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May 10, 2009 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Awkward Questions about Jesus SLYT
posted by nola (46 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Speaking of Jesus, this past week a wingnut congressman from Georgia introduced a bill encouraging the President to designate 2010 as "The National Year of the Bible". The bill has 13 co-sponsors.
posted by ornate insect at 4:33 PM on May 10, 2009


I expected that to be rubbish, but the kids' performances were awesome. Ha! What would Jesus do if someone flew a rocket up into Heaven and punched Him in the face?
posted by RokkitNite at 4:40 PM on May 10, 2009


I might say that what we have here are reasonable questions about Jesus that lead to awkward answers.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:41 PM on May 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


LOLVICARS
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:44 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


ornate insect: "Speaking of Jesus, this past week a wingnut congressman from Georgia introduced a bill encouraging the President to designate 2010 as "The National Year of the Bible". The bill has 13 co-sponsors."

Good luck with that. It's been referred to the House Committee on Oversight. Democrats outnumber Republicans 22 to 16. Kucinich is a member.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:46 PM on May 10, 2009


"well, ben, i...i..i...i might as well tell you that jesus is a fairy tale we've told you to keep you from fucking your sister."
posted by kitchenrat at 4:48 PM on May 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Youtube thought this video was related: Gay scientists isolate "Christian gene"

Ha!
posted by heathkit at 4:48 PM on May 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


"Speaking of Jesus, this past week a wingnut congressman from Georgia introduced a bill encouraging the President to designate 2010 as "The National Year of the Bible".\

Yeah, that will never happen. Not because Barack "we worship an awesome God in the blue states" Obama has any interest in maintaining Church-state seperation- he clearly doesn't, having supported "faith-based" initiatives and used his "Christianity" to justify his anti-gay-marriage position.

It's just because he's a smart enough politician to know he needs to keep a bunch of liberals thinking he's one of them. And he needs a bunch of Jewish votes in FL in 2012.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:58 PM on May 10, 2009


also:

"if God is everywhere, is he in the toilet?"

-kid in Matt Groening "Childhood is hell" cartoon
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:58 PM on May 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Speaking of Jesus, this past week a wingnut congressman from Georgia introduced a bill encouraging the President to designate 2010 as "The National Year of the Bible".

So, from 2011 onwards, will they promise to shut the fuck up about the holy jeebus?
posted by idiomatika at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Those kids were brilliant. The ads for The Inbetweeners have looked pretty crappy but I might give it a go now.
posted by minifigs at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2009


I got it! We can all ask that 2010 be the year of the lolcat! oh boy oh boy oh boy!
posted by jeffburdges at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2009


Oh, and those kids were annoying - even to atheists.
posted by idiomatika at 5:01 PM on May 10, 2009


I thinks I needs this series on DVD.
posted by greatgefilte at 5:01 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gay scientists isolate "Christian gene"

A cure in my lifetime? /me prays
posted by DU at 5:07 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and those kids were annoying - even to atheists.

I don't think the video was meant to be 'pro atheist' more "kids say the darn'st things" type humor rather then revealing any real contradiction in Christianity.
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh and I thought they were cute, by the way.
posted by delmoi at 5:17 PM on May 10, 2009


I expected that to be rubbish

Hey, man, nola don't post no rubbish!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:21 PM on May 10, 2009


The children should have tried that with this Vicar.
posted by kolophon at 5:35 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the video, I brings to mind Religious Studies lessons when I was thirteen. I attended a Catholic school and was in the bottom group for most of my lessions because I had missed so much time through skiving, and more or less spent my time when there insulting teachers' intelligence and refusing to take the work seriously. This particular group was taught by our deputy head (vice principal), who had previously been a nun or something, but she was seriously crazy religious. We were taught our lessons in the library, partly because we were such an oversight that they had forgotten to assign us a room, but partly because I think the teacher secrelty yearned for the days when she could throw books at us for impudence. Luckily, those days were gone, and we could do as we wanted to her.

Our group was so hopeless that for our lesson one day we had to learn a song - that's it, just learn a song, nothing else. It was obviously going to be a nice song about God and Jesus, but we had a whole hour to subvert it in as many ways as our growing brains would allow. This song though, was brilliant, because it included a line which went something like, 'God loves me as much as a thousand swallows.' I forget the actual words, as it's not something I need to expend space storing, and I certainly don't remember any of those which follow. As soon as we reached that line though, I broke through the half-hearted and pathetically morose singing and said loudly, 'God loves me as much as a thousand swallows?'

'Yes,' she was really unsure what to make of me butting in, 'that's what it says.' She tried to restart the singing but I went on, 'So how much does God love swallows?'

'What?'

'How much does God love swallows? Does he only love them one thousandth as much as he loves me?'

'Well, it doesn't quite mean that. You're taking it in the wrong way.'

'But that's what it says. What does it mean then?'

'It means God loves you a lot. You can't imagine how many swallows a thousand is!'

'Well, it's a thousand, isn't it?'

'It just means 'a lot', it's trying to display just how much God loves you.'

'Obviously more than a sparrow. How come he created me last then? Sparrows were created several days before me, that's favoritism!'

'If you don't understand, perhaps you would like the head teacher to explain it to you? Would you?'

'Please, if he's an expert on this, then yes.'

So, she left the room, and for about five long minutes we all sat in silence, everybody looking at me for being the brassiest kid out. I sit there lapping it up, secretly trembling just in case this wasn't a ploy, trying to figure out all the smart stuff I could say to the head teacher when he came. The head teacher was the biggest hypocrite the catholic world had ever seen, preaching christian love publicly, while insulting and terrorising us with the pettiest and most pathetic school government you could imagine. Our school assemblies were his opportunity to degrade us and shame us into how evil we were and how we were all going to hell for our sins. Nobody was allowed to leave the premises throughout the day, and though the teachers could no longer hit us, they were free to verbally abuse us as much as they wanted. Female students were not only forbidden to wear trousers, all 'showy' jewelry, any make-up, and non-white socks (what? why?), but it was only under immense pressure that he allowed sanitary products to be distributed in school. I could go on, but I won't bother, you get the idea. This was the mid-90s, but it was like some kind of 50s timewarp it was so backward.

Anyway, the Relgious Studies teacher came back, and I thought for a moment nobody was with her: I had called her bluff and won, I was victorious in my teenage rebellion. Then, just a second later, the head teacher walked in, came over to stand by the desk where I sat, and picked up the sheet with the lyrics on it. He instructed us to start singing again, from the top. We did so a bit better than before, but only because we feared him. When we got to the line about sparrows, you know what I did?

Nothing, I crumpled. A complete failure in the eyes of my peers. I couldn't bear to do it, as the last time I heard somebody get close to doing so it was terrifically frightening, his face and his shouting really put the fear into you. I never managed to mouth off in front of the head teacher, never. I stopped going to school completely a short while later, and he died not long after that from a heart attack. I only wish I had done my best to bring about his premature demise there and then: I could've dined out on that story for years. As it is, you only get to hear about the time I failed to stand up to religious stupidity and hypocrisy, not the time I won.
posted by Sova at 5:36 PM on May 10, 2009 [33 favorites]


Sova, I had a very similar story to yours.

I was in about Grade 5, and this was during a time in my State's (Queensland, Australia) history where our Premier was a guy called Sir Joh-Bjelke Petersen, a right wing, bible bashing wingnut if ever there was one. My parents tell me that at the time, he had instituted a policy that if you wanted to be a teacher in a State School, you had to believe in God. Hence the reason why I had one of the most religious 5th grade teachers the world had ever know. He instituted a session during the week when a local priest would come in and do bible studies. And this is where my story begins.

During one lesson, he was teaching us about how Jesus was born. He told us about how Mary immaculately conceived Jesus, God's son. Something sparked in my mind. I swear to you that it was not malice, or an attempt to be a smart-arse that sparked the question, but an honest question I wanted answered.

"Did God ask Mary if he could get her pregnant?" I asked.

"No" came back the reply.

What came next was still me wanting to get an honest question answered, but looking back, I suspect that a part of me phrased the coming question the way I did to be a smart-arse.

"So... God raped Mary?"

This, as you might imagine, did not go down well. The priest said no, God did not rape Mary, but with all eyes upon me now, I was inspired to keep pushing the boundary.

"But if God didn't ask Mary if he could get her pregnant, isn't that rape?"

The priest, as I recall, kind of floundered, insisting God had not committed rape yet still unsure how to definitively answer my question with more than a "no".

But then my teacher, who I feared, stepped in and told me to stop asking this question. And I did. Like you, I crumpled in the face of religious stupidity and hypocrisy. However the upshot was that my parents (staunch atheists) were contacted about my behaviour, and for the rest of the year I got to go out into the playground during bible class and play, a result of my parents telling my teacher that they had always objected to me being in bible classes anyway, and that if the priest couldn't answer a question I had about the bible, perhaps he shouldn't be teaching it.

Today I'm an atheist, and I've studied the bible on my own accord and of course the answer is that God did not rape Mary (he essentially told her via Gabriel that she would become pregnant with God's son and she willingly accepted this... hence, consent was given) but I find it amusing that a priest, of all people, couldn't answer this fairly simple question from 10-year-old-me.

And that's what still lets me dine out on that story, despite my crumpling.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:23 PM on May 10, 2009 [22 favorites]


I find it amusing that a priest, of all people, couldn't answer this fairly simple question from 10-year-old-me.

O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
-- Psalm 8: 1-2 (KJV)
posted by nola at 6:40 PM on May 10, 2009


"Did God ask Mary if he could get her pregnant?" I asked.

For what it's worth, Mary's "radical yes", from the gospel of Luke:
34
But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?"
35
And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
37
for nothing will be impossible for God."
38
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
posted by speedo at 6:50 PM on May 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


And I agree that it's pathetic that the priest did not immediately seize on this.
posted by speedo at 6:52 PM on May 10, 2009


now totally addicted to Outnumbered. Just watched about 20 clips on youtube. Looking for torrents now.
posted by schwa at 7:00 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]



"Speaking of Jesus, this past week a wingnut congressman from Georgia introduced a bill encouraging the President to designate 2010 as "The National Year of the Bible".\


These, and other useless and time-wasting resolutions, are introduced all the time, as I learned from my time archiving the papers of a former TN rep. I'm pretty sure one of the early 80s was the year of the Bible as well. There were (and I imagine still are) also innumerable resolutions for "day of" and "month of" whatever feel-good thing the rep. in question is trying to impress their friends with.
posted by frobozz at 7:03 PM on May 10, 2009


Yeah, I had the same experience.

In my confirmation class, we started in on the New Testament: and right there on the first page, it recounts the genealogy of Jesus - and it's wrong.

(Matthew asserts that Jesus is the 42nd generation after Abraham, and I pointed out that the infallible text we were reading lists only 41 generations in his male line. At this remove, I don't recall if we ever got to the entirely different genealogy given in over in Luke....)

Which my pastor hand-waved away, while my classmates then started counting the names for themselves. ("Hey!")

And then my 13-year-old self blurted out "But all this genealogy doesn't matter, because when you think about it, Jesus wasn't related to Joseph anyway."

I was told to shut up, and confirmation class continued.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:15 PM on May 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Montage of Outnumbered god clips: SLYT
posted by schwa at 7:16 PM on May 10, 2009


"What other religions blow up planes?"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:53 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


About Gordon Ramsey
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:55 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


our Premier was a guy called Sir Joh-Bjelke Petersen

Ahh, the cruellest prank New Zealanders have ever played on our cousins across the ditch.
posted by rodgerd at 8:17 PM on May 10, 2009


Speaking of Jesus, this past week a wingnut congressman from Georgia introduced a bill encouraging the President to designate 2010 as "The National Year of the Bible".

It doesn't matter whether Obama ignores this or not. The introduction of the resolution is to appeal to the base. People in the 10th District of Georgia (well, maybe except Athens) will love this. Given the almost 100% likelihood that Obama will ignore it, the point will then be to add the indifference to the list of all the other things that Obama is doing to ruin America.

Boy, his campaign website is a doozie too, even by Pompous Self-Important Congressman standards. It includes his Four-Way Test: "Congressman Broun applies the following four-way test to every piece of legislation: 1. Is it constitutional and a proper function of government? 2. Is it morally right? 3. Is it something we need? 4. Can we afford it?"
posted by blucevalo at 8:44 PM on May 10, 2009


So, there I am in catechism class. Sister Francis is holding forth on the story of Adam and Eve.

I raise my hand.

"Yes, SPrintF, you have a question?"

"Were Adam and Eve Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon?"

Sister Francis got that deer-in-the-headlights look. I'm still waiting for my answer, Sister.
posted by SPrintF at 9:28 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


"US network Fox has given the go-ahead for an American version of critically lauded BBC1 comedy Outnumbered." via guardian.co.uk
posted by Tenuki at 11:02 PM on May 10, 2009


My new band name is Awkward Questions About Jesus.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:19 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Jesus, this past week a wingnut congressman from Georgia introduced a bill encouraging the President to designate 2010 as "The National Year of the Bible".

Scene: The Oval Office. The Georgia Congressman walks in.

President Obama: "Well Congressman from Georgia, what can I do for you?

Congressman From Georgia: "Well Mr. President, I'd like you to declare 2010 the 'National Year of the Bible.'"

President Obama: "Well that might be a good idea, Congressman from Georgia."

Congressman From Georgia:"That's great Mr. President!"

President Obama: "You know we'll have to be fair, Congressman From Georgia."

Congressman From Georgia: "What do you mean, Mr. President?"

President Obama:"Well, we'd have to make 2011 the year of the Koran, Congressman From Georgia."

Congressman From Georgia (waves hands in front of himself):"Oh, Mr. President, maybe this isn't such a good idea."

President Obama:"I think you're right, Congressman From Georgia."
posted by Ironmouth at 11:30 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


My "getting in shit for asking an honest question" was only vaguely related to religion. In grade 5, we had a girl join our class, who had been living in Jordan or Iran or somewhere for a few years. The teachers made her give a talk about what it was like there and she told us how men and women there tend to sleep in separate parts of their house.

"But if men and women sleep in separate rooms, how do they ever have kids?"

I got a harsh talking-to for being "rude and obnoxious", and a yard litter duty for that one.
posted by Jimbob at 3:34 AM on May 11, 2009


A bit of a tangent, but as far as I know men and women don't sleep in different parts of the house in Iran, so perhaps it was Jordan (although Jordan is a pretty progressive country relative to the rest of the Mid East).

As for the post, I expected more; it could've been much funnier.
posted by Devils Slide at 3:52 AM on May 11, 2009


President Obama:"Well, we'd have to make 2011 the year of the Koran, Congressman From Georgia."

Which is the Year of No Religious Nonsense Whatsoever?
posted by DU at 5:28 AM on May 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


The year they catch on that the electorate has pretty much had their fill of them beating their chest and blathering on about faith while presenting no evidence of having anything resembling morals.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:56 AM on May 11, 2009


"What other religions blow up planes?"

Sikhs are another religion that blow up planes.

And no, I don't think Sikh religion demands the blowing up of planes any more than Muslim religion does.
posted by furtive at 9:24 AM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Which is the Year of No Religious Nonsense Whatsoever?

The year after the rapture
posted by Luddite at 9:27 AM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


The children should have tried that with this Vicar.

Or this one.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:36 AM on May 11, 2009


My older kid (6) asks questions like that all the time, as part of his ongoing programme of being a small male human. Recent favourites have been "could the Force destroy a whole planet?", "If you don't believe in God and you are wrong will God be very cross with you?", and "in the season that Arsenal were relegated [1913], who were relegated along with them? [Notts County]".

Despite the fact that we are raising our kids in a thoroughly secular household (though we are ethnically Christian), my four-year-old daughter drew a cross on a piece of paper around Easter time, and cheerfully said "I have drawed that for the baby Jesus to die on".
posted by athenian at 3:52 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Effigy2000? It wasn't just your fifth grade teacher, unless you went to all the schools that I (and my kids) went to. It was and still is a part of Queensland Education where they can find someone willing enough to come into the school once a week. In Far North Queensland, around 1976, for those who thought they belonged to the Church of England, it was Father Morrison who would travel around to all the tiny schools and copy line drawings from his children's bible onto the blackboard while telling a story.

One of my questions that lead Father Morrison to be grateful that I was removed from his class was, "why was Jesus sexist?" (as in, all the disciples were male). Poor old Father Morrison was a little deaf, and he turned bright red and said "Jesus was not sexless!" which confused me no end, because I had no idea who Jesus got it on with. However, let us give Father Morrison this, when I asked him about Genesis, and Adam and Eve and who did Cain and Abel marry if not their own sisters, he told me that parts of the bibles were myths written before people understood evolution, as a way for them to have a story about the beginning of the world.

Unsurprisingly, I too am an atheist, but it's not Father Morrison's fault.
posted by b33j at 12:00 AM on May 12, 2009


Oh, and my nephew (5yo), raised without any explanation of religion came home from school one day and asked if his father knew Ward.
"Ward?" said my brother.
"Yeth, he made the earth" said little S.
"Oh," said my brother, "some people think Ward made earth about 5000 years ago."
"What?!" said little S. "But the dinothaurth were here two hundred and thirty million yearth ago."
and with that, Ward has not cropped up in conversation again.
posted by b33j at 12:04 AM on May 12, 2009


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