Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, “nostalgia”, shows an unusual degree of self-reflection by Jesus, while Mo has a moment’s pause. The note that came with the email of the strip, which explains it should you be puzzled, says this:
The artist says of this week’s Jesus and Mo cartoon, called “eager” that “This is a rewrite of a 15-years-old strip, with only the first and last lines untouched, and a couple of additional add-on pleonasms added.”
There’s also a note on the strip: “That’s a pleonastic superfluity.” “Pleonastic” means “tautological”, like a “free gift” or an “old antique.” The hook here is, of course, that the barmaid completely rejects religion from the outset.
Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “briefly”, has a brief description: “The Trinity would have tied everything together so nicely.” Well, maybe, but it still doesn’t make sense of the Crucifiction myth. When stated so badly, the the central myth of Christianity looks insane. I suppose the theologians would say, “It does look insane, and therefore it’s true.” So be it.
Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “kudos”, came with the email note, “Kudos to Judas! I wonder what he’s doing with himself these days?”
And of course Judas should indeed be praised by Christians, for without him how would the central story of Christianity have played out? Judas clearly had no free will, for his betrayal of Jesus was the result of either God or the laws of physics—take your choice.
I have to admit that I love the term “Crucifiction,” and I wonder why I haven’t heard it before.
Today’s Jesus and Mo cartoon, “smug”, came with the email note, “Jesus is worried about the Mars landing.” And on the cartoon page itself you can read, “We love it when he does that.” That of course refers to Mo’s theological malleability:
The question may seem funny, but the question of what Christians are to do with aliens has been considered by both theologians and faitheists. One of the latter, Michael Ruse, discussed this in his book Can A Darwinian be a Christian? (answer: of course!). I reviewed that book a wee bit critically in the London Review of Books:
Indeed, the book is a splendid example of how a trained academic can extract himself from a philosophical thicket through the relentless chopping of logic. For example, in a chapter on ‘Extraterrestrials’, Ruse wrestles with the implications for Christianity of life having evolved elsewhere in the Universe. Would this life be human-like and blighted with original sin? If so, who would save the fallen aliens? Ruse floats the possibility of an ‘X-Christ’, who could redeem sinners throughout the Universe – an intergalactic Jesus shuttling between planets and suffering successive crucifixions. ‘One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that,’ George Orwell wrote (in a quite different context). ‘No ordinary man could be such a fool.’
Ruse is an atheist, but not so much Guy Consolmagno, the head astronomer of the Vatican Observatory, who is co-author of this book. I took it out of the library but haven’t yet read it, though a quick scan shows that, as expected, it’s rife with accommodationism:
This week’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “store”, came with a bit of sad and distressing news: the Easily Offended theocratic government of Pakistan has struck again, forcing CafePress to remove from sale any Jesus and Mo merchandise that depicts Mo. It’s blasphemy to show the Prophet, don’t you know? As you know, my own Jesus and Mo posts get censored by WordPress from time to time, with WordPress also acting as an arm of the Pakistani censors.
From the artist’s email:
The strip this week is a day early, in response to the following recent news.
After 15 years of selling J&M merchandise, CafePress got a notice from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority telling them to take down all store items featuring images of Mo. Which they did. We never made a lot of money from the CafePress store (a 2-figure sum paid out every year or two), but it was nice to offer t-shirts, mugs etc to people who wanted them. Currently, only the burka clad boys are available – presumably because you can’t see who it is under the cloth.
We will let you know if we find an suitable alternative outlet who won’t buckle at the first hint of protest from a censorious government.
In the meantime, if you’d like to support the comic by other means, please consider becoming a Patron. If you can spare a dollar or two a month, it really helps to keep us going:
The strip reflects the fact that CafePress, like WordPress, has taken it upon themselves to enforce Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. And today’s strip is even more blasphemous, showing Mo in a Borat-like mankini. That will really rile up the Pakistani government!
I tweeted a ticked-off response to CafePress (below), and maybe if you have a Twitter account you could also inform CafePress that they’re acting as the enforcer of Pakistan’s ridiculous blasphemy laws:
Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “pretty,” came with the email note, “Today, the boys pick up non-binary Moses from the station. They apologise, and then they tell them about what a hard time they’ve been having.”
I’m not sure exactly how Moses is nonbinary, but he’s acting like Rodney Dangerfield!