Superman and Jesus: More Similar than You Might Imagine

super

Robert M. Price is both a biblical scholar and a critic of popular culture, and he is well qualified to compare two super-powered heroes who came to earth from another place, Jesus and Superman. His Bible Geek podcast for 5/18/2011 compares these two superheroes and finds more similarities than you might expect.

You could argue that Superman is a Christ-like figure, but that’s not the topic here. Rather, the techniques Christian apologists use to conclude that the Christ story is historical would also lead historians to a similar conclusion about Superman.

Sifting out the historical core

There are Superman comics, radio shows, TV shows and cartoons, movies, and even novels and video games over a 75-year span, and the stories aren’t always consistent. Suppose a future historian is trying to make sense of this and decides to select just the uncontested facts. These might be: Superman grew up in Smallville, was strong enough to lift a car, disguised himself as reporter Clark Kent, and so on. In the Superman canon, nothing contradicts these claims, so they must be historical, right?

We see the same thing with Christian apologists. They’ll take the natural elements of the gospel story and demand that they must be historical. Jesus was born, he was crucified, he was buried, and the tomb was later found empty. Who could argue with these? They must be historical.

Gary Habermas is well known for his minimal facts argument, that with just a handful of facts accepted by relevant scholars, the resurrection of Jesus is the obvious conclusion. (I’ve written more on this argument here.)

Or take the Testimonium Flavianum, the passage in the writings of first-century historian Josephus that gives a flattering account of Jesus. This is unlike anything a Jew like Josephus would write, and even many conservative scholars agree it isn’t authentic. Instead of rejecting it as an obvious forgery, however, many are determined to salvage what they can and imagine a toned-down original by Josephus that they can declare as historical. (More here.)

Support from extra-canonical evidence

If we take the comics as gospel, what extra-comical evidence is there for Superman? Plenty, given the numerous radio and TV series, movies, and other media. Thought bubbles don’t translate from print media, and Jimmy Olsen first appeared in a radio show to give Clark Kent or Superman an excuse to explain what he’s thinking. There are countless instances where Superman is referenced by journalists or ordinary citizens.

We see the same thing in Christian apologetics. Some writings were declared heretical, like the writings of Marcion. Some books are canonical in some churches but not in others. For example, 1 and 2 Maccabees are canonical in the Catholic Church but not in Protestant churches. Apologists point eagerly to meager mentions of Christianity in the works of first- and early second-century historians.

Redaction, copyist errors, and deliberate changes

Superman originated with high school students Jerry Siegel (writer) and Joe Shuster (artist), but the entire canon is the result of many hands—other comic writers and artists, TV and movie screenwriters, radio scriptwriters, and more. Plot holes, logical flaws, and other errors are inevitable with so many contributors. An internet search for “Superman continuity errors” returns two million hits.

More serious are the deliberate changes. For example, everyone on Superman’s home planet of Krypton originally had superpowers, but later only Clark Kent had them due to the earth’s yellow sun. And is Superman super just as a man, or also as a teen, a boy, or a baby? Some projects reboot Superman, preserving the broad outline without being constrained by details in previous incarnations.

The Bible is also the work of many hands. However, unlike Superman, whose story spans less than a century, the Bible spans a millennium—more if you consider the oral history from which it arose.

As with Superman, there are many contradictory versions of Jesus. The biblical solution was to drop the inconsistent versions, and the writings of the Marcionites and Gnostics didn’t make the cut (at least according to the faction that won the popularity contest). Later contributions by Mohammed and Joseph Smith weren’t included either.

Though the books of the Bible were selected to satisfy a narrow orthodoxy, we still see the shadow of these inconsistencies. For example, does post-resurrection Jesus have a spirit body (Luke 24:31) or a physical body (eight verses later)? How can Jesus go to “Paradise” with the thief on the day of his death according to Luke when Acts says Jesus remained on earth for 40 days? Another example: Paul’s ideology conflicted with the stricter views of the James/Peter sect, and he documents this struggle in Galatians 2:11–21.

Lifting ideas from previous sources

Superman is drawn from other super-savior myths of the time, and the borrowing can be obvious. For example, you probably know of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, but Doc Savage also had a Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, and his first name was also Clark. Doc Savage (née 1933) is the Man of Bronze and Superman (1938) is the Man of Steel.

Captain Future (1940) is The Man of Tomorrow; so is Superman.

The girlfriend of The Shadow (1930) was Margo Lane; Superman’s was Lois Lane.

Likewise, we see plenty of examples in the Bible that draw from prior traditions from civilizations in the region.

  • The Noah story comes from earlier Sumerian ideas about how the earth and heavens were put together (more).
  • The Garden of Eden story mirrors the Sumerian Atra-Hasis epic (more).
  • Yahweh defeated Leviathan, and we find the same Combat Myth in earlier Ugaritic, Babylonian, and Akkadian literature (more).
  • The Jesus story comes from a culture full of stories about dying-and-rising gods like Dionysus, Osiris, and Tammuz (more).

Historical support for historical Superman belief?

If the techniques of Christian apologists are valid, future Kentites would be justified in their belief. Or, if that logic is flawed and a historical Superman is ridiculous, the same is true for the gospel story.

On the face of it, the Superman story is far more plausible than the Jesus story. Superman is an intelligent being who lived on a planet, and we understand that since that’s what we are. Superman got here with technology, and we understand that, too—we have a limited ability to travel through space ourselves. But Jesus? We have zero universally acknowledged evidence of a supernatural anything.

Another important difference is that Superman saves people whether they believe in him or not.

Two possibilities exist:
either we are alone in the universe or we are not.

Both are equally terrifying.
— Arthur C. Clarke

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 6/11/14.)

Image credit: Wikipedia

 

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  • Bob Jase

    This leads me to the obvious conclusion that Superman traveled back in time under the influence of red kryptonite and was Jesus.

    Besides, Supes was ‘created’ by two Jews and thus has a Judeo-Kryptonian ethic.

    • Glad2BGodless

      Red kryptonite that made him hate fig trees!

  • RichardSRussell

    The “Mythinformation Conference” put on by Mythicist Milwaukee last September featured the premiere of the film Batman and Jesus, which draws many of the same parallels that Bob does here.

  • Jim Jones

    The first Harry Potter books were written by a single mother on welfare. The entire series is far more logical and error free than the bible.

    They are also more readable, more moral and much more suitable for children.

    They have motivated many children to read books.

    • They also have a lot of similarities to the Christ story in Harry.

      • Jim Jones

        I’m sure there are just seven basic stories or something.

        Update: Good guess.

        “‘The Seven Basic Plots’ ‘Why We Tell Stories’ By Christopher Booker”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/15/books/the-plot-thins-or-are-no-stories-new.html

        • Doubting Thomas

          And, according to CS Lewis, the commonalities in the stories point to an overall truth behind them. Which version is the true one, you ask? Well………(drum roll)……….WHICHEVER ONE YOU PICK!!!!!! The logic is just as valid (or not valid if you’re not an idiot) for one as it is any other.

    • Michael Murray

      The amazing popularity of those books is too much for them to have been written by a single mother on welfare. No book has ever had such a charmed life. It’s obvious that in reality they were dictated to her by magicians and filled with secret magic. Of course they confunded her after she had finished copying it all down. Once the world has got used to the idea of wizards they will reveal themselves to us again.

      Prove this is not true 🙂

  • Kevin K

    I agree that the actual existence of Superman is much more probable than the existence of a miracle-working man-god named Jesus. But, of course, that’s my problem when discussing this issue with theists. Because when I’m asking for verification of the corporeal Jesus of Nazareth™, I’m not looking for the magic-man. The mytho-legendary accounts of his miracle exploits are obvious fiction, mostly drawn from miracle stories of other man-gods of previous eras (walking on water, water into wine, healing the sick, raising the dead, et al.)

    But I’m not asking for evidence of those events. Far from it. I completely and utterly ignore those fictions. My standard is quite a bit lower. I ask for independent contemporaneous eyewitness verification of people, places, and events that should have been remarked upon by people who were there at that time and place. I get two kinds of responses.

    1. Jesus was a nobody, whose ministry went unremarked. …. Well, no. That’s not what the “gospels” say. Quite the opposite. If the “gospels” are to be taken as gospel, then Jesus was famous and enormously popular. To claim that Jesus was a “nobody” means that the “gospels” are lying. Choose.

    2. Authorities were afraid of Jesus and hid the evidence of his existence. … Well, again no. The authorities thought he was a blasphemer and a kook, if the “gospels” are to be believed, and the crowds given a choice saved the life of a different revolutionary (the equally fictional Barabbas). And none of the verifiably real Jewish revolutionaries of the time — those who actually and really fomented and participated in the revolt(s) known as the Jewish Wars were given such treatment. So, you have to believe that this one guy — who led no army, participated in no rebellion other than a single act of terrorism — was so much more impressive to the Romans that they engaged in some millennia-long conspiracy? Not bloody likely.

    • Joe

      In regards to your point 1.), I too hate that argument.

      It’s like saying Superman was actually Clark Kent, who was an ordinary, mild-mannered reporter, so therefore must have been a real person. Because such people have existed and do exist.

      If I were alive in 30-70AD I could easily write a story of a miracle-working preacher without the need to base it on an existing person, because such apocalyptic preachers were ten-a-penny. You could just take a detail or two from each one.

      • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

        Yup. My standard reply to people who strongly believe there was a “historical” Jesus is: okay, so there was an itinerant apocalyptic preacher wandering around ancient Palestine who didn’t perform any of the miracles of the Biblical Jesus, and who probably didn’t say most of the things the Biblical Jesus said (if he said any of them at all). So fucking what?

    • Michael Neville

      Josephus goes into detail about Jesus’s contemporaries including John the Baptist but doesn’t mention Jesus (the Testamonium Flavium is a 4th Century forgery).

  • Scooter

    “Likewise, we see plenty of examples in the Bible that draw from prior traditions from civilizations in the region.”

    This is a common skeptical claim. Did Christianity really copy its core doctrines from Pagan myths? If I were to list comments from Biblical and Christian scholars refuting this claim no matter how solid their expertise, I would undoubtedly hear all about their bias. So I thought it would be fair to list a few comments by scholarly skeptics which refutes this idea.

    1. Mettinger, Tryggve N.D. The Riddle of Resurrection: “Dying and Rising God’s” in the Ancient Near East. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2001. 217. “Dr. Tryggve Mettinger (a Swedish professor at Lund University) has written the most comprehensive account of the dying and rising god motif.
    He himself affirms the concept of “dying and rising gods.” Yet he concedes that he is in the strict minority: “There is now what amounts to a scholarly consensus against the appropriateness of the concept [of dying and rising gods]. Those who still think differently are looked upon as residual members of an almost extinct species…

    2. Major scholars in the fields of comparative religion and the Bible find the idea of dying and rising deities suspect or untenable.”
    For instance, Jonathan Z. Smith (historian from the University of Chicago) writes, “All the deities that have been identified as belonging to the class of dying and rising deities can be subsumed under the two larger classes of disappearing deities or dying deities. In the first case, the deities return but have not died; in the second case, the gods die but do not return.”

    3. In describing the German higher critical school which gave birth to this entire theory (Religiongeschichtliche Schule), critical scholar Maurice Casey writes that this is “now regarded as out of date” and “significantly mistaken.

    4. Regarding the Cross and Atonement, atheistic critical scholar Bart Ehrman writes, “Where do any of the ancient sources speak of a divine man who was crucified as an atonement for sin? So far as I know, there are no parallels to the central Christian claim. What has been invented here is not the Christian Jesus but the mythicist claims about Jesus… The majority of scholars agree… there is no unambiguous evidence that any pagans prior to Christianity believed in dying and rising gods.”[7] He adds, “None of this literature is written by scholars trained in the New Testament.” Ehrman, Bart D. Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. New York: HarperOne, 2012. 2.

    And from a former atheist who became a Christian -G.K. Chesterton had something to say about this. He deals with the critic’s argument that the Hebrew and Christian accounts of God are tribal, unsophisticated and much too attached to particular locations. Chesterton said that if the Old Testament accounts of God are down-to-earth and unsophisticated, might that very fact indicate their validity?

    Teaching pastor, Trevin Wax makes the following point:
    “Chesterton made the case that the Old Testament accounts of God’s revelation were credible precisely because they did not come to us as “cosmic philosophy.” The skeptics should turn their skepticism toward anachronistic notions of God being a cosmic force or energy.
    “If Moses had said God was an Infinite Energy, I should be certain he had seen nothing extraordinary. As he said He was a Burning Bush, I think it very likely that he did see something extraordinary…. When the learned skeptic says: ‘The visions of the Old Testament were local, and rustic, and grotesque,’ we shall answer: ‘Of course. They were genuine.’”

    • Ctharrot

      Do you see the irony in your plagiarizing whole passages from apologetics websites in a discussion about derivative content? Maybe I have a peculiar sense of humor, but I find that kinda funny.

      • Michael Neville

        Scooter didn’t plagiarize, he gave his sources.

        • Ctharrot

          No, he copied text and quotes and sources verbatim from apologist websites, such as this one. I also peeked at his comments under a couple of other recent posts here, and found gobs more plagiarism. Dude’s a chronic offender.

    • Joe

      So, an appeal to authority. Great.

      The arguments here seem to be: “If the prior stories are not 100% similar to the Biblical version, then the biblical version can’t have been inspired by them.”

      So therefore Spaceballs is a standalone work not at all influenced by anything else in popular culture.

    • Greg G.

      Did Christianity really copy its core doctrines from Pagan myths?

      Not the core doctrines, just some details.

      The belief that a Messiah was going to come to the Jews in the first century was widespread. The belief of a coming Messiah goes back to Hasmonean times (see the later chapters of Daniel), so the hope that the Messiah would come during a given person’s lifetime may go back a couple of centuries.

      Some read the Suffering Servant metaphor as a hidden history of a person who died, was buried, was resurrected, and interceded for sins. They assumed that would be the Messiah. That would include the epistle writers who wrote a lot about Jesus but only in OT references and allusions. They were reading Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 3 to create this Jesus but it was mainly Jewish scriptures. Paul argued that the Suffering Servant must have been crucified but his argument in Galatians 3:6-14 is dubious logic.

      About a generation later, some began [Edit to add rest after hitting post while trying to scroll on this phone] to think That the Suffering Servant named Jesus was a person in the early first century. The stories about him borrow from all kinds of literature. People have believed the late first century fictional accounts of an early/mid first century myth ever since.

      • Kevin K

        Would it make things clearer if instead of referring to the Messiah by the name Jesus, you used the name Joshua? Sometimes, the whole “Jesus” thing gets in my way, until I remember that Jesus is just the Hellenized version of Joshua. Which was as common a name in that region of the world at that time as Mohammed is in that region of the world today.

        Or maybe it’s just me.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think it would be clearer. The early Christians wrote in Greek and referenced the Septuagint more than the Hebrew versions. The Septuagint says “Jesus”. The NT uses three suffixes for Jesus, thus three conjugations, and all three are used in LXX Zechariah.

          Paul’s justification for thinking Jesus was crucified (Galatians 3:6-14) relies on equivocation of the LXX Deuteronomy which translates the Hebrew word for “tree” to a Greek word for “tree”, “wood”, or “cross”.

          That said, I expect Cephas and James, per 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, were originally using the Hebrew texts. But the Book of James is said to be written in eloquent Greek.

        • Joe

          Whatever happened to that Emmanuel guy?

        • Greg G.

          I Kant say.

        • Illithid

          I keep hitting the “down” arrow but nothing happens. 🙂

      • Glad2BGodless

        I have wondered about this. Is it really a core doctrine of Christianity that Jesus died on a cross? If we found out that he was actually stabbed to death, would that be enough to derail the divine plan of salvation?

        • Greg G.

          The cross is symbolic for Christianity. The gospels and Paul make a big deal of it but the rest of the NT doesn’t emphasize it much.

          Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 3 have the death and the intercession for sins but the cause of death isn’t mentioned.

          Paul gives his formula in Galatians but he uses some “Ray Charles is God” type logic.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Right, but if Jesus had been stabbed to death, would they wear daggers? And would such a death still function as sin detergent?

        • Greg G.

          Et tu, Glad2BGodless?

    • Glad2BGodless

      Most historians agree that George Washington really existed, so I guess it’s also true that most historians agree that he really did chop down that cherry tree.

      • Greg G.

        Washington’s picture is on the front of the dollar bill. He is as real as the Eye of Providence on the back.

      • Joe

        P1. George Washington Cannot lie.
        P2. George Washington admitted to cutting down the cherry tree.
        conclusion: He really did chop down the cherry tree.

        Flawless logic.

        • Lark62

          Even though George threw a dollar across the Potomac River, that could never happen today.

          Because today, a dollar just doesn’t go as far.

        • Glad2BGodless

          *L*

    • Dionysus died and was returned to life. Later, the same was said of Jesus. No chance for copying?

      • Bob Jase
      • Scooter

        Greg koukl as you know would be well aware of this criticism. Let me quote from Greg. It’s rather lengthy but it should clarify why the criticism is invalid.

        “The Gospel writers intended to report history, not mythology. Their accounts include the vivid detail of an observer who had witnessed the events personally, or a chronicler who had obtained the information from people who were actually there. Yet they are not merely reports, but arguments meant to persuade, citing evidence to prove their claims.

        These facts on their own don’t make the accounts true, of course. But they do seem to place these writings in a class of ancient literature that doesn’t allow them to be dismissed for frivolous reasons. Yet this is exactly what has been happening.

        The internet is littered with allegations that the historical records of the life of Jesus of Nazareth are examples of a kind of religious plagiarism, a mere rehashing of dying-and-rising-god fictions of ancient mythology, a recycling of common details found in dozens of mystery religions in the ancient world around the time of Christ.

        Simply Google Mithras, Dionysus, Osiris, Adonis, or Isis and you will be buried in an avalanche of “evidence” linking the divine teacher from Galilee with a host of characters allegedly manufactured from the same mythic material. The most well-known attempt is a flashy “documentary” called Zeitgeist—The Greatest Story Ever Sold that has gone viral on the web.

        In general, the dispute entails a factual claim—certain mythical accounts that predate the Gospels contain elements matching the details of Jesus’ life—and a logical/literary claim—the existence of the older accounts proves that the account of Jesus is myth as well, being cobbled together with bits and pieces of these old stories.

        There are at least three significant problems with this argument that should be enough to silence it forever. The first two speak to the factual claims. The last—and most decisive—addresses the logical assertion.

        First, the fact is that the “facts” listed are almost all false, nearly to the point of embarrassment. Here are a few examples:

        There is no record Osiris rose bodily from the dead. Instead, he became a god of the netherworld. As one put it, Osiris is not a dying god, but a dead god, always depicted as a deceased, mummified king. He may be “alive” in the spirit realm, but this would be true of anyone passing into the next life who’s physical body lies decaying in a tomb. Indeed, Egyptian religion had no concept of resurrection, only of immortality beyond the grave. These are two entirely different concepts.[i]

        Horus was not born of a virgin, but was the son of Osiris and Isis (not Mary). Horus never dies, so he could have no resurrection, though in his union with Rah, the sun God, one could say he “dies” every night and is “resurrected” every morning. Clearly, though, this is no help to the copycat messiah crowd.

        Neither the Bible nor Christianity claim Jesus was born on December 25th, so any parallels with ancient myths are completely inconsequential. The date was chosen by emperor Aurelian in the third century.

        Mithras was not born of a virgin, but emerged from a rock, and there is no textual evidence of his death, so there could be no resurrection.[ii] Mithras was a god, not a teacher, so he had no disciples.[iii]
        There is no evidence of an account of a bodily resurrection of Attis, the Phrygian god of vegetation.[iv]
        There is no evidence for a virgin birth of Dionysus.[v]
        Krishna was his mother’s eighth son, so his virgin birth is unlikely. [vi]

        The dating of many of the dying-and-resurrecting-god myths is the second obstacle. Here’s the problem. It is axiomatic that the recycled version must appear in history after the one it allegedly came from, not before. However, many mythical accounts of dying and rising gods actually postdate the time of Christ:

        There is no evidence of the influence of Mithraism in the Roman Empire until the end of the first century A.D.[vii]
        The sacrifice of a bull by some Mithraists allegedly mimicking the substitutionary atonement of Christ first shows up in the second century A.D. [viii]
        The four texts that cite the resurrection of Adonis date from the second to fourth centuries A.D.[ix]
        The account of the miraculous birth of Zoroaster dates to the ninth century A.D.”

        • He starts out with cocky, unwarranted assumptions. Not an auspicious beginning.

          There is no evidence for a virgin birth of Dionysus.[v]

          That’s nice. But there is a story about Dionysus dying and rising. The gospel story of Jesus followed this. No chance of resurrection envy influencing the Jesus story?

          The usual response, which Koukl may get to later in his article (https://www.str.org/publications/recycled-redeemer#.WmoLyqinGUk) is that the Dionysus story is different in many ways than the Jesus story. I’m amazed that apologists think this is relevant. Sure, it’s different. If it weren’t, we’d call Jesus “Dionysus.” That simply avoids the point: the Jesus story came from a culture suffused with dying-and-rising stories.

        • Others do not agree that they are in such a class of literature.

        • Bob Jase

          Yeah, each story is a little different but so what? If Jesus is so ‘alive’ where is he? Not in this world just like Osiris and the others.

          Just because you make excuses doesn’t make it so.

        • Scooter

          “a little different!” ? How about as different as night and day. Where is Jesus? In Matthew 18:19-20 He affirms that wherever two or three are assembled together in his name, he is in the midst of them.

        • Bob Jase

          oh, he’s been with you for the past two thousand years? Tell him that the rest of us want to see him too.

        • How about as different as night and day.

          Dionysus died and was resurrected. Ditto, Jesus. If you’re saying that the details were different, I agree. But the basic miracle claim (resurrection from the dead) is identical.

          wherever two or three are assembled together in his name, he is in the midst of them.

          Turned out to be kind of a liar, didn’t he?

        • Steven Watson

          Puting up ‘Zeitgeist—The Greatest Story Ever Sold’ as your evidence is disingenuous to put it mildly. It is not credible and has been numerously debunked by the more rigorous scholars holding Jesus to be a myth or legend. Visit Bob Price’s or Earl Doherty’s sites, check out Richard Carrier or Raphael Lataster and find out the actual arguments of actual scholars. You are whacking away at a strawman e already dismiss as nonsense. Another place to check out is the Vridar blog. If you don’t care to do that, go and read Galatians and Romans through keeping in mind the Gospels haven’t been written yet. Golly gosh, Paul says Cephas, James, John and Peter only knew this Jesus chappie from hallucinations and misreading the O.T. in Greek, just like him. Else why do none of them have the perfect comeback to his rewriting the cult: that he was a jonnie-cum-lately who’d had a bang on the head; where as they were his besties and brother. Someone told me to do that when I was thirteen or so forty-odd years ago now. There was precisely one book putting a mythicist case at the time; no internet; and a lot of credulous rationalisation but it was fecking obvious to a kid that this particular god won’t hunt. You people are just embarrassingly naive and stupid.

      • Steven Watson

        ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.’ Jesus channelling Dionysos in Acts.

        • Greg G.

          Euripides quoted Dionysus in Greek but Jesus quoted him in Aramaic, and Luke wrote it in Greek. I wonder what language Paul would have been speaking in Agrippa’s court.

    • How is Chesterton relevant, as he wasn’t a scholar? How is being “rustic” a mark of truth either? God is usually said to be all-present and incorporeal. That sounds like pretty “cosmic” as well.

      • Scooter

        So true to form you picked on the Christian. Now what about the skeptic’s comments?

        • I picked on him because he wasn’t a skeptic nor a scholar-he also makes pretty bad arguments. Without a basis for what they said, I can’t comment. They could well be right though.

        • Glad2BGodless

          So… you offered a Christian’s statement and invited commentary on it, but commenting on it is picking on him? Nice chip you’ve got on your shoulder.

    • JP415

      Demigods and virgin births were pretty run of the mill in antiquity. See Romulus, Perseus, August, and Alexander the Great.

  • Joe

    One area where Superman is far superior: Contemporary mentions.

    He is mentioned outside of DC comics, in popular culture such as comedy, music and even used as an idiom of sorts: “I’m not Superman”.

    Where were the Roman/Greek Jesus plays and stories?

    • Glad2BGodless

      Also, we know what Superman looks like.

      • Joe

        Well we have various descriptions and imagery, plus a more comprehensive back story and insights into his personality, not just his exploits and sayings.

        • Glad2BGodless

          The real Superman is the one drawn by Curt Swan. All others are apocryphal, promoted by heretics, reprobates, and infidels to deceive the elect.

        • Michael Neville

          Joe Shuster’s version of Superman is canonical. If it weren’t for Shuster we wouldn’t know that Superman wore his underwear on the outside:

          http://comicsalliance.com/files/2014/07/Untitled-123.jpg

        • Greg G.

          But Clark Kent wore his on the inside. That way nobody would suspect that he was Superman.

        • BlackMamba44

          it wasn’t the glasses, it was the tighty whites…uh…reddies.

          🙂

          EDIT: Ok. Wine and phone tying don’t mix.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Yes, but Curt Swan did the pencils in “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Since this is the best Superman story ever, Swan clearly is the best Superman artist ever.

          Anyone who says otherwise just wants to sin.

        • Bob Jase

          I respectfully disagree with both of you. Swan was brilliant, Shuster was the creator but Boring developed the iconic version I grew up with.

          I enjoy my blasphemy.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Who hurt you, to make you reject the one true path this way?

          Swan reminded us that Superman is an alien, by drawing him as if he had no bones.

    • skl

      Not true. I hear people just about every day, in all kinds of situations, exclaiming “Jesus Christ!”

      • Michael Neville

        I stubbed my toe this morning and cried out “Jesus Christ!”

        • skl

          There you go.

      • Greg G.

        When I was an ornery kid, my daddy thought that was my name.

  • Bill

    A spark that caused a fire that turned into an inferno that lasted 2000 plus years and is getting stronger is beyond the realm of mathematical possibilities. All the other myths and legends you claim didn’t last long for a reason. Math doesn’t lie.

    • Greg G.

      The end of the Egyptian pyramid building was further back in time to the first Christians than they are to us. The Egyptian myths started long before the pyramid era and were still going when the Christian mythology began. Many still hold the Egyptian ideas of the afterlife today, even if they do not realize it. Many believe being a decent person is rewarded in the afterlife. That’s what the Egyptians thought.

      Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are older than Christianity and are still around. They may be smaller but they haven’t attempted to kill their rivals so much recently.

      Check your math. Math lies if your numbers don’t add up.

    • Doubting Thomas

      So, to be consistent, if we found a myth that lasted longer than 2000 years would you consider it to be more true than Christianity?

      • Glad2BGodless

        No, he wouldn’t. It’s not a real point, it’s just gargling. He hopes that careless thinkers will imagine he made a point just because he made a noise.

        • Doubting Thomas

          It must be painful when Christianity doesn’t even stand up to the standards by which Christians affirm it.

    • Glad2BGodless

      One of the things that made me an atheist: the fact that a believer can hold an idea like this in his head long enough to express it, and yet in that amount of time not see the obvious problems with it.

      • Joe

        The penny sank in for me after years of futile arguments against theists. I now occasionally ask them if they can see the flaws in their statement before I attempt to point them out. They seemingly can’t, or won’t even consider it.

        Apologetics for the average theist is about giving pre-memorized answer x to atheistic statement y. Not about them thinking for themselves. That way leads them in an uncomfortable direction.

        • Doubting Thomas

          It’s humorous when the answer you give a Christian isn’t the one the script they’ve been taught called for. You can almost hear the neurons misfiring. At that point the conversation usually turns into the verbal equivalent of trying to catch a greased pig as you do everything you can to keep them on subject.

        • Michael Neville

          Some years ago some fundamentalist children were sent to another atheist blog by their teacher, Eric Hovind. The “killer argument” was that one could only have absolute knowledge through God. The kids got confused when we claimed not to have absolute knowledge of anything. One fundie kid even accused us of not playing fair by not responding the way Hovind said we’d respond.

        • Doubting Thomas

          That’s beautiful.

          It just shows what happens when people are only taught what to say instead of being taught the proper way to think.

        • Glad2BGodless

          So funny!

        • Joe

          A lot of apologists try and develop very specific responses, which don’t do so well if you point out they overlap/contradict other apologetic positions. For example God’s foreknowledge and free will positions.

          In another thread I asked Clement if he could see the glaringly obvious problem with his statement: “God uses evil to achieve good.” He claimed not to be able to see any flaws. He either wasn’t intellectually capable, didn’t care to or couldn’t admit to doing so.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Churches do their congregations a disservice when they send them out into the world armed with these pathetic apologetics.

        • Lark62

          When they run out of scripted replies, they revert to some form of “Well god’s going to torture you. Nya nya nuh nya nya.” Every time.

        • Bob Jase

          That’s because the real core of Christianity isn’t love, its hatred, jealousy and repressed vengence.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Everything does seem to reduce to fire insurance, by and by.

    • Kevin K

      Hindu believe that Lord Krishna walked the Earth. That religion was formed in about 1900 BCE and is still going strong today. Even if it were to disappear from the face of the Earth tomorrow, Christianity would need 1900 more years to catch up.

      So, should we believe in Lord Krishna because the math doesn’t lie?

      Arguments like this bespeak someone who is completely and utterly unaware of the world around them. You might want to look around and read a book that isn’t printed on onionskin.

    • jamesparson

      “beyond the realm of mathematical possibilities”

      WTF!

      There lots of ideas that are over 2000 years old and are still going on. The Greek alphabet was one amongst many at it is still around.

      The Greek alphabet inspired the Latin alphabet. Without out them, you literally (literally literally, not metaphorically literally) could not have wrote what you just wrote.

      • Michael Neville

        I suspect Bill’s knowledge of statistics and probability is akin to his knowledge of written Sanskrit.

        • epeeist

          Or law.

    • Joe

      Are you talking about Islam?

    • Michael Neville

      The one thing that established Christianity as a major religion was being made the official state religion by Constantine in the 4th Century.

      • sandy

        and you were threatened with death if you went against it.

        • Kevin K

          Now, you’re given the choice of “cake or death”. At least in the Church of England.

        • Greg G.

          When the 3 Stooges were offered beheading or being burnt at the stake, Curly excitedly chose the latter because he preferred a hot steak to a cold chop.

        • Kevin K

          Ha!

        • Michael Neville

          But we’re out of cake. We didn’t expect such a rush. So the choice is now “…or death”.

      • Bill

        Yes, his shrine to the tomb of Jesus was just dated back to 350AD, and accurate account of history.

        • Michael Neville

          What does that have to do with anything? Remember that you’re not preaching to your Sunday School class, you’re talking to adults. It would help tremendously if you started giving rational, intelligent comments instead of non sequiturs. (Do you know what a non sequitur is?)

      • Steven Watson

        The long history of the Nestorian Church rather belies that; and over a far greater geographical area. If you are going to put up a coconut make sure it is glued down.

    • BlackMamba44

      It’s not getting stronger. It’s on the decline.

      If you want to talk numbers, Muslims are set to pass Christians in numbers by 2050.

      • Bill

        Actually a study came out a few weeks ago and that’s not true. On top of those new numbers is the fact the Chinese oppress Christianity. Once we tap into them we will be upwards of 3-3.5 billion.

        • BlackMamba44

          Haha!

          I’m curious. Link the study.

          EDIT: Bwahaha!! “Tap into them”?

        • BlackMamba44

          Crickets…

          Where’s the study? Why won’t you cite your references?

          Here’s mine: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/

          Why can’t you do the same?

          EDIT: I have to correct myself. Not surpass but nearly equal by 2050.

          The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.

        • I think 2070 is the date when they’re expected to be equal in number. Both are increasing in large measure because of babies, but their birth rates are becoming more reasonable (Muslims lagging).

          BTW, Bill is in timeout.

        • BlackMamba44

          Ah. Ok.

          EDIT: Now that I’ve scrolled through the comments, I know why.

        • Bob Jase

          Well sure, they’re still allowed to kill off unbelievers. Christianity was doing just fine until it wasn’t allowed to any more.

        • Steven Watson

          Jesus’ brother already failed there. All that effort had to show was 35 million plus corpses.

        • Damien Priestly

          Taiping Rebellion…don’t know if most people even know about it (forget about Bill) — since it happened at the same time as the US Civil war, but killed almost 100 times more people.

          Great book I read; “God’s Chinese Son”…Hong Xiuquan, the Taiping army leader, started to insist he was the brother of Jesus after he met a Protestant missionary in Canton, I believe…and if remember, the missionary was from the South, maybe Tennessee, not sure…So both the slavery issue in the US Civil War and the Taiping savagery can be laid at the feet of US Christian fundamentalists !!

      • Ouch. Math doesn’t lie.

    • Kodie

      Nobody knows how rumors start.

      • Ctharrot

        They usually start with Eris, goddess of discord. At least that’s what I heard.

        • Kodie

          That bitch! I knew it!

        • Steven Watson

          Is that who I pray to if my game chat is fouled up?

  • eric

    You could argue that Superman is a Christ-like figure, but that’s not the topic here.

    Does anyone know if Campbell did any meta-analysis on savior stories? It seems right up his alley but I don’t know his work well enough to say. If not, what a shame; it seems to me that there is probably some core elements to the concept just as he found with hero stories – a “savior with a thousand faces” as it were.

  • Bill

    I love how everyone gives the typical atheist response on this post. But there is a reason you scum stick together. I hope Egypt isn’t the only country that starts cracking down on you misfits.

    • Doubting Thomas

      Even if we escape punishment in this life, you can console yourself by the notion that your god will torture us after we die. Hope that makes you feel better.

    • Otto

      Oh…cracking down on people who don’t line up with your beliefs…how patriotic of you.

      • Bill

        Just remember Christianity will rule over you until your last breath and rule over you’re family. There won’t be a generation of you’re family that it won’t be around for, going strong. While the misfit atheist trickle away.

        • Otto

          Christianity does not rule over me now…so you are already wrong.

          And atheism has been around longer than Christianity

        • Bill

          The society in which you live in is enriched in Christianity and it’s beliefs. Keep telling yourself that. How many atheist are currently in Congress?

        • Otto

          Name one thing specific to Christianity that I have to submit to.

          Civics class must have been hard for you.

        • Bill

          Law degree from University of Chicago shows me how much of constitution has fundamentals of Christianity. The separation of church and state isn’t exactly what people think. Just like the right to bare arms was meant for militias and not a hillbilly with an AR 15. The constitution is constantly misenturped but lucky SCOTUS will right that.

        • Otto

          I will take that answer as an admission that you can’t name one..despite your supposed Law degree.

        • Bill

          An autocorrect on my phone and the grammar police come out to avoid the truth I just spoke. Typical atheist playbook.

          My law degree is very real. Graduated in 2011. I’m more informed on law and constitution then you will ever be.

          Congress used to hold msss in Sunday’s by the way guys. Separation of church and state was because of Baptists in Virgina who were afraid of the Angelo runner state. It was never meant for the shield that you all cowerdly hide behind.

        • Otto

          You know you still haven’t named one right?

        • Bill

          You’re stupid. Society as a whole. Laws are rooted in Christianity moron.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Swing and a miss.

        • Otto

          C’mon Bill…name a law I have to follow that is specific to Christianity….I am still waiting for you to prove your claim.

          The fact that you now have to resort to name calling isn’t helping your case.

        • Bill

          Sorry. Powers to be kicked me out temporarily….. but do you spend money? Money backed by God’s name? Money issue md by government? Because every time you do you are being submissive to Christianity…. I might make spelling errors due to auto correct but I just whipped you’re ass in you’re own game. 2 for 2.

        • Otto

          There is nothing specific to Christianity on or about money Bill. You are really bad at this. Do you even know what the word ‘specific’ means? Here, I feel bad for you so I will provide you some help.

          http://www.dictionary.com/browse/specific?s=t

        • Glad2BGodless

          So… your autocorrect forces you to use a possessive when you ought to use a pronoun, but it lets “cowerdly” right on through?

          It looks as if you will remain submissive to your eccentric autocorrect software.

        • BlackMamba44

          but it lets “cowerdly” right on through

          And “misenturped”

        • Kodie

          You mean money has a slogan on it that makes it magical? I can’t believe how stupid you are.

        • Lark62

          Every bill I spend has the word “No” covering “In”. By your logic, this proves you support the phrase “No God We Trust” and are secretly an atheist.

        • JP415

          Holy crap, you’re dumb!

        • Michael Neville

          So how are the tax laws rooted in any religion? Be specific and be aware that I’m an accountant, I know something about tax laws.

        • Bill

          Churches don’t pay property tax

        • Bill

          Mic drop

        • Bill

          You lost

        • Bill

          I’m a great lawyer. You’re a bad accountant and solider.

        • Otto

          Since you are ignoring my question I will claim victory as well. Thanks Bill.

          (I feel bad for your clients if you can be beaten that easily)

        • Don’t forget that your a grate spellor, too.

        • Greg G.

          Spelling is how he expresses his creative side.

        • TheMountainHumanist

          Being able to quote every episode of Matlock doth not a lawyer make.

        • Because churches get a free ride? That’s something of a mic drop observation, sure, but not for your side of the argument.

        • Michael Neville

          So what? You still haven’t explained how the tax laws are rooted in religion.

        • Zeropoint

          Really? Hammurabi will be surprised to hear that!

        • Uh huh. I guess that’s your law degree talking. I’m pretty sure it’s not from U. of Chicago. Likelier: Cracker Jack prize.

        • Glad2BGodless

          I wish they could make up their minds on this.

          “In God We Trust” is OK whenever there’s a court challenge, because, you know, everyone understands that we don’t really mean it, and if you say otherwise you are just picking at nits.

          But then the rest of the time, we totally mean it, because otherwise why would it be on our money?

        • The Christians defend it as “ceremonial deism”–you know, just customary stuff you say that has no meaning, like “Gesundheit” or “How do you do?”

          It’s a strange world when the atheists have to inform the Christians what “In God we trust” means.

        • Ctharrot

          Of course that’s false (and not what’s taught at Chicago or any other respectable law school). The Anglo-American legal system is an adorably fugly mutt, rooted in Germanic custom and Roman civil law, with Celtic and Canon influences. Christianity hasn’t been entirely irrelevant, of course, but the claim that our “laws are rooted in Christianity” reflects an ahistorical grasp of both.

        • Greg G.

          How would your phone get “misenturped”? What kind of Spell Check doesn’t correct “cowerdly”? Your phone is smarter than you.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re not intelligent or literate enough to be a lawyer. Besides your pretense of having a law degree means jack shit. You’re ranting about Christianity and atheism, not about law.

          7ou make it obvious that you don’t understand separation of church and state. Your incoherent raving about Baptists and Virginia show that quite clearly.

          Also autocorrect will not turn “cowardly” into “cowerdly” but rather the reverse. So your excuse fall flat.

          You’re not very good at this debate thing. Maybe it’s good you’re not a lawyer because you’d fail miserably at trials.

        • Bill

          I heard about you. You’re the unpatriotic army guy that got discharged for being a disgrace to the uniform.

        • You’ll have to share with us your patriot credentials.

        • Michael Neville

          You heard wrong. I’m the Navy guy who retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer after 20 years.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Thank you for your service.

        • Rudy R

          Thanks for your service!

        • Glad2BGodless

          Your law degree is as real as the photo of your girlfriend that came with your wallet.

        • Steven Watson

          They have progressed to iPads, Manuscripts are so 19th century.

        • JP415

          You cowerd!

        • TheMountainHumanist

          Easy to claim….easy to check…provide your name and under which state you are licensed.

          Who was your contracts professor?

          Where did your graduation ceremony take place?

          Who spoke at the convocation?

        • Doubting Thomas

          I’ll bet if you move some words around your post will make better sense.

        • Michael Neville

          If you honestly think we’ll believe a semi-illiterate like you has a law degree then you’re even more stupid than I thought previously. A lawyer should know the difference between “bare arms” and “bear arms” and could make a better guess at how to spell “misinterpreted”.

        • Greg G.

          Your illiteracy shows you are the same guy who makes such stupid arguments and makes religion look worse. Nobody cares enough to remember your ever-changing handles.

        • You’ve got a law degree? I wonder who wrote your papers.

        • TheMountainHumanist

          Jay Sekulow?

        • Glad2BGodless

          Their bare arms will get as sunburned as your neck.

        • Lark62

          All this time everyone thought the second amendment was about weapons. Now we find out it’s about tank tops!?

          Somebody better tell the National Rifle Romper Association.

        • Lark62

          Yeah. “Thou shalt have no gods beside me” and “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the fre exercise thereof” mean exactly the same thing, if you are an idiot.

        • Kodie

          “bare arms”? “misenturped????? Sure, you have a law degree.

        • epicurus

          It’s pretty cold where I live, and while I have a right to bare arms, I don’t think I would until it warms up in the spring!

        • TheMountainHumanist

          The Yenieevursetee of Feenixx maybe?

        • Dan Davis

          Please us spellcheck or Grammarly. If you have a law degree from the University of Chicago please post it. Cofefve.

        • Steven Watson

          ‘right to bare arms’. Got something against Moslems too?

        • JP415

          YOU have a law degree? Sure.

        • Rudy R

          And when are you going to lecture on how America is a Christian nation because the Founding Fathers were Christian?

        • TheMountainHumanist

          “Just like the right to bare (BEAR) arms was meant for militias and not a hillbilly with an AR 15.

          “The constitution is constantly misenturped (MISINTERPRETED) but lucky (LUCKILY) SCOTUS will right that.”

          When did the U of Chicago drop the basic grammar requirement?

          Also, if you want to show us your bare arms….go right ahead. Just don’t expect us to buy you dinner.

        • epeeist

          The society in which you live in is enriched in Christianity

          You do realise that there are other countries than the US?

          As it is the country I live in, the UK, has more people with no religion than Christians. The Church of England and the Catholics can barely get 3% of the population into church on Sunday.

        • Kodie

          That’s because sickos like you are superstitious and hateful. The society in which I live is brutally prejudiced against ideas because your superstition forbids you to think.

        • Steven Watson

          Great example – the place is full of douches and out and out crooks.

        • JP415

          “it’s.” Wow, you’re ignorant.

        • Greg G.

          That has been explained to him before when he had a different name. He didn’t learn from it.

        • Rudy R

          Probably more than would admit in public, just as there are atheist clergy in the pulpit.

        • Glad2BGodless

          How many days of the week are named for Christian gods? How many months of the year?

          Don’t panic about the dominance of pagan gods over the calendar to which you must submit every day of your life, and then, one day, your heirs! Bwaa ha ha haaa!

          (Pssst — the word panic comes from Pan, another ancient god to which you and your offspring must, eventually, submit.)

        • Michael Neville

          Learn the difference between “your” and “you’re” and use them correctly. You’ll look less ignorant although you’ll still be a bigot.

        • Ficino

          Russian bots have trouble with “your”/”you’re” and other English words that sound alike.

        • It’s hilarious how Bible thumping comes with a lack of understanding of grammar.

        • Glad2BGodless

          And yet they are always so sure they know the secrets of the universe. It seems to me that they should aim to get the small stuff right, then move up to the big questions when they have mastered the simple things.

        • Doubting Thomas

          The secret of the universe is easy. It turns out, god did it, no matter what the question. It’s the mysteries of the apostrophe that eludes them.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Heh

        • Kodie

          I’m pretty sure a figment of your imagination has no power over me at all. I live in the real world.

        • JP415

          You should go to night school and get a GED so that you can speak English like a native speaker.

    • Greg G.

      The “2000 years” apologetic is as weak as apologetics get. Why not try some of those sophisticated apologetics we hear so much about but never get to see? When it is promised, we get the old bait & switch where it’s the same tired apologetics with superfluous syllables.

    • BlackMamba44

      Christian love!!

    • RichardSRussell

      Curious as to who upvoted this rant, I hovered my cursor over the “1” and discovered that it was some guy named “Bill”. Incipient schizophrenia, perhaps?

    • Damien Priestly

      Has “Bill” been on Patheos nonreligious blogs before under some other acronym? This Shtick sounds familiar.

      • Steven Watson

        That’s ‘cos there are BILL-ions of them. 🙂

      • Greg G.

        Yes, he has been banned here about a half dozen times. He often dares the moderator to ban him with his first post under a new name. The names change but the arguments only become more stale and tired.

    • JP415

      Yeah, who needs that religious freedom crap anyway?

  • Bill

    White male. Between 25-55 years of age. Unpatriotic, very leftist, feels abandoned by faith and country. You all check off every box. Congratulations. I hope Trump cracks down on you alt left!

    • Doubting Thomas

      It’s more effective if you click the reply button under the post you’re responding to before you start typing. Otherwise this just comes across as the ravings of an idiot.

      • Bill

        Touch a nerve? How many you check off? All of above?

        • Doubting Thomas

          You got me on the first couple, but fell off quickly after that. I appreciate the effort, though.

        • Susan

          You got me on the first couple

          Not me.

      • Bill

        The author of this blog is nothing more than a puke stain on society. I expect he will block me because he’s spineless. But I will come back 100 fold. MAGA.

        • Doubting Thomas
        • Doubting Thomas
        • Michael Neville

          I didn’t know Pope Benedict had been in Star Wars.

        • al kimeea

          never gets old

        • Otto

          If you get blocked it is because you are nothing more than the internet equivalent of a monkey throwing poop, you add nothing to the topic.

        • Susan

          the internet equivalent of a monkey throwing poop

          Oh, look. “Bill” and “Joe Jach” with shiny, new Disqus accounts, pretending they have never been here before.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m definitely getting the stench of sockpuppet with Ol’ Bill.

        • Michael Neville

          Upvoting your own posts is tacky, “Bill”. But it’s the sort of thing we expect from someone as arrogant and ignorant as you.

        • Greg G.

          He can’t even change his socks to upvote himself.

        • Joe

          Sure thing, champ.

        • Your wish is granted.

          When you come back like Obi-wan, more powerful than ever, you’ll have to explain to me what the “again” in “Make America Great Again” means. Again meaning when? Back when the Negros, fags, women, and God-hating atheists knew their place, I’m guessing?

        • BlackMamba44

          I recently came across a couple of Facebook comments from the same person. A Trump supporter. The post was about Trump using the word “shithole” to describe Haiti and Africa. This commenter actually said that the people in those countries were shitholes and that’s why their countries are shitholes.

          In one comment he called the US “the greatest country on earth”. In the very next comment he used the #MAGA at the end.

          I had to call him out on that. Of course, I never got a response.

        • Lark62

          Around Mr. Obama’s first presidential campaign, Michele Obama said . “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”

          Republicans blasted her relentlessly as unamerican and unpatriotic. Then they slobber over Trump and wear MAGA hats. Fuckin hypocrites.

        • I’d be curious to read objective summaries of “What is a Republican?” 20 and 30 years ago. Then compare that with whatever the hell they’ve coagulated into today.

        • Kevin K
        • RichardSRussell

          Also “I am not a racist.” And, in between, “I did not have sex with that woman.”

        • Pofarmer

          Remember way back in the last century when Republicans were all worried about Presidents and sex?

        • Kodie

          You’re just a scared and deeply insecure individual. Seek help.

        • OV
        • JP415

          Greetings comrade! Our Dear Leader Trumpovich thanks you.

        • TheMountainHumanist

          Does the KGB Trolling Division pay well? Good bennies?

      • Pofarmer

        It comes across as the ravings of an idiot anyway.

      • Greg G.

        I wouldn’t blame the Reply button for Bill’s posts looking like ravings. It’s the fault of the Post as button.

      • Joe

        “Otherwise”?

    • Michael Neville

      Yes, no, hell no, not really, nope. Care to guess again?

      • Pofarmer

        Hey I got to wondering some things. Got into a political discussion lately on some things Trumpian. Anyway, as our poster here, I get tarred as an unpatriotic Liberal. I consider myself probably much closer to classical Liberalism, except I realize that we need regulations on businesses to protect both our citizens and our environment. I think the govt needs to spend within it’s means, but am not an advocate for Ayn Randian type no govt. Etc, etc I don’t particularly care what anybody does in their bedrooms and am dubious at best on the “War on drugs” and the new “War on illegal Immigration.” In short, I don’t feel like I fall comfortably on any political table. I have decided I won’t vote for any R’s untill they get the religious whackadoodles off their ticket. Just wondering where you saw yourself.

        • Otto

          That whole ‘unpatriotic liberal’ bullshit gets old, I would fight for anyone’s individual rights and I have no idea what would be more patriotic than that. I know you didn’t ask me but I would mostly fall on the issues much as you do. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative to some extent (though if I am going to push for cuts in spending it probably isn’t going to start with social programs since there are other areas that need pulling back more). The war on drugs is a steaming pile though, drugs should not be a criminal issue, it is a health issue, and we aren’t doing ourselves any favors as the complete failure of drug war has shown. We lock up a higher percentage of our citizens than any other country (it’s not even close), much of that is the result of the drug war and that creates a vicious cycle. Land of the Free my ass.

        • Pofarmer

          Hey. Come one, come all. I know that Bob doesn’t typically do political discussion or political topics, and that an OT troll brought it up. But still, I do find it interesting. Admittedly, my political views have somewhat shifted since I succumbed to the dark pull of Atheism. Ie. I started reading and thinking more. Lol. Part of the problem is, at least in the U.S., our terms are all screwed up. Liberal and conservative aren’t really what they mean to the rest of the world. And “Republicans” in the U.S. certainly aren’t “conservative” fiscally with the budgets they push or the tax policies they are enacting. It’s not something I’ve thought about a ton. I think the State needs to provide infrastructure and watch out for the vulnerable. I think taxes are necessary to do that. I think the current “war on immigration” has gotten way out of hand, and I think it’s funny that so-called Capitalist conservatives are waging it since what it amounts to is really a re-allocation of labor and capital which is desirable in a capitalist system. I think we need to be more oriented towards results and less towards Dogma. If we did that, we would look to states like Colorado and cities like St. Louis and the abortion wars would go away. We could look to countries like Portugal and the war on drugs would likewise evaporate. It seems like so many of these things are just being propagated to divide us. Then the authoritarians and the true-believers get hold of it and run with it and you have a society that is fractured just everywhere and any actionable real solutions get squashed.

        • Politics seems to be at the root of the problem IMO. If politicians would stop inflaming citizens (who, admittedly, are to blame for being so simple minded and unskeptical), I wonder what society would look like.

        • Pofarmer

          You can’t hardly blame politicians for inflaming people. It’s how they get elected. Satisfied people are hard to control. Damn Eric Hoffer.

        • Otto

          >>>”Liberal and conservative aren’t really what they mean to the rest of the world. ”

          I could not up-vote that enough. My ‘liberal’ views on drugs were to a large extent informed by William F. Buckley Jr., not exactly a liberal. He would be shocked to see what American conservatism has turned into I think.

          More OT, if you want to see and interesting documentary look up the one on Gore Vidal vs William F. Buckley. They went after each other like cats and dogs in a series of debates and it is pure entertainment to see the story behind it.

        • Pofarmer

          It seems like to me that the Republicans in the U.S., which everyone brands as U.S. conservatism, have become basically unmoored from any real philosophical position or tradition. When the Evangelicals took them over in the ’80’s they became increasingly unglued. How can you be conservative free market capitalists championing protectionist policies and tariffs? How can those same folks so vociferously oppose free movement of people and labor? Then in the same breath, they want to reduce regulations on businesses to unlock our manufacturing potential. To whom? It’s all seems like an opportunistic mish mash that simply doesn’t work in reality. And in the meantime, it’s become an economic free for all for those who can curry favor or buy the right votes.

        • Defending the Constitution and its separation of church/state sounds pretty patriotic to me.

        • Neo

          “I would fight for anyone’s individual rights” – my questions to you Otto, would begin, “anyone’s” rights? and which “rights”? and how far would you go in the “fight”, to death?- and to do actually as you say, well, you infer that this is a patriotic act, may I add, loving and “good” act- the proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes, and well then, who do we know in history that actually has taken on that “fight”, let me give you a hint… not Superman.

        • Otto

          Well Neo, by fighting for other people’s rights I am in essence fighting for my own, so yeah depending on the nature of the situation I would be willing to go pretty far.

          Your not so subtle inference seems to be that Jesus went to some extreme in fighting for rights. Let me ask you…how? Did he eloquently write his thoughts down on the subject? Did he push for religious freedom of all stripes including those that contradicted his religious views? Did he push for egalitarianism even for those that did not share his lot in life or did he tell them to just accept it and they would get their ‘reward’ later? What exactly did Jesus do that should elevate him to that level?

          Jesus (as portrayed in the Bible) was ahead of his time a bit in some areas, I can’t say however it was as impressive as you seem to want to make it.

        • Jesus killed a fig tree. Does that count?

        • Otto

          I would list one of his greatest accomplishments as keeping the party going when all looked lost…I have a lot of respect for people who pull that rabbit out of their hat, it is like the guy in college who pulls out the unexpected keg at 2:00am.

        • Michael Neville

          who do we know in history that actually has taken on that “fight”

          Which Jesus are you talking about? The religious right’s Jesus is against rights, hates everyone except rich white males, and is neither loving nor “good”. That’s the Jesus we see most often portrayed by politicians in this country.

        • Neo

          “That’s the Jesus we see most often portrayed by politicians in this country.”

          I have found politicians have not even the slightest idea of defining the messiah – in your next election, vote for the candidate who supports separation of church and state…

        • Pofarmer

          Way to be a douche.

        • Neo

          Pofarmer, I notice your response to my comment of Nelson Mendella was provided by you to JP415 above, I did some quick internet research on your main man there, here’s what I found: “Nelson Mandela was apparently a man of great faith, who kept his Christian beliefs discreet in favour of his great life work of reconciliation.”
          hmm, kinda works against your point there, doesn’t it? also, another, interesting thing I found along the web was the Jerry Maguire, “these fish have manners” scene – check’m both out.

        • Pofarmer

          Meh.

        • Susan

          who do we know in history that actually has taken on that “fight”,

          Scads of humans. Soldiers, for starters who choose to fight when other humans attempt to enslave and slaughter them and the families and societies that they care about. .

          Northerners and southerners in the U.S. who risked their lives (and many who lost them) to make the rights granted to them to support the laws that were disregarded (through terroristic tactcs) and demand that they be upheld.

          Martin Luther King Jr. (among gazillions) expected to be murdered. It’s part of taking a stand on that level.

          A mother cat in a barn fire when her kittens lives are on the line.

          Ants when their colony is threatened.

          History is stuffed with examples of beings who will put their lives on the line for what matters to them.

          Then, there’s Prometheus, Coyote, White Buffalo Woman and countless other mythological beings who reflect that concept.

          So, what’s your point?

        • JP415

          Gandhi?

        • Pofarmer

          Nelson Mandella?

        • Kuno

          who do we know in history that actually has taken on that “fight”, let me give you a hint… not Superman.

          Google “Superman radio show KKK”. You might be surprised…

        • Neo

          Hey, thanks for that recommendation.

        • Susan

          I tried to answer your questions as best as I could.

          I’m worried that my use of “So what’s your point?” might have sounded sarcastic, when it wasn’t.

          I could have put it better.

          Still, I’d appreciate it if you explained what you were trying to get at.

        • Neo

          Susan, your clarification is much appreciated, and ironic, in a sense,you know, because it is sometimes so difficult to find the right words to say what we really mean especially with the topics on this site. I suppose, in one sense, I was expressing a frustration I have with the use of cliches and in another sense, the amazement (and gratitude) I have for those who have given their lives for a cause, not to be taken lightly, and the sadness I have that we live in a world where this type of heroic act is required.

        • Susan

          and the sadness I have that we live in a world where this type of heroic act is required

          It’s a mean, old world. This is a cruel planet. It always has been. Long before there were humans.

          It makes me sad, too..

          One of the things that disturbs me most about human-centred religious belief is the cold-blooded indifference to all the life forms who lived, suffered and died on this mean, old planet.

          That we are so quick to invent and worship gods who care about us, given the reality of natural selection, constantly reminds me what a small-minded and thoughtless species we can be.

        • Neo

          “One of the things that disturbs me most about human-centred religious belief is the cold-blooded indifference to all the life forms who lived, suffered and died on this mean, old planet.”

          I agree with you that it is disturbing the way some people have taken religions and have made them ego centric or as you say human centered – I believe that religions are an expression or reflection, if you will, of the deity which dwells within us, not an invention. Those people who tap into that exquisite dignity we all possess, are able to unlock Superman-like qualities, and it is those people who improve this “cruel planet”, as you have described it. I try on a daily basis to be one of those people. Do you?

        • Otto

          I answered your question honestly and straight forward. I then asked you a follow up question (as did Susan). Do you care to answer us or was your initial question more of the ‘drive by’ variety that maybe we should not have taken seriously?

        • Neo

          That’s a fair question, Otto, did not mean to do the “drive by”, um, yeah, I was referring to Jesus, but to be perfectly honest, I just didn’t have the time to respond in a thoughtful way to others here who commented – regarding your comment:

          “by fighting for other people’s rights I am in essence fighting for my own, so yeah depending on the nature of the situation I would be willing to go pretty far.”
          and some of Susan’s comments and the others, well, if we take the basic christian message, we are to be willing to die for our enemies – I’m sorry, but
          your “sticking up” for people with whom you agree, and “A mother cat in a barn fire when her kittens lives are on the line”, well, you all are missing the point big time, no?

        • Otto

          I agree the Christian message can be taken that way. It is one interpretation. Far more often I see the expectation of Christians that the people they disagree with are to be ostracized and marginalized in an effort to force conformity. There are a whole lot of Christians that do not respect the rights of others when it comes to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, gay rights, etc. Fighting for personal rights usually means fighting for people to be allowed to say and do things even when one does not agree with what is being said or done. I cannot say I see Christians as a whole at the forefront of those fights today, some do, but they seem to be the minority. Having said that I would not put Jesus at the forefront of that fight either…maybe that is part of the problem.

        • Neo

          “I agree the Christian message can be taken that way. It is one interpretation.

          This interpretation, also, is the extreme one –

          “Far more often I see the expectation of Christians that the people they disagree with are to be ostracized and marginalized in an effort to force conformity.”

          I admit, I have seen this myself, and find that even I sometimes I am tempted to act this way – but then I think, that wouldn’t be the christian thing to do, at that point, I choose a more loving tolerant way.

          “I cannot say I see Christians as a whole at the forefront of those fights today, some do, but they seem to be the minority. Having said that I would not put Jesus at the forefront of that fight either…maybe that is part of the problem.”

          I agree, but I would defend those Christians (and Jesus) by arguing that not all the behavior you have in mind deserves to be defended, and actually deserves to be condemned – perhaps what you call a problem, I call a spine.

        • Otto

          >>>”I agree, but I would defend those Christians (and Jesus) by arguing that not all the behavior you have in mind deserves to be defended”

          There is a difference between defending someone’s individual rights to say or do something and defending the what is said or done. Most Christian’s cannot differentiate the two, and apparently you and Jesus are not able to either.

        • Neo

          “There is a difference between defending someone’s individual rights to say or do something and defending the what is said or done.”

          Good distinction, well said, and, I agree, yes, the two are different categories and I would argue that one should not be surprised when treated differently – in the one instance, a person should be given the opportunity to make good choices – the other instance, judgement on the choice made…

          “Most Christian’s cannot differentiate the two, and apparently you and Jesus are not able to either.”

          Interesting that you have moved from the modifier “some” to the modifier “most” to describe how many Christians have fallen off the rails in treating people who they deem “sinful”. I believe that the problems with our modern society is that “not enough” Christians have been diligent in calling out “bad” behavior. Whatever.

        • Otto

          What is this bad behavior that Christians have been slow to call out? I am seriously curious on what you think this bad behavior is that is a stain on society.

          Remember, just because you are on a diet does not mean the person next door should not eat cake, or that you are somehow justified in telling them not to.

          Of course I don’t agree with choices many people make, but I try very hard to not think I have the right to control those choices or even comment on it if it does not affect me.

        • Neo

          “What is this bad behavior that Christians have been slow to call out? I am seriously curious on what you think this bad behavior is that is a stain on society.”

          …it’s like pornography… I know it when I see it….

        • Otto

          What’s wrong with pornography?

          So your basis for when Christians should be telling someone what they should and shouldn’t do is just a feeling in your gut? That sounds rather unreliable.

        • Neo

          “What’s wrong with pornography?”

          Plenty, and what’s more, by identifying it’s main evil characteristic, addiction, is not a gut instinct but can be scientifically proven and is a good way to spot the other really bad behavior in our society, that all people of good will, not only Christians, should try to eradicate from our society –

          It’s also a good indicator that a superhuman person, like God, exists. The nature of our universe is full of examples of one extreme condition being mirrored by an opposite and equal extreme condition. So, just as in our universe, there exists an abhorrent destructive and addictive entity, such as pornography, there should also exist a Superman. But the legend of Superman, never records that he claimed to be the son of God, who died and rose from the dead, to free us of our sins. But, the historical record of Jesus did. And, Jesus, therefore, represents the more accurate “opposite and equal” condition counteracting the evil conditions that act to enslave innocents. The atheist who denies there a super, good, freeing agent that exists, must also deny that evil does not exist in the world, which you are doing when you claim there is nothing wrong with pornography – I could have predicted that you would do that – and why the atheist brings up the notion of whether Superman existed. Well, to the claim of whether Superman existed, we say, “so what”, to the claim of whether Jesus existed, we say, “let’s investigate”.

        • Everything has its opposite? I think you need more evidence for this claim.

          the historical record of Jesus

          The “historical record” is quite weak. If you’re arguing that miracle-working Jesus was a historical figure, you need to provide evidence.

        • Otto

          People get addicted to all kinds of things Neo. And the studies on it show it is not any more of a problem than other behaviors that are less stigmatized. I am glad you have now elevated yourself to being of ‘good will’ and anyone opposed is not. I am sure it makes you feel very self righteous. Well done. I do suggest you actually look at the studies that have examined human sexual behavior worldwide, I think you will find it is not the cut and dry issue you think it is.

          Do you have any idea how many people actually use pornography? Let’s just say they comprise most of the people you come into contact with. It’s use is also statistically much higher in the more religious area’s of the country. Why isn’t Jesus freeing those people? They actually use pornography more! Any idea why we have that correlation?

          Jesus was not that good, if he was I would think you could have shown how he promoted individual rights, something you were not able to do. If you dare I think you should look at an academic book by a Biblical scholar from a mainstream University done on Jesus that takes a critical eye to his character.

          https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Jesus-Ethics-New-Testament/dp/1909697796

          Just so you know Neo I have been married for close to 25 years, I have never been unfaithful to my wife and she and I use pornography. I hope you feel good about thinking you have elevated yourself righteously and morally over us dirty atheists, to me you just come off as an arrogant jackass who literally has not looked at the data or the studies.

        • Neo

          Otto, I think you’ve been blessed to have a healthy wife. My wife has a debilitating disease that has gotten much worse over the last few months. Not sure what you want to call someone who is faithful to their wife, and diligent in my Catholic faith, but, that’s me, and yup, no pornography and no…, well, you do the math. And, I hate judging, so live and let live, and there but for the grace of God go I and all those other bomides, but I do what I do because I know I have so many other blessings to be thankful for, more than most, and that’s the reason for my attempts to keep my heart pure. Oh, and thank you for a brutally honest post.

        • Otto

          First I am truly sorry to hear that about your wife, that has to be very hard and heartbreaking. I know my wife and I will have to deal with that sooner or later and it certainly isn’t something I look forward to.

          >>>”so live and let live”

          And that is all I was trying to get at. Pornography or alcohol or other vices can certainly be used irresponsibly, but they don’t have to be. Sex is a part of human nature and I do bristle when it is painted as being inherently unhealthy or dirty except in very specific circumstances. You of course can define it any way you want for you, I have no problem if you say you don’t like pornography personally, to each their own.

          I have kids, I don’t tell them to not use drugs, or look at porn, I instead try and teach them personal responsibility both to themselves and to others. I mean if you think about it when a spouse cheats on their partner, it isn’t the sex that was the problem, it is the deceit. I wish honesty was the more the focus in relationships than trying to repress natural desires.

          I wish you the best for you and your wife, mine is my best friend and it sounds like yours is too.

        • “Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in Hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on Earth and you should save it for someone you love.”
          — Butch Hancock

        • Neo

          Thank you for your kind words, Otto. In my case, I kept the advice general, and I too, in raising my two children tried to teach by example. But, I told my son, whose 18 and was off to college this past fall, that I had only one crucial piece of advice to him – avoid anything or action that you believe will have a power over you that you can not control, that becomes like an addiction. It is those things that force you to do things or make decisions that may be harmful to you and the ones you love. And, I agree with you, the teaching by living part, I am sure, gave great emphasis to him, as I do not drink or swear, and I have never taken drugs and I am very faithful to my wife.. I guess the only thing close to an addiction I have, is posting on Patheos with you atheists!

        • Neo

          Plenty. It’s the addictive evil quality – no gut instinct is needed and that’s the “quality” to identify in all the bad behavior to be eradicated from society. good proof of the existence of a super good freeing agent… for every one type of extreme there exists an equal and opposite condition or person.

        • Otto

          Addictive evil quality? What quality is that? Apparently some gut instinct is required because you can’t even explain it short of just saying ‘it is’.

          I am sorry to say this Neo but you sound like a bit of a prude. You are of course welcome to think anything you want on the subject but you speak for yourself. There is nothing wrong with sex as long as it is consensual, adult activity. And no, that is not ‘proof of the existence of a super good freeing agent’. But yeah, for every person that has personal hang ups about sex, there are others on the continuum that don’t, as you say there are extremes.

        • Michael Neville

          I see large numbers of Christians who call out “bad” behavior on a regular basis. These Christians are pushing to have LGBTQIA people denied basic rights, glory when gays and transsexuals commit suicide, and generally make life miserable for everyone who isn’t a heterosexual white male. Do you think that anti-abortion people really want to save da babbies or want to punish women for having sex? More and more I’m seeing the latter, especially when the forced-birthers are also against the two things which have been shown to reduce abortion rates, sex education and easy access to contraception.

        • Neo

          “Do you think that anti-abortion people really want to save da babbies or want to punish women for having sex?”

          Thank you for this question, because on the surface, the answer seems obvious – it has forced me to stop and think (and that’s always a good thing), perhaps, it is as you say. Definitely a hot button for Catholics, and not sure you know this, but, many Catholics believe our whole society, in the United States, started it’s downhill slide, in terms of morality, with the Roe V. Wade decision. The sexual revolution of the 60’s is viewed as the root of many of our current problems. So, is there a side aspect of anger towards promiscuity in the pro-life fight, perhaps, with some, who knows? I hope not. I see it only as a fight to defend the vulnerable, those who can not defend themselves, at both ends of the age spectrum. I have a question for you – I heard recently that where you are, I believe it is the Netherlands, they have recently passed laws making euthanasia legal, True? If so, how do you feel about that? Thank you.

        • Michael Neville

          I live in Connecticut. It’s MNb who’s originally from the Netherlands but now lives in Surinam.

          Personally I think euthanasia, i.e., the painless killing of someone with an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma, is a good idea. If we put animals “to sleep” when they are incapable of enjoying life any more, then why should we treat humans any differently?

        • Michael Neville

          I see that I neglected to discuss the main thrust of your post.

          Many Catholics and even more evangelical Protestants think the country became “immoral” when the Pill and other effective forms of contraception became widely available. That, rather than Row v Wade was the cause of the 1960s sexual revolution. Among other things, it meant that women could have sex without fear of pregnancy. Quelle horreur ! Catholic bishops, who have never hidden their misogny, were outraged that women could have sex for pleasure. Evangelical men, who regard women as untermenschen, fit only to be housewives and mothers, were afraid some of their power might slip away if women became freer.

          Many conservative Christians are much more concerned with power than Jesus. Religion is a means of controlling people and anything that threatens their power is anathema to them. Sexual freedom is a hazard to that power.

        • Bill

          Otto = unpatriotic. Leave this country.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m an old-fashioned liberal. I see the government as a friend to the downtrodden, promoter of safety in products, a friend of the environment and a guarantor of civil rights. My grandfather told me about union struggles for things we take granted nowadays like workman’s comp, workplace safety, overtime pay, sick time, paid vacations and the like. I see these things easily evaporating in the present political climate. In my lifetime I’ve seen the gap between rich and poor widening, labor unions losing support, shrinkage of the middle class and the undermining the working class’ job security and standard of living. I’ve also seen the government taken over by people who hate it and want to render it useless.

        • I’ve heard the introduction of unleaded gasoline given as an example of how government imposition is sometimes the only way to get a job done. Market forces don’t take into account health impacts (tragedy of the commons), and leaded gas was cheaper.

        • Michael Neville

          The Cuyahoga River in Ohio was so polluted that it caught on fire several times. It wasn’t until the EPA was established and the Clean Water Act passed that the Cuyahoga was cleaned up. Now it even has fish living in it. Private industry was not going to clean up the Cuyahoga River, there was no profit in doing so.

        • Pofarmer

          I here these young guys who’ve been propagandized basically their whole lives saying “all govt is bad kill all the regulations”, and “Unions destroyed the country” and I just kind of shake my head. They never experienced Love Canal, or rivers on fire, or working 6 days a week sunup till sundown. They think that the disparity in incomes is a motivator to “work harder.” They’ve got an us vs them mentality on everything. It’s positively toxic.

        • This reminds me of a business case about Pampers (or some other diaper). P&G wanted to get in on the new disposable diaper market, but their initial product was crap (if you’ll excuse me). It was bad enough that they withdrew the product and then relaunched, with the same name. Normally that’s a problem–the bad PR from the brand will hurt the new product. But diapers are an unusual product–the customer base is churning. New moms come in, and no-more-babies moms move out.

          I see a parallel with politics. Talking points that would’ve fallen flat with people who know can now be used effectively with people who don’t know.

          Or with vaccinations. During diphtheria or polio or rubella outbreaks decades ago, who could’ve imagined that people would eventually say no to vaccines?

        • Pofarmer

          Thing is you can explain to people why certain laws wer enacted and they don’t care.

    • Joe

      There’s no such thing as a safe amount of crack to smoke.

    • Glad2BGodless

      “White male. Between 25-55 years of age.”

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      Impressive sleuthing, Kreskin. Does your autocorrect spit out these fortune cookies for you?

    • Lark62

      You might want to check out the definition of “patriotic”. For unpatriotic, start with the people

      -who colluded with our nation’s primary adversary to win an election,
      -who are ignoring that nation’s interference with our elections,
      -who ignored the hurricane devastation on a territory of the United States,
      -who regularly and repeatedly challenge and disrespect our core values, including freedom of the press and the independence of the judiciary.

      I prefer actual patriotism that defends our Constitution not posturing, noise and lies.

      For the record: no, no, no, yes and proud of it, no, no.

    • Kevin K
      • al kimeea

        Brilliant and stolen

    • RichardSRussell

      Speaking only for myself, I don’t feel abandoned by faith, but I sure as hell have abandoned it! What a monumental waste of brainpower!

    • axially/tilted

      The only things Trump can crack are Big Macs, toilet seats, and the occasional porn star.

    • Ian Morrison

      Poor little Bill. Did someone say something hurtful about the orangutan you voted for? And they insulted your imaginary friend too.

      You left out the most important characteristic.

      Our brains work. Unlike yours.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      If you think I want to cause people harm, actually hash it out with me how to help people. I watch and read enough that I don’t think liberal and conservative are all that helpful terms in communicating with each other.

    • TheMountainHumanist

      except for the leftist part..you just described Trump’s voter base.

  • Greg G.

    Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a lot like Jesus, too. The morality of a future time is based on their byline, “Be excellent to each other,” or something similar to “Love one another.”

    In the sequel, they go to hell and defeat the devil to come back to life.

    • RichardSRussell

      The screenwriters and director wanted to call it Bill and Ted Go to Hell, but the studio wouldn’t let them, so it ended up being Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Missed opportunity!

      • Greg G.

        I omitted that title because I couldn’t recall the last word. I knew it wasn’t “Adventure” but nothing else came to mind.

    • epicurus

      “Dust, Wind, Dude.”
      Classic

      • Ian Morrison

        Always loved So-crates’ response – “As the sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”

        • Greg G.

          Wasn’t that from Soapoperates?

        • I always thought that that was a really depressing opener for that show. But then again, I wasn’t the audience.

        • Kodie

          I love that show. I don’t know why you think that’s depressing. It’s reality. It might be the most real thing about that show! The show can be really fucked up, you would have loved that time Marlena was possessed by the devil (something like 30 years ago already, DOOL is over 50 years now). Right now, they’re having sort of a plot device where some evil doctor hired by the town villain created a drug that can bring people back to life (but committed suicide to prolong the plot at that time). You realize they have to do things like that so dead people can come back, because sometimes, you just need them back. It’s also pretty common to reprogram people with different memories, just like they are a computer. What’s kind of nice about the show is that many of the characters have suffered extremely traumatic lives, and extreme losses where buckets of their family members have been murdered, maybe more than once, by various serial killers and cruel villains of every sort, and manage to function normally, pretty soon after. Their lives and security are regularly threatened, and yet they are always surprised, shocked, and sadder than they have ever apparently been before when someone dies. Sometimes, people just leave town, sometimes for a while and come back (WHY????) and sometimes forever(ish), and yet, the people who stay are sentimentally attached to the town for some reason, while there is amazing fucktons of evidence that nobody fucks with you once you move on with your life. Occasionally, the characters do travel, and trouble follows them, but there’s only the people who died (but not really) who are tortured and imprisoned for years on end until they get to return, but the people who move away get the kind of relief of a normal, event-free life, safe to raise kids who don’t get diseases or get run over by drunk teens, in places where they can maintain careers without ever having amnesia or even affairs or paternity lies.

        • Greg G.

          I remember my grandmother watching that when I was very young.

        • No, not the show, just the opening. You’ve got an hourglass in black and white suggesting the finitude of life. Maybe if I watched the show I’d think better about the opening.

        • Kodie

          It has been in color for a very long time. The updated it sometime in the ’90s, like, digitally or something, but retaining the voice-over from Macdonald Carey (who played patriarch Tom Horton until his death, not looking it up). I never found it depressing. Life is finite. I thought this wasn’t news to you.

        • Bill

          Bob, this blog was a nice plagiarism from a post by another author 2 ears ago. Did you use references?

        • BlackMamba44

          My mom has been watching for as long as I can remember. Over 40 years now?

        • TheNuszAbides

          I was watching reruns in Australia 40 years ago during the “nothing else is on” time of day. actually DOOL never grabbed me, i was more of a TY&TR or TB&TB kid. for a few years, until my reading got more voracious.

        • BlackMamba44

          She stll watches TY&TH, too. I watched DOOL for a few years. The storylines dragged too much and I lost interest. I watched Guiding Light for a little while.

        • Greg G.

          I spent most of a summer in the hospital with a broken leg and got hooked on General Hospital when most of the stories lines were about Luke and Laura. I haven’t seen it in years. Are they still young?

    • TheMountainHumanist

      STATION!

  • skl

    Superman and Jesus… and Trump.

    “Rock stars” all.

    https://grabien.com/story.php?id=151281

  • Ian Morrison

    The clear and obvious difference between Superman and Jesus is that one of them is real …

    … and the other was supposedly a Jewish carpenter

  • Questioner

    Not knowing that God is an invented fictional character is like not knowing that superman is an invented fictional character.

  • Clinton Max Walker

    Superman is an allegory of Jewish people entering a 20th century capitalistic and democratic West. He was designed to assimilate them into and empower them find a place within American society.

  • Bill
    • Bill

      As you read the link above, this blog by Bob is nothing shy of a forgery. He clearly copies other people’s ideas and try’s to pass them as his own. We are researching all his works to see if this was an isolated incident or not. Shame.

      • Bill

        This is pretty blatant when you read both…..

      • No, what’s impressive is your mind reading ability. Plagiarism, is it?

        The evidence is right there in front of you. I noted that I first published this post on 6/11/14. The CBN article “Superman and Jesus: Superman’s Origin and Parallels to Jesus” appears to have been written in 2016. Next time, read more thoroughly before you click “Post.”

        I did use another’s work, that of Bob Price. All that is in the article as well.

        You still want to stand by the charge of plagiarism?

        • Greg G.

          How many convictions, guilty pleas, and indictments have there been in this case since the charges were first filed?

  • Matt Cavanaugh

    It’s interesting to note that over the past century or so, scholarly consensus on the TF has shifted from formerly considering it a complete interpolation out of whole cloth, to now accepting more or less of it as authentic. Doherty, however, has provided a careful and persuasive case for the TF as coming entirely from the pen of Eusebius.

  • TheMountainHumanist

    Biggest difference….in his last gospel…Jesus’ mustache did not get digitally removed (poorly).

  • Nick Giant

    I have 100 percent proof Marilyn Manson is the antichrist. In revelation 1:4 there are 7 letters to 7 churches. Philadelphia is one of three churches named, the original capital and start of the United States. This year Philly won their first super bowl in 2018. Philadelphia to Canton Ohio is exactly 333 miles as the crow flies. Canton is where the football Hall of Fame is and is also where Marilyn Manson the antichrist was born on January 5th 1969. Canton Ohio to Chicago is exactly 333 miles as the crow flies. Chicago is where Anton Lavey published the satanic Bible in the same year Marilyn Manson was born, 1969. That adds up to 666, this is the true root of the mark of the beast. I figured this out because of 20 years of research and God putting me through a gauntlet of religious happenings my entire life. The reason I figured out to break the mark of the beast in half is because the number 333 has been following me my entire life. 333 was even engraved on the ignition key of the last Motorcycle before I bought it. The number 888 has been following my entire life as well. If you cut an 8 in half you get a 3. So if you attached 333 to 333 you would get 888, the number code which represents Jesus. Manson and Anton Lavey became friends and they first met each other at Anton’s Laveys Black house which happened to be in San Francisco. San Francisco is where Anton Lavey founded the church of satan. Now this is how I think Jesus will return as Superman. Robert Stroud the birdman of Alcatraz is surprisingly one of God’s most special Angels. Robert published a book about birds in 1933 that had to be originally smuggled out of prison. After he died he was buried cross country in Metropolis Illinois, the only city that is named after superman’s hometown. Jerry Siegel of Cleveland Ohio who created Superman (another birdman) in 1933 died 33 years later on the birdman’s birthday, January 28 1996. Metropolis Illinois to Fort Wayne Indiana is exactly 333 where I wrote the book American Wonderland, a book that once and for all proves God and Jesus exists. This is my soul purpose on Earth is to prove God and Jesus are 100 percent real before the end and Jesus comes back. If you add up all three 333 mile lines it equals 999. There is only one picture in existence that shows both Anton Lavey and Marilyn Manson together and above them you can clearly see the number 999. There was an incident the day after Carmelo Anthony led the Syracuse Orangemen to their first NCAA championship over the Kansas Jayhawks in 2003 to win their first NCAA title. This day I almost drowned where the St. Mary’s meets the St. Joseph River to form the Miami River in Fort Wayne Indiana. This is the day I walked the yellow brick road in real life and ended up meeting OZ at St. I got out of the river bare foot and later that day my friend gave me a pair of reddish orange echo shoes, which is the same color as the Denver broncos. The shoes had the rhinoceros logo on the side of then and later when I met a man who said his name is OZ at St. Joseph hospital. OZ had the rhinoceros echo logo branded on his forearm, the same size and shape of the shoes I was given that day. Ever since then I have had one biblical happening after another. I haven’t aged since 2003 as well. If #23 Wayne Anthony would have not been injured for the Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas most likely would have won that Championship Game. Wayne Anthony had the most success after that game and later won a title in the NBA with the Miami heat, Wayne also founded a successful Christian foundation. Fort Wayne was founded by Mad Anthony Wayne, this is Wayne Anthony’s name backwards. Johnny Depp was one of God’s special Angels until he became best friends with Marilyn Manson, they even have matching tattoos. If you ever watch the old 1962 movie “the birdman of Alcatraz” the first bird Robert saves is a Sparrow he names Jack. In pirates of the Caribbean, john plays Captain Jack Sparrow. The reason I know so many things is because of all the things God has put me through, and when I wrote about them it all came together like one huge puzzle. This is all part of Gods awesome plan. God’s revelation story starts at Philly where they filmed Rocky to Alcatraz “The Rock”, which both stands for Peter the Rock, Jesus’s best friend. I was born January 27, 1980 and the birdman of Alcatraz was born on January 28, 1890. The first day of construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was started on January 5th 1933, Marilyn Manson’s birthday. This is where the end will start, he’s either going jump off or get baptized in the water underneath the bridge, his choice. Either way the wicked witch is getting wet. To Get to Alcatraz you have to take a ferry at Pier # 33. Notice how many times the number 33 keeps popping up just in this story. 33 is a code God keeps putting in front of us to remind us of Jesus. On January 5th 1982 there was a landslide in San Francisco that killed 33 people in which they also had to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge that day. That landslide occurred on the exact day of the 49th anniversary of the start of construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and is also the same day Marilyn Manson turned 13 the same exact day Marilyn Manson sold his soul to the devil. There is a reason Marilyn Manson turned 49 this year, and there is a reason he was born in Canton Ohio, the football hall of fame and there is a reason the Philadelphia Eagles won this year, and there is a reason The Golden state Warriors are going to win this year in Philadelphia. The Golden State Warriors were originally the Philadelphia Warriors and won their first championship in 1956 against the Ft. Wayne Pistons. God’s story spans from Rocky in Philadelphia to the Rock in Alcatraz and both Rocks stand for Peter “the Rock” Jesus’s best friend. There is a reason Batman is nicknamed the greatest detective of all time and Jesus is going to touchdown first in Metropolis Illinois when he gets here.