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Who needs a $30,000 watch?

The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church was caught on camera wearing a $30,000 Breguet watch. I can think of little that’s more worthless than spending the entirety of a middle-class working person’s yearly salary on an ostentatious geegaw that has no function that isn’t served as well as a $10 throwaway or the ubiquitous cell phone…no function other than showing off that you’re more profligately wealthy than anyone else, that is. You know, if someone gave me something that trivial and that overpriced, I would thank them, quietly sell it, and then find a cause on Foundation Beyond Belief that could make better use of the money than being tied up in flashy bling.

But what do I know. I’m a godless atheist, he’s the moral leader of millions.

But he does have some shame. After the photo appeared, the church quickly whipped out a copy of photoshop and doctored the image to hide the jewelry. Can’t have the peons witnessing the church’s conspicuous consumption!

Remember, moral leader of millions.

Then the Patriarch denied everything.

Patriarch Kirill weighed in, insisting in an interview with a Russian journalist that he had never worn the watch, and that any photos showing him wearing it must have been doctored to put the watch on his wrist.

Remember, moral leader of millions.

Unfortunately for the Patriarch, the evidence was undeniable, and the church was later compelled to admit that yes, the old guy had been wearing the watch, and yes, they’d tried to airbrush it out of existence. They lied, he lied.

Remember, moral leader of millions.

But the patriarch has presented himself as the country’s ethical compass, and has recently embarked on a vocal campaign of public morality, advocating Christian education in public schools and opposing abortion and equal rights for gay people. He called the girl punk band protest at the cathedral “sacrilege.”

Remember, moral leader of millions.

The Patriarch has more important concerns than petty trivialities like his penchant for extravagant jewelry, the corruption of his church, or the ridiculous hypocrisy of a religion founded on claims of the importance of the immaterial spending profligately on toys of the obscenely wealthy.

The Rev. Vsevolod Chaplin, a senior church cleric, played down the episode. In a telephone interview, he said that the controversy over the watch was distracting attention from more serious questions, like “the borders of artistic freedom and the meaning of the Gospels today.”

Do not question the moral leader of millions.

Comments

  1. says

    Why is it that religious figures seem to like ridiculous headgear? The watch is bad enough, but what’s with the towel and why does it need a golden antenna on top?

  2. Arwen Leigh says

    Oooops. They forgot to photoshop the watch’s reflection in the table as well. Dishonest and not overly intelligent.

  3. ekinodum says

    So they photoshopped it off of his wrist but left it in the table reflection…

  4. says

    After John 12:1-8, Christians have a point about expensive gifts and selling them in favour of poor people: “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me”

  5. Aliasalpha says

    Perhaps he needs to buy a $30000 ethical compass, that one might actually work…

  6. Dick the Damned says

    Marcus, he’s not wearing a towel on his head. He’s not a towel-head. It’s a little sheet. He’s a little sheet-head.

  7. doktorzoom says

    Who needs a $30,000 watch? I do.

    I could sell it to the leader of a church and pay my rent for the next 5 years.

  8. StevoR says

    Didn’t Jesus spend a hell of a lot more time speaking against the rich and praising the poor than he ever did speaking out against abortion and gays and demanding they have the Ten Commandments in every public building, court and parliament?
    Didn’t that most famous Rabbi say a few things against hypocrites too?

    Hmm.. Moral leader of millions? No flippin’ questions? No photoshopping later facts? Can’t seem to understand or follow what’s in his own sacred text?

  9. otranreg says

    @1 Marcus Ranum

    My guess is that the antenna has Bender, time travel and Bender is Great Cult involved.

  10. StevoR says

    @2.Arwen Leigh & #3.ekinodum : :

    Oooops. They forgot to photoshop the watch’s reflection in the table as well. Dishonest and not overly intelligent.

    The Devils in the detail, hiding in the shadows!

    Or is that the devil is watch~ing, concealed?

  11. says

    “I never wore such a expensie watch,” so says the man wearing a large gold cross, sitting in front of an expensive vase in a room with probably real gold trim, …..

    (I noticed that the reflection of his face on the table is cut off. I would if it, like the reflection of the watch, would reveal so awful truth. Could he be a wraith? )

    Famine and the Stegotetrabelodo.n

  12. says

    Years ago, as a small child, I was attending a service at my grandparent’s Ukrainian catholic church with my parents. Before the services started, I wondered aloud why there was so much gold and silver and shiny things as it was my five-year-old understanding that Jesus didn’t approve of such fancy stuff.

    My mum said “don’t talk in church.”

    My dad stifled a giggle before being elbowed in the ribs.

    I started to become aware that this whole church business wasn’t really making any sense.

  13. EvoMonkey says

    How much does that hat cost?

    It looks like prop from a SunRa or a George Clinton concert.

    I’m guessing that the golden antenna allows the “Patriarch from Planet Kirill” communicate with the mothership (aka Jesus). Or at the very least pick up a time signal to keep his $30,000 watch synchronized to the millisecond.

  14. robro says

    And they’re idiots. They got caught because they didn’t Photoshop out the reflection of the watch on the table? Duh! Heads will roll…literally.

    Actually, the whole scene is rather opulent. His clothes, that helmet, the detail in the wainscoting and door, the vase…talk about your splendor.

    One thing, though…on the front of that helmet…did the Flying Spaghetti Monster make a surreptitious appearance?

  15. twist says

    See, this is why the church needs YOUR help! Yes, you! Just a monthly donation of $30,000 can buy a clergy member the ridiculous overpriced watch he so deperately needs.

    Remember when the naked dude powerpoint priest told kids that they should consider giving money to the church? Maybe he needed a new car.

  16. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Why is everybody focusing on a very nice timekeeper when Mother Russia is being threatened by marching homosexuals?

    One little lie in the face of such a dire threat to civilization is nothing.

  17. epikt says

    Arwen Leigh says:

    Oooops. They forgot to photoshop the watch’s reflection in the table as well. Dishonest and not overly intelligent.

    It’s an almost cdesign-proponentsists-quality moment.

  18. StevoR says

    @robro :

    And they’re idiots. They got caught because they didn’t Photoshop out the reflection of the watch on the table? Duh! Heads will roll…literally.

    Actualy not *literally* I think.

    Russia from memory does have the death penalty but I’m pretty sure its by methods other than beheading – firing squad or hanging or leathal injection maybe? – and only for the most serious crimes which do NOT include “failed photoshop” and embasrrassing the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. That Church doesn’t have the power or right to conduct capital punishment I’m fairly certain.

  19. jamnit says

    So, the fact that he’s sitting in a room with gold on the walls, gold on the doors and gold on the pots… While he’s also wearing a hat with gold on it… Just breezes past their concern?

    We have to ‘shop out this wristwatch because that might give away the mystique of righteous poverty the church has had up to now?

    Wow.

  20. ikesolem says

    Probably the expensive watch is just one of the perks of the religious organization’s money laundering business, an area where religion has been very active for many years:

    People & Power examines the secretive world of the Vatican’s bank, Apr 2011

    Dirty cash donations from illegal activities go in the front door, and come out the back door to the recipients, freshly scrubbed, now part of the “good works” program. It’s hard to think of a better setup for doing this – churches are insulated from taxes, they regularly take in cash, etc. This Google search will turn up dozens of examples from all major religions:

    religious OR religion OR churches “money laundering”

    It’s probable that most of the leaders of these organizations don’t actually believe in their religion – it’s just a cynical con game that benefits the insiders.

  21. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Small potatoes, given that they have yet to photoshop the $500,000 Faberge egg ther the patriarch has abalance atop his morally responsible brain pan.

  22. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    ShowMetheData, they are just being nostalgic for the days when they has the power of the Czar to back them up.

  23. octopod says

    LOL, that kind of underlying hat’s called a kamilavka so the sheet is called an epanokamelavkion. I suspect I am inordinately amused by mashup words.

    What is it with religious officials and fancy hats? I dunno, fancy hats have been a pretty standard feature of most human civilizations, we’re a bit of an exception…

  24. rikitiki says

    Considering the head gear: due to the long-hanging side sheets –
    pay no attention to the many behind the curtain.

  25. Aquaria says

    ShowMetheData, they are just being nostalgic for the days when they has the power of the Czar to back them up.

    Or when Stalin backed them up. Remember, he was the Russian Orthodox’s BFF once he got rid of all the people he hated and needed a sure-fire way to whip people into a more obedient shape on his behalf. That’s why he almost made the RO the official Soviet church, and why it exploded with growth after he nearly destroyed it.

    To the overall topic of the post:

    There’s just no good answer for why a creep like this has such a watch.

    If he bought it at a legitimate retailer, then he’s a selfish, overpaid, fuckfaced hypocrite.

    If he bought it on the black market, highly likely in Russia, then he’s a criminal.

    If he bought a knock off, also highly likely in Russia, then he’s a vain and shallow fool.

    I guess he has to decide which is the worst of them, and stick with one.

  26. rogerfirth says

    From the NYT article:

    “A gross violation of our internal ethics has occurred, and it will be thoroughly investigated,” the church said in a statement. “The guilty will be severely punished.”

    Yeah, right. They’ll move him to another parish and make him wear only Cartier from now on.

  27. anubisprime says

    Lying is a very religious pastime.
    Only the very committed of liars become religious…because they actually lie to themselves!

    Unfortunately for religion, it gets so embarrassed about its real intent, (that is the intent that it does not want the sheeple to see) that it makes rather a complete jackass of itself trying to pretend otherwise!

  28. LightningRose says

    On the bright side, whoever bought that watch had $30K less to spend doing actual damage to humanity.

  29. Geral says

    If this was an elected official who used taxpayer money to buy it, there would be outrage over corruption.

    Instead he’s a religious official who used donation money to buy it. Hmm..

    If both the Orthodox church, Catholic Church, and all the protestant churches stopped spending their money on ornament decorations and useless artifacts and spent a far greater proportion on the poor, maybe they would do more good in the world.

  30. says

    So they photoshopped it off of his wrist but left it in the table reflection…

    I noticed the same thing after about 10 seconds. My, these people are incompetent.

  31. infraredeyes says

    “A gross violation of our internal ethics has occurred, and it will be thoroughly investigated,” the church said in a statement. “The guilty will be severely punished.”

    So some unfortunate office staffer is going to be sent to remedial Photoshop classes, I suppose.

  32. rr says

    What a joke – the Chief Liar of an organization of liars sucks at lying. C’mon Russian Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church makes you look like amateurs.

  33. says

    One of the most entertaining threads ever.

    Of course this room doesn’t hold a candle to the Vatican. Wonder what kind of watch Pope Benedict XVI wears? Did a quick image search but can’t find a very identifiable type. Just a plain black leather band, maybe a Movado, Bulova, Timex?

  34. cag says

    Dick the Damned #7

    He’s a little sheet-head.

    Thanks for the language lesson. I never knew that “ee” as in sheet was pronounced the same as “i”.

  35. cyberax says

    StevoR @25:

    Russia does not have a death penalty (we’re at least somewhat civilized!). Before the abolition it was performed by single shot to the head.

  36. ogremeister says

    Ooooh, this is like one of those “Spot The Differences” cartoon games in the Sunday paper. I can play this one:

    1. The man in the picture on the left has an expensive watch on his wrist, but the one on the right does not.
    2. The left picture shows a lot of expensive furnishings and design elements paid for with donations, while the one on the right…does too.
    3. The picture on the left does not show evidence of a deity, but the one on the right….does not either.

    Hmmm…this is harder than I thought.

  37. Ivan says

    When I saw this image in my RSS feed, I was sure that it came from Russian segment of the blogosphere. Nice to see the hypocrisy of our “holy men” exposed internationally.

    However, it seems that your file on the Patriarch is a bit incomplete. While this watch almost certainly is a gift, the guy surely could have bought it as easily as you would buy yourself a Swatch. Where could a spiritual leader gather such riches? The story gets really weird.

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the 90’s, the new Government decided to make amends to the Orthodox Church for persecution under the Communist rule. A lot of churches and monasteries were returned to the Church, it was given time on TV and radio and so on. Fair enough so far.

    Naturally, the expansion of Church required a lot of money. Churches needed to be repaired, new priests to be educated, etc. The government decided to give the Church a hand here as well. Once again, I wouldn’t call this unfair: believers really were oppressed in the Soviet time.

    Now, our economy was in pretty bad shape at the time, and direct aid from the State budget was out of question. Instead, the Church was given an option to import several types of goods tax-free. Import taxes were pretty high, so the Church would get a considerable profit.

    It happens that the list of items our Church was allowed to import included… cigarettes. Other tobacco products as well, I believe. You might imagine, for a moment, that our Moral Leaders would just ignore such an option and decline to take a part in poisoning their own flock. Then again, you might not. And you would be right. After all, if THEY didn’t bring tobacco to Russia, someone else surely would! So these huge profits would better go to the HOLY cause instead of enriching some sinner!

    Take a guess: who was the Church person in charge of the tobacco import business? In case you’re stuck, look for the hint in the second paragraph of my comment. Yep, the not-yet-Patriarch, but already a Metropolitan bishop Kirill Gundyayev. And it looks like a small part of gold passing through his hands remained there.

    Well, at least he hasn’t fucked any child, to my knowledge.

  38. says

    Apparently the Orthodox Church hasn’t studied conservative American Protestantism enough. If they had they’d just invoke the “Prosperity Doctrine” and claim having a 30 grand watch is proof of God’s approval of the Church.

  39. juice says

    Russian Patriarch becomes $660,000 richer thanks to dust

    Former Healthcare Minister Yury Shevchenko will pay 19.7 million rubles (approximately $660,000) to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill to compensate the damage caused to the patriarch’s apartment. Shevchenko had to sell his apartment in St. Petersburg to be able to pay the fine.

    The lawsuit against the former healthcare minister was filed last year by Patriarch’s sister, Lidia Leonova. The plaintiff said that Shevchenko caused financial damage to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church as he was renovating his apartment in Moscow’s highly prestigious building on the embankment of the Moscow River. It was presumably the construction dust, which caused the damage. The dust ruined many books and other things in Patriarch’s apartment. The damage was evaluated at 19.7 million rubles.

  40. Heliantus says

    OT @ StevoR

    Heads will roll…literally.

    Actualy not *literally* I think. Russia from memory does have the death penalty but I’m pretty sure its by methods other than beheading – firing squad or hanging or leathal injection maybe?

    Firing squad, more precisely a single bullet in the back of the head.

    I remember reading an interview of a Russian executioner, who was claiming this method was more humane than hanging, beheading or injection, because it’s quickly over, and he, at least, was trying to surprise the condemned, by walking behind the prisoner and shooting immediately as he is walking inside the execution room. I would argue with the morale of the penalty itself, but I have to agree with the humane and quick part, compared to lethal injection. As long as the first shot is indeed fatal.

    Re: a $ 30,000 watch.
    Eh, what’s the matter? Don’t you know that, if you don’t have a Rolex by 40’s, you have wasted your life?
    (rumored to have been said by my “bling bling” president, who is sporting watches of this level of lucre)

  41. Agent Silversmith, Post Palladium Isotope says

    Pompous cleric tries to hide his ridiculous wristbling, but gets foiled by the blind watchfaker.

  42. Olav says

    Some Swiss watches are fascinating works of art and engineering. Many of them will cost much more than $30,000. Yes, it is decadent to own one, but the same can be said of other works of arts, like sculptures and paintings. If someone can afford it of their own money, I can’t fault them for wanting such a timepiece.

    I don’t think this pope’s watch is quite in that same category. Neither are most Breitlings, Cartiers, Rolexes and such. Those are just overpriced serial produced watches. Good quality, but nothing special.

  43. kreativekaos says

    Three cheers for PZ– totally agree. A social critic in my region here in Southeast Michigan has, over the years, critiqued the example of buying/owning a multi-thousand dollar watch (when MUCH less expensive alternatives could be used) in the face of decades-long economic degradation of the middle class.

  44. otranreg says

    @17 StevoR: ‘klobuk’ rhymes with ‘cook’ (of ‘fuck’ if you’re a Northerner) — word stress is on the last syllable.

    @34 Aquaria: lots of plusses. All talk of religious persecution in the Soviet Union is loaded with bullshit, especially when it refers to the time of Stalin and after him.

  45. Russell says

    The Patriarch’s taste puts PZ to shame .

    What is ostentatious about a thin, plain gold white dialed, Roman numeraled watch , or paying upright members of the Swiss middle class fair wages for several months of their labor?

  46. Amphiox says

    What is ostentatious about a thin, plain gold white dialed, Roman numeraled watch , or paying upright members of the Swiss middle class fair wages for several months of their labor?

    That depends entirely on who is the one preaching about the virtues of poverty.

  47. jamesevans says

    What is ostentatious about a thin, plain gold white dialed, Roman numeraled watch , or paying upright members of the Swiss middle class fair wages for several months of their labor?

    You’re gonna have to ask the Russian Orthodox Church that question there, Russell. Or did you miss the part where they were so proud of their leader’s upright middle class watchmaker charity, that they felt the need to stumble all over themselves lying, backpedaling, and orchestrating the weakest, most knuckleheaded cover-up in the history of mutilated church mulligans?

    Makes the bungling scheming in Three Stooges movies look like a tightly-wound Hitchcock plot.

  48. Chris Booth says

    He’s making a statement. The statement is:
    “The Communists were right about us, and P.T. Barnum was right about the people.”

    Then:
    “And now the Communists are gone, and we are rich again!”

    And petulantly:
    “I didn’t take no vow of poverty to be poor, yo.”

  49. Chris Booth says

    There’s a special gulag–er, bolgia–set aside for those who photoshop poorly.

  50. Chris Booth says

    That explains the curse he cursed when he realized he’d been caught: “‘Od’s watch!”

  51. davedell says

    My favorite watch repair person showed me a catalog of watches that have price tags in excess of 100K. Some as high as 700K. Purely mechanical. Some would chime the time for you in the dark.

    What’s the point in having a watch costing half a million? To show the world you’ve “made it” to the point where half a million is just barely enough to bolster your ego.

  52. Gregory in Seattle says

    Stalin was very good at this sort of thing: it is apparently a high tradition in Russia.

  53. alexmartin says

    The guy had an expensive watch on his wrist, possibly a gift from parishioner or friend.

    And, so what?

    If he’d been given a Bentley and a mansion to go along with that $30,000 watch, what the fuck is that to you?

    If a gift, was it that individual’s duty, by dent of his moral authority and opprobrium avoidance, to flatly reject the gift of said friend, urging him instead to sell said gift(s) and give alms to the poor…

    –Lest his pharisee-like haters endlessly carp about it?

    Did not his lord accept an expensive gift greatly disfavored by his detractors as well? It is written, what…?

    Oh, what great hypocrisy. On your part.

    Well, we all know how this goes. If a well-to-do buddy, say, were to attempt to give YOU a gift, a poodle, let’s say, you’d damn well better curse him the fuck out and dispense with him, and pronto!

    You are, after all, a beknighted moralist with an image to maintain.

  54. Matt Penfold says

    The guy had an expensive watch on his wrist, possibly a gift from parishioner or friend.

    And, so what?

    He is the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. He claims moral authority over millions of people, and yet ignores the teachings of his religion.

    You knew this of course.

    Why ask a question that has already been answered ?

  55. alexmartin says

    Silence, thus far?
    Of course there’s silence.

    The appropriate term would be reductio ad absurdum.

    Your arguments and vitriol are all sieves which hold no water.

    Haters.

  56. Amphiox says

    The guy had an expensive watch on his wrist, possibly a gift from parishioner or friend.

    Why would you automatically assume it is a gift?

    And, so what?

    Why not ask that question to the church. They obviously thought it was a big enough deal to try to cover it up.

    This story would have had no legs if they hadn’t done that. If they had just said, as you, “So what? The bishop has an expensive watch. We don’t consider that a big deal.”

    What “teachings of his religion” are those exactly, Matt Penfold?

    The ones criticizing the evils of conspicuous consumption and frivolous wealth. The one about the needle and the camel and the rich man getting into the kingdom of heaven. The ones encouraging the clergy to lives of simplicity and service. The ones celebrating the sanctity of humility and poverty.

    And the ones about truthfulness and the bearing of false witness, which for where I stand, don’t seem so compatible with the deliberate doctoring of images and documents.

    But of course, I’m not up to speed on advanced theological morality, so what do I know?

    Silence, thus far?
    Of course there’s silence.

    I hope you realize that the timestamps automatically tell us how much time has passed between this comment and the last, which reveals to everyone here just what an immature, pathetic, dishonest, odious idiot you are to have the nerve to post something like this.

  57. says

    alexmartin:

    Silence, thus far?

    It’s not because you have some sort of awesome argument. You don’t.

    1. A number of the regulars here find you too fuckwitted to bother with, you simply parrot the same old shit over and over. Barely enough there to sharpen the fangs.

    2. It’s the weekend, fuckwit. Lots of people are out and about enjoying life, said enjoyment not including reading the same old shit from you.

    3. It’s a holiday weekend, fuckwit. Lots of people are taking advantage with mini-vacations and others are busy cooking and hosting family.

    4. Some of us are working (like me), which I find much more enjoyable than bothering with your dull canards.

  58. alexmartin says

    Suddenly, y’all all, who just hates da word o’ gawd, have become Bible scholars.

    There is nothing at all wrong with a christian religious leader being in possession of a relatively expensive bauble. Period. Deal with that fact.

    The second fact is that you swarm of gnats attack all things church-y so persistently, robotically, and mindlessly that certainly the Russian Orthodox Church felt the sting of your plenteous barbs and then regrettably flinched.

    Over a mothafuckin’ watch. They cowered and they lost, to you Haters. What a damn shame.

    So, you scholars would all unanimously claim that all the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, all the prophets, kings and leaders, even the apostles themselves were all impoverished wretches? Seriously?

    Get your damn facts straight.

    There is no prohibition against naked WEALTH by christians laity or leadership in the christian bible. The probative sin is the love of money.

    Cretins.

  59. alexmartin says

    And thus we change the goal posts when our arguments run flat.
    To remind you, you condemned man and cursed a nonexistent god because a representative of that nonexistent god dared bare a pricey goo-gaw to public display.

    What people DO with their money, what YOU do with your money, has nothing at all to do with whether or not you should HAVE that money (or in the case of you Marxists hereby collected, be ALLOWED to have that money) in the first place.

    Feel me?

    Now go back to your rooms and lay down on your beds, curl up in the fetal position, place thumb in mouths, and hum softly to yourselves.

  60. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    There is no prohibition against naked WEALTH by christians laity or leadership in the christian bible. The probative sin is the love of money.

    Cretins.

    You do realize that you are making rich Christians and especially their leadership seem like even more of selfish assholes with this, right?
    Because, in order not to sin, they supposedly hate money, but they are still not giving it up and sharing with those that have none.

  61. says

    And thus we change the goal posts when our arguments run flat.
    To remind you, you condemned man and cursed a nonexistent god because a representative of that nonexistent god dared bare a pricey goo-gaw to public display.

    Someone who’se income is based on donations of the lower classes having bling is a problem.

    What people DO with their money, what YOU do with your money, has nothing at all to do with whether or not you should HAVE that money

    Except he’s not supposed to, by his religion, HAVE money. As pointed out the watch has no purpose other than to display wealth (as it’s practical effects are accomplished just as effectively). It’s an item that exists souly to flout wealth, both of which are sort of no-nos according to the bible. It’s no surprise the church has rampant hypocrisy, but they also are fucking liars for trying to cover it up in a ham handed fashion because they themselves were embarrassed by it.

    Also with the obvious trolling and defense of the Church, I’m going to throw out the required questioning if Pilty is back.

  62. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Must be a new Christian self-flagellation method.
    They hate the money. Detest the vile thing. But they can’t give it away (say, to the poor), they must keep the temptation close.
    It’s a God’s way of testing them. For every coin they give to a beggar, that is one lash less they can give themselves and one step away from martyrdom.

  63. says

    Beatrice:

    They hate the money. Detest the vile thing. But they can’t give it away (say, to the poor), they must keep the temptation close.

    Sure, they’re just like the Yen Buddhists of Discworld, the richest sect in the entire multiverse, the Yen Buddhists believe that money is the root of all evil, and therefore accumulate as much of it as possible to prevent it from adversely affecting others.

  64. Amphiox says

    There is no prohibition against naked WEALTH by christians laity or leadership in the christian bible. The probative sin is the love of money.

    “Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21

    “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

    No mention whatsoever about “love of money” here. It is explicitly BEING RICH, HAVING WEALTH, that is considered the problem. And the first statement in particular, since it has always been interpreted as an instruction by Jesus to those who would be his disciples, ie his PRIESTHOOD. They must sell their possessions give the money away.

    Our godbot doesn’t even know his own holy book.

    Or perhaps he is just lying about it.

  65. Amphiox says

    Suddenly, y’all all, who just hates da word o’ gawd, have become Bible scholars.

    Some of us (admittedly not me), WERE Bible scholars, and it was the bible scholarship that directly led to becoming an atheist, as the more you study that thing, the more obvious it is that it is nonsensical.

    But then, the ENTIRE POINT of Protestant Fundamentalism is that the bible is literally true, word for exact divinely inspired word. It does not need scholarship. It does not need interpretation. The words are the words are the words. What they say is what they say, exactly. All you should need to comprehend it is a dictionary.

    I suppose the Russian Orthodox church isn’t supposed to be fundamentalist. I guess, by some metaphoric interpretation, a $30,000 watch doesn’t count as wealth, or a possession, and doctoring an image doesn’t count as lying.

  66. alexmartin says

    You don’t see it?
    You do not see the sickness exhibited here?
    You dare to invade another citizens’ pockets, to crawl through your neighbors trash, to comb through a friends tax returns?

    What the fuck is wrong with you people?
    Do you work for the Stasi?

    Please, for the love of sanity, for decency’s sake, Stop The Psychosis!Love, appreciate, and respect your neighbors’ affluence, as you would have your neighbor render unto you.

    Got it?

    Do you not understand that you viciously scrabble for state and culturally enforced collective mediocrity? That you heedlessly race to the crab-barrel bottom, angrily tearing at the next man who dares to hold a pfenning or farthing more than State- prescribed, that personal incentive has now been criminalized and you’ve all become the roving, club-wielding Enforcement Bureau?

    You need the brown shirts as well?

  67. says

    the Yen Buddhists believe that money is the root of all evil, and therefore accumulate as much of it as possible to prevent it from adversely affecting others.

    I swear that I have heard in HS a wealthy Christian use that same argument.

    “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

    Which IMO is hilarious and ironic because he was 100% right. The second his church had real money they started wringing their hands and making excuses for why they could keep it. It’s one thing to become corrupt and fall, but to not only have your bible warn you about that specifically but also have a story about someone falling despite being told of it beforehand (Peter) and to STILL do it!

  68. Amphiox says

    The second fact is that you swarm of gnats attack all things church-y so persistently, robotically, and mindlessly that certainly the Russian Orthodox Church felt the sting of your plenteous barbs and then regrettably flinched.

    alexmartin seems to have an imperfect grasp of the flow of time. (Maybe he’s a TimeLord with amnesia?)

    Um, cupcake, we DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT THIS UNTIL AFTER THE IMAGE WAS DOCTORED. It became newsworthy, and we found out about it, ONLY BECAUSE IT WAS DOCTORED.

    It was the doctoring that made this thing newsworthy. And the outright denial of it afterwards.

    And the orthodox church did that all on its own lonesome initiative.

  69. says

    You don’t see it?
    You do not see the sickness exhibited here?
    You dare to invade another citizens’ pockets, to crawl through your neighbors trash, to comb through a friends tax returns?

    So if you’re struck by a flasher that makes you a peeping tom because you saw his weewee stick?

    Do you not understand that you viciously scrabble for state and culturally enforced collective mediocrity? That you heedlessly race to the crab-barrel bottom, angrily tearing at the next man who dares to hold a pfenning or farthing more than State- prescribed, that personal incentive has now been criminalized and you’ve all become the roving, club-wielding Enforcement Bureau?

    …I seriously ask the level of DUUUUUURP it takes to write a rant like that accusing others of being foaming at the mouth insane, and not realize how batsqueeking goats on fire turds braided in hair nuts they sound.

    Do you not understand that you viciously scrabble for state and culturally enforced collective mediocrity?

    Thank goodness there are people like you brave enough to fight for the elites

  70. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Alexmartin, you seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that we would give a shit about this if this guy was anything other than a priest, the highest one in Russia.

    For a guy who claims to be the moral voice of 143 million people and the representative of Christ on Earth, casually running around with something worth more money than a lower-class family sees ina year is a problem.

    For a guy who is the leader of a religion that follows a guy who ranted (rather impressively, I might add) about the imperative of helping the poor and less-than, it is even worse.

  71. Amphiox says

    You don’t see it?

    Nope.

    You do not see the sickness exhibited here?

    Only in your posts.

    You dare to invade another citizens’ pockets, to crawl through your neighbors trash, to comb through a friends tax returns?

    WTF?

    What the fuck is wrong with you people?

    Nothing. You, on the other hand, I have to wonder about.

    Do you work for the Stasi?

    WTF?

    Love, appreciate, and respect your neighbors’ affluence

    Sure, if he isn’t busy preaching the virtue of poverty all the time. Since I don’t believe in loving, appreciating, and respecting anyone’s hypocrisy.

    Like yours, for example.

    Do you not understand that you viciously scrabble for state and culturally enforced collective mediocrity?

    WTF?

    You need the brown shirts as well?

    WTF?

  72. Amphiox says

    There is no prohibition against naked WEALTH by christians laity or leadership in the christian bible. The probative sin is the love of money.

    In other words, there is no sin in the action that has direct consequences on one’s fellow man. There is only sin in the thought.

    What an odious, despical, ethically bankrupt philosophy.

    (Note that I am not accusing the religion, necessarily, of having this philosophy, since who knows of alexmartin is an expert on that religion’s teachings. I am accusing alexmartin, presonally, of being a despicable, odious, morally bankrupt ethical degenerate.)

  73. says

    You dare to invade another citizens’ pockets, to crawl through your neighbors trash, to comb through a friends tax returns?

    You’re approaching Timecube frothiness, Cupcake. Throw the Quantumn Tomatoes™ out of the window…now!

  74. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I seriously question how people like Alex hold both Christianity and Objectiveism/Libertarianism in their heads.

    It’s not like anything else is in there.
    I imagine they occasionally collide while floating in all that empty space, causing a little spark of awareness that results in these incoherent rants.

  75. alexmartin says

    Delusion.
    You will all see only what you wish to see.
    So here is your test: you scant number of decidedly affluent Western militant humanist/secularist/atheist/communist assholes could almost effortlessly band together today and with stolid, fix-jawed devotion, drive, and verve, forever fix and cure global poverty and hunger and decrepitude for all time.

    Right now, you could make it so that no child anywhere in the world suffers needlessly. You most certainly could fix ALL of the Western world’s poverty issues and give lie to the Yeshua-istic claim that “the poor you will have with you always”, to paraphrase, and yet you what—

    DON’T??

    But hate on only those who TRY to do the above?

    As your sightline is unclear, you will most likely have to change the wiper blade on your navels.

  76. Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret says

    Alexmartin,
    Real fast, I want you do something.
    Tell me what evidence you have that we don’t donate to charity, volunteer at food kitchens, and agitate for political fixes for the various problems.

    Wait – you can’t.

  77. KG says

    Do you not understand that you viciously scrabble for state and culturally enforced collective mediocrity? That you heedlessly race to the crab-barrel bottom, angrily tearing at the next man who dares to hold a pfenning or farthing more than State- prescribed, that personal incentive has now been criminalized and you’ve all become the roving, club-wielding Enforcement Bureau? – alexmartin

    You fuckwitted lying scumbag, the past thirty years have seen a vast concentration of wealth within most countries, led by the USA, a festival of limitless greed presided over by your fellow fuckwitted lying Randian scumbag Greenspan. During this period, there has been a continuous chorus of sycophantic praise for the rich, a ludicrous pretence that they have earned the vast sums they dispose of and the power it brings them honestly and fairly.

    As far as the hypocrite in the fancy headgear is concerned, even if one were to overlook his hypocrisy, there is also the matter of the lies his minions told – very ineptly – in an attempt to cover it up. Of course, as a liar yourself, I understand you would have no objection to this, but you can’t expect the rest of us to be so ready to overlook it.

  78. carlie says

    But hate on only those who TRY to do the above?

    Well, the Vatican isn’t trying very hard, judging by the amount of money they tied up in pretty things. Is that what you mean?

    When you are supposed to be honoring Jesus’ command to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, having a piece of jewelry that would save hundreds from starving to death is pretty much the definition of a sin.

  79. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Delusion.
    You will all see only what you wish to see.

    That’s certainly true for someone here.

  80. carlie says

    Alex, one simple question – if the bishop thinks it’s totally ok to have a $30k watch, then why did he have the photo doctored to remove it?

  81. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    alexmartin:

    Do you, or do you not, think it acceptable that:

    a) a priest who is supposed to be Christ’s representative on earth, has a $30,000 watch?

    b) the Orthodox Church doctored the photo in which he wore the watch?

    c) the Orthodox Church lied about the photo when they were caught?

    Those are the questions of the original post.

  82. kemist says

    You don’t see it?
    You do not see the sickness exhibited here?
    You dare to invade another citizens’ pockets, to crawl through your neighbors trash, to comb through a friends tax returns?

    Oh great, another fucking libertarian, who thinks taxes are the highest crime on earth.

    What the fuck is wrong with you people?
    Do you work for the Stasi?

    Meh.

    Please, for the love of sanity, for decency’s sake, Stop The Psychosis!Love, appreciate, and respect your neighbors’ affluence, as you would have your neighbor render unto you.

    I would love to hear you preach that as you and your children starve to death, just in front of a great banquet given for your magnificent elite, just for their amusement.

    Got it?

    What, that libertarian are are both selfish and deluded ? We’ve known for a while, yeah.

    Do you not understand that you viciously scrabble for state and culturally enforced collective mediocrity? That you heedlessly race to the crab-barrel bottom, angrily tearing at the next man who dares to hold a pfenning or farthing more than State- prescribed, that personal incentive has now been criminalized and you’ve all become the roving, club-wielding Enforcement Bureau?

    Yes, because paying your just part into the society that has groomed you into the person you are now will certainly make everyone “mediocre”, that’s for sure. Everyone knows that poor people are poor by their own fault. Because they’re mediocre.

    Sorry, starving children. You see, you must die because taking even one bite from rich people will harm them so irretreivably that they will surely become mediocre and worthless just like you.

    You need the brown shirts as well?

    Don’t care what color. As long as they keep me warm.

  83. KG says

    So here is your test: you scant number of decidedly affluent Western militant humanist/secularist/atheist/communist assholes could almost effortlessly band together today and with stolid, fix-jawed devotion, drive, and verve, forever fix and cure global poverty and hunger and decrepitude for all time. – alexmartin

    That’s a bare-faced lie. Those with real power – the rich and the political and military elites – have absolutely no intention of allowing their systems of exploitation to be dismantled.

    If you dispute that it is a lie, then your test is to explian in sufficient detail just how the “scant number of decidedly affluent Western militant humanist/secularist/atheist/communist assholes” could “forever fix and cure global poverty and hunger and decrepitude for all time”. Come on, liar, show us how it could be done.

  84. Amphiox says

    Right now, you could make it so that no child anywhere in the world suffers needlessly.

    Well, we certainly TRIED to make it so that no child in just one country, the United States, would have to suffer needlessly from just one simple thing – an inability to pay for needed medical care.

    But we couldn’t do it, thanks to political opposition from libertian assholes like YOU.

  85. says

    So here is your test: you scant number of decidedly affluent Western militant humanist/secularist/atheist/communist assholes could almost effortlessly band together today and with stolid, fix-jawed devotion, drive, and verve, forever fix and cure global poverty and hunger and decrepitude for all time.

    Citation needed. Or have you been combing through our tax returns?

    There is no prohibition against naked WEALTH by christians laity or leadership in the christian bible. The probative sin is the love of money.

    As usual, impure thoughts easily outweigh actions. Sort of like how thinking about sex, “committing adultery in your heart,” is a sin worthy of hellfire, but actual sexual molestation of children just gets you moved to a different church.
    Again, the only reason to wear a $30,000 watch is to flaunt your wealth. And the only reason to photoshop it out of a picture is awareness of the hypocrisy.
    Nice Godwin, though. Alexmartin, you are a real piece of work.
    I will leave figuring out the meaning of “work” as an exercise for the student.

  86. Amphiox says

    And we’ve been TRYING, for decades now, to prevent children in Africa from suffering from the scourge of HIV, by promoting the distribution and use of condoms and such, but we haven’t been as successful as we have hoped, largely thanks to opposition from religious fanatics LIKE YOU, alexmartin.

  87. kemist says

    So here is your test: you scant number of decidedly affluent Western militant humanist/secularist/atheist/communist assholes could almost effortlessly band together today and with stolid, fix-jawed devotion, drive, and verve, forever fix and cure global poverty and hunger and decrepitude for all time.

    I ? Affluent ?

    I should bring you to the bank next time I try to negociate a loan. Let you try to convince them of my “affluence”, in between an insecure job and student loans.

    Good luck.

  88. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Someone, please refresh my memory, is alexmartin the person who recently gave us a history lesson about the Democratic and Republican parties and race, a knowledge that only he had. But he quickly gave up trying to teach us because he could not answer the challenges to his facts?

  89. alexmartin says

    The Malthusian Lie, the Peak Oil deception, the hated Concentration of Wealth in Few Hands, Bourgeousie/Proletariat deathmatch, yada yada.

    I have said it before and will say it again, that having enjoyed the greatest system of freedom and individual liberty the world has ever known, the best economic and political system the world will ever see, a laissez faire economic system that allowed the individual the freedom to be and to become, to succeed or fail solely on that persons’ merit unmolested by domineering, confiscatory Government, you people will succeed in destroying all that for all times, for all people, throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater in the process, cutting the limb you perch upon.

    Idiot ingrates.

    Banks are evil. Affluence is bad. Collective mediocrity good. Personal incentive criminalized. 7 types of toilet paper or 10 ten types of cleanser on your local grocers’ shelves is profligate. Meat is Western decadence. Etc., etc., ad nauseum.

    But fear not: in your fever-swamp delusional Welfare State dystopia, after you’ve succeeded in bringing down this unjust system and installed your Social Justice imperatives, you WILL learn very quickly what it is to punish yourselves appropriately with a 10-block clue at the Piggly Wiggly for a loaf of bread or a single potato because the dollar is rightfully broken and food supplies have dried up.

    We consume too much. Therefor, we must be made to consume much less. Our standard of living is way too high at the expense of the worlds’ huddled masses. That standard of living must be beaten back to common parity. We use too much of the worlds’ resources, it’s oil and gas, materials and wealth; we must therefor correct that disparity and eliminate access to resources, bar access to resources, bankrupt suppliers. We must be made to pay penance. We must be made to transfer ill-gotten national and corporate gain (wealth) to our put-upon 3rd world betters. We must be made to feel our guilt and shame and grovel in it.

    Because you deserve it. America is an evil colonialist empire that exploits the world and must be chastened, humbled, hobbled.

    The Prez is doing his part to break the Great Satan’s back. Do your part as well.

    Pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, what your worldview really is, and keep bitchin’ about some clerics’ fancy watch.

  90. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I am beginning to think that alexmartin is a crank magnet.

  91. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    alexmartin:

    Do you, or do you not, think it acceptable that:

    a) a priest who is supposed to be Christ’s representative on earth, has a $30,000 watch?

    b) the Orthodox Church doctored the photo in which he wore the watch?

    c) the Orthodox Church lied about the photo when they were caught?

  92. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I think the saddest thing about this stupid-ass troll is how smart he thinks he is. He really thinks all his contentless, reality-deprived bleating is high-impact intellectual argumentation.
    :(

  93. alexmartin says

    Janine, dear, you are undoubtedly college educated. What did your professors teach and preach to you, dear?

    Any of you.

    Any resonance here? Were you taught the love of America, of Western civilization and history, of vaunted American Exceptionalism?

    Of course not. You were mind-fucked into becoming a soldier ant in the coming neo-Communist Revolution. Don’t be schizophrenic.

    And Ogvorbis, no, I have no problem with the head of the ROC having an expensive watch. I do have a problem with them lying about it.

  94. alexmartin says

    –Oh, and Cassandra Caligaria, Sweetness, you can attack me personally aaaaaaallll you want, my love, but you cannot shut down the truth of what I benevolently impart to you.

    Dear.

    Even if you tried.

  95. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    alexmartin:

    Thank you for actually communicating rationally.

  96. Nepenthe says

    Looking at the statistics, America is pretty exceptional, but I wouldn’t consider “highest infant mortality rate in the developed world” an exception to be proud of.

    I’m betting Mr. Martin here is a computer. We’re being Sokalled.

  97. John Morales says

    alexmartin:

    And Ogvorbis, no, I have no problem with the head of the ROC having an expensive watch. I do have a problem with them lying about it.

    You may have no problem with it, but the ROC apparently did, no?

    –Oh, and Cassandra Caligaria, Sweetness, you can attack me personally aaaaaaallll you want, my love, but you cannot shut down the truth of what I benevolently impart to you.

    Dear.

    Trolling.

  98. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Alexmartin, don’t you fucking dare call me dear. And do not dare lecture me on history when your grasp is so very limited.

    Go back to Freepland.

  99. says

    CC:

    He really thinks all his contentless, reality-deprived bleating is high-impact intellectual argumentation.

    That’s the problem with the non-cognitive elite, they don’t realize just how stupid they are. Tsk.

  100. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    See what I mean? Narcissistic misogynist with an inflated sense of his own intelligence. Just like anyone who worships Ayn Rand as a deity.

  101. says

    Alexmartin, I would like to report a problem with your auto-response system. Several of us called to register a complaint about the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, a priest called to serve God, the church, and its members, to live simply and honestly, either buying or accepting as a gift a watch that cost more than some of those members earn in a year. We felt that this sort of money would be better spent helping the poor, or perhaps just keeping the heat on in the church. Instead it went toward an ostentatious display of wealth and avarice that benefited only the patriarch. This was followed by a rather un-Christlike cover-up.
    This was our complaint; but no matter which buttons we pushed, all we got was a recorded message about the benefits of the American Free Market economy, evidently set on endless repeat.
    Please fix.

  102. alexmartin says

    Amphiox #85,

    You got your beloved christian theology twisted. In the references cited, oh sage, the rich young ruler sought sanction and justification to horde his wealth; he besought (biblilical prose) to fool the christ into accepting and excusing his avarice and lust for “filthy lucre”. Yet Jesus knew his heart and his lie and cut right to the core of the matter with that young man in particular because he knew his intent. There was no evil inherent in his wealth. The evil was in the young man’s uncharitable heart.

    The second point, the “eye of the needle” was a common doorway, not a literal eye of a needle; it’s purpose was to slow the transit of animals baring packs, both for commerce and defensive purposes, as you well know.

    Thus, it was in fact possible, if not easy, for a camel to go through the “eye of the needle”.

    Dolt.

  103. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Don’t be schizophrenic.

    Ableist too. No surprises here. If we pressed different buttons, we’d also find out that he thinks the genocide of the Native Americans was peachy/didn’t happen, and that the white colonists had every right to the land they took because the Native people weren’t using it correctly and besides, Manifest Destiny. Also, it’s a shame that most people of color are just too lazy/criminal to pull themselves up by their bootstraps like good Americans (but he’s totally not racist, he judges everyone individually, racism is collectivist) and welfare is to blame for that. Can’t predict what he thinks of queer people, but I bet he is totally for women’s right to vote, while at the same time loathing feminists and making excuses for the wage gap.

  104. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    The second point, the “eye of the needle” was a common doorway, not a literal eye of a needle; it’s purpose was to slow the transit of animals baring packs, both for commerce and defensive purposes, as you well know.

    Thus, it was in fact possible, if not easy, for a camel to go through the “eye of the needle”.

    I wish that these Christers would make up their fucking minds, individually or collectively, whether the bible, whichever version it is that they use, is literally true or figuratively true.

  105. John Morales says

    [Red herrings are smelly]

    Yet Jesus knew his heart and his lie and cut right to the core of the matter with that young man in particular because he knew his intent.

    Thus the Miracle of the Photoshop.

    Thus, it was in fact possible, if not easy, for a camel to go through the “eye of the needle”.

    You’re saying that ““Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”” really means it’s pretty easy for rich men to enter heaven.

    (Pretty sure that ain’t ROC doctrine)

  106. alexmartin says

    Cassandra Caligaria (Cypher)says that I am a narcissistic misogynist who worships a woman.

    Because, I guess, it’s much easier to kill off the messenger that to deal with the message…?

  107. gjm11 says

    The Sermon on the Mount:

    Whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says “You fool!” shall be liable to the hell of fire.

    alexmartin:

    you swarm of gnats [...] Cretins. [...] Idiot ingrates.

    The Letter of James:

    Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.

    alexmartin:

    Love, appreciate, and respect your neighbors’ affluence

    Still, they say that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds…

  108. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Slime puddle, your message is nothing we haven’t heard and dealt with before. You’re not special, you’re not exceptional, you’re not original. A mindlessly dogmatic Rand fanboy cheerleading for American individualism on the internet? Call me when someone interesting shows up.

  109. alexmartin says

    Just noticed as well, that the aforemetioned Cassie Cali just called me a “racist” (-har har! typical ass-), yet you all know that I am a 43 yr old former liberal black dude from Dee-troit city.

    Imagine that.

  110. says

    I wish that these Christers would make up their fucking minds, individually or collectively, whether the bible, whichever version it is that they use, is literally true or figuratively true.

    It’s context-dependent. Basically, it depends on whether they’re trying to punish someone else for thinking the wrong thoughts, or excuse themselves for something they did.

    There was no evil inherent in his wealth. The evil was in the young man’s uncharitable heart.

    Right. Hoarding wealth is fine, but wanting to hoard wealth is evil.
    Welcome to Thoughtcrime 101, keeping the rabble in line for 2000 years. Where thinking about sex with someone other than your wife is just as bad as forcing sexual relations upon children.
    And the one unforgivable sin, punishable by eternal torture, is to deny Jesus’ divinity.

  111. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Slime mold thinks being black makes it impossible for him to be racist. Interesting. Also, he’s totally not a misogynist, he loves women!

  112. John Morales says

    [meta]

    @132, that is the most feeble distraction.

    I said you’re a troll.

    Because, I guess, it’s much easier to kill off the messenger that to deal with the message…?

    What a stupid allegory.

    No-one is killing you, not that you’re any messenger, troll.

    Bah.

  113. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    yet you all know that I am a 43 yr old former liberal black dude from Dee-troit city

    So know you make the claim that African Americans can not be racist? Does this mean Latinos, also, can not be racist? Or Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, etc.? Only white Americans can be racist?

    Oh, dear. This shines a whole new light on your claims of ‘American Exceptionalism,’ doesn’t it?

  114. gjm11 says

    alexmartin #128, my understanding is that (1) there is no evidence that there was ever a gate called “the eye of the needle”, and (2) there is no reason to think that the idea of such a gate arose any earlier than the 9th century. (Perhaps not until much later.)

    If you have contrary evidence, do please feel free to share it.

    (Alternatively, you might prefer to insult me instead.)

  115. alexmartin says

    gjm #111,

    Funny that you use the authority of the bible to undermine the authority of the bible.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    In keeping with your exegesis then, of James 5:1, what was the context of that verse and to whom was he speaking? Was it to the “saved” and the “redeeemed”, or referencing them of the “world”.

    I would know this of you, o Teacher.

  116. says

    Funny that you use the authority of the bible to undermine the authority of the bible.

    Like it’s hard to do that. What is Jesus’s lineage?

    I’d tell you to look up what hypocrite means, but you’re clearly not interested in what people say. You’re just hear to insult* people because I guess it makes Jesus happy.

    For example if the Dali Lama promotes vegetarianism due to Buddhist teachings and then eats stake, I need not be a vegetarian myself to point out that he’s full of shit.**

    *Insult, preach same thing.

    **Not necessarily intended to be a factual statement.

  117. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    Funny that you use the authority of the bible to undermine the authority of the bible.

    The bible itself undermines its own authority. Just read it. Bats, pi, geography, history, . . . .

  118. says

    There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. — Luke 16:19-25

    But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. — Luke 6:24

    Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. — James 5:1

    Jesus looked at him lovingly and said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor. Then come and follow me.’

    At this, the man was very sad and went away grieving, for he had a great many possessions.

    ‘Woe to you who are rich!’ said Jesus. ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’
    — Mark 10:21-23

    ‘Sell your possessions and give the money to the poor. Any one of you who does not give up all his possessions cannot be my disciple.’ — Luke 12:33, 14:33

    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. — Proverbs 22:1

    If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

    And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

    No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

    And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. — Luke 16:11-15

  119. alexmartin says

    So we now discuss racism and sexism and homophobialism (sic) and squatterism and satire-ism and couchpotato-ism and all manner of other crap-isms.

    Bottom line is, when y’all learned that the head of a church wore an expensive watch to a press dealy, y’all shoulda acknowledged that it was a big nothing whatsoever instead of using it as an opportunity to bop your twin devils of (christian) religion and capitalism.

    If you had any sense.

  120. says

    I am a 43 yr old former liberal black dude from Dee-troit city

    You can claim that all you like, it has zero relevance to the fact that you are a stupid bigot who would have trouble getting out of a wet paper bag. FFS, you couldn’t even figure out that everyone on the planet doesn’t share your time zone.

  121. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Because, I guess, it’s much easier to kill off the messenger that to deal with the message…?

    Says the crank magnet who derailed the thread.

    Tell me, what does the concept of American Exceptionalism have to do with Russian Patriarch owning a thirty thousand dollar watch?

    Also, how exceptional was the US for your ancestors who where kept in bondage by exceptional Americans?

  122. John Morales says

    alexmartin :

    Funny that you use the authority of the bible to undermine the authority of the bible.

    Because the fucking thing is riddled with contradictory verses and aphorisms.

    In keeping with your exegesis then, of James 5:1, what was the context of that verse and to whom was he speaking? Was it to the “saved” and the “redeeemed”, or referencing them of the “world”.

    The topic, O troll, ain’t babblical exegesis, it’s the reality of the contrast between what the ROC preaches vs what’s practiced the failed cover-up exposes.

  123. Amphiox says

    Funny that you use the authority of the bible to undermine the authority of the bible.

    Funny? No.

    Merely a demonstrating for your benefit that the bible is not an authority on anything, because IT UNDERMINES ITSELF.

  124. says

    Bottom line is, when y’all learned that the head of a church wore an expensive watch to a press dealy, y’all shoulda acknowledged that it was a big nothing whatsoever instead of using it as an opportunity to bop your twin devils of (christian) religion and capitalism.

    No when we learned he tried to photoshop OUT his expensive watch.

    I have no idea why you think people here are marxist other than your own inanity.

    Oh btw, remember what I said before about predicting that you would just continue ignoring everyone and repeat the same attack over and over again and look like an idiot? And how I said you were going to do that anyway despite it being pointed out that you’re so mentally deficient that people can predict you with ease? Peter would be proud.

  125. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    Bottom line is, when y’all learned that the head of a church wore an expensive watch to a press dealy, y’all shoulda acknowledged that it was a big nothing whatsoever instead of using it as an opportunity to bop your twin devils of (christian) religion and capitalism.

    To me(and I admit to being a moron in your eyes), wearing the $30k watch was bad taste. The attempted cover-up BY THE CHURCH ITSELF is far more objectionable. As are lies about the coverup.

    You really don’t get this, do you?

  126. Amphiox says

    Bottom line is, when y’all learned that the head of a church wore an expensive watch to a press dealy, y’all shoulda acknowledged that it was a big nothing whatsoever instead of using it as an opportunity to bop your twin devils of (christian) religion and capitalism.

    It would have been a “big nothing” IF THE CHURCH HAD NOT DELIBERATELY TRIED TO CHANGE IN THE IMAGE AFTERWARDS.

    But because they DID, it isn’t.

  127. Nepenthe says

    Can someone more fluent in wingnut than I let us know whether our guest is attempting to communicate or whether it’s pure word salad?

  128. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Bottom line is, when y’all learned that the head of a church wore an expensive watch to a press dealy, y’all shoulda acknowledged that it was a big nothing whatsoever instead of using it as an opportunity to bop your twin devils of (christian) religion and capitalism.

    And yet again, alexmartin misses the point. The church felt ashamed enough to photoshop the watch out of the photo while the Patriarch lies about wearing the watch.

    But, fuck us all, it is much more convenient for alexmartin to blame us.

    Dipshit.

  129. Amphiox says

    Just noticed as well, that the aforemetioned Cassie Cali just called me a “racist” (-har har! typical ass-), yet you all know that I am a 43 yr old former liberal black dude from Dee-troit city.

    So what?

    You think a black man can’t possible be a racist? Even a racist against blacks?

    Idiot.

  130. says

    Funny that you use the authority of the bible to undermine the authority of the bible.

    No, gjm11 was merely demonstrating that you, the one person here who truly regards the Bible as authoritative, are conveniently able to ignore its teachings when doing so serves your purpose.

  131. says

    To me(and I admit to being a moron in your eyes), wearing the $30k watch was bad taste. The attempted cover-up BY THE CHURCH ITSELF is far more objectionable. As are lies about the coverup.

    You really don’t get this, do you?

    He does. He just doesn’t care. He isn’t here to talk he is here to yell at us. Defending our position is IMO counter productive. Go on the attack and tear into the racist, sexist, selfish, blackfaced sonofabitch

  132. Rey Fox says

    Were you taught the love of America, of Western civilization and history, of vaunted American Exceptionalism?

    Most of us were. Then we started to examine the picture from a wider perspective and found that most of that American exceptionalism stuff was just self-serving nonsense.

    a laissez faire economic system that allowed the individual the freedom to be and to become, to succeed or fail solely on that persons’ merit

    What a rich fantasy world you inhabit.

  133. Amphiox says

    The second point, the “eye of the needle” was a common doorway, not a literal eye of a needle; it’s purpose was to slow the transit of animals baring packs, both for commerce and defensive purposes, as you well know.

    BWAHAHAHAHA!

    This is surely among the lamest of the lamest attempts at biblical self-justification I have ever heard.

    Try again, fool.

  134. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    This is what I find funny about the “Eye Of The Needle” story. Say that is is true, that the gate did exist. The son of the big sky daddy was very short sighted in using this parable because what the camel was passing through changed over time from a gate to a needle, changing the meaning of the story.

    In other words, Jesus fucked up.

  135. says

    Ing:

    I would be surprised if you were. Not because of your views, but because of how insistent you are of it

    Seriously. I find I have no need to point out I’m half OL every effing post. Or even every effing thread!

  136. gjm11 says

    alexmartin #141:

    No, I wasn’t using the authority of the Bible to undermine the authority of the Bible. It’s *you*, not the Bible, that I was criticizing. (I have no problem with undermining the authority of the Bible; it just happens that I wasn’t doing that on this occasion.) Perhaps I’m mistaken in my impression that you are, or at least claim to be, a Christian? If so, then please accept my apologies. If not, then don’t you think there might be a teeny weeny little problem if your behaviour and attitudes are wildly at variance with those recommended in the New Testament?

    As for James 5:1, of course I agree that the writer was referring to, as you put it, “those of the world”, but I’m curious exactly where you’re going with this. Are you going to argue that when someone “of the world” is rich, this shows that they’re fraudulent, exploitative and self-indulgent (as per 5:4-5), but that when a *Christian* is rich it just demonstrates that God has blessed them? Because, if so, that’s quite some double standard you’ve got there. Perhaps you have something more reasonable in mind?

  137. Matt Penfold says

    What “teachings of his religion” are those exactly, Matt Penfold?

    You really are a disengenous sack of shit.

    But just so you are clear, the teaching about rich people giving away their wealth to benefit the poor. You know that can be found in the Bible, so why fucking pretend you do not ?

  138. says

    and by blackfaced I mean you use alleged race as a shield, basically throwing everyone else of your race under the bus, rather than because you are black

    I think he’s working on that “hate your own family” thing that Jesus said was necessary in order to follow him.

  139. Matt Penfold says

    The second point, the “eye of the needle” was a common doorway, not a literal eye of a needle; it’s purpose was to slow the transit of animals baring packs, both for commerce and defensive purposes, as you well know.

    Nope. That is just a lie.

    Why are you lying, you lying sack of shit ?

  140. cm's changeable moniker says

    I want to know how much the vase in the background is worth.

    (I’m thinking 10-100 times $30k. And the gold-plated panelled room?)

    The watch is almost irrelevant by comparison.

    The attempt at deception is not.

  141. Matt Penfold says

    I want to know how much the vase in the background is worth.

    The vase might be a fake, or at least not nearly as old or valuable as it appears to be. The Soviet Union made a lot of reproduction stuff after the war to replace what was taken by the Germans.

  142. Amphiox says

    From wikipedia:

    The “eye of a needle” has been interpreted as a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. This story has been put forth since at least the 15th century, and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no evidence for the existence of such a gate.

    In other words, the whole “gate” thing was an ad hoc, after the fact, ret-conning (fan fiction again!) of the gospel message, occurring at a time when the Christian church was gaining in wealth and influence, and needed some justification for keeping all that wealth.

    Speaking of which, this ostentatious display of wealth was one of the major reasons for the discontent expressed by the likes of Martin Luther, and one of the principle causes of the Reformation.

    And if one should choose to be skeptical of wikipedia, here’s more, from Matthew:

    “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24

    Jesus doesn’t even leave the metaphor open to interpretating, he says, straight out it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    alexmartin has DIRECTLY CONTRADICTED the plain spoken word of his supposed saviour. We can only conclude that he is a heretic who doesn`t truly believe in Jesus. He is very fortunate to live in a secular society, where such heresy is tolerated.

  143. says

    A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed.,

    Which is hilarious because it then doesn’t change the meaning of the metaphor. In order to enter heaven, the camel has to remove it’s baggage, ie cast off it’s material possessions.

    Oh you silly atheists it didn’t mean X…it’s a metaphor that meant X

  144. Amphiox says

    More from Matthew:

    23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

    26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    If it is just a reference to a gate for livestock, why are the disciples “greatly astonished”? Why should Jesus say “with man this is impossible”?

    The context is OBVIOUS (LITERALLY OBVIOUS) being rich and entering the Kingdom of Heaven is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE.

  145. Matt Penfold says

    alexmartin,

    Do you have a defence to offer to the charges,that seem very well founded, that you are simply a lying arsehole ?

  146. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Matt Penfold, alexmartin is an exceptional American asshole.

  147. Matt Penfold says

    Matt Penfold, alexmartin is an exceptional American asshole.

    Seems a pretty run of the mill arsehole to me :)

  148. Menyambal -- damned dirty ape says

    I read somewhere, possibly from Isaac Asimov, that “camel” was the short name for a camel-hair ship’s hawser–the biggest rope most folks would have seen on the local fishing boats.

  149. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    All I can say is this, it is obvious that you do not believe in American Exceptionalism. Don’t they teach you anything in England?

  150. cm's changeable moniker says

    in your fever-swamp delusional Welfare State dystopia, after you’ve succeeded in bringing down this unjust system and installed your Social Justice imperatives

    Hey, now. I live in one of those Terrible Social Democracies, and we’re doing OK (ish). All things considered, I’ll take quality education, universal healthcare, and broad but modest social support programs, funded at a bond-market low-low rate of about 2.5% over: debt-ceiling shutdowns, Laffer-curve nonsensicality, money-politics, religious politics, complete inability to face the realities of global oil markets, and the rest of the stuff that angers me about US politics these days.

    Pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, what your worldview really is, and keep bitchin’ about some clerics’ fancy watch.

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I also know it’s bullshit.

  151. Menyambal -- damned dirty ape says

    homophobialism (sic)

    “Sic” doesn’t mean “I think that may be how it is spelled”. It means “that was how it was spelled in the source I am quoting from, and I know it is wrong”, or, literally, “thus”.

    If you want to get cutesey about your inability to spell, write “(sp?)” and we’ll all be okay. Really.

    But if you can’t read and write any better than that, maybe you shouldn’t be basing your life on a book you read. Or arguing on a text-based forum.

  152. alexmartin says

    Matt Penfold, et al.
    This aint the 1st century and Jesus aint sending out his first line disciples to proselytize the Jews, to whom he was speaking. As well, those descendents of David and Solomon (immensely rich) were warned against the exploitation of their fellow Jews. It’s a simple matter of context, Caine Cruel Monster.

  153. Matt Penfold says

    This aint the 1st century and Jesus aint sending out his first line disciples to proselytize the Jews, to whom he was speaking. As well, those descendents of David and Solomon (immensely rich) were warned against the exploitation of their fellow Jews. It’s a simple matter of context, Caine Cruel Monster.

    I asked why you lied. It seems you cannot even be honest and tell us.

    Why are you lying, you lying sack of shit ? Why did you think you could get away with lying, you lying sack of shit ?

  154. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    This aint the 1st century and Jesus aint sending out his first line disciples to proselytize the Jews, to whom he was speaking.

    Hmm. And Christians call atheists ‘relativists’ like it is an insult. Yet here, you make the claim that the bible means something completely different today than when it was written 1800 or 1900 years ago?

  155. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    This aint the 1st century and Jesus aint sending out his first line disciples to proselytize the Jews, to whom he was speaking.

    They were special, they deserved the very best. The rest of us, not so much.

  156. alexmartin says

    //www.biblicalhebrew.com/nt/camelneedle.htm

    There it is Dirty Ape. You guessed it.
    ‘Cause nobody was actually talking about an actual camel going through an actual sewing needle.

  157. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    And yet Jesus could not foresee the change of meaning.

    What a seer!

  158. cm's changeable moniker says

    you scant number of decidedly affluent Western militant humanist/secularist/atheist/communist assholes could almost effortlessly band together today and with stolid, fix-jawed devotion, drive, and verve, forever fix and cure global poverty and hunger and decrepitude for all time.

    That’s probably not true. You might want to read Why Nations Fail, and possibly, Seabright’s The Company of Strangers.

    Do you not understand that you viciously scrabble for state and culturally enforced collective mediocrity? That you heedlessly race to the crab-barrel bottom, angrily tearing at the next man who dares to hold a pfenning or farthing more than State- prescribed,

    I do? I didn’t think I did.

    (BTW, it’s “pfennig”. But bonus points for “farthing”. If you could get “thrup’ny bit” into the next post that would be awesome. Victoriana FTW!)

  159. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    Congratulations, alexmartin.

    You found a source that agrees with you.

    That is why the bible is absolutely useless as an authority — no matter what you believe, you can convince yourself that the bible supports your narrow version of reality. You believe that wealth is always good and that the government should never, ever touch any wealth for the good of the community. So now you have successfully cherry-picked the bible, to the point of finding exegesis that agrees with little ol’ you, to support your position that Jesus was all about wanting Christians to be as wealthy as possible even if it means, quite literally, killing people (starvation, lack of health care, etc).

    You are the posterchild for Randian Christianity.

  160. alexmartin says

    Matt Penfold,
    What? Lie?

    http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG7lgD2IBPRnIACDdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1OTI1YWpqBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1NNRTA0MV8yMTE-/SIG=1242jjm43/EXP=1333872771/**http%3a//www.biblicalhebrew.com/nt/camelneedle.htm

    Since I am barely illiterate as well as technologically deficient, I could not give you a clean link. Sue me.

    The biblical Jesus never said anything at all about an actual camel going through an actual sewing needle. Furthermore, I gave you an alternative explanation, plausible or nay. Whether accurate or not, regardless, that does not demonstrate prevarication on my part nor that of the writer of the script.

    Got that?

  161. says

    Whether accurate or not, regardless, that does not demonstrate prevarication on my part nor that of the writer of the script.

    Yes it does. You’re presenting it as true when clearly you don’t care whether it’s true or not. It may not be lying but it is bullshit.

    As proof you were SO sure it was a gate…now it’s that the camel is a rope.

    Are you even sure you’re black? Perhaps you’d like to change that to Latino?

  162. alexmartin says

    CM’s changeable Moniker,
    Ich sollte den vissen, da ich zwei Jahre in Deutschland stationiert wurde.

    Ok?

  163. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Nobody seemed all that interested in this thread until the choo-toy showed up.

    Alexmartin is probably a straight baller like da patriarch. Y’all hating’…anywayz, I’d love to jam with ya, but me and some hotties taking the Benzee out to Vladimir da Greatz Vodka Bar and Imma get my Grey Goose on* in the private room wit ma man Kirill. All night.

    *After I give the kid a bath.

  164. cm's changeable moniker says

    Ich sollte den vissen, da ich zwei Jahre in Deutschland stationiert wurde

    I don’t speak German. Is that (Google Translate):

    I should be to morsel because I was stationed two years in Germany

    ?

    I’d have a better chance with French. English would be even better.

  165. carlie says

    It doesn’t matter if it was a camel or a needle; the only reason for the analogy was to illustrate that it is difficult for the rich to get into heaven. That is, unless you’re willing to say the sentence just previous to it means nothing.

  166. alexmartin says

    #196, Name Too Long To Type,
    I was wrong. I was aware of both variants. I’d held the first I posited as authoritative. I should have made clear that there were in fact other interpretations I could relate. I did in fact fuck up.

    Is this explanation acceptable?

    Also, in terms of any transmitted message, word or script, if one were to transmit a message to an audience of today, it is certainly possible that that meaning or proper connotation could be incorrectly transmitted 2000 years later. This would not indicate that you were in error or self-contradictory at the time you uttered said message, but rather that the exact understanding may have been lost over the intervening 20 centuries, though the import remains intact and discernable, if debatable.

  167. Nepenthe says

    @cm’s changeable moniker

    No, his German is as bad as his English. I think he intended to say “I should know that (possibly “I should have known that”), since I was stationed in Germany for two years.” But he screwed up the tenses and the spelling.

  168. Nepenthe says

    Also, in terms of any transmitted message, word or script, if one were to transmit a message to an audience of today, it is certainly possible that that meaning or proper connotation could be incorrectly transmitted 2000 years later.

    Seems rather sloppy of an omnipotent being to let that happen, no?

  169. 'Tis Himself says

    Oh shucky darn, did I miss a genuwhine, free-range, organic looneytarian trying to use the Bible to justify his greed?

  170. cm's changeable moniker says

    Link at #194:

    Some have even suggested a pun in Aramaic between camel and gnat or louse from the Aramaic kalma ‘vermin, louse’.

    Just as the apocryphal Acts of Peter and Andrew refers the saying to a literal camel and needle, so we are not meant to reason away the apparent difficulty of getting a camel through a needle’s eye. For the difficulty is not apparent it is real, and not be solved by textual trickery but by taking the ludicrous language at face value.

    Dadaist Religious Analysis 101.

  171. alexmartin says

    So lookahere, all you hard-crusted cynics, not a one of you has any problem at all with wealth or the wealthy.

    No problem with Oprah Winfrey billions, Mark Cuban billions,Bill Gates billion. No issues at all with Warren Buffet billions or George Soros billions. Not with Michael Jordan’s hundreds of millions or John Kerry’s (wifes’) hundreds of millions; not Nancy Pelosi’s nor Rachael Maddow. Not Sharpton or Jackson or Obama’s. So get off it.

    What you have a problem with is rationality.

  172. Ze Madmax says

    alexmartin @ 208:

    Do Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates and such represent an institution that endorses humility and whose core dogma is involved in the rejection of material goods?

    I didn’t think so.

    Furthermore, you haven’t explained why, if material wealth is OK, did the Church try doctor the pictures in order to cover up the watch. I mean, if it’s OK to have such wealth, why try to hide it?

  173. Nepenthe says

    So lookahere, all you hard-crusted cynics, not a one of you has any problem at all with wealth or the wealthy.

    Really? You should have done a much more thorough poll.

  174. carlie says

    it is certainly possible that that meaning or proper connotation could be incorrectly transmitted 2000 years later.

    You mean like every single verse quoted by Caine in #145?

  175. jamesevans says

    The guy had an expensive watch on his wrist, possibly a gift from parishioner or friend.

    And, so what?

    If he’d been given a Bentley and a mansion to go along with that $30,000 watch, what the fuck is that to you?

    Let’s go over the proper response here again, shall we?

    alexmartin, Russel, and whoever else wants to redirect the discussion along these HOPELESS lines… Pharyngula contributors are NOT the ones at whom you need to be hurling these ridiculous nonsense bombs. If you think the watch is no big deal, FINE, then go ahead and ask the Russian Orthodox Church why it did the mad buffoon scramble to hide the watch’s presence, like it was MINI-TICK-TOCK-SATAN curled up on the Patriarch’s wrist.

    Apparently they found the watch enough of a miserably mortifying mistake to go into Dipshit DEFCON 5, so go argue your mighty embarrassment of riches defense with them, not us.

    My apologies to other Pharyngula participants who already mentioned this. Didn’t have time to check all comments.

  176. says

    jamesevans:

    My apologies to other Pharyngula participants who already mentioned this. Didn’t have time to check all comments.

    That would be pretty much everyone, in spite of the fact that it’s restating the incredibly obvious. You’re in good company. :)

  177. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I don’t have a problem with people being rich. I have a problem with people starving, being homeless, suffering and dying for lack of access to health care, lacking access to disability services, lacking access to education, lacking reasonable and maintained infrastructure, and generally being dependent on the whims of rich people for their ability to live. And I have a big problem with all of that happening while a tiny number of other people sit on the resources that could stop it.

    But yeah, sure, it’s that we hate rich people. And rationality. Probably that’s it.

  178. says

    And I have a big problem with all of that happening while a tiny number of other people sit on the resources that could stop it.

    Ah, but according to alexmartin, it’s the Pharyngula commentariat that’s sitting on all the resources needed to end poverty & hunger. We’re all wealthier than the Russian Orthodox Church, doncha know.

    I think all the confusion regarding the camel and the eye of the needle is a result of Jesus needing to go so far afield to find an example of something impossible. What was he going to say, “It is easier for the dead to rise…easier for a man to walk on water…easier for a talking animal to…wait, I’ll come in again–“

  179. alexmartin says

    Utter idiocy. Any one of you could start a business, build a better mousetrap, have a good business idea, fry up a better batch a chicken than KFC and –gasp!horrors!– be successful.

    You yourself could build a new computer in your garage or start an (electric) car company. A fancy new algae/fuel farm or some such.

    And if you’re unfortunate enough at your new business, if you hire employees who make decent wages offa you, you make a superior (eco-friendly, low carbon-footprint, UN approved) widget that the world clamors to buy, your company might actually profit and grow and you might actually, as the guilt-faced owner of said evil corporation… wait for it…

    Get rich in the process (and thereby become the Enemy of your Beloved State)!

    But forgive me, I speak foolishly. Not a one of you would dare aspire to those heights of abomination. Not a one of you would ever try to rise above your Government-designated station.

    Stay down, stay small, stay docile. Stay mediocre. Your comrades demand it.Punish the successful. Revile the rich. Crush the producers. It’s your lot in life.

    Even if you could have done the poor some good with all that ill-begotten gain you stole from the masses that you did not deserve.

    You’d always know that you didn’t get there on your own, that that wealth you unjustly amassed doesn’t belong to you but to your “community”.

    Do I understand your mindset properly, or is this still about some clerics’ fancy watch and a stupid, clumsy attempt at a coverup?

  180. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Oh my gods, you fucking slime. Try reading what we fucking say instead of just imposing Randian villain monologues over everything. Fucking hell.

  181. carlie says

    Did Alex break?

    Hey Alex, why not give us your take on all the verses in #145? What do they say about the accumulation of wealth from God’s perspective?

  182. alexmartin says

    See here, I am a minority in the white man’s world (because if it’s good enough for Van Jones or Jeremiah Wright to say, well hell, it’s good enough for me), and all this shit was built for y’all.- Remember how evil y’all are and how you stole it from the Indians who you killed off and then enslaved Africans to build it for you, Manifest Destiny, white mans’ burden and blah blah blah?

    Anyway, just what the hell are you complaining about anyway? Remember that America is so unjust and racist that it could never elect a black man president and–, wait, scratch that– anyway, all this crap was built for you folk, I repeat.

    You want something, you go out and get it, your legs ain’t broken and your mind works just fine, I’d think.

    Stop enviously tryna take other white folks’ money and go get ya own, ya heard, ya heard?

  183. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Carlie, I think that alexmartin was broken when he first popped in.

  184. carlie says

    Good point, Janine. It’s just always weird when they flip the switch from arguing badly to suddenly ranting/monologuing about something completely different.

  185. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Carlie, I think that alexmartin was broken when he first popped in.

    All liberturds are. They are arrogant, ignorant, and lack empathy. And arrogant and ignorant. Did I mention ignorant and arrogant????

  186. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Let me tell you something, alexmartin. You do not give a flying fuck that no one sees themselves as described by your verbal vomit. I do not give a flying fuck about your flights of malevolent fantasies.

  187. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Yeah, the chewtoy was always broken, but now he’s spewing vile fluff all over the place :(

  188. says

    Carlie:

    Hey Alex, why not give us your take on all the verses in #145? What do they say about the accumulation of wealth from God’s perspective?

    I think Alex was only prepared to handwave the camel/eye of the needle story. He obviously isn’t terribly aware of Jesus’s attitudes ’bout rich peoples.

  189. John Morales says

    alexmartin:

    Utter idiocy. Any one of you could start a business, build a better mousetrap, have a good business idea, fry up a better batch a chicken than KFC and –gasp!horrors!– be successful.

    You yourself could build a new computer in your garage or start an (electric) car company. A fancy new algae/fuel farm or some such.

    … And therefore, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church being caught on camera wearing a $30,000 Breguet watch and the subsequent attempted cover-up is not of significance.

    See here, I am a minority in the white man’s world (because if it’s good enough for Van Jones or Jeremiah Wright to say, well hell, it’s good enough for me), and all this shit was built for y’all.- Remember how evil y’all are and how you stole it from the Indians who you killed off and then enslaved Africans to build it for you, Manifest Destiny, white mans’ burden and blah blah blah?

    WTF?

    Russian dude. Big religious wig funny hat. Watch. Attempted cover-up. Hypocrisy. Lies.

    (Your ethnicity and culture are irrelevant to all that)

  190. Just_A_Lurker says

    Look fuckface, the commenters here are far more fucking generous than any church or religious charity I have dealt with.The people here have donated to help keep my child and I off the streets.

    The churches, shelters and charities are primarily religious and use that leverage to shove God down my child’s throat. They literally throw a fit if you try and stop them from preaching bullshit. They have coerced me with ability to throw us out or report me to CPS if I didn’t sit and smile while they threatened my child with hell because mommy is a sinner.

    So yes, I have a fucking problem with religious “charity”. I have a problem when these asshole sit on riches while proclaiming to be so fucking generous. That watch alone could support my family for at least 3 years. I do not have a problem with Bill Gates being rich because he isn’t hypercritical and does give to charity. I think he and the rest of the 1% need to pay more fucking taxes to get an actual support structure but that’s a different issue.

    GTFO. You are a worthless piece of shit. You are okay with people starving and dying on the street simply because they were born poor. My family and I included. So yes, I down right fucking loathe you and you have the audacity to ask why I’m angry? I’m angry so I can fight back. So I don’t crumble under all the bullshit you and your ilk throw at us. This American Dream is bullshit. It is fed to the poor to get them to support the rich. So the poor sit and smiles while others get rich off their sweat believing all the while they can make it too.

    Religion goes hand in hand with that bullshit pipe dream to keep the poor, the oppressed and the minorities down. This is why I am an atheist. I am a humanist. You are actively trying to destroy everything that could make our society better and help people. I will fight to my last fucking breath against you assholes and you better believe I’m angry.

    /rant

  191. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Look fuckface, the commenters here are far more fucking generous than any church or religious charity I have dealt with.The people here have donated to help keep my child and I off the streets.

    This is not a lie and JAL is not the first person that members of the horde has helped. In fact, there has been talk of setting up a fund to help others through hard times. It may not be a huge act of charity but some of the people here do try to help.

    And, PAY ATTENTION TO THIS, ASSHOLE, this being done without government prodding.

    Anything else that you want to make up about all of us?

  192. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Secondarily, everyone here is white! (I think it’s really odd that a black guy is making that assumption, but there you go.)

  193. alexmartin says

    Poor little Libs. Having so much fun with you all.
    Prosperity is not an ever-shrinking pool stalked by large predatory cats ready to pounce on the innocent.

    Prosperity is a vast, endless ocean wherein anyone can take a dip. Economies grow and expand because the primary asset, human capital, is ever productive. At least before this American Socialist Era, peoples were free to pursue their dreams unencumbered by fascistic government,open to secure the full benefits of life, liberty, and individual pursuit of happiness; Americans (for example)understood that, though the economic and political system we inherited may not be perfect, it was far and away better than any that had ever come before, and the one that afforded maximal liberty and freedom to the greatest number of people.

    Just because SOME PEOPLE have money doesn’t mean that other people DON’T have money as a result. It means that the monied have money and that you can too. What stops you? Be inspired. You still reside in a system where you can acquire wealth and prosperity and your brother or neighbor can as well.

    You only think you want a system where government confiscates money from the rich to redistribute to the poor. You only think you want communism. Really, you don’t.

  194. says

    Janine:

    This is not a lie and JAL is not the first person that members of the horde has helped.

    True dat. It’s not just money, either. Most of us would be happy and willing to open our homes to another Pharyngulite in need. I’ve done that myself.

  195. says

    CC:

    Secondarily, everyone here is white!

    Seems to me I mentioned being mixed. Oh well, I suppose that’s still white, eh?

    Besides, going by what Alex the Stupid writes, he appears to be the whitest person here.

  196. says

    It’s funny how Martin at times almost seems to be trying to halfassedly use the definition of racism common in some academic and social justice fields. The argumennt is that a a person of colour who is a citizen of society racist to people of colour can’t be racist themselves because they lack privilege. It’s the kind of theory libertarian types like Martin are supposed to detest given that they don’t believe in things like privilege.

    HIs “go start up a business” routine is also amusing. Something like 50% of US businesses fail to reach their fifth anniversary. How many of those that survive actually make a profit is another question. I suppose he’ll tell us those business owners that fail were simply lazy

  197. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Prosperity is a vast, endless ocean wherein anyone can take a dip.

    Oh! That’s fantastic. I’m so glad to know that I can just “take a dip” in prosperity ocean at will. Gee, why am I not doing that, then? It must be because I hate rich people. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m currently a student crushed under mountains of debt. That guy I ran into on the bus the other day will be glad to know about this prosperity ocean too. I’m sure glad he doesn’t need a place to stay or access to decent mental health care first or anything. Or, you know, shoes or clean clothing even. And all of my ex-coworkers from Hellmart will doubtless be thrilled. Probably the reason they’re all working two jobs and scrabbling for shifts is that they just don’t KNOW about the prosperity ocean into which they need only take a dip.

  198. Nepenthe says

    Interesting. So money, unlike every other resource on a finite planet, is infinite? And since everyone in America gets richer all the time, income inequality hasn’t been dramatically increasing and real wages haven’t been decreasing since the early ’70s? Very interesting. You come from a strange planet, Mr. Martin. Tell us more about it.

  199. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Oh, wait, no, I’m sorry. It’s because all of those Hellmart workers are super LAZY, right? If only they were putting in more time at their two jobs. You know, so that they could start a business and all.

  200. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I see that alexcupcake cannot bother to try to understand who he is arguing against, preferring to act as an one man gang setting forth against the straw army of his mind.

    Rave on, cupcake. Take no notice that the rest of us think that you are spouting fiction.

    Can someone arrange a meeting between Alan Keyes, Allen West and alexcupcake? This could forge a wormhole to a strange new universe.

  201. says

    Martin implied upthread he thinks Peak Oil is a hoax. If he thinks oil is an infinite resource then perhaps he thinks money is too.

  202. garywalsh says

    Well that does it! I am tired of being a poverty stricken atheist. I am starting a religion. Everybody send me money and I will make sure that Jesus is nice to you.

  203. alexmartin says

    I’ll put an end to this. I was born poor. On welfare till I couldn’t stand it. Dropped outta highschool and joined the Army at 17. Never made more than $4ok per year my entire life. Barely employed now, hourly pay. No health insurance.

    So none o’ y’all can tell me shit about poverty, ’cause I was born into it.

    And you know what? It ain’t no one else’s fault, problem, or responsibility.

    I don’t give a flying fuck what other people have, who’s got riches and wealth that I do not. Who flies in private jets and eats caviar and who doesn’t. I don’t care. I don’t envy any one anything. I do not begrudge anyone their possessions. I don’t hate “the 1%” or anyone else. hat’s their shit and I’m glad for it. And if I have the personal wherewithal within myself to acquire same, to get off my ass and hustle and work and git at it, good for me. If not, oh well.

    Does that make sense?

    In the meanwhile, I will do my humble best to aid my fellow man and better the human condition. I will donate to charity and volunteer at soup kitchens. Help little old ladies across the street and rescue kittens from trees. The whole shebang.

    But what I will not do is rail against and hate upon and begrudge the rich, and envy and plot to take away, by force of government or otherwise, what others have worked to acquire by their own initiative.

    I ain’t that small.

  204. Nepenthe says

    Wow. You must really hate yourself to believe that you deserve that station in life. I’m sorry. I truly am.

  205. John Morales says

    [meta]

    alexmartin:

    But what I will not do is rail against and hate upon and begrudge the rich, and envy and plot to take away, by force of government or otherwise, what others have worked to acquire by their own initiative.

    Because noting the evident hypocrisy evinced by the attempted cover-up of this ostentatious watch exposure is hating and begrudging the rich, right?

    I ain’t that small.

    You’re exactly that disingenuous, but.

  206. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    That is truly just fucking sad. You sit over there and revel in the reality-deprived belief that you could do better if you only wanted it enough. We’ll be over here trying to save people’s lives. But hey, when an easily curable illness hits your “ain’t that small” ass, you are perfectly fucking welcome to die of it if you like, since you having access to decent health care would be such a vile outrage against the Productive Rich. I’d feel bad for you, except that you’re willing to throw the rest of us under the bus too for the sake of your pathetic pride and your dumbass dogma. So fuck you.

  207. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Very true, but I’m willing to proceed on the belief he’s a real live poor libertarian. I met one in the wild once :P

  208. alexmartin says

    Ing the Mouthless, you can shove your blackface routine up your ass.

    By and large, churches (re: “the Church”) does more good for more people the world over than government, in the aggregate. Millions of private citizens to one degree or another devote time, effort, money and resources both locally and in dozens of far-flung countries the world over to aid the desperate, sick, dispossessed, war-torn and hungry, people who toil in silence and anonymity night and day with no pay and no praise, doing the work you can only talk about and criticize.

    Am I willing to forgive a fancy watch on the wrist of a highplaced christian cleric in light of the above? Yep.

  209. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    You know who fucking prevents governments from doing good?
    Dumbass dogmatist assholes like you.

  210. kemist says

    Janine, dear, you are undoubtedly college educated. What did your professors teach and preach to you, dear?

    Any of you.

    The sacredness of the periodic table of the elements in one degree, the heresy that is the goto instruction in the other.

    Utter idiocy. Any one of you could start a business, build a better mousetrap, have a good business idea, fry up a better batch a chicken than KFC and –gasp!horrors!– be successful.

    Success just around the corner, he ?

    Tell that to my brother in law. He’s on his, what, fourth failed idea now ? At least it wasn’t his money he lost. So my two nieces and their pregnant mother still have a roof over their heads.

    What stops you? Be inspired. You still reside in a system where you can acquire wealth and prosperity and your brother or neighbor can as well.

    Do you know why I have a second degree ?

    Because my first one is now essentially useless.

    I used to work for a small pharma that bit the dust after (successfully !) developping a breast cancer drug that was better than any other on the market. Our boss, owner of several patents, went in search of an investor to push our drug into clinical trials… and then the crisis happened. Couldn’t find any investors.

    Our nice drug, in which we put so much of our inspiration, is now gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. We were all fired, like thousands of researchers in this field. Among my former collegues, none work in an area related to their degree. Not. a. fucking. single. one.

    We were successful. We were talented. We invested uncounted unpaid hours in this thing which now sits useless on a shelf somewhere. We were thrown out like fucking garbage. If it taught me anything, it is to never work unpaid hours again, and never thrust those bastards.

    And that any success owes a lot to luck. Maybe if the drug had hit the market before. Maybe if my boss had seen other people in other countries. Maybe fucking maybe.

    You talk like individual talent and dedication are the only factors in success and wealth. They aren’t. Uncontrolable circumstances can fuck up the best laid plans. Like an economic crisis. Like a change of fad in the type of drugs given to breast cancer patients. Like having a medical condition which means you have to pay for four different prescription drugs to be halfway functional. Like getting diagnosed with cancer at 31, just as my best friend did, just as she got her PhD and was starting her career as a scientist.

    So fuck you, your fucking victim blaming and especially your disgusting clueless optimism.

  211. Forbidden Snowflake says

    And if I have the personal wherewithal within myself to acquire same, to get off my ass and hustle and work and git at it, good for me. If not, oh well.

    But but but I thought you said anyone could do it. Now not only it’s not anyone, but you haven’t even managed it personally?

    Am I willing to forgive a fancy watch on the wrist of a highplaced christian cleric in light of the above? Yep.

    “Forgive”? Aw, do you begrudge the rich their wealth?

  212. Ze Madmax says

    alexmartin @ 249:

    So none o’ y’all can tell me shit about poverty, ’cause I was born into it.

    And you know what? It ain’t no one else’s fault, problem, or responsibility.

    Didn’t alexmartin say on a previous thread that he’s read Marx? Because this has “false consciousness” written all over it. In big, bold, wealth-redistributing letters.

  213. Amphiox says

    Prosperity is a vast, endless ocean wherein anyone can take a dip. Economies grow and expand because the primary asset, human capital, is ever productive.

    Resources are finite. And so is prosperty. Growth is possible, but there are limits.

    And this, by the way, is a PROPER application of the second law of thermodynamics, as opposed to the anti-evolution crap.

    By and large, churches (re: “the Church”) does more good for more people the world over than government, in the aggregate.

    You are free to believe in your delusions if you wish, but don’t think that just your, already proven to be unreliable, word on the matter would incline any of us to believe it to be so.

    Millions of private citizens to one degree or another devote time, effort, money and resources both locally and in dozens of far-flung countries the world over to aid the desperate, sick, dispossessed, war-torn and hungry, people who toil in silence and anonymity night and day

    The EXACT SAME can be said for government, except we can replace the “millions” with BILLIONS.

    with no pay and no praise

    See, this is the advantage to have governments do these activities. Governments WILL PAY people to engage in them. Which will always result in more work being done.

    doing the work you can only talk about and criticize.

    Yep, odious libertarians like you who only talk about and criticize the good and necessary things that governments do.

  214. Rey Fox says

    By and large, churches (re: “the Church”) does more good for more people the world over than government, in the aggregate.

    [citation needed]

  215. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Why the fuck is alexcupcake bothering to even try to tell his story? The raving asshole spent a lot of time telling us who we really are, reality be damned. Their is no reason to believe what he has to say about himself.

    But I have to be honest, even if it is true, I do not give a fuck. I will not read. I do not care. His has earned my scorn.

  216. carlie says

    The church convinces people, particularly poor people, that they will be eternally punished if they do not follow the rules of the church, and that it displeases the almighty God when they do not give the church all the money they can. They are coercing people to give money the people cannot afford to give through threat of damnation, and then apparently taking that money and buying expensive personal bling with it.

    Alex, how is the church any different than the Mafia? It also does good and protects people and makes their lives better, and runs off of “donations” that have been coerced through threat of harm, and the people at the top get perks that the others don’t get.

  217. says

    Ing:

    I seriously ask the level of DUUUUUURP it takes to write a rant like that accusing others of being foaming at the mouth insane, and not realize how batsqueeking goats on fire turds braided in hair nuts they sound.

    I want to carve a little marble effigy of this comment, place it in an alcove, surround it with votive candles and incense cones, and bow to it at five equally spaced intervals per day.

  218. KG says

    alexmartin,

    At least before this American Socialist Era, peoples were free to pursue their dreams unencumbered by fascistic government,open to secure the full benefits of life, liberty, and individual pursuit of happiness

    You really are an ignorant idiot. The time when the income of the average American increased fastest was the 30 years after WWII, which were far nearer to socialism (though still very far from it) than at any time before or since. Top income tax rates throughout this period were 70% plus, at least twice what they are now.

    I’ll put an end to this. I was born poor. On welfare till I couldn’t stand it. Dropped outta highschool and joined the Army at 17. Never made more than $4ok per year my entire life. Barely employed now, hourly pay. No health insurance.

    So none o’ y’all can tell me shit about poverty, ’cause I was born into it.

    Why would any of us believe a liar like you, evidently willing to say anything at all in the absurd attempt to get us to buy into your religion of worshipping the rich?

    And you know what? It ain’t no one else’s fault, problem, or responsibility.

    I don’t give a flying fuck what other people have, who’s got riches and wealth that I do not. Who flies in private jets and eats caviar and who doesn’t. I don’t care. I don’t envy any one anything. I do not begrudge anyone their possessions. I don’t hate “the 1%” or anyone else. hat’s their shit and I’m glad for it. And if I have the personal wherewithal within myself to acquire same, to get off my ass and hustle and work and git at it, good for me. If not, oh well.

    Does that make sense?

    No.

  219. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    So lookahere, all you hard-crusted cynics, not a one of you has any problem at all with wealth or the wealthy.

    You mean the wealthy who destroy jobs and lives to make a few more million dollars? Or the wealthy who do nothing but pile up more and more cash? Or the wealthy who think the rules don’t apply to them? Or the wealthy who think that their wealth gives them the right to tell the world what to do? Damn right I hate them. With a passion.

    Prosperity is not an ever-shrinking pool stalked by large predatory cats ready to pounce on the innocent.

    It sure as fuck is without laws and regulations.

    I don’t give a flying fuck what other people have, who’s got riches and wealth that I do not.

    Yeah. We get that you have no empathy and don’t care about other human beings. Selfishness is not a virtue.

    So because you started poor and worked your way out of poverty (with a shitload of help!), you know that anyone else can do the same thing with out help and if they don’t they are, what, lazy? they deserve to be poor? aren’t human?

    By and large, churches (re: “the Church”) does more good for more people the world over than government, in the aggregate.

    Did you even read Just_a_Lurker’s comment?

    Also, let’s see the stats showing who helps whom?

  220. carlie says

    There is a huge difference between wealth in general and wealth that is concentrated in the hands of people who tell everyone else they’re going to hell if they keep their money instead of handing it over because God wants them to. Alex, why are you now conflating the two groups?

  221. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    That $30,000 watch also represents an investment which, like a $10 million home*, or a $100,000 car**, will not create future jobs. It is money that, other than the producers of the product, will not continue to create anything in the economy. It is a sunk cost which is far worse than the mcmansion or the luxocar as, now that the watch has been purchased, it will never create any more economic ripples. I wonder if the rich realize just how much of their money does not go to producing jobs but, instead, just as the gold of the RCC in western Europe prior to the Viking invasions, is wealth that is removed from circulation and does nothing economically?

    * Yes, there are servants and groundskeepers and plumbers and all the other sundry jobs that go into maintaining a house but the job of a housekeeper or groundskeeper is likely to support anyone over and above the poverty line, and the plumbers and such are there only for a repair.

    ** Yes, there are mechanics, and gas stations who benefit, but my $10,000 used Ford returns a higher proportion of my investment in gas, repairs and maintenance than does the car that costs ten times as much.

  222. cm's changeable moniker says

    Too bad alexmartin only made it to Germany.

    Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/sweden/gdp-growth

    Damn those dirty social democrats with their successful market economies, universal healthcare, and educated populations! If only they’d allow more robber barons, they could have had:

    the greatest system of freedom and individual liberty the world has ever known, the best economic and political system the world will ever see

    Idjit.

  223. Menyambal -- dog of an unbeliever says

    By and large, churches (re: “the Church”) does more good for more people the world over than government, in the aggregate. Millions of private citizens to one degree or another devote time, effort, money and resources both locally and in dozens of far-flung countries the world over to aid the desperate, sick, dispossessed, war-torn and hungry, people who toil in silence and anonymity night and day with no pay and no praise, doing the work you can only talk about and criticize.

    Yeah, sure.

    Not everyone belongs to a church, almost everyone belongs to a government. Churches may get ten percent of income, governments always get twenty percent of income and taxes on everything else. Governments have more money.

    Technically, all money donated to a church is considered aid or charity, but much of it goes to church-related expenses-including expensive wristwatches. Almost all money taken by decent governments goes to aid the people–greedy dictators are the exception (and they resemble churchmen)–or is used to employ the people.

    Churches ask folks to aid disaster victims, governments pay them to aid disaster victims.

    I have done the work, Ducky, not just talked about it, and I am not criticizing the workers, churchly or otherwise. I am criticizing the churchmen who wear uselessly expensive bling while workers go without pay and the hungry go without aid.

  224. Amphiox says

    Technically, all money donated to a church is considered aid or charity, but much of it goes to church-related expenses-including expensive wristwatches. Almost all money taken by decent governments goes to aid the people–greedy dictators are the exception (and they resemble churchmen)–or is used to employ the people.

    Most governments run deficits.

    Government spends MORE money aiding people than they take in! That’s as christian as it gets….

  225. Amphiox says

    It is a sunk cost which is far worse than the mcmansion or the luxocar as, now that the watch has been purchased, it will never create any more economic ripples.

    Well, at least in this case, it led to the employment of at least one photoshop digital artist….

  226. says

    Amphiox:

    Well, at least in this case, it led to the employment of at least one photoshop digital artist….

    I’m afraid not. A pro would never have left the shadow. It was probably a church minion.

  227. says

    Awful lot of time and space wasted here arguing with a shithead.

    And you just had to take the time to moan about it, eh? Around here, we sharpen our fangs on chewtoys, no matter how stupid. You never know who might be reading and might learn something. If it’s not your thing, there’s no need to read or stay.

  228. lorililee says

    I’m all for trying to educate people but it rapidly reaches and surpasses the point where you break the unofficial “Do not feed the trolls” rules most blogs observe. It just makes it harder to find real value in the comments.

  229. Brownian says

    Do not feed the trolls

    The rule is not in force here, and it doesn’t work anyway.

    It just makes it harder to find real value in the comments.

    Yeah, I know; reading sure is hard, isn’t it?

  230. A. R says

    Do not feed the trolls

    Actually, the policy here is to feed them until the explode in a firestorm of stupid. Or they get crushed by the Banhammer.

  231. says

    “Do not feed the trolls”

    Do you have a reading comprehension problem? As I said, supra, around here, we use chewtoys for fang sharpening. This is Pharyngula.

    From the Standards & Practices, since you seem to be extra-dense:

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    We do have a general guideline for handling new people. If you’re a first time commenter, you get three strikes: you can make three comments, and the regulars are supposed to restrain themselves and try to get you to engage rationally before they are allowed to release the rabid hounds. They are hoping you will oblige them and give them an excuse to let slip the leash, so be warned.

    ***Note the three comment rule – you’re two comments down.

    What happens if you violate the mores? Mostly nothing, except that you antagonize a notoriously ruthless commentariat. I may be the ultimate overlord, but I’m mostly benignly lazy, and I’m usually content to allow the other readers to make this an uncomfortable place for you. If you aren’t having a pleasant experience here, why are you hanging around?

    ***I’ll be kind and assume you can manage to click a link and read the rest yourself. Read it until it sinks in.

  232. Ogvorbis say, "Get outa my house!" says

    Stylish flounce.

    (But will it stick?)

    Not really stylish. More of a nonsequitorial flounce.

    Hir first two comments were tone trolling in the extreme. The third one was nothing.

  233. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    I sometimes forget that we are notoriously ruthless.

    Damn. You’re right. No one here is named, pseudonymously or for real, Ruth.

  234. says

    I’m all for trying to educate people but it rapidly reaches and surpasses the point where you break the unofficial “Do not feed the trolls” rules most blogs observe. It just makes it harder to find real value in the comments.

    You are not the troll’s parent. You cannot send them to their room. You withholding attention from them does not remove the positive reinforcement they are getting. Often your silence can only give the illusion of consent

  235. FossilFishy says

    No one here is named, pseudonymously or for real, Ruth.

    Anyone named Ruth who wished to be a regular commenter here would have to change their name to Nancy. [/Arthur Ransome]