster for making students think about both religion and homosexuality — and it wouldn’t be as effective if there weren’t so many people ready to be offended. Offend away!

Well, if the university will let you.

He said he was shocked to learn the college had a policy that bans students from mocking religion, or any idea, for that matter. The policy is a clear violation of the First Amendment, Weaver said.

These pernicious speech codes are a blight on the American university. A rule that says you can’t mock religious belief is absurd and unenforceable, but greatly desired by the feeble Christians who fear that their faith is eminently mockable.

Here’s something to make Amber happy. Somebody provided the death threats for her (these things always boil down to death threats from someone in the religions of peace and love crowd).

And Weaver said he didn’t just take a shot at Christianity. On Wednesday, he put up a picture of the prophet Mohammed — an act strictly forbidden in the Islamic faith.

He said that about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, he received a death threat in response to the picture, which read, “With love and missiles.” He took the picture down, turned over the note to campus security officers and went home.

“I put myself at risk, but I do so freely. I don’t let fear or the threat of death stop me from speaking my mind freely,” he said.

Good for Aaron! Over the last few years, I’ve been wondering where all the bold college activists had gone to — they’re reemerging in campus freethought groups.

Not to diminish his efforts, but I’d appreciate it if vocal, aggressive college activists would also speak up in student Democrat organizations and peace parties. There are lots of places at universities where progressive rational voices ought to be shouting out loudly.

Comments

  1. #1 caveat
    August 26, 2008

    Would this be a good time to introduce my new frozen confection, Jenius-on-a-Stick?

    Or not?

  2. #2 Bert Chadick
    August 26, 2008

    All religion is totally gay, and I mean that in a bad way.

  3. #3 Kobra
    August 26, 2008

    Wow. That would be an awesome picture.

  4. #4 SteveM
    August 26, 2008

    “You can’t portray Jesus like that. He believes in matrimony, that relationships like that should be done inside matrimony,” sophomore Brianna Holland said.

    Did she just say that Jesus supports gay marriage?

  5. #5 Ann
    August 26, 2008

    Does “offering cookies for their souls” mean “offering cookies in exchange for their souls”?
    Does that work?

  6. #6 Kseniya
    August 26, 2008

    Is God male? If so, is there (or was there ever) a Mrs. God? No? Well, in that case, how can we then assign any gender to God? God must be either pangenderous, or agenderous. Jesus is God, so Jesus is also either pangenderous or agenderous. Jesus is therefore incapable of having a homosexual relationship with either a human male or a human female. Ergo, there’s nothing wrong with Jesus getting it on with either a human male or a human female.

    So what’s all the fuss?

  7. #7 Reginald Selkirk
    August 26, 2008

    Where did they get the image? Is it a recent original, a classic art work, or a pastiche based on a classical work?

  8. #8 Laelaps
    August 26, 2008

    This reminds me of when a student-run newspaper here at Rutgers called The Medium ran an issue that literally depicted Jesus effin’ Christ on the cover.

  9. #9 Holbach
    August 26, 2008

    How could jeebus be gay when he never existed? I don’t think this will bode well for us right now, especially after the crackergate. I wonder if Mary Magdalen was substituted would the outcry be as vociferous. One wonders on both accounts.

  10. #10 Richard Harris
    August 26, 2008

    “Skatje and Collin are going to be recruiting for the UMM Freethinkers tonight, offering the incoming freshman cookies for their souls and handing out pamphlets.”

    Cookies, or do you really mean like magic frackin’ crackers? You know, the ones where a biology prof. intones the magic words, & the cookies become the incarnate flesh of Darwin, by evolution, of course.

  11. #11 Helioprogenus
    August 26, 2008

    This is great. They should have had a series of posters depicting various biblical figures in compromising positions. One could have Moses being in some kind of S & M pose on top of a mountain. They could have Mohammed sitting on a toilet (believe me, just the act of having a picture of the guy would be enough, but the toilet would be a great addition to the caricature). Well, why stop there? We can do the same for any number of prophets/deities/sacred religious people/meaningless dribble, and of course our overlord, the FSM. Maybe he could be using his noodly appendages for some sexually deviant acts.

  12. #12 Reginald Selkirk
    August 26, 2008

    She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.

    What right is that? Could someone please point me to the appropriate constitutional amendment so I can read up on that right?

  13. #13 gdlchmst
    August 26, 2008

    Is God male? If so, is there (or was there ever) a Mrs. God?

    Yes, but there was never a Mrs. God, per se. God kinda just impregnated a virgin without her consent. In some parts of the world, that’s considered rape…

  14. #14 Rik.
    August 26, 2008

    I don’t get it. Why would anyone even bother being offended by this? It’s a poster. If someone started a Christian sect based on the assumption that Jesus had a homesexual relationship (I have no idea with who that would be…Judas, probably, for extra drama), and put up something like this, as a promotional action, what would the response be?
    Well, other than ‘your religion is Wrong and Evil’, because that’s what Christians already think of all other religions anyways.

    I really don’t understand Christians so someone enlighten me?

  15. #15 Aphrodine
    August 26, 2008

    From what I’m gathering from the complaints, a hell of a lot of five year olds attend college now. Good for them!

  16. #16 Nicole
    August 26, 2008

    Kseniya, I remember a religion teacher in college talking about a “Mrs. Yahweh” of sorts in early Judaism, where some sects worshipped a Goddess along with God. Clearly, this polytheistic belief was stamped out by the religious officials at the time. Sorry, I wish I had more info on that, just a tidbit that I remember!

    So, was Jesus really supposed to have been celibate all his life, even though he didn’t begin his ministry until he was 30? Wouldn’t an unmarried man at that age at that time be kind of a bad thing? I can imagine Mary ranting at him, “Why can’t you just find a nice girl and settle down!”

  17. #17 Fergy
    August 26, 2008

    Student aide Jessica Hodge said she felt the poster would “pollute the minds” of her children, ages 2 and 5, if they saw it.

    “I don’t want my children walking through here and seeing that. It’s filthy,” she said.

    She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.

    You really never know when you’re going to accidently stumble across something controversial, so I think these people should invest in some good quality blindfolds and soundproof earpads for when they take their children out in public. Problem solved!

  18. #18 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
    August 26, 2008

    There is scriptural…, well, “evidence” isn’t something that I would ascribe to scriptures, but it’ll do… There is scriptural evidence for Jesus being in a homosexual relationship with the mysterious “disciple whom Jesus loved” who had a “special relationship” with the Messiah.

    And, of course, according to Mark 14:51-52, when the Romans came to arrest Jesus there is a “certain young man” wearing only a linen cloth who runs away naked when the arrest is made. (It’s in the Bible, folks, so it’s gotta be true!)

    As a friend of mine once said: Hey, I used live in the city. I know what it means when then cops go to arrest guys out in the park at night with naked boys…

  19. #19 MAJeff, OM
    August 26, 2008

    oh noes! Homosexual pornography!

  20. #20 True Bob
    August 26, 2008

    Wait, so now cheeses only loves girls? I thought everyone was saved by cheeses love. Damn fickle gods.

  21. #21 SteveM
    August 26, 2008

    This compliments a hypothesis I have about DaVinci’s “Last Supper”. As shown in The DaVinci Code Dan Brown (and others before him) have taken the feminine appearance of John to actually be a portrait of Mary Magdelene. There is a scene in the movie where they cut out the John portrait and overlay it onto Jesus and it looks like a perfect loving embrace. Scholars however insist that it is John, not Mary.

    Well, I think that the scholars are correct, it is actually John but, since DaVinci is well known to be a “flaming homo” atheist, this was his way of secretly sticking it the Church by implying a homosexual relationship between Jesus and John. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jesus was a self portrait and John a portrait of his “apprentice”.

  22. #22 ubi dubius
    August 26, 2008

    Why would anyone even bother being offended by this? It’s just frackin’ poster!

    Good one Rik.

  23. #23 gdlchmst
    August 26, 2008

    I like how people ignored the question mark at the end of the sentence. It’s like they are looking to be offended.

  24. #24 Carlie
    August 26, 2008

    I still don’t understand. Has this woman never seen a poster on a college campus? Most of them are, well, not geared towards toddlers. I understand that there are times that people have to bring their kids on campus, but they can’t set the tone for the entire place.

  25. #25 Matt H.
    August 26, 2008

    “Not to diminish his efforts, but I’d appreciate it if vocal, aggressive college activists would also speak up in student Democrat organizations and peace parties. There are lots of places at universities where progressive rational voices ought to be shouting out loudly.”

    Heh, one of our more active members is the in some kind of leadership position with the campus democrats at our school and he was told specifically not to mention his atheism at their events.

  26. #26 AtheistAcolyte
    August 26, 2008

    Yes, but there was never a Mrs. God, per se. God kinda just impregnated a virgin without her consent. In some parts of the world, that’s considered rape…

    In others, it’s called tradition. ;-)

  27. #27 Larry
    August 26, 2008

    Cue the death threads in 3… 2… 1…

  28. #28 PZ Myers
    August 26, 2008

    Oh, no, you’re right, MAJeff. I have invited the wrath of an unknown multitude down upon me now.

    At least you’re off the hook this time!

  29. #29 Nick Gotts
    August 26, 2008

    I like Jesus’s straw hat – I’ve got one a bit like it. I guess you’d need one in a hot place like Galilee.

  30. #30 windy, OM
    August 26, 2008

    Kseniya, I remember a religion teacher in college talking about a “Mrs. Yahweh” of sorts in early Judaism, where some sects worshipped a Goddess along with God.

    That was Asherah. Had a bad breakup with Yahweh later, apparently.

  31. #31 PZ Myers
    August 26, 2008

    Right…somebody tell Bill Donohue.

  32. #32 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    …probably with the pokers and the lake of fire and the demons and the burning man-bosoms and all that.

    hmm, isn’t that the second mention of man-titties today?

    Did I miss the memo?

    should I be celebrating my own cleavage today?

  33. #33 The Chemist
    August 26, 2008

    Is it a state school? Don’t get me wrong, but if it’s happening on a private campus, they can limit student speech without repercussion as I understand it.

    I’m tired of Islam envy. It’s the right wing remedy: Blame the Muslims. It doesn’t matter how or in what context. Somehow Muslims can be invoked for anything these days. Except maybe presidential elec- oh never mind.

    I’ve never really thought shock and offense were good strategies to make a point though. It tends to be short-lived, since after a while people learn to ignore you. Sure, the first time it’s, “OH MY GOD!” But the 577,823rd time, it becomes, “Huh? Oh, those silly atheists.”

  34. #34 Rick R
    August 26, 2008

    Gag! God spam!

  35. #35 chigurh
    August 26, 2008

    “I’m going to start a religion that finds Republicans heretical and conservatives in general to be offenses against my god, the Dude, and silence Fox News and the Religious Right at last.”

    Is that a Big Lebowski reference?

  36. #36 travc
    August 26, 2008

    “Cookies for their souls”… no no no… It should be “Cake or Death!”

    That would make a great poster IMO.

  37. #37 Steve_C
    August 26, 2008

    Pilot. You asshole. Crash please.

  38. #38 spgreenlaw
    August 26, 2008

    “With love and missiles.”

    I love that band! Of course, Bauhaus was much cooler…
    Oh, what? It was Love and Rockets? Oops. Never mind, then.

  39. #39 Holbach
    August 26, 2008

    How the hell did that mindless drivel @ 33 get through?

  40. #40 chigurh
    August 26, 2008

    there’s gotta be a bible quote that condemns copying and pasting…

  41. #41 tsig
    August 26, 2008

    How many kids have these christian ladies had by now? Or are they speaking for the invisible again?

  42. #42 Amar
    August 26, 2008

    Nicole # 16 said;
    “I can imagine Mary ranting at him, “Why can’t you just find a nice girl and settle down!”

    Nail, meet head. except for one tiny detail … what she really would have said was “Why can’t you just find a nice Jewish girl and settle down! Oy Veh!”

  43. #43 CJO
    August 26, 2008

    Will you goat rustlers cut it out with all that bandit yodelling? I can’t hear myself think.

  44. #44 The chemist
    August 26, 2008

    OMG, Bible spam. I never thought I’d live long enough.

  45. #45 JoJo
    August 26, 2008

    I just did a “kill” on Psalm Pilot. The size of the thread shrank dramatically.

  46. #46 Annick
    August 26, 2008

    All religion is totally gay, and I mean that in a bad way.

    No, no it’s not. That’s insulting to my sexuality. There is no bad way to be gay.

    Unless you’re sleeping with the opposite sex. Bad gay. BAAAAD !!!!

  47. #47 John Pieret
    August 26, 2008

    Now, who is being libeled? Jesus? Then he can come down and sue.

    Now therein lies an interesting legal issue. Defamation actions die with the person supposedly libeled. Another way to put it is you can’t libel the dead. And, as far as I know, there is no exception for (allegedly) coming back to life.

  48. #48 Didac
    August 26, 2008

    “They should have had a series of posters depicting various biblical figures in compromising positions”

    Lot with his daughters, for example. Or Cam with his naked father, Noah. Or David gazing at a naked Bethsabe. The history of Judah and Tamar. Nudity, incest, etc. Words like sodomy or onanism are taken from the Genesis. There are more Answers in Genesis that you even dare to ask!!!

  49. #49 Joshua BA
    August 26, 2008
    Kseniya, I remember a religion teacher in college talking about a “Mrs. Yahweh” of sorts in early Judaism, where some sects worshipped a Goddess along with God.

    That was Asherah. Had a bad breakup with Yahweh later, apparently.

    Oh come on, everyone knows that the Asherah virus was practically wiped out by the Tower of Babel anti-virus program written by Enki. Lets not go confusing history here :)

  50. #50 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    August 26, 2008

    Somehow I would have expected an atheist organisation to be making claims more along the line that they have the ability to prove that Abrahamic gods don’t exist, or maybe that no-one can prove that any god exists.

    Seems they know best how to get a rise out of the fools. Good for them.

    Given that men have been much more equal than women for most of the history of churches, mosques and synagogues, wouldn’t it be expected that most of their god’s love was reserved for men?

  51. #51 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    @#33:

    Spamming

    Using the comments to sell real estate, mortgage assessments, little blue pills, porn, or Russian mail-order brides. Spammers are not tolerated at all; they are expunged without comment.

    from the posting rules for this site.

    bye.

  52. #52 rebelest
    August 26, 2008

    The poster reminds me of Gore Vidal’s novel “Live from Golgotha” wherein Jesus is an obese gay man. The premise is that a modern TV network has developed technology that allows them to televise the “crucifiction.”

  53. #53 raven
    August 26, 2008

    Is God male? If so, is there (or was there ever) a Mrs. God? No? Well, in that case, how can we then assign any gender to God?

    According to the Mormons, god is not only male but he is married. To an unknown but large number of women. They mate a lot and we are their literal children. If you do the math, god is getting laid a few million times a year at least.

    According to the OT, god was married at one time. Her name was Asheroth, a goddess. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that monotheistic gods couldn’t be married to goddesses anymore and they edited her out. But missed a few references.

  54. #54 Amar
    August 26, 2008

    Prof Myers,
    Could you please delete ‘psalms’! i think we all know where we can find them if we really have a need to feel like shooting ourselves in the head.

  55. #55 Matt Heath
    August 26, 2008

    #33: TLDR

  56. #56 Divalent
    August 26, 2008

    Whoa! that was interesting! I did catch this (which might explain the relevance):

    Psalms 137:9 “Happy shall he be, who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock.”

    (Or from the New International Version: “… who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”)

    I’m guessing they must have been gay little ones.

  57. #57 JHS
    August 26, 2008

    Terrence McNally’s play “Corpus Christi” deals with the homoerotic aspects of Jesus and the apostles and was met with similar paroxysms of outrage from the usual suspects when it premiered in 98′.

  58. #58 Carlie
    August 26, 2008

    I’m guessing they must have been gay little ones.

    Well, the gay ones taste a little sweeter, so stands to reason they’d slaughter and cook them up first.

  59. #59 I am so wise
    August 26, 2008

    What’s next a conference on whether Jesus Christ was a top or Bottom?

  60. #60 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    August 26, 2008

    But how do you know which little ones are gay, before you slaughter and cook them? Is there a test that works on little ones?

  61. #61 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    Well, the gay ones taste a little sweeter, so stands to reason they’d slaughter and cook them up first.

    yeah, but at only 10% of the population, they do tend to cost more.

    still, worth it if you can find ‘em.

  62. #62 Bert Chadick
    August 26, 2008

    Did anyone actually READ #33? I’m going to guess, no.

    #48 I meant that in the “South Park” way. Gay when modified by the term “totally” means, well silly. Transcendentally silly.

  63. #63 Fred Nurke
    August 26, 2008

    Thanks to Psalm Pilot for reminding us about David. There is no way, despite all the incredibly twisted arguments raised against it by the Xians, that the relationship between David and Jonathan wasn’t homosexual.
    cheers,
    Fred

  64. #64 Didac
    August 26, 2008

    Psalms 137:9 “Happy shall he be, who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock.”

    The little ones are the little ones from Babylon (=Iraq). So, perhaps, the 2004 US invasion of Iraq was biblically inspired after all.

  65. #65 pubcat
    August 26, 2008

    When one of the Godbot groups on our campus held Jesus week, we (sadly being the Mediaeval society, not the campus secular freethinkers) held a concurrent ‘Odin week’

    We had a survey on peoples realtionships with the Gods, and a free lollipop, witty t-shirts like, “Thor Loves You”, “Odin is Watching” and “What Would Loki Do?” And had pamphlets on what the Norse Gods’ had to say about pertinant topics like gay marriage.

    In Australia, we go to alot of trouble to thouroughly mock dumb ideas :)

  66. #66 Nightsky
    August 26, 2008

    Is this the thread for Bible slashfic?

  67. #67 PM
    August 26, 2008

    There actually is a bit of controversy among Biblical scholars (the sort who read old Greek manuscripts) about whether Jesus was gay. You can get a start on this by reading about the late Dr. Morton Smith at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Smith

    You can Google his name and the “Secret Gospel of Mark” and find all sorts of fascinating stuff — even if you think all of Scripture is hogwash (as I do) this is still a fascinating detective story. There are reputable scholars on both sides of the issue. There are also scholars who have set out to disprove the “heresy.” Those are easily spotted — you can see the mouth foam in the text.

    Bart Ehrman, the now-atheistic theology prof at UNC, was originally a disbeliever in the Morton Smith hypothesis, but in a recent book said he now is not sure. It turns out that the controversial text in question has “disappeared” thanks to the church librarians. So, no one can date the original letter to see if it is genuine, or a Morton Smith forgery.

    We do know from actual scripture that there is an undressed young man with Christ the night before he died, one that fled from the authorities. And the so-called missing part of Mark nicely plugs some actual gaps in what is thought to be the Gospel of Mark. (Bible scholars also now conclude that the last lines of Mark were tacked on to provide an ending consistent with the other gospels, but that’s another topic entirely.)

    I hope some of you are familiar with Ehrman’s story, a fundamentalist bible scholar who studied the origins of the bible and concluded it was a fabrication — to the extent that he lost his faith entirely. He still retains his reputation as a Biblical scholar, because he just digs deeper than most.

  68. #68 Greg Peterson
    August 26, 2008

    Apple-cheeked whackjob Jack Van Impe said on last week’s show (see it at JVIM.com, go to Aug 20 TV show, at 18:30-19:30 minutes) that Muslims know how to protect their prophet from ridicule, then referred to how Salman Rushdie found that out the hard way by having his life threatened. He said that when people insult Mohamed, their lives are in danger, and he wishes Christians would take a similar stand. I doubt it’s what he meant consciously, but by implication, Van Impe was calling for death threats against people who criticize Jesus or Christianity, to be carried out by Christians. And the show is rated “G,” by the way, because, you know…wholesome religious programming.

  69. #69 PM
    August 26, 2008

    There actually is a bit of controversy among Biblical scholars (the sort who read old Greek manuscripts) about whether Jesus was gay. You can get a start on this by reading about the late Dr. Morton Smith at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Smith

    You can Google his name and the “Secret Gospel of Mark” and find all sorts of fascinating stuff — even if you think all of Scripture is hogwash (as I do) this is still a fascinating detective story. There are reputable scholars on both sides of the issue. There are also scholars who have set out to disprove the “heresy.” Those are easily spotted — you can see the mouth foam in the text.

    Bart Ehrman, the now-atheistic theology prof at UNC, was originally a disbeliever in the Morton Smith hypothesis, but in a recent book said he now is not sure. It turns out that the controversial text in question has “disappeared” thanks to the church librarians. So, no one can date the original letter to see if it is genuine, or a Morton Smith forgery.

    We do know from actual scripture that there is an undressed young man with Christ the night before he died, one that fled from the authorities. And the so-called missing part of Mark nicely plugs some actual gaps in what is thought to be the Gospel of Mark. (Bible scholars also now conclude that the last lines of Mark were tacked on to provide an ending consistent with the other gospels, but that’s another topic entirely.)

    I hope some of you are familiar with Ehrman’s story, a fundamentalist bible scholar who studied the origins of the bible and concluded it was a fabrication — to the extent that he lost his faith entirely. He still retains his reputation as a Biblical scholar, because he just digs deeper than most.

  70. #70 Mariana
    August 26, 2008

    *delurks* Hello all.

    Scroll down, scroll down, scroll down, psalm 8495069, scrooooll dooooown…Ok, I LOL’d.

    Also, is no one here a fan of slash fiction? I remember reading God/Lucifer slash, and recently someone pointed me to Jesus/Judas yaoi. Actually, I can totally see Jesus/Judas being very…hot and angsty. In the Biblical sense.

  71. #71 Voltaire Kinison
    August 26, 2008

    Hey Psalm Pilot, you forgot Psalm 151….

    Psalm 151

    151:1 Praise Yahweh!
    151.2 For Yahweh pleasures his men.
    He crowns the humble knob with salivation.
    151:3 Let the taints rejoice in honor.
    Let them sing for joy on their beds.
    151.4 May the high juices of God be in their mouths,
    and a two-edged banana in their hand.
    151.5 To bind their kings with chains,
    and their nobles with fetters of iron; for Yahweh
    sometimes feels a little kinky!
    151.6 Praise him in his heavens for his acts of gayity!
    151.7 Praise him for his mighty penis and pecs!
    Praise him accordingly for his excellent head!
    151:8 Praise him with the sounding his trumpet!
    Praise him with stringed instruments and skin flute!
    151:9 Let everything that has cum breath praise Yah!
    Praise Yah!

  72. #72 MrMarkAZ
    August 26, 2008

    “She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas…”

    Right, because it’s in her children’s best interest to put them in a protective bubble, where they never have to encounter anything controversial or potentially troublesome, until she can throw them out into the world psychologically immature, intellectually starved, and emotionally stunted. That’s the SMART, GROWN-UP thing to do.

    Heaven forbid that she exercise some doggam parental responsibility here and try to meet this challenge head-on, giving her children coping skills and other tools for dealing with ideas, cultures, and value systems they are not familiar with.

    And Psalm Pilot? Fark off, you blithering, copy-pasting, mindless turdbucket.

  73. #73 Lancelot Gobbo
    August 26, 2008

    “I’m neither Christian nor homosexual, but I think the poster actually flatters their diety, making him out to be both human and hot.”

    “diety”? I guess that frickin’ cracker isn’t behind you just yet, PZ? When it is……why not ask for a reach around?

  74. #74 miller
    August 26, 2008

    Frankly, I think this is horrifying. I wouldn’t even want to be associated with such an atheist group. It seems they have confused “rocking the boat” with “offending people”. This will only confirm what people think about atheists: that they’re bitter about religion, and have made a sport out of mocking it. They are assisting their delusions. They are also scaring away potential members for their club.

    Anyways, I heard that the source of the “Jesus is gay” story is from the “Secret Gospel of Mark”, which I understand was some sort of hoax. So they’re endorsing pseudohistory? Non-skeptical atheists make me shudder.

  75. #75 MrMarkAZ
    August 26, 2008

    And Voltaire Kinison? I say unto you, verily:

    Gaaaaaaay-men!

    That was freakin’ hilarious. Ought to be posted in every church on Easter Sunday.

  76. #76 SisterCoyote
    August 26, 2008

    Hm. I’m thinking that perhaps a length limit is needed on comments with people like the banned PsalmPilot running around.

    So what did the Norse Gods say about same-sex marriage, pubcat?

    Also, while it is homoerotic in tone, I would have looked at that poster and thought: Oh, Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss. And done a double-take when the text sank in.

  77. #77 Moggie
    August 26, 2008

    Hiding behind children, indeed.

    Another sophomore, Amber Cales, said the poster was in a public place, and it was easily seen by anyone who passed. She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.

    You know, she might have a point. Young kids tend to be intellectually unsophisticated, emotionally vulnerable, and gullible enough to believe anything, whereas adult Christians are… oh. It’s not really about the kids at all, is it?

  78. #78 Sophist FCD
    August 26, 2008

    10,000 words of copypasta? We’ll, I’m convinced. Praise Jay-uh-sus!, et cetera, et cetera.

  79. #79 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    This will only [self-]confirm what people think [you already had mistakenly concluded] about atheists

    fixed.

  80. #80 Shadow
    August 26, 2008

    *Scrolls and scrolls and scrolls*

    Jesus. I mean, er –

    making him out to be both human and hot

    I always used to feel a little guilty whenever I’d happen across a Biblementary that had Jesus played by some unshaven, long-haired pretty-boy.

    Then I discovered anime, and more importantly, yaoi. And let me tell you, if that was a well-drawn doujinshi, my scanner would be on overdrive about now. It’s my duty to spread the love!

  81. #81 Arthur
    August 26, 2008

    Since when did Jesus believe in matrimony? Are there some words from Jesus that I haven’t read (not that the words we have are actually from Jesus, but never mind). The New Testament’s position on marriage, if there is one, is from Paul, found in 1 Corinthians 7. “Paul maintains that married couples should not pretend that they already live as angels, ‘who neither marry nor are given in marriage’ (to quote another famous person; see Mark 12:25). Sexual temptations are great in this age, and marriage is a legitimate way to overcome them in God’s eyes. Spouses should therefore grant one another their conjugal rights. Those who are able to withstand such temptations, however – like Paul himself, who says that he has the ‘gift’- should not go to the trouble of becoming married in the first place. In Paul’s view, his generation is living at the very end of time, and much work needs to be done before Christ returns. Those who are married are obligated to take time for their spouses and tend to their needs; those who are not can be fully committed to Christ. Thus, it is better to remain single, but if one cannot stand the heat, it is better to marry than to burn.” — The New Testament: A Historial Introduction, by Bart Ehrman

  82. #82 SC
    August 26, 2008

    This will only confirm what people think about atheists: that they’re bitter about religion, and have made a sport out of mocking it.

    Well, some games, anyway:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/08/bingo_every_time.php

    They are assisting their delusions. They are also scaring away potential members for their club.

    G5!

  83. #83 miller
    August 26, 2008

    Ichthyic (#81)

    You misunderstand. That’s exactly what I meant in the first place. The Jesus poster causes people to self-confirm their previous woefully mistaken delusions about atheists being uniformly angry and hateful. Is that what they wanted, to confirm delusions?

  84. #84 windy
    August 26, 2008

    The Jesus poster causes people to self-confirm their previous woefully mistaken delusions about atheists being uniformly angry and hateful.

    What is angry about the poster? Where’s the hate?

  85. #85 Doug
    August 26, 2008

    I work for the post office and one piece of mail coming from a church had the message, “Gone fishing…for men.” Now tell me that doesn’t sound gay.

  86. #86 jpf
    August 26, 2008

    You knew the Fatwah Envy was coming.

    I understand that during the cracker incident it was decided to use “Fatwah Envy” for the common “you’d never say anything bad about a Muslim because they’d kill you” trope among Christians, and it may be too late to change the mob consensus, but it really should be “Jihad Envy”. A Fatwah is merely a pronouncement of religious legality by a cleric, and can be on any subject and not necessarily involve calling for violence. Christians aren’t envious of fatwahs since they have their own equivalent in Catholic encyclicals or the ravings of the local pastor. A “Jihad”, however, implies the sort of violent, “don’t fuck with us” untouchablity that some Christians are envious of.

  87. #87 ndt
    August 26, 2008

    Why would hypothesizing that Jesus is gay be angry and hateful? What’s angry and hateful about homosexuality?

  88. #88 kestrien
    August 26, 2008

    Does anyone recognize the image used in the poster? It seems reminescent of classic painting – it’d be funny if the crazy christians were condemning a little-known DaVinci masterpiece.

  89. #89 miller
    August 26, 2008

    windy #86

    What is angry about the poster? Where’s the hate?

    There is none. There doesn’t have to be. The Christian sees what the Christian wants to see, and the poster only pushes along this cycle of confirmation bias.

  90. #90 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    The Jesus poster causes people to self-confirm their previous woefully mistaken delusions about atheists being uniformly angry and hateful.

    you’re being dishonest.

    What is angry about the poster? Where’s the hate?

    exactly.

    why would you assume it would confirm people’s delusions to begin with?

    at best, your argument amounts to a concern over people who make irrational conclusions to begin with.

    why should we care what conclusions the deluded make about a poster?

    In fact, we tend to use their idiotic responses against them.

    …like how knotted-up so many folks apparently get about certain abuses of crackers…

  91. #91 Patricia
    August 26, 2008

    Windy,OM is right about Asherah being Mrs. Gawd. But above her, is the mother of Gawd – Sophia.

  92. #92 Denis Loubet
    August 26, 2008

    Religious writings are basically fan-fic. It should be no surprise when the slash fic shows up.

  93. #93 SC
    August 26, 2008

    The Christian sees what the Christian wants to see, and the poster only pushes along this cycle of confirmation bias.

    Do you not recognize the problem with this statement? It’s an important one.

  94. #94 miller
    August 26, 2008

    Ichthyic #92

    at best, your argument amounts to a concern over people who make irrational conclusions to begin with.

    Well, we’re talking about interaction with religious people, so I contend that we are both concerned about it. I thought the point was to rock the boat of religious people? Or do we not care about them because they’ve already made their irrational conclusions?

  95. #95 CanadianChick
    August 26, 2008

    funny – when Fox News uses the innuendo-question-mark tactic it’s perfectly OK with the braindead conservatives, but if someone uses it on a poster implying something they don’t like, ooooh…it’s hateful! It’s libelous!!

    frack.

    I mean, really – who cares what the poster says – it’s not like Jesus actually existed…

  96. #96 Alex Besogonov
    August 26, 2008

    “I’m going to start a religion that finds Republicans heretical and conservatives in general to be offenses against my god, the Dude, and silence Fox News and the Religious Right at last.”

    Sounds like a good plan! Where do I sign?

    (…just kidding…)

  97. #97 Tatarize
    August 26, 2008

    I loved the old “by David” on the end of all the psalms. Because otherwise I would have thought they were variants Ugaritic hymns dating far older than even the archeologically unverifiable claims of David.

  98. #98 RamblinDude
    August 26, 2008

    I don’t know if Jesus was gay, but there were some characters in the bible who seemed to have issues…

    1 Samuel 18:25-27 ESV:

    Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.'” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.

  99. #99 SC
    August 26, 2008

    Well, we’re talking about interaction with religious people, so I contend that we are both concerned about it. I thought the point was to rock the boat of religious people? Or do we not care about them because they’ve already made their irrational conclusions?

    You‘re the one claiming they make irrational conclusions, and suggesting that they should be dealt with accordingly. The poster-makers are trying to get people to think critically about their beliefs and ideas. Unlike you, they are confident that people can assess their ideas and possibly change their views:

    ‘The purpose of the poster is to get students to see something they haven’t seen before,” he said. “The chances are it challenges them to challenge something they thought they knew’. Sure, the poster was attention-seeking, but ultimately Weaver said he just wanted to create enough buzz to get people debating and thinking about why they believe what they believe.

    It is you, not them, who are insulting religious people.

  100. #100 rob
    August 26, 2008

    That “think of the children” attitude drives me nuts. When I was a young theater student, a professor introduced our class to a performance art piece that consisted of women, slathered in mud, and done up to appear as if they’d been badly beaten. They stood behind glass in public places, such as in store windows. Many members of the class absolutely freaked that child might see a NAKED WOMAN.

    This became a tiresome refrain until, after discussing “Couple in a Cage” (a piece in which two performers pretended to be members of a lost Indian tribe from South America caged in the town square with 20th century trappings, and video taped the reactions of passers-by), the class became outraged that the poor children were being exposed to RACIST IMAGERY!!! Sick of defending herself, the professor sighed and said simply, “Yes well, god forbid they should be exposed to that from anything except their Saturday morning cartoons.”

    I must say, I don’t even think that class would have objected to a picture of two men hugging.

  101. #101 Cath the Canberra Cook
    August 26, 2008

    Every time you see a rainbow, God is having gay sex!

  102. #102 frog
    August 26, 2008

    miller: The Christian sees what the Christian wants to see, and the poster only pushes along this cycle of confirmation bias.

    Another target appears. Miller, are you so clueless that you are actually suggesting that folks hold their tongues because the babies will cry? Seriously?

    God, you are a sissy (not gay, just a sissy). “Oh noes, the Christians will work themselves up in a tizzy, so we mustn’t poke at them!”

    It’s like suggesting to a black man he should be deferential cause whitey will see any assertiveness as aggressive violence, or suggesting to a woman that she shouldn’t speak up because the men will think her a bitch. It’s insulting, destructive, arrogant and asinine, all rolled up into one. Take thy concern-trolling elsewhere, oh weak-willed one.

    Who won the civil rights war? Dubois or Washington? Learn your history first, child.

  103. #103 Sastra
    August 26, 2008

    PZ will undoubtedly delete #33, so for those of you who missed it, the short version:

    “Oh Lord, forgive us this dreadful toadying …”

    Another sophomore, Amber Cales, said the poster was in a public place, and it was easily seen by anyone who passed. She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.

    No, she means that it takes away her own right to be shielded as if she were a child. How sophomoric. Religion tends to encourage people to infantilize themselves, so that they may approach their beliefs with that ‘child-like confidence’ which is apparently so crucial to spiritual growth — and which is the antithesis to growth in any other area.

    The only reason supernatural beliefs remain respectable is because they are treated with a deference they haven’t earned, on the assumption that those who believe are fragile, delicate little flowers of innocence and sensitivity who can’t handle life without their faith. Tiptoeing around the weak is supposed to be how atheists show their ‘respect.’

    Poor, poor things.

  104. #104 Dungsbars
    August 26, 2008

    “Nailed” to the cross, huh?

  105. #105 miller
    August 26, 2008

    SC #99

    You’re the one claiming they make irrational conclusions, and suggesting that they should be dealt with accordingly. The poster-makers are trying to get people to think critically about their beliefs and ideas. Unlike you, they are confident that people can assess their ideas and possibly change their views:

    I stand by my claim that people will draw irrational conclusions. The reactions are right there, presented by PZ. You tell me if they’re rational.

    Of course I understand that the poster-makers are trying to get people to think critically. Trying and failing.

    It is you, not them, who are insulting religious people.

    So?

  106. #106 Kseniya
    August 26, 2008

    Do you not recognize the problem with this statement? It’s an important one.

    It makes the content of the poster irrelevant?

  107. #107 ndt
    August 26, 2008

    Posted by: Sastra | August 26, 2008 7:29 PM

    The only reason supernatural beliefs remain respectable is because they are treated with a deference they haven’t earned, on the assumption that those who believe are fragile, delicate little flowers of innocence and sensitivity who can’t handle life without their faith. Tiptoeing around the weak is supposed to be how atheists show their ‘respect.’

    Very well put, Sastra.

  108. #108 Matt v
    August 26, 2008

    Replying to #12:

    “What right is that? Could someone please point me to the appropriate constitutional amendment so I can read up on that right?”

    Certainly. The Ninth Amendment

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    You (and many others) seem to be under the erroneous impression that citizens have no rights, save those guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Simply not true.

  109. #109 WTFWJD
    August 26, 2008

    Religious hermits of that time were all male and they valued their privacy out there in the desert in the company of other men like themselves. Don’t ask, don’t tell. No point in baiting the homophobes at a time when crucifixion and stoning were popular entertainments.

  110. #110 frog
    August 26, 2008

    Miller: I stand by my claim that people will draw irrational conclusions. The reactions are right there, presented by PZ. You tell me if they’re rational.
    Of course I understand that the poster-makers are trying to get people to think critically. Trying and failing.

    So I guess you’ve made a full, long-term sociological analysis of the effects of satire on the various categories on the fully-committed/uncommitted gradient to see their political and social effects? Or are you just grabbing some news quotes and assuming they represent everyone who sees the posters, and that their responses are rigidly stable and unchanging?

    Are you bothering to think at all, or just knee-jerking exactly like those quotations, responding out of some deep well of fear that the Christians’ll get ya? Remember, that the overall Jewish response in Germany to the rise of fascism was to lay low and let it blow over – some political parties were formed for resistance, but they were all exceedingly polite and formal. Didn’t want to get the Christians riled up, ya know…

  111. #111 Kseniya
    August 26, 2008

    Of course I understand that the poster-makers are trying to get people to think critically. Trying and failing.

    You’re saying that they are failing completely, without exception? How do you know? We’ve only heard from the segment of the population that is close-minded and offended. This is typical. And yet we conclude that they represent all the people who consider themselves believers? I don’t.

  112. #112 windy
    August 26, 2008

    Religious hermits of that time were all male and they valued their privacy out there in the desert in the company of other men like themselves.

    Not to mention that “sitting on top of a pole” thing.

  113. #113 frog
    August 26, 2008

    Mattv: “What right is that? Could someone please point me to the appropriate constitutional amendment so I can read up on that right?”
    Certainly. The Ninth Amendment

    Is this satire? Are you seriously attempting to claim that US citizens have the right to not be exposed to controversial material in public places where children might go?

    Simple logic dictates that the Ninth amendment rights can not contravene the explicit rights — like the 1st amendment. That’s not even to consider the practical reality of the ninth amendment, which was poorly written with no effective system of enforcement, other than the existing defense of democracy which makes it trivial and pointless. It wasn’t even used to create a right to privacy!

    Do you have a mystical constitution which emanates rights independently of government structures?

  114. #114 Kseniya
    August 26, 2008

    You (and many others) seem to be under the erroneous impression that citizens have no rights, save those guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Simply not true.

    Good point, taken on its own merits, but one that is not really relevant to the issue at hand.

    The Ninth is intended to limit governmental power, and is meant to prevent the government from revoking rights, already held by the people, that are not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. It’s really not relevant to whether or not Person A has the “right” not to be offended by Person B.

  115. #115 jeffrobodean
    August 26, 2008

    I’m all for making fun of Jesus, but in this context it doesn’t make much sense. Jesus was gay, Jesus was married, Jesus was a sorcerer- there’s almost no historical evidence that he even existed. This is an Atheist group, Jesus should be a non issue. How about a poster of the Pope or Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson getting some manly love. That would at least be relevant to what’s going on in America right now.

  116. #116 SC
    August 26, 2008

    Religion tends to encourage people to infantilize themselves,

    And then there are people like miller to encourage them to do so, and to infantilize them.

    I stand by my claim that people will draw irrational conclusions. The reactions are right there, presented by PZ. You tell me if they’re rational.

    And that handful of individuals is of course representative of every religious person who saw the poster. Do you have any evidence in support of that claim? In any event, we don’t throw away democratic communication, which may cause offense but which is founded on the belief that people can change their minds because some are (initially or permanently) irrational or hostile. This “fuck democracy – more focus groups and pandering” attitude is the problem.

    Of course I understand that the poster-makers are trying to get people to think critically. Trying and failing.

    Evidence, aside from a few quotations selected for a single article? Longer-term evidence? (OK, the latter can’t be provided now, but would be required for you to support your claim.)

    It is you, not them, who are insulting religious people.
    So?

    You @ #74: Frankly, I think this is horrifying. I wouldn’t even want to be associated with such an atheist group. It seems they have confused “rocking the boat” with “offending people”.

    Kseniya @ #106,

    Yup.

  117. #117 Rob
    August 26, 2008

    @Matt V:

    Your rights end where mine begin. Your “right” to not be offended does not supersede my right to free speech. Popular speech does not need protection, unpopular speech is what needs it.

    @PZ:
    When you remove a comment can you leave a placeholder in order to keep numbering?

  118. #118 miller
    August 26, 2008

    frog #110

    So I guess you’ve made a full, long-term sociological analysis of the effects of satire on the various categories on the fully-committed/uncommitted gradient to see their political and social effects? Or are you just grabbing some news quotes and assuming they represent everyone who sees the posters, and that their responses are rigidly stable and unchanging?

    Haha, you got me there. I grabbed the news quotes. I will be persuaded if you provide proof otherwise…?

    Start by telling me, what is this “rational” response we expected?

  119. #119 SC
    August 26, 2008

    I see others have already made most of my points. (My dog is visiting – YAY! – and she’s not eating her dinner, so I’m distracted by that and it’s slowed my responses.)

    Shorter me: Even if some people in a group are behaving like children, we still have an ethical responsibility to treat them, and the group as a whole, like adults.

  120. #120 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    I thought the point was to rock the boat of religious people?

    exactly, but you keep missing the point of doing so, apparently.

  121. #121 Patricia
    August 26, 2008

    Cath – Sorry, it isn’t about god and gay sex at all. It’s global destruction.
    Genesis 9:8,15 – gawd is speaking to Noah, in person! He says: 14-And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
    15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you, and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

    Did you notice that gawd made the covenant equally between himself, mankind and EVERY living creature? What a shame, doesn’t that make christians equal to skunks? Maybe someone here knows. :)

  122. #122 frog
    August 26, 2008

    miller: Haha, you got me there. I grabbed the news quotes. I will be persuaded if you provide proof otherwise…?

    Proof of what? You’re asking people to curtail satire on no “proof” and despite all historical evidence to the contrary. It’s your argument that MLK shut up and sit in the back of the bus, that the Jews wait till the Nazis blow over, that the little wifey not make hubby angry ’cause he might smack her.

    Do you just have no idea how human minds work? That as long as an idea sits unchallenged, it will be unquestionable, the dogmatisms will be reified into an objective truth?

    The response isn’t expected to be rational — it’s a joke, god dammit! It’s supposed to effect the community by making it clear that the no lightning will strike when the taboo is broken. It’s supposed to give courage to those who have questions that they’re afraid to even ask themselves because they’ve never seen those kinds of questions asked.

    It’s supposed to point out that the emperor is naked, you fool. Yes, some will be angry and ashamed if you point it out — but you suggest that we continue to pretend that we can’t see the emperor’s wee parts! Just think of the children, indeed.

  123. #123 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    Start by telling me, what is this “rational” response we expected?

    here’s one, from #95:

    I mean, really – who cares what the poster says – it’s not like Jesus actually existed…

    emphasis mine.

    if you are referring to the godbotherers?

    We don’t expect a rational response.

    are you getting the point, yet?

    do you understand the value of putting a nail in a cracker and tossing it in the trash, btw?

    bottom line:

    neither the “desecration” of a cracker, nor the depiction of Jesus in a homosexual tryst on a poster, are logically connectable with “anger and hostility”.

    that anyone WOULD connect them in such a way is fuel for the fire.

    get it?

    not only are we unconcerned that religionauts might react in such a way, but the mere fact that some inevitably will at most means it’s simply another sign pointing to how religion ends up rotting your brain.

    it’s a win-win.

    you decrying the reaction is not only silly, it’s counterproductive.

  124. #124 MAJeff, OM
    August 26, 2008

    My dog is visiting – YAY! – and she’s not eating her dinner, so I’m distracted by that and it’s slowed my responses.

    Give her time. New setting. She’ll come around. Dogs get hungry.

    What’s next a conference on whether Jesus Christ was a top or Bottom?

    Total bottom, and a cannibal bottom at that. (“This is my body..take…eat.”)

  125. #125 miller
    August 26, 2008

    SC #116

    And then there are people like miller to encourage them to do so, and to infantilize them.

    No, not at all. My accusation against the poster was that it unwittingly promotes the “infantilization” of religion, in that it assists religious delusions, contributes to their persecution complex. Surely, they could at least have designed a poster that is clear about where they’re going with the idea?

    And by all means, insult and offend religious people if it helps. But it’s not helping this time. It’s only really good for a few laughs in the atheosphere.

  126. #126 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    My accusation against the poster was that it unwittingly promotes the “infantilization” of religion, in that it assists religious delusions

    no, it most certainly does NOT.

    you need to review logic, ’cause you’re doing it wrong, junior.

  127. #127 JStein
    August 26, 2008

    This is a guy who walked through the desert for years with only other men for companionship, in a culture heavily influenced by the Greeks (by way of the Romans).

    The notion that he didn’t have a homosexual relationship seems far fetched to me.

  128. #128 MAJeff, OM
    August 26, 2008

    This is a guy who walked through the desert for years with only other men for companionship, in a culture heavily influenced by the Greeks (by way of the Romans).
    The notion that he didn’t have a homosexual relationship seems far fetched to me.

    How young were the apostles? We are talking about the Greeks after all; it was more about pederasty than the form of adult homosexuality we’re more familiar with in the modern west.

  129. #129 frog
    August 26, 2008

    JStein: The notion that he didn’t have a homosexual relationship seems far fetched to me.

    He wasn’t a soldier, was he? I thought the grown man thing was primarily a military affair in that time and place. A wandering scholar preferred “students”, didn’t they? That’s not a homosexual relationship in the modern sense – it’s more of an ebophilia common mostly among priests.

  130. #130 kel
    August 26, 2008

    Just think about it, Jesus was 33 and unmarried in an age where it was common to be married and popping out babies in your late teens. Why would a Jewish man stay unmarried for that long?

    Though obviously the reaction to the poster says more about the people who perceive it than those who made it. If Jesus existed, he could have very well been gay. He made no mention of his sexuality, we only infer it based on our communal standards. It really highlights that even in this modern enlightened age that we still have taboo subjects on questions that don’t have an answer.

    Why is it heretical to call Jesus gay? There’s no evidence to call him the son of God either, yet people still do with no evidence. So people can take that a man can perform miracles and rise from the dead, but can’t accept that a 33 year old single man in Jerusalem may have loved the cock over the pussy?

  131. #131 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    Though obviously the reaction to the poster says more about the people who perceive it than those who made it.

    amazing how some people can grasp this immediately, and others have to be lead by the hand to it.

  132. #132 miller
    August 26, 2008

    frog #122

    Proof of what? You’re asking people to curtail satire on no “proof” and despite all historical evidence to the contrary. It’s your argument that MLK shut up and sit in the back of the bus, that the Jews wait till the Nazis blow over, that the little wifey not make hubby angry ’cause he might smack her.

    Wait, so you’ll accept historical analogies as sufficient evidence, but not newspaper quotes? I realize that newspaper quotes aren’t good enough evidence, but I abandon them for the argument ad nazium.

    Do you just have no idea how human minds work? That as long as an idea sits unchallenged, it will be unquestionable, the dogmatisms will be reified into an objective truth?

    By all means, challenge those ideas, rather than feeding into them like this poster does.

    The response isn’t expected to be rational — it’s a joke, god dammit!

    I can accept a joke. But that’s not what the LCCC called it.

    Ichthyic #123
    Okay, that’s a good example of a rational response. But I think even newspaper quotes are more representative than comments on Pharyngula. Or maybe you’re satisfied by the positive reaction of a tiny minority? I don’t know, I expect more.

  133. #133 miller
    August 26, 2008

    Oops, typo.
    “I realize that newspaper quotes aren’t good enough evidence, but I['m supposed to] abandon them for the argument ad nazium[?]“

  134. #134 Helioprogenus
    August 26, 2008

    I see Holbach’s back. It makes me envious enough to take my own vacation soon. Anyway, what’s at issue here isn’t the fact that these Christians are blind to their own hypocrisy or ironic statements, but that they have a faith that can so easily be mocked and they so easily outraged. They act as though we’re mocking their phenotype, when in fact, we’re mocking their behavior and aberrant mental processes. They don’t mind mocking other religions they see as stupid or “sinful”, but they cannot bear to hear their brand of illogical stupidity become the joke it deserves to be.

    I tell every single one of those evangelizing bastards that while they’re busy worshiping a 2000 year old legendary and most likely imaginary dead Jew, there’s a world that’s functioning without their input and a universe that could care less whether they convert one person or convert thousands. Ultimately, even if every human being on Earth is converted, an asteroid or comet, or a host of other globally catastrophic natural disasters could wipe our lives off the face of the earth. Only an idiot would waste that time in some kind of fantasy. After which, if they continue with their idiotic dribble, I’ll start proselitizing on the Church of our lord the FSM (at least our lord tasted better than theirs).

  135. #135 negentropyeater
    August 26, 2008

    I have a lot of homosexual friends. I’m not going to tell them they’re going to hell. That’s something they have to take care of between them and God,” Holland said.

    Actually, according to Pew’s latests survey, 58% of catholics, 56% of mainline protestants, and 79% of Jews consider that homosexuality should be accepted by society, and not discouraged. They probably think that now that it’s scientifically demonstrated that it’s not a choice, it can’t be a sin. Just another error in the bible. Afterall, there are so many already.

    On the other hand, evangelicals, mormons, jeowah’s witnesses, and muslims all accept it with less than 27%. The worst are the jeowah’s witnesses, with 12% only.

    Atheists / agnostics and other non religious people, the level of acceptance is 71% (less than Jews and humanists/unitarians with 84%).

  136. #136 MAJeff, OM
    August 26, 2008

    Why is it heretical to call Jesus gay?

    Because there was no such thing as “gay” in ancient Palestine? Gay is a modern identity category. Even if he had same-sex erotic desires (assuming he existed in the first place), such desires would have been organized into social life, identity, and self-conception in a completely different manner. It makes zero sense to talk of gay or straight in the ancient world.

  137. #137 the chemist
    August 26, 2008

    #127&#128,

    Let’s not start writing into the gaps of history. Mmmmkay?

    As for ninth amendment guy. Read it again, and quit being a dickwad. It basically means that you can’t use freedom of religion to commit human sacrifice since it would abridge the “due process” part of the bill o’ rights.

    Finally, argue freedom of speech, fine. It’s worth defending in any circumstance. However I think when an organization spends a considerable amount of time professing its right to offend, it misses the point of its original charter.

  138. #138 kel
    August 26, 2008

    Interesting take there MAJeff, though it misses the point of the question. Would it be better to say “Why is it heretical to even infer that Jesus had homosexual leanings?”?

  139. #139 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    Or maybe you’re satisfied by the positive reaction of a tiny minority?

    it’s got nothing to do with my personal satisfactions, it has to do with what is expected, which was a point YOU raised.

    *sigh*

    I can see this will be a pointless discussion with you.

    I’m off to do something more constructive.

  140. #140 MAJeff, OM
    August 26, 2008

    Would it be better to say “Why is it heretical to even infer that Jesus had homosexual leanings?”?

    Yup.

  141. #141 The Chemist
    August 26, 2008

    Oh great, after PZ removed Psalmpilot’s spam, now I’m #33, so it looks like everyone thinks I’m a jerk!

  142. #142 Phantom Hugger
    August 26, 2008

    I’m confused about what gay Jesus has to do with Atheism.

  143. #143 frog
    August 26, 2008

    Miller: Wait, so you’ll accept historical analogies as sufficient evidence, but not newspaper quotes? I realize that newspaper quotes aren’t good enough evidence, but I abandon them for the argument ad nazium.

    Ah, shit, Miller, I see what kind of nose-to-the-groundstone, simple bureaucratic mind you have. Historical processes have to be studied historically, and not like some kind of sampling problem. Of course historical analogy is exactly the way to understand historical processes — it’s the only way to get any grasp of ethnographic processes.

    Who won – Dubois or Washington? Which approach leads where? What has been the historical effect of confrontation as opposed to accomodationism? But all you have to say is “argument ad nazium” as if that meant anything at all other than a Godwinesque type joke. As if you were advancing an intellectual position, rather than a childish emotional response with the sad little words from a rhetoric 101 class.

    If your argument was that some people will respond angrily, then why even bother to quote the paper? We’d accept that as trivially true, as trivial as the rest of your arguments. But a meaningful statement would be that poking the lion generally leads to a social over-reaction that is at best useless, and at worst positively dangerous for the poker. Then you would be forced to show historical examples, because these kinds of complex systems aren’t amenable to statistical approaches and require historical approaches, and besides statistical approaches are meaningless without a mathematical theoretical framework to compare them against; otherwise, you are just a sniveling curve fitter, living in self-delusion.

    But instead I expect more buzzwords from the nets — some complaints of ad hominems, some whining about straw, the standard fare of avoiding the substance that the mediocre parlay.

    See, I laid it out for you — show me which kind of conditions lead to dangerous over-reaction, and in what ways they are similar to this case, historically and developmentally. Produce some evidence, instead of crying about some anecdotes and then insulting the entire concept of historical analogy, as if not all history, culture, and PR weren’t built on analogy and translation.

  144. #144 C R S
    August 26, 2008

    I’m not certain who painted or spoofed the original, but a better image of Cheesus getting his groove back is available at
    http://current.com/items/88802987_was_jesus_gay

    If you are inclined to have a copy

  145. #145 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    Oh great, after PZ removed Psalmpilot’s spam, now I’m #33, so it looks like everyone thinks I’m a jerk!

    oh sure, try to weasel your way out of it now!

    ;)

    PUBLIC NOTICE:

    all comments earlier referring to post #33 were referring to a post NOT posted by “The Chemist”.

    that is all.

  146. #146 frog
    August 26, 2008

    the chemist: Let’s not start writing into the gaps of history. Mmmmkay?

    But it’s always worth pointing out that the gaps of history are wide enough to drive a San Francisco Gay Pride parade through it, ain’t it? With a Boston St. Paddy’s Day follow-up, and a Berlin sex show day preceding it?

  147. #147 Carlie
    August 26, 2008

    The real question is “Was gay Jesus an atheist?”

  148. #148 SC
    August 26, 2008

    I can see this will be a pointless discussion with you.

    And in many ways the same discussion that has been going on for several weeks. You haven’t made your case, miller. Not by a long shot. If you feel strongly about this issue, I urge you to read through all of the various threads related to the Great Descration here and elsewhere, in which these points and counterpoints have appeared many times.

    MAJeff @ #124: Yeah, thanks. She went in the water this afternoon, and I was a little concerned that she was sick after cleaning her paws (and angry with myself for not having rinsed them off at the beach). But it seems she is just adjusting.

    Gay is a modern identity category.

    Why does that sound so familiar…? ;)

  149. #149 Holbach
    August 26, 2008

    Helioprogenus @ 134 Good stuff there; don’t quit hammering away at the religious cretins, for we need all the sharp commenters on this site to bolster it’s scientific edge.

  150. #150 miller
    August 26, 2008

    Hey everyone, this was fun, but I’ve got to go. You may have to find another concern troll to beat up on. ;)

    Concluding remarks?

    I realize that the poster has the potential (however unfulfilled) to break delusions and whatnot, in that it pokes at the religious sense of entitlement, sends the message that they aren’t immune to questioning. But that’s not the only delusion out there. There’s also the delusion that atheists are a bunch of meanies. This poster isn’t just passively allowing that delusion, it’s promoting it.

    My evidence? Not much. But tu quoque. ;)

  151. #151 inkadu
    August 26, 2008

    MAJeff:
    Because there was no such thing as “gay” in ancient Palestine? Gay is a modern identity category. Even if he had same-sex erotic desires (assuming he existed in the first place), such desires would have been organized into social life, identity, and self-conception in a completely different manner. It makes zero sense to talk of gay or straight in the ancient world.

    If that’s true, then the word gay has no meaning, because being gay in modern times means something different to a gay guy in Egypt, to a gay guy in New York City, to a gay guy in Danbury, Iowa. And certainly being gay in 1955 is different than being gay in 2008. And if I had to choose between being gay in 200 BCE Greece and 1923 CE Kansas, I’d choose Greece.

    Granted, in a scholarly historical context (which might be what you’re referring to here), fine, scholars get to be hyper-anal about their definitions; in fact, I’m pretty sure 80% of scholarship is just arguing over semantics. But in general parlance, people understand that “gay” wasn’t invented by a confluence of disco, tennis socks, jean shorts, and barbara streisand.

  152. #152 MAJeff, OM
    August 26, 2008

    Why does that sound so familiar…? ;)

    No idea :-P

  153. #153 frog
    August 26, 2008

    miller: But tu quoque.

    I rest my case. Empty gamesmanship. And incorrect as well, since miller was the one positing the ‘dangerous, irrational’ response. When you get your game-face on, make sure you’re dressed up for the right sport.

  154. #154 Jason W
    August 26, 2008

    “I have a lot of homosexual friends. I’m not going to tell them they’re going to hell. That’s something they have to take care of between them and God,” Holland said.

    Really? People talk like that?

    I though it was a given that saying, unasked, that “I have a lot of x friends” before making an assertion guarantees that the point you are about to make is going to make you look like an asshole.

  155. #155 MAJeff, OM
    August 26, 2008

    But in general parlance, people understand that “gay” wasn’t invented by a confluence of disco, tennis socks, jean shorts, and barbara streisand.

    and modern doesn’t mean the past 15 years.

  156. #156 Pyroclasm
    August 26, 2008

    Heck, at least their college HAS an atheist activism society. Such a thing would last all of 30 seconds here in the buy-bull belt.

  157. #157 Terskac
    August 26, 2008

    You can draw flies with honey or shit. These people chose shit. No many people are going to listen to atheists if they are so insulting. I don’t want to be associated with anyone that deliberately offends believers. Not all believers are horrible or lunatics. If they find comfort in religion and don’t bother others with it I say live and let live. Some people I love are quite religious and I don’t try to offend them. Nor do I try to dissuade them unless they confront me. This poster is just a bad idea. Atheism is not about the sexual orientation of Jesus. It is about logic, reason and truth. They should set a good example.

  158. #158 frog
    August 26, 2008

    inkadu: But in general parlance, people understand that “gay” wasn’t invented by a confluence of disco, tennis socks, jean shorts, and barbara streisand.

    But it was “invented” by such ideas as romantic love, individual autonomy, childhood/adulthood distinction and such. It may be different to be gay in New York and Illinois, but it exists within very similar cultures, at the significant levels of what is sex and what is a person.

    Were the Kakalu (?? I think, it’s been a while) of Niugini gay because they had a tradition of initiating males to adulthood by “feeding them semen”? Not 10% of the population, mind you, but all males at the proper stage of life played both roles? I can’t see how that’s at all similar or relevant to understanding a gay man in New York – but what happens to gays in Iowa seems very relevant, and what happens in Egypt still somewhat relevant.

    Not just semantics — it’s an attempt to keep from fooling ourselves that because some behavior is overtly similar, it may still tell us nothing significant about aspects of life other than genital temporal spatial co-location.

  159. #159 Acitta
    August 26, 2008

    How can a mythical character who never existed in the flesh have a homosexual relationship or any other kind of relationship for that matter. The Jesus story was just a retelling of gnostic myths that date back to the Egyptians. There were many cults in the first century with similar stories of a dying and resurrecting god. In fact one pagan writer complained about the Christians claiming that their resurrected god was the only real one.

  160. #160 inkadu
    August 26, 2008

    MAJeff – Well under what criteria does someone fit the definition of gay and what is the basis for the criteria?

    I JUST started using CE instead of AD here. I’m catching up.

  161. #161 Patricia
    August 26, 2008

    #134 – Helioprogenus – ‘I’ll start proselitizing on the Church of Our Lord the FSM’…
    Oh yeah, Smarty Pants!
    Just you try it. I’ll whip out my RAW and fnord my goddess to kick the meatballs off your ramen.
    You noodleheads are getting way to uppity!

  162. #162 Jim1138
    August 26, 2008

    Holbach #9, Of course Jesus is gay. He never existed, so he couldn’t have been straight. So, he must be gay, right? [/religious logic]

    Jesus metamorphosed from the “Savior Spirits”. Paul never talks about him as a person. So it is highly unlikely that there was a Jesus-person. Father, son-ghost, and holy ghost.

  163. #163 CalGeorge
    August 26, 2008

    “She said she believes homosexuality is wrong because she is a Christian, but she also said she is proud that her religion teaches tolerance and acceptance.”

    So much for thinking things through for oneself.

    It’s like saying she believes homosexuality is wrong because she’s a moron..

  164. #164 SC
    August 26, 2008

    No idea :-P

    I’m skeptical, my well-endowed friend. :)

    ***

    #157 reads like it was generated by a troll-comment program.

  165. #165 John Marley
    August 26, 2008

    You should get ordained

  166. #166 inkadu
    August 26, 2008

    “She said she believes homosexuality is wrong because she is a Christian, but she also said she is proud that her religion teaches tolerance and acceptance.”

    And my sister, the Christian, doesn’t think that refusing to vote for a Muslim makes her a bigot.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen that word in common usage until the Great Desecration. Now I try to work it into conversation in the way Christians use the word: to describe anyone they disagree with. You might think the word bigot means intolerance of the views of others, but that’s only because you’re a bigot.

  167. #167 foxfire
    August 26, 2008

    @ The Chemist #33:

    It’s a public college: http://www.lorainccc.edu/About+Us/About+LCCC/

    PZ wrote:

    These pernicious speech codes are a blight on the American university. A rule that says you can’t mock religious belief is absurd and unenforceable, but greatly desired by the feeble Christians who fear that their faith is eminently mockable.

    Exactly! There is a difference between making fun of something and hate speech inciting violence against other individuals. I can see taking the poster down if the college has a rule that no posters were allowed at the location where Weaver posted it. I cannot see taking the poster down because it suggested an idea that someone didn’t like – it’s a COLLEGE not a nursery school or day care center. Besides, what 2 year old is even going to have a clue what the message is anyway?

    Gee, I wonder what the college will do if Aaron Weaver & Co. decide to put the graphic on T-Shirts and wear them on campus? Rip off their clothing?

  168. #168 SC
    August 26, 2008

    the feeble Christians who fear that their faith is eminently mockable

    That is one well-founded fear.

  169. #169 Stephanie Z
    August 26, 2008

    For those who were curious about the cookies. PZ can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s the origin of the reference.

  170. #170 Tony Sidaway
    August 26, 2008

    I think the thing everybody is missing from this is that, for the small price of a short printshop run that probably came out of the University’s societies fund anyhow, the campus atheists have bought themselves a story in a newspaper distributed throughout Lorain County. Even if the kids don’t hear about this on campus, they’ll hear it from their families and acquaintances who know they’re going to that college.

    They have also acquired a certain reputation on campus–which for a university society is a good thing.

    You can’t buy that kind of coverage. This was an excellent move.

  171. #171 MKandefer
    August 26, 2008

    I think there are better ways of getting individuals to think critically, whicl still introducing introducing them to New Testament apocrypha, than depicting this particular misinterpretation of the “beloved disciple”. It doesn’t exactly strike me as indicative of atheists being more rational when they utilize interpretations of scripture that aren’t even supported by secular Biblical scholars (as few as there are). However, I’ve never subscribed to the school of thought that suggests atheism entails rationality.

  172. #172 The Cheerful Nihilist
    August 26, 2008

    SC, Ichthyic, Frog, and Miller:

    Somebody showed up at a gunfight armed with a knife.

    Thanks for the entertainment; it was much funnier than the Dem’s Convention. . . . ‘Course Hillary hasn’t spoken yet.

  173. #173 Tony Sidaway
    August 26, 2008

    MKandefer, presenting a reasoned case isn’t what you do at a Freshers Fair. If it works the way English universities work, you get funds in proportion to the number of people you sign up. In an average campus of, say, 10,000 students there will be around 1,000 who will want to join a political or debating society of some kind and of those around 100 will be interested in a Freethinkers group if they know it exists. If they don’t they won’t even turn up to sign for membership.

  174. #174 Sastra
    August 26, 2008

    Terskae #157 wrote:

    Not many people are going to listen to atheists if they are so insulting.

    Are you sure? Religious people often appreciate atheists who are quiet, respectful, and very careful to keep their views to themselves, and out of the public eye, lest they “take away” somebody’s faith.

    The problem here is that their opinion of atheism is unchanged, because they never have to deal with the ideas. Atheists are on a crazy philosophical fringe, or in denial, or somehow lacking virtues that only come with faith. We are tolerated the same way people might tolerate those who believe they were abducted by aliens. Crazy, but harmless. As long as we keep our beliefs to ourselves, of course, and don’t try to force them on people by explaining what they are.

    They will listen to atheists as long as atheists don’t say anything to the issue in any way that can be considered offensive. Which means as long as we don’t say anything about God. Unfortunately, this leaves atheism as an incomprehensible black hole.

    Too many of the religious want to be pandered to, and reassured that everybody agrees that faith is a virtue, religion is good, and belief in God is normal and natural. Everybody. This is all sacred, even to atheists, who nod, smile, and tiptoe around.

    No necessarily. Sometimes calm, rational philosophical discussion is the way to go, and sometimes dead cats need to be heaved into sanctuaries. The complacent might need some shaking, because they’ve gotten very, very complacent indeed. I don’t think the average person on the street is picking up the recent copy of Philo and flipping through the latest abstract by Graham Oppy. But South Park? This poster?

    The poster is “confrontational.” It sparks a new way of looking at something hitherto considered sacred and untouchable. But it’s not an act of aggression. It’s not an act of violence. It’s not someone forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do. It confronts people with an idea they may or may not like.

    And it doesn’t pander to the belief that everyone “knows” that faith is a virtue, religion is good, belief in God is normal and natural, and people’s beliefs should be a sanctuary from all dispute.

  175. #175 Blake Stacey
    August 26, 2008

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Hooray! The Constitution guarantees me the right to ice cream before and after every meal!

  176. #176 Eric
    August 26, 2008

    What the fuck is it with college sophomores trying the protect their children? I’m heading into my junior year and can’t think of any people people in my class that have children. If you have children old enough to understand that poster and are just a college sophomore, the poster is the least of your worries.

  177. #177 negentropyeater
    August 26, 2008

    What’s interesting is that if one looks at acceptance of homosexuality, legality of abortion in most or all cases, the view that government should be less involved in morality, and even the political affiliation leaning more towards dems, you get very similar result :

    A national average between 47%-52% depending on the issue.

    1. Atheist, agnostics and other non religious folks, as well as Jews, and humanists/unitarian are way above national average. (approx. 20% of population)

    2. Mainline protestants and catholics are average or slightly above average. (approx. 50% of population)

    3. Evangelicals, historically black churches, Mormons, Jehowa’s witnesses are way below average. (approx. 30% of population)
    (only exception is hstorically black churches on their political affiliation, they lean more towards the dems)

    Actually, if the 30% in group 3 (all wonderful American inventions) didn’t exist (as in Europe), American views on these issues would be quite similar to that of Western Europe.

    Source : Pew US relgious landscape survey

  178. #178 David Johnson
    August 26, 2008

    “and of course our overlord, the FSM. Maybe he could be using his noodly appendages for some sexually deviant acts.” Careful! You might accidentally violate some Japanese copywriten material there…

  179. #179 negentropyeater
    August 26, 2008

    Sorry, small error to my post 177, group 3 are closer to 35%, and group 2 42%. (Muslims, Hindhu and Budhists 3% but they don’t fit the correlations observed above).

    Guess what, you could also do well with secession, more than half of the total of nutters in group3 are located in the south.

  180. #180 Escuerd
    August 26, 2008

    That image is tied for the most homo-erotic Jesus image I’ve ever seen.

    The other contender is a painting called “Forgiven”:
    http://gary2idaho.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/forgiven1.jpg

    The first place I saw it, ironically, was in a forum for so-called ex-gays.

  181. #181 Matthew
    August 26, 2008

    So when Ms. Holland says “You can’t portray Jesus like that. He believes in matrimony, that relationships like that should be done inside matrimony,” is she really implying that relationships like that…. between hirsute men…. should be done inside matrimony? Maybe she IS more tolerant than it appeared! If only we’d painted wedding bands on them, it’d be fine with Xians!

    Seriously, though, somewhere between bars of “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus” in the movie theaters, haven’t these kids heard of the ACLU? The policy is bunk, and a stern, out-of-court letter would likely allow them to keep the poster up.

  182. #182 Brandon P.
    August 26, 2008

    Anyone else here at a loss as to how the Hebrews got the notion that homosexual intercourse was an “abomination” in the first place? What in their Bronze Age moral code did gay sex somehow violate?

  183. #183 GrayGaffer
    August 26, 2008

    I’m sure some of us here must be over 30? I still cannot understand how the word ‘gay’ – which in my youth meant having a good time, or happy and carefree (think flappers in the 1920’s) – came to denote homosexuality sometime in the ’80’s and grew in as part of the reaction to the onset of the AIDS epidemic. Or how the rainbow image – associated with flower power in the ’60’s (I cannot recall more lusty heterosexuality than then) – also came to denote homosexuality. Certainly, one can just not use the word ‘gay’ when talking about sexual orientation and mores anywhere in the world prior to 1980. It is just not applicable or meaningful. Let alone get offended by such use.

    By the way, homosexuality is not in fact forbidden in the bible as a general lifestyle. ‘laying with another man’ is only proscribed in relation to purification rituals immediately prior to certain religious observances.

    And the answer then is ‘No, but who cares?’

  184. #184 Cactus Wren
    August 26, 2008

    Right, because it’s in her children’s best interest to put them in a protective bubble, where they never have to encounter anything controversial or potentially troublesome, until she can throw them out into the world psychologically immature, intellectually starved, and emotionally stunted. That’s the SMART, GROWN-UP thing to do.

    YOu cannot imagine what kind of creatures their children will be.

  185. #185 OldOne
    August 26, 2008

    If I understand correctly, many people here would defend the act of putting up a poster that asks “Should we kill all the Gays, Atheists, and Jews?” This would be good because (1) it defends the right of unpopular speech, which is the only kind that needs defending; (2) because Fox News asks provocative misleading questions, it makes it OK for everyone to do the same; (3) by challenging widespread assumptions it promotes deep reflective thought that will lead to enlightenment; and (4) it provides an opportunity for atheists to demonstrate that they are as tolerant as they claim to be. Personally, I think schools have every right to stay focused on teaching children how to read, where the Pacific Ocean is, and other such mundane stuff.

  186. #186 tim gueguen
    August 26, 2008

    A reasonable guess is prohibitions against homosexual behaviour came about in part because such behaviour lessened the number of possible children that could be born to the tribe, especially given that they would have assumed a man had a limited amount of “seed” available to him.

  187. #187 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 26, 2008

    Personally, I think schools have every right to stay focused on teaching children how to read, where the Pacific Ocean is, and other such mundane stuff.

    I agree. Schools should focus on those things. Learning how to think is secondary.

  188. #188 tim gueguen
    August 26, 2008

    Gay as a term for homosexual must have been becoming popular by the early-mid 70s, as I remember using gay in poem in grade school and having a couple of my friends snicker, and this would have been in say 1975.

  189. #189 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 26, 2008

    stupid block quote tag typo grumble grumble

  190. #190 Sinbad
    August 26, 2008

    I can always count on the sycophantic choir rushing in to defend silly, juvenile efforts to turn our morons into your morons, all the while pretending that the essentially irrelevant nonsense at hand is somehow important and meaningful. That the religious fringe and the Pharyngula crowd seem to be the only types with much (if any) interest in our campus scalawags pretty much tells me everything I need to know.

  191. #191 Becca
    August 26, 2008

    This is the most disgraceful homophobic bullshit I’ve seen on scienceblogs (aside from trollycomments) and you should be ashamed to have put it up. Bad PZ, BAD!

  192. #192 Michael D
    August 26, 2008

    @176:

    Good point Eric. It was stated elsewhere, but yours was the most appropriately worded.

  193. #193 max verret
    August 26, 2008

    Brandon @182

    One element of a cultural nature that may have factored into their code was that they were a tribal state. The first rule in a tribal state is perpetuation of the tribe and you did that by heterosexual intercourse. Any other kind of sex was a waste. If your brother could not produce children, you had to produce for him through his wife, or if your brother died you had to produce his children with his widow.

  194. #194 Rey Fox
    August 26, 2008

    I’m sorry, Sinbad, did you say something?

  195. #195 Sastra
    August 26, 2008

    OLdOne #185 wrote:

    If I understand correctly, many people here would defend the act of putting up a poster that asks “Should we kill all the Gays, Atheists, and Jews?”

    Do you really not see that advocating violence and murder is not the same thing as putting up something that offends the sensitive? Yes you do. Stop it.

    I would defend the right of a Christian organization to put up a poster that asks “Is Homosexuality an abomination against God?” Even though I find the implication offensive, and wrong.

    Is that better?

  196. #196 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 26, 2008

    Just the typical trollish “everyone here is a sycophant” comment that occurs at least once in these types of threads.

    /yawn

  197. #197 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    That the religious fringe and the Pharyngula crowd seem to be the only types with much (if any) interest in our campus scalawags pretty much tells me everything I need to know.

    that you use the word “scalawag” in a sentence tells me everything I need to know.

  198. #198 ndt
    August 26, 2008

    Not many people are going to listen to atheists if they are so insulting.

    What’s insulting about saying Jesus was gay?

  199. #199 ndt
    August 26, 2008

    Posted by: OldOne | August 26, 2008 11:12 PM

    If I understand correctly, many people here would defend the act of putting up a poster that asks “Should we kill all the Gays, Atheists, and Jews?”

    Implying Jesus was gay is comparable to advocating murder?

  200. #200 Ichthyic
    August 26, 2008

    I don’t want to be associated with anyone that deliberately offends believers.

    bullshit.

    the offense, as with the cracker, is all in the mind of the delusional.

    no attempt, with the cracker or with this, was specifically intended to offend anyone.

    that it DOES is not a function of the image, or of “desecrating” a cracker, but of the people who decided to be offended by these things for no logical reason whatsoever.

    as was mentioned above, the reaction says more about the people reacting than it does the people who made the poster, or tossed the cracker.

    I suppose you would reject all artists that not just you, but ANYONE finds offensive as well?

    frankly, you’re a part of the problem.

    get your head straight.

  201. #201 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    that you use the word “scalawag” in a sentence tells me everything I need to know.

    I’m glad you caught it.

    no attempt, with the cracker or with this, was specifically intended to offend anyone.

    That’s bullshit. Of course it was designed to offend. Such stunts are undertaken specifically for attention and offending people is a quick and easy way to get it. Think Ann Coulter, but with less eloquence.

    By the way, I’ll be thinking of you in Berkeley this week-end, but I’m surprised you get wifi access in the trees….

  202. #202 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 27, 2008

    By the way, I’ll be thinking of you in Berkeley this week-end, but I’m surprised you get wifi access in the trees….

    Was that an attempt at humor?

    fail

  203. #203 MarcusA
    August 27, 2008

    No amount of logic could save religion from itself. First the offended mothers feel it necessary to protect their college age babies from a little poster. Second, many of the babies probably play horribly violent video games, which their mommies gave them for Christmas.

    The poster is a bit of art. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. I try not to look upon Pat Robertson’s stupid face on the 700 Club. But I ain’t going to be demanding that the TV networks not carry his lame ass show.

    Conservative Christians only believe in freedom of speech when they’re doing the speaking. Hypocrites.

  204. #204 Sadie Morrison
    August 27, 2008

    Damn, that poster is hot!

  205. #205 Tony Sidaway
    August 27, 2008

    Escuerd | August 26, 2008 10:50 PM

    A lot of displacement energy went into that painting! :)

  206. #206 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Such stunts are undertaken specifically for attention

    prove it, moron. Since you compare the type of attention gathering to Coulter’s, I want to see you prove that all such activities are undertaken specifically to garner attention for the person doing the activity.

    perhaps, in your inevitable fumblings, it might occur to you that while they are indeed done to garner attention, it’s not in all cases, and specifically not in the case of “crackergate” to garner attention to the doer.

    I know from past experience that you simply will be unable to wrap your head around that, but since you decided to spew your inanity here, I must insist you for once back up your contentions with some actual facts.

  207. #207 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    oh, what the hell, since her name was mentioned at least twice, and especially ironically attached to the word “eloquence”, I give you something that actually IS humorous (and considerably more eloquent than anything Coulter ever wrote):

    http://ifuckedanncoulterintheasshard.blogspot.com/

    go ponder if the author’s intention was to garner attention for himself or not, and whether he is more or less eloquent than Coulter.

  208. #208 negentropyeater
    August 27, 2008

    because such behaviour lessened the number of possible children that could be born to the tribe

    Well, those days, much more than half of all children roughly died before becoming adults, and more than a third of young adult males died of violent deaths in wars against other tribes, and population growth was key for the tribe.

    Nowadays, 1.5 children per woman is roughly what’s needed in the developped nations to keep population stable, so one really wonders why some people might still consider it a problem if 30% of adults have no children, wether they are homosexuals or not.

    I wonder what those greek philosophers who wrote the New Testament would think if they saw that nowadays, about 50% of adults in the USA still hold to this belief that homosexualty is an abomination.

    I wonder what would happen if scientists would find a way, a drug to significantly decrease the likelihood that the pregnant woman delivers a child with homosexual tendencies.

    If it were possble, say in 20 years (after testing which will need time and people willng to test it), what would happen ? Would a majority of women take that pill ?

  209. #209 Dilmah
    August 27, 2008

    Somebody needs to invent those glasses Zaphod wears in the hitchhiker’s guide for these people, the that go dark to protect yourself from seeing anything that will cause you to panic. They could have religion settings to censor material specific to the wearer.

  210. #210 Annick
    August 27, 2008

    #48 I meant that in the “South Park” way. Gay when modified by the term “totally” means, well silly. Transcendentally silly.

    Still doesn’t change the fact that my sexuality is being used to mean “silly”. Just because South Park does it, doesn’t mean it’s not offensive.

    All religion is totally Korean, and I mean that in a bad way.

    South Park says it, therefore it doesn’t demean people anymore !

  211. #211 Wowbagger
    August 27, 2008

    Since Jesus was a carpenter would that make him rough trade?

  212. #212 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    Was that an attempt at humor?

    fail

    Given he context, the irony is rich.

    prove it, moron. Since you compare the type of attention gathering to Coulter’s, I want to see you prove that all such activities are undertaken specifically to garner attention for the person doing the activity.

    Let’s see…

    Campus activist group publishes controversial poster promoting the organization. If you don’t that’s designed to garner attention, you’re the moron.

  213. #213 LazyJones
    August 27, 2008

    “She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.”

    Do you mean like Intelligent Des…No I mean “Teach The Controver…” DOH!

  214. #214 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Somebody needs to invent those glasses Zaphod wears in the hitchhiker’s guide for these people, the that go dark to protect yourself from seeing anything that will cause you to panic. They could have religion settings to censor material specific to the wearer.

    Yeah, it could be part of a chain of products. Somebody must have already made those paddles that come out of the ground and hit you in the face whenever you think (on the Vogsphere?), and sold them to almost every religious person in existence.

  215. #215 Doug
    August 27, 2008

    Wow! Jesus Christ has nice boobies!

  216. #216 kel
    August 27, 2008

    I’m sure Douglas Adams would approve.

  217. #217 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Campus activist group publishes controversial poster promoting the organization. If you don’t that’s designed to garner attention, you’re the moron.

    the point was what was the intention of the IMAGE, not the promotion for the organization (which is actually written ON the poster).

    and, of course, since your main point was to compare all such things, including the issue with the cracker, to personal attention garnering, you still have a LONG way to go.

    get to it, moron.

  218. #218 Tony Sidaway
    August 27, 2008

    sinbad, hi, is your complaint that these chaps at LCCC are acting like students? In a sophomoric manner, perhaps?

    Relax, man, it’s what students do. Creating a huge fuss with minimal resources is a good test of talent. A fellow I knew once in my home town became known throughout the campus by taking a stick of chalk and scrawling his name everywhere. He lost that student election but entered the next year with a head start because everybody knew him and he became President of the Students’ Union. When next I met him in London a decade later he was a politician working his way up through the local government machine, with his eyes on the next vacant seat in Parliament.

  219. #219 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    What’s insulting about saying Jesus was gay?

    nothing at all, to anyone with a modicum of sanity, that is.

    which, of course is a primary point.

  220. #220 Mike
    August 27, 2008

    I’m not judging but I’d say a few of those girls walking around the campus with their little ones in tow are single, unwed mothers. To me that’s fine, none of my business, but based on their own “morality”, it sounds like they are hypocrites.

  221. #221 Raiko
    August 27, 2008

    “She said she believes homosexuality is wrong because she is a Christian, but she also said she is proud that her religion teaches tolerance and acceptance.”

    If she could express that in one or two words, it would be an oxymoron – like “tolerant homophobia”?

  222. #222 Kseniya
    August 27, 2008

    I don’t get the “wifi in the trees” thing.

  223. #223 Josh
    August 27, 2008

    Eric #176 –“Community College” in the U.S. often serves the poor and the “nontraditional” student population: my aunt had to take some cc courses in her forties to qualify for a promotion at work.

    GrayGaffer #183 — I’m forty and also remember “gay” meaning “homosexual” in general 1970s parlance. But it’s already used that way in some general-audience texts of the Fifties, such as Evan S. Connell’s celebrated novel Mrs. Bridge or, even earlier, Calder Willingham’s Reach to the Stars. So anyone hip enough could have found out almost sixty years ago that the homosexual community used that term.

  224. #224 Autumn
    August 27, 2008

    I am too drunk to comment at this point, but I wanted to say something along the lines of “fuck Jesus” only in a way that would include more nuanced meaning.
    Since it’s been covered, I sign off with a hearty Nihilism may not be as… whatever, just sign off…

  225. #225 Bride of Shrek OM
    August 27, 2008

    I’m dead impressed Autumn. I can barely write my name when drunk let alone the word “nuanced”.

  226. #226 bastion
    August 27, 2008

    Another sophomore, Amber Cales, said the poster was in a public place, and it was easily seen by anyone who passed. She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.

    Before Amber can shield her children from controversial ideas, don’t said controversial ideas (from which she can thence shield her babes) need to exist?

    She can’t very well shield her children from something that doesn’t exist, can she?

    Amber sounds like a version of the mommies who try to protect their kids from germs by sterilizing and disinfecting everything their children might come into contact with. The result: the kids build up no natural immunity, so that when the kids are exposed to some kind of bug, they get much sicker than they might have if they’d been raised in a less sterile environment.

  227. #227 Miss Congeniality
    August 27, 2008

    This is the original picture.

    http://www.beckijayne.com/pages/judas.html

    It depicts, in an eroticized form, Matthew 26:47-50.

    Douay-Rheims translation:

    47 As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. 48 And he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, hold him fast. 49 And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him. 50 And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.

  228. #228 Jay
    August 27, 2008

    I lol’d. Mission accomplished.

    Not to hijack this thread and get all off topic, but I just wrote a post about my personal “Aha! moment” which sold me on the validity of evolution and I wondered if any readers here (maybe even PZ??) might like to include their own examples.

    Check out my blog to contribute:

    depthdeception.blogspot.com

  229. #229 bastion
    August 27, 2008

    At #176 Eric wrote:
    If you have children old enough to understand that poster and are just a college sophomore, the poster is the least of your worries.

    We don’t know how old these women are.

    Surely, you aren’t of the mistaken impression that all college students, even the very bright ones, went straight from high school to university?

    There are lots of reasons individuals don’t always take that admittedly more traditional route, and, instead, start college later than might be typical.

    There are plenty of students who attend college even though they’re older than 22. Some sophomores [gasp] may even have grandchildren.

    And even if these women did have children when they were in their teens, really, we should applaud their efforts to earn a degree. The ones quoted certainly could use more education.

  230. #230 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    I don’t get the “wifi in the trees” thing.

    I’m going under the assumption he’s referring to Berzerkeleyites as “tree huggers”, literally.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tree+hugger

    er, not that I’ve lived in Berkeley for over 15 years now.

  231. #231 Tashi
    August 27, 2008

    “Is God male? If so, is there (or was there ever) a Mrs. God? No? Well, in that case, how can we then assign any gender to God? God must be either pangenderous, or agenderous. Jesus is God, so Jesus is also either pangenderous or agenderous. Jesus is therefore incapable of having a homosexual relationship with either a human male or a human female. Ergo, there’s nothing wrong with Jesus getting it on with either a human male or a human female.

    So what’s all the fuss?” You forget man was supposedly made in the image of god. Ergo, god was a man according to them.

    Also, to those who claim jesus never existed, there has been evidence found (records of pontius pilate’s role in the case, a mention by some roman historians as taking part in a jewish revolt) although none of his supposed miracles. It’s silly to just assume he never existed, although there is no proof that his divinity did.

  232. #232 Steve P.
    August 27, 2008

    “I’m going to start a religion that finds Republicans heretical and conservatives in general to be offenses against my god, the Dude, and silence Fox News and the Religious Right at last.”

    Is that a Big Lebowski reference?

    The Dude abides. Amen.

  233. #233 Tony Sidaway
    August 27, 2008

    I was wondering if it was a bizarre reference to Plato’s olive grove.

  234. #234 Somerville
    August 27, 2008

    I haven’t seen any other commenter identifying the original image.

    So I’m gonna make a WAG here about the origin of the image, hopefully someone will correct me.

    The image appears to be from the Catholic Church’s Stations of the Cross, this would be No. 13 – The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross.

    The painting style, difficult to guess from the small image says it probably was painted in the 19th C up to about the 1940s.

    Would be interested if anyone has a better idea.

    But think about it – instead of a gay relationship, it is one guy hanging onto a dead body.

  235. #235 Miss Congeniality
    August 27, 2008

    Somerville | August 27, 2008 2:30 AM, #234

    See #227 by me for the identity of the picture and artist.

  236. #236 arachnophilia
    August 27, 2008

    jesus was living in sin!

    at least king david had the sense to marry his gay lover.

  237. #237 antaresrichard
    August 27, 2008

    I wonder how they would have handled (no pun intended) 1974 when one could pick up a major metropolitan newspaper, turn to the movie section, and see “Him” openly advertised with a gleaming cross in his eye?

  238. #238 Hermann
    August 27, 2008

    Now Im waiting for the “gay mohammed” poster…

    Ah, but I guess Muslims DO issue fatwas…

  239. #239 inkadu
    August 27, 2008

    negentropyeater:
    Nowadays, 1.5 children per woman is roughly what’s needed in the developped nations to keep population stable, so one really wonders why some people might still consider it a problem if 30% of adults have no children, wether they are homosexuals or not.

    I thought the rate was closer to 2.1, unless you’re counting on immigration to make up the shortfall.

  240. #240 melior
    August 27, 2008

    The artist could also have accurately chosen to portray Jesus getting his feet anointed with oil, or having fingers plunged into his wound.

    How could either of those look gay?

  241. #241 Ragutis
    August 27, 2008

    OK, so let me get this straight:

    Christians throw a hissy fit when someone speculates that Jesus might have been gay.

    Christians throw a hissy fit when someone speculates that Jesus may have been bangin Mary Magdalene.

    Would they prefer that Jesus generously jerked his Jimmy?

    According to their mythology, he was human. That’s supposed to be a big part of the point, him becoming 100% human to experience life, love, pain, etc. as one of us. He wasn’t even aware of his own supposed divinity. Otherwise, his sacrificing himself to himself to save us from his wrath loses it’s meaning. Human men have sexual desires, urges, and they all relieve them somehow. Jesus was human and behaved human, it’s central to your fable, so deal with it. One way or another, your precious Jesus was breaking the rules, you pick which one and stick with it: sodomy, philandery, or onanism. Buttsecks, sex out of wedlock, or lots of bashing the bishop. Pick one, correct your mythological texts to consistently reflect your choice, and stick to it, because we just aren’t gonna buy that a healthy, vigorous, impassioned, charismatic man, with devoted, enamored disciples and adored by crowds wasn’t enjoying the groupies prophets and holy men attract or at least rubbing one out some lonely night in the desert while thinking of that one hot chick that washed his feet with her tears and rubbed him with oil the other day.

    Sheesh.

    I think the reason they’re so outraged about even the possibility of Jesus being gay (or straight and sexually active with a woman or just his hand) is that then they lose the justification to condemn others for daring to be human and behaving naturally. As many have mentioned, what’s bad/evil/insulting about being gay? Nothing. But these folks need to find as many things as possible to judge others on in order to inflate their egos and sense of superiority. More and more I see how often “faith” is about covering up one’s weaknesses and insecurities.

    Apologies for the style and grammar of my post. It’s late, I’m buzzed, and I’m afraid that both my mind and my sentences have run-on a bit.

    Anyway, I’ll be contacting LCCC to (politely) express my disappointment and urge them to be supportive of a broader range of ideas and forms of expression in the future. I understand that high school age students might have seen the poster as well, but I still see nothing deserving of censorship. I mean, that picture isn’t exactly as the recently mentioned Tom of Finland would have portrayed the scene, is it?

  242. #242 Wowbagger
    August 27, 2008

    Jesus’ real last words: Do I look gay on this cross?

  243. #243 jpf
    August 27, 2008

    Now Im waiting for the “gay mohammed” poster…

    Ah, but I guess Muslims DO issue fatwas…

    Yes, and Catholics DO issue encyclicals and various pastors DO pronounce homosexuality an abomination condemned by God.

    (I’m on a jihad against the misuse of the word fatwah.)

  244. #244 inkadu
    August 27, 2008

    Tashi:
    Also, to those who claim jesus never existed, there has been evidence found (records of pontius pilate’s role in the case, a mention by some roman historians as taking part in a jewish revolt) although none of his supposed miracles. It’s silly to just assume he never existed, although there is no proof that his divinity did.

    Tashi – It is silly to just assume Jesus never existed, you are right. I used to think the concept was ridiculous myself.

    But if you look at the evidence, or lack of evidence, and see how the bible was constructed, you realize how unnecessary the actual historical existence of jesus actually is. Everything that is interesting about the Jesus story is either borrowed from other mythologies, fabricated wholesale, or completely unsupported by the historical record. If you actually remove all those things from the Gospels, there really isn’t much left.

    Plus there is a plausible route to a Jesus myth without a historical Jesus, as the development of an abstraction that became increasingly personified. And once the story is out there, it can have its adherents. So, it’s far from silly to say that Jesus never existed when you look at the evidence. It’s a mind-blowing hypothesis really. Could almost an entire civilization be based on complete fiction? You bet your sweet bippy.

    As for the evidence, I have to call bullshit. With all the hoopla over forgeries like, “James, brother of Jesus” and three-hour documentaries on a goat shed found on Mt Ararat that some believe is Noah’s ark, I assure you that if there had been any convincing evidence of Jesus’ historicity, it would be all over the place. But you may feel free to link your evidence.

    Also check out the wikipedia page on the Jesus myth. It might not convince you, but you may see that there is a valid argument there.

  245. #245 ConsciousMachine
    August 27, 2008

    “They should have had a series of posters depicting various biblical figures in compromising positions”

    Lot with his daughters, for example. Or Cam with his naked father, Noah. Or David gazing at a naked Bethsabe. The history of Judah and Tamar. Nudity, incest, etc. Words like sodomy or onanism are taken from the Genesis. There are more Answers in Genesis that you even dare to ask!!!

    I can see it now. A montage:

    The first poster depicting a licentious mob outside Lot’s door asking for Lot to “send out the strangers that we may know them” and Lot’s two little cutesy girls standing in the doorway, Lot saying “No take my daughters instead who have never known a man!”

    The next poster depicting Lot passed out drunk with a wineskin tumbled out of his grasp while his daughters “sit on Daddy’s lap”.

    The final poster Lot’s daughters leaning over thier beautiful (blonde) children, telling thier boys “go play with Daddy, I mean Grampa!”

  246. #246 Moggie
    August 27, 2008

    #157:

    You can draw flies with honey or shit.

    I’m curious. What kind of “honey” do you think a campus atheists group should use to draw “flies”, and what kind of flies do you think they want? What would be your recommendation for a poster?

    It’s not surprising that a newspaper chooses to report only the most outraged responses, but of course those are just one part of the spectrum of reactions resulting from the question posed by the poster. At the other extreme will be acceptanc, even among Christians: gay Christians, for example. Between the extremes will be some Christians who will consider the question honestly (or at least as honestly as their upbringing permits), and this ultimately may bear fruit, if not in outright rejection of their religion then at least in a more humane attitude to homosexuality. The howler monkeys will continue to howl, it’s what they do, but they’re not the only creatures in the zoo.

  247. #247 craig
    August 27, 2008

    Using the outcry of the offended as some sort of “proof” that the poster didn’t work is stupid.
    Of course some people were offended, that’s predictable. There were also probably plenty of people who were quietly thoughtful about it, and some that were curious.

    Thoughtful and curious people don’t get quoted in newspaper articles.

    I remember a news article about the cover of some women’s magazine a few years ago. The cover had a photo of a woman in a bra, because there was a feature about the history of the bra or whatever.

    In the news article people were complaining that having a photo of a woman in a bra on the cover of a magazine was filth, “pornography,” etc. Religious morons saying that breasts were dirty, needed to be covered.

    Should we draw from that the conclusion that the magazine cover was a mistake, that all it did was offend? No, that would be stupid.

    Loud offended idiots quoted in the news are only evidence of the existence of loud offended idiots and their ability to get attention. They do NOT represent the whole of the populace, and if everything we do is with a thought to not rile them up, we’re going to be living a pretty miserable existence.

  248. #248 Carlie
    August 27, 2008

    Regarding the humanity of Jesus, I was always taught at church that a benefit/reason he became human was to experience everything as we did, to have our trials and temptations. (Presumably, this is so pastors two thousand years later could say “Jesus understands what you’re going through.”) Given that, shouldn’t it be part of canon that he was bisexual? Otherwise, there’s a temptation that he missed, so he really couldn’t relate to everyone.

  249. #249 clinteas
    August 27, 2008

    Fishman,

    I see you couldnt help yourself posting THAT link once more,good on you lol….

    As to thread topic,this is a bit similar to the erotic art stuff MAJeff posted when PZ was gallivanting about in the Galapagos,really,cant see what all the excitement is about,lots of homoerotic references in the holy book.I just wish those fucking morons would actually at some point read that thing they are running their life by,

  250. #250 speedwell
    August 27, 2008

    Ragutis, right on.

    If your god isn’t even sexually potent, what the hell kind of god is he? I mean, everyone else has fertility gods, and what do Christians get, some flake who thinks passion means getting pissed off and vandalizing a temple. Even Shiva, the dude whose wife had to sit staring at him until she practically starved to death to get his attention, is a famous father and has the very paradigm of a healthy family life.

    Seriously, though… who is the fertility god in Christianity? “In whom all things live and move and have their being” strikes me as not exactly earthy enough. The crucifixion is the only scene in the Bible that qualifies as a fertility god stunt (dying so the corn might live and all that). Otherwise Jesus is downright anti-fertility, to the point where he’s too stupid or malicious to realize that a fig tree can’t bear figs outside of fig season. He’s not even a functioning human being… nice “example of how to live our lives,” isn’t it?

  251. #251 wrpd
    August 27, 2008

    I have always maintained that, if Jesus were truly human, he would have made mistakes or maybe forgot to follow the nine billion rules in the Torah, or got pissed off and told someone to go to hell. This is human behavior. If the jesus of legend was truly human he would have had to have some human lapses.

  252. #252 Greg Laden
    August 27, 2008

    EVERYBODY was gay in the 1st century middle east. The exceptions were odd.

  253. #253 Cheezits
    August 27, 2008

    Why can’t you portray Jesus like that?

    Because God hates fags. Haven’t you been paying attention to the whackos protesting the gay pride events?

    Were there no gay people in the Middle East in the first century?

    Silly man. Of course there weren’t – homosexuality all but disappeared until Darwin brought it back.

  254. #254 Tony Sidaway
    August 27, 2008

    That beckijayne.com site where the original picture came from serves to illustrate just how tame the campus atheists’ choice was:

    Jesus and the blonde floozie

    Mary and her lesbian lover with baby Jesus

    Lithograph of Judas’s kiss, showing naked copulating couple in background

  255. #255 negentropyeater
    August 27, 2008

    I thought the rate was closer to 2.1, unless you’re counting on immigration to make up the shortfall

    No, the rate in Western Europe (with an average life expectancy about 6% higher than in the USA) without immigration is about 1.75, counting the now very limited legally allowed immigration, it’s about 1.5
    France (one of the most non religious countries in the world) has the record of 2.0 and is growing it’s population, even without the very limited legally allowed immigration. So are Ireland (1.9), the UK (1.8) and the Scandinavian countries (1.8).
    Countries such as Spain (1.4), Germany (1.3) and Italy (1.35) are under that 1.5 level.

    Contrary to the usually parrotted stories told in the USA, the less religious countries of W.Europe (Scandinavia and France) are those where women have most children. Only exception is very catholic Ireland.

  256. #256 Tony Sidaway
    August 27, 2008

    #255, not forgetting of course that abortion is still illegal both North and South of the border in Ireland–in Northern Ireland on 70-80 abortions per year take place, when the mother’s life is in danger.

  257. #257 LBraschi
    August 27, 2008

    On this ‘protect the children’ hypocrisy…

    It surely hasn’t escaped your attention that these people are oh so very offended and scared that a picture of two men hugging might ‘hurt’ (how so?) the children, but the sculpture of the very same man hanging nailed from a cross, bloody and tortured, is widely appreciated as ‘inspiration’… yeah, right.

    HCH = Homophobic Christian Hypocrites, as always.

  258. #258 defaithed
    August 27, 2008

    If the Bible, Christian beliefs, and traditional art are to be believed, Jesus was single, neat, slim, never touched a woman, and spent all his time with twelve male “disciples”.

    Do the math, believers. : )

  259. #259 Claudia
    August 27, 2008

    Funny Pictures

    I don’t know if this was real, but if it is/was…it proves Christians can be funny, too! …Despite all Dane Cook’s efforts…

  260. #260 Claudia
    August 27, 2008

    http://imagechan.com/img/5977/Religion/

    *forgot the actual link* Sorry!

  261. #261 Lee Picton
    August 27, 2008

    It should be instructive to note that in the 21st century in the US, it is entirely possible for fundidiots to live in their own bubbles, parallel universes of their own making(all the while partaking of the technological advances invented by others). Their children can be homeskooled, or go to christian academies, move onto christian colleges, and now (!) even christian law schools, and move into protected enclaves in the US government. And herein lies their problem. At some point (Oh, the horror!), they simply cannot escape contact (however peripherally) with the agora. Oh, they can read their vacuous christian books, listen to their insipid christian rock and roll (have you ever actually listened to that lifeless pap?), shop at christian merchants, roll on the church floors with their brethren, have pure missionary sex with their spouses, and spend their entire lives (mostly) in tandem with the other sheep, except — when they can’t. That evil ole debil world is out to get them and they just can’t allow that to happen. Mah baby’s eyes will be polluted with your filth. Stop it! Stop it! I have to protect mah baby from even having to think a single thought – ever. If only these cretins would STAY IN THEIR FUCKING BUBBLES! But they feel it is their job to expand said bubbles, sucking in people from the outside world into their soul-destroying ambience. As atheists, as educators, as randy college sophomores, as rational thinkers, it IS our job to pierce those damn bubbles whenever we can. I am somewhat heartened to see more and more disrespect being directed to the delusional posturings of those who have enjoyed unwarranted privilege for far too long. I know I am late to the fight, but I like to think I can gird my blue-veined loins for a few battles before shuffling off. As a newly minted life member of the FFRF, I think I’ve made a good start. We don’t have to settle for posters now, we have our own billboards!

  262. #262 Cheezits
    August 27, 2008

    Do the math, believers. : )

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  263. #263 frog
    August 27, 2008

    #182 Brandon P.:Anyone else here at a loss as to how the Hebrews got the notion that homosexual intercourse was an “abomination” in the first place? What in their Bronze Age moral code did gay sex somehow violate?

    My guess? Like most other things banned (tatoos, eating pigs, sacrifice of first born sons), it was common in the Levantine tradition, particularly as a religious act. So the Jews returning from Babylon banned it as one more way to distinguish themselves from those who stayed behind, and to justify their authority over the autocthonous farmers who no even noticed enough to uproot.

  264. #264 DB
    August 27, 2008

    I attended LCCC as a freshmen oh so many years ago. Nothing like that ever happened when I was there. I got a evil glare from a teacher when they found out I didn’t believe in their invisible sky daddy, but that’s about all I remember. Nothing came of it.

    I had dropped out before the second year to go get married. I’m proud to say I’m an idiot who is now happily divorced trying to afford to go back to school again. She was very religious at the time, while I was a closet Atheist. Now I’m a loud and laugh in your face type. I enjoy offending people and their religious view points and am proud to see more of it being down.

  265. #265 Tony Sidaway
    August 27, 2008

    Lee Picton | August 27, 2008 9:46 AM, #261

    Well said, Lee. Always keep a pin handy! Don’t surrender an inch to the idiots who want to extend their concept of the untouchable into the agora.

  266. #266 mikecbraun
    August 27, 2008

    Aren’t these fucking Christians keeping it in their pants? It seems all of them at the school mentioned in the piece have children, and for some reason, the children are wandering around the college. Huh? Ever heard of daycare? I’m sure the church will watch after your kids for free.

  267. #267 defaithed
    August 27, 2008

    Sorry if I missed it in my reading of the comments, but does anyone know the source of the painting used in the poster? Just wondering where it comes from.

  268. #268 Hap
    August 27, 2008

    1) #230: I think Cal plays a Big Ten team in football this weekend, and I assumed that Sinbad figured you’d be in one of the trees near the stadium watching while online. I was thinking of a previous Sinbad-contg. thread, though, so I could be wrong.

    2) Why do people think that trying to shut people up who are saying things they don’t like makes them look good? If you don’t think debate helps you, don’t want to debate on the same terms, or don’t care, then ignoring the provocation seems best. If you wish to argue, then arguing based on logic and facts and not intimidation seems best. An overbearing and ignorant response to a provocation doesn’t make them look reasonable or loving – it makes them look like they don’t believe in anything but their own egos and power, achieving what the provocation was intended to do (and telling the provokers that they are vulnerable to it as well).

    If you believe in something, and it exists, the jibes of people who don’t like your belief are irrelevant. If you’re wrong, your belief won’t protect you from reality. Either way, trying to force people not to say things that conflict with your belief is worse than useless. History doesn’t go away because you ignore it, nor will an idea.

  269. #269 Tony Sidaway
    August 27, 2008

    #267, Somebody already identified the picture. It’s here:

    http://www.beckijayne.com/pages/judas.html

  270. #270 Natalie
    August 27, 2008

    You can draw flies with honey or shit.

    Actually, you can’t. The kind of flies that like feces don’t like sweet things, and thus won’t be attracted to honey. The sort of flies that like sweet things don’t like feces.

    Analogy. Your doing it wrong.

  271. #271 Bunk
    August 27, 2008

    I know I’m too late for something this obvious, but I’m gonna give it a poke anyway.

    WOW, that dude just totally nailed that cracker!

  272. #272 Hank Roberts
    August 27, 2008

    In other news:

    “… last year, a student from one of the secondary schools in Saint Petersburg brought a lawsuit against the Ministry of Education in protest against the teaching of Darwin’s theory as the only theory of human origin ….”

    http://eng.expert.ru/printissues/expert/2008/07/mezhdu_fomenko_i_obezianoi/

    The author there also observes:

    “… while any student of natural sciences or techie can acquire knowledge pertaining to the humanities within his educational course or at least gain this knowledge independently, a humanist is very often not given any knowledge of natural sciences and is hardly able to cope with this task himself. A student of natural sciences or techie who did not read Pushkin or Chekhov would be considered ignorant both by students of natural sciences and humanists, whereas the humanist who does not know the second law of thermodynamics can still regard himself as a well-educated person….”

  273. #273 defaithed
    August 27, 2008

    Thank you, Tony Sidaway!

  274. #274 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    217: the point was what was the intention of the IMAGE, not the promotion for the organization (which is actually written ON the poster).

    Talk about an attempted distinction without a difference! Given the sole written content of the poster — promoting the activist group — the purpose of the image was obviously to draw attention. That’s the whole point. Duh!

    and, of course, since your main point was to compare all such things, including the issue with the cracker, to personal attention garnering, you still have a LONG way to go.

    Reading carefully isn’t your strong suit. Since you claimed that “no attempt…was specifically intended to offend anyone,” I need only show how one such activity was so intended to prevail; and I have. That said, it’s hardly a revelation that such silly stunts (by activist groups, Ann Coulter or whomever) are typically and specifically designed to get attention.

    218: sinbad, hi, is your complaint that these chaps at LCCC are acting like students? In a sophomoric manner, perhaps?

    Relax, man, it’s what students do.

    I agree with you, Tony. I’m not upset at all. It’s why I called the stunt “irrelevant nonsense.”

    222: I don’t get the “wifi in the trees” thing.

    It was my probably wrongheaded allusion to an ongoing campus protest
    in Berkeley, though one which is not a student event.

    270: Analogy. Your doing it wrong.

    So are you.

  275. #275 Master Mahan
    August 27, 2008

    Of course Jesus was a supporter of traditional marriage! He was a bachelor in his mid-30s who lived with a dozen other men, washed their feet, and encouraged them to taste his flesh. What could possibly be gay about that?

  276. #276 Ron Sullivan
    August 27, 2008

    I don’t think there’s WiFi in the trees in Berkeley, but I’d bet some of the support people on the ground across the street have access.

    What Wotsisname is going on about is that there’s still a remnant of a group of treesitters in the oak grove just west of the stadium, and the empty suits at UC want them out of the way before the first jockfest of the year. UC wants to build a shiny new Sportspalast on the site of the stadium, and of course it’ll be lots bigger so they want to cut the oaks down to make room, make room.

    The oaks are fairly old, 70 to 80 years, one expert called a couple of them over a century old. They’re native live-oaks, which do support a lot of life; I was surprised a couple of years ago when I took a midday stroll through them and saw at least a dozen bird species carrying on in a space just a couple of blocks long; at midday, when birds tend to settle down and siesta, seeing a dozen species strongly suggests that there’s more there.

    The stadium has a certain fame because the Hayward Fault, which is almost parallel to and about as active as the San Andreas Fault, runs right through the middle of it. There are jokes about home-field advantage in the event of a quake.

    Before the stadium was built, Strawberry Creek (which forms the canyon above it, got culverted under it, and reappears to run through part of the UC campus, is culverted through most of the Berkeley flatlands and got daylighted for a short stretch a mile or so west of campus) had a waterfall there, and the meadow around that was a favorite picnic and romancin’ spot. The waterfall was on the fault; earthquake faults form a number of interesting landscape features in the Bay Area.

    The earthquake fault of course won’t affect the new facility. Ever. Interestingly (to those with long memories) a couple decades ago the university forced the California Schools for the Deaf and Blind out of the facility several blocks south that’s now the Clark Kerr Campus, largely on the issue of earthquake safety. But that’s another story.

    UC has let the current stadium facility fall into disrepair over the past decade, and now carries on about how the old place needs upgrading to conform with Chapter IX because some women’s teams have to use, I forget, temp trailers or other make-do locker rooms because the old ones are broken.

    I could go on for 800 words or so, but the take-home is that the University of California at Berkeley is often a very annoying neighbor, even for those of us who use its libraries and other facilities and appreciate its work.

    Its PR agents are just tacky, tacky, tacky.

  277. #277 Marc
    August 27, 2008

    Why are you doing this? You set up a blog for the purpose of ridiculing people who have faith in something else besides what you can see?

    Science has been known to fail over and over again throughout the history of mankind. Your doctorate degree means nothing.

    As for the poster – it does not represent free speech. It’s only meant to rile people up who believe that those relationships are against nature and an offense towards God.

    How would you like it if I put up a poster of someone you love in an act that you know for yourself to be untrue to his/her character and not representative of what he/she was?

    Stop trying to hurt good people. Leave us alone. We don’t ridicule homosexuals. We just don’t approve of their lifestyle. Do you approve of everyone’s lifestyle you know?

    And all these people leaving comments, calling the Lord of this world all these different names – you have no right to do that. If you don’t believe in Him, leave Him alone. Go about your business and believe in what you want.

    I promise you all as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, that these words you all wrote will be used against you when we are no longer in this world. When all your scientific achievements mean nothing and human achievements are all gone, you will understand who the true creator of the world is and who gave you scientific knowledge, and you will bow your heads in shame and weep for a chance to go back and rectify your actions. You will bow before Him and wonder why you couldn’t see while you were on this earth that the beauty here could not have been by accident. It all came from Him.

    Shame on you all for being so belligerent, insensitive and callous.

  278. #278 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    I could go on for 800 words or so, but the take-home is that the University of California at Berkeley is often a very annoying neighbor, even for those of us who use its libraries and other facilities and appreciate its work.

    In other words, the NIMBY-neighbors are using the protestors to try to prop up their baseless litigation. “It’s not earthquake safe to build here… as I was just telling Frank, the guy adding a third story to my house on the hill.”

  279. #279 SteveM
    August 27, 2008

    Actually, you can’t. The kind of flies that like feces don’t like sweet things, and thus won’t be attracted to honey. The sort of flies that like sweet things don’t like feces.
    Analogy. Your doing it wrong.

    either way, you still have flies, doesn’t much matter if they are different kinds of flies. Aphorisms, u r doin it wrong.

  280. #280 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Marc: How would you like it if I put up a poster of someone you love in an act that you know for yourself to be untrue to his/her character and not representative of what he/she was?
    Stop trying to hurt good people. Leave us alone. We don’t ridicule homosexuals. We just don’t approve of their lifestyle. Do you approve of everyone’s lifestyle you know?

    I promise you all as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, that these words you all wrote will be used against you when we are no longer in this world.

    Mind-boggling, ain’t it? In one sentence to complain about being “riled up and attacked”, and then to threaten your interlocutors with eternal suffering. The cognitive dissonance must reach the levels of eternal punishment…

    Poor Poe!

  281. #281 SteveM
    August 27, 2008

    Re 277:

    BINGO!

  282. #282 Jag
    August 27, 2008

    The atheist community needs to grow up and start acting like adults.
    This was a childish act which does nothing to promote critical thinking. “Nah, nah – your god is a fag” is not the approach to enlightening society.

    Lead by example…

  283. #283 SteveM
    August 27, 2008

    And all these people leaving comments, calling the Lord of this world all these different names – you have no right to do that. If you don’t believe in Him, leave Him alone. Go about your business and believe in what you want.

    Who is bothering whom? We are here just talking amongst ourselves, you decided to pop into the room and to be offended. Yes, we don’t believe in “Him” but that is no reason not to talk about him. You do believe in Him so leave us alone. Go about your business and believe in what you want. What the hell is wrong with you? You think that your belief in something requires that no one who doesn’t believe can talk about it?

  284. #284 SteveM
    August 27, 2008

    This was a childish act which does nothing to promote critical thinking. “Nah, nah – your god is a fag” is not the approach to enlightening society.

    Exactly where on the poster does it say that? Do you understand the purpose of a question mark?

  285. #285 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 27, 2008

    Why are you doing this? You set up a blog for the purpose of ridiculing people who have faith

    Starting out your comment so wrong does not bode well.

    in something else besides what you can see?

    You can see God? What does he look like? And if you can see him how does faith come into this?

    Science has been known to fail over and over again throughout the history of mankind. Your doctorate degree means nothing.

    Ahh the old science has been wrong before gambit. Weak weak weak. Try again.

    As for the poster – it does not represent free speech. It’s only meant to rile people up who believe that those relationships are against nature and an offense towards God.

    What’s your definition of free speech?

    How would you like it if I put up a poster of someone you love in an act that you know for yourself to be untrue to his/her character and not representative of what he/she was?

    How do you know for yourself?

    Stop trying to hurt good people. Leave us alone. We don’t ridicule homosexuals. We just don’t approve of their lifestyle. Do you approve of everyone’s lifestyle you know?

    At this point I would be checking the seat of your britches for signs of smoke and flames because you are a liar.

    And all these people leaving comments, calling the Lord of this world all these different names – you have no right to do that. If you don’t believe in Him, leave Him alone. Go about your business and believe in what you want.

    See my question about free speech above.

    I promise you all as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, that these words you all wrote will be used against you when we are no longer in this world. When all your scientific achievements mean nothing and human achievements are all gone, you will understand who the true creator of the world is and who gave you scientific knowledge, and you will bow your heads in shame and weep for a chance to go back and rectify your actions. You will bow before Him and wonder why you couldn’t see while you were on this earth that the beauty here could not have been by accident. It all came from Him.

    blah blah blah blah blah (Thanks MAJeff, I couldn;t think of anything more appropriate).

    Shame on you all for being so belligerent, insensitive and callous.

    Shame on you for being so willfully ignorant and chosing to remain that way.

  286. #286 windy
    August 27, 2008

    Science has been known to fail over and over again throughout the history of mankind. Your doctorate degree means nothing.

    When all your scientific achievements mean nothing and human achievements are all gone, you will understand who the true creator of the world is and who gave you scientific knowledge

    So, to summarize, Jesus has been feeding us bad scientific knowledge that fails over and over again. Damn you, Jesus!

  287. #287 Dan
    August 27, 2008

    Wow. Good job LCCC on making all of us atheists look like reactionary, juvenile, teenage douchebags.

  288. #288 Kseniya
    August 27, 2008

    Science has been known to fail over and over again throughout the history of mankind.

    I’d advise you not to confuse self-correction with failure, but you will continue to do so regardless of what anyone says, so never mind.

    Sinbad, Ron, et al – thanks for the WiFi/OakTree update. I’m 3,000 miles away from all that, and it’s not something I remember hearing about. Strange.

  289. #289 BT Murtagh
    August 27, 2008

    Q: Why did God make homosexuality a sin?
    A: His boyfriend thought it would be hot.

  290. #290 Anri
    August 27, 2008

    Hi, Jag – quick question:

    Is calling someone homosexual an insult?

    If not, why should anyone be offended?

    If so, please explain why.

    Thank you.

  291. #291 CJO
    August 27, 2008

    Also, to those who claim jesus never existed, there has been evidence found (records of pontius pilate’s role in the case, a mention by some roman historians as taking part in a jewish revolt) although none of his supposed miracles. It’s silly to just assume he never existed, although there is no proof that his divinity did.

    Nobody is assuming anything. There is a very good case to be made that he never existed and no credible extra-scriptural evidence that he did. You say, vaguely, “there has been evidence found,” but you make no effort to make us aware of it. I imagine you suspect it’s not true or you’re just parroting what you’ve been told. In short, I challenge you to demonstrate that you have the slightest idea what the state of the evidence is.

  292. #292 Ragutis
    August 27, 2008

    For the punctuation impaired, that’s a question on the poster, not a statement. Questions are often asked to stimulate thinking and initiate discussion. Apparently, you believe the answer to this particular question is “no”. Fine, present your supporting evidence.

  293. #293 Matt Penfold
    August 27, 2008

    For the punctuation impaired, that’s a question on the poster, not a statement. Questions are often asked to stimulate thinking and initiate discussion.

    I think for some people merely asking the question is going too far.

  294. #294 Twilight
    August 27, 2008

    I like your new word, “fatwah envy”. Sorta says something about the continuing tendency toward fascism of the Christian neocons – they’d like to be more like Iran.

  295. #295 Tashi
    August 27, 2008

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

    http://www.gotquestions.org/did-Jesus-exist.html

    Here is some information. I must say though, it was a google away. I’d searched it two years ago for an assignment and found that although there is no proof of divinity, the legend of jesus may have grown up around an actual person. After my research I came to the conclusion that there was a man, long ago, who was a good orator and very charismatic, who offered a different interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures than was believed at the time.

    I encourage everyone here to look this kind of thing up as opposed to immediately dismissing it. Yes, many records of the time were destroyed by invading romans. Yes, it may have been about two thousand years ago. Yes, the only clues are a name and a vague geographical location. But there is often a grain of truth in every legend, no matter how much it has been distorted and fantasized.

  296. #296 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 27, 2008

    PZ

    I HATE that WGU add in the sidebar. I’m sitting here listening to some Miles Davis and I keep hearing voices.

    Quickly realizing it’s not Quetzalcoatl coming to take me away I figure out its this website.

    You’ve got to smack the Seed Borg Overlords around and have them remove that.

  297. #297 Lee Picton
    August 27, 2008

    I hope this isn’t too messy looking. Can someone tell me how you get quotes from other posts in those tidy little boxes?

    OK already, Marc (#277) is enthusiastically revealing his advanced douchebaggery:

    —– “Why are you doing this? You set up a blog for the purpose of ridiculing people who have faith in something else besides what you can see?”—–

    Yeah? So? It’s our job, puncturing that pompous little bubble of privilege you think you are entitled to.

    —– “Science has been known to fail over and over again throughout the history of mankind. Your doctorate degree means nothing.”—–

    You, of course, are a hunter-gatherer who lives in a cave and has never come in contact with anything that smacks of evil science.

    —– “As for the poster – it does not represent free speech. It’s only meant to rile people up who believe that those relationships are against nature and an offense towards God.”—–

    Actually, it DOES represent free speech. And if you are riled up, that’s your problem. Since when do you think you have a right not be offended?

    —– “How would you like it if I put up a poster of someone you love in an act that you know for yourself to be untrue to his/her character and not representative of what he/she was?”—–

    It might displease me, but so what?

    —– “Stop trying to hurt good people. Leave us alone. We don’t ridicule homosexuals. We just don’t approve of their lifestyle. Do you approve of everyone’s lifestyle you know?”—–

    You are a hateful, smarmy, little twit who cannot even recognize the appalling hypocrisy of such a statement.

    —– “And all these people leaving comments, calling the Lord of this world all these different names – you have no right to do that. If you don’t believe in Him, leave Him alone. Go about your business and believe in what you want.”—–

    Listen carefully. I have EVERY right to do exactly that, and he is not any lord of my world anyway. You are the intrusive one here. Who are you to butt in where you have no business, telling us what we should and should not be doing? It seems to me we WERE going about OUR business, before you thought you had the right to whine about being offended. YOU went out of your way to BE offended! Who the fuck do you think you are?

    —– “I promise (empty silly threats snipped) blah, blah, blah blabber, blabber…… It all came from Him.”—

    Nope.

    —– “Shame on you all for being so belligerent, insensitive and callous.”—–

    Shame on you for playing the poor wittle victim. FOAD, twit.

  298. #298 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Dan #287: Wow. Good job LCCC on making all of us atheists look like reactionary, juvenile, teenage douchebags.

    Wow Dan, in assuming that all conversations have to be held on the highest Platonic plane of existence. That since morons can’t distinguish between college campus student polemic and academic discussion, we should end all of the former.

    You do realize that these poster were designed primarily by teenagers and early-20s, aimed primarily at an audience of teenagers and early-20s?

    I guess liberals should disdain Jonathon Stewart for turning political discourse into satire, Christians need to abandon Sunday school for the kids (mmm, good idea!), and high-schools should stop teaching algebra. After all, someone might mistake any of those things for their serious academic version.

    Douchebaggery. It’s not just for college students anymore.

  299. #299 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Tashi: Here is some information. I must say though, it was a google away. I’d searched it two years ago for an assignment and found that although there is no proof of divinity, the legend of jesus may have grown up around an actual person. After my research I came to the conclusion that there was a man, long ago, who was a good orator and very charismatic, who offered a different interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures than was believed at the time.
    I encourage everyone here to look this kind of thing up as opposed to immediately dismissing it. Yes, many records of the time were destroyed by invading romans. Yes, it may have been about two thousand years ago. Yes, the only clues are a name and a vague geographical location. But there is often a grain of truth in every legend, no matter how much it has been distorted and fantasized.

    Tashi, here’s a thought experiment. Imagine there were 3 men named Joshua in Jerusalem in the early first century. They were all propagandists of some sort — one was a philosopher, another was a revolutionary and the third was an Essene leader. The revolutionary got himself killed by the Romans, the philosopher disappeared into his own navel and the Essene ended up getting killed in 68. Stories about all three of them ended up getting mixed together. Would you then say that there was a real Jesus?

    Now, we know that Joshua was the most common Judean name, and probably was most common among those with Jewish nationalist family backgrounds. With the little we have from that era, what are the odds that there existed only one Jewish leader with a following of some significance given that name? Or who took that name on as a symbolic act? And what are the odds that in an oral tradition they could be kept distinct?

    That there existed at least one man named Joshua with nationalist Jewish tendencies in first century Judea who gained some level of leadership is a given. The question is really how many Jesii were there!

  300. #300 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 27, 2008

    I hope this isn’t too messy looking. Can someone tell me how you get quotes from other posts in those tidy little boxes?

    Use [blockquote]QUOTED TEXT HERE[/blockquote]

    Change the brackets to greaterthan/lessthan signs.

  301. #301 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    I HATE that WGU add in the sidebar.

    are you using firefox?

    get adblock plus.

    never be bothered by ads again.

    it’s damn wonderful, even if I understand the economic implications.

  302. #302 bastion
    August 27, 2008

    At #257, LBraschi wrote:
    It surely hasn’t escaped your attention that these people are oh so very offended and scared that a picture of two men hugging might ‘hurt’ (how so?) the children, but the sculpture of the very same man hanging nailed from a cross, bloody and tortured, is widely appreciated as ‘inspiration’… yeah, right.

    Years ago, when one of my sons, a particularly empathetic and sensitive boy, was in pre-school–maybe three or four years old–we went to an art museum and visited a gallery with religious art.

    The realistic paintings of gory bible scenes like Judith beheading Holofernes, depictions of the torture of Catholic martyrs, and finally, a life-size crucifixion, distressed him so much that we had to leave the gallery.

    We talked about what we’d seen, but he remained freaked by that art, especially the crucifixion, for weeks.

  303. #303 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 27, 2008

    are you using firefox?

    get adblock plus.

    never be bothered by ads again.

    it’s damn wonderful, even if I understand the economic implications.

    Yeah I’ve got it installed. Wonder why that didn’t get blocked..

    Humm. Upgrading to 3.0 a while back seems to have stripped it out.

  304. #304 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    That said, it’s hardly a revelation that such silly stunts (by activist groups, Ann Coulter or whomever) are typically and specifically designed to get attention.

    talk about comprehension problems, you seem to be projecting yours onto me.

    this is exactly the statement I asked you to defend in your earlier post, and you post it again as if it were a defense in and of itself.

    again, it’s not just GET ATTENTION, it’s get PERSONAL attention, which is what you imply when you equate all such “stunts” with the efforts of Coulter. Fuck, man, I’d bet money you couldn’t even prove ALL of Coulter’s stunts are done with the intent of increasing personal attention.

    Even giving you the generalization that coutler’s stunts are “typically” for self promotion, if you can’t recognize the difference in intent between say, crackergate and coulter, you’re the one who has the problems with distinction.

  305. #305 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Humm. Upgrading to 3.0 a while back seems to have stripped it out.

    ah, yeah. I noticed that the default upgrade to 3.0 stripped out my previous settings and plugs. I think there was an option not to do that that I missed.

    I think the reason is that 3.0 is sufficiently different that some older plugs no longer work with it, so they set it to force reinstall of plugs by default, maybe?

    anywho, yeah, just reinstall it.

  306. #306 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 27, 2008

    Done and done

  307. #307 llewelly
    August 27, 2008

    I guess liberals should disdain Jonathon Stewart for turning political discourse into satire…

    Actually, the political discourse on American television had been primarily satire for over a decade before Johnathan Stewart. But before Johnathan Stewart, America was in denial. We believed (well, I didn’t, but most people did) that we had a real political discourse, not an unintentional satire of a political discourse. Johnathan Stewart illustrates the unintentional self-satire of American political discourse in a way few can deny.

  308. #308 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Johnathan Stewart illustrates the unintentional self-satire of American political discourse in a way few can deny.

    I think the gradual realization of that is exactly why the Daily Show has become so popular, and also elbowed out enough room in the American psyche for the irony of Colbert.

    It’s like the satire/irony hour, and it’s a small glimmer of hope on the American frontier.

    If we can’t laugh at ourselves…

  309. #309 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    Dang, ol Marc runs through, poops on the floor and then leaves. That’s just plain rude.
    He’s the sap I’ve been waiting to sell my invisible car to.

  310. #310 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    this is exactly the statement I asked you to defend in your earlier post, and you post it again as if it were a defense in and of itself.

    I’ll try to approach this from another direction and go sufficiently s-l-o-w-l-y so that you might comprehend the obvious. Activist group promotes itself using a provocative image. I suppose you think the image was used so as not to get attention?

    again, it’s not just GET ATTENTION, it’s get PERSONAL attention, which is what you imply when you equate all such “stunts” with the efforts of Coulter.

    I assume both, actually — that the group wants to raise its profile generally and to attract new individual members. It’s both branding and marketing.

    Fuck, man, I’d bet money you couldn’t even prove ALL of Coulter’s stunts are done with the intent of increasing personal attention.

    That was never my burden and never my intent.

    if you can’t recognize the difference in intent between say, crackergate and coulter, you’re the one who has the problems with distinction.

    Since, in this context, my comments related to the Campus Activists for Atheism and not to “crackergate,” one need only note your non sequitur and move on. But there are some nice parting gifts for you ’round back….

  311. #311 Tashi
    August 27, 2008

    “Tashi, here’s a thought experiment. Imagine there were 3 men named Joshua in Jerusalem in the early first century. They were all propagandists of some sort — one was a philosopher, another was a revolutionary and the third was an Essene leader. The revolutionary got himself killed by the Romans, the philosopher disappeared into his own navel and the Essene ended up getting killed in 68. Stories about all three of them ended up getting mixed together. Would you then say that there was a real Jesus?

    Now, we know that Joshua was the most common Judean name, and probably was most common among those with Jewish nationalist family backgrounds. With the little we have from that era, what are the odds that there existed only one Jewish leader with a following of some significance given that name? Or who took that name on as a symbolic act? And what are the odds that in an oral tradition they could be kept distinct?

    That there existed at least one man named Joshua with nationalist Jewish tendencies in first century Judea who gained some level of leadership is a given. The question is really how many Jesii were there!”

    Did you actually read through the pages I presented? I know one specifically talked about Christ, there you have a sirname. Yes, there were probably many named Joshua, perhaps even a few in the Christ clan, but IMO they coincide to form one person. I make no claims towards his divinity, I don’t believe in that sort of thing, but it is pretty clear.

  312. #312 Jay Hovah
    August 27, 2008

    Marc, stop being a retard…don’t make me come down there.

  313. #313 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    That was never my burden and never my intent.

    I’m hardly shifting the burden here, fuckwit.

    However, stop using the comparison, and stop making the generalization using it, and I’ll happily stop riding your chapped ass.

  314. #314 Wooster
    August 27, 2008

    @Tashi, #311:

    I hate to be pedantic (well, not really), but “Christ” isn’t a surname, it’s a title. It’s the anglicized Greek word translation of the Hebrew “Messiah.”

  315. #315 ThirtyFiveUp
    August 27, 2008

    Apparently this Bible illustration is a source of thrill for gay young men who are still wondering. And the parents highly approve of taking the book to bed.

    http://catholic-resources.org/Dore/Images/OT-024-med.jpg

    Take a look at all the Dore illustrations if you are not familiar with them. I like them.

  316. #316 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Would they prefer that Jesus generously jerked his Jimmy?

    http://religiousfreaks.com/2006/01/17/church-lady-and-jimmy-swaggart/

  317. #317 Jag
    August 27, 2008

    Anri,

    The answer would be no. I personally do not believe that calling someone a homosexual is a insult. A christian, which I am not, would probably consider this a insult.

    My guess is that this campus atheist organization created this poster for the purpose of pissing off christians. How does this help anyone ?

    Angry minds are not rational and the message does not get through. It probably has the opposite effect. I would think that this organization could have found a more productive method to enlighten minds on campus.

  318. #318 ndt
    August 27, 2008

    My guess is that this campus atheist organization created this poster for the purpose of pissing off christians. How does this help anyone ?

    First, by demonstrating that most Christians are anti-gay bigots. Otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten pissed off at the poster.

    Second, by providing entertainment to everyone else.

  319. #319 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    First, by demonstrating that most Christians are anti-gay bigots. Otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten pissed off at the poster.
    Second, by providing entertainment to everyone else.

    *ding*

    winner!

  320. #320 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Tashi: Did you actually read through the pages I presented? I know one specifically talked about Christ, there you have a sirname. Yes, there were probably many named Joshua, perhaps even a few in the Christ clan, but IMO they coincide to form one person. I make no claims towards his divinity, I don’t believe in that sort of thing, but it is pretty clear.

    Christ is not a surname, kid. It’s a title, Greek translated directly from the Hebrew/Aramaic. There was no Christ clan! Anything that makes that claim, you know is a forgery — Christ is Greek, and “Anointed” would not be a Hebrew last name, not unless you had the military muscle to actually back that claim up!

    Sheesh. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. No, it’s not clear – questions of forgery and mis-translation are rife in all materials of that era. It’s a hazy, nebulous state of affairs into which you can read whatever you so choose. The “original documents from that era”, like Q, are back-readings of documents from 4 centuries later, and the original document is “deduced” in a pathetically under-deterministic way. The external documents centuries to be tampered with, the opportunity to be tampered with, the interest to tamper with them, and some marks of tampering.

    Finally, almost all the scholars interested in this field have a vested interest in believing. Those who don’t believe in general have better things to focus their intellectual energy on than determining the exact composition of the historical sources of a fairly minor series of events that ultimately may have had some influence on the formation of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

    Your first link is just stupid apologetics — a waste of time. Your second link is Wikipedia — a reasonable place to start a search, but definitely not an authority on anything in it. What, you going to cite the Encyclopedia Britannica next?

  321. #321 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Christ is not a surname, kid. It’s a title

    I’ve always wondered why it isn’t referred to as:

    Jesus the Christ

    or is it that it was more like:

    King David

    so that it was:

    Christ Jesus

    and just got perverted to Jesus Christ?

    with 30K sects there’s probably no acceptable answer anyway.

  322. #322 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    Thank you Frog, you said that much better than I was going to.
    I’ve been studying early christian history for the last three years. The chicanery involved makes Bushco look like choir boys. Frauds and forgeries will always be believed by those who want to.

  323. #323 ConstanceRifle
    August 27, 2008

    And Weaver said he didn’t just take a shot at Christianity. On Wednesday, he put up a picture of the prophet Mohammed — an act strictly forbidden in the Islamic faith.

    I didn’t click on the link, so I’m assuming this was a news article. Either way, the conventional wisdom of the day is just that Mohammed can’t be shown…it’s actually any image of any prophet. And yes, that includes Jesus. All those Catholic crosses? Blasphemy in the Muslim faith. But the Muslims aren’t going to be angry about the picture of homo-Jesus, according to the reporter.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  324. #324 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Finally, almost all the scholars interested in this field have a vested interest in believing.

    with very notable exceptions, like Hector Avalos.

    gratuitous linkage:

    http://www.truveo.com/Hector-Avalos-How-Archaeology-Killed-Biblical/id/3740509578

  325. #325 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    Anything that makes that claim, you know is a forgery — Christ is Greek, and “Anointed” would not be a Hebrew last name, not unless you had the military muscle to actually back that claim up!

    Expert that you are, I’m sure you’re aware that the consensus of scholars (per Paula Fredriksen in her From Jesus to Christ) accept that the Testimonium, though altered, is essentially accurate, providing a non-Christian source for an historical Jesus claim?

    Sheesh. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Indeed. How about providing a list of peer-reviewed literature on the topic and comparing how much of it makes a mythical Jesus claim?

    Finally, almost all the scholars interested in this field have a vested interest in believing.

    Not necessarily more so than an academic in any field of study. Leading comtemporary scholars on the historical Jesus include Fredriksen, Ehrman and Vermes. I commend the work of all three. None is Christian.

  326. #326 op99
    August 27, 2008

    Jesus had an erection, too. Here’s a picture, taken around 1525.

  327. #327 Qwerty
    August 27, 2008

    They were just asking a question: Jesus Christ had a homosexual relationship?

    Maybe he did; maybe he didn’t.

    WHAT ABOUT ACADEMIC FREEDOM! TEACH THE CONTROVERSY!

  328. #328 Chiroptera
    August 27, 2008

    Marc. #277: Science has been known to fail over and over again throughout the history of mankind.

    That is remarkable considering how science has only existed for about 500 years at the most.

    As for the poster – it does not represent free speech. It’s only meant to rile people up who believe that those relationships are against nature and an offense towards God.

    Well, actually in the U.S. “free speech” is used to refer to expressions that rile up people and therefore might be subject to sanction if not protected.

    How would you like it if I put up a poster of someone you love in an act that you know for yourself to be untrue to his/her character and not representative of what he/she was?

    Here in the U.S., public figures, fictional characters, and long dead historical persons (take your pick: Jesus is at least one of these, I figure) are commonly parodied, satirized, and sometimes shown to advocate positions that may be or may have been contrary to their “character”. If someone you love is one of these, you’ll just have to suck it up.

    Leave us alone.

    Are you Jesus? Are you one of the Apostles? If not, no one is doing anything to you in this case.

    If you don’t believe in Him, leave Him alone. Go about your business and believe in what you want.

    As long as the ass-holes trying to keep gays from the basic rights of marriage that everyone else enjoys would shut the hell up and leave everyone else alone, then it’s a deal.

    I promise you all as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, that these words you all wrote will be used against you when we are no longer in this world.

    Sucks to be me, I guess.

    When all your scientific achievements mean nothing….

    Including the ones achieved throughout the history of “man”[sic]kind?

  329. #329 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    However, stop using the comparison, and stop making the generalization using it, and I’ll happily stop riding your chapped ass.

    As soon as you explain how the image was designed not to garner attention I’ll willingly concede the point.

  330. #330 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    As soon as you explain how the image was designed not to garner attention

    I, and others, already have, goalpost mover.

    that you have the attention span of a gnat shouldn’t concern us, should it?

  331. #331 Natalie
    August 27, 2008

    Sinbad @ 274: What the hell are you talking about? I didn’t use an analogy.

    When you are disagreeing with someone you might find it helpful to actually back your point up with something. Leaving things at “Nah-ah, I’m right and you’re wrong” isn’t really an argument, so it doesn’t really do much to support your position.

  332. #332 SC
    August 27, 2008

    Not necessarily more so than an academic in any field of study.

    Yes, I’m always having to prove that social movements exist. It’s exhausting. I’m sure Ichthyic faces constant challenges from adamselfishists.

    It really doesn’t matter if they’re all Christians. If survival of your field depends on the existence and historical significance of a phenomenon, you have a vested interest in it.

  333. #333 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    I’m reading The End of Biblical Studies by Avalos, this summer, at page 81 it still hasn’t grabbed me. Also bought The Counter-Creationism Handbook by Mark Isaak. It looks like a text book to me. Haven’t read it yet.
    Does anyone know about that Robert Price guy? I’m really not sure about buying his books. His website is confusing. He was pretty good in ‘The God Who Wasn’t There’.

  334. #334 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    I’m sure Ichthyic faces constant challenges from adamselfishists

    yes, there were the horrendous wars with the Cichlidists to contend with for one.

    which reminds me, one of these days I have to add a wiki page on Pomacentrids.

    all there is essentially one of those generic classification pages right now.

    compare to the page on Cichlids.

    grr.

    :p

  335. #335 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    The End of Biblical Studies by Avalos, this summer, at page 81 it still hasn’t grabbed me

    hmm, I hadn’t heard he was a dry writer before.

    I’ve just watched his various talks, and read a couple of his journal articles.

  336. #336 SC
    August 27, 2008

    Finally, almost all the scholars interested in this field have a vested interest in believing. Those who don’t believe in general have better things to focus their intellectual energy on than determining the exact composition of the historical sources of a fairly minor series of events that ultimately may have had some influence on the formation of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

    Sadly, if I recall correctly from that Avalos talk, it seems that many involved in the field recognize (perhaps more than anyone else) that the evidence isn’t there and that further research is punching more holes. They have a vested interest in, well, not having their knowledge about this, or the Bible’s utter lack of humanity and relevance, get out to the believing masses. Quite disturbing, actually.

  337. #337 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    As far as Jesus spending the night with a youth dressed only in a cloth, yes that is true – as true as anything else in the bible. It got taken out by one of the popes. The thing about Lazarus crying out in his tomb, and never being dead in the first place also got taken out. Only on memory can I say that it was in the gospel of Mark. Both are very obscure texts that people don’t discuss anymore.
    Jesus taught said youth mysteries all night.

  338. #338 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Sinbad: Frog: Anything that makes that claim, you know is a forgery — Christ is Greek, and “Anointed” would not be a Hebrew last name, not unless you had the military muscle to actually back that claim up!

    Expert that you are, I’m sure you’re aware that the consensus of scholars (per Paula Fredriksen in her From Jesus to Christ) accept that the Testimonium, though altered, is essentially accurate, providing a non-Christian source for an historical Jesus claim?

    How is that even a response to the first comment? Is it connected in any way?

    Besides, from the substance of the full testimonium, either Josephus was a crypto-Christian, or it’s a forgery. Doesn’t take a Ph.D. to see that “he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him” would be an open claim of Christianity (which would be surprising for a crypto-Christian!). I’d have to read Paula’s book — either you’re misrepresenting her, or she’s a hack. I’d expect that she accepts some tiny subset of the whole thing, and you’re just a liar.

    And the “expert that you are” kind of insult (??) is an obvious sign of that kind of congenital intellectual insecurity that too many Americans show – argue the point or shut-up. Don’t whine that I’m not properly groveling to the stupidity of others.

    Frog: Sheesh. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
    Indeed.

    How about providing a list of peer-reviewed literature on the topic and comparing how much of it makes a mythical Jesus claim?

    And why would I care to, once I’ve already dismissed the field as filled with dishonesty, quackery, and bias? Really, try something better than “counting publications”. It’s a poor method in a good field like biology; in a crap field like Biblical studies it’s worse than hopeless.

    frog: Finally, almost all the scholars interested in this field have a vested interest in believing.

    Not necessarily more so than an academic in any field of study. Leading comtemporary scholars on the historical Jesus include Fredriksen, Ehrman and Vermes. I commend the work of all three. None is Christian.

    Well answered by several already. Only an ass would thing that a political and religious flashpoint like Biblical Studies could hope to have the open discussion of almost any other serious academic field. Just the very fact that the measly amount of data that is available in terms of literary material can create vast number of publications is an obvious example of the intellectual bankruptcy of most research in this area. Any other field would have given up mining such a miniscule field with the obvious and trivial fact that any conclusions would be underdetermined by the available data.

    If there were thousands of books published and thousands of faculty positions held on the development of Alexander the Great between the ages of 7 and 9, it wouldn’t take any great analysis to see that the field had failed, and they all should be fired – the only intellectual discussion going on could be how to continue to steal grant funding.

  339. #339 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    Oh, I beg your pardon Ichthyic. I didn’t mean to infer that Avalos is a bad writer. It’s my reading of scholarly PhD. writing that’s holding me back. :) From just skimming over some of it I think Avalos is going to be damned roundly by other bible scholars. He really does make the case to end bible study.

  340. #340 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Majeff, stop with the mumbo jumbo about gay being “identity” and all that crap. To be gay is simply to be be same sex attracted. The question “Why is it heretical to even infer that Jesus was gay?” is perfectly valid.

  341. #341 SC
    August 27, 2008

    compare to the page on Cichlids.

    OK, I just did. I support you in your home-improvement efforts. :)

  342. #342 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Icthyic: haven’t read any Avalos. Lost interest in the field a few years back, soon after gaining interest in the field and reading enough to realize that they don’t even know the proper translation of the first line from John.

    It don’t take a neuroscientist to see when folks are arguing angels on a pin-head.

    But if he’s nailed it from the inside, he might be interesting.

  343. #343 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lynn: Majeff, stop with the mumbo jumbo about gay being “identity” and all that crap. To be gay is simply to be be same sex attracted. The question “Why is it heretical to even infer that Jesus was gay?” is perfectly valid.

    MAJeff was not saying the question was invalid – he was saying that it was anachronistic. Two completely different points.

    Gay is not strictly the same thing as having or interested in same-sex sex. A traditional Native American who dresses and lives as a woman would not be “gay” for any meaningful use of the word. Gay exists where there is a gay/straight dichotomy – that is not a universal.

    A better question is “Was Jesus involved in homosexual acts?” but that doesn’t make a very good poster — a bit wordy. But when you have time to say it out in the full, being precise is important — otherwise you fall down the rabbit hole of self-delusion that many religionists do.

  344. #344 SC
    August 27, 2008

    Majeff, stop with the mumbo jumbo about gay being “identity” and all that crap. To be gay is simply to be be same sex attracted. The question “Why is it heretical to even infer that Jesus was gay?” is perfectly valid.

    Priya Lynn,

    MAJeff was trying to broaden people’s knowledge about the history of sexuality and sexual identity. Rather than trying to learn something, you respond by calling what you don’t understand “mumbo jumbo” and arrogantly dismissing the points made by someone who is a scholar in this area. I can see why he didn’t stick around to continue the discussion.

  345. #345 Sastra
    August 27, 2008

    Hank Roberts #272 quoted:

    “… while any student of natural sciences or techie can acquire knowledge pertaining to the humanities within his educational course or at least gain this knowledge independently, a humanist is very often not given any knowledge of natural sciences and is hardly able to cope with this task himself.”

    Just a small point, but this is a good example of one of the multiple meanings given to the word “humanist” which tends to muck up people’s understanding of modern secular humanism. Sometimes the word “humanist” is used to designate “someone who studies the humanities (art, literature, philosophy, etc.) as opposed to math and science.” I’ve even seen it used to mean “belief that man has a soul, and is the highest achievement of Nature.”

    While those are technically legitimate and not uncommon uses of the term “humanism,” it tends to suggest that ‘secular humanism’ isn’t very keen on science, and believes that nature has a hierarchy. No. Any secular humanist will argue otherwise: its approach to understanding reality is based on science and reason, and you don’t get a soul or teleological progress out of that.

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled sniping.

  346. #346 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    How about picking on MAJeff to his face? As you see, his friends have his back.

  347. #347 David Marjanovi?, OM
    August 27, 2008

    I haven’t read beyond comment 100, I need to go to bed. Has anyone asked yet why all those students already have children? Did the journalist select them for that, or is that normal in the USA? ~:-|

    I mean, I have only seen babies in the University of Vienna two or three times, and here at Paris 6 I’ve never encountered one — France, remember, is the place where socialism is so rampant (mwahaaah!) that the birth rate has recently increased to 2.1 children per woman.

  348. #348 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 27, 2008

    Rather than trying to learn something, you respond by calling what you don’t understand “mumbo jumbo”

    Mumbo Jumbo translation

    I don’t understand what you are talking about so i will poo-poo it.

  349. #349 Sinbad
    August 27, 2008

    When you are disagreeing with someone you might find it helpful to actually back your point up with something.

    I did. Had I said “Your wrong,” you could have appropriately replied “So are you.”

    It really doesn’t matter if they’re all Christians. If survival of your field depends on the existence and historical significance of a phenomenon, you have a vested interest in it.

    There is no such thing as truly disinterested scholarship. The work stands or falls on its merits, not the biases, real or merely alleged, of the author. I was merely demonstrating that the idea that scholars writing about the historical Jesus are biased in some unusual way (perhaps because they’re all apologists) is silly. However, academic viewpoints rise and fall as a matter of course. A scholar could make his or her career by exploding the idea of an historical Jesus. Thus, the idea that the status quo is somehow unassailable is also silly.

    How is that even a response to the first comment? Is it connected in any way?

    Quite obviously, yes. The typical criticism of the Testimonium is that it calls Jesus “the Christ,” a term a Jew wouldn’t use. The academic consensus agrees, but sees the text as altered, yet basically authentic. The idea of a complete forgery had more support a century ago than it does today.

    Besides, from the substance of the full testimonium, either Josephus was a crypto-Christian, or it’s a forgery.

    The peer-reviewed literature, even among non-Christians, disagrees.

    I’d have to read Paula’s book — either you’re misrepresenting her, or she’s a hack.

    “Scholars have debated the historical merits of this passage [The Testimonium], some (few, now) maintaining that the whole is authentic, others (another minority), that the whole is a Christian interpolation…. Most scholars currently incline to see the passage as basically authentic….” Jesus of Nazareth p. 249. (My apologies for mistakenly citing the wrong book earlier). Also, Geza Vermes: “Indeed, in recent years most of the experts, including myself, have adopted a middle course, accepting that part of the [Josephus] account is authentic.” The Changing Faces of Jesus, p. 277. As to their being hacks, their work is public to be assessed. Fredriksen teaches at Boston University (terminal degree from Princeton) and Vermes teaches at Oxford (now emeritas; terminal degree from Oxford). Please retract the implicit charge of lying.

    And why would I care to, once I’ve already dismissed the field as filled with dishonesty, quackery, and bias?

    A creationist attacking biologists couldn’t have said it better. Well done.

    Really, try something better than “counting publications”. It’s a poor method in a good field like biology; in a crap field like Biblical studies it’s worse than hopeless.

    The key point isn’t “counting publications.” It is simply that the idea of a mythical Jesus has virtually no traction in the academic world, even though academic careers are made on the basis of new paradigms. The consensus could be wrong, of course, but to make that claim you have to produce the goods and not just claim (much like Ken Ham) that the enterprise is wholly corrupt.

  350. #350 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Frog said “Gay is not strictly the same thing as having or interested in same-sex sex”.

    Frog, and SC, gay is not “having or intereseted in same sex sex, it is “same sex attracted”. To the vast majority of people gay simply means “same sex attracted”, the same thing as homosexual. I’m aware that a few pompous blowhards want to define in it in some complicated way for their own self-agrandizement but the fact of the matter is that what the majority of people think a word means determines the meaning of a word and gay means “same sex attracted”, nothing more, and nothing less.

  351. #351 Owlmirror
    August 27, 2008

    soon after gaining interest in the field and reading enough to realize that they don’t even know the proper translation of the first line from John.

    I’m not sure that it is possible to properly translate the first line of John without giving a huge contextual infodump on the neo-Platonic concept of “?????”.

  352. #352 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Further to that, Frog, being gay is not what you do (have gay sex) it is who you are (same sex attracted).

  353. #353 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Rev Bigdumbchimp and SC I don’t understand the intricacies of dungeons and dragons either which has just as much relevancy to the meaning of gay as MaJeff’s mumbo jumbo does.

  354. #354 SC
    August 27, 2008

    Had I said “Your wrong,” you could have appropriately replied “So are you.”

    This would be stupid even if you had written “You’re wrong.”

    There is no such thing as truly disinterested scholarship. The work stands or falls on its merits, not the biases, real or merely alleged, of the author.

    The existence of the field itself is based upon an undemonstrated premise, and the merits of work within it are generally judged by others within the field. Why have you not responded to the first part of my comment?

    I was merely demonstrating that the idea that scholars writing about the historical Jesus are biased in some unusual way (perhaps because they’re all apologists) is silly. However, academic viewpoints rise and fall as a matter of course. A scholar could make his or her career by exploding the idea of an historical Jesus. Thus, the idea that the status quo is somehow unassailable is also silly.

    You weren’t demonstrating anything. You simply made an assertion, and then failed to respond to the points made in my or frog’s comments. The “evidence” is assailable, and has been assailed; however, this hasn’t – with few exceptions – been done by those in the field (at least publicly), for reasons that are obvious to everyone but you, apparently.

    It is simply that the idea of a mythical Jesus has virtually no traction in the academic world, even though academic careers are made on the basis of new paradigms. The consensus could be wrong, of course, but to make that claim you have to produce the goods and not just claim (much like Ken Ham) that the enterprise is wholly corrupt.

    Do you have: Evidence of this consensus, not just in Biblical Studies, but in other relevant fields (history, archaeology)? A response to frog’s (I think) point above that other scholars have relatively little interest in these questions? A response to the Avalos talk? An explanation for why a person’s nonexistence has to be substantiated rather than the person’s existence? Do people have to “produce the goods” concerning the nonexistence of bigfoot or chupacabra?

    (That said, I have no stake in this, and spend little time reading about it. I really don’t care whether or not a person around whom this mythology was constructed existed or not, and I’m too lazy to read through this thread again to remind myself of why it came up in the first place. What is the relevance of this question to the topic of the thread, again?)

  355. #355 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Sinbad:

    Frog: How is that even a response to the first comment? Is it connected in any way?

    Quite obviously, yes. The typical criticism of the Testimonium is that it calls Jesus “the Christ,” a term a Jew wouldn’t use. The academic consensus agrees, but sees the text as altered, yet basically authentic. The idea of a complete forgery had more support a century ago than it does today.

    But we weren’t talking about the Testimonium. We were talking about the usage of the name Christ as a surname – which Tashi seemed to believe could be genuine and distinctive as a personal name. Before muttering, at least understand what the discusion is!

    “Indeed, in recent years most of the experts, including myself, have adopted a middle course, accepting that part of the [Josephus] account is authentic.”

    Frog: Besides, from the substance of the full testimonium, either Josephus was a crypto-Christian, or it’s a forgery.

    The peer-reviewed literature, even among non-Christians, disagrees.

    Either you have a disabling reading comprehension disability, or once again you are misrepresenting! The quote you give is explicitly says that Vermes believes it is partially a forgery.

    As to their being hacks, their work is public to be assessed. Fredriksen teaches at Boston University (terminal degree from Princeton) and Vermes teaches at Oxford (now emeritas; terminal degree from Oxford). Please retract the implicit charge of lying.

    Now, here’s the full Eusebius quotation of the passage in question:
    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

    Now, anyone who would claim that a significant portion of that is not a forgery is either a hack or mind-bogglingly incompetent. It doesn’t take a deep knowledge of Judaism, Christianity and the state of affairs in late first century Rome to know that that is an impossible statement by a Jew who is not a Christian. If you want to claim that Josephus was a Christian, that is another matter — but I’ve never seen or heard that claim.

    And even that claim that he was a Christian doesn’t make any damn sense — because if he was, it would be woven throughout his narratives and not isolated to one locus.

    But since we can show that you are either deluded or a liar, Paula may not be a hack — without reading her, I can’t know to blame her.

    Frog: Really, try something better than “counting publications”. It’s a poor method in a good field like biology; in a crap field like Biblical studies it’s worse than hopeless.

    The key point isn’t “counting publications.” It is simply that the idea of a mythical Jesus has virtually no traction in the academic world, even though academic careers are made on the basis of new paradigms. The consensus could be wrong, of course, but to make that claim you have to produce the goods and not just claim (much like Ken Ham) that the enterprise is wholly corrupt.

    Biblical studies is not a normal scientific discipline functioning under normal constraints. “Corruption” doesn’t require showing that any individual is corrupt — all you have to do is show that most of the “results” are so underdetermined by data, that any field that accepts it is a big pile of steaming fetid crap.

    Any field that wouldn’t immediately drum out someone claiming that a normal Jew would write the full Testimonium is a field that is clearly broken. No one has to be personally accused — the field is so full of bias (as a field) and incompetence, that the whole thing should abandoned.

    What would a “new paradigm” do? A new paradigm in a field like biblical studies is impossible — it undermines the very justification for funding a “Biblical Studies” program! What other single book has entire departments focused on it’s hermeneutics? Really, you must be a simple-minded buffoon to not see the world of difference between Bible Studies and physics, for example. Or a liar.

    My argument isn’t that mythological Jesus is right — my argument is that the entire question is meaningless as an academic field. But of course we already know about your inability at reading comprehension.

    It reminds me of the kerfuffle in post-modern studies over the Sokal affair — another example of how you can become so enamored of the field, that it outstrips any connection to reality and becomes simply a form of mental masturbation.

    Most of Biblical Studies == Most of Post-modernist studies. Some gems may exist, but as a field, pure crapola surviving on the dynamics of bureaucracies and the reinforcement of dogma.

  356. #356 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lynn: Further to that, Frog, being gay is not what you do (have gay sex) it is who you are (same sex attracted).

    Being gay isn’t just getting “aroused”. It’s thinking about that arousal in a certain cultural context. If you can’t understand that essential distinction, just keep your thoughtless commentary to yourself.

    Like I said up-thread – are all the Kakuli gay? What would that even mean? Respond with substance instead of platitudes.

  357. #357 Qwerty
    August 27, 2008

    The poster might have been more effective with the caption: WAS JESUS A SODOMITE?

  358. #358 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Sadly, if I recall correctly from that Avalos talk, it seems that many involved in the field recognize (perhaps more than anyone else) that the evidence isn’t there and that further research is punching more holes. They have a vested interest in, well, not having their knowledge about this, or the Bible’s utter lack of humanity and relevance, get out to the believing masses. Quite disturbing, actually.

    indeed.

    In fact, there were several talks around that time period (Hector’s included) than spawned several threads on various blogs (including this one) that opened the debate as to whether Theology itself as a formal endeavor at the uni level should be absorbed into pysch/sociology/anthropology, as most of the participants, in garnering their degrees and positions, typically have a pretty decent background in the relevant fields and could be much more productive contributors in those fields as opposed to theology itself.

    I don’t have time to dig them up at the moment, but I recall them being easy enough to find using the search engine for Pharyngula.

  359. #359 SC
    August 27, 2008

    To the vast majority of people gay simply means “same sex attracted”, the same thing as homosexual. I’m aware that a few pompous blowhards want to define in it in some complicated way for their own self-agrandizement but the fact of the matter is that what the majority of people think a word means determines the meaning of a word and gay means “same sex attracted”, nothing more, and nothing less.

    Think about what “gay” meant to Jews or others in the Roman Empire two millenia ago, and you may be on your way to understanding what MAJeff was getting at. (The rest of the stupidity in that statement I’ll simply ignore.)

    Rev Bigdumbchimp and SC I don’t understand the intricacies of dungeons and dragons either which has just as much relevancy to the meaning of gay as MaJeff’s mumbo jumbo does.

    Pri

    Eh. Why bother? You’re ignorant and evidently quite content to remain so. Enjoy. I’m going to go back to reading MAJeff’s dissertation chapter, where I’m sure I’ll meet with much that is interesting and insightful.

  360. #360 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    You simply made an assertion, and then failed to respond to the points made in my or frog’s comments.

    That’s our Sinbad.

    so bloody irritating.

    champion of moving goalposts and shifting burdens, too.

    waste of time.

  361. #361 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Frog how about you keep your pompous hair splitting to yourself? I have just as much right to be here as you do and I happen to be right. I never said being gay was about “getting aroused”, I said that it was about being same sex attracted, that it means the same thing as homosexual. You want to dispute that don’t argue with me, argue with the millions upon millions of everyday people who understand it that way. What some blowhard academic wants to claim gay means to pump his own ego means absolutely nothing to Joe general public and Joe general public decides the meaning of the word gay not arogant blowhards like you.

    Before you go shooting your mouth off again trying to claim up is down and black is white go ask 10 strangers what gay means. I guarantee you not a single one of them will repeat Majeff’s mumbo jumbo to you.

  362. #362 JonathanL
    August 27, 2008

    Frog, and SC, gay is not “having or intereseted in same sex sex, it is “same sex attracted”. To the vast majority of people gay simply means “same sex attracted”, the same thing as homosexual. I’m aware that a few pompous blowhards want to define in it in some complicated way for their own self-agrandizement but the fact of the matter is that what the majority of people think a word means determines the meaning of a word and gay means “same sex attracted”, nothing more, and nothing less.

    Wait, so the meaning of a word is a popularity contest? Tell me what do the ‘vast majority of people’ think a quark is? A character on deep space nine?

    Whether you and the vast majority you represent understand it or not gay and homosexual are not the same thing. Homosexual does mean same sex attraction. So, take a guy who is raised religious and spends his whole life in denial of his homosexuality he would be a homosexual but not gay. Where another guy who accepts his sexuality and tries to build a life with a male partner would be both gay and a homosexual. Being gay is not just about who you are attracted to it’s about having the opportunity and willingness to try to live your life and be a part of society. Now the terminology we are using is quite new and like you said most people don’t know the difference. But now you do…

  363. #363 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Here Frog, for your own edification, you moron, the dictionary:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gay

    gay Pronunciation adjective, -er, -est, noun, adverb
    -adjective
    1. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
    2. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
    3. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season.
    4. licentious; dissipated; wanton: The baron is a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies.
    5. homosexual.
    6. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.
    -noun 7. a homosexual person, esp. a male.

    -adverb 8. in a gay manner.

    Shove it up your ass you pompous idiot.

  364. #364 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lynn: Frog how about you keep your pompous hair splitting to yourself?

    Why don’t you keep your pompous pride in ignorance to yourself? The fact that you don’t understand MAJeff’s point just goes to highlight your own ignorance. The wise person tries to learn; the intellectually insecure mouth off that it’s just “those eggheads splitting hairs”.

    Yeah, I’m going to ask “Joe Public” the differences between same-sex arousal in first century Levantine and modern day Iowa. That’s the way to go — and Bush would make a fine president ’cause “he’s a good guy to have a beer with!”

  365. #365 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Before you go shooting your mouth off again trying to claim up is down and black is white go ask 10 strangers what gay means.

    argumentum ad populum in the making.

  366. #366 SC
    August 27, 2008

    In fact, there were several talks around that time period (Hector’s included) than spawned several threads on various blogs (including this one) that opened the debate as to whether Theology itself as a formal endeavor at the uni level should be absorbed into pysch/sociology/anthropology, as most of the participants, in garnering their degrees and positions, typically have a pretty decent background in the relevant fields and could be much more productive contributors in those fields as opposed to theology itself.

    Oh, sure, try to pawn ‘em off on us! Seriously, though, that’s interesting. But judging by his talk (which, admittedly, isn’t enough to go on), some of them seem really dishonest and manipulative, and the fact that they could work in such a bogus field doesn’t increase my respect for them as scholars. I can’t imagine that I’d want them as colleagues (unless, of course, they followed Avalos’ example :)).

  367. #367 Qwerty
    August 27, 2008

    Marc @ 277:
    “Science has been known to fail over and over again throughout the history of mankind. Your doctorate degree means nothing.”

    You’re one of those people who’ve been indoctrinated into believing science which changes with advances in knowledge is wrong because earlier scientific knowledge has often been proven to be incorrect.

    Your thinking proves you know little about how science works. Or as other posters have said, “You are a douchebag!”

  368. #368 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    And here’s merriam webster online:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gay

    Main Entry: 1gay
    Pronunciation: \g?\
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French gai, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German g?hi quick, sudden
    Date: 14th century
    1 a: happily excited : merry (In a gay mood) b: keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits (a bird’s gay spring song)
    2 a: bright, lively (gay sunny meadows) b: brilliant in color
    3: given to social pleasures; also : licentious
    4 a: homosexual (gay men) b: of, relating to, or used by homosexuals (the gay rights movement) (a gay bar)

  369. #369 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Frog said “Yeah, I’m going to ask “Joe Public” the differences between same-sex arousal in first century Levantine and modern day Iowa”.

    I never suggested you to that you blithering idiot, I suggested you ask them what gay means. The “differences between same-sex arousal in first century Levantine and modern day Iowa” has nothing to do with the meaning of gay moron.

  370. #370 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lynn: Shove it up your ass you pompous idiot.

    Wow, real deep insecurities showing up there (and bit ironic). Followed up by common-usage from dictionaries, which is completely irrelevant as to whether it’s useful to call someone “gay” in first century Judea, as has been explained umpteen times.

    I guess when you’re as dense as a neutron star, you have reason to be intellectually insecure.

  371. #371 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    JonathonL, stop the presses, go inform all the dictionary publishers they got the meaning of gay wrong, that you know better.

    Ichthyic said “argumentum ad populum in the making”. Ichthic, popularity doesn’t make an argument correct, but it does determine the meaning of words, that’s why THE DICTIONARY says gay means homosexual when it never used to. You’re just as stupid as the rest.

  372. #372 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lyn: The “differences between same-sex arousal in first century Levantine and modern day Iowa” has nothing to do with the meaning of gay moron.

    But it has everything to do with the MAJeff’s discussion, and it’s usage in this particular context.

    Reading comprehension. It’s not just for egg-heads anymore.

  373. #373 SC
    August 27, 2008

    I never suggested you to that you blithering idiot, I suggested you ask them what gay means. The “differences between same-sex arousal in first century Levantine and modern day Iowa” has nothing to do with the meaning of gay moron.

    Ay. See, this is what happens when truth machine is away for a while and people with none of his knowledge, intelligence, or acuity attempt to ape his style. Cringeworthy.

  374. #374 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Frog said “common-usage from dictionaries, which is completely irrelevant as to whether it’s useful to call someone “gay” in first century Judea, as has been explained umpteen times.”.

    Of course its useful to call someone same sex attracted in first century Judea. Keep talking and making yourself look like a fool.

  375. #375 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    some of them seem really dishonest and manipulative

    …those get immediately hired by the Disinformation Institute to talk about how wonderful ID is.

    ;)

  376. #376 Oceanesque
    August 27, 2008

    Did she just say that Jesus supports gay marriage?

    That was my first thought, too.

    I thought “Wow, that’s unusually enlightened for someone who is complaining about the poster,” and then did a double-take.

  377. #377 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    Ichthic, popularity doesn’t make an argument correct

    which of course, is why you suggested we poll on the issue.

    you’re horribly confused.

    …and could you possibly screech a little less when you post?

    it would make it ever so slightly less tedious.

  378. #378 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    And of course frog, your statment about “whether it’s useful to call someone “gay” in first century Judea” is irrelevant to what the word gay means WHICH IS WHAT YOU DISPUTED WITH ME IN THE FIRST PLACE. Read your dictionary and weap.

  379. #379 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Icythic said “which of course, is why you suggested we poll on the issue”.

    No, because popularity DOES determine the meaning of words moron.

  380. #380 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Yup, I’m weaping. ‘Cept that’s not in my dictionary. Irony abounds.

  381. #381 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    …btw, before you continue, know that most of us here moved beyond the dictionary or encyclopedias as sources of authority before we graduated from high school.

    you can continue in your current mode if you wish, but just know we’re laughing at you.

    No, because popularity DOES determine the meaning of words moron.

    actually, that’s not exactly accurate, as I’m sure many an Englishman would protest.

    perhaps you really mean the “urban dictionary”…

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/

    *sigh*

    you’re absolutely ignorant, boring, and screechy.

    good luck with that.

  382. #382 JonathanL
    August 27, 2008

    JonathonL, stop the presses, go inform all the dictionary publishers they got the meaning of gay wrong, that you know better.

    Ichthyic said “argumentum ad populum in the making”. Ichthic, popularity doesn’t make an argument correct, but it does determine the meaning of words, that’s why THE DICTIONARY says gay means homosexual when it never used to. You’re just as stupid as the rest

    And the dictionary is always up to date with new terms and word usage? Sorry, but mostly I am just confused by how angry you are getting about this. To me and to many others we see a useful distinction there. That’s often how new words or new meanings come about. If you don’t understand that and are somehow offended well.. too bad. But frankly I couldn’t care less about how uninformed you and the majority are.

  383. #383 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Frog said “Priya Lyn: The “differences between same-sex arousal in first century Levantine and modern day Iowa” has nothing to do with the meaning of gay moron.

    But it has everything to do with the MAJeff’s discussion, and it’s usage in this particular context.

    Majeff claimed it “It makes zero sense to talk of gay or straight in the ancient world.”.

    That was profoundly dumb. It makes perfect sense to talk about same sex attracted (gay) and opposite sex attracted (straight) in the ancient world.

    You first adressed me to dispute the meaning of gay. The dictionary settles it. Admit you were wrong like a man.

  384. #384 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Johnathanl said “To me and to many others we see a useful distinction there…frankly I couldn’t care less about how uninformed you and the majority are.”.

    So, three people is many now. Unfortuantely for you, the majority determines the meaning of words and the word gay means same sex attracted or homosexual

  385. #385 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    That was profoundly dumb. It makes perfect sense to talk about same sex attracted (gay) and opposite sex attracted (straight) in the ancient world.

    here’s a perfect appropriate response to the level of argument you are presenting:

    Oh? How do you know?

    Were you THERE?

    /Hovind

  386. #386 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Ichthyic said ” before you continue, know that most of us here moved beyond the dictionary or encyclopedias as sources of authority before we graduated from high school.”.

    I never said the dictionary was the source of authority, I said the what the majority of people think is the authority on the meaning of words, the dictionary merely documents this. By all means make your case (ha ha ha) that something other than the dictionary documents the meaning of words.

  387. #387 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    By all means make your case (ha ha ha) that something other than the dictionary documents the meaning of words.

    by all means, assume your conclusion.

  388. #388 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Ichthyic, yeah, Hovind is about the level of argument you’ve been presenting.

  389. #389 frog
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lynn: Admit you were wrong like a man.

    Between that, the “shove it up your ass” and the whole tenor of the discussion about how to distinguish meanings across cultures, I’m starting to suspect that this is more about some personal identity issues than anything else – one particular issue given the subject matter and the preceding statements!

    How do you know either my gender or sex? In all actuality, I’m a finely refined AI program, and am quite offended at your usage and assumption. You should have said “Admit you’re wrong like a sentient entity (with no assumption as to substrate, whether carbon, silicon or neutron-based (some of my friends would be offended without the latter disclaimer)).”

    See a therapist. Soon.

  390. #390 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Be an adult Ichtyic, its obvious you’re wrong, just admit, stop acting like a spoiled 5 year old that can’t accept reality.

  391. #391 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    I understand frog, you’re too small to admit the obvious, you’re wrong and I’ve intellecutally bitched slapped you all night long.

  392. #392 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    stop acting like a spoiled 5 year old that can’t accept reality.

    do you know what “projection” means?

    lay off the caffeine and go take a nap, missy.

  393. #393 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    And frog, I can’t fulfil your request that I say “Admit you’re wrong like a sentient entity (with no assumption as to substrate, whether carbon, silicon or neutron-based (some of my friends would be offended without the latter disclaimer)).” – I don’t see any evidence that you’re a sentient entity

  394. #394 SC
    August 27, 2008

    I understand frog, you’re too small to admit the obvious, you’re wrong and I’ve intellecutally bitched slapped you all night long.

    Priya Lynn,

    I don’t remember the specific content of your past comments, but I don’t recall ever thinking you were particularly irrational or unstable. Your posts on this thread are a cause for some concern.

  395. #395 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Ichtyyic, I know what projection means. The reality is obvious, gay means “same sex attracted” or homosexual. I accept that, you like a child don’t want to admit it. I’m not projecting, I’m telling it like it is.

  396. #396 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Yes SC, deep concern, because I might show up at your place and pee on your rug. I hope your concern keeps you awake tonight.

  397. #397 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    I’m telling it like it is.

    Your words certainly tell a story alrighty.

    Just not the one you seem to think.

    again…

    go take a nap or something, eh?

  398. #398 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    No thanks Ichthyic, I’m having too much fun watching you try to deny reality.

  399. #399 SC
    August 27, 2008

    MAJeff, above:

    Because there was no such thing as ‘gay’ in ancient Palestine? Gay is a modern identity category. Even if he had same-sex erotic desires (assuming he existed in the first place), such desires would have been organized into social life, identity, and self-conception in a completely different manner. It makes zero sense to talk of gay or straight in the ancient world.

  400. #400 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lynn, above:

    That was profoundly dumb. It makes perfect sense to talk about same sex attracted (gay) and opposite sex attracted (straight) in the ancient world.

  401. #401 SC
    August 27, 2008

    *headdesk*

  402. #402 CJO
    August 27, 2008

    Priya’s not worth the electrons, fellow entities.

  403. #403 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Well, what do you expect SC when you try to defend what’s both wrong and stupid.

  404. #404 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    CJO, what you mean is trying to defend what’s wrong and stupid is not worth the electrons.

  405. #405 Priya Lynn
    August 27, 2008

    Anyway, now that I’ve vanquished all the morons I am going to leave. I hope you all learned a lesson.

  406. #406 JonathanL
    August 27, 2008

    I never said the dictionary was the source of authority, I said the what the majority of people think is the authority on the meaning of words, the dictionary merely documents this. By all means make your case (ha ha ha) that something other than the dictionary documents the meaning of words.

    Yes, you did. You have also said we should poll random people in the streets to see what they think. Congratulations on basing your understanding of a complex subject like human sexuality on a dictionary. Or better yet but consulting with random people. That’s a great way to understand a subject! No really keep that up I’m sure you’ll get far.

    The reality is new words get added to the dictionary and existing words get new definitions. These start some place. But keep up your ignorance I’m sure you’ll convince someone someday…

  407. #407 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    Holy gay-shit Maynard! What kind of stupid just flew through here and crapped all over? Gack!
    Defending MAJeff’s honor has become a blood sport.

  408. #408 Patricia
    August 27, 2008

    Frog, Ichthyic and SC – Despite Sinbads naughty temper, I have enjoyed reading your posts.
    I’m trying to work through Avalos’s book ‘The End of Biblical Studies’ this summer. He is brilliant, but a bit of a struggle for me. The Jesus bullshit is so deep I don’t know yet if there’s a bottom to it.

  409. #409 Ragutis
    August 27, 2008

    Priya Lynn, if you’ve followed any of the Intelligent Design threads around here, you should be well aware of the dangers of irresponsibly relying on the popular or colloquial usage of a word. Does “It’s just a theory!” ring any bells?

    I suggest you drop it unless you really wish to be made to further look the fool by the other commenters here.

    Tashi actually thought “Christ” was Jesus’ last name? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! FFS, that was practically the first thing they taught us in CCD, that “The Christ” was a title, not a surname. (Oh, and Ichthy, I’m kinda surprised you’ve never heard “Jesus, the Christ” used. It was quite common, at least in my parish back in the days.)

    And to all the people that still believe Josephus wasn’t altered (by the way Sinbad, nice place to put the [...] in your Fredrikson quote), kindly explain how a Jew that called Jesus “The Christ” and accepted him as the Messiah remained a traditional Jew the rest of his life. Also, why do Origen and others explicitly describe Josephus as being a non-believer?

  410. #410 SC
    August 27, 2008

    Thanks, Patricia!

    By the way,

    MAJeff:

    Gay is a modern identity category.

    Priya Lynn:

    Majeff, stop with the mumbo jumbo about gay being ‘identity’ and all that crap.

    Priya Lynn:

    Further to that, Frog, being gay is not what you do (have gay sex) it is who you are (same sex attracted). [my bold]

    Priya Lynn’s first highlighted definitions:

    5. homosexual. 6. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.-noun 7. a homosexual person, esp. a male.

    Priya Lynn’s next highlighted definition:

    4 a: homosexual (gay men) b: of, relating to, or used by homosexuals (the gay rights movement) (a gay bar)

    This was supposed to refute MAJeff’s statement that gay/homosexual is a modern identity category? FAIL.

  411. #411 Ichthyic
    August 27, 2008

    I hope you all learned a lesson.

    we certainly have.

    door-ass-etc.

  412. #412 Articulett
    August 28, 2008

    I think it’s socially responsible to offend bigots. (They get all blustery and broadcast their “breathtaking inanity” for the smart folks to giggle at.)

    There’s no better advertising for a cause than self-righteous indignation of the holier-than-thou. (It makes me want to join in and up the ante.)

  413. #413 clinteas
    August 28, 2008

    //Ay. See, this is what happens when truth machine is away for a while and people with none of his knowledge, intelligence, or acuity attempt to ape his style. Cringeworthy.//

    That thing was the anti-truthmachine,for sure.

  414. #414 Geoff Rogers
    August 28, 2008

    I’m late to this, due to not checking Pharyngula as often as I should. The whole thing reminds me of an experience I had some time ago. Here’s the story as I posted it on the Dawkins forum (edited to remove rude words):
    Recent events at my workplace have made me laugh, and given me cause for reflection. I can sympathise with those who live in societies less secular than my own.

    Background: I work in a pub, specifically in the bottleshop (liquor store/off-license for my international friends). The pub is situated in a small shopping complex in suburbia, in a suburb largely made up of people who could be identified as bogans.

    Part of the lease for the pub includes a vacant shop, which we use as a store-room for whatever crap we haven’t got space for anywhere else. This shop space has glass fronting onto the street, and whilst the top half of this fronting is used as advertising space for whatever events are happening in the pub, the lower half is just normal window glass. To prevent people peering into the shop and maybe being tempted to bust in and nick any of the crap that’s in there, the lower half has a bunch of posters leaning on the inside. The posters are the card-backed sort, so they just lean there.

    Most of these posters are old advertising ones for various alcoholic beverages. One, however, is an old advertisement for a comedic entertainer known as Kevin Bloody Wilson. I can’t find a copy of it online, unfortunately, so I’ll just have to describe it. It’s based on a song Kev did called “The Festival of Life”, a protest against door-to-door evangelism.

    The poster image is a caricature, a cartoon-version of Kev wearing white robes, with a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and an expression that is almost shocked/surprised. What appears to be a woman wearing a nun’s habit is kneeling in front of him, with her back to the viewer and her face at Kev’s crotch-level.

    Let’s be absolutely clear about this: the poster *is* highly suggestive, especially if you’re familiar with the song, but it is *not* explicit and therefore not even remotely illegal to display in the manner or place in which it is displayed.

    So, to the “help, help, I’m being oppressed” part of this post, which is really just an account of something that made me laugh and think a little: The other day, a young woman came into the shop and complained about the poster.

    Her specific arguments were that, as a Catholic, she felt that it was obscene, and being at the height at which it is, was bound to corrupt her children. In short, having the poster there was evil, and it should be removed.

    I refrained from giving in to my first impulse and instead of laughing in her face or telling her to **** off out of my shop with her religious bullshit, politely assured her that I would inform the owner of the pub of her concerns, once the owner arrived that day…

    …which undertaking I embarked upon when the boss rocked up. The boss’ response was short and to the point, and will be rendered here as, “Tell them to go away.”

    Needless to say, the poster stayed where it was.

    Later that day, the woman’s husband made an appearance, and complained that nothing had been done about the poster. (I’m guessing that this is because they assumed that a man would be listened to where a woman wasn’t… pity the pub owner’s a woman.) By this time, the boss had buggered off, and I was attending duties elsewhere, so the husband spoke to another member of staff. Unfortunately, this member of staff didn’t use his brain at the time, and went and turned the poster around, mollifying the religious bigot.

    When I heard that he’d done this, I pointed out to him that the boss, “…will have your arse for that, if she finds out.” Later, he turned it back around.

    Now, these people imposing their ****ed-up religious bullshit on us by coming onto our property and demanding that we kowtow to it is laughable, if irritating. Given the nature of the poster, a kid’s not going to have any ****ing idea what it is suggestively referring to, and if they do then they already know and haven’t learned it from the poster. One theory posited was that the guy was upset because it depicted an act he wasn’t getting any of, but that’s purely speculation and we’ll not go into it here. (although another suggestion was that he was only complaining because his wife was refusing to do that unless he got the poster taken down… again, purely speculation and we can’t say for certain.)

    It gets better, though. I’ll be brief, because I have to go to work shortly.

    The bottle-shop attached to the pub is affiliated with a brand, which is basically a buyers’ group, a bunch of independently-owned bottlo’s who work as a group to improve their buying power and thus competitiveness in what is a pretty demonic marketplace.

    The husband, upon once more seeing that the poster was where it always is, contacted the regional offices of this group, mistakenly thinking that the group or entity owned the bottlo, which it doesn’t. In short, he tried to go over our heads and complain of religious vilification, threatening to take further action if something wasn’t done.

    Eventually, he seems to have gotten the idea that not only is there nothing the group could do even if it wanted to, because the pub is independently owned, but he was being a total arsehole about something completely stupid.

    The kicker? Part of his complaint was that he felt that because he was a Christian, he was being targeted, because Christianity is viewed as a soft target. And, naturally, we wouldn’t dare have the balls to vilify Islam.

    That’s right, not only was he not trying to impose his religious bullshit on us, and get us into trouble with perceived higher-ups, it was us who were willfully attacking him by having a suggestive poster visible through a shop window.

    The “made me laugh”… he was being a total ****wit, and ****wittery always makes me laugh. The “made me think”… **** me, it would suck living in a society that largely consisted of people prone to such ass-hattery. My heart goes out to you, if you do.
    _________
    And here’s the link to the poster in question:
    http://pixhost.eu/avaxhome/avaxhome/2007-01-13/Kevin_HBloodyY_Wilson_09I_THE_SECOND_KUMIN_OF_KEV_I_Front.jpg

  415. #415 Kseniya
    August 28, 2008

    Priya Lynn reminds me of someone I used to tussle with in a Yahoo chatroom. Brain of stone, heart of sand.

  416. #416 clinteas
    August 28, 2008

    the batch of trolls we had in recent times has been particularly poor,really.
    faux mulder,dan,now that thing,there’s no fun to be had from such braindead loons at all.

    Geoff Rogers,
    ty for the link,you could have gotten yourself arrested for something like that in Sydney only a month ago.

  417. #417 JCG
    August 28, 2008

    That crazy jesus, always stealing my smack.

    http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z274/whiteworms/smack_jesus.jpg

  418. #418 Lee Picton
    August 28, 2008

    Anyway, now that I’ve vanquished all the morons I am going to leave. I hope you all learned a lesson.

    Even shorter Pryia Lynn: I’ve been squashed, so it’s time to declare victory and leave.

    Oh, and thank you Rev. BDC KoT – I think I got it!

  419. #419 Sinbad
    August 28, 2008

    354: The existence of the field itself is based upon an undemonstrated premise, and the merits of work within it are generally judged by others within the field.

    You claim an undemonstrated premise; academia obviously disagrees. Make your case and publish away. Indeed, start the new Jesus-myth paradigm yourself. Royalties and tenure await.

    Oh, and should it be remarkable that the merits of a biologists’ work are generally judged by other biologists?

    You weren’t demonstrating anything. You simply made an assertion, and then failed to respond to the points made in my or frog’s comments. The “evidence” is assailable, and has been assailed; however, this hasn’t – with few exceptions – been done by those in the field (at least publicly), for reasons that are obvious to everyone but you, apparently.

    Only if by “everyone” you mean a few crackpot internet conspiracy theorists. Has Oliver Stone bought the movie rights? Moreover, the research done under the heading of “Biblical Archaeology” disproves your point.

    Do you have: Evidence of this consensus…?

    Fredriksen’s expert representation. If you think she’s wrong, provide the scholarship contra.

    An explanation for why a person’s nonexistence has to be substantiated rather than the person’s existence? Do people have to “produce the goods” concerning the nonexistence of bigfoot or chupacabra?

    If the consensus of experts is that “x is true,” one who would assert that “x isn’t true” bears a practical burden of establishing his/her position irrespective of which side might bear a more formal proof burden. For example, it isn’t enough for a creationist to say “You haven’t proved it” with respect to evolution.

    355: Besides, from the substance of the full testimonium, either Josephus was a crypto-Christian, or it’s a forgery.

    The expert consensus (again) takes a middle ground — tampered with but not a complete forgery.

    Either you have a disabling reading comprehension disability, or once again you are misrepresenting! The quote you give is explicitly says that Vermes believes it is partially a forgery.

    As I have stated before (and you even quoted): “The academic consensus…sees the text as altered, yet basically authentic. The idea of a complete forgery had more support a century ago than it does today.” Do you have a reading comprehension problem or an honesty problem?

    Now, anyone who would claim that a significant portion of that is not a forgery is either a hack or mind-bogglingly incompetent.

    Since I haven’t and don’t dispute that there were significant alterations (I think those like Fredriksen and Vermes have it right), your assertion is disingenuous and irrelevant.

    But since we can show that you are either deluded or a liar, Paula may not be a hack — without reading her, I can’t know to blame her.

    A reading comprehension problem remains possible, but I’m leaning toward the view that you have a basic dishonesty problem.

    Biblical studies is not a normal scientific discipline functioning under normal constraints. “Corruption” doesn’t require showing that any individual is corrupt — all you have to do is show that most of the “results” are so underdetermined by data, that any field that accepts it is a big pile of steaming fetid crap.

    You could write for Morris or Hovind.

    Any field that wouldn’t immediately drum out someone claiming that a normal Jew would write the full Testimonium is a field that is clearly broken. No one has to be personally accused — the field is so full of bias (as a field) and incompetence, that the whole thing should abandoned.

    We can call it Frog’s Cultural Revolution. We could get rid of the arts (nobody can prove that Bach is better than Milli Vanilli after all), business (trade school subject) and lots of other disciplines along the way too. Everybody knows that that only “pure science” is good and true. Big Academia keeps that other stuff around as a marketing ploy to keep the tuition and grant money flowing. Will Ben Stein be making a film on it?

    What would a “new paradigm” do? A new paradigm in a field like biblical studies is impossible — it undermines the very justification for funding a “Biblical Studies” program!

    If you were correct, the academic archeologists who assert that the Exodus didn’t happen couldn’t exist.

  420. #420 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    August 28, 2008

    I’ll admit, I’d probably have less patience with this nitpicking over the meaning of “gay” if I didn’t have to do the same thing with “atheist” all the time.

  421. #421 frog
    August 28, 2008

    Sinbad: frog: What would a “new paradigm” do? A new paradigm in a field like biblical studies is impossible — it undermines the very justification for funding a “Biblical Studies” program!

    If you were correct, the academic archeologists who assert that the Exodus didn’t happen couldn’t exist.

    Let’s repeat this 20 times: archeologists, archeologists, archeologists, archeologists, archeologists

    If I were incorrect, it would be Biblical Studies scholars who would have been the driving force – they would have recognized that there is insufficient data to verify the existence of the exodus, so the default position would by that it is fictional — until further evidence is found.

    Gahh, what a nitwit. In musical studies, we have vast amounts of data to compare Bach to Beethoven (or even Milli Vanilli, if you so wish). In every other field of endeavor (other than the corners of post-modern studies), you have to have more than one book and some scraps of paper with unknown provenance to create an entire field of study.

    I would have the same to say if The Golden Ass supported thousands of faculty members and hundreds of departments across the globe to study the details of Lucius’s life, and whether he really was held captive by the robbers.

  422. #422 Sinbad
    August 28, 2008

    Let’s repeat this 20 times: archeologists, archeologists, archeologists, archeologists, archeologists …

    …Many of whom work in departments of Biblical Archaeology.

    In every other field of endeavor (other than the corners of post-modern studies), you have to have more than one book and some scraps of paper with unknown provenance to create an entire field of study.

    Besides the obvious point that the Bible is comprised on many books, with many other potentially canonical works and other relevant literature, etc., it looks pretty clear to me that your real problem is with the cultural importance of Biblical Studies.

    Oh, and I notice you’ve stopped (at least for now) making ignorant claims about Josephus. That’s a start, but it still leaves open the question of whether those previous ignorant claims were predicated upon problems of reading comprehension or dishonesty.

  423. #423 frog
    August 28, 2008

    Sinbad: …Many of whom work in departments of Biblical Archaeology.

    Still as dense as a neutron star I see. Let’s repeat again: archeology! Actual data!

    The problem isn’t the “Biblical” part, the problem as I pointed out with the analogy to Post-modern studies is in the “Studies” part where, with partially fraudulent data (as you agreed!), you’re trying to reverse engineer actual events. Can’t be done — not without massive amounts of data from archeology to memoirs to independent records. You know, the stuff that is expected in any other historical field.

  424. #424 SC
    August 28, 2008

    Compare and contrast:

    – The field of Biblical Studies
    – The subfield (note!) of Homeric scholarship in Classical Studies

  425. #425 Sinbad
    August 28, 2008

    The problem isn’t the “Biblical” part, the problem as I pointed out with the analogy to Post-modern studies is in the “Studies” part where, with partially fraudulent data (as you agreed!), you’re trying to reverse engineer actual events. Can’t be done — not without massive amounts of data from archeology to memoirs to independent records. You know, the stuff that is expected in any other historical field.

    Every field — each and every one — must deal with fraudulent data. And Biblical studies, whether undertaken in Departments of Religion, Religious Studies, Biblical Studies, Theology, Archeology, Biblical Archeology, Ancient Near-East Studies or something else, uses “actual data” and solid academic research each and every day.

    Still as dense as a neutron star I see.

    Your Venn diagram of “dense” and “disagrees with me” are identical circles, one laid on top of the other.

  426. #426 Paul A.
    August 28, 2008

    Wow, I went to Lorain County Community College 20 years ago, and my house is about 4 miles from it. I would have thought the possibility of there being controversy on campus would be about the same as the chances the Pope would speak in support of married, gay, women, priests.

  427. #427 Cynthia
    August 28, 2008

    I want to join YOUR religion; I’ll worship the great Dude if it will get rid of the religio-political scum.

    I’m not an atheist, or a christian, or a jew, or a muslim. If you make a mockery of my religion, I’m just as likely to laugh with you. I follow no religion with a stick up its ass.

  428. #428 DoctorE
    August 29, 2008

    God is gay… he has been pissed at women AND gays ever since Eve snatched Adam away from him.
    The apple/snake was a plot in his jealous plot

  429. #429 KBB
    September 4, 2008

    This is science?

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