A troubling trend

Now we’ve got unconfirmed rumors that Steve Irwin was born again shortly before he died. You may recall that Charles Darwin was also tarred with claims of a deathbed conversion, too.

The message is clear. Don’t convert, or you’ll die.

The only question is whether it’s Jesus that does the execution, or whether wandering evangelicals are actually serial killers. And since I don’t believe in Jesus…


  1. Krakus says

    If it was him uttering “Jesus Christ” as he pulled the stingray barb from his chest as the hemotoxins disintegrated his heart, then I think it was unlikely a conversion.

  2. flame821 says

    Boy first some xtian ass writes that Steve Irwin is going to Hell and gets so much flack for it that someone else decides that Steve Irwin was ‘born again’ as an evangelical xtian? WTF

    I hope Terri and his Da send a few of the boys from the zoo to ‘have words’ with these thoughtless bastards.

  3. Frac says

    You can’t save yourself by coming to your senses, either.

    “My God, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?”
    “Well, your dead now, so shut up!”

  4. goddogtired says

    Although certain elements among them give a very different cast to the expression “Xian ministry,” the horror-fantasy of having non-convertibles like PZ threatened like this remain amusing.
    There he is, perusing “Squidboy” while having a latte and quiche lorraine for lunch, when a big Xian gorilla sits next to him and warns him that they’ve had enough of his meddling and that he will be “giving his life to KKKrist” in the very near future, “before the Rapture, if’n you know what I means,” grunts the (saved) mouth-breather.

    What would they use as their Treasure Island “black spot,” I wonder?

  5. Watchman says

    Sure, sure, conveniently Born Again, but no longer around to confirm or refute it. Is the lie machine getting louder, or am I just having a cynical day?

  6. Jason says

    Whthr r nt h ws brn gn, h DD blv n Gd. Tht y smply cnnt dny. Wll, gss y cn dny t, bt rwn’s wn wrds wll jst prv y wrng.

  7. Uber says

    I moved in the same circles as Steve( both crocodilian biologists) and I won’t even pretend to know for certain his religious leanings if he even has any. Given what I do know I would say a weak deism at best. I could be wrong though. It’s not like we sat and had heart to hearts on it.

    He was very fond of conflating nature and God given gifts. He understood evolution and embraced all of science. I would not be suprised if he had a belief in what amounts to Spinozas God.

  8. jrochest says

    I’m with watchman — the dead become targets for postumous conversion. Rather like a more public version of Mormon ancestor conversion…

  9. mndarwinist says

    Professor, I hope you are not planning to convert any time soon?
    By the way, thanks again for disemvoweling Mr. Troll, he looks so much nicer now.

  10. says

    One of the great things about having Jesus in your heart is you get to do all kinds of slimy things and feel good about it.

    These people are basically hijacking Irwin’s celebrity to use it to promote their faith, now that he’s dead and can’t do anything to stop them. That’s awful sleazy, and secular types like you and me wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if we tried that kind of stunt.

    But the Christian can tell himself he’s just so, so, so happy that the Crocodile Hunter found Jesus right before he died and is going to heaven. It’s just such great news it must be shared with everybody. Love and Jesus Joy makes him do it. Can’t you see the big, loving smile on his face as he pounds out his little email informing the world of the good news. Anything that helps the cause is good by definition. And anything that helps the cause is true by definition. Sleazy? Whatever do you mean?

    I’m going to have to look into the Christianity thing some more. They’ve really danced it up. It’s not my grandfather’s Christianity. It’s gotta make things easier. I mean, it’s gotta be really nice and relaxing, like a jacuzzi for the soul. Being a Christian must be like living in a jacuzzi all day long. Who wouldn’t want that? Beats the heck out of swimming in the ocean, where there are dangerous animals that might kill you, and no water jets to massage the body. I mean, soul.

  11. Keanus says

    I have been much amused at our disemvoweled troll. He may think he’s being cute, but the absence of vowels reveals a near certain absence of neurons, a condition I’ve long suspected in Christian ID types. Such a condition tends to impede clear thinking.

  12. says

    The false deathbed conversion scene imposed on Darwin would be hilarious were it not a lie. I prefer his daughter’s account: she was there and confirmed he died an atheist. Thou shalt not bear false witness, except when it it suits thou’s case, it seems.

  13. says

    I am reminded of a quote by Vladimir Nabokov:

    Their refusal to buy the book [Lolita] was based not on my treatment of the theme but on the theme itself, for there are at least three themes which are utterly taboo as far as most American publishers are concerned. The two others are: a Negro-White marriage which is a complete and glorious success resulting in lots of children and grandchildren; and the total atheist who lives a happy and useful life, and dies in his sleep at the age of 106.

    Apparently not just taboo to the publisher.

  14. plunge says

    Can you imagine the sheer horror and universal disgust we’d see if, say, someone spread a rumor that the Pope had secretly become an atheist on his deathbed?

    Yet shit like this is a matter of course.

  15. lockean says

    I cannot understand the blasphemous cynicism at this site. It should be clear that Steve Irwin’s conversion came BEFORE his confrontation with the stingray. Stingrays are of the Devil. This is evident in their demonic morphology, sliminess and apparent familiarity with science (electricity). This is why their delicious meat is forbidden to us in Leviticus. (If you don’t know the Scriptures well enough to cite the chapter and verse yourself, it will do you good to get off your atheistic hind end and start reading Leviticus from the beginning.) Note also that Jesus never mentions stingrays. Stingrays are not of the Elect. They will not be saved. As a Soldier of Christ, Steve Irwin suffered a martyr’s death in mortal battle with the servants of Hell. Our prayers should be with him and his family. When our prayers for him and his family are finished, all soldiers of the Lord should begin killing stingrays.

  16. oldhippie says

    Nonsense Lockean, god wanted Steve. He converted in a weak moment, so god grabbed him quick before he had time to recant and go to the devil. So he was saved by the fish which was really an angel is disguise. Think about it:
    1.If you have ever watched sting rays under water they fly, just like angels.
    2. The mathematical chances of thet ray penetrating his heart were so remote as to be impossible. It has to be an act of Intelligent design.

  17. Xerxes1729 says

    Why would these people even care? I can’t picture even the most ignorant Christian thinking, “Gee, I was going to give this whole ‘God’ thing up, but since Steve Irwin believed it, I guess I should too.” This is just classic “argument from authority” stuff. “Famous People believe in this deity / drive this car / eat this pizza / reject evolution, so you should too!”

  18. Russell says

    I suspect there is another level of hypocrisy at work. Given admiration for a public figure, Christians don’t want to believe that their god has damned him to hell for eternity. Rather than question the perverse soteriology in which they believe, one that turns belief itself into the ultimate measure and command, they invent conversion stories for those whom they would rather not see damned.

    Of course, that only works for figures they admire, such as Steve Irwin and Thomas Jefferson. For figures they detest, such as Charles Darwin, the last-minute conversion is more meant as a proof that belief motivated by ultimate fear is somehow acceptable: “even [i]he[/i] converted when he was about to die.”

  19. says


    Why would these people even care? I can’t picture even the most ignorant Christian thinking, “Gee, I was going to give this whole ‘God’ thing up, but since Steve Irwin believed it, I guess I should too.” This is just classic “argument from authority” stuff. “Famous People believe in this deity / drive this car / eat this pizza / reject evolution, so you should too!”

    No, it’s not about marketing, it’s about racking up the most points (i.e., believers). They’re just playing a giant cosmic video game, like a real-life version of Left Behind. If you have to use the cheat codes to get your points, that’s A-OK. If you get the plausible deniability that comes from claiming converts based on purely random flukes of nature, all the better.

    In that last sense, evangelical Christians are a bit like Colorado fans who claim that their 1990 “national championship” was arrived at legitimately.

  20. Andrew says

    “Crikey!” is an Australian euphemism for “Christ!”. Not used much anymore (except in a deliberately ironic manner), but my parents’ generation used it a lot.

    So Irwin was really going around on American TV saying the Strine equivalent of “Jesus H!”.

    Pleased to see that a small language barrier made so many miss the blasphemous nature of his catchry

  21. Dianne says

    Thanks to the joys of inattentive reading, my first impression was that the rumor was that Irwin was born again shortly AFTER he died and I wondered why you thought the idea of his being reincarnated was so awful.

  22. Apikoros says

    Thanks to the joys of inattentive reading, my first impression was that the rumor was that Irwin was born again shortly AFTER he died

    That’s funny! I made exactly the same mistake. Let us wrestle this croc’ in his name. Amen.

  23. Keith Wolter says

    So, Irwin converted, and then he died… Of course, it is beautiful; he is with God now; I’m sure he is much happier there then on Earth…

    Wait, wait, I guess he DIDN’T convert. Well, clearly that is why he died! Serves him right!

    Gives new meaning to “Damned if you do, damned if ….”