Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ NEWS (and crowdsourcing)

December 4, 2019 • 11:30 am

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “five”, is ten years old but still relevant, which shows you how little things have changed on the theism front. It also comes with some news, which I’ve self-aggrandizingly put in bold below. The creator’s email said this:

This is actually an old one, from 10 years ago, except Jesus has Mo’s lines and the numbers have been updated.

Congratulations to Eoin from Dublin for winning this month’s raffle prize – a signed copy of the soon-to-be-published 8th volume of Jesus & Mo strips, with a foreword by the great Jerry Coyne.

If you want to keep the J&M comic ploughing its lonely furrow in this crazy old word, you can help by becoming a patron by clicking this link below. Just a dollar a month goes a long way to keeping our Engine of Blasphemy ticking over:

Well, “great” is really hyperbole, but I was chuffed to be asked to write the foreword, joining the company of others like Richard Dawkins and Kenan Malik. I already have a draft written, but wanted to ask readers, in case I’ve forgotten anything, what you like about the strip. Please put your answers below.  I’ve been reading it since forever and am a big fan.

But on to the strip, which shows several of the themes of Jesus and Mo: hyprocrisy (but not on the barmaid’s part), the conflict between different faiths (but why do Jesus and Mo not only live together, but share a bed), and the collision between faith and fact, with the barmaid representing fact:

26 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ NEWS (and crowdsourcing)

  1. 2.3 billion Christians wrong vs. 5.4 billion non-Christians wrong…I’ll up the ante and say that I’m pretty sure 7.7 billion of us are wrong about something.

  2. What’s not to like?

    Seriously though – I wonder if there’s a power trio effect with the format : Jesus, Mo, and barmaid – that somehow- magically? – crystallizes and focuses non-secular and secular thought together, revealing incongruity and problem areas – usually in the former.

  3. My favorite thing about Jesus and Mo is that they share a bed. They should be bedfellows, because they have the same problems. They are both striving to keep control of their followers, and to uphold all their religious rules and rites, despite the fact that it’s so easy for the barmaid (or anyone) to poke holes in the theology.

  4. Many conservative and orthodox Christian groups are correct in their concerns about change. One change they’ll be nibbling their fingernails over in a few years will be the decrease from that magisterial 2.3 billion figure (perhaps not as much as their budgetary constraints).

  5. The Laurel & Hardy personas shared a bed back in the 20s [below] & I bet the idea isn’t new with them – I have wondered if it came from live music hall comedy, but I can’t find any references. I think it’s an easy setup for the camera & sound as are riding a tandem bike, sitting in a car, on a sofa, on a park bench or at a small pub table [very popular option in Brit TV comedy – can get in really close to the faces & reactions].

    I think maybe Morecambe & Wise [Brit TV 70s/80s double act] or their writers copied the idea from an earlier era – maybe L&H? M&W had regular two-in-bed skits that never mentioned the incongruity** of the situation

    The Author seems to be following tradition!

    ** the awkwardness is acknowledged of course in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, 1987 American buddy film. Not that funny when it’s out there though like in that film IMO.

  6. One of the things I like about the strip is that Jesus and Mo are great friends even though their respective sets of followers have spent much of the last 1,400 years trying to kill each other.

  7. I like that Jesus has an Adam’s apple, which I do’t think I’ve ever seen on any other male comic strip character. I take this as a subtle Biblical reference.

  8. What I like about the strip:

    Jesus and Mo figured prominently in a talk I gave last year on religion and humor. I introduced them thus:

    Jesus and Mo has an amazing ability to take a complicated topic of theology or apologetics or epistemology that would take a long article or even a book to explore, and distill it down to four panels of a crudely-drawn cartoon.

    And Author wrote something which I think is quite profound:

    “That’s the thing about religious satire – it automatically delivers offence in the right dose: the amount of offence you take is exactly the amount you deserve.”

    1. A very good and quotable point.
      I like that the strip ages well, much like as Jerry says. The satire it invokes from many years ago will still ring true today and I am sure it will not much change for many more decades.

  9. What I like about the strip, besides being funny & thought provoking, is that the only real person is invisible & J&M never seem to pay [from memory] for their Guinness.

    Author talks to Jeremy Paxman in 2014 [voice & face anonymised]:

    1. The notion that people should never be offended is a bizarre one. Why should anyone have that expectation? No-one is obliged to read the Jesus and Mo strip.

    1. Nice Karlan-slap. I read somewhere that she, at some point, had to apologize for making a joke about tRump’s son Baron. I’ve been looking for that exchange in video format, but I just see short transcripts. Any chance you know where to look. I also want to watch the whole afternoon session.

          1. That Collins is an animal – he was a chaplain in the USN in the ’80s & it is my opinion he did so to parley his “service to his country” [he’s big on that “service”] into a political career – oh & he went to a college later on to buff up his Christian cred. His position on issues reflect what you’d expect from a Baptist Ayatollah. Horrible man.

  10. I thought the barmaid was an atheist. If so, then Jesus (or most Christians) would probably be smart enough to broaden the argumentum ad populum to “theists,” and avoid the barmaid’s response.

    Like good bedmates, people in Christian and non Christian religions are often happy to band together against a common enemy. “So everyone who has ever believed the universe is not an accident is wrong, huh?” That is a lot of people, and leaves atheism without religious allies. On to a different tactic …

  11. I like that the barmaid is ‘invisible” because it reflects to some degree that in cultures dominated by religion, Naturalists, Materialists, Humanists, Rationalists, Secularists, Atheists are so often in the background raising questions that are disturbing and annoying to the dominant culture.

  12. Tastes differ and are hard to characterize. However, the J&M format is effective, it puts the fake nature of organized superstition front and center, and I like the dry wit.

  13. the bed sharing surely comes from all the old comedies like Morecombe & Wise… didn’t Laurel & Hardy share a bed?

Leave a Reply