It’s been a little while since I last brought up Pinkoski, so maybe you can handle another dollop. When I got his creationism comic book, I also picked up another, titled “Christian SF”, which promised to be the first in a series of comics containing science fiction stories with Christian themes.
Oh, it is bad.
Ignoring the Christian content completely, it is a major rip-off. It contains all of two stories, each given only 3 or four pages, which barely set up the premise and then stop cold, telling you to buy Christian SF #2 to find out what happens.
The first is titled “Who is the model citizen”, and consists of a few pages of exposition about terrorist attacks on the US requiring new weapons, and then the unveiling of a humanoid robot. That’s it.
The second, “The aliens”, sets the stage with some alien worlds where everyone is perfect and happy and worships God, when another alien shows up and announces that there has been a “great non-friendliness among the beings that serve the great I AM”, and that part of the Milky Way has been declared off-limits. Again, it just ends there.
As science fiction and as story telling, this thing just plain sucks. It’s got a few pages of the beginnings of some very lame stories, and everything in between is evangelical Christian babbling…and that’s where you’ll find the real science fiction. I haven’t seen such bizarre theology since I caught a glimpse of premillennial dispensationalism—what is it about the crazed Christian extremists that they can simultaneously declare their belief in literal biblical fundamentalism while indulging in the most fantastic distortions of the book itself?
For instance, here’s how Pinkoski explains the Christian Trinity.
That’s a picture of God, you see, and those things peeling off of his arms are the Holy Ghost, on the left, and Jesus, on the right. Literally. I’ve always thought the concept of the Trinity is a fine example of nonsensical theological babble, but you really haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a True Believer try to illustrate it. Notice those little boxes surrounding the big hippie calving off a pair of little hippies? Those contain Pinkoski’s explanation of what’s going on, and they are a freakin’ trip, man.
Do you know how an amoeba reproduces? It splits itself into two amoebas, and the are made of the very same material—it’s a process called “mitosis”…
Uh, that’s right, kids: Pinkoski just explained the Trinity as the result of God undergoing mitosis, just like an amoeba. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
If the theocrats ever get what they want and turn America into a Christian Dominion, I’ve got bad news for Pinkoski: he’s going to be among the first tied to a stake. Heretics are never popular in a theological monoculture, you know.
In the Beginning there was only GOD—and GOD knew the End from the Beginning, so that we might say “an eternity of planning” went into the thoughts that GOD used to plan the details of the Universe…
Long before the Beginning of the Universe the Great I AM decided on His form—and just as he gave Himself two arms that extended outward that became hands with five fingers, the Great I AM decided it was necessary to split himself into three Beings, three separate and distinct beings who were to perform different functions within the Universe that was about to be created…
Seeing the story of the Trinity laid out so literally sure makes it look silly, doesn’t it? It’s as absurd as those old myths about Athena being born from the forehead of Zeus.
At a later point in Time on the planet Earth, Satan would fabricate a story about a false god named “Zeus” who created a pantheon of other gods by having them grow out of his forehead and shoulders, etc., in an attempt to mock the truth about the real GOD…
Athena popping out of the head of Zeus is nonsense, of course, but Jesus sprouting out of the shoulder of God? That’s just the real truth.
The portion of the Great I AM who came from the right was to be known to mankind as the Son of God, and the portion of the Great I AM that was to be known as the invisible Holy Spirit came from the left side of the Great I AM (as if anything is truly invisible to God)…
I’m puzzled about the emphasis on the invisibility of the Holy Ghost. It’s not as if God and Jesus are somehow less invisible—I can’t see any of them.
Pinkoski is so specific and weird. Is there anything in the Bible about any of this? In the same patented move he pulled off in the last book, though, he seems to find vindication in trivial observations. Just as the existence of pygmies and dwarfs “proves” that biblical accounts of giants are true, so too does the prevalence of handedness support his theology.
In the world of mankind most people use their right hands to do physical tasks—a phenomenon that may be based upon the Great I AM using the right side portion of Himself to create the entire Universe…
He goes on in this same vein for a few more pages. I’ll spare you most of it. Here’s God and his two little buddies cruising through the Void and creating the Universe:
He does present us with another revelation: God’s physical location.
Where would be GOD’s home within the new Universe?
It would be called “The Third Heaven”—and would be within the place that would one day be named The ORION NEBULA…
The ORION NEBULA is a very unique sight in the night sky from Earth—for there is an awesome brilliance that shines outward from around the corner of The ORION NEBULA…
That brilliance is the GLORY OF GOD!
I say…What??? That’s just bizarre, but I guess I’ll go along. Whenever I see thinly dispersed clouds of expanding vapor in a vacuum, I think of God, too.
dr. dave says
Hrm… When I last counted the stars in the Orion Nebula, there were FOUR, not three.
Maybe God just split off another chunk!
Viscous Wizard says
I guess that means Satan lives on Antares?
Alex Whiteside says
For Christian-themed SF which isn’t a pile of trite nonsense, I can heartily reccomend Out of the Silent Planet. Or at least I would if I could remember where I put it, a friend loaned it to me about three years ago and I’ve kind of lost track of it.
That first god-picture, aside from having two monkeys growing out of his hair(?), looks to me like he’s being grasped by tentacles. Cthullu v. God celebrity deathmatch!
Come on PZ, give Pinloski a break! After all, L. Ron Hubbard started the same way, he just happened to write better Science Fiction.
So god’s flying around in the Orion nebula????
Maybe NASA can squeeze a few bucks from the mega churches for a new space telescope to see god better. Might work.
Ginger Yellow says
“Pinkoski is so specific and weird. Is there anything in the Bible about any of this?”
That’s what I love about him. There’s never any acknowledgement that it’s all speculation. He’s so confident in the capital-T Truth of his pseudo-theology, despite the total lack of physical or scriptural evidence for it. It seems like the more unsupported his claims get, the more confident he is about them.
I’ve always thought that religion was the earliest (and worst) form of science fiction, anyway–and seeing that drawing of “I love you this much” with his little “muches” on his shoulder, cruising through the void, I am convinced! How hilarious.
You know, I can just imagine the reaction of my Christian relatives at the thought of drawing a picture of God. You’re not supposed to do that!
That aside, I wonder where God works out? At the Y? (Or the Î± or the Î©?) Looking pretty buff these days. (Does anybody else see a little homoeroticism in Pinkoski’s drawings?)
No, there’s nothing in the Bible about Jesus and the HS being created by, or sloughing off of, God. But why should that stop anybody? There’s nothing in the Bible about the Rapture, aside from one verse taken out of context.
Mitosis, that’s a scream. I can just hear it now: instead of a jealous god, “I, the Lord Your God, am a selfish replicator.” Hey, there’s mention of “vehicles” in Ezekiel–I could start a new cult. One that would make Dembksi blow a gasket.
Bronze Dog says
I seldom watch anything I have to pay for on TV beyond just basic plans, but I would most definitely pay per many views to see that.
frank schmidt says
Does this guy believe that God is a cephalopod? Just wondering; it looks decidedly squid-like.
Cthulhu? Oh, come on, guys, that’s just absurd!
Clearly, God is fighting the Flying Spaghetti Monster over the right to Intelligently Design the universe. As we all know, God won. Where’s your pasta now???
Daniel Morgan says
Does he understand how nonsensical it is to say that somewhere in the stretch of infinite time, God up and decided to do something, to fundamentally change its own nature, and yet all three members of the Trinity are eternally existent?
Obviously, he doesn’t, that’s a dumb question of me to ask.
Before the beginning of time there is no “before” and there sure as hell isn’t a “long before”.
As we all know, God won. Where’s your pasta now???
Ha. If God won over pasta, why is there still pasta?
The god EVOLVED from the pasta. Of course pasta still exists. If you doubt this is possible, how is it there are PYGMIES + DWARFS??
Why would an all-powerful and perfect being “need” to split himself into three beings who would perform different functions? Sounds like egotism to me (hey, if he’s perfect, then he has to have perfect egotism, right?).
pseudo-theology? Is there any other kind?
King Spirula says
So then the Trinity is the result of some Hox gene/cojoined twin variants?
Well obviously god’s not against using cloning technology.
Wow! Who knew that The Holy Trinity looked like a DC-3?
(look at the “cruising through the void” shot, then turn your head sideways and look at the DC-3.)
The Ridger says
The Holy Spirit (Ghost) is more invisible because no one has ever seen him. Well, not unless you count the doves, of course. Whereas lots of people saw* Jesus. And a few have seen* God – in the Garden, and some of the prophets got to see his backside.
* within the context of the story, of course
Wow, that just ignores about 2000 years of christian theology. He would’ve been branded a heretic, excommunicated and probably killed even *before* the Council of Nicea codified the whole 3-in-1 thing.
Why is it that I, a fairly vociferous athiest, know more about christian theology than a fundamentalist?
“Heaven in Orion Nebula”-idea might come from Sir William Herschel (he found Uranus 1781)who said that light of blessed (people) shines though that Nebula. Universe was dark sphere except one punched hole in Orion Nebula..
Talen Lee says
I’m fairly sure it’s inappropriate to post just a snigger, but:
Speaking as someone raised and taught a large amount of the theory behind the theology of Christianity, it /can/ make sense, if you acknowledge that it doesn’t match up to everything in the real world perfectly. The trinity – the idea of an infinite being with three aspects which are simultaneously their own people, /and/ a single ur-entity – is a fine example. To maintain your belief, you basically have to shrug and say ‘Well, okay, I dunno.’
Conceptually, I can grok the reasoning of ‘God is beyond our understanding’. But it felt unsatisfactory to me.
Faith is belief without proof, right? So God wants the ignorant?
This seems like the right place to ask an SF question: A story I read some decades ago used the legend of St Sebastian, the human pin-cushion, to explain the existence of evil in a universe supposedly made by a perfect, loving God. Turns out that what God loves is pain and mayhem, hence the world as it is.
What’s the title, date, and author?
So then it can’t possibly make sense in any way shape or form can it?
The Orion Nebula has the absolute best structure for pareidolia EVAR. Part of the conglomoration of stellar gases looks like…
Well, here’s a picture:
So take a look on the right side of the image. Notice the structure that looks like a giant eye. If you keep looking, you can see a hugely wide lipless mouth with a giant chin and jaw, wrinkled cheeks, and a blobby nose that bears an unfortunate resemblance to a small, shriveled penis and testicles. The right eye appears to be missing. The hair is a spiky mess that starts right above the left eye.
If you keep looking, you can see that there’s a faint neck, and a lower torso that appears to be partly skeletal. A skeletal arm stretches out from his right side to the left, and it looks like he’s holding a giant fireball, and is perhaps rearing back to throw it this way.
So there you go. The face of God (perhaps Odin?), sculpted as a grumpy old geezer by Spitting Image or Henson Studios.
Millimeter Wave says
Oh dear god… (figuratively speaking, you understand).
Just a little note: there’s nothing particularly special about the Orion nebula in cosmic terms.
It is very impressive to look at, but the reason that it looks so impressive from our viewpoint (compared to other emission nebulae such as, say, the Lagoon nebula, the Triffid nebula and the Eagle nebula, to name a few) is that it’s very close to us. Of course, I mean “close” in the same way that geologists mean “recent”: it’s only about 1600 light years from us, compared to several times that for the other nebulae I mentioned.
Google the phrase “where is M13?” to find an excellent new tool (with free trial) that shows where all of this stuff is with respect to the Sun. It’s really quite impressive. You’ll find that the Orion nebula (scroll down to find M42 on the list) is practically on top of us in cosmic scales.
Where does he get this stuff?
Oh. Wait… don’t answer that.
Rey Fox says
“The trinity – the idea of an infinite being with three aspects which are simultaneously their own people, /and/ a single ur-entity – is a fine example. To maintain your belief, you basically have to shrug and say ‘Well, okay, I dunno.'”
And never ever mention Voltron, or you’ll get your knuckles rapped in short order.
Eric Paulsen says
So there you go. The face of God (perhaps Odin?), sculpted as a grumpy old geezer by Spitting Image or Henson Studios. – Owlmirror
The first thing I saw when I looked for the face was a tiny little grey alien (or maybe a skull) wrapped in a blanket or shawl and playing what appears to be a zither. Or maybe he just has extrordinally long legs and is squatting over something. I can also see the profile of a sleeping baby ( wearing a fur lined parka hood) and a mugwomp from Naked Lunch.
I’m sure if I stared at it long enough I would see all manner of things.
Pete K says
“Antideluvian-anthropomorphisms R us”!
this is how trinity works…
That last picture looks almost exactly like a scene from End of Evangelion, except that the Eva scene was far more awesome/gruesome and had a lot of very disturbing Freudian stuff in it.