Easter in ten words

Ten words


157 thoughts on “Easter in ten words

  1. I love that! Saving his creation from himself, by sacrificing … himself! Just utterly bizzare! This is the official Easter message, because Christians can’t argue with it and it just doesn’t sound good. I’ll be merrily quoting it for years.


  2. Just like parents do for their kids. Hmm, ya think that whole god thing was made up, based on people? Oh my goodness, soylent god is people!


  3. See, this is one of the things that bothers me about popular atheism. Most of my atheist friends (among whom I’d be honored to list John) are quite smart, and many come from religious backgrounds. So I’d think they understood the opposition.

    And yet they persist in advancing trite little strawmen like this. It’s the nonreligious equivalent of the old “If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys? CHECKMATE ATHEISTS” bullshit.

    It seems either dishonest or ignorant….yet neither possibility makes sense.


    • But this IS the message of Christianity… especially today! Oh please don’t say you’re going to go on again about Jesus forgetting he was omnipotent. We’ve been through this… NO Christian sect teaches that .


      • Well, I never said Jesus forgot he was omnipotent. I actually questioned why you think Christianity teaches omniscience was an attribute of the Incarnate Jesus, but that certainly doesn’t have anything to do with this.

        I’m all about mocking things that deserve to be mocked, and a little oversimplification is often helpful in such circumstances, but if you can’t see how this is a strawman….yikes.


      • How is this ditty a strawman? I’ve not erected anything here that is not taught. Jesus was god and was sacrificed to forgive humanity of sin so he wouldn’t go all gnarly on everyone’s asses. That’s the bloody message! That’s it in ten words.


      • Unless you grew up in the United Pentacostal Church, conflating Trinitarianism with Modalism is a pretty elementary mistake.

        I mean, can’t you make the same point with “One god sacrificed another god to save humanity from God?” Might not be as punchy, but it’s the same number of words.


    • John said I should tell you you are talking out of your arse for not believing that Christians consider Jesus is God.
      Based on these few comments I can’t judge what you believe.
      So I will hold in abeyance any name-calling just because John says. He’s Australian, so I am always wary of blokes who scream like a girl and abandons his car in traffic just because a huge fekkin spider jumps on him while he’s driving.
      Nowhere in the bible does Yashua say he is God, yet it is the single most important tenet of Christianity, so John’s meme is definitely right on the money.


    • What are you talking about? This is exactly the message of all forms of Christianity, and nothing you have said has explained how it could possibly be dishonest or ignorant. In Christianity, the god God created mankind, made rules about ‘good’ and ‘bad’, demands repentance for the ‘bad’ behaviour under threat of his brand of punishment, and offers the only route to ‘salvation’ through his own death. More succinctly put by John. What is wrong with it?


      • It’s a mischaracterization of Trinitarianism. Saying Christianity teaches “God sacrificed himself to himself” is like saying evolution teaches “humans are more evolutionarily advanced than fish”.


      • No, it’s not. The god God has a single divine nature – he is supposed to be one being. That’s why it’s not a pantheistic religion. Any understanding beyond that is wild speculation about about the vagueness of words trying to describe something that doesn’t make sense and covers it back with ‘oh, it’s supernatural, you don’t understand because you’re human’. You can’t compare it with science.


      • Certainly not comparing it with science. The analogy I was making was the level of misunderstanding implicit in the statement.

        The Christian deity is three individuals with one divine nature/essence. In particular, the actions surrounding Easter center on the interactions of these individuals, not the actions of a single individual. That’s what it’s a mischaracterization.


      • I completely disagree. It’s a supernatural contradiction that exists within Christianity, but they can’t claim to be monotheistic and not accept that this is true.


      • Monotheism, like quite a few terms surrounding religion, is very polysemic. The monotheism claimed by mainstream Christianity is entirely distinct from unitarianism.

        I’d certainly be interested to discuss (perhaps in another venue) your implied argument that trinitarianism is a contradiction by logical necessity.


      • As a commentary on modalism? Certainly.

        But anyone with a cursory understanding of Christian theology would giggle just as much at the implication that this represents trinitarianism.


      • I think you’re getting caught up too much in Christianity’s attempt to explain the absurd. Three persons that come together as one being (all being consistently described as male) can reasonably described as ‘himself’. Say you’re sorry for making a fuss and back out with some dignity. 🙂


    • The average Christian wouldn’t have a CLUE what you are talking about and would merely consider John’s cartoon as attempting to take the Micky out of their belief in The Trinity, which it does nicely; even though they probably couldn’t explain the trinity, as I mentioned before.
      Now,Mister Major Prat, William Lane Craig would have a field day, not because there is necessarily anything wrong with the meme, but simply because he would attempt to rubbish the wording of it and then espouse diatribe until we all had migraine.
      John could easily have replaced the word God with Jesus or Holy Ghost and the point would have been exactly the same.(even if were impossible to crucify the H.G.


      • “The average Christian wouldn’t have a CLUE what you are talking about and would merely consider John’s cartoon as attempting to take the Micky out of their belief in The Trinity,”
        I don’t agree, I think it just points out the fundamental absurdity of the Christianity. However much people immerse themselves in imagined meanings of trinity, it is still regarded as one being by all interpretations. Mickey taking is a bonus. And the ‘distinction between the father and the son’ is irrelevant – I have no idea what physicsandwhiskey is thinking, but I suspect remnants of belief is playing a part.


    • Wizz&Pizz, you know enough about human beings to know that you are not the average human being. Driven by Logic & Numbers. You need to try and appreciate what Mr. Zande is doing like you would an intelligent comedian or satirist. GOOD LORD … it would be worth my entire life to see George Carlin open for questions with you in the audience 🙂 And, I’m not saying that John Zande is a mere comedian, either … his arguments ARE thought out … but, bone dry commentary is not appreciated by 99% of human beings.

      The intention of this meme is a good one. Religion/God IS RIDICULOUS and INCREDIBLY Ridiculable, if I may make up a word … an easy target for ridicule. VERY LITTLE (I almost wrote ‘nothing’ but didn’t want to get your heart racing) about any of it makes any sense … I could come out and say that God wants us all to swim in our own urine every sunday, and I’d be just as justified as any religion ever has been about anything.


      • But if Christianity is so ridiculable (I approve of that word, by the way), why not just ridicule it accurately, rather than ridiculing a caricature? Wouldn’t that have more impact?


      • NO!!!!!!!
        Definitely not!
        Sorry, that was a lot of exclamation points.
        If you ONLY ridiculed the things that no one out there is going to get defensive about, it would all be pretty boring.


      • Whoa, I never said you should only ridicule things that people won’t get defensive about. I said you should strive for accuracy in your ridiculizations, for that enhances their effect.

        For example, let’s try ridiculing opposition to birth control.

        “Abstinence: because we don’t want to talk to our kids about sex.”
        “Abstinence: because telling teens ‘don’t have sex’ has worked out SO well.”

        Both these things ridicule abstinence-only education, but the former isn’t particularly accurate (there are plenty of parents who are fine with discussing the birds and the bees but think abstinence is a morally superior approach). The latter is more effective because it doesn’t imply sweeping generalizations. See what I mean?


      • And therein lies the rub. Sure, it might be funnier, but its fallacious nature restricts its potential audience. Which is fine, I guess. But that’s the same sort of thing as a Christian saying “If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?”


      • Take this tagline:

        “Jesus: NICE PRICK?”

        That is a completely obscure line. It needs not be defended nor justified. It needs not convince anyone of anything. But, if initiates some thought, then it has value.


      • And we have to compete with phrases like JESUS SAVES

        TWO words. Appeals to human emotion on multiple levels. NO Logical basis whatsoever.

        APPLE SAVES can be much more easily supported.


      • I’m not tellin’, cause you know what I meant 🙂

        We are not seeing eye to eye on this for a simple reason. You are not convinced, and I am. And, I’m going to suggest that you are grasping at straws for reasons to stay out of the game. Quit playing referee & get in the damn game. Humanity needs you.


      • I think that if you have a message … which is good … It needs to be said as many ways as it can possibly be said BECAUSE the bad messages are being spit & spun in every possible direction and angle we can imagine. DON’T say, yeah, but what is good and what is bad. In this case, religion & god in every version is bad.

        We’ve all done the homework. We’ve done the research. The debate is over. BULLSHIT has been called. Time to set the words ablaze.


      • And this is some pretty mild irony, and the logic behind it is sufficient to resonate with a considerable amount of thinking individuals. A caricature is an over-the-top exaggeration, and most thinking individuals aren’t going to think that John has made any considerable leap here.

        Perhaps one day we will live in a utopia where sarcasm & irony are no longer necessary, but until then they necessarily appeal to human nature.


    • Hello P&W,
      I think one has to take into consideration that the idea of “trinity” with a monotheistic god, makes more sense if one uses the “beyond the understanding of wee mortals” and I think John’s post highlights the fact that many find the whole idea of “trinity” to be a bit absurd. (even some within the christian religions do)
      Perhaps it is a bit of an oversimplification, but it makes it’s point nonetheless. Why does the idea of the trinity make sense to some? why does it make sense to you? Perhaps that is the better question.


    • Cheers Ark…. Now please let Whiskey know that he’s talking out of his ass. Whiskey is a friend, but he’s of the annoying variety. he insists Christianity ISN’T about Jesus being god 😉


  4. It knocked down a tree after the nice old lady at the bus stop shooed it out of my car. A tree, I tell ya!

    Well, if it was that big you should have left it at the wheel and it might have avoided the tree!
    Think, John, think!


  5. ‘ I don’t think much of a Christian who isn’t aware of the distinction between the Father and the Son….’

    There is no distinction as far as a Christian is concerned. They are interchangeable/on and the same. If they were not then Christianity would not monotheist. I thought I already explained this?


      • I fail to understand what your friend is trying to establish here?
        Really, semantics is such a silly game when it come to theology. I always believed this was the murky demesne of the fundamentalists, so trying point-score in this instance is little more than intellectual buffoonery, made dafter because there is no real veracity about the topic at hand – and the point you were making is perfectly clear and valid.


      • Well, Whiskey is a self-described “recovering apologist” which sort of explains his Craig’iesh tendencies. Debating the semantic makeup of an imaginary being is however about the silliest way to employ your neurons imaginable.


  6. ”The average Christian wouldn’t have a CLUE what you are talking about and would merely consider John’s cartoon as attempting to take the Micky out of their belief in The Trinity,”
    I don’t agree, I think it just points out the fundamental absurdity of the Christianity.”

    To be clear, my quote was for Whiskey, and of Course it points out the absurdity of the Trinity, which is what taking The Mickey means.
    Are we not talking at cross purposes here?


    • A bit of cross purposes, it’s one of my specialties. But I was arguing with Whiskey about his nonsense too and at some point he abandoned me for other people using bigger words. So I thought I’d jump back in and take a whack at you while I was at it. 🙂


  7. We atheists have the most mysterious rituals, don’t you think?

    We affiliate with a group that is more intelligent, better educated and more open to ”the evidence” than the general population

    Of course, styling oneself as most intelligent, informed or rational-minded is a political manoeuvre as old as politics itself. It is the most straightforward way of proving that one is in the right.

    Everyone does it – Catholics, Marxists, Keynesian economists, Bob Dylan fans – as a way of justifying their views to others and to themselves. Yet we non-believers have made it our specialty: hence our preferred labels ”rationalist” and ”freethinker” and, more recently, ”reasonist” and ”bright”.

    And until recently, in fact, we seemed to have unusually good grounds for doing so. Various sociological and psychological studies have shown a correlation between atheism and higher education levels in particular, with a handful of studies correlating it with intelligence levels more explicitly. One Australian example is the 1983 study of the NSW Humanist Society, which recorded a significantly higher level of education among its members when compared with the general population.

    What is more, from the 18th century until well into the 20th, the level to which a society had secularized seemed to correlate with industrial, technological and other scientific advancement. That is, rational scientific knowledge looked, incontrovertibly, to have a central role in the decline of religion.

    In recent years, the picture has begun to look rather less clear. For a start, the connection between technological-scientific advancement and secularization has become increasingly muddied.

    The resilience of religion in the US over a century of enormous technological and scientific innovation was one of the first indicators, but this combination is now seen in other countries, such as India and South Korea. Furthermore, in recent years, those correlations between education and atheism levels have become less and less significant.

    In some instances, the relationship has even reversed. Among young men in thoroughly secularized Britain, for example, those claiming ”no religion” are slightly less likely to have a degree-level education than those who would self-describe with a religious label.

    But does this mean that atheism is any more or less likely to be true, or that God is any more or less likely to a be a paranoid delusion? By no means.

    Counting up how many intelligent or educated people subscribe to a particular view is a lazy way of avoiding engaging with the ideas themselves. And yet so much of the so-called ”God debate” – a great opportunity for serious philosophical reflection – is wasted on scrapping over whether, and what, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton or John Zande (insert cliched genius here) believed.

    The social sciences can make no comment on the existence or otherwise of God or any other supernatural phenomena. All they can do is demonstrate how humans perceive and relate themselves to such (real, imagined, or socially constructed) phenomena. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t eminently interesting or worthwhile.
    Irrespective of its truth or falsity, contemporary unbelief is a fascinating social phenomenon – or phenomena, we would be better to say, in recognition of the variety of ideas and experiences of unbelievers.

    Does the posted Meme show the intelligence, open-mindedness and love of the human condition? Not so much…


    • Stunning comment, Nate! You never do cease to amaze… in character, or out. I’m guessing this is an example of “out.”

      If I may, I would strongly argue that this silly meme does celebrate the human condition. First and foremost I am a humanist, always have been. As an Australian my movement from catholic to atheist was free of any and all friction. Religion is a non-issue on the island continent. You just don’t talk about it. I never had any cause to plant my foot and hoist some secular flag. It was only after becoming exposed to the wacky evangelicals in the States did I start to take notice the regressive danger these people represented. Before then I’d honestly never heard of anyone believing Genesis. The realisation that great swaths of the US did was simply astonishing to me. None of this nonsense would have however bothered me (or motivated me for that matter) had George Mission Accomplished Bush never been President. That was when things changed. That’s when reason had to take a stand, and the more I looked into it the more I came to see that our species needed to rid itself of superstition and exorcise religious interference in our secular societies. My tool of choice is mockery and ridicule, but my target is (typically) only the evangelical.

      Here, read this article, it might give a better handle:


      • I would offer you never where Catholic. Catholics are blood bought and once bought they never relinquish what is the ultimate price paid, after all, would you give you life up for me? No. You are not and never where Catholic. You may think you were, but I fear not.

        If something is silly why would you attach your name to it? Would you not want followers and visitors to take you seriously?

        Wacky? Would it be good for the world if the USA where to say fuck all you dumb asses? Countries piss their pants in waiting for our cash. And the USA is a Christian nation. We give money and aid the world over, everything from mosquito nets to prevent malaria to aids medicine. If Japan never bombed Pearl Harbor the world would be a different place.

        Are you talking about the Bush who responded to 911. Some believe his retaliation to the Muslim Jihad war was too little. Fuck with the bull and you get gourde by the horns. Some think the liberal cock-sucking Democrats in the USA will be it’s ruin.


      • I already explained Nathanolgy John. It served it’s purpose at the time…

        You say, “My tool of choice is mockery and ridicule, but my target is only the evangelical.”

        This is what I have a major issue with. Mockery and ridicule is a childish perspective that does not sway the undecided. I search for an intelligent explanation to what is truth, for although there are two sides there can only be one truth, and when confronted with mockery and ridicule of one side, or the other, I pause, looking for real life. You know what real life is don’t you? You do cry for the suffering John?

        I believe, maybe, the Christians might be deceived but I look at their overall actions as my barometer. Are they perfect? No Do they make mistakes? Yes. What is their ultimate goal? Raise up the down-trodden, the poor and the helpless and oppressed. Would the world be a better place without the Christians love and sacrifice and their lack of indifference? Fuck all the Hitlers and Mahmud AHMADI-NEJADs and Saddam Husseins of the world, they all need a Patriot missal up their asses.

        “And on goes another hat” is as lame a reply as your Meme of Hate.
        Pure No-Worth Bullshit.


      • “Mockery and ridicule is a childish perspective that does not sway the undecided.”

        Whoever said I was out to persuade the undecided? I’m not evangelical. If I might remind you, you came here, I didn’t come to you.

        “What is their (Christians) ultimate goal? Raise up the down-trodden, the poor and the helpless and oppressed.”

        … and that is being so perfectly expressed in the Christian rights objections to marriage equality, women’s rights, and the flat out child abuse being orchestrated by the Discovery Institute and their seemingly endless rash of young earth Creationist Bills. Don’t be a dick.


  8. Wow John, I believe Nate just windicated your position with Physicsandwhiskey. Nate did not even try to claim there was something obviously flawed in the logic of your meme. He was just angry, that you decided to take the blasphemous way of ridicule.

    The rest of his reply represented the, oh so, typical love for “thy neighbour” Christians tend to show. Perhaps it actually is, because they give so much of their love to their god and not to other humans?

    As he attacks your sarcasm as childish, he propably honestly thinks his angry reply about Patriot missiles up someones ass is very mature…

    (Very succesfull advertizing campaign the Patriot missiles had, that they continuously come up in conversations, that have nothing to do with their actual function, even though their succes rates in real situations were rather poor.)


      • This weekend is Easter so we are eating stew made with farm raised rabbit and drinking Wild Turkey to stay with the animal theme. I know I’m not coming because I’m not breathing hard yet, but I am going to the bathroom and I haven’t been on any meds in years after a very successful lobotomy.


      • Oh I think there are plenty of intelligent and good people in the US. It has at times shown good example of modernism to the rest of the world. Most countries have their moments of glory, when their people try to advance the humane good. USA as a big country has had more chances at that, then many others, but she has also like so many others botched a good deal of perfectly good opportunities. The economically strong may use its power for the benefit of the all, or use it to further the goal of being economically stronger than others. This latter choise often leads to actually stomping on others.

        The danger is that people start to think, what they do is good because they do it, not because what they do can be ethically justified.

        Persia was once the peak of scientific research and poetry in the world, but when the religious fundies took over several hundred years ago, it was bound to loose, that position. Modern USA is in a grave danger of having the same fate.

        The Patriot missiles in Israel during the the Operation Desert Storm performed very poorly. The Patriots killed more Israelis, than the Scuds (an outdated system at the time allready). Though this was propably very much because the Scuds were rather a political signal more than a real effort to wreak havoc. Their payloads had been replaced with fuel, so they would reach Israel, wich as you propably know, was out of their normal range from Iraq.


  9. Oh by the way, I think the reason for Christian monotheism trying hard to incorporate the trinity lies very much on the shoulders of Aristoteles, who (unaware of the coming of Christianity) claimed a god, that is not atemporal, is not really a god. Early church fathers (who ever they were) were propably aware of this notion, so Jesus who was a temporal character, had to be incorporated into the “Father” the god character to separate him from other sons of gods, like Hercules and Alexander the Great, or the Pharaos. But as the meme abowe shows, this brings on a completely nother set of problems.

    In this sense Islam is the monotheism taken one step further.


      • Yes, what I meant was not, that a more advanced monotheism is more clever, or better in any way. Just that it tries to be more monotheistic, than the predecessors.

        It is natural, if a new version of some old religious ideology is born, surely it tries to correct the obvious flaws of the former forms of faith. But as with all religions, since the original premise of supernatural explanations is such a misunderstanding of nature, that kind of attempts to hone the ideal only lead to further problems.


      • True… Yahwehism 3.0 (Islam) has made efforts to straighten out past errors. Wouldn’t it be nice if these people actually dedicated some of this creative talent to things that are actually useful? 🙂


  10. *looks at Nate’s mess on the floor*

    Wow, you have your fair share of interesting people here don’t you John.

    I’ve got a couple that are amazing as well, perhaps we should trade off to spice things up bit? 🙂


  11. reply to OP: Good one!
    I only scanned the banter, but did catch a comment “Christians believe Jesus is God.” I personally know many, many Christians who do not. I have conversed with Episcopal priests who do not, and read others, like Bishop Shelby Spong and his buddies in Jesus Seminar, who do not consider Jesus God. Sorry if this is redundant as you all seem here to bash and play more than anything and now you can make fun of me ; )

    Happy Easter!


      • Interesting points miss Keene…
        I too am familiar with some who find the message of Jesus , quite different from what is spelled out as christianity. But those are generally the sort that i have very few arguments with… 😉


    • @Miss Keene

      Again, I personally know quite a few Christians who would disagree.

      For the religious block of horseturd that christianity is, it certainly has many sects that seem to claim they have the one true way to heaven and rest of that promised-land fappage. Looking at the different secs, one could make the assumption that *every* christian is going to hell based on one sectarian version of “the truth” or another. Lake of fire for everyone, forever, wheeeeee!!!!! (He’s a loving {tripartite} god, honest)

      Of course there will be christians that don’t say as many atrocious things and that actually do some good in the world. I’ve read some of Spong’s work, and it isn’t half bad, but the rhetorical backflips he does, necessitated by his belief in magic and mythology, taint his work.

      Because back here in rational land we rightly call believing in leprechauns and unicorns, aka religious mythology, stupid.


      • @Miss Keene

        He’ll is empty.

        And this assertion is backed up by…?

        Well first you’ll have to prove that Hell actually exists, then we might be able to determine whether Satan has a vacancy/no vacancy sign installed.


      • Satan is dead. Hadn’t you heard?

        Revelation 22:14 in the Christian Bible:
        “Death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire.” Then, as fire is prone to do, it burned itself out. No there, there.

        Regardless, John 3:17
        “God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” No mention of religion.

        I use Christian scriptures since that is the context of this discussion.


  12. Didn’t you know? God innocently made all these binding contracts with Himself so He was eternally forced against his omnipotent will to kill baby Jesus. It’s in there…I promise.


  13. Happy Easter John! When I was growing up I was taught that God sacrificed his son Jesus to prove His love for humanity. That was simple enough, but I do remember the whole trinity thing (which I was taught was an interpretation made AFTER Jesus’ death, which is actually true) being a tough sell for me. It seemed like a rationalization, but at the same time was fascinating and sorta cool to me. Anyway, I was never taught anything about Jesus and God being precisely the same, only part of a trinity, y’know God’s son.

    Also I never remember anything about the crucifixion saving humanity from God, only that it was to prove love. (It seems strange that I have such perfect memories of these long-ago things yet can’t remember where I put my cell phone.) All of this seems a bit irrelevant to me now of course, but when I saw your meme it didn’t ring any bells for me. Just speaking for myself here (Roman Catholic upbringing) and don’t have any idea what other Christians were taught. Indeed, in my parish there were a couple of fairly progressive priests (one in particular) who were honest and very transparent with me whenever I went asking questions. Other Catholics in other parishes could have been taught something else. Your meme could actually represent the majority of teaching on it for all I know; honestly I haven’t kept up.


    • Hi Mike… Yeah, i was a Roman Catholic product, too. I swear the majority of the priests in my school (Augustinians) were very quiet atheists. Their enthusiasm for the religion was less than inspiring, which was good.


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