Sacrifices Must Be Made

They told me their religion gave “a different way of knowing”,
In addition to experiments, I also learn through prayer;
The precious love of Jesus is what keeps my garden growing—
It’s the fertilizer used, along with water, sun, and air.

While science speaks of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus,
Religion speaks of Angels that can help my plants to grow;
Like Europe meeting Asia at the strait they call the Bosporus,
Both Science and Religion meet where I have weeds to hoe.

Generations of selection give varieties that thrive—
Horticulture, as a science, helps me constantly, I note;
But Religion also helps me! Why, to keep my plants alive,
I make sure, in planting season, that I sacrifice a goat!

There are artificial pesticides, or totally organic,
And the scientific knowledge can support me either way,
And Religion also tells me I have no real need to panic—
There are prayers and incantations that can keep the bugs away!

When the time has come to harvest, then technology and Science
Have combined to help me multiply the bounty of the fields.
And, of course, the Gods and Angels where I’m placing my reliance
Are (I’m certain) doing something to the quantity of yields.

The power of Religion, as I pray for intervention
While the atheistic farmers on their tractors point and smirk,
Is tremendous and insightful, though I think I ought to mention
I’m beginning to discover… that it really doesn’t work.

What I really want to talk about, after the jump:

It’s new, but it’s promising–a new webcomic, The Atheist Pig. Today’s verse (above) points out the problem with today’s comic (or perhaps, vice versa); how do you determine which is the appropriate sacrifice? Do we have to read a deity’s mind in order to figure it out? Is a fatted calf always going to work? A goat? A chicken? Your first-born son?

I’m really liking The Atheist Pig, which is the real reason for this post; I hope you enjoy it as well. The idea of “proper sacrifice” is just gravy.

I had friends who used to make an offering to the parking gods, when driving into Boston (Cleveland, too, come to think of it). They’d roll down the window and toss out a dollar bill, and shortly thereafter, find a parking place. This is no easy feat, they assured me. Not being a city mouse (more of an epipelagic cephalopod), who was I to challenge them?

Would the parking gods accept the sacrifice of a chicken? A goat? A fatted calf? Does God get to park anywhere He wants, having sacrificed His Son (/HimSelf)? To HimSelf, apparently?

Apparently, goat sacrifices work for airplane mechanical problems. Chicken sacrifices do not, apparently, work for baseball. Of course, there can be problems–10 people were killed in a goat sacrifice fight a couple of years ago. Mind you, the goats fared even worse; 30,000 goats were sacrificed the previous day.

I don’t know… the whole idea of sacrifice seems odd to me. Like taking a magnifying glass to an anthill or something. They are dead, no one will eat them, what has been accomplished? I can eat chicken, or goat, or calf, but what does a god want with protein?

Heh. For a minute there, I was thinking it had to make sense.

Anyway, go visit the pig. Tell him Cuttlefish sent you.


  1. hotshoe says

    Hmm, chicken sacrifice worked just fine for Jose, the first baseman of the Durham Bulls in the movie “Bull Durham”. Wonder why it didn’t work for those Texas teenagers.

  2. Die Anyway says

    Oh damn. Another good atheist website. My reading list is now up to about 72 hours per day. And I’m a fast reader. There is so much good stuff out there (out here?) that a human being can’t possibly keep up.

  3. N. Nescio says

    “They are dead, no one will eat them, what has been accomplished?”

    That’s actually untrue. Meat from sacrificed animals is typically distributed and eaten communally, with a token portion burnt as offering. Priests have to eat, too.

    This is true for the Old Testament as it is for bali danam in India, and most other religions.

  4. N. Nescio says

    I’ve always seen it as an extraordinarily silly excuse for communal meals. Why people can’t just get together and have a public feast for its own sake I don’t understand – the gods sure never seem to comment upon or care what’s served.

  5. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    If the sacrifice gets eaten, it’s not a waste, just a lie and a scam. At least that’s how I see it.

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