Religion Again?

Bizarro is brought to you today by Keeping the Faith.

I hope everyone here in the U.S. had a lovely holiday weekend, and that everyone elsewhere had a lovely weekend in spite of its lack of holidayness. I did what I often do on holidays: stayed home and worked. The Bizarro factory is woefully understaffed and is required to keep cranking out silly drawings no matter the occasion, so if I’m not here supervising it just doesn’t get done. Thank goodness for the foreign orphans I hold captive in my basement working round the clock on this stuff or I’d never get it all done. Thanks, kids! (not that any of them can read this blog)

A couple of weeks ago I made fun of the Rapture (along with every other comedian in the country) and most of you thought it was funny. But I am still getting emails from “normal” Christians (their quotes, not mine) who thought that the sideshow freak who started it, Harold Camping, was not a fair representation of Christians in general and that I was too broad in my skewering of people of that faith. Or, said more simply, they thought I was calling all Christians crazy trailer park folk.

For the record, I don’t think all Christians are crazy trailer park folk. My comments in that particular blog were aimed at the unfortunate fools who followed Camping into the national spotlight and subsequent ridicule. It has been well established that faith in the invisible is not directly connected to intelligence, education, or taste. Most humans believe in some form of supernatural being(s) and many of them are smart and cultured. I believed in these things for all of my childhood (forgivable) and much of my adulthood (forgivable since I was indoctrinated so heavily and early) so I am not without an understanding of those who still believe. In all areas of life, most of us believe what makes us comfortable regardless of the evidence presented to us; it’s the way our brains work.

I do think it is important to be a “thinking” person, however, and as such, to realize that whatever you believe about god(s) is no less ridiculous than the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard someone else believe in. If you’ve ever asked yourself how Scientologists can believe they are inhabited by aliens, or how Mormons can believe in holy underwear, or how Hindus can pray to a blue elephant, or how Muslims can believe that they get 72 virgins to fool around with in heaven if they kill infidels, or how all of ancient Greece could believe that the reason their ship sank was because they had pissed off Poseidon, or how villagers could believe that throwing someone into a volcano would keep it from erupting, remember that the only reason you think it is more ridiculous than what you believe is because you were not raised in that tradition. The only difference between mythology and religion is whether or not you happen to believe in it.

If your faith serves you well, go for it with my blessing. (Reminder: I am not a deity and you do not need my blessing.) If, on the other hand, your religion encourages you to harbor bigotries against others (gays, women, other races or religions, etc.) and gives you a sense of self-righteousness that takes the sting out of waging war with people who do not believe as you do, as it has for the overwhelming majority of people in the history of our species, consider reconsidering the usefulness of this practice. It is archaic, flies in the face of science, reason, logic, and just about every other thing that makes humans unique in the animal kingdom, and statistically has caused and still causes far more misery and injustice than it cures. That’s just history , by the way, not opinion.

By the way, none of this has anything to do with these two cartoons. Sometimes I get a little off course. :o)

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19 Responses to Religion Again?

  1. Matt says:

    It’s your blog, say what you want.

    If these “normal” Christians had a blog, I’m sure they would be hitting (even harder) against Atheists, and Muslims, and such.

    I was raised Catholic, and have been breaking off. Because I’m more of a humanist. I still believe in God, my reasoning is nature, music, and everything else. I’m too optimistic to not believe in an afterlife.

    But surely, your comments have never offended me. And even in your blog or in your Bizarro syndication, you will never offend me. Because I laugh at myself.

    I do believe people should be more ‘thinking’ – especially for themselves. Some want to follow the ‘math’ of an 89 year old man who has been wrong two times so far. Let them. That’s how they think. I think differently. You think differently. We’re all different. But the difference with me is that I probably won’t be sending any hate maile to anyone who thinks differently. Because I’m okay with the fact that they think…differently than I do.

    That’s life. Take the chance to learn about someone else’s viewpoints. You don’t have to agree or even think about them. Just show them that you care to know about them.

    In another topic. I like today’s cartoon. The Horse Whisperer App. Ironically, I read your cartoon everyday on my iPad app (my school gave it to me, so I took it. The iPad, not your app, I bought that because it’s worth it).

    However, the app has a lot of bugs and closes about a minute after opening. I have contacted King Features before. Tody was worse. It wouldn’t even open for more than 5 seconds. I’ll have to contact them again. I want to read through the archives!

    • Matt says:

      Oh, and I also thought that the McDonald’s cartoon was great.

    • Piraro says:

      Thanks for the note, Matt. Unfortunately, there is a bug in the app that appeared a year after we launched it and keeps customers from signing on for another year. The company that designed it is defunct so we’re now trying to find someone to fix it. So far, nobody has been able to offer to do it for a price we can afford. There isn’t unlimited money to be spent on this kind of thing, unfortunately. :o) So for now, the app is screwed. Sorry about that. We’re still trying.

  2. Dan Fox says:

    “The only difference between mythology and religion is whether or not you happen to believe in it.”

    LOVE IT!

  3. Tommy says:

    Google did an April fools joke similar to the second comic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I24bSteJpw

  4. Stacy says:

    I find it amusing to listen to this jingle and substitute the word ‘god’ for the word ‘dog’.

  5. Kat Slonaker says:

    I just have to say that I especially enjoyed the look on the horse’s face in the Horse Whisperer App cartoon.

  6. Cynthia says:

    Love your take on the invention of gods!

  7. Kevin Farrell says:

    Jesus H. Christ on a crutch – I saw that commencement speaker last Friday at my daughter’s graduation. What torture to listen to mindless , random chatter for 40 minutes. I thought we were witnessing her private therapy session by accident. To add insult, she started a sentence with the word “Finally,” after about 25 minutes. Finally or In conclusion, etc goes near the very end so you know you are at the end. Duh!

    Just so you know, my daughter is not working at McD’s this summer. She is proudly working at Subway across the street. I feel so much better for that.

  8. mjs says:

    “Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.” Ambrose Bierce–The Devil’s Dictionary

    One more quote:

    “Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”

    — Joseph Campbell (Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor)

    I believe that god is an atheist!

  9. monsterzero says:

    hey mr. p -

    bird SHIT!? oh my!

    that couldn’t be the original text.

    i can’t even imagine the papers letting you say poop

    …or some such sanitized excrementary vernacular.

    did that panel (in some form) even see the light of day?

    any way… very funny, while deeply thought provoking.

    • Piraro says:

      The way it ran in the papers was, “Climb up there and clean that bird poo off of our god.” They even made me add the word “our” so that people couldn’t accuse me of advocating pooping on THE god. And “god” could not be capitalized. No superstition there, no.

  10. Tanja says:

    So, Dan, you can tell us, since you’re there: Is there a mall in heaven? A McDonalds? Or is there a Ronald McDonald standing at the exit to hell of heaven’s new entrance processing centre, sending you down with “Have a nice day?”

    • Piraro says:

      No fast food despots at all. And no mall. You don’t really need to shop here, you can just imagine something and it’s yours. For instance, I imagined Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders in a meat grinder.

  11. Sevensheaven says:

    I really enjoyed reading this text, as I enjoy your cartoons. I am a cartoonist myself and know how it is to receive emails of people with a persistent belief, without the capacity to relativize.

    Keep up the good work and rest assured that there are many people who fully understand you and agree with you.

  12. “…whatever you believe about god(s) is no less ridiculous than the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard someone else believe in.” Well put.

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