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May 14 2012

A pretty fantasy

I like the sentiment, but…

Jesus probably didn’t exist, and if he can be said to be modeled after some first century Jewish rabbi, he would almost certainly have been virulently concerned with controlling people’s sexual lives…and would have regarded homosexuality as an abomination. Also, there’s no afterlife, so he isn’t lounging about in heaven moaning about our bad behavior on earth. Also, Freddie Mercury is, regrettably, dead and no longer exists: no afterlife, remember.

This has been a clarification from your friendly godless party-pooper.

But otherwise, yeah, nice.

50 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    I miss Freddie Mercury a heck of a lot more than I do Jesus, too.

  2. 2
    sumdum

    Also, wouldn’t a real jewish man from that era look more like Yasser Arafat than like mr de borgia up there ?

  3. 3
    David Marjanović

    And what about the young man who fled naked when Jesus was arrested according to Mark?

  4. 4
    rogerfirth

    I was never really into Queen music growing up, and when Freddie died it had little effect on me.

    But I was tuning around on cable a few weeks ago and came across a Queen concert on Palladium, and watched. I was mesmerized. Not only was it all the old Queen songs, but I saw this guy working the stage like a virtuoso. Voice and keyboard. Mindblowing stage presence. Absolutely mind blowing. I wish I had gone to at least one of the several Queen concerts I had the chance to go to in my formative years. The world definitely lost something big when he died.

  5. 5
    rogerfirth

    Not to mention the astrophysicist playing the guitar…

  6. 6
    jamessweet

    I don’t think Freddie Mercury existed, but was rather an embellishment based on an amalgamation of several gay rock singers from the time period.

  7. 7
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    This has been a clarification from your friendly godless party-pooper.

    I will take any excuse to link to this macro, simply because it is awesome, and PZ has conveniently provided one.

  8. 8
    aaronbaker

    Humorless much, Professor??

  9. 9
    martinvallik

    Well, Freddy had a hairy chest.

  10. 10
    rayfowler

    This seems like a good way to reach around to the other side

  11. 11
    Emrysmyrddin

    I miss Freddie Mercury a heck of a lot more than I do Jesus, too.

    QFFT, and I’ll keep missing Freddie until the Universe finally goes out… <3

  12. 12
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I see what you did there, Ray Fowler.

  13. 13
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Mmmm. . .that pairing is bound to be an exercise in disappointment. As my gay BFF once remarked to a clueless dude who asked if BFF and I were a romantic couple, “And just what would we do in bed? Each other’s nails?”

  14. 14
    timgueguen

    Mercury’s childhood religion was Zoroastrianism, so he wouldn’t be likely to be hanging around Jesus anyway.

  15. 15
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Still, they would have made a much more interesting couple at conversational dinner parties than all those fucking insurance salesmen and real estate developers I’ve had to suffer. Give me an at-odds Hay-seuss and Freddie any day.

  16. 16
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    @Josh, OSG: Well, just how are your nails? Might have been worth it if it saved a paid manicure.

  17. 17
    dianne

    This has been a clarification from your friendly godless party-pooper.

    Really. Have you no respect for fanfic? Not that we have a definitive author’s version of the Jesus story. It’s all fanfic.

  18. 18
    Inaji

    I’d like to think that Freddie had better taste than that. Also, if anyone is getting a second coming, my vote’s for Freddie.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Rich Woods

    Why do modern depictions of Jesus all look like Robert Powell? Do you think there’s something he’s not telling us?

  21. 21
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Shit, I don’t think I have listened to Keep Yourself Alive in over two decades.

  22. 22
    Winterwind

    Is it just me, or does this Jesus look like Hugh Laurie?

  23. 23
    Sili

    And what about the young man who fled naked when Jesus was arrested according to Mark?

    You’ve been reading too much Morton Smith.

    And I’ve been reading too much Dennis MacDonald, so I’ll say the young man was poor Elpenor transvalued. Odds are he’s there to flee, because he needs to reäppear at the empty tomb – again transvaluing Elpenor, who haunted Odysseus to get a hero’s burial.

  24. 24
    Desert Son, OM

    de borgia

    Robert Powell

    Hugh Laurie

    I was going to say Dave Grohl.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  25. 25
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I like Queen more now then back in the seventies, when you could not escape Killer Queen. Or their music was lumped in the classic rock ghetto in the eighties.

    You’re My Best Friend

  26. 26
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I am trying to picture JC as House MD, the atheist misanthropic detective of maladies and faith healer.

    Would he be popping pain killers because of his stigmata?

  27. 27
    RFW

    Holy jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick! What is with those pectorals? Jesus attends a gym?

    Reminds me of the Folsom Street Fair where overdeveloped pecs are a dime a dozen, to the extent that one begins to feel nauseous when the next pair slides into view. More power to those with the dedication and genes to grow a pair, but really, guys, big pecs are no longer a novelty.

  28. 28
    Desert Son, OM

    Jesus attends a gym?

    Lifting all that lumber and those tools. Supposedly he was a carpenter.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  29. 29
    Trickster Goddess

    Appropriate to this thread: the top rated comment on the first video Janine linked to:

    I don’t understand how some people dare to compare Freddie Mercury to God. I mean, he’s good… But he’s no Freddie Mercury.

  30. 30
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I guess I am free associating now.

    Stigmata

  31. 31
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Correction, Trickster Goddess, that was in the second video I linked to.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    kevs

    Freddie may have been a Zoroastrianism by birth but judging from the lyrics of “Innuendo” at least he was not exactly a fan of religion.
    I’ve often thought “Innuendo” would be a good anthem for the secular movement except its too hard to sing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbnYMOmnrXY
    “If there’s a God or any kind of justice under the sky
    If there’s a point, if there’s a reason to live or die
    If there’s an answer to the questions we feel bound to ask
    Show yourself – destroy your fears – release your mask
    Oh yes we’ll keep on trying
    Hey tread that fine line
    Yeah we’ll keep on smiling yeah
    And whatever will be – will be
    We’ll just keep on trying
    We’ll just keep on trying
    Till the end of time”

  34. 34
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    God’s Song

  35. 35
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    God

    I would not link to the video, the sound was horrid.

  36. 36
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    For the old timers of Pharyngula, the woman playing percussions in the band was someone that Ken Cope went to school with.

  37. 37
    NelC

    Rich Woods @20: Probably because for a certain generation, e.g. me, Powell played the definitive Jesus of Nazareth.

  38. 38
    karley jojohnston

    This image is good, but rule 34 has more shocking stuff. It’s my new rule that if a Xian is being disingenuous, or about to do an “I pray for you” flounce, I respond with an image of Jesus receiving fellatio from Pikachu. Like so (NSFW)

    http://kajedheat.tumblr.com/post/17613644239/a-friend-had-a-status-about-the-birth-control

  39. 39
    Akira MacKenzie

    You say Rolls, I say Royce
    You say God,give me a choice
    You say Lord, I say Christ
    I don’t believe in Peter Pan
    Frankenstein or Superman

  40. 40
    IndyM, pikčiurna

    I think Jesus looks a bit like Iggy Pop with a beard.

  41. 41
    pbrooks

    > I miss Freddie Mercury a heck of a lot more than I do Jesus, too.

    PZ, you obviously didn’t notice the shirt I was wearing when you were here in Calgary back in March :-)

    http://queenville.blogspot.ca/2012/03/three-degrees-of-separation.html

    Speaking of Freddie, his complex persona is routinely used to either support or undermine any number of religious beliefs:

    http://queenville.blogspot.ca/2012/04/easter-weekend-gives-rise-to-queen.html

    The “Marriage Made in Heaven” illustration that PZ posted is just another in a long line of examples, only now it’s got a timely political aspect to it thanks to Obama’s recent statement.

    Patrick

  42. 42
    DLC

    At this point in time, does it really matter if Jesus was a 1st century con-man or some figment created by Paul ? Personally, I tend to lean toward the idea he was a real person, who conned half of Judea. Think about it. how hard would it be, at the end, to hire a handful of guys to appear as soldiers to take him away.
    From there, the entire scourging, trial and execution could just be propaganda put out by his mob. Look at modern day politicians, some of whom say “A” on Monday, Deny being in support of B on Tuesday and repudiating A on Wednesday.

  43. 43
    DLC

    PS : Loved Queen back in the day. Freddie Mercury was better than Jesus.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    birgerjohansson

    Hmmm…(free association): Frankie Goes To Hollywood: “Relax” (the original video, not the bowdlerised one) -Yes, I know it is not the same band.

    Also, Queen’s “Flash Gordon” theme at Family Guy; God flying an antigrav scooter.

  46. 46
    birgerjohansson

    Here we go:

    Queen: “Flash Gordon” (by way of Family Guy) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN6mXxf4PSY

    Frankie Goes To Hollywood: “Relax”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPLrXFw76Qg

  47. 47
    AJ Milne

    It’s probably beating a dead horse to bring it up again in this crowd, but all the same:

    His ‘simple message of love and tolerance’. Right.

    The message of the new testament is hardly peace and groovy love, people. It’s pretty long on hellfire, actually. On and on about cities being destroyed, hissy fits in which innocent vegetation suffers pointlessly, people being cast into the fire for various offences…

    Including, naturally failing to get with this guy’s program. That’s pretty much standard for con men playing the ‘apocalyptic prophet’ game. Gotta try and scare the naysayers, besides cementing in with fear any and all who’ve already bought into your line. The charmer who gave rise to the Jesus myth, so far as we can tell from what survives, was probably no exception.

    That ‘hippie Jesus’ meme is frankly plain ole’ contemporary Christian marketing, little more. Let’s sell him to current tastes by emphasizing that sure, given a few Essenic/ascetic memes that survive in there, he’s maybe a smidge less bloodthirsty than the Yahweh of the old testament, and let’s forget for a moment that, actually, pretty much everyone who ever lived who can achieve that rare distinction, since, y’know, not a lot of us are up to killing every single fucking thing on the planet that can’t breathe water for the perceived cheek of a couple of hairless apes who insisted upon wearing shirts of mixed fibres or some damned thing.

    … and let’s forget that under standard trinitarianism, actually, he’s actually that guy, too… somehow… Tho’ apparently in a slightly less immediately genocidal mood, at least until the next scheduled* apocalypse.

    (*/This, mind, is the best thing you can say about the guy: apparently, he’s not much for keeping appointments. And yes, in his case, it’s a good thing. It’s sorta like when your loser alcoholic uncle with anger management issues misses your birthday, and you’re all like: ‘okay, I think I can live with that’.)

  48. 48
    gravityisjustatheory

    DLC
    14 May 2012 at 8:11 pm

    At this point in time, does it really matter if Jesus was a 1st century con-man or some figment created by Paul ? Personally, I tend to lean toward the idea he was a real person, who conned half of Judea. Think about it. how hard would it be, at the end, to hire a handful of guys to appear as soldiers to take him away.
    From there, the entire scourging, trial and execution could just be propaganda put out by his mob. Look at modern day politicians, some of whom say “A” on Monday, Deny being in support of B on Tuesday and repudiating A on Wednesday.

    That seems to be needlessly complicating it.

    From what I’ve read of the history of the region, for hundreds of years either side, religious reformers/fanatics/warlords/etc claiming to be the Messiah, or the King of the Jews, or The Only True Jew(TM) (or, later, Christian/Muslim), or even God Himself, were popping up all the time. And almost as often eventually pissing off enough people that they ended up being killed by rival claimants, or the mob, or the established religious authorities, or whichever empire controlled the region at the time (with or without building up a notable following in the meantime).

    Ignoring all the supernatural elements, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly implausible about an itinerent rabbi wandering about 1st Century Judeah, claiming to be the Messiah (which in Judaism is not the “Son of Sod”) and/or the King of the Jews, gathering a following, and then getting killed by the Romans (who would not be happy with anyone claiming to be the King of the Jews other than their own puppet king), possibly with the collusion of the collaborating religious authorities. And then being deified by (some of) his followers and/or appropriated by the authorities.

    The only problem is lack of actual good evidence. (Incidently, how much evidence could be expected if it was true? Do we have full records of every religious rabble-rouser executed by the Romans, such that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, or is it more a case of “Meh – who knows? Everything and nothing are equally probable”?)

    PS, I did notice that typo, but thought it too funny to correct.

  49. 49
    Crissa

    I don’t see any reason to assume that Jesus was like Paul or any other rabbi that was interested in conservative sexual mores. It’s not like he was particularly popular or otherwise like the others. Sure, the odds are…

    But none of the surviving descriptions describe him as anything other than what we’d describe as a hippie today. And I think the mere fact that those descriptions were so strong even early-on, that those should be given as his description, rather than trying to go from historical peer.

    Assuming there was a Jesus, after all. But I just think it noteworthy that he was described as being so different than Paul.

  50. 50
    rorschach

    That’s Freddie? Looks like Dave Silverman to me.

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