Pharyngula

Those naughty Germans

Apparently, German Catholics are a bit irate over the cover to a satirical magazine. I don’t understand why. This one just shows a reverent priest, titled “The church today”.

i-4eccd6edc6bcbe7e0d6b6ee927c01281-kirche_heute.jpeg

And this one actually offers a practical use for Christian icons (“Does Jesus play a role?”).

i-486587ed6bd1990801c976f8e86db8b2-rolle.jpeg

This cover is a little more serious, befitting a more serious magazine. It says, “The Hypocrites: the Catholic Church and Sex” — this is a little more accusatory.

i-80b5a6c1b6e9e065465d1bd9aecd62c7-scheinheiligen.jpeg

Maybe the church does have good reason to be a bit touchy about it all.

Comments

  1. #1 Celtic_Evolution
    April 20, 2010

    I can see why the German Catholics would be upset…

    Jesus as depicted on the cross here is far too old to be of any interest to Catholic Priests…

  2. #2 SmilingAtheist
    April 20, 2010

    Those were good! Wish more media was that straight forward about it.

    I do however want that toilet roll dispenser…

  3. #3 tsig0
    April 20, 2010

    Touchy as in “Did he touch you there”?

  4. #4 grudgedk
    April 20, 2010

    I thought being too touchy is what got the RCC in this position in the first place? :)

  5. #5 omnipasje
    April 20, 2010

    Celtic, you beat me to it. He’s way too old to be interesting for them. They should have photo shopped him a bit ;)

    On the toilet role thing.. I love it. I wish it was for sale because i would buy one imediately.

  6. #6 ambook
    April 20, 2010

    How come the priest has a giant hole all the way through the top of his skull?

  7. #7 mr.obelus
    April 20, 2010

    I love the word “Scheinheiligen.” Literally, “the ones who *appear* holy.”

  8. #8 tsig0
    April 20, 2010

    “ambook Author Profile Page | April 20, 2010 1:38 PM

    How come the priest has a giant hole all the way through the top of his skull?”

    Yeah I had to look at it a few times to get it too.

  9. #9 grudgedk
    April 20, 2010

    #6 He’s being skullfucked by Jesus?

  10. #10 tsig0
    April 20, 2010

    “grudgedk Author Profile Page | April 20, 2010 1:44 PM

    #6 He’s being skullfucked by Jesus?”

    “skullfucked” good description of any religious idiot.

  11. #11 jerthebarbarian
    April 20, 2010

    @6, @8, & @9:

    Damn you all. I knew it was a hat, but now I see what you’re saying and I CAN’T UNSEE IT!

    I need to go scrub my brain with lye now if you’ll all excuse me.

  12. #12 Mrs Tilton
    April 20, 2010

    The Spiegel cover is arguably the harsher blow to the RCC in Germany.

    Titanic is an extremely irreverent, not to say rude satire magazine that treats all its targets (government, opposition politicians, celebrities, sportspeople, former East Germans etc.) with the same tender solicitousness it shows the RCC. It is never a surprise when they are outrageous, it’s their stock in trade. Sometimes they even manage to be funny; more often than you might expect of German humorists.

    (BTW, this one is absolutely fantastic; best pun I’ve ever seen. David M. and maybe a few others will get it.)

    The news magazine Der Spiegel, by contrast, is a highly respected national institution, an integral element of post-WWII democratic German society. It is left-liberal in tone (though that label doesn’t mean in Europe what it means in America) and tends to take a dim view of the upper hierarchy of the de facto established German churches (RC and Lutheran), if not of religion as such. But it is as mainstream establishment and “serious” as it gets; the psychological impact of that cover is essentially the same as if it had appeared in the US on Time (though the Spiegel is much weightier and more demanding than its fluffy and lightweight US equivalents).

    C_E @1: I see what you did there.

  13. #13 Cerberus
    April 20, 2010

    This all reminds me of my partner’s abusive upbringing and the upbringing of the generation above her.

    The greatest crimes (in their eyes) were not the abuses they perpetrated against each other, the horrible actions, the emotional manipulation and destruction, the guilt tripping or the near constant emotional abuse passed on from generation.

    It was telling other people.

    That was the crime above all else. As long as no one told anyone outside the family, as long as everyone did their part to keep it all under wraps and keep any of the sordid truth from getting out, they could all continue to pretend nothing ever happened and then everything would miraculously just be better, because there is no past.

    It’s very common in incest households, alcoholic households, and abusive households to try and play happy families and crack down the hardest on those who dare tell or raise a fuss in hopes that the illusion will wholly replace the hideous reality or the scars left by it.

    It’s part of my more generalized unified theory of why so many people are so screwed up.

    And that that same sort of response that is so common in incest households (i.e. usually households where family members rape a child) is re-enacted by the child-raping Church is very fitting and telling.

    This is just what abusers do, clamp down hard on any who dare tell of their abusing.

  14. #14 Sven DiMilo
    April 20, 2010

    it’s the spurting Wound that makes the first one

  15. #15 Holytape
    April 20, 2010

    I don’t see anything wrong with any of the covers.

    The first is just a priest standing in front of a crucifix. Maybe it’s a bad angle or something. I highly doubt that the magazine is suggesting that Priest nail midgets to crosses and cut them only to have their ways with the midget latter.

    The second one is not at all offensive. The claim Jesus is a Saviour. What is more saving than a toilet paper role that never runs out.

    And the third is just a bad picture. It’s happened to every guy. You’re walking down the street, and all of a sudden you feel a breeze, where you don’t think a breeze should be. You can’t help but to quickly check to see if your zipper is up.

    Sasquatch Jesus

  16. #16 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 20, 2010

    Those are all great. I might have to keep an eye out for a crucifix now*, because that toilet roll dispenser is a fab idea.

    *They show up at thrift stores now and then.

  17. #17 SmilingAtheist
    April 20, 2010

    funny I thought it was the smile on Jesus’s face that made the first one

    I’m happy to report I had finished eating before I saw the image stated by #6…

    I still want the toilet roll dispenser…

  18. #18 Jeep-Eep
    April 20, 2010

    Wish I could get an english edition of Der Spiegel. It’d be interesting to read. Only know english. Well, that, one or two words of russian and german apice and a little latin.

  19. #19 Fabian
    April 20, 2010

    Some Christians made a facebook group, “We condemn fiercely the cover of the titanic magazin” (about 1000 members). But the group “We support fiercely the cover of the titanic magazin” has about 4000 and is still growing. :-).

    BTW: You can find more “Does Jesus play a role” images on the website of the magazin.

  20. #20 Fabian
    April 20, 2010

    Some Christians made a facebook group, “We condemn fiercely the cover of the titanic magazin” (about 1000 members). But the group “We support fiercely the cover of the titanic magazin” has about 4000 and is still growing. :-).

    BTW: You can find more “Does Jesus play a role” images on the website of the magazin.

  21. #21 Majikthise
    April 20, 2010

    Hey Jeep-Eep,

    the online edition of Der Spiegel is available in English, and free
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/

  22. #22 Ol'Greg
    April 20, 2010

    Woah. Reminds me of the scene from The Devils. Good stuff. I tend to think if the RCC is pissed with you then ur doin it rite.

  23. #23 blf
    April 20, 2010

    I assume now that cathics will burn embassies, German flags, cars, and schools; hold violent marches and demonstrations; and make accusations of racism and xianphobia. Or at least send in the Inquisition (not Spanish, they’re expected now), some exorcists, witchhunters, and an crusading army.

  24. #24 Jeep-Eep
    April 20, 2010

    #21-OOOH!

  25. #25 Free Lunch
    April 20, 2010

    The Economist, for those of you familiar with it, is the closest English-language newsmagazine to Der Spiegel in coverage and political leaning.

    Schein does have an interesting pair of meanings.

  26. #26 gearloose
    April 20, 2010

    ?Spielt Jesus noch eine Rolle? has two distinct meanings, which are easily distinguishable when spoken. ?Noch eine?, combined, means ?another?, as in ?does Jesus serve a new purpose?; a slight hesitation between ?noch? and ?eine? changes the meaning to ?does Jesus still play a role?, as in ?is Jesus still relevant?.

  27. #27 aratina cage
    April 20, 2010

    While the first illustration may make Christian prudes upset, let’s face it: that is exactly the position they would like to see us atheists in.

    Yeah! Suck it, heathens!

    Suck it, as you have been doing all these years? Thanks, but no thanks. We’ll pass. Oh, and you might want to go a little slower there—you’ve got his heart rate up so high that he could feint any moment from all the blood spurting out his side wound. You mean you’re trying to kill him? Very well then, carry on…

  28. #28 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawl3TpOVyxxwCT5cVU3M80c_cpxoMBZmiOQ
    April 20, 2010

    Spiegel Online also always has some of its articles translated to English, so you can learn more about the German abuse cases.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,689761,00.html

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,689763,00.html

    Here is an excellent article (was the title story in the issue from a few weeks ago) on Pope Palpatine’s failed papacy:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,687374,00.html

  29. #29 orange.roland
    April 20, 2010

    But I don’t think the most important question has been answered: where do I order one of those crucifix-toilet paper thingies?

    BTW, I saw a cartoon of the pope and found it strangely familiar, for some reason.

  30. #30 Fabian
    April 20, 2010

    @gearloose: Although I’m a native german speaker I haven’t seen it this way yet. :) But you’re right.

  31. #31 samilobster
    April 20, 2010

    First magazine cover: Only saw the top half when the page loaded and wondered why someone would be offended by shirtless Jesus, than I scrolled down.

    Second cover: How do you swap out the rolls on a statue?

    Third cover: When did Al Bundy become a priest?

  32. #32 Azkyroth
    April 20, 2010

    They should have one with Ratzinger, having clubbed Jesus over the head on the road to Golgotha, carrying the cross over his head in front of a bunch of flashing cameras.

  33. #33 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 20, 2010

    Given the RCC’s (inmoral) behaviour, these images aren’t offensive.

  34. #34 Michelle R
    April 20, 2010

    “Second cover: How do you swap out the rolls on a statue?”

    Maybe one of the arms is removable? I’d buy one though!

  35. #35 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    The Spiegel cover is arguably the harsher blow to the RCC in Germany.

    Absolutely. Spiegel covers about scandals always come down like Thor’s hammer.

    BTW, this one is absolutely fantastic; best pun I’ve ever seen.

    Ouch.

    Several others will get it. Do I get permission to translate…?

    Or at least send in the Inquisition (not Spanish, they’re expected now)

    ROTFL! Day saved. :-)

    Schein does have an interesting pair of meanings.

    Shine/sheen and seeming/false appearance.

    BTW, I saw a cartoon of the pope and found it strangely familiar, for some reason.

    Link doesn’t work.

  36. #36 cag
    April 20, 2010

    A recent poll of catholic clergy came up with some interesting results. It appears that 4 out of 5 clergy prefer K-Y Jelly over other lubricants.

    Some comments:

    It keeps the kids from squealing so much.

    It helps with the tight ones.

    I love making them lube me up.

    I can do twice as many kids with K-Y.

  37. #37 Andreas Johansson
    April 20, 2010

    (BTW, this one is absolutely fantastic; best pun I’ve ever seen. David M. and maybe a few others will get it.)

    It doesn’t cause me physical pain, so I guess it’s indeed pretty good. :p

  38. #38 Jillian Swift
    April 20, 2010

    I get a particular giggle out of the squirt of blood coming from Jesus’ spear wound. Hilarious!

  39. #39 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    April 20, 2010

    Or at least send in the Inquisition (not Spanish, they’re expected now), some exorcists, witchhunters, and an crusading army.

    So.. what you’re saying is that you /don’t/ expect the Spanish Inquisition to show up? :D :D :D

  40. #40 QuarkyGideon
    April 20, 2010

    Oh I really wish we had stuff like this in the UK!

  41. #41 Bride of Shrek OM
    April 20, 2010

    I don’t understand the second image. What’s keeping him attached to that stick? WE all KNOW Jesus was nailed to the cross through his hands/wrists.

    If you’re going to depict the Saviour can you please at least do it in a factually correct manner.

    …oh wait, hang on.

  42. #42 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    April 20, 2010

    Oh I really wish we had stuff like this in the UK!

    Private Eye?

    Though of course they’re raving antivaxxers.

  43. #43 somewhereingreece
    April 20, 2010

    David, can you please translate the puns?

  44. #44 Andyo
    April 20, 2010

    I don’t think there’s any evidence that Jesus had a penis.

  45. #45 Andyo
    April 20, 2010
    #39

    Posted by:
    Jillian Swift Author Profile Page |
    April 20, 2010 4:40 PM

    I get a particular giggle out of the squirt of blood coming from Jesus’ spear wound. Hilarious!

    I thought “blow job” was just a figure of speech.

  46. #46 christophe-thill.myopenid.com
    April 20, 2010

    Maybe a realm German speaker could confirm, but I think there’s a pun on “Rolle”, meaning “role” or “roll” (hence the toilet paper)…

  47. #47 octopod
    April 20, 2010

    I fail at the pun…doesn’t “gereiben” mean something like “crush into pieces”? Not usually something you do to an abbot, surely?

  48. #48 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 20, 2010

    I don’t think there’s any evidence that Jesus had a penis.

    Luke 2:21 says Jesus was circumcised. One does need a penis for that.

  49. #49 evergreenotter
    April 20, 2010

    @blf (No. 23)

    I immediately thought too of the violent, hysterical reaction among Muslims to the Danish Mohammed cartoons. I was more upset though by how many supposed ‘liberals’ found rationalisations for censoring the cartoons and capitulating to violence.

  50. #50 mythlawen
    April 20, 2010

    ::sigh:: I love German visual satire. German satire in general is good too. They are more irreverent even than the British.

  51. #51 Mrs Tilton
    April 20, 2010

    @44 & 48,

    Reiben is indeed used to translate “to grate” but also means “to rub”.

    The pun works by changing the division of syllables in the crucial word, then seeing how that changes the way the past tense is formed.

    The caption is “New letter from the pope: Abtreibung is permitted with immediate effect”. Abtreibung is the German for abortion (from ab, “off” or “out” or “away”, and treiben, to drive). So what the abbot should be asking is heute schon abgetrieben?, “have you had your abortion today?”

    Instead, the word is being read as Abt + Reibung, “abbot-rubbing”, so the abbot is instead asking heute schon Abt gerieben?, “Have you rubbed the abbot today?”

    Actually, I suppose abbots are in fact far likelier to ask the latter question…

  52. #52 Andyo
    April 20, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself #49

    I want to see evidence. Where’s the Holy Foreskin?

  53. #53 jf
    April 20, 2010

    @ #47 Christophe Thill:

    Yes, it could be translated as “Does Jesus still play a roll?”. But it would sound as awkward in German, as it does in English.

  54. #54 Becca
    April 20, 2010

    Andyo @ 49 – which one? there are apparently something like 9 holy shrines for Jesus’ foreskin.

  55. #55 Becca
    April 20, 2010

    oops, I meant Andyo @ 53. I’d better go get something other than caramel chocolate easter eggs to eat – can’t type worth anything tonight.

  56. #56 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkGTItDa5q2cbStaX_oLThrLZyDKiomUtw
    April 20, 2010

    QuarkyGideon @41, Sili, The Unknown Virgin @43,

    Private Eye was there a couple of weeks ago:

    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/covers.php?showme=1259

    Easter Message for the Pope
    “In the old days boys wanted to enter the priesthood … rather than the other way round”

  57. #57 Free Lunch
    April 20, 2010

    Of course The Onion was there, too, with Pope Vows To Get Church Pedophilia Down To Acceptable Levels.

    I assume that the irreverent publications in Italy have been having a field day with this.

  58. #58 Joel
    April 20, 2010

    gearloose @ 27:

    ?Spielt Jesus noch eine Rolle? has two distinct meanings, which are easily distinguishable when spoken. ?Noch eine?, combined, means ?another?, as in ?does Jesus serve a new purpose?; a slight hesitation between ?noch? and ?eine? changes the meaning to ?does Jesus still play a role?, as in ?is Jesus still relevant?.

    Um, yeah. Jesus is also dispensing a roll of toilet paper, which is funny even if you’re monolingual.

    The implication being, the church is trying to use Christ’s double-ply forgiveness powers to wipe the shit off their asses for this monstrosity of a conspiracy.

  59. #59 Kirk
    April 20, 2010

    The second one is not at all offensive. The claim Jesus is a Saviour. What is more saving than a toilet paper role that never runs out.

    So much of religious imagery is open to interpretation, which makes it so hard to pin down. Which interpretation is correct?

    I see this image as less of a “never runs out” thing, and more as a “miraculously appearing when you need it” thing.

    Just imagine: you’re taking a weekend hike, had a good breakfast, couldn’t quite have a good BM before you started, and there you are, squeezing your cheeks together on some rocky trail, with not even a few leaves handy. And who appears? Jesus with the holy roll.

    A savior, indeed, a savior.

  60. #60 Charlie Foxtrot
    April 20, 2010

    Andyo – apparently there’s heaps of evidence. Last I heard there were about 12 of the things in reliquaries around Europe…

  61. #61 Bride of Shrek OM
    April 20, 2010

    Just imagine: you’re taking a weekend hike, had a good breakfast, couldn’t quite have a good BM before you started, and there you are, squeezing your cheeks together on some rocky trail, with not even a few leaves handy. And who appears? Jesus with the holy roll.

    A savior, indeed, a savior.

    Jesus Christ, Saviour of Mankind, Preventor of Skidmarks.

  62. #62 Rorschach
    April 20, 2010

    After the death of its founder, the journalistic quality of Der Spiegel has nosedived in the last 10, 15 years, but it’s still pretty ok compared to anything else on the weeklies market.

    Titanic I’ve been reading since the early 80s, they’re pretty on the fringe these days and have become less and less political since some of their regular contributors have died, but they’re still able to pull a good one out of the hat every now and then.
    Go and check out the million other front covers and also their postcards.

  63. #63 Kirk
    April 20, 2010

    Preventor of Skidmarks

    :D

    So going beyond the initial toilet roll image and into the more practical part of the thing, Jesus reduces the amount of average household laundry.

    And let’s face it. Sometimes those drawers you can wash a million times, and you’re just going to have to eventually fess up and throw them away.

    Jesus is green.

  64. #64 KLT
    April 20, 2010

    I don’t know which is worse … the content of those pictures, or the fact that so many Christians still don’t know that Jesus didn’t die on a cross …It was an upright stake.

    And incidently, how has the church managed to disregard one of the weightiest laws in the Bible – regarding idolatry and the worship of icons and images in the first place? And on top of that, crosses are not Christian…they are pagan symbols found in numerous cultures that predate Christianity.

    Plus, that’s just messed up anyway.
    If an innocent person was tortured and brutally murdered, how creepy would it be, if their friends & family members decided to “honor the memory of their death” by manufacturing and selling replicas of the weapon or device used to torture and kill them?
    Or if they started decorating their homes and praying to miniature replicas of a hangman’s noose, a guillotine, or a lethal injection chair? Or started wearing those objects as jewelry around their neck? Wouldn’t that be gruesome and sinister? It’s disrespectful on so many levels.

  65. #65 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 20, 2010

    KLT, why bother with your book of myths and fiction? Nothing cogent there, just like your theology. We aren’t interested in your fictions.

  66. #66 Epikt
    April 20, 2010

    KLT

    I don’t know which is worse … the content of those pictures, or the fact that so many Christians still don’t know that Jesus didn’t die on a cross …It was an upright stake.

    From that link, a quote that explains the first cover a bit:

    “this sacred wood is adored almost equally with God Himself.?

  67. #67 WowbaggerOM
    April 20, 2010

    KLT, you left a bit out:
    If an innocent person was tortured and brutally murdered, how creepy would it be if was because the supposedly kind and loving god worshipped by Christians required such a monstrous act in order to forgive humanity – something he could have just done at will without anyone having to be nailed to anything.’

    Now it makes more sense.

  68. #68 Kirk
    April 20, 2010

    heavy sigh

    Too bad KLT showed up, and got all you excited.

    Because there was a chance that a sophisticated discussion about skidmarks was about to start, and exactly what the Christ’s role (or roll) in it was to be, and I fear that chance is slipping away (has slipped … heavy sigh again).

  69. #69 John Morales
    April 20, 2010

    KLT, what’s your beef about the piccies?

    First one is just a priest cleaning a crucifix. They get dusty too, you know!
    Cleanliness is next to godliness, and all that.

    Second one is a nice reminder for the faithful that they should keep ol’ JC in their thoughts in their everyday activities.

    Third one, well, us blokes need to “adjust” ourselves, now and then. Don’t tell me you’ve never had to “adjust” your bra. :)

    You seem to have a dirty mind, miz, to find such things disrespectful or objectionable!

  70. #70 Donnie B.
    April 20, 2010

    “Second cover: How do you swap out the rolls on a statue?”

    Simple, really. You take JC down off his cross and stick him in the bathroom cabinet. Make sure you keep the door tightly closed. Two days later, he pops out with a brand spankin’ new roll!

  71. #71 Bride of Shrek OM
    April 20, 2010

    ..and why stop at toilet roll holders. Personally I think a little JC crucifix that dispenses tampons would have a degree of awesomeness that could be seen as divine.

  72. #72 paul.henri.thiry
    April 20, 2010

    Huh. And all this time I remembered that old Usenet group as alt.fuck.the.skull.of.jesus, not alt.jesus.fucked.the.skull.of.a.priest

  73. #73 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 20, 2010

    WowbaggerOM #68

    It gets even worse when you consider gawd arranged the original sin. He knew Adam and Eve would eat the fruit before they did. All he had to do was set up Eden without a forbidden fruit tree and everything would have been fine. But Ol’ Yahweh set up Adam and Eve to fail.

    Gawd, stop being such a dick.

  74. #74 whitebird
    April 20, 2010

    If I hear anyone claiming that Germans have no sense of humor again, I will direct them to these images.

  75. #75 Shadow
    April 21, 2010

    The second image shows jesus the holy roller.

  76. #76 JHS
    April 21, 2010

    Well….the German media certainly goes in, er…whole hog.

    Seriously though, why shouldn’t they? Or anyone? For all the clutching of pearls going on, even among some liberal Catholics and atheists, the stance of the Catholic Church over the past couple of months should speak volumes. Blame the victim, shoot the messenger, pawn it off…this is how they respond to sexual cruelty against children. Protect the man in the ruby slippers at all cost (the “cost” being the well-being of untold thousands of children, past, present, and future).

    If a lone sex offender was arrested, and he proceeded to blame the child, blame the police, blame the newspapers and TV stations that reported his crime, blame any and everyone but himself…he would be considered insane and doubly guilty. What. is. the. difference?

  77. #77 Midnight Rambler
    April 21, 2010

    FreeLunch @26:

    The Economist, for those of you familiar with it, is the closest English-language newsmagazine to Der Spiegel in coverage and political leaning.

    Is that really true? If so, it’s pretty depressing in terms of English-language publications. Don’t get me wrong, I like The Economist a lot, but it has a strong conservative bent (in the free-market sense), and doesn’t do anything that could be called investigative reporting.

  78. #78 Bride of Shrek OM
    April 21, 2010

    If I hear anyone claiming that Germans have no sense of humor again, I will direct them to these images.

    ..oh please, they invented TRABANTS!!! It just doesn’t get any more humourous than that.

  79. #79 FossilFishy
    April 21, 2010

    Wowbagger 68 and Tis 74:

    There’s also the whole “I love you but I’m going to torture you forever if you don’t love me back.” weirdness. You’d think an infinitely knowing, powerful and loving being could let it go. So much for being all powerful.

  80. #80 Andyo
    April 21, 2010
    #55

    Posted by:
    Becca Author Profile Page |
    April 20, 2010 7:25 PM

    Andyo @ 49 – which one? there are apparently something like 9 holy shrines for Jesus’ foreskin.

    #61

    Posted by:
    Charlie Foxtrot Author Profile Page |
    April 20, 2010 8:09 PM

    Andyo – apparently there’s heaps of evidence. Last I heard there were about 12 of the things in reliquaries around Europe…

    You guys know when you think about something so ridiculous, you might just joke about it without googling it cause nobody could believe it for real? Well, I probably should have googled!

  81. #81 Q.E.D
    April 21, 2010

    The Vatican needs more ridicule. We know the RCC has no shame or remorse but they can and do suffer ridicule. Ridicule pierces the self-proclaimed spurious authority that the entire edifice rests on like a pin does baloon.

    Ridicule, also a very entertaining film http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117477/

  82. #82 Andyo
    April 21, 2010
    #55

    Posted by:
    Becca Author Profile Page |
    April 20, 2010 7:25 PM

    Andyo @ 49 – which one? there are apparently something like 9 holy shrines for Jesus’ foreskin.

    #61

    Posted by:
    Charlie Foxtrot Author Profile Page |
    April 20, 2010 8:09 PM

    Andyo – apparently there’s heaps of evidence. Last I heard there were about 12 of the things in reliquaries around Europe…

    You guys know when you think about something so ridiculous, you might just joke about it without googling it cause nobody could believe it for real? Well, I probably should have googled!

  83. #83 pokey
    April 21, 2010

    Okay, several commenters talked about how the Spiegel is close to the Economist. I’m not sure where they have been in the last decade and a half.

    While they had many mayor investigative scoops and certainly were very influential up to and including the 1980s, nowadays they are just a joke.

    In the German blogosphere it’s not uncommon to see them (especially Spiegel Online) referred to as ‘the former news magazine.’ They are trying to keep up their subscriptions by peddling in sensationalism and bullshit. It’s the Daily Mail/Bild/etc with multisyllabic words.

    Take a look at their cover stories and on an average week the probability that it’s about sex, terror or the Nazi regime is roughly 50%. (I admit, the covers might be confirmation bias, but the writing is still teribble.)

  84. #84 Roestigraben
    April 21, 2010

    While they had many mayor investigative scoops and certainly were very influential up to and including the 1980s, nowadays they are just a joke.

    Amen to that, although I’d say they had their last big moment as recently as 2000, when they uncovered the scandal about illegal contributions to the CDU. But yeah, they’ve been going downhill ever since, dumbing down their articles and subscribing to neoliberal creeds. Concerning the Church scandal, it should also be noted that one of their best-known authors, Matthias Matussek, has gone out of his way to defend his beloved Catholicism. If there’s any German news outlet really taking the Church on and devoting substantial resources to investigate these scandals, it would be the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

  85. #85 Phodopus
    April 21, 2010

    Agrrrrrrrrrr, Matussek! He really shot himself in the foot with this childish article defending “his” church… Really another instance where someone intelligent is led to say and think incredibly stupid things due to his/her religion…

  86. #87 Kieranfoy
    April 21, 2010

    Gotta side with KLT here…

    It was a stake, dammnit.

    Besides, vampire hunters around the globe want the stake to become Christianity’s symbol, so they can repell vampires AND stake them.

    Wouldn’t work on the heathen vamps, though.

    Anyway… god, I love the Germans. It seems the Teutonoic reputation for brutality roves true in their satire.

    And their operas. Damn things last for days.

  87. #88 black-wolf72
    April 21, 2010

    The Church in Germany has so far fruitlessly sued Titanic magazine eight times. They sued four times for slander of the pope, three times for defamation of religion, and once for personal insult against a bishop.

  88. #89 irenedelse
    April 21, 2010

    Talking about naugtiness… I saw a bit of involuntary humor today in La Croix, a well-known Catholic newspaper in France:

    “Facebook, les jeunes y sont, l’Eglise veut y être

    The title means: “Facebook, the young are there, the Church want to be there”!

    What can I say? When not complaining about the bad manners of their critics, the RCC and their apologists seem strangely in prey to oblivion.

  89. #90 bernarda
    April 21, 2010

    The Catholic Church has launched a publicity campaign to recruit priests.

    See one of their poster guys:

    http://www.minutebuzz.com/L-Eglise-se-lance-dans-la-publicite_a1641.html

    I wouldn’t presume to decide on this guy’s orientation.

  90. #91 Mrs Tilton
    April 21, 2010

    Roesti @84,

    subscribing to neoliberal creeds

    Arguably true to a degree, though by German rather than US standards of “neoliberal”. At minimum it declined after Augstein left the helm, but it’s hard to see how it could have been otherwise.

    Still, Spiegel never misses the chance to give a thrashing to Guido the Boy Foreign Minister — who, oddly for somebody charged with representing the country abroad, cannot speak English especially well, and is also otherwise difficult to distinguish from an American Republican (of the “FYIGM” rather than the “God Told Me To Skin You Alive” variety). And that earns it some love. More generally, it has a definite and continuing hard-on for most of the FDP in its Westerwellean incarnation, which militates against the charge that it has become a wholesale neoliberal rag (and shows how wretchedly the FDP has degenerated since Augstein’s time).

    You’re right about the Süddeutsche, but it has less international exposure.

  91. #92 Kirk
    April 21, 2010

    Personally I think a little JC crucifix that dispenses tampons would have a degree of awesomeness that could be seen as divine.

    I realize this thread is petering out, but I’ve been struggling with the tampon dispenser image all day.

    It’s hard to imagine that the God of Abraham is going to do anything to make a woman’s life better, especially if it involves menstruation.

    I think the best you could hope for would be Jesus on a sign, in which he points in the direction of the menstruation hut.

  92. #93 Paul
    April 21, 2010

    It’s hard to imagine that the God of Abraham is going to do anything to make a woman’s life better, especially if it involves menstruation.

    He gets them out of church free one weekend a month due to menstruation. At least if they listened to him telling them they’re unclean and can’t step foot in a church, anyway. They also get something like a month where they get out of church after giving birth to a male, and twice as long if they give birth to a female.

  93. #94 KLT
    April 22, 2010

    Kirk re: “Too bad KLT showed up, and got all you excited. Because there was a chance that a sophisticated discussion about skidmarks was about to start…”

    -Yah thank goodness I showed up in time to put a halt to that conversation. =)

    EpikT @ #67
    -well at least somebody finally recognizes it.

    John Morales @ #70
    -That’s terrible…I can’t believe you said that! And lets not be dragging my bra into this sordid conversation! =)
    PS -sorry I never got back to the other conversation, btw.

    ‘Tis Himself & Wowbagger @ #68 & 74
    Jehovah/Yahweh did not set up Adam and Eve to fail. (Or Satan, for that matter) All 3 were created perfect. God would have needed to make all of us like compliant robots without free will in order to guarantee 100% success. As it is, God set them up with everything they needed to succeed and be happy…beautiful surroundings, perfect health, satisfying and enjoyable work, and the prospect of endless life. They lacked nothing.

    Pre-arranging the events that led to mankinds downfall would be completely *incompatible* with God’s original plan, and with that gift of free will which He endowed humans with.
    In fact, the very existence of the tree of knowledge, demonstrates that God was allowing Adam and Eve the choice, as free moral agents, to decide whether they would obey him, or assert their desire and ambition for moral independence.

    That tree of knowledge represented God?s *right to rule* and to decide what is good and bad for his human creation. So choosing to eat from the tree wasn’t just a deliberate act of disobedience and theft (by helping themselves to something which belonged to God and was off-limits to them) but it was a presumptuous grasp at moral independence, or self-determination to decide what is right and wrong.

    Their action set a legal and moral precedent that would need to be resolved. Not only did it throw God’s original plans for humanity off-track (or at least put them on hold for awhile) but it also raised an important question regarding universal sovereignty and God’s *right to rule* that needed to be answered.

    The topic of this post is a perfect example of what happens when humans choose to assert their own moral independence for the purpose of self-gratification, regardless of the future consequences and harm it causes to others.

    Think about it…Adam and Eve weren’t guilty of committing some heinous crime like mass genocide or child molestation and rape, -however- their decision for moral independence was the first act of defiance that was eventually going to lead to those things, (as well as every other form of human suffering we experience).

    People don’t usually understand the full impact or consequences of their decisions and actions until after the fact…nevertheless, people always suffer when others choose to treat God’s moral laws with casual indifference, negligence, or noncompliance…which is exactly what has happened in the case of so many of these abused children.

    So…back to the main issue…if perfect humans failed to maintain obedience to God’s requirements when it came to such a small test, how could they possibly be entrusted with the far weightier responsibility and gift of eternal life?…especially when you consider what humans are capable of, and all the oppressive domination and acts of barbaric violence which they’ve committed against their fellowman and against children.

    Jesus didn’t have to make that sacrifice for us, or maintain obedience…he could have rebelled like the others did. But he recognized the *bigger issue* at stake. The suffering that came along with his sacrifice was not caused by God, but rather, by wicked individuals acting independently of God’s laws. The men who were responsible for his death, were the very men entrusted with justice and upholding the law! Yet they allowed their pride, ambition, greed, and desire for political prominence, to outweigh their moral obligation and responsibility towards their fellowman.

    And the issue hasn’t changed…Modern human society faces the very same *choice* regarding moral independence, that was initially raised back then.

    So when you see how badly humans have trampled on God’s laws, trashed his name, and blamed him for the crimes that wicked individuals have committed in violation of his laws, and how they’ve treated the ransom sacrifice of his son with such contempt and lack of faith,…how can anyone believe that Jehovah isn’t a God of love and forgiveness, when he has continued to put up with stubborn, rebellious, and unappreciative humans for so long?

    “Jehovah is merciful and gracious,
    Slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness…
    He has not done to us even according to our sins;
    Nor according to our errors has he brought upon us what we deserve.” (Psalm 103:8, 10)

  94. #95 John Morales
    April 22, 2010

    KLT:

    So…back to the main issue…if perfect humans failed to maintain obedience to God’s requirements when it came to such a small test [...]

    Please, please re-read your contention — imagine you’re not already a convert, but someone weighing the claim de novo.

    A couple of points:

    1. Why does God test its creations, if not that the outcome is in doubt?
    1a. Corollary: God is not omniscient, but rather is limited in knowledge about its own creation.

    2. Is not a failure at something within someone’s ability a form of imperfection?
    2a. Corollary: If they failed at being obedient, they were not perfectly obedient; this contradicts the claim that they were perfect (at least, as God judges perfection).

    PS According to James 2:13, God is not merciful to those who have shown no mercy.
    So, your God is only sometimes merciful, in your own scripture.

    PPS Context.

  95. #96 John Morales
    April 22, 2010

    KLT, I was going to leave it at highlighting just the one point (which you claimed was the main issue), but this is just too egregious to ignore:

    People don’t usually understand the full impact or consequences of their decisions and actions until after the fact…nevertheless, people always suffer when others choose to treat God’s moral laws with casual indifference, negligence, or noncompliance…which is exactly what has happened in the case of so many of these abused children.

    You think it’s fine and dandy for victims to suffer due to the transgressions of others.

    You’re despicable.

  96. #97 WowbaggerOM
    April 22, 2010

    KLT, some problems with your answers:

    Jehovah/Yahweh did not set up Adam and Eve to fail. (Or Satan, for that matter) All 3 were created perfect.

    If they were perfect they couldn’t have failed. So, you’re wrong.

    God would have needed to make all of us like compliant robots without free will in order to guarantee 100% success.

    Of course he could have – he’s God.

    And we certainly don’t have free will; for example, I can’t change my skin colour to purple, or fly using my own power, or breathe underwater without equipment. How is it your god saw fit to limit us in those ways and inhibit our free will if he’s so keen on the idea?

    That tree of knowledge represented God?s *right to rule* and to decide what is good and bad for his human creation.

    But if Adam and Eve didn’t have knowledge before they ate from the tree, how did they know what obedience was and that they were wrong to eat from it?

    Your god punishing humanity for generations because of something someone didn’t know not to do is the very definition of unjust.

    Their action set a legal and moral precedent that would need to be resolved. Not only did it throw God’s original plans for humanity off-track (or at least put them on hold for awhile) but it also raised an important question regarding universal sovereignty and God’s *right to rule* that needed to be answered.

    But your god is purported to be omniscient, which means he’d knew they’d do what they did. How can it have thrown his plans ‘off-track’?

    Jesus didn’t have to make that sacrifice for us, or maintain obedience…he could have rebelled like the others did.

    Jesus didn’t have to do anything, or even exist. God could have just forgiven humanity. No fuss, no muss.

    And it’s inaccurate to call what he did a ‘sacrifice’. Yes, he got tortured and executed – but then he swanned about for a bit before ascending to heaven to an eternity of bliss. If Jesus had willingly given his life to spend eternity in hell so that we didn’t have to, that would have been a sacrifice. But the dimwits who concocted your nonsensical mythology didn’t think of that and so now you look like an idiot when you try to describe his minor inconvenience as a ‘sacrifice’.

    So when you see how badly humans have trampled on God’s laws, trashed his name, and blamed him for the crimes that wicked individuals have committed in violation of his laws, and how they’ve treated the ransom sacrifice of his son with such contempt and lack of faith,…how can anyone believe that Jehovah isn’t a God of love and forgiveness, when he has continued to put up with stubborn, rebellious, and unappreciative humans for so long?

    He created us knowing exactly what we’d do. For him to be angry with us for this is about as rational and just as you turning on a tap and shouting at it for letting the water come out.

    Honestly, your arguments are really stupid. Either get better ones or don’t bother.

  97. #98 Q.E.D
    April 22, 2010

    KLT @ 94 You clearly haven’t read Euthyphro’s dilemma in Plato’s dialogues

    That tree of knowledge represented God?s *right to rule* and to decide what is good and bad for his human creation.

    On the surface that is a repulsive idea. God could for example order his priests to rape children – and it would be “good”. Dig a bit deeper and it is a proof that “good” and “evil” necessarily pre-exist and are independent of god.

    god either orders man to be good because it is good independent of his existence and say so or he arbitrarily makes rules up that must be obeyed because he said so and calls them “good”

    see, Euthyphro’s Dilemma http://www.moralphilosophy.info/euthyphrodilemma.html,

  98. #99 Kirk
    April 22, 2010

    Regarding “How come the priest has a giant hole all the way through the top of his skull?

    It’s interesting that the priests of the RCC were big supporters of Jewish persecution, but that they also suffered from serious yarmulke envy.

    It doesn’t keep the sun out of your eyes, or the rain off your glasses, and you need some form of glue to keep it from falling off your head. So why do the priests of the RCC wear the yarmulke?

    It’s got to be a fashion thing.

  99. #100 Kirk
    April 22, 2010

    Oh, and KLT, a god that would show up with toilet paper when you need it would at least be useful, in contrast to the ethical basket case that you claim to believe in.

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