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Jesus and Mo Six

There’s a new Jesus and Mo book!

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And it has a foreword by Richard Dawkins, which RD has posted at RDF.

…if I had to award the Palme d’Orfor the most original and wittiest of all (amid stiff competition from such gems as Brian Dalton’s Mr Deity and the songs of Roy Zimmerman) I would have to nominate an unassuming strip cartoon from my home country: Jesus and Mo.

Folie à Dieu is the latest in a marvellous series of collections of Jesus and Mo cartoons. Every intelligent observer of contemporary disputation will enjoy it. The central protagonists, Jesus and Mo themselves, are drawn with such disarming affection, it would be hard to take offence – even given the voracious appetite for offence that the faithful uniquely indulge. Smile your way through this book, and you end up with a real liking for Jesus and Mo, a sympathy for their touchingly insecure tussles with each other, an empathy with their endearingly naïve struggle to justify their respective faiths in the teeth of harsh reality: the reality of science and critical reason, often given voice by the never seen character of the friendly but no-nonsense barmaid.

Barmaid rumored to be none other than your humble servant. I couldn’t possibly comment.

…of all the victims of this splendid mockery, perhaps the most deeply wounded will be “sophisticated theologians”, those paragons of puffed-up vacuity, puffing out their soggy, infinitely yielding clouds of self-deceiving, apophatic obscurity. “Sophisticated theology” is oxymoronic because, in truth, there is nothing in theology to be sophisticated about, but it has pretensions that are interminably spun out in verbiage whose very length contrasts with the devastating economy with which the Jesus and Mo author slices it up. To do this so effectively requires a firm grasp not just of “theology” but of philosophy too. The laconic elegance with which our Author takes out the “theologians” could only be achieved by somebody who has taken the trouble to immerse himself thoroughly in their self-deluding claptrap. Where a professional philosopher might take 1000 words to puncture the balloon of apophatuous obscurantism, the J & M strip achieves the same result at a fraction of the length and no diminution of critical effect.

Well he has to, dunne. There’s only so much room in those boxes.

But seriously. It’s a very pleasing foreword.

 

Comments

  1. Hamilton Jacobi says

    I can think of no major issue in the whole absurd panoply of religious discourse which has escaped the penetrating eye of the anonymous Author of Jesus and Mo. Turning even-handedly to those who oppose contemporary religion, he accurately lampoons the bitchy infighting to which right-on progressives are unfortunately prone – shades of Monty Python and the Judean People’s Front.

    I wonder which parts of the infighting he considers “bitchy”. All of them? Including “Dear Muslima” and passive-aggressive snark on Twitter?

  2. JA says

    @Hamilton Jacobi

    Probably that one, yes. Has Dawkins ever responded to the criticism he’s received or are we stuck with nonsense retweets that continue to miss the point entirely? What’s bothered me most about his behavior is his unwillingness to even address those who’ve taken issue with how he attempted to completely dismiss issues in the atheist movement because… misogyny is worse elsewhere? Because some women never encountered it? If his argument is better than it sounds, he certainly hasn’t made an effort to elucidate it properly.

  3. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yeah. Pleasing except for:

    Turning even-handedly to those who oppose contemporary religion, he accurately lampoons the bitchy infighting to which right-on progressives are unfortunately prone – shades of Monty Python and the Judean People’s Front.

    Not impressed. At all. No, Dawkins is not AN ENEMY FOREVER. But he’s been a complete ass about this issue and he’ll continue to be called to account for it. Frankly I’m wishing he’d fuck off right about now.

  4. HP says

    Wait, wait, wait wait, wait.

    Ophelia Benson is rumored to be the author of Jesus and Mo and can’t comment? I feel like an ST:TOS computer faced with a divide-by-zero problem or a basic Aristotelian paradox.

    “Does not compute!” Bzzt, bzzt. /*puffs of smoke, the smell of sulfur and ozone*/ Roddenberrian equilibrium attained.

    I always figured the J&M author was some privileged Commonwealth Englishman with the full suite of advantages and a university-obtained class/race identity.

  5. PG says

    Even my temper is tried eventually, but seriously, for once I will channel the spirit of FTB and say, sincerely, Josh, once and for all,

    Fuck off.

    And to Ophelia’s commenters, your patheticism increases each time you take pot shots at Richard Dawkins like this. The one time Ophelia refrains and you carry the torch in her stead. For shame.

  6. Rodney Nelson says

    PG #7 & 8

    What a compelling, irrefutable rebuttal of Josh’s argument that your hero, Richard Dawkins, has been and continues to be an ass about sexism. I am impressed by the rationality, acumen and pure horse sense in your rejoinder to Josh. Doubtless if Professor Dawkins read your defense of him, he’d give you at least two patronizing pats on the head.

  7. JA says

    @PG

    Having noticed your posts occasionally I’m probably making a mistake in even addressing you as I seriously doubt your willingness to engage in good faith, but care to point out what exactly is so terrible about “taking potshots” at Dawkins for his behavior in response to a snide comment in his foreword? It’s not exactly coming out of nowhere… Try giving people an actual reason for shame instead of posting an empty self-righteous screed of which the only point seems to be that one should never criticize Dawkins even as he slaps you across the face.

  8. Sili says

    Well he has to, dunne. There’s only so much room in those boxes.

    All philosophers should be forced to publish in cartoon form.

  9. says

    1-4 – yeh, I didn’t quote that line because I hated it, not just because of the substance but also because of “bitchy” – which in this context I can really do without.

    6 – no no no no no! I’m not rumored to be Author! No no no, Author is someone else entirely, and I do not get credit for his brilliant toon. Lots of us know him personally. I do, Maryam does, Alex and Rhys do – lots of us.

    No, I’m rumored to be the barmaid, and the rumor is so flattering that of course I like to encourage it.

  10. johnthedrunkard says

    Thanks for clearing that up Ophelia. Another pint for me please, and could you cut off those patzers down the bar there?

  11. Select says

    Folie à Dieu is the latest in a marvellous series of collections of Jesus and Mo cartoons. Every intelligent observer of contemporary disputation will enjoy it.

    I’m a reasonably intelligent observer, and I find these cartoons rather adolescent.

    LIke the time back in Catholic junior high when a classmate showed up with a statue of the virgin mary which, when turned around, became a dildo.

    Furthermore, positing a direct equivalence between Islam and Christianity or between Jesus and Mo, as these cartoons do, is akin to claiming that FGM and male circumcision are the same

    In France there is a secular group called “Riposte Laic”. They’re fighting what has become basically a rearguard action against the encroachment of theocratic fascism into France’s once secular, public space.

    Compared to secular/atheist groups in America, they’re in the trenches, they’re on the front lines, and they’re facing an aggressive, violent and implaccable enemy that is slowly gobbling the country up.

    Not only would they not find these cartoons all that funny, they’d also find them somewhat counter-productive by virtue of the fact they sow confusion and muddy the waters.

    I don’t know what to think anymore.

  12. PG says

    Having noticed your posts occasionally I’m probably making a mistake in even addressing you as I seriously doubt your willingness to engage in good faith, but care to point out what exactly is so terrible about “taking potshots” at Dawkins for his behavior in response to a snide comment in his foreword? It’s not exactly coming out of nowhere… Try giving people an actual reason for shame instead of posting an empty self-righteous screed of which the only point seems to be that one should never criticize Dawkins even as he slaps you across the face.

    I’m always willing to engage on good terms, the question is whether I’m able for our esteemed hostess.* After all, she’s all too keen putting folks in moderation. (Ironic considering the outrage she felt about herself being put in moderation. Ah, divas.) As for Josh, he said he wished Dawkins would fuck off right about now. Right, because decades of working to insert good science into classrooms and against the dogma of religion should suddenly be told to “fuck off” at the behest of one. How entitled. How privileged.

    By rights, with the sort of things he says on a regular basis with endorsement from the hostess here (“fag”, “uncle tom”, various slurs, etc) he should be told to fuck off, and my patience runs thin, too, eventually. The other reason was that Ophelia herself had refrained from stirring the pot, but her commenters felt they needed to fill in the blanks. What better way to prove him right with infighting. Then again, he never mentioned this place by name so I figure any outrage for that one sentence is subject to projection.

    Turning even-handedly to those who oppose contemporary religion, he accurately lampoons the bitchy infighting to which right-on progressives are unfortunately prone – shades of Monty Python and the Judean People’s Front.

    Oh, “bitchy” infighting and by that I suppose he means this clique? Do you feel targeted?

    You don’t think you’re taking it too personally?

    *And I was right. Honestly, Ophelia, how do you expect to keep an honest debate on here if you don’t allow people to respond? So much for “good faith.”

  13. JA says

    Yup… mistake. Sorry for giving this guy an opportunity to get on his podium and act while a victim while ignoring what people actually said and being a condescending douchebag.

  14. JA says

    *act like a victim

    Wish I had an edit function for those mistakes that crop up when I rewrite a sentence.

  15. jenniferphillips says

    Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is admirable, JA. And we get the additional benefit of laughing at someone complaining about censorship in a comment published for all to see.

    The thought that xe might have used some terms that would trigger a filter or two apparently didn’t cross hir mind.

  16. PG says

    Acting like a victim?

    You mean how when Richard Dawkins writes in a foreword an ambiguous statement about bitchy infighting and you immediately take it to mean he means FTB? Meanwhile my only “grievance” was to point out the pathetic pot shots you’re all too eager to engage in, for seemingly no good reason. But should I remind you of your starter where you assumed I wasn’t willing to engage in “good faith”? If that’s the level of condescending we’re at, mine has been relatively tame in comparison.

  17. jenniferphillips says

    an ambiguous statement about bitchy infighting

    What do you think he was referring to, PG? I’m honestly curious. Even if you believe it’s ambiguous, what would your top 3 guesses be?

    for seemingly no good reason

    But you see, we believe that dismissing the problem of sexism in the Atheist community is bad, and therefore believe our reasons for objecting to to be good. If they seem otherwise to you, so be it. I think most of us can survive knowing you think our efforts are pathetic.

  18. says

    PG keeps playing games to get around the moderation. (Yes I moderate. No I don’t object to moderation as such. I object to some moderation under some circumstances. I don’t scamper around posting as AB or YZ in order to throw a lot of bombs without having to be accountable for anything. I don’t know who “PG” is and I don’t want it here.)

  19. says

    Oh and as for allowing people to respond – I don’t want PG saying anything in the first place, so I don’t care whether or not PG gets a chance to respond. PG is not trying to have a discussion, PG is trolling.

  20. says

    Ah yes, I remember what decided me that PG is not wanted on voyage. Facesmash,
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/09/facesmash/
    September 27.

    I honestly don’t understand why you keep perpetuating the lie about someone said they wanted to “kick [you] in the cunt” when they never did, and in fact it was you perpetuating the myth in the first place the assumption that someone wanted to “kick [you] in the cunt”?

    I don’t get it, Ophelia. Maybe it’s the second-wave Dworkin type feminism that’s gotten to you, but you can’t just make things up about someone wanting to “kick [you] in the cunt” and then pass it off as truth. That’s not the mind of a sceptic. Then again, the Steinem’s and Dworkin’s of this world considered marriage to be a patriarchal institution of rape and they had thousands of followers (read: zealots).

    A shameless accusation of lying, which is totally wrong on the facts. When I pointed this out PG just airily said “Oh I confused you with Greta Christina” and left it at that. No. You don’t call me a liar and you sure as hell don’t do it on that subject given how easy it is to find the facts.

  21. dirigible. says

    “I’m a reasonably intelligent observer, and I find these cartoons rather adolescent.”

    I’m a very intelligent observer, and I find them hilarious.

  22. Select says

    I’m a very intelligent observer, and I find them hilarious

    Quelle belle example of exhaustive and thorough reasoning.

    When you draw equivalences between two things that aren’t equivalent, then you can’t arrive at a proper understanding of either of them.

    There isn’t an equivalence between Christianity and Islam; even though both invoke god and both are monotheistic, they are nonetheless very, very different from each other.

    I’m not taking sides, I’m just observing.

    Robert Redeker, the french philosopher, made that observation, wrote about it and is now under 24/7 protection from people who want him killed, and they’re not Christians.

    Michel Houellebecq, the french author, made that observation as well and was more or less forced to flee France.

    Sam Harris, likewise, has made the same observation

    Making astute observations about Mo these days and articulating those intelligent observations will pretty much result in some very real threats.

    The constant positing of equivalences, the continued sowing of confusion and constant muddying of the waters by this type of adolescent prank provides the camouflage, the underbrush, in which islamists circulate, propagate and impose their agenda.

    If you cannot extract islam from the overall enviroment, if you cannot define its bounderies, its limits and its fascistic theocratic programme, and if you keep ensuring it remains burried and embedded like so many flowers in wallpaper, then how the heck will you ever be able to target it?

    And if there truly were any eqivalences between the two, then we’d already be seeing a few “Piss Korans”, right?

    The whole Jesus and Mo equivalence thing, IMHO, is just a form of denial, and it is a form of denial, an anesthetic, pushed by islamists themselves with their constant calls to “interfaith dialoque”, calls that have no other purpose than to present/disguise islam’s sinister agenda as just-another-religion.

    I’m off to buy a pineapple now.

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