25 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo and the wages of unbelief

  1. “If you want to read an annotated Qur’an with all the bad stuff highlighted”

    I’d really like to read a version of the Koran that would help me zoom past the boring, repetitive stuff and offer some insight into the incomprehensible parts.

    I did buy an abridged Koran, but it was still mind-numbingly boring. I couldn’t make it past a chapter or two. I’d really like to give it a fair chance and see if it varies obviously in tone from the Bible.

  2. I’ve noticed an interesting strategy many religious people pursue when dealing with issues of respect vs. non-respect. They seem to separate what a religious belief says about non-belief from what any particular believer actually says to a nonbeliever face to face. No harm, no foul, no reason to complain.

    And when there IS harm, well, that particular believer either forgot the rule or was provoked by what a nonbeliever said to their face.

    In other words, given any religion X, it is not intolerant or bigoted for X to teach that all non-Xians are damned to hell for the wicked, vile act of choosing to reject God. It is only intolerant or bigoted if a Xian brings it up in a public venue where the Damned can hear it. Religion needs to promote its views to as many people as possible — but hold its views close when there are skeptics present and change the topic.

    This is what it means to be “nice.” They’re only trying to be nonconfrontational. The rule is stop and smile and change the topic when challenged and everyone ought to be happy.

    Apparently, if you paper over bigotry with civility it’s not there anymore. The surface will seem smooth. If the religious refuse to argue, debate, or pay any attention to what the atheists say, then the atheists have no case that they’re dealing with bigots.

    After all, doesn’t it look like the infidels are the ones starting the fight? Urging it on? When nonbelievers break into someone else’ Holy Territory, hold up their disparaging views on nonbelief — and suggest that perhaps this is a good explanation for any violence which has been committed — the Believers can throw up their hands and say that no, it’s the opposite. On the contrary, this lack of respect for the Holy is what leads to violence.

    Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

    1. Apparently, if you paper over bigotry with civility it’s not there anymore.

      Also known as, “Some of my best friends are ________.”

      ORLY? Then either you and your “friends” don’t know each other as well as you think you do, or you’re not listening to them very well.

      I can’t imagine how a True Believer™ could honestly be friends with one of the hellbound and remain a True Believer™. Companions, maybe. Sympathetic, even — though, more likely, condescending. But not friends, not as I understand the term.

      Similar parallels abound with all the other “some of my best friends are ________” examples. How could you be friends with a gay person if you think homosexuality is an abomination? How could you be friends with somebody with a built-in tan if you think they’re all mud people who bear an ancient curse? How could you be friends with women if you think they have no place outside of the kitchen and delivery room? Does not compute.



      1. I think in many bigots’ eyes, it’s the “inferior” party’s responsibility to come to terms with the bigotry.

        “I’d totally be friends with gay people, as long as they understand that what they do is gross, wicked and they deserve eternal torment for it. That’s *their* problem.”

        The sad thing is that this is the “moderate” bigot’s stance. The really hateful ones probably wouldn’t even pretend to be friends like this.

  3. Looked at the annotated site. Just says no examples of cruelty,violence or intolerance tagged in the Koran? Obviously not the version of the koran I read?

    Any expalnation for this?

  4. Harkening back to the Jesus and Mo T-shirt kerfuffle at the London School of Economics: what if the J&M artist occasionally replaced Mo with “Non-Mo” (or “Ali”?), but with Non-Mo hardly distinguishable from Mo? (Maybe Non-Mo has a mole on his cheek or nose, or a few flecks of gray in his beard?)

    No one knows just how Mohammed looked. Do radical Muslims depend on non-Muslims, like the J&M artist, to tell them when they’re looking at Mohammed?

    Also, consider all the Islamic male children named “Mohammed.” Why can it not be just as if not more easily claimed that to name so many male children “Mohammed” is to cheapen the name? (I also contemplate that I have never heard of a child, growing up in the Protestant tradition, being named “Jesus,” though in heavily-Catholicized Latin America a multitude of male children are named “Jesus.”)

    1. I also contemplate that I have never heard of a child, growing up in the Protestant tradition, being named Jesus, though in heavily-Catholicized Latin America a multitude of male children are named Jesus.

      For whatever reason, the archaic form of the name remains identified with the central figure of the Christian pantheon, whilst the popular form of the name has since morphed into “Joshua.” I’m sure you’ve encountered at least one or two people with that name. Other variations include Jesu, Isa, Yeshua, and likely a few more.

      We see similar parallels with other names. Alexander, Alex, Alec, Alexis, Xander, Lex, Lexi, Alexandra, Sandra, Sasha, Sandy, Alejandro, Alejandra, Lisandro, Alessandro, and so on are all variations on a name shared by a certain fourth century BCE Macedonian king.



    2. On a related note:

      Judge fired for refusing parent’s name choice (she ordered ‘Messiah’ changed to ‘Martin’ because “Messiah” is sacred & only used the one time for you-know-who):

      “The word ‘messiah’ is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the magistrate told Tennessee television station WBIR at the time.

      The parents appealed, and another judge held that Ballew’s ruling was unconstitutional.

      Messiah was the 387th most popular name for boys born in the United States in 2012, based on applications for Social Security cards filed with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

      In all, there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, more than double the 368 applications made in 2011, the Social Security Administration said.


        1. Yes, I got quite the chuckle when I saw the local news.

          His knowledge wasn’t quite universal, at least it didn’t extend to the value of violin bows. Two were in the violin case that he threw out. They were valued at $50,000 for the pair. (They were recovered with other things he disposed of with the case. Also an iPad. I suppose his universal knowledge informed him that “Find My iPhone” would lead to him.)

          1. Seriously? Dude knew enough to grab the violin but not the bow? Amazing. Any orchestral musician can tell you about how string players obsess over their bows almost as much as they do their instruments, and how said bows generally cost as much as or more than the typical wind instrument.

            It must be mentioned, though, that there’s an awful lot of snake oil in the string instrument business. Double-blind tests don’t reveal much correlation between appraised price and the quality of the instrument. Many modern instruments are superior to many of the multi-million-dollar museum pieces, and many relatively inexpensive modern instruments more than surpass the “80/20” rule for a shockingly small fraction of the price.

            It’s not just string instruments, though it’s most noticeable with them because they’re so grossly overpriced to begin with. Some of the mass-produced student trumpets are perfectly playable instruments, even if they’re nothing to get excited about.


            1. True fact. If you are going to play a multimillion dollar Stradivarius you’re likely to be using some top quality bows. These were, apparently, 19th century bows worth $20k and $30k.

              Of course you don’t need to know these things to work a taser.

        2. This story just might inspire a network tv series, Each week’s episode will feature the theft of a musical instrument. It will be named “Alias Allah & Jones.”

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