I think I’m going to be sick

Phil Robertson, chief asshole of the Duck Dynasty family, got together with a crowd of like-minded Christians and fantasized about atheists. If imaginary stories about rape and grisly murder aren’t your cup of tea, go no further.

“I’ll make a bet with you,” Robertson told the religious gathering. “Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him.”

“Then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them, and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him,” Robertson continued, “and then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now, is it dude?’”

He then imagined the assailants cutting off the atheist’s penis.

“Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if [there] was something wrong with this?’” Robertson said. “’But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’”

“If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right,’” Robertson added.

You will be judged. You will not be judged by a hateful fantasy in the sky, but you will be judged by your fellow human beings. They’re the ones who matter, not your biblical delusions.

And I do look at Robertson and think, “Something about this just ain’t right. You’re sick in the head.”

Jebus, but religion does turn people stark rantingly evil.


  1. opposablethumbs says

    What a piece of scum this Robertson is. And he is presumably convinced that he’s the moral one … ugh, what a revolting specimen of humanity.

  2. says

    I don’t know that religion made him evil. I suspect that it’s his evil nature that leads him to his particular form of religion. Either way, he is truly warped.

  3. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    I think that Phil Robertson would have ended up being unethical under most circumstance. But his religion gives him a justification for his fantasies.

  4. eurosid says

    Under his own system, all they have to do is ask Jesus to forgive them, and it *will* be OK. Well, they’ll be cleansed and face no judgement for it. Doesn’t he listen to his own preaching?

  5. Al Dente says

    Janine @4

    But his religion gives him a justification for his fantasies.

    His religion is not one of love and toleration. In other words, he’s an asshole and proud of it because his god approves.

  6. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Jesus fuck. Those people are disgusting.

    Question for Phil Robertson:

    If his God told him to go and do all that stuff he gleefully describes, would he do it? Would it suddenly be OK to do that?

  7. says

    Dear Mr. Robertson:

    The publishers would hereby like to thank you for your kind contribution to ‘Deep Thoughts’. We regret to inform you, however, that, even if Mr. Handey didn’t prefer to write his own material, it would not meet our requirements at this time.

    … Nor, we suspect, anyone else’s. Anywhere. Accordingly, please save our process servers some time, and do us the courtesy of counter-signing the attached restraining order, and returning it in the prepaid envelope.


  8. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Robertson appears to be one of the Xians that firmly “knows”, that ONLY Gawd keeps people from doing terrible/horrific actions. Atheism’s biggest roadblock is convincing these people that Gawd doesn’t exist, and then seeing these people go “offroad”. It is acceptable that they believe in Gawd, if that is the only thing that keeps them from murdering, raping, slashing, etc. Atheism emphasizes that Morality was invented by people, not embedded in us by a sky-fantasy. Gawd was also invented by people to keep naysayers in line with that ‘oogey boogey’ final judgement, resulting in eternal torture; if they didn’t behave. Atheists have recognized that _fact_ , and act accordingly.

  9. rq says

    Note: He pretty much describes the horrors as acceptable because they’re being done to an atheist (the two guys breaking in have no specified religious affiliation). Which makes me think that he thinks this is perfectly okay for a christian to do — to an atheist. Frightening.

  10. says

    And of course it’s the atheist man who is the target. The atheist woman and girls are mere props cast away and torment the atheist man to have the atheist man question his beliefs.

    Fuck Phil Robertson. Fuck patriarchy.

  11. arakasi says

    As a Bible-believing Christian, Robertson knows that the proper action is to hand over your daughters for the intruders to rape so they will leave you alone. I guess that not all of us are as moral as Lot.

  12. eveningchaos says

    Robertson’s fucked up fantasy sound a lot like the account of Lot and the angels in Genesis 19. The only difference is Lot offered up his daughters to be raped by the angels freely. Later he got to have drunken sex with them in a cave after his wife is turned into a pillar of salt for the heinous crime of looking back at the city as it was destroyed by God’s wrath.

  13. rietpluim says

    Robertson is right about one thing: evil assholes like him do need a God to keep them from committing the grossest atrocities.

  14. The Mellow Monkey says

    Note how the woman and girls are not people in and of themselves in this story. Their feelings and their thoughts don’t matter. Their opinions on morality aren’t considered. They’re defined solely through their relation to “an atheist”, who doesn’t even need to be identified as being a man because of course he is because all real human beings are. Their suffering isn’t described or fretted over: it’s the loss of their value (their sexual purity and lives), the theft of the man’s possessions, that is the source of real suffering. It’s the suffering of the man.

    The woman and the two girls are raped and murdered as props in a real human’s story.

  15. scienceavenger says

    Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this?

    That’s the difference between Christians like you and atheists. You think that would be great. We don’t.

  16. Lady Mondegreen says

    Mellow Monkey, he did specify that the wife and daughters are also atheists. Which is kind of interesting, since, as you say, otherwise they’re just props.

    Maybe he made them atheists because otherwise he couldn’t enjoy his fantasy quite as much.

  17. John Horstman says

    I give up on trying to come up with something snarky. This is seriously fucked, and I don’t think Phil Robertson should be around other people unsupervised if rape-and-murder-and-mutilation fantasies commonly rattle around in his head.

  18. kagekiri says

    Yeah, Robertson, keep pretending.

    Sure, God didn’t tell his chosen people to kill, rape, and enslave foreigners. He didn’t try to commit genocide himself or command his people to do the same. Keep pretending.

    We don’t buy that shit. Christianity’s morality is far more horrifying than mere nihilism: it’s painting murder and rape as good as long as God commands it or condones it.

    If that’s where moral absolutes get you, FUCK THAT SHIT.

  19. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    I find it very convenient when they imagine the “anti-themselves” as a replacement. It’s a very useful piece of social cowardice.

  20. chrisdevries says

    I have heard, second-hand, about Christians who claim they would be murdering, raping, pillaging, genocidal maniacs, but for their belief that they are subject to judgement at their deaths by an all-powerful god, but I never really believed there are many of these people actually in existence, people who lack empathy and pro-social conditioning, who are only prevented from doing unspeakable evil out of fear of the eternal consequences. What I do not understand though, is that the (somewhat twisted) version of the Christian faith which most of these people follow is quite specific in its declaration that eternal salvation comes solely through belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who washed away the sin of all people who believe in him, regardless of how bad that sin is (I think there’s one exception, denying the Holy Ghost…that’s beyond the pale, nobody can help you if you do that, you’re screwed). But generally speaking, their faith allows them to behave in the most evil ways imaginable and still avoid eternal damnation, simply by asking for Jesus’s forgiveness. And yet, these atheist/gayhomo/feminazi-torture porn fantasies, and the implicit warnings that come with them (take away our faith in a vengeful God and this is what we’ll do) are oh-so-common.

    So I’m not really worried about Robertson (nor am I surprised at his verbal masturbation); if he’s already a sociopath and does something horrible to an atheist family, this could be construed as a confession. And if he’s just a hateful asshole who genuinely wants to rape and torture atheists and thinks Jesus will forgive him and wash away all of that nasty sin, but he doesn’t engage in such behavior, he clearly has no courage in his convictions, and/or has too much worldly pleasure to lose by going down that road (since he would still be subject to human justice). Either way, he’s a horrible person living a morally bankrupt faith.

  21. komarov says

    Okay, question: where exactly in that fantasy is that almighty god and his unquestionable morals? I didn’t know you could switch them off to demonstrate how not to be a good Christian.
    Also, how many Hail Marys do the attackers have to rattle off to get into heaven when they die – blesséd by the Lord – aged 95 surrounded by family and friends? Does Jesus escort them there personally or do archangels pick up their souls to carry them aloft?
    And just for that extra helping of Grim*: which sin was worse, raping and killing the daughters and wife or mutilating the man? How would that answer change if the women were god-fearing Christians, but the man wasn’t? What if all of them were devout?

    *Bonus grim: It just occured to me that Hail Marys could be converted into calories, and from there into chocolate bars. Thus the worse a sin gets the more chocolate bars you need to eat to make up for it and still go to heaven. The (Christian) notion of reward and punishment is completely broken now. For one you could steal the chocolate to ensure your place at god’s side and what you do the the shop clerk is apparently entirely up to you…

  22. says

    What is so awful to me is not that this intelligence- and morality-challenged idiot is saying this but that he’s saying it because others are listening. Like Sister Sarah I think he’s become a parody of himself knowing it sells (like Beck sells crazy). It’s “evolution” in the wingnut market, the meme that gets the most circulation wins and pays the most to the seller. Who knows if Robertson believes any of this, or perhaps even hates his awful beard, it’s an act, a costume (and possibly he believes it, but still he tuned up his “belief” for maximum sales). So Cruz at Liberty, Sarah at her appearances, and these guys it’s all about the money from all the suckers. And that too is strange – the right is all about greed, so how do they get the rubes to pay the bill, even including the Kochs, are they really getting their money’s worth. If Robertson were just an idiot extremist on a soapbox on the corner we have no need for outrage (more like pity) but it’s his market that deserves the scorn.

  23. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    To be fair, you could just change some of the language and his sick, Sadistic fantasies would fit right into the “Good” book.

  24. Larry says

    It’s sick, twisted fucks like Robertson, who spew their visions of religion like a bad case of diarrhea that keep me turned off to the very idea of religion. His version is no different than the fantasies of a sociopathic mass murderer. I’m not a doctor but my diagnosis is this man is very, very sick in the head.

  25. Hoosier X says

    Would I lose money if I bet that good Christians everywhere are making sure this goes viral and expressing their outrage at Dick Dynasty guy and making sure that everyone knows that they are upset that such a sick fuck is making their religion look stupid and intolerant?

  26. moarscienceplz says

    So basically, Phil Robertson says he is a mass murderer who hasn’t slipped his leash…so far.

  27. says

    komarov@29 Robertson and his bunch probably would think saying Hail Marys is a sin, perhaps a pretty high sin. Born Again Protestant types think veneration of Mary is idolatry pushed by evil Papists.

  28. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    There is something very, very wrong with Phil Robertson and his ilk. He and Cheney should talk.

  29. Menyambal says

    Of course, if it were Christians doing the home invasion, they could keep the little girls for sex slaves, because that is what God said to do in the Bible. And keep the house as their promised land.

  30. says

    Wow, he comes up with that ghastly little scenario and he thinks we’re the sick ones? The amoral & broken ones?

    How much time does he spend fantasising about raping little girls and removing heads and cutting off dicks? Is he actually a Game of Thrones character, somehow magically freed from the pages of a book?

    That he implies he might behave in the same way if he were freed of his eternal obligation to the Tyrant, I for one would be glad if he remained Christian.

  31. Christopher says

    The woman and the two girls are raped and murdered as props in a real human’s story.

    It does have quite the precident though: the book of Job is probably the oldest book in the bible and this is as good of summary as any.

  32. Goblinman says

    Something I noticed (while attempting to remain dispassionate towards the intentionally disgusting imagery):

    Robertson’s scenario, were it to happen to a Christian instead of an atheist, is likely the kind of thing that could cause someone to doubt their faith in God. An atheist would probably come away from it even more firmly convinced there was no benevolent higher power.

    I don’t think there was any point to this other than him wanting to fantasize about atheists being tortured.

    A few other things:

    1. The attackers in the story sound like religious fanatics out to punish infidels. I’m hoping Roberston is just oblivious to that. That would be the best-case scenario.

    2. This is very male-focused. The women in the story are used as disposable props to affect the male atheist character. Then the male is literally emasculated. It’s treated almost like a game: They broke his three favorite toys.

    3. The atheist is envisioned reacting to all this with a downright lobotomized “Something about this just ain’t right.” So the attackers are demons, the women are furniture, and the atheist is a robot. There’s not a single human character in the entire story. Sounds about right.

  33. opposablethumbs says

    The parallels with the Book of Job (Christopher #43) are spot on. Robertson is just as much of a evil fuck as the god his ilk invented.

  34. laurian says

    Not sure this has anything to do w/ religion other than a murderous sociopath justifying his blood lust.

  35. blf says

    He missed the eating babies like popcorn whilst watching and laughing at the live puppies and kittens roasting over an open bonfire of Qurans.

  36. cuervocuero says

    He’s wallowing in the macho punishing joy of the privileged Chosen, that as atheists, the victim (the atheist man) has no RIGHT to feel savaged and victimized by unfettered cruelty, because without a belief in a supernatural master that gives marching orders on what is proper to feel, there’s no chivalric goodness, which is just another name for Robertson’s God.

    In Robertson’s smug scenario, atheists bring this torture and death upon themselves by denying Christian Soldier GOoDness and reaping the logical consequences of living among other undisciplined atheists (and from what I read of his hypothetical killers, they’re crowing about not having any divine guidance, so they must be atheists) doing ‘what they willt’.

    He’s certainly stoking the fires that the world and the race of humanity are something to be defended against at all times, because everyone, *everyone*, is a psychopathic sinner who only manages to civilize day to day via the channeling threats of a “worse beating” by a Christian Father God (a being that created them as psychopathic killers in the first place) is applied to their sense of survival. Talk about Othering everyone not of the Body.

    Robertson is feeding off styling himself as a less effeminate Cato, deriding infidel Carthage. His bank account will benefit in the short run, appealing to fear and bigotry that most of his fellow hypermasculinists will applaud. As we’ve seen of recent, Grifters don’t go broke invoking revenge porn.

  37. says

    “If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right,'” Robertson added.

    Well yeah. And if you need a personal message from the creator of the entire universe in order to know what just ain’t right about it, I sincerely hope I won’t be anywhere near you, should you lose faith.

  38. dianne says

    So the only reason Robertson doesn’t rape and murder people is fear of getting caught? Personally, I don’t rape and murder because I feel an obligation to treat others decently. Plus I don’t want to live with the sort of asshole who’d do that.

  39. A. R says

    As everyone else has stated, Robertson provides a perfect example of the inherent evil of religion. Assu!ing that others are moral solely out of fear of some divine disapprobation and not because they simply have no desire to be immoral and wish to follow the Golden Rule out of their own volition is deeply insulting, and implies that he either considers himself to be better than everyone else, or that he is himself only inhibited by fear of divine retribution. Both represent the machinations of a mind not fit for interaction with modem society.

  40. robro says

    So saith Ted Cruz, unh Ragutis. There’s a paragon of something or other. I believe this could be called framing. This “America” that Ted speaks of and Phil represents is hardly ignored. Let’s not forget that Phil is a big time TV star. And he’s not the only homespun wacko spewing this kind of benighted wisdom on the air waves. There’s Ted Cruz for example, who’s running for President. Or Sarah Palin, who ran for Veep. Or Bill O’Reilly and just about everyone else who’s ever been on Fox, who are running for money. The list is long, so even a liberal (whatever that is) can’t ignore it.

    However, we can mock it, and we have every right…perhaps even an obligation…to mock it because it’s stupid, mean, hurtful, hateful, inhuman, and disgusting. We can also decry it as said testimony to the villainy rampant in America.

    Someone should tell Phil that revealing his inner thoughts like that may not be the best thing for his ratings because even his rah-rah fans might be taken aback by his graphic description of an atrocity.

  41. diego says

    I feel even more ill. The place where this took place is my hometown. Seeing the photos in the news of the giant, garish revival tent they set up in a favorite park was bad enough. Reading Robertson’s twisted murder-fetish fantasies and then realizing that people in my hometown invited this lunatic to speak as an honored guest was the next best thing to finding out that there was a klan rally in your childhood home. As an aside, it’s been about fifteen years since I lived there though I’m still surprised I’d never heard of this prayer breakfast thing. Has it really been going on for 11 years? I am so disappointed.

  42. PatrickG says


    That would make a hell of a billboard. Pilot in, say, Steubenville? :P

  43. peterh says

    Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage / And men and women merely players…”
    Someone please cue Roberston that he did not make the casting cut.

  44. mesh says

    The sad thing is that, in the Christian worldview, why would the violent scenario even matter? Life is nothing but a test of who will go to live on in heaven and hell, after all. Ultimately nothing is lost in a murder because it’s just superfluous meatsacks doing property damage to other superfluous meatsacks – life will continue forever regardless as a meaningless running gag. Why not celebrate the “murder” of your loved ones as not only actualizing God’s judgments, but shortening their road to eternal bliss? It’s all just an act, a play where everyone’s roles are already known and the conclusion has already been decided, but God still feels that the show must go on, pointlessly delaying his judgment.

    To an atheist, human life can mean something because it’s so short-lived and delicate; to a Christian, human life only means something as long as a being of absolute power can validate it.

  45. says

    @62, mesh

    Well, being delicate and short lived isn’t what makes life meaningful. What makes it meaningful is the fact we are referring to when we say anything is meaningful: a mind values something about it.

  46. chrisdevries says

    Nice one Ragutis. OT: Same Ragutis from Florida with whom I am acquainted via the Mike Portnoy Forum (Chris_2112)?

  47. mesh says

    This is true, but the objection by Christians is that life can’t mean anything objectively without God. The irony is that this completely devalues life by making its value entirely contingent upon God.

  48. anteprepro says

    As I noted in the Thunderdome, this here is the winner of CPAC’s Freeze Peach Award. Someone go tell American Atheists what a great job they are doing, schmoozing with that crowd.

    Also: Seriously, leerudolph and PatrickG? Rape jokes? Really?

  49. says

    Goblinman@44: There’s not a single human character in the entire story. Sounds about right.

    Considering that Willie Robertson did a cameo in that Christian snuff-porn pic God’s Not Dead, stories peopled entirely with straw-men seems to the usual schtick for this despicable family.

  50. says

    Egad. I wouldn’t write a scene like that into a fictional story about a serial killer, because it would be too unpleasant to read. No episode of Dexter is that violent. But it’s somehow godly to say such a thing out loud?

    Keep your religion, if it keeps you from doing such things. At least, keep it away from me.

  51. anteprepro says

    Probably the sickest part: There is a contingent of people out there who will read Robertson’s line, agree with it, think it is hilarious, and will just dismiss anyone who says anything critical about it as being Politically Correct.

    I don’t even want to know how many people that might be, but we all know they exist. A small set of them will probably be chatting on Fox News by the end of tomorrow at the latest.

  52. tbtabby says

    Two can play at that game, Duckboy. Imagine the same scenario, but instead of atheists, the man and his family are Christians…but the assailants are too. And after they’re done raping and murdering his family, they fall to their knees, confess their sins to God, and get forgiven. And then they look at him and say, “Isn’t it great that we’re not going to get sent to Hell? It doesn’t matter what we do on Earth, because we accepted Jesus and got saved! Even if we’re sent to jail and executed for this, we’ll only end up in Heaven!”

    I doubt that Christian father would think, “Well, I guess it’s okay, then.”

  53. theignored says

    To Beatrice at comment number 8:
    It’s worse than you think: There ARE people who do think like that!

    ex) http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=95965

    [You do not have an objective moral standard.

    For instance: baby-killing is OK if god orders it, is it not? William Lane Craig seems to think so.]

    Of course. Whatever God commands is absolutely moral because God himself is the absolute standard for good. In fact, if God really did command to do something, such as kill babies, then it would be immoral not to do it. And on what basis do you have to disagree with this outside of mere opinion? “

    Guess what happened when I tried to bring that up to the owner of the blog, a creationist named Jason Lisle?

    He backed that “Josef” guy up!

    Grief. Jason has went and backed Josef up! Near the end of this comment:

    Lisle says, quoting me at first:
    Remember Joseph saying that it would be immoral to NOT kill a baby if god commanded it?

    [Dr. Lisle: Joseph is right. What God commands is necessarily right. Any other definition of morality is ultimately arbitrary and therefore logically unjustified.]”

  54. grumpyoldfart says

    Have spokespersons for mainstream religions commented on his speech yet? I’m guessing ‘no’.

  55. grumpyoldfart says

    I’ve just remembered the FivePointBaptist spoofing himself during a similar fantasy on You Tube:

  56. unclefrogy says

    you know the only thing missing from this guy’s image is the white robe and the pointy hat. If he put them back on and let us all see him is his regalia he would be seen for what he is and not a some what respectable conservative spokesman.
    uncle frogy

  57. robinjohnson says

    you will be judged by your fellow human beings. They’re the ones who matter, not your biblical delusions.

    I’m not even sure the judgement of fellow humans is what matters. Plenty of us get judged for doing or thinking harmless or even positive things – I’d say there’d be little social progress if some people weren’t prepared to face that judgement. What matters is whether you’re hurting people.

    If Robertson or any other theists think that the only thing wrong with hurting people is that God might be mad, that’s terrifying. And it’s terrifying even if God exists.

  58. says

    So…guy with a big beard and outré religious views makes video about raping and mutilating and decapitating people to make a point about people who don’t believe.

    Am I talking about the IS or Duck Dodgers here? And how do they not see how closely they share values? They’re natural allies.

  59. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    theignored @72

    [Dr. Lisle: Joseph is right. What God commands is necessarily right. Any other definition of morality is ultimately arbitrary and therefore logically unjustified.]”

    That definition itself is arbitrary in that it’s based on the presumption that a) gods exist b) that we know what those gods want. There is no way to verify what people claim to know about what gods want them to do, no way to distinguish delusions from visions. It’s awfully nice to define your own moral system as reasoned even when it just ain’t so. The audacity to call philosophical morality arbitrary when you attempt to play that trump card … boggles my mind.

  60. nich says

    The guy began dating his wife when she was 13 and married her when he was 15. He has the morals of a starving rat. I don’t find it too difficult to believe that one of the few things standing between himself and his fucked up fantasies is the fact he doesn’t want to burn in hell.

  61. leerudolph says


    Also: Seriously, leerudolph and PatrickG? Rape jokes? Really?

    I can’t speak for PatrickG. Speaking for myself: although many jokes rely on the juxtaposition of incompatibles, not every juxtaposition of incompatibles is a joke. For instance, I don’t take nelliebly’s original statement “Imagining violent rape fantasies, you know, like Jesus would” (which I quoted in full) to be a joke—it is a rhetorical statement, and (to me) is apparently intended, in part, to show up the hypocrisy of the rape-fantasist by juxtaposing his fantasy to the phrase “as Jesus would” which serves as shorthand for what the rape-fantasist presumably would say he believes about his incarnated god’s impeccable behavior that presumably would never include rape, murder, and mutilation.

    I didn’t make my post as a joke: I viewed (and view) it as a distillation of nellybly’s post, to increase its rhetorical effect.

    Do you think nelliebly’s original statement was a “rape joke”?

  62. congaboy says

    Right Wing Watch has the audio. To the credit of the audience, no one laughed or applauded or made any statements of support during and after his sick scenario. The clip opens with him making some stupid comments about having healthcare and the audience laughed at that, I can only assume it must have been making fun of the ACA (the only thing more moral and xian than a millionaire laughing at the poor and middle class for not being able to afford healthcare, is a millionaire dreaming up violent rape fantasies against atheists, because atheists have no morals).

  63. says

    If imaginary stories about rape and grisly murder aren’t your cup of tea, go no further.

    Nah…. If I wanted to do THAT, I’d read the bible.


  64. anteprepro says

    leerudolph: So it’s not your fault, you just were distilling someone else’s rape joke? Okay then..

    (I do not buy for one fucking second that “Who Would Jesus Rape?” isn’t a rape joke and it is a more blatant one than nelliebly’s. And PatrickG’s is more blatant than yours)

  65. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    There’s something incredibly disturbing about the phrase “He has a little Atheist wife”. There’s something incredibly leering and dehumanizing about it, to my mind.

  66. Sastra says

    grumpyoldfart #73 wrote:

    Have spokespersons for mainstream religions commented on his speech yet? I’m guessing ‘no’.

    Phil Robertson’s imagery is over the top, but he’s making a point which is frequently made not only by mainstream religions but by fairly liberal religious people, too. Good and evil are transcendent qualities which can’t be explained by or reduced to material reality. The only way to make sense of them is to place them into the spiritual realm. Otherwise, they’re not real. They have no stability. Right and wrong — like good and evil — can mean anything at all. Which basically means they mean nothing at all.

    Now they can laugh at the atheist, who has failed to grasp this obvious problem. Or pity them, which is more socially acceptable in some circles.

    Sloppy thinkers assume they’re the standard. Philosophy, let alone moral philosophy, escapes them. The religious long for the good old common sense they had when they were 5 years old. Robertson simply carries the mainstream assumptions of Spirituality and the way it reifies Goodness to its conclusion.

    An atheist getting their come-uppance: this is religious porn.

  67. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @The Mellow Monkey #17

    Note how the woman and girls are not people in and of themselves in this story. Their feelings and their thoughts don’t matter. Their opinions on morality aren’t considered. They’re defined solely through their relation to “an atheist”, who doesn’t even need to be identified as being a man because of course he is because all real human beings are. Their suffering isn’t described or fretted over: it’s the loss of their value (their sexual purity and lives), the theft of the man’s possessions, that is the source of real suffering. It’s the suffering of the man.

    The woman and the two girls are raped and murdered as props in a real human’s story.

    Re. my #88; There it is. That’s what was weirding me out. Thank you for unpacking that.

  68. anteprepro says

    Thumper: Precisely. Just like others have accurately noted: the women in this disgusting hypothetical are entirely props.

    (About to explore the passage in more detail. Trigger Warning)

    They are “little”. The bad men “take” them. And right after that they take “his manhood”, with the same violence and the same taunting display afterwards. It’s all about how those women are sexual objects that the man possesses and the presumed humiliation when they are “taken” from him. The twisted part if you think about it: in the story, he killed the women and daughters FIRST, and then severed the man’s genitals. The order implies the severity. The things that happen later would be imagined as an escalation of violence, as worse than what they start out doing. Killing his female property was a lesser slight than robbing him of his mighty penis. Castrating the man was a more serious and significant matter to explore, and apparently of larger emotional import, than the murder of three women.

    Robertson’s story is fractally horrific. There is no level at which you can investigate it that isn’t in some way fucking terrible.

  69. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    They carry this man’s products in stores all over. My kids’ old vice principal had Duck Dynasty decor. Kid wear the T-shirts to school. They’re very popular.

    This is why I don’t get out much.

  70. Saad says

    anteprepro, #91

    fractally horrific

    I’m totally stealing that. I don’t know when I’ll need to use it but damn it, I will!

  71. says

    Sastra@89: Philosophy, let alone moral philosophy, escapes them.

    I subjected myself to some fool evangelist’s hangout the other night, during which (among much other stoopid) he blathered about the need to “ground” morality on an absolute standard, which of course the atheist can’t do. Basically: Phil Robertson only without the torture porn. And I thought: the entire field of moral philosophy, right back to Plato, never happened for these people, did it? (And even Plato isn’t an unambiguous help to them, despite his later being drafted into Christian theology — Euthyphro, anyone?) Morality is a tricky problem, and while I find some atheists’ solutions a little too “pat”, the Christian apologists don’t even acknowledge that there is a problem.

  72. Usernames! (ᵔᴥᵔ) says

    All this reminds me of that great line from True Detectives:

    (NSFW language) https://youtu.be/_RfUj09pWfM?t=1m11s

    “Can you imagine, if the people who didn’t believe, the things they’d get up to?”

    “Exact same thing they do now, just out in the open.”

    “Bull–shit, it’d be a fucking freakshow of murder and debauchery and you know it.”

    If the only thing keeping a person descent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother, that person is a piece of shit, and I’d like to get as many of ’em out in the open, as possible.’

  73. anteprepro says

    Saad: Good luck finding a use for it.

    Jackie: It’s ridiculously popular. Some people identify with them, some people agree with them, some people just think they are hilariously stupid. I seriously wonder about their fans. How many know about their bigoted bullshit. How many people are right-wing a-holes who actually agree with it. I had a coworker that was a fan but didn’t seem very religious or conservative: just outdoorsy and a hunter and probably was entertained by the ridiculousness of the Duck Dynasty crew. But I still wonder….

  74. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @anteprepro #91

    Yeah, that’s what was bothering me. “He has this little Atheist wife, right, and these little Atheist daughters, and wouldn’t it hurt him if we took them, and raped them, and murdered them, and made him watch?”. They’re using the women as tools to hurt the man, with nary a notion that in the process they are quite obviously hurting the women.

  75. caseloweraz says

    The first thing I’d like to ask Robertson is whether the two guys who break in are also atheists. Presumably the answer would be no. Therefore it’s safe to assume he thought of them as Christians. Okay, what justified their actions which broke at least one of the Christian God’s Ten Commandments?

    There’s some sort of nebulous parallel to the story of Job, whom God allowed Satan to injure in various ways in hopes Job would renounce his belief in God. But it goes way beyond, for IIRC Satan never killed any of Job’s family.

    Robertson would probably say it was just a fantasy. The trouble is that twisted fantasies are all he’s got. In the real world, Christians are more apt to do the things his made-up intruders do than atheists are. He should look up the statistics.

    And the group he spoke to, the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast — they’re all down with his story? More’s the pity.

  76. steveht says

    If he were a kid and talked like that, his real daddy might just take him behind the woodshed and wash his mouth with soap and lay into his backside. I don’t suppose his sky daddy will do that?

  77. leerudolph says

    So apparently you do think that nelliebly’s post was a rape joke? I don’t (I would welcome comment from nelliebly) but I certainly agree that anyone (you, maybe nelliebly, or whoever) who thinks it was will, consequently, think that mine was too. I regret that you take as a rape joke something that I did not mean as any kind of joke (and cannot see as a joke), much less as a “rape joke”; I do make plenty of jokes, but I never make rape jokes: if and when I mention rape, I’m dead serious, every time.

  78. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    “I regret that you take as a rape joke something that I did not mean as any kind of joke”

    Dude, you’re doing notpologies. Just apologise and then clarify what you actually meant. None of this “I regret that you took it that way” nonsense.

    For what it’s worth, “Who Would Jesus Rape?” sounds like a rape joke to me too. I’m not sure how it could possibly be a serious point. Admittedly it’s a small sample size, but so far 100% of people who’ve given their opinion took it as a rape joke.

  79. militantagnostic says


    There is something very, very wrong with Phil Robertson and his ilk. He and Cheney should talk.

    Maybe they could shoot some Quail (in a canned hunt) while they are talking.

  80. leerudolph says

    You’re right that I’m not apologizing. Any time I fail to communicate what I mean to communicate, I regret my own failure, not any hypothetical failure of my readers (I don’t say I never think that my readers may be failing, I just say that’s never a cause of my regret); and thereafter I try to do a better job of communicating my meaning, to the extent that I can. Sometimes I keep on failing, and this appears to be such a time. But I haven’t figured out a way to be clearer about what I see as the rhetorical function of my post (and of the one it quoted). So I’ll just have to stay regretful (of my self).—No, I’ll try again.

    I asserted (contrary to your apparent assessment of me) that I never mention rape lightly. One of the defining features of a “joke”, to me, is that—no matter how deeply it may be infused with hatefulness, misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc., as so many jokes seem to be—it is light, even playful. The “fuck’em if they can’t take a joke” maneuver takes advantage of this: by labeling some preceding hateful behavior as “a joke”, it presents it as “just playing around”, unserious, unthreatening, and therefore not to be reacted to harshly—so that “fuck’em” becomes an appropriate response to the harsh reaction.

    There’s nothing (to my ears) light about asking “Who would Jesus rape?”; it’s heavy all the way down, and it hits the same contradiction that nelliebly did, but (again, to my ears) harder. It does (I am now realizing) express (enormous!) hostility on my part, but not to the hypothetical victim of Jesus’s rape, nor even to Jesus the hypothetical rapist…my hostility is directed to people (like the Duck Dynasty patriarch) who fantasize simultaneously about (1) rape, murder, and dismemberment and (2) their omnipotent, all-loving and all-forgiving Jesus, of whom when they ask “What would Jesus do?” they would never answer “why, He’d rape, murder, and dismember, of course!”.

    I’ll keep working on this, but on my own time; no more harangues from me on the subject are presently scheduled. Thank you for your feedback.

  81. grandolddeity says

    I live in Vero Beach and I’m disturbed, but not surprised, by this. For my part, I have been writing to the public sponsors of the event to make note of my objection to their promotion of Robertsons horrific mischaracterizations. I have heard back fron one of them and their response was what one would expect: why do I care what they believe, they won’t be bullied, nobody forced me to listen to Robertson, etc.

    They are intent to misunderstand others as well as themselves.

  82. trixiefromthelurk says

    He pretty much described my family in his stomach turning diatribe. Only I don’t like to be referred to as someone’s “little atheist wife.” I know Under Armour (equally as revolting in their support for the Robertsons) would not bow to pressure from LGBT groups. Perhaps this fantasy of raping children would wake them up?

  83. rietpluim says

    I think most of us are missing the point. God does not simply tell us what is right or wrong. He is the objective source of ethics. This is what “absolute moral” is about. I never quite understood how that works – is murder bad the way the sun is hot? And what is so objective about God anyway? It’s still a bad argument, but it is a bit different from a simple “do as I tell or burn in hell”.

  84. Ragutis says

    Why do I get a clammy feeling this guy is going to be speaking at the Republican National Convention?

    He got a 1/2 hr slot at CPAC. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised, but after the Clint Eastwood debacle, I think organizers might be a little extra paranoid about unscripted, impulsive speakers.

  85. says

    rietpluim@107: That’s exactly the dilemma laid out in Euthyphro — Is good whatever the gods command, or do the gods command it because it is good? In the end, the gods turn out to be irrelevant to the good. But there are modern people (ie. in the literal sense of “alive now”, albeit emphatically anti-modern in outlook) who assert the former, and Robertson’s kind of religion is heavily infested with them (see #77 for an example — I believe the Lisle would be Jason Lisle of AIG, and his boss has voiced similar views).

  86. rietpluim says

    @Eamon Knight #109
    The two cases are quite familiar but not exactly the same. Absolute moral is not about what God commands or forbids. It is about how He made the world.
    To moral absolutists, murder is wrong the way the speed of light is 299,792,458 m/s. To them it is a matter of facts, not standards.
    You could use the same arguments against them as Socrates did against Euthyphro, but it still a different viewpoint.

  87. PatrickG says

    Seriously, leerudolph and PatrickG? Rape jokes? Really?

    Well, I certainly wasn’t making a joke.

    I was thinking more along the lines of a religiously-themed education campaign (because “Don’t Rape” is not something you hear from your everyday Pastor/Priest/Church/Sunday School — quite the opposite!), particularly in the context of a religious “leader” explicitly using rape as a desirable punishment for non-Christians. I was thinking of all the other bitter, not-jokes like “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” and “Who Would Jesus Execute” directed at the Pat Robertsons of the world. I was thinking more of a billboard with Pat Robertson’s smug face and his words juxtaposed with the phrase in question. I was thinking that people who claim religious authority while advocating truly horrific shit should have the supposed teachings of their religion publicly thrown in their face. I was thinking such in-face-throwing should be done particularly in places where people piously give lip-service to Religious Morals™ and Loving Their Neighbor™ do some horribly fucked up shit to their fellow human beings, such as the location in question.

    I was thinking that that exact phrase is not at all funny. I was thinking that exact phrase is challenging people soaking in the doubly-toxic combination of rape culture and unctuous self-righteousness to stop mouthing platitudes and actually examine their position. Should be noted that I’m not evaluating this for effectiveness.

    That said, intent isn’t magic, and I can see how my initial comment could easily be read as flippant or intended to minimize rape. I apologize for not expressing my sentiments in a clearer way, and I regret any harm I caused to people here.

  88. kagekiri says

    @99 caseloweraz:

    Job’s children are specifically killed, only his his wife and a few of his servants survive the disasters God allows. Job’s wife leaves him and tells him to curse God.

    Of course, after basically cussing Job out for failing to worship God enough while Satan was torturing Job, and for generally questioning God’s righteousness in punishing Job for no reason, God gives Job a new wife and family that’s twice as good as his old family, which somehow makes them square, apparently.

    The story of Job is easily one of the grossest parts of the Bible.

  89. Gregory Greenwood says

    Robertson’s little hypothetical demonstrates nothing other than what an evil, repugnant, ethically illiterate arsehat he really is. Unfortunately, all too many think as he does, and he quite obvioulsy would dearly love to do this kind of thing, if only he could get away with it.

  90. militantagnostic says

    Ragutis @108

    He got a 1/2 hr slot at CPAC

    And David Silverman thinks going to CPAC to kiss the ass of the right wing is a good idea?

    caseloweraz @99

    And the group he spoke to, the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast — they’re all down with his story? More’s the pity.

    I have no desire to hear to the audio, but according to congaboy @85

    To the credit of the audience, no one laughed or applauded or made any statements of support during and after his sick scenario.

  91. caseloweraz says

    Thanks, kagekiri. I’ll have to find an online source and read that again. I used to have a couple of Bibles but don’t any longer.

  92. Azuma Hazuki says

    These people are like ISIS. He even looks like a goddamn ayatollah! Why will people not admit to themselves all the Abrahamic religions are just as bad, and if there are “good” Christians or “good” Jews, it’s only to the extent that they steal the concepts of humanism and secular morality and give their genocidal, narcissistic demon of a God the finger?