Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Paris

November 25, 2015 • 8:20 am

Today’s excellent Jesus and Mo refers to something you may already know about: the Paris attacks caused the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Least Reverend Justin Welby, to doubt the presence of God. The BBC recently reported this:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the terror attacks in Paris made him “doubt” the presence of God.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby told BBC Songs Of Praise he had prayed, asking “where are you…” after the attacks.

He said his reaction to the attacks had been “first shock and horror and then a profound sadness”, heightened because he and his wife once lived in Paris.

The gun and suicide bomb attacks on 13 November, carried out by so-called Islamic State, left 130 people dead.The archbishop said: “Saturday morning, I was out and as I was walking, I was praying and saying: ‘God, why – why is this happening? Where are you in all this?'”

“He said ‘in the middle of it’ and also in answer from Psalm 56 – ‘he stores up our tears in a bottle, none of our sufferings are lost,'” he added.

Yes, of course: Welby managed, as he always does, to find a reason why God allowed such horrors. It’s the old chestnut that all will be set right in Heaven.  For that’s surely what Welby means, unless there’s some other reason why those tears are stored up.

What I want to know is this: why didn’t any of the other atrocities in our age—all the way from the Holocaust to the depredations of Boko Haram to the suicide bombings in in Beirut—cause Welby to doubt God? Why just the killings in Paris? Does he think that God especially favors the French?

I really don’t like that man. He parades his doubt, which I see as a cynical ploy to convince wavering Anglicans in the UK that “I’m just like you,” and then, of course, resolves that doubt—this time by pulling a genie out of a bottle of tears.

But I fulminate; here’s today’s strip:


In my email, the author notified us of a contest:

Yesterday was this comic’s 10th birthday, and to celebrate we’re running a little competition (thanks to sparky_shark for the suggestion). To enter, you just have to write a script for the last panel of a J&M “X-factor” strip (see the entry under today’s comic). The script should a line from Jesus, a line from Mo (in any order), plus the off-screen judge if required. Just words, presented like this:

Jesus: Blah
Mo: Blah
Judge: Blah

Here’s the strip for the contest:


Send entries entitled “X-factor script” to author[AT]

The best script will win a book of the latest collection of Jesus & Mo strips (Vol 7), plus publication on the website (anonymously, obvs). There may be runners-up prizes, too.

Oh, and if you want to send us a birthday present, please consider becoming a Patron of the Blasphemous Arts at this site.

35 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Paris

    1. It is the media qualifying it as it is ‘unrecognised’ and it allows them to say they aren’t ‘true muslims’

    2. I wonder what moniker they would have to label themselves that the (“so-called”?)media would not feel compelled to use the descriptor “so-called.”

      I think the moniker “Islamofascists” quite aptly applies.

    3. I think it’s the media continuing to note that IS is *not* a state, it’s just a very big, very nasty terrorist organisation. They would like to be a ‘state’ – fuck them.

      States don’t publicly carry out terrorist attacks in other peoples’ countries, for one.

      So, all power to the media on this one.


  1. Not a comic writer but maybe something like this from Mo, since he has the guitar –

    Our version of Stairway To Heaven.

  2. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Least Reverend Justin Welby, can buttress his faith by considering the fact that ISIS prayed to their god and their god answered their prayers.

    1. Great point.

      Also great:
      “and then, of course, [the archbishop] resolves that doubt—this time by pulling a genie out of a bottle of tears.”
      Love that analogy!

  3. This echoes something that Stephen Law posted on FB about ABC’s ‘doubt’:

    I find this a bit odd. Welby says he had doubt about God, but then GOD ACTUALLY SPOKE TO HIM and told Welby that he, God, was in the middle of it all. I guess if God actually talks to you like that in response to your questions, then your doubts about his existence will be short-lived. I’d love to know more about exactly how God ‘speaks’ to Welby when he and God are having a conversation – the phenomenology of it. Is it like an actual voice in his head? Or does Welby ‘just know’ what God is saying without anything resembling an auditory experience?
    Funnily enough, I could have told Welby that that is what God would say if asked where was he when the attacks took place. I think we can all be pretty confident God will say something cliched like that, and won’t say, “Oh, er sorry I wasn’t paying attention just then….” or “I was just hanging out in the Swindon area”.

    1. Maggie: [to Jim answering as Michelle Bachmann] Congresswoman Bachmann.

      Jim: Yes?

      Maggie: You’ve said that you were told to run for president by God.

      Jim: Please, I don’t–

      Maggie: You have, right? You’ve said on a number of occasions that God told you to run for president. I have some clips if you’d like me to refresh your memory.

      Jim: Nope, my memory is fresh.

      Maggie: Here’s my question.

      Jim: Good.

      Maggie: What does God’s voice sound like? [everyone laughs] I’m completely serious. She’s saying that God spoke directly to her. How is this not the first question asked in a debate? How’s it not the only question? What does His voice sound like? What did He say exactly word for word? Did He speak in Hebrew? Acadian? Kiswahili-Bantu? And to put it in a medical context, is this the first time you’ve heard voices? She’s claiming to be a prophet. The whole world is sitting on the edge of their seat. How is this not the first question we’ll ask?

      Jim: First of all, can you stop pointing at me and saying “she” and “her”?

      Maggie: You’re the one who wanted to play a woman. But tell me why that question is out of line.

      Jim: Because it’s not the best way to demonstrate seriousness of intent and it’s not the best way not to insult people.

      Maggie: Which people?

      Martin: Christians. 83 percent of the country.

      Maggie: I’m one of them. And she’s insulting me!

      Jim: Please, stop pointing at me when you are–

      Maggie: Relax, J. Edgar. She’s insulting me, she’s insulting my family, she’s insulting my congregation, and she’s insulting my faith. She’s implying that Christians are imbeciles who will believe anything while reducing God to a party hack who endorses political candidates. Now, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is the first time since Moses that God has given direct instructions to someone other than His son. But if so, I think it deserves a follow-up.

  4. Leaving the last panel blank – after, “What are you going to do for us tonight, Jesus and Mo?” – says it all.

  5. “He said ‘in the middle of it’ and also in answer from Psalm 56 – ‘he stores up our tears in a bottle, none of our sufferings are lost,’” he added.

    This only plays well if you momentarily imagine that God is like your mother or father, caring deeply about the safety of you and all of their children but sometimes helpless in the face of events. They can’t protect you from everything. After all, they’re only human.

    God is not “only human.” No, even when God presumably came down and “became one of us” was God never just a frustrated, impotent victim of circumstances outside of His control, sobbing and weeping over what He could not stop. He’s the goddam Divine Author of All Things, for crissakes.

    God kills, maims, and tortures us “for our own good.” God was in the bombs. God was in the hearts and minds of the terrorists, too — making sure that THEY were leading the best lives possible. Even from the point of view of nonmuslims, God smiled when they blew themselves up. It’s all an equally good part of the Perfect plan, playing itself out. God somehow manages to nod in satisfaction while the “tears” stream down His face. Creepy.

    Sure he had doubts. The Archbishop’s doubts were coming from the best part of him. They grew not just out of his compassion, but from his innate sense of honesty and integrity. He smelled the dead rat festering at the heart of his belief system. Using the stale old tried-and-true methods of apologetics and rationalizations were not a victory over weakness. They ARE the weakness. Self-seeking confirmation and childish fear won out over virtue.

    Way to go, Archbishop.

  6. IIRC, reader Diane G. a while back had a caption for this and I think it was the “Un-Righteous Brothers.” I still think it’s a winner. 🙂

    1. Wow, don’t you have a good memory? Thank you!

      Unfortunately, that would work better in the third panel, after “and together we’re…”

  7. If any of us were in the middle of it all, saw what was unfolding, and failed to immediately sound the alarm…lacking an excuse such as being hogtied in the trunk of a gunman’s car, any of us with such knowledge who failed to act would unquestionably be one of the most hated accomplices.

    How can the ABC even pretend that an all-powerful being acts in love when he idly stands by and watches such horror? I guarantee you the Paris police were overwhelmed with emergency calls from the moment the first shots fired out — and every one of them made by a mere mortal. And what the police wouldn’t have given for an all-seeing divine perspective to track the killers after the attack started!

    …but I’ve promised myself to get lots of things done today and I’m already behind schedule, so I’ll leave this here and not subscribe….


  8. Ok, I’ve come up with a final panel for the contest, but I don’t want to send it in unless I can be sure it’s not the same/similar to the original Jesus n Mo ending. I knew I liked it, but I’m afraid I cant remember how it went.

    Anyone with better recollection/google skills/archives than me?

      1. Tried that, couldn’t find it. Sent my 4th panel in anyway, if it was unconsciously confabulated from the original then oh well.

  9. From South Park:

    Chef: Stan, sometimes God takes those closest to us, because it makes him feel better about himself. He is a very vengeful God, Stan. He’s all pissed off about something we did thousands of years ago. He just can’t get over it, so he doesn’t care who he takes. Children, puppies, it don’t matter to him, so long as it makes us sad. Do you understand.

    Stan: But then, why does God give us anything to start with?

    Chef: Well, look at it this way: if you want to make a baby cry, first you give it a lollipop. Then you take it away. If you never give it a lollipop to begin with, then it would have nothin’ to cry about. That’s like God, who gives us life and love and help just so that he can tear it all away and make us cry, so he can drink the sweet milk of our tears. You see, it’s our tears, Stan, that give God his great power.

  10. Reminds me of something from our newspaper yesterday. In an article about a man who was killed by a drunken female driving down the wrong side of the freeway, his family said they found solace by thinking of how selfless the victim always was. Because:

    …if Jesus came down and sat on his dash that night and said, “John,* would you want to go right now or would you want this woman to take the life of the family behind you?” (Dad) would have said, “Take me right now.”

    Are there no lengths people won’t go to to justify God allowing tragedy?

    *name changed

  11. I can understand why people want to believe in an afterlife. All my instincts of fairness tell me there *ought* to be a heaven – and a hell, specially created for ISIS and their like.

    Unfortunately, ‘ought’ != ‘is’.


  12. Jesus and Mo should both claim to care about lives while in Chicago where we are looking at a serious situation that we can hopefully learn from but will never get insight from either of them.

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