Jesus’ General is poking fun at Mitt Romney’s weird religious doctrines (he’s a Mormon). This isn’t right. I demand that he give equal time to pointing out the silliness of Hillary Clinton’s (Methodist), John Kerry’s (Catholic), Russ Feingold’s (Jewish), and John McCain’s (whatever will get him the nomination) religion. There’s goofiness galore in all of those, too, and it’s unfair to leave them out.


  1. Houdini's Ghost says

    Don’t forget perennial presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman, who claims to subscribe to Jewish silliness but clearly worships only his own beautiful mind. And McCain is a suspiciously Irish name… Is he on record definitively stating that he is not a Leprechaunist? People were concerned JFK would be beholden to the Pope, but I’m much more worried about the Little People who speak to McCain.

  2. llewelly says

    I seem to recall that when Romney worked for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (for the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah), he referred to himself as ‘proud to be a Mormon’ several times.

  3. Satan luvvs Repugs says

    Yeah, but they don’t have super-secret holy underwear! I mean, come on, COMEDY GOLD!.

    “Hey, Matt! Are you wearing holy underwear today?”

  4. George says

    Feingold the appeaser in 2004:

    The fact is the First Amendment in its entirety has served our nation well and has allowed religious expression to thrive and not be stifled. Americans are a deeply religious people, and yet we have no official state religion. Those two facts taken together succinctly express the genius of the framers in the area of religious freedom.
    Ours is a nation built on diversity and religious pluralism. The legacy of religious liberty in our nation is unparalleled in human history. We in the Congress have a special duty to protect and nurture that legacy.

    I supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993. I thought the Supreme Court had made a mistake in the Smith decision in 1990 by reducing the protection of religious expression from governmental intrusion.


  5. ericnh says

    Surely PZ you must see that the idea that Native Americans are really displaced Jews is much less believable than the birth of a male baby to a virgin? I think the trapped soul of an alien criminal is causing conflict within you.

  6. Richard Harris, FCD says

    As we were discussing the idiocy of religion here, I thought it worthwhile reproducing the following text from today’s NY Times online, about an egregious example of monks vandalizing priceless ancient texts to re-use the vellum:

    *** But there is more to the palimpsest than Archimedes’ work, including 10 pages of Hyperides, offering tantalizing and fresh insights into the critical battle of Salamis in 480 B.C., in which the Greeks defeated the Persians, and the battle of Chaeronea in 338 B.C., which spelled the beginning of the end of Greek democracy.
    “This book is the most important palimpsest in the world,” Mr. Noel said. “We’re learning about the nuts and bolts of ancient medieval history and gaining a new understanding of the early history of the calculus and of our understanding of ancient physics. The prayer book is made up of five other books. Another of these books seems to be an early Christian — second or third century — commentary on ancient views of the soul and why they were incorrect.”
    The palimpsest is believed to have been created by Byzantine monks in the 13th century, probably in Constantinople. As was the practice then, the durable and valuable vellum pages of several older texts were washed and scraped, to remove their writing, and then used for a medieval prayer book. ***

    Urghhhhhhhhh! Thank science & technology that much of this valuable writing is now being revealed after this act of mindless religious vandalism.

  7. quork says

    It’s impossible for a Leprechaunist to be elected in this country. Astrology, however, is alright.

  8. says

    It reminds me of when someone points at Scientology. It is a ridiculous group that is simultaneously silly and creepy. But as much fun as it is to point at Xenu, thetans, and Cruise, are Jesus, the bible, or the Catholic League any less worthy of some suspicion and incredulity?

    Sure most people know we need to watch out for the smaller cults (ones like Koresh and that polygamist leader in AZ). But we can’t forget the bigger ones (like the Mormons and Scientology), and the news guys do notice them, when anyone from one gets a wiff of power, or gets arrested/into a scandal. But it seems a shame people are afraid to go the next step, to the good old big boys (see any religion pie charts in the news).

    I mean, when Lieberman ever ran for Prez or VP, it was always brushed passed that he is very devout. That one day a week he won’t drive, touch lights, etc. Now this can be worked around, sure. But should it bother us, a little, that our leader would be sitting ensconced one day a week?

    I mean, do any of us rememeber the flap over the fact that the 41st president did not like broccoli! BROCCOLI! And ALL HELL BROKE OUT! But won’t even touch a lamp, etc for one day a week…eh.

    And for that matter how can the part of the electorate that knows better elect a person who thinks the world is thousands of years old? And this level of faith and distrust of evidence is good how? Oh right, he’ll “cut my taxes and attack the gays.”

    …So yeah, they should start having articles comparing the silly doctrines of all the various candidates.

  9. says

    Well, you’ll be able to get something with Roman Catholicism, and to a certain extent with Methodism, but Feingold’s pretty far down the “reform” branch, and McCain’s religious preference is too slippery to really get ahold of it. For this particular form of mockery to work, you have to be able to get a clear handle on what it is you’re going to mock.

    The advantage of singling out Mormons is that so much of their really ridiculous stuff is both new to most English-speaking readers and well-documented. I can understand that the temptation of novelty with an ample paper trail was just too much for Jesus’s General to ignore.

    Also, the blogger appears to be an ex-Mormon himself – I have often noticed a strong tendency to mock Mormonism from ex-Mormons that greatly exceeds the desire to mock, say, Episcopalianism among ex-Episcopalians. (current Episcopalians do plenty of self-mocking) I have no explanation for this, so it may just be evidence of confirmation bias on my part.

  10. Richard Harris, FCD says

    Hexatron, you beat me to it with that other NYTimes article.

    It’s not the fault of the Enlightenment Project – the monstrous evil of the 20thC was caused by people still mired in religious mindsets. Stalin trained as a priest, Hitler was a Catholic. And Communism has all but one of the attributes of religion.

  11. George says

    From that NY times article:

    “Instead of waging intellectual battles over the existence of god(s), those of us who live in secular society might profit by being slower to judge others and by trying very hard to understand how it is possible for John Locke and our many atheist friends to continue to gaze at each other in such a state of mutual misunderstanding.”

    John Locke supported slavery and he did not consider women equal. His writing are laced with references to God. The guy is a frigging conservative.

    The best thing one can say about Locke is that he helped inspire Tristram Shandy.

  12. jba says

    Daniel Martin:

    Being ex-Mormon myself I think I can help you understand. The issue, in a nutshell, is this: Mormonism is ridiculus. Most of the people I know who are still members either are because they dont think about it (sometimes on purpose, sometimes because they cant think that deeply) or because they desperatly want to belong. There are many that sincerly believe that its real and true, but how or why is completely beyond me.

  13. Rocky says

    And from the steaming pile of dog poo noted by hexatron above, the exact point that perfectly points out for me the unforgiving nature of religion:
    John Locke, who was almost everyone’s favorite political philosopher at the time of the founding of our nation, was a very tolerant man. In his 1689 “Letter Concerning Toleration,” he advocated a policy of live and let live for believers in many faiths, even heretics. But he drew the line at atheists. He wrote: “Lastly, those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, covenants and oaths, which are the bonds of human societies, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all.”
    Per this illogical religious thinking, a good, moral Atheist cannot possibly exist, and are not to be tolerated. This is precisely the religiously elitist bigoted position that I find so endearing with the sky god worshippers. If you have the plain common sense to research and question an very inconsistent belief, it’s time for a good old heretic burning.

  14. Paul D says

    I’m a little too young to remember, but wasn’t it a big whoopty-do when JFK was elected?

    Being Catholic, was it not believed by many that his election to the Presdency meant the Vatican would have a direct line to the White House?

  15. J-Dog says

    Direct line hell! My understanding is that the Republicans were preaching that the Vatican would CONTROL the White House if Kennedy were elected.

  16. Joshua says

    Kennedy was planning to step down and cede power to the Pope. That’s why he was assassinated.

    It’s true, I totally read that somewhere.

  17. benarda says

    george says, “Americans are a deeply religious people”

    I disagree. Most Americans are apathetic about religion and they just go through the motions and repeat the mumbo-jumbo to avoid problems with the 25% of the fanatics.

    As to singling out the Mormons, I think it is an excellent idea. Tomorrow one can single out the baptists. The next day some other nutty superstition.

    It is useful to focus on each sect’s absurdity individually. It helps attract the minds of people who are discovering the fraud of religion.

  18. Shoeguy says

    I am of two minds on Mormonism. I am familiar with all the “golden plates” and hat talking delusional cult insanity, but the Mormons I have known are solid citizens, send their kids to public school, and are nice to the point of creepiness. I’ve never had a Mormon try to recruit me, even though I see their missionaries all over the place. I get hit on by the JWs all the time. I haven’t seen much intolerance in LDS folks, even though I had a hell of a time buying cigarettes in Utah in the early 70s.
    Religion is the triumph of salesmanship over substance.

  19. Stephen Erickson says

    Mormonism just feels kookier because it’s newer.

    “Americans are a deeply religious people[.]”

    I disagree with this statement too. Americans, on the whole, are a superficially religious people. If they were deeply religious, they’d behave much differently.

  20. says

    Daniel, JBA did a fair job of answering you. As to how or why Mormons believe the stuff they do: I don’t think they do, at least not many of them.

    Sure, there really are some so deluded as to think Jesus Christ teleported to the Americas to talk to the Mayan forebears; but remember the monthly ritual of “bearing your testimony” in church? Remember the incessant indoctrination, the need, the strive to believe, to belong?

    Remember how hard you put on the airs to show yourself as being a member, all the time wondering if everyone else was brainwashed, or didn’t care, or were just fucking stupid?

    Remember suspecting it was all just a crazy act?

    And the nasty habit of sipping a little coffee now and then nonetheless?

    I’d say that for every one True Believer in that silly little clusterfuck of religious twaddle, there are perhaps fifteen or twenty who are only putting on a show.

    My own reasons for lashing out at the Mormon cult are pretty simple. It screws with your brain, particularly if you are a nonheterosexual teenaged boy living a lonely, dateless and self-hating life of quiet desperation under the “leadership” of the local bishopric.

    Fuck the Mormons. All of them.

  21. says

    Hoody: If you feel you have the intellectual chops to do it, feel free to debunk “atheistic scientism” all you wish. Maybe you’ll even get your own thread in which to conspicuously fail.

  22. GH says

    I’d say that for every one True Believer in that silly little clusterfuck of religious twaddle, there are perhaps fifteen or twenty who are only putting on a show.

    Huh, sounds like catholism.

  23. Baratos says

    The thing that always amazes me about people like hoody, is they seem to think that by putting “-ism” on the end of something, it makes it an ideology. Round Earthism: teach the controvesy! The Earth is acutally a series of tubes!

  24. MikeM says

    What’s really getting to me about these religions is that they’re tax exempt. It is really, really starting to annoy me that if you can prove to the government that you are quite sincere about your superstition, you get to run a tax-exempt, very large business.

    I say that about all religions. I do not exclude a single one. I am unapologetic about saying I’m pissed that the Southern Baptist Convention, Buddhists, Methodists, Muslims and Catholics all operate under this absurd set of laws.

    I don’t like it one little bit.

    The world would be better off without them.

    Anyone else hear about the woman in Colorado who’s neighborhood association is fining her $25/day because of her peace-sign wreath? Some of her neighbors think it’s a Satanic symbol. Shudder. Someone’s praying to something else that doesn’t exist! Burn her!

    Sheesh. People have twisted imaginations. Peace signs are Satanic? It makes me want to put one on my car, just to piss off 2-3 people a day. Maybe they’ll pray for me.

  25. says

    The Earth is acutally a series of tubes!

    That’s Tubism. Not to be confused with Cubism (the belief that the Earth is a series of nesting, matroyshka-like cubes), or Boobism (the belief that the Earth revolves around a giant mammary gland).

    All of which beliefs will probably have adherents showing up here shortly, demanding equal time to proselytize their respective sillinesses…

  26. dkew says

    I don’t demand equal time for Boobism! I demand most of the time! And pictures, lots of pictures! (Not yours again, PZ.)

  27. jba says


    I completely agree that the sexual issues with Mormonism are the worst part. I still have friends/family who are Mormon (some distressingly devout) and one of the most common things I hear from the married ones is “If I had been thinking more clearly (or ‘had been less horny’ from the ones who arent my siblings)I would never had married my spouse.” They always follow it up with “I mean I love them and all, but” and frankly I think thats just awful. Not to mention (since you already did) the whole homosexuality issues.

  28. jba says

    Boobism, hmm? Send missionaries to my home, please. Explain your theories… Im not too swift though, so bring lots of visual aids. And leave pamphlets.

  29. Lettuce says

    Ah, so there’s a Methodism to Hillary’s madness.

    This likely explains a lot… Must figure out what…

  30. ¡El Gato Negro! says

    …or Boobism (the belief that the Earth revolves around a giant mammary gland)

    ¿Do joo happen to know where I can find one of their temples?


  31. ¡El Gato Negro! says

    …or Boobism (the belief that the Earth revolves around a giant mammary gland)

    ¿Do joo happen to know where I can find one of their temples?


  32. AbsolutelyNoFaith says

    Make fun of what you know. The General is a fount of authentic knowledge of Mormon beliefs. His background allows him to more accurately, and successfully, skewer this religion. Let others who have great knowledge of those other belief systems do their work. Besides, few are as funny as the General. I love him. (in a totally heterosexual way, of course)


  33. says

    John Locke supported slavery and he did not consider women equal. His writing are laced with references to God. The guy is a frigging conservative.

    The main argument that he was a conservative comes from things he did before he became a liberal, which was pretty late in his life (late 1680s, if I remember correctly).

  34. says

    George: Locke also advocated religious tolerance – except to atheists.

    Locke is also regarded as a friend of the conservatives because he (distorted) was a protocapitialist.

  35. mclaren says

    It is absolutely outrageous to mock Mormonism. This is rank religious prejudice, sheer bigotry, and must not be permitted. As an Aztec, my religious beliefs require me to perform human sacrifices daily. Not only are you not permitted to mock my sacred beliefs…one of you must volunteer today.
    And another tomorrow…