The British lead the way again!


They’re so far ahead, it’s almost April 2nd there right now. And they have taken an important next step: they have passed regulations requiring the reading of disclaimers at church services:

Congregants should be aware of the gaps and/or problems in the Catholic theory of transubstantiation, including, but not limited to, the Protestant notion that the bread and wine are merely symbolic, the opinions of other religions on the life of Christ, and the lack of conclusive scientific evidence available to support this theory.

This is excellent news. I only hope our country can some day follow suit.

Comments

  1. says

    Also, the expression “blessed virgin” is a term of art and does not imply any warranty for literal interpretation. As for the “great whore” of Babylon, that title is based on testimonials and is thus more thoroughly authenticated.

    Amen.

  2. says

    No warranty of everlasting life is expressed or implied. Well … OK it is expressed and implied, actually. However, if in the event of death the congregant should discover that there is no afterlife, the propriators cannot be held responsible. Mostly because you’ll be dead and unable to bring any action against us. Convenient, that.

  3. Cappy says

    Yeah, April Fool I figure. I have wondered what Catholic vegetarians think about transubstantiation. Is it meat or not?

  4. JohnnieCanuck, FCD says

    I’ve been wondering. When it’s Easter, do all the moms get to eat His ears, or just a lucky few?

  5. Graeme Elliott says

    What ho! Nice to know you colonials accept how far we are ahead in matters of delusion! Now I’m off to see the Mighty Pink Wombat for a nice cup of tea…

  6. Neil says

    JohnnieCanuck #7. 5 minutes and still laughing!

    I would ask who gets the unmentionables but I’m pretty sure the priest keeps those for himself, although by rights they should go the the nuns.

  7. MrGadget says

    Yes, it’s April Fool, but what an excellent statement.

    If we could only use false advertising laws to force religidiot groups to use it.

  8. marc buhler says

    I am not sure if you intended there to be an “April Fool’s” joke or not on your blog page today in the form it has taken, but….

    When Mozilla loads the Pharyngula page today, it closes the browser each time.

    I am not sure if others have this issue, but to make this reply I had to use Explorer.

  9. oriole says

    Yes! We’re not saying that Jesusism is WRONG, we’re only saying it’s clearly not a fact, it’s JUST A THEORY, and there are other good theories out there as well. Let the Church set a good example to BIG SCIENCE by TEACHING THE CONTROVERSY.

    So I’m saying to the Church, give equal time in your Sunday schools to your Jesusism (how many of you knew that Jesusism was EVEN OLDER than stodgy old Darwinism?) and the MODERN theory of UNITELLIGIBLE DIVINE, based on the theory of IRREDUCIBLE INCOMPREHENSIBILITY.

    Unintelligible Divine theorists tell us that concepts such as the Trinity, which are clearly irreducibly incomprehensible, force us to conclude that divinity is unintelligible. Sure, MICRODIVINITY, i.e. the existence of very small gods which are only marginally different from humans, might be possible, but MACRODIVINITY, i.e. the existence of really God-like Gods which are a whole different species, is clearly an entirely different thing.

    TEACH THE CONTROVERSY, that’s all we’re asking. Don’t expel unintelligibility from your Sunday schools, and you’ll teach big science that they should also welcome unintelligible theories in the science classroom.

  10. says

    Ahh!! When I was a little kid April fools was a cute little way to have fun one day a year. Now it’s like an information death trap for those on the internet. All my reliable sources of information are lying to me on the same day. Well, on the bright side, at least they don’t do it 365 days a year…

  11. David Marjanović, OM says

    the Protestant notion that the bread and wine are merely symbolic

    Hey! Did the Lutherans change their opinion? I thought they, unlike other Protestants, consider it real true?

  12. David Marjanović, OM says

    the Protestant notion that the bread and wine are merely symbolic

    Hey! Did the Lutherans change their opinion? I thought they, unlike other Protestants, consider it real true?

  13. futureMD says

    @15: the best part is when they don’t take down the joke and you get it in an email in June from some idiot who saw it the day before and thinks its real.

  14. says

    With all this rationality seeping into the world today, perhaps there should be a counter movement, where skeptics and freethinkers from around the world get to believe in the most preposterous things. This need not happen throughout the year. It would already be nice if just one day in the year you could make your fellow man believe in something nonsensical—just for a fleeting moment, of course, until embarrassment takes over.

  15. Warren Terra says

    Speaking of April Fools Day, I can’t believe that you of all people appear not to have blogged the new SquidPunk anthology announced today.

    Or maybe you’re just still miffed that it’s almost certainly an April Fools Day post.

  16. says

    OT but in this UcD post Dr. Dr. swings into Dinesh D’Souza for his lack of credulity. Or perhaps his real problem is that DD fails to mention Dr Dr in the list of ID luminaries? I was waiting for the April fools at the end of DD’s blog entry, but it looks like a coherent thought has intersected D’Souza’s brain.

  17. Erridge says

    Actually, if this were true it would be a little disturbing, given Britain’s history of Protestant anti-Catholic prejudice and legislative disabilities for Catholics into the 19th century.

  18. freelunch says

    Did the Lutherans change their opinion? I thought they, unlike other Protestants, consider it real true?

    No, they’re sticking with consubstantiation, aka, real presence. Luther didn’t want to just annoy the Pope, he wanted to annoy everyone.

  19. says

    You know, I’m a rational guy, but even the thought of this offends me as much as ID being taught in science class. Neither secular nor sectarian interests have ANY business telling each other what to think, as long as they leave each other out of it.

    Good joke, though.

  20. says

    I know this is a joke, but there seems like this really should be true. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put stickers on holy books to warn readers that it may not be true?

  21. CalGeorge says

    Hello congregants. Communion time again. I stick cardboard and wine in your mouth. You stupid morons pretend to be cannibals and vampires. The kneeling is the important part. Shows subservience. Don’t forget to kneel. Got it? Let’s get started.

    I WANT A PLASTIC PUNCHING BAG JESUS!

  22. MikeG says

    Excuse me if this has been asked upthread, but…

    Can catholics take communion on good friday?
    (Or any friday, for that matter? Is Jesus a cappybara?)

  23. says

    If transubstantiation were true and Jesus was truly the son of God, he wouldn’t stick to the roof of your mouth.

    NICE!
    Good form, Brownian…
    This one’s on my office wall…

    (Need that on a t-shirt)…

  24. melior says

    “It is of course possible to go through the Gospels, as Bultmann does in The History of the Synoptic Tradition, and adduce evidence for this or that word, phrase, sentence, teaching or story being secondary, editorial, literary device, artistically stylistic, fragmentary, imaginary, mythological, fairy tale, legendary, novelistic, popular wisdom, Hellenistic, scholastic, prophecy after the event, ideal or just absurd.”
    – Raymond Lloyd

  25. says

    #13: I’m having the same problem with Seamonkey (Mozilla’s successor). It’s not the first time it’s happened to me. If I can stop the page from loading before all the ads load, the browser doesn’t close. *sigh* And I have Adblock too, as a result of trying to deal with an earlier occurence of the problem, so I don’t know what’s setting it off. Any Firefox or Netscape users having this problem too?

  26. Sharon says

    On the subject of April Fools, I was reading over on Friendly Atheist how some [jerks] like to call today National Atheists’ Day, in reference to some biblical passage about fools being atheists.

    The blogger was trying to come up with a witty rejoinder and couldn’t think of one, so I thought I’d pose the question over here: how would you respond to some smug Christian calling today National Atheists’ (Atheist’s?) Day?

    One commenter on Friendly Atheists said: The fool hath said in his heart “Bananas are the atheist’s worst nightmare”

    … Which I like but that only works if the fool in question is familiar with the banana “argument”.

  27. fyreflye says

    My Firefox 2.0.0.13 for Macintosh is not experiencing any problems on this site. If you recently had an upgrade to fix security problems you might try downloading the previous version (if you can find it.) Firefox upgrades occasionally cause more problems than they fix.

  28. John Scanlon, FCD says

    #30, “is Jesus a cappybara?”

    No, he’s a fish. It says so right there on the bumper sticker (if you read Greek acronyms).

  29. Anon says

    @#34–

    I’d probably just content myself with singing a bit of “the fool on the hill”…

    The fool on the hill
    Sees the sun going down
    And the eyes in his head
    See the world spinning ’round

    That kind of foolishness I can live with.

  30. CalGeorge says

    Psalm 14:1, 53:1

    “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

    Uh, that saying came down to us as the result of compositor error.

    Should be:

    The cool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

  31. MikeG says

    John,
    Thanks for the information. I should have known.

    And thanks for the correction, the capybara I used to take care of was named “Cappy”. Creative, I know, but I got used to writing it that way.

  32. dogheaven says

    You know if the creatins are ever successful with their stupid little stickers for biology texts, this is not such a bad idea. We could say hey if you want a tax free status or are accepting federal tax dollars as part of the Faith initiative, than please put these little stickers in your litugical texts.

  33. interlude says

    Cappy says:. I have wondered what Catholic vegetarians think about transubstantiation. Is it meat or not?

    well, Cappy, since no church has ever declared it to be flesh, it doesn’t matter now, does it.
    body and flesh are two different realities. especially when it comes to metaphors.
    metaphors like body fall on deaf ears, huh?

  34. wazza says

    FACT: communion wine contains far more alcohol than normal wine, to prevent the sharing of bacteria…

    because God’s grace can no longer protect us from these once harmless symbiotes

  35. says

    Interlude’s notion that “no church has ever declared it (communion wafer) to be flesh” will come as a great surprise to those familiar with Catholicism and the history of the reformation. Once upon a time you could have got set on fire for claiming it to be only a metaphor.

  36. says

    how would you respond to some smug Christian calling today [April 1st] National Atheists’ (Atheist’s?) Day?

    “Thank you.”

    (Think about it. It’d probably make a few heads explode; there’s no National Sky Mistress day; 1st April is the Roman holiday of Veneralia; and so on.)

  37. bernarda says

    A more accurate version of that “the fool hath said…” would be:

    “The fool hath said in his mind: there is a god.”

  38. wazza says

    I note the DI doesn’t have a comments function. So much for being the side of openness and debate…

  39. bernarda says

    As to browser problems, my Firefox 3 Beta works fine here, though is occasionally has a problem with a few other sites, particularly with some media. As a backup I use Apple’s Safari for Windows. It does media very well, though it is not as easy to use as Firefox.

  40. Kseniya says

    Ah. So we can add one Martin Cothran to the star-studded roster of Liars For Jesusâ„¢.

  41. says

    I really wish every April Fool’s joke online didn’t have to be spoiled by some prick showing how smart he thinks he is for realizing it’s a trick and telling everyone.

  42. Logicel says

    fyreflye, Thanks for that info. Heather Kuhn and Marc Buhler, yup, I am experiencing the same problem with SeaMonkey (that is Mozilla’s full suite, including email) crashing when opening up Pharyngula. Rather recently SeaMonkey crashed for one or two days everytime I use the back browser key. Unfortunately, Explorer is back on my desktop.

  43. Gareth says

    Hah! The Catholics over here are going bonkers about the hybrid embryo bill at the moment, using every ounce of their willful lack of scientific knowledge to fight it. Some April Fools jokes are quite convincing. This one is far too obvious! :oD

  44. Nick Gotts says

    “FACT: communion wine contains far more alcohol than normal wine, to prevent the sharing of bacteria…”

    Oh, I thought it was to anaesthetise the congregation to the tedium to come.

  45. says

    @34:

    One fool can propose more holidays than a thousand wise men can grant him.

    If you had been a good little Christian, your sky-daddy would have created that holiday for you already; what a terrible sinner you must be.

    Oh yeah, oh yeah?!!! … Well why don’t we make 25 December national Christ day, eh! And your sister smells funny!! [I admit, that one isn’t very good]

    Better yet, make every day Atheist Day!

    “Whereas 90% of the general population has a distinct belief in a personal god and a life after death, only 40% of scientists on the B.S. level favor this belief in religion and merely 10 % of those who are considered ’eminent’ scientists believe in a personal god or in an afterlife.”–Scientific American, September 1999. [Note: these numbers are for the US only. Although in my country the ratio of skeptics / fluffyheads is probably about the same as in the US, only 40% of the Dutch believe in a personal god. The rest of the “believers” either think there is “something,” but won’t go as far as attaching a particular religion to that belief, or just think there are some things that “we don’t yet know about.”]

  46. says

    Now it can be revealed…

    Pharyngula is actually written by the students in Mrs. Higglewitham’s 8th grade science class. The real PZ Myers realized he was God in April of 2006, and understanding what this meant as an atheist ceased to exist in a flash of logic.

  47. Lilly de Lure says

    Nick Gott said:

    Oh, I thought it was to anaesthetise the congregation to the tedium to come.

    I always thought that was what the incense was for myself.

    Cath said:

    Interlude’s notion that “no church has ever declared it (communion wafer) to be flesh” will come as a great surprise to those familiar with Catholicism and the history of the reformation. Once upon a time you could have got set on fire for claiming it to be only a metaphor.

    Sort of – I was told that transubstantiation transformed the wafer into the body of christ, which was no longer the actual meaty flesh of the human incarnation of christ and hadn’t been since he ascended into heaven.

    Therefore transubstantiation miraculously changed the wafer not into meat but into the non-fleshy heavenly body of christ made up of whatever divine stuff Jesus currently consists of.

    That was my understanding back when I was taught it at school anyway – if anyone else remembers differently, feel free to correct!

  48. Peter Ashby says

    Jay Rayner in the Guardian did a lovely one claiming that Delia Smith was going to go all molecular gastronomy on us with Heston, it was subtle and gradual and very good. Apparently according to the comments the Torygraph newsdesk rang the Beeb to ask for more details on the series… Seems the Torygraph is Gullibility’r’Us at the moment.

  49. Nick Gotts says

    #62 Wine and incense – anaesthetic effects.
    Yes, they don’t call the Anglo-Catholic wing of the C. of E. “High Church” for nothing!

  50. Sastra says

    Sharon #34 wrote:

    how would you respond to some smug Christian calling today National Atheists’ (Atheist’s?) Day?

    Every day is Atheists’ Day, because we believe in the existence of the natural universe. When the universe no longer exists, then it won’t be Atheists’ Day any more.

  51. wazza says

    Indeed, Sas: Either all days are holy, or none are, to quote the un-topic of another thread.

    As I understand it, communion wafers are made of flour, water, and prayer. Has anyone ever taken samples after transubstantiation to test for divinity?

  52. Michelle says

    @Wazza #50: that’s simply because they know that EVUL ATHEISTS!!! would come to their place and actually offer a logical debate over their dogmas! Now, you know God hates logic. They can’t allow that!

  53. wazza says

    I can see why God hates logic. It’s an amazingly boring subject and completely divorced from the real world. I knit through all my lectures, unless Salient has just come out.

    Inference from evidence, however… no one could hate that. Could they?

  54. ShavenYak says

    “FACT: communion wine contains far more alcohol than normal wine, to prevent the sharing of bacteria…”

    Oh, I thought it was to anaesthetise the congregation to the tedium to come.

    Unfortunately, no. By the time they get their booze, the tedium is over. All that’s left is one more prayer, the important announcements from the bulletin, and the closing song. Which, also unfortunately, is typically not “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, although it would be if I were Pope.

  55. Keith Eaton says

    As a History of Science buff I fondly remember when the field held great minds who approached science and religious faith from a rational perspective and most were believers, not atheists and agnostics.

    http://www.brethrenassembly.com/Ebooks/NobelPr.pdf

    Now we have pee wee myers, doggins, genie, barb and their brown noser groupies.

    Thankfully you’re just a passing aberration of no permanent consequence.

  56. Kseniya says

    Yes Keith, and very few great thinkers of the past (Newton, e.g.) used computers or traveled by airplane.

    Go get some rest now, Keith.

  57. says

    April First is probably only chance I’ll ever get to get this unstuck from my brainpan, so:

    pharyngulee!
    pharyngula!
    pharyngulee!
    pharyngula-ha-ha-ha-ha

    pharyngulee!
    pharyngula!

    Shields sience from the hacks.

  58. Lilly de Lure says

    Wazza said:

    As I understand it, communion wafers are made of flour, water, and prayer. Has anyone ever taken samples after transubstantiation to test for divinity?

    I’m not sure how you’d test for that – although if you could think of a way I would pay good money to watch the faces of the priests as such a test was being performed!

    Personally however, I always thought that the description of transubstantiation I quoted just sounded like a desperate excuse to placate those who insisted on noticing that, despite being magically turned into *something* the host still tastes like cardboard and the wine tastes just like really bad wine.

  59. Nick Gotts says

    “”Oh, I thought it [communion wine] was to anaesthetise the congregation to the tedium to come.”

    Unfortunately, no. By the time they get their booze, the tedium is over. All that’s left is one more prayer, the important announcements from the bulletin, and the closing song.”

    That was still more than enough tedium for me at age 8 (the last time I attended a High Church service) – though of course, I didn’t get any of the wine.

  60. says

    This British behavior (or perhaps I should say behaviour) seems regressive, not progressive, to me. The Brits have been anti-Catholic for centuries, and this notice seems particularly aimed at Catholicism. If it promoted measuring ALL religions against the facts, it would be great, but as this stands, it’s just a new occurrence of a very old British prejudice.

  61. Nick Gotts says

    Re #75 [B McManus] You have a point, particularly as the school teaching creationist lies referred to, Emmanuel City Technology College, is I think evangelical Protestant. However, a gang of British cardinals has been particularly obnoxious of late, trying to bully Catholic Members of Parliament into toeing the party line on issues such as employment rights for gays, and stem cell research – which may have attracted the New Humanist’s ire. Although there are a few residual anti-Catholic laws (the monarch can neither be nor marry one) I don’t think Catholics, unlike Muslims or to a lesser extent Jews, are in danger of any serious sectarian attack except in northern Ireland – and even there, much less than 20 years ago. It’s noticeable, for example, that while there have been xenophobic grumblings about eastern Europeans (mainly Poles) moving to the UK after recent expansion of the EU, as far as I know the fact that most of them are from Catholic backgrounds has not figured.

  62. William Gulvin says

    Lest we forget. Last June, good Dr. PZ blogged here about a very real, no joke, group of atheist English vicars et al. “Sea of Faith” seems to be prospering; their FAQ page is a hoot. All questions and no answers! Imagine.