There’s No Angel In This Picture of the Aurora Victims’ Vigil

Quick: What do you see in this picture of the sky above the site for the Aurora tragedy victims’ vigil?

(Image by Crystal Fuller)

If you said “Clouds,” you would be correct.

If you said “An angel,” then, um, you would be Crystal Fuller:

Crystal Fuller took the photo after the vigil was finished Sunday night, but said she didn’t notice the image of the angel right away.

“I noticed it afterwards. I had it posted and said crazy cloud… one of my friends, Barbara Masias, said it’s an angel and I saw it!” said Fuller on the 7NEWS Facebook wall.

Alright, so Fuller is desperate to find any sort of sign of something positive in the wake of the disaster. I’m sure it comforts her. I’m not surprised that she would “see” something that’s not there. And it’s not “rude” or “dickish” to point out that there’s no angel in the clouds. It’s just a random formation of the clouds. What she’s experiencing is pareidolia in action.

(If she were right, I’m wondering what good it does for an angel to appear days after the shooting… Where was it when we needed it?)

Here’s the question I have: Even though we know she’s seeing things that aren’t there, given the situation, is it wrong to point that out? I don’t think you need to mock her, but we should be able to call for honesty to prevail in a time when people are prone to jump to faulty conclusions.

It’s tough to do. It’s a delicate balance. The other day, I criticized Tom Flynn for the way he called out President Obama for mentioning God in his speech on the day of the shootings — not because I disagreed with him, but because I thought he did it in an insensitive way. I didn’t think anyone else was listening to Obama’s speech thinking, “Yep, he didn’t give a shit about any atheist victims.”

In this case, it’s hard to point out the truth without it feeling like a personal attack on Fuller (or religious people in general).

Maybe that’s why the comment thread about this story on the news site is especially depressing. Anyone who dares to mention that there’s no angel in the picture, compassionately or not, is getting reamed out by all the other commenters for trying to act “superior” or being a “hater.”

I wonder if anyone can leave a comment explaining that it’s just a cloud without enraging the other commenters in the process.

(Thanks to Yuri for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Glasofruix

    I see stormclouds and rain.

  • dearestlouise

    *headdesk*

  • The Captain

    If she gets to say what she sees in the clouds, and angel. Then it is perfectly fine for me to say what I see int he clouds, a penis.

    • Spanish Inquisitor

      I saw the angel. It’s human nature under the influence of pareidolia to see an angel.

      Now that you mention it, it looks more like a giant dick than an angel.

      Which is appropriate for a god that allows something like this to happen – he’s a giant dick.

      • Sfugly

        Like I said on another thread, does a great football defense always stop the opponent from scoring? Does the pitcher always throw a perfect game?  The Captain and the Spanish Inquisitor must like that genetalia they speak of in that pie hole in their face!! No theist will ever say “God” is perfect 

        • Linda Turnipseed

           I’ve heard many theists (and preachers) say God is the only perfect being.

          • Sfugly

            I’ve also heard many parents say I have the perfect child or people say I have the perfect spouse.

        • matt

           Really?  Then the title of  “God” is quite undeserving.  Unless of course this was meant to be sarcasm…

        • Glasofruix

          “No theist will ever say “God” is perfect ”

          What? They just gloat about it every time they open their mouths. Also, there are talks about a plan, and mysterious ways meaning that whatever happens is really that prick’s in the sky fault.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

           Bullshit.  Not only have I heard Gawd referred to as perfect, but the same attribute is credited to his boy Jeebus all the time.

          And if he’s not perfect, then he doesn’t deserve to be a gawd,does he?

          Just Bring It.

          • Sfugly

            Now Glasofruix, Jay refuses to use proper grammer.

        • Isilzha

          Most theists, especially the xian ones, seem to think their god is perfect even though he’s a jealous, evil, immoral, genocidal, baby murdering, tyrant.

        • Gunstargreen

          Actually every theist I’ve ever known will say their god is perfect. It’s sort of the thing that comes with being an omnipotent and omniscient being.

        • Michael S

          You worship an imperfect being? What are the faults of your god?

    • BCP

      I agree, but what I see is a giant sky BJ. That’s obviously a penis and a face. I don’t see the form of an angel at all. 

      • M Cakovan

         Whew… I’m glad I’m not the only one to see the giant sky BJ.

      • Sfugly

        BCP and M Cakovan, refer to the above thread. For all your obvious shortcomings with those comments, the Almighty will forgive you.

        • Glasofruix

          You sure it’s ok for you to believe in Santa at your age?

          • Findog53

            Do you have children? If so will you take part in christmas activities with them? Activities that worship a deity will make you a hypocrite. Of course, if you tell them from the get go no higher power exists instead of letting them figure it out for themselves, you would just be the asshole you are.

        • The Other Weirdo

           Now you presume to speak for the Almighty? What gives you the right? What makes you so special?

      • Michael S

        I can’t un-see it, now!

        • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

          A nose and cheeks poking down through the cloudline.

      • Drakk

         Uhhh, how? I see what kinda looks like lips, and they’re either sucking a penis or smoking a cigar…but I don’t see enough to make out a whole face (nose, eyes, etc)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1220871538 Alan Eckert

     If you turn your head to the left, it looks like a gun.

  • Spanish Inquisitor

    What’s wrong with saying “it’s pareidolia – if you don’t know the definition of the word, look it up (or here’s a link)” and leave it at that?

  • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

    My favorite comment was “Maybe the angels were in the theater and that’s why the gun jammed!”

    Apparently the supernatural can’t stop deranged mass murderers, it can only slow them down.

    • Isilzha

      Of course, we’re unfeeling monsters if we point out that it’s a cloud, but it’s OK to  imply an angel let 12 people die and over 50 others get injured. 

      • Findog53

        Of course you are unfeeling monsters. Relaxed comments would stop giving theists a mob mentality about your faction.

  • Chris Pata

    If I think that the body of the “Angel” is a nose and it’s wings are eyebrows, I can actually see a Devil… If I we’re to expand this Devil’s features, I could make a pentagram…

  • noyourgod

    At the risk of being crude – I see a penis about to penetrate a vagina.   And as angelic a move as that may be…

    • Tainda

      “And as angelic a move as that may be…”

      That made me snort laugh

  • Ronlawhouston

    I guess my question is why anyone MUST point that out to her.  As delusions go that’s a pretty harmless one.  For me it’s a bit like passing a crazy homeless person, I just smile, nod, and move on down the street.

    • Randomfactor

      It’s not common for a “crazy homeless person” to have his delusions promulgated around as inspirational messages.  Unless they’re religious.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Perhaps because they’re using it as confirmation of their beliefs?

      • Kodie

        That’s something I thought too – people who can see something with their eyes, show you a picture of it, this is basically all they need to prove it to themselves or anyone else. It’s not just a feeling they put together, or a story they can tell but no one believes. I’ve seen a lot of contributions to the “debate” on whether god exists in the “yes” column from personal anecdotes and stuff that wasn’t recorded. Not very credible and they know it, but they still believe it, they just can’t bring the proof we’re asking of them. On UF, we had a guy that claimed a pickup truck levitated to avoid hitting abortion protesters, as normally when we try to persecute the menacing pro-lifers, we mow them down with heavy-duty vehicles instead of calling the police. It was totally “yeah, right.”

        This angel in the cloud is very hard to see, this is harder to see than any other grilled cheese, pancake, rust stain, tree bark, condiment lid, or dog butt where Jesus and/or Mary has previously showed up. What’s striking mostly is that when someone senses the merest indication of the shape of a face or person, it’s their holy person, not Billy Joel or Eddie Murphy or their Aunt Sue… and clouds are famous for looking like a lot of different stuff so much that people lie on the grass and point at clouds that look like stuff.

    • Isilzha

       Ultimately it’s NOT harmless.  It’s the same kind of delusion that had people seeing a cross in a structural support beam that ‘survived’ the destruction of the towers.  Never mind that all building are MADE from thousands of these things.  No, they saw at as some divine sign and started insisting that everyone pay respect to it and include it as a religious symbol in a public memorial. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503954172 Jeremy Mullins

    I like watching weather, and rather than seeing shapes, my brain identifies structures.  I don’t see anything but clouds and rain, though there are some interesting structures in it.

  • Robert Grimm

    I think I can see the angel, but only because I was told that people saw an angel. Depending on where I look, I see Godzilla or Rodan.

    • Tainda

      Maybe it’s actually Mothra

  • Diannaspeer

    I totally see the angel. I also have a beautiful photo of an angel in the spout of Old Faithful. Does this change my mind about the presence of a higher power?

    • Dianna Speer

      Oops posted too soon. No this doesn’t change my mind.

  • Maconnor34

    The left “wing” is just not there and the right wing is a bit faint.  I see a circumcised penis that bends upward a little, just like mine. 

    • Isilzha

       Thanks for sharing!

    • Sfugly

      Again like the thread above you probably like that genetalia in that pie hole in your face.

      • Glasofruix

        The little troll is growing into a full fledged fundie wacko, i’m so proud.

        • Isilzha

           It’s pretty obvious he wouldn’t be growing into anything else!

        • Findog53

          You have a penchant for making up words.

      • The Other Weirdo

         You seem obsessed with the movie American Pie. I suggest you give it up, it wasn’t that good a movie.

  • ThePowerIsOn

    Either way, even if it does look like an angel, it doesn’t really matter. I remember seeing shapes in clouds as a child. “That one looks like a rabbit!” I didn’t really think it WAS a rabbit…

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Heresy! It is well known that Jesus, Mary, and angels appear only in tortillas and grilled cheese sandwiches. Never clouds!

    • Sfugly

      Why can’t we just all get along and be tolerant of each others beliefs!!  It’s comments like this C Peterson and the 11 others who liked it that would get you all an ass whooping(this is not how I solve things) if you were to be anywhere near a bunch of theists!!

      • Randomfactor

        Theists being so respectful of atheists’ viewpoints and all.

        Free speech requires that she be allowed to say stupid things, not that we can’t laugh at them.

      • Sfugly

        One other thing, why don’t you agnostics take your feelings public instead of a non-theistic web site? It’s bullshit you people who comment on this site hide behind a site that you will hear only what you want to. I’m having a very enjoyably intellectual debate with an Atheist on fb where we are getting tolerable comments pro and con on both sides of the issue from the public following the debate.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          I take my beliefs public all the time. They’re no secret. And this is hardly the only forum I participate in. Of course, I don’t participate in any strongly theistic forums, because I would not be welcome… just like strong theists are not particularly welcome here!

          • Sfugly

            Thats why this country is going to the shitter. No tolerance. Oh you would be welcome on our sites. you just won’t hear what you want to as I won’t hear what I want to on this site.

            • Glasofruix

              As if somebody with an ounce of intelligence would like to join your little ass licking worship sessions you call “religious blogs”.

              • Sfugly

                Ass licking worship sessions? Again oh mature one, you are a Rhodes Scholar!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609238798 Peter Eakin

          As an atheist it is difficult for me to tolerate your beliefs because you make decisions based on those beliefs. In other words: Rick Santorum.

        • Tainda

          I used to participate in many religious chat rooms back in the day.  In most of them, any time I had a different opinion, I was kicked out.

          I’m a cuddly atheist (as long as your beliefs don’t hurt another or enter into our government, I’m ok with it) but the vicious hatred I have received for just not agreeing with people is what made me stop having debates of this nature.  Kind of like you saying we would get our asses kicked if we spoke our mind near a bunch of theists.

          Trust me, I live in bible thumping Missouri, I’m not afraid to speak my mind in front of ANYONE.  People who resort to violence are lost causes anyway and deserve the ignorance they live in.

          And I have said it before here, this kind of HATE is what makes non-theists like me turn into “militants”.

          • Findog53

            … and bomb the Twin Towers?

        • Isilzha

           Lots of us have come to realize that there’s no point in arguing with idiots like you.  It’s just a waste of time!

          Also, we’re not ‘hiding’ here and that has to be one of the stupidest comments you’ve made here.  Though you’ve made so many it’s really become difficult to rank them except in degrees of stupidity.

          You’re a troll and not a particularly good one at that.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            If the purpose is to get fed, then I’d have to disagree on the last.

            • Isilzha

              True, but this article seems to be drawing in a few non-regulars who want to make the “you’re all so mean for trying to destroy comforting delusions” argument that it seemed prudent to address some of the even more ridiculous ones that Sfugly keeps making.

            • Glasofruix

              Naw, he’s just another of the holier than thou flock whose purpose is to set us on the “right” tracks with threats of hellfire.

              • DeviousSoybeans

                And physical assault. Don’t forget the threats of physical assault. 

          • Findog53

            Then as sfugly suggested take it public or do you fear getting hit with a reality check?

        • amycas

           Why don’t atheist/agnostics/skeptics go public with their beliefs?

          “It’s comments like this C Peterson and the 11 others who liked it that
          would get you all an ass whooping(this is not how I solve things) if you
          were to be anywhere near a bunch of theists!!”

          I rest my case. When atheists/agnostics/skeptics are no longer ostracized or threatened by friends, family and strangers, then it will be safe to go public. By the way, Hemant Mehta (the main blogger of the Friendly Atheist) is public. He uses his real name, and people even know where he works. You can shut the fuck up now.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Been there.  It gets tiresome.  Probably 95% of arguments fall into:

            Psalm 14:1 (the fool hath said…) or some other bible verse

            Name calling

            Pascal’s wager

            God->morality

            genocidal atheist dictators (the smart ones at least leave out Hitler)

            The founding fathers really meant freedom OF not freedom FROM

            You’re a hypocrite for using money

            Atheism is a religion

            God of the gaps

            And… no, I think that about covers it.

          • Findog53

            Mr. Mehta does go public, he’s the only one on this site that has the testiclies to do so. 

        • Alconnolly

          It may be asking to much to request a logical train of thought but a few comments ago you complained atheist shove their views down your throat. Next you say why don’t you take your beliefs public not just on an atheist forum? Contradictory much?

          • phantomreader42

            Sfugly’s too stupid to remember which moronic talking points it’s already regurgitated for more than five seconds. And reading for comprehension is against its religion.

      • Glasofruix

        Yeah, i feel the christian “love” already… So how about YOU stop shoving your idiotic beliefs down to everyone’s throats, huh? Don’t misunderstand me, i’m totally fine about you believing in the flip flopped zombie as long as you do it in private and STFU about it.

        • Sfugly

          Where are we shoving it down your throats, explain? What is the big problem if you don’t believe. Why not ignore it? For your information Glasofruix the Supreme court has stopped theists from doing that remember?  For people who don’t believe you all talk a lot about it. We are the minority now. Non-theists shove there message down our throats on a daily basis and we still forgive and say thats great, we think you are nuts for not. Just by your comments i’m going to say you don’t have all your pubic hairs yet.

          • Barbara

            Theists in the minority? LOL, I wish! Don’t pull that “Oh, I’m a Christian and being persecuted” crap. Fruitless whining like that is not going to fly on this site.

            • Sfugly

              Where is the whining Barbara? It’s a fact. Theists can’t do a darn thing without you non-theists waiting for a courthouse to open and file a lawsuit because you are all so hurt and ostricized by a deity being mentioned at events, yet you all don’t believe in one.

              • phantomreader42

                So, the fact that your cult is no longer allowed to violate the law with total impunity is your idea of persecution? What a worthless, whiny, stupid coward you are!

          • Glasofruix

            “Where are we shoving it down your throats, explain?”

            Uhm, read on on the blog or elsewhere, there are plenty of stories of fundies trying to impose their beliefs to everyone. You’re either blind or blinded to not see such things.

            “Why not ignore it?”

            Stupid people make me sad. Seriously, in many places just to state that you’re an atheist will bring contempt and/or violence.

            “the Supreme court has stopped theists from doing that remember?”

            Yeah, which brings us to Rick Santfrothum, Romney & co.

            “We are the minority now.”

            And now you don’t just look like an idiot, you prove that you’re one.

            “Non-theists shove there message down our throats on a daily basis and we still forgive and say thats great”

            Uh, i’d very like to see that “forgiveness of yours, does it come in “you’re all going to hell” package?

            “we think you are nuts for not”

            And we think you’re nuts to believe in the nonsense written in your fairy tale books.

            “Just by your comments i’m going to say you don’t have all your pubic hairs yet”

            Oh a personnal attack, it just transpires maturity, knowledge and experience. Coming from someone who doesn’t know the difference between “their” and “there” while writing in his native language, i take that as a compliment.

            • Sfugly

              That’s all you’ve been doing from the get go dude. You sure as hell are a centerfold for planned parenthood “The Enigma” I’ll get back to you soon. I’d love to debate you in an open forum. STFU and I’m the immature one? More rebuttal soon. you want to go ignorant and arogant I can do that!

              • Glasofruix

                “you want to go ignorant and arogant I can do that!”

                You mean that you can get even more stupid? Wow… Your “debate” until now was:

                -name calling
                -i know what my skyfairy thinks
                -more name calling
                -childish and boring statements that even a 4 year old can dismiss

                I look forward to your return.

                • Sfugly

                  I’m back!!  Lets see I don’t look like an idiot I’ve proved I’m one, Sky fairy? More Stupid? Flipflopped Zombie? You sound like a Rhodes Scholar to me!! Need I say more?

                • Glasofruix

                  Still nothing smart to say eh?

                • Sfugly

                  Your doggedly and overly obtuse ramblings compel me to rethink my opposition to euthanasia!

                • phantomreader42

                   Tell the truth for once in your life.  You never had any opposition to euthanasia, you’ve just been waiting for the voices in your head to tell you it’s time for you to start slaughtering infidels.  You’re just another death cultist piece of shit.

                • Findog53

                  yet another nihilistic Rhodes Scholar.

                • phantomreader42

                   Yet another psychotic death cultist liar resorting to sockpuppetry when no one else on the planet is stupid enough to agree with its idiocy. 

          • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

            You are the minority? Maybe if you count global population, but here in the U.S. you are 76 fucking percent of the entire population!

            Don’t give us that “poor ol’ persecuted me” bullshit. It won’t work.

            • Sfugly

              You are correct 76%, yet we can’t have religious freedom because you all get on your wahmbulance and file lawsuits if we do. Furnish me with a copy of the constitution where the phrase “seperation of church and state” exists. You won’t find it anywhere. If you can then your arguments will have merit!! We have to many pussy judges who are afraid to lose their(did I spell it right Glasofruix?) jobs if they rule as they should.

              • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                “Religious freedom”. You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                You do not have the “freedom” to co-op the government or any publicly-owned and funded property and buildings for your own religious desires.

                You do not have the freedom to post prayers in public schools. You do not have the right to open public government meetings with religious prayers.

                Also, stop being so literal with the phrase “separation of church and state”. It’s been explained time and time again. The phrase “checks and balances” isn’t in the Constitution, yet the spirit of the phrase, the intent behind it, is clearly indicated.

                By preventing Congress, and by extension all government, from making any laws the respect any religious belief or practice, then we have established a wall of separation between church and state. Read any of the founding fathers’ writings, particularly Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists:

                Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

                It’s clear by this, and by many other writings, that there should be a separation between church and state in order for religion to remain a personal and free matter of conscience. And most of the higher courts agree with that interpretation, as it has been upheld time and time again that religion should not interfere with religion, and vice versa.

                Besides, isn’t secularism fair for all? You are free to pray to yourselves in public schools, even have after-school prayer meetings — the school simply cannot endorse it officially. You can believe what you want — you cannot co-opt the government to endorse your beliefs, thus lending appearance that we have an official state religion, which is expressly forbidden.

                You complain that we bring up lawsuits… yet time and time again our side wins them. Yeah, and it’s not because of some conspiracy on the part of judges.

                • Sfugly

                  Please finish that Thomas Jefferson letter. Google the real Thomas Jefferson Argument. If you read it all, you would have noticed the part where it says ” the only time government will intervene in the name of religion is when one is ill towards thy neighbor” and provided several examples of it. just like the leftist media printing only what you want people to believe.                                                              You all better pray Mr. Romney doesn’t get in, because he like the other 76% in the country believe just as the Supreme Court did in the Trinity Decision in 1892 declaring “We Are A Christian Nation”

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  Here is the full text of that letter: 
                  http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

                  Nowhere does it say what you claim it does.

                  Do you lie like this often? Or just when it comes to the false claim that we’re somehow a Christian nation?

                  Also, saying American is a Christian nation is like saying it’s a white nation, or a male nation. If you’re describing what a majority of the people are, then it’s useless. But if you’re describing the law, then we’re a secular nation.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  We’re a female nation by population.  Female planet even.

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  You’re right! Male privilege rears its ugly head once again. :(

                • Sfugly

                  google the real thomas jefferson argument and you will see that phrase.

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  This is the phrase you’re probably talking about:

                  “…that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.”

                  What about that lends credibility to the claim that we’re a Christian nation? All that’s saying is that if one person harms another, the government can step in. Nothing to do with religion.Again, please stop being completely dishonest in your attempts at arguments.

                • Findog53

                  Not at all the intent of our founding fathers. As sfugley has said google wall builders.com and search the real thomas jefferson argument. What will come up is the seperation of church and state. Read the whole article,and it will be plain as day the phrase and the intent.

                • Findog53

                  ….that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, &  not opinions. Is that not an oxymoron as far as your “spirit of the phrase” comment goes?

                • Findog53

                  Didn’t think you would reply to the above comment

          • phantomreader42

             Is sfugly functionally illiterate or just a lying sack of shit?  Obviously both. 

            • Sfugly

              Computer illiterate, sorry.

              • phantomreader42

                Yep, sfugly’s a brain-dead coward and a pathological liar. Standard for religious apologists, dumber than a rock andbreathtakingly arrogant.

                • Sfugly

                  Another nihilistic Rhodes Scholar!!

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  Well when you flat-out lie (like the text of the letter to the Danbury Baptists), then what else can we conclude?

                • phantomreader42

                   That sfugly is a pathological liar, an idiot, and a traitor. 

                • Findog53

                  I followed up on sfuglys’ comment and the article says exactly what he says it did.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  As usual Sfugly never posted a link to an article. And neither did you.  It’s easy to claim articles say things when you’re the only one reading them.  If you’re talking about Barton’s BS about Jefferson, I assume you’ve read the counter by Rodda?  I’d post a link, but since you guys seem to work by telepathy, I’m sure you don’t need me to.

      • Edmond

        If there are theists who prefer to “solve” things with ass whoopings, I say let them.  Then we’ll see whose beliefs need to be tolerated–those who talk things out with rational logic, or those who resort to violence to halt contrary opinions.

        • Sfugly

          Nothing rational about The Unfriendly Atheist website, just predetermined bias about anything theistic.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

         ” It’s comments like this C Peterson and the 11 others who liked it that
        would get you all an ass whooping(this is not how I solve things) if you
        were to be anywhere near a bunch of theists!!”

        Make that 12 others. Bring your “bunch of theists”. Just. Bring. It.

        “Why can’t we just all get along and be tolerant of each others beliefs!!”

        Because you stupid fuckers are trying to get your faerie tales melted in with my laws. unlike chocolate and peanut butter, they do not go together.

        Just bring the “ass whooping”. I haven’t had my exercise for today.

        • amycas

           I think it’s awesome that the original comment has over 40 likes now.

      • Spherical Basterd

        Why Sfugly! An ass whoopin’ you say? Why sir, I am your Huckleberry. I only come here to Fight, Fuck and Chew Bubblegum, and I’m fresh out of bubblegum.

        By the bye Sfugly, what’s with you and the pieholes. You got a cakehole and you’re just all prejudice against pieholes?

      • phantomreader42

        So, let me get this straight.   Pointing out that hallucinations are not real is intolerably rude and anyone who does it is a horrible person.  Threatening physical violence against atheists, on the other hand, is perfectly fine and not the least bit rude. 

        Sfugly, either you’re a sociopathic moron or you’re pretending to be one for your own sick amusement. 

        • Sfugly

          All you people do is mock religion, nothing at all rational as to why there is no higher power, just for your own sick amusement very childish and whiney sayings like ass licking flip flop zombie worshipping a penis in the clouds the nihilistic Rhodes Scholars you are.

          • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

            Next time, type out your insults with proper grammar and we might take you seriously. Might.

            • Sfugly

              I apologize Mr. Rich, I didn’t realise propper grammer impleyes weather or not I know what I’m talking about.

              • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                Proper grammar implies that  you’re just not trying hard enough. Therefore we don’t take your insults seriously. We wouldn’t even if they were written by Shakespeare himself.

            • Sfugly

              Sorree I forget to put lmfao with the comment belowe.

          • phantomreader42

            You have not offered anyone any reason to think this “higber power” is anything more than a figment of your diseased imagination. All you are capable of doing is babbling incoherent nonsense and making laughably stupid threats. Show us this “higer power” you speak of and MAYBE you’ll be worthy of a response other than ridicule and derision. Of course, you won’t even try, you’ll just whine like a spoiled child and fantasize about watching your imaginary friend burn me alive, because you’re just a sociopathic moron and you know you’re full of shit.

      • Charlie

        “Why can’t we just all get along and be tolerant of each others beliefs!!  
        Like the 911 hijackers?

        • Sfugly

          And we still allow them to practice their beliefs in this country, imagine that!!

      • Michael S

        The internet tough-guy routine doesn’t reflect well on anyone. Do your theist friends like being represented this way?

        • Sfugly

          Not a tough guy sir, just mocking theism the way you all do creates that mob mentality in some people on both sides of the fence. I’m sure you were all represented well by Jeffery Dahmer and the Aurora shooter, who doesn’t believe in a higher power.

  • TaniaNelson

    Actually, that’s not clouds, that’s rain.  The ‘angel’ she saw is actually rain falling from the clouds.

    • Katwise

      No, no! That’s not rain – it’s angels’ tears.

    • Isilzha

      Yep, and something commonly seen in the SW.

  • Justin Miyundees

    What’s far more comforting is rejecting the immorality of the bill of goods that is “the afterlife”.  

    It is the very concept of an afterlife that motivates most fundamental Islamic suicide bombers and, I’d wager, at least figures into a sociopath’s rationalization of mass killings like the Aurora shootings.  Perhaps, and this is ONLY speculation, a killer could justify his actions with the “they’re going to a better place” argument.  Far more is taken from a person when you regard this life as the one and only life.  

    Moreover, but for another thread, an afterlife cheapens the environment – the earth is just a cheap hotel room on your way to the deluxe accommodations of your final destiny (because everyone goes to heaven – it’s right there on the bill of sale).

  • SJH

    If it is just a cloud and she falsely thinks that it is more and gets comfort from that then what is wrong with that? How does it harm you? One thing I have learned in my relationships is that not everything has to be corrected. One of my kids has a tendency to correct the other quite often. He will often correct the other when it is completely unnecessary and the other one simply feels stupid. The fact is it would not have hurt my kid to be wrong so I tell my other one there is no need to correct. What is more important, that a person feel happy or that you are right?

    Also, many will be offended by your correction because they may be prone to overreacting. This overreaction may be brought on because to many of us are actually rude regarding our disagreement which is evidenced by many of the comments on this blog. Nothing polarizes a discussion like making fun of the situation and the individuals involved. I would suggest that if you do want others to take your corrections well then you can spend more effort in reaching out in a loving way to the other side and encourage others to do the same.

    • ThePowerIsOn

       too many*

    • Sfugly

      Well said!!

    • Isilzha

      So, we’re not suppose to comment on a news story because we just hurt someone’s feelings?  We’re not suppose to point out on a fracking NEWS article the truth, that it’s a CLOUD and to see anything else is just a common trick of the eyes and brain.  I find it utterly ridiculous to think that by pointing out the truth, disagreeing or even laughing at ridiculous beliefs is somehow so harmful to others that we must sit by in silence (lest we also be accused of ‘polarizing” a discussion).  What about the harm it ultimately does to us when we’ve been silent so long that we find ourselves living under a theocracy?

      If someone came up to you and told you all about the Invisible Pink Unicorn in the sky and had this elaborate mythology about it you’d likely laugh at the absurdity of it.  If that person persisted in that belief  you’d start to believe they were delusional or perhaps trying to start a new cult.  However, you wouldn’t think that their belief deserves serious consideration.

      No, I will NOT just sit by and worry over believer’s delicate feelings.  I’ll even be rude at times if necessary.  You can reach out in ‘loving ways’ all you want, but I think it’s absurd to try to tell the rest of us to do so.

      • Sfugly

        That’s why this country is going in the crapper, with thinking like this. Again can’t we all just get along and tolerate each others beliefs. There is a way Theists and Non-Theists can come together in times like this, Tolerance!! If we can’t come together in a tradgety like this to be able to reach out to others and give a shoulder or anything else to lean on there is something very wrong with this world regardless of our beliefs. Isilzha, the almighty will forgive you for your isensitive comment. 

        • Glasofruix

          Except that nonbelievers do not try to advertize their lack of belief in the wake of a tragedy as opposed to christians who can’t wait to see angels and jebuses on p&bj sanwiches. You want tolerance? Clean your side of the room first, then we’ll talk about it.

          • Sfugly

            Glasofruix, you must think ashphalt is a rectum problem. If our beliefs bother you so much ignore them!! if there is no higher power.

            • Glasofruix

              You’re so flamboyantly vocal it’s kind of difficult to ignore, you know? Also what’s with all those scatophiliac references you leave all around, there are other websites for that if you’re into that shit.

            • matt

              I must say i like the asphalt joke.  But anyway:

              I be more likely to just ignore them if they weren’t  intertwined in politics.  This results in having a possible effect on me or others who don’t believe in your particular religion.  Much more than my non-belief would have on you or anyone else.

              • Sfugly

                Thank you for a more relaxed response.

        • Isilzha

           Lol, I don’t need ‘forgiveness’ from an imaginary, ego-maniacal, genocidal, mass murdering tyrant!

          How come you theists always expect the non-theists just to shut up and smile why you guys spout nonsense and are really the ones sending this country into the crapper!

          • Findog53

            But, you do need forgiviness?

            • Isilzha

              What’s “forgiviness”? 

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                If a thief steals from someone, which would be the correct action?

                Apologize and attempt to compensate the victim, or ask God forgiveness?

                Atheists will without a doubt say the former.

                Theists may say ‘both’ but will claim that failing the latter is a ‘sin’.

                • Isilzha

                  Asking for forgiveness from an imaginary being is very, very easy.  However, when one human has done something to another there is often not a way to clearly ‘earn’ forgiveness.  In fact, it usually takes time and much heartache to rebuild trust once it’s been fractured. 

                  I can see the appeal that asking for forgiveness from a supernatural being has.  It’s EASY.  It’s SIMPLE.  And it’s absolutely ‘clear’ that all which needs to be done is chant a few magic words and POOF, it’s done. 

        • Pascale Laviolette

          Why must theists always try to bring in a wishy-washy supernatural element?  It’s cheap. It makes something universal (death, loss, love, tragedy) into something specific — specific to your God, to your belief.  There is enough to say about real things, real feelings, real people without invoking God and angels and all that stuff that doesn’t really MEAN anything.  It is not connected to reality.

          We’re all just humans, there’s no need to pretend to know shit you SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW.  Your “God” is simply a projection of your ideal father figure; a name you give your conscience to ease decision-making and fear of death.  It might feel nice, but you’re selling yourself short.  We can only have real dialogue when we start talking about stuff that is true for everyone; if the only back-up you have for an idea is “it’s in my holy book” – then it doesn’t carry any weight.

          • Glasofruix

            “Your “God” is simply a projection of your ideal father figure;”

            Xtians must be really fond of abusive parenting.

            • Isilzha

              That was my first thought.  The xian god is worse than the shooter in Aurora.  Why people want to worship a genocidal, jealous, immoral, baby murdering, being is beyond me.

              It scares me that people get their ‘morals’ from the bible too.  Have they not READ the crap that in there?

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          Tolerance does NOT mean “Shut up and let her babble on about crap she sees in her mind without daring to have a response of your own.” It means “Let her do so without infringing upon her rights by attempting to silence her.”

          Are we attempting to silence anybody? No. Therefore, we are tolerant. We are simply expressing our freedom of speech, same as she.

          • Sfugly

            Mocking and expressing are different sir.

        • JohnnieCanuck

          When you argue for tolerance, I only see that you want us to be quiet and stop rocking the boat. I don’t see anything to indicate that you are trying to get theists to stop discriminating against non-theists, at all.

          MLK had words to say to whites who claimed to be sympathetic but wanted his people to calm down and stop pressing so hard for change.

          You’ve got the majority in the US and you’ve got most of the power. Just about the only thing going for minorities is the Constitution and the Courts willing to enforce it.

          When non-theists prevent the majority theists from having their way, they complain that they are being persecuted because their right to discriminate is being taken away.

          Sorry, not going to shut up or shed any tears for your hurt feelings.

        • Kodie

          This country, if it’s going in the crapper, is because people like to hide their heads in the sand, pray to an imaginary god, and believe in fairy tales instead of reality. Tolerance for nonsense, tolerance in good times, tolerance in bad times, all you ever do is whine for tolerance. You don’t have any, you just want all of it. You have no evidence that it’s true, you know, the PC shoe is on the other foot. Christians are so sensitive when someone insults you, I don’t know why. So easily sensitive, afraid of alternate views, just so fragile and weak, you insult everyone’s intelligence, you are just a diarrhea of a human being, your shit ain’t solid.

          Your god hasn’t showed up to do anything! Is he in the shooter acting out a mysterious plan, or is he in the cloud looking like a penis-shaped angel? Is he for the survivors or the dead or both? How do numbers happen? Everything is so hard to deal with!!!! We have to shut up and pray and respect and tolerance and ur so angryyyyyy, u hafta troll atheist blogssssss nonsensically being such an asshole demanding that everyone stop saying anything you don’t approve of. Haven’t given a good reason yet, or shown anyone here any respect. Your excuse of a god dropped the ball, in your own metaphor, and we have to tolerate people who make shitty excuses for god, get meaning from god, and use god as a shield against rational thought or discussion. You’re so particular what time and in what way anyone can say or breathe any word against god. What are you afraid of standing too close when lightning strikes me? Ha ha ha hahahahahaha! Not when you could go to a movie and just get blazed down by a madman who doesn’t discriminate between god’s chosen or not chosen.

          You just shut that flap you call a lower jaw, you have no reason to be here, your efforts to condemn people for not respecting the dead have been lost. You are behaving like a fool, you are smearing your diarrhea thoughts all over this god and all the dead by being here worse than any atheist could ever try to do. You thought you were better than us, but your behavior suggests you have no method, such as prayer, to reflect on your actions and choose to be a better person. It’s my totally favorite thing for Christians to claim preference by their lord no matter what they do, while good people who aren’t believers don’t count. Fuck you, we all count. You’re the odd one here, you have added nothing to the discussion except entertainment. If this country is going in the crapper, it’s because frail religions are represented by drooling shitheads like you. The victims of the Aurora shooting aren’t counting on you to deliver them the respect they deserve.

          tl;dr – FAIL.

          • Findog53

            Again your faction was well represented by the non-theist who committed this pre-meditated act. How is your faction going to deliver the respect they deserve?

      • Findog53

        That’s why you are an asshole. Nobody is telling you to do anything. Your faction has a highly predetermined bias.

        • Isilzha

          WE have a bias??  Wow, from someone who believes crap from a book written in the bronze age and sees fake critters in clouds and believes they’re real, that’s fraking hilarious. 

          How fun that I’m starting to collect my own following of crazy, nutjobs on here.  Must be doing something right if I’ve rankled you THAT much.

          Also, there is no god (OR angels…but there ARE angles!).

    • ThePowerIsOn

      What you have just suggested, just like religion in general, weakens the mind. Why would it be more considerate of us to just let people be wrong? Of course making fun is not the answer, but that’s not what’s going on here. Allowing people to remain ignorant, even though you know better, is more cruel, in my opinion, than pointing out their ignorance.

    • Linda Turnipseed

       Because she will later tell someone that she ‘knows’ god is real because she has seen actual miracles, like angels watching over the mourners of the Colorado massacre.

    • matt

       Except…There really isn’t an angel there.  In fact a few different images came to my mind.

    • The Captain

      “What is more important, that a person feel happy or that you are right?” Why can a person not be happy when they are shown to be wrong? 

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        EXACTLY!  Discovering I’m wrong means I learn something!

      • SJH

         Because not everyone is as logical. Some people are more emotional and tend to take things personally. You can argue that they should not and perhaps that is true (maybe it isn’t) but it does not change the fact that they do take things personally and you telling them that they should not will not help them do so. Which comes back to the original question posted by Hemant.

        “I wonder if anyone can leave a comment explaining that it’s just a cloud without enraging the other commenters in the process.”

        • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

          Sure there are people who will not develop the intellectual rigor to enjoy learning. There are those that won’t be helped by correcting them. Correcting them will help others.

    • Edmond

      Today she’s sure she sees an angel in a cloud, and there’s no harm in that, so we let her.

      Tomorrow, she may say that she’s sure that god protects the faithful, and that’s a harmless position, so we don’t say anything.

      The next day, she may say that she’s certain that god visits his wrath upon those who are wicked and evil, and she certainly has freedom of religion to say that, so she isn’t stopped.

      After that, she may assert how convinced she is that “wicked” and “evil” refers directly to atheists, homosexuals, and Darwinists.  She has the right to believe this, so it too goes uncorrected.

      Next, she’ll be voting on these beliefs, and helping to set public policy, and to re-write public school curricula, and establishing laws which empower and embolden her even more.

      Because we let her.

      She certainly has her freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and has every right to say whatever she wants.  But, if we see something incorrect, we ought to consider ourselves very nearly DUTY-BOUND to correct it.  There are kind and respectful ways to say anything, but there isn’t anything respectful about letting false notions slide.

      • Isilzha

        While there’s a time and place for ‘kind and respectful’,  there is also the time to stop playing nice and sugar coating crap to protect someone’s fragile but distorted view of the world.  This is especially true when that distorted view harms other people and society as a whole.

      • SJH

         Aren’t you making a big leap. One could just as easily argue that believing in atheism will lead a person to become a moral relativist and then become so interested in an outcome that the ends justify the means and call for the slaughter of all those that disagree with a political movement such as communism under Stalin. Obviously this is a leap as well and something that does not generally happen. Just because you are an atheist does not mean you will slaughter the opposition. Just because you are religious does not mean that you will make the leap that you suggest. It is not about the religious belief system it is about how they use it. We need to give people some freedom to make mistakes as long as it does not harm themselves or others.

        • Edmond

          I’m making the leap because it’s necessary to be prepared for people like this.  The woman above may not be the one to reach these conclusions, but many people DO.  These were not abstract possibilities that I outlined, they really DO happen.

          I’m not suggesting that she (or others) shouldn’t have the freedom to say what she wants.  I think she should.  I agree that we must allow people the freedom to make mistakes.

          At the same time, WE ALSO have the freedom to speak BACK to her (or those like her), to give our opposing arguments.  WE ALSO should not have OUR freedoms taken away, just because what we say may upset them.  Certainly not just because we see something mundane when they see something supernatural.

          If they think that being an atheist can lead to slaughtering others, they’re welcome to say so.  I’ll discuss it and explain how that’s wrong.  I wouldn’t put the subject off limits, just because it isn’t “respectful”.

          If I can happily discuss why a lack of belief in gods doesn’t make me enjoy slaughtering people, then surely a theist can discuss how a cloud might be just a cloud.

        • Sfugly

          Well said.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      It harms society to have members that believe in angels.

    • phantomreader42

      One of your fellow death cultists in this very thread is advocating violence against atheists because we do not share your hallucinations.  Why is it that christians can’t bring themselves to object to terrorism, but they whine and scream like spoiled children if anyone so much as mentions that their delusions aren’t real?

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      If your child is constantly corrected by their sibling, they may have trouble developing habits to correct themselves. There is utility in restricting one from correcting the other unnecessarily.

      The angel-watchers from Facebook are in a completely different situation. They will not police their own delusions. They will not develop healthy emotional responses to death.  They or those they speak to will not stop at comforting themselves.

      Telling a fairy tale to make yourself feel better is irresponsible when others overhear.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I saw the same thing with online comments to the memorial crosses.  Anyone asking if any of the dead were Jewish were accused of whining.

    In January of this year a young boy about my son’s age died while playing in the park.  Part of the memorial included a balloon release.  On the FB page, someone very gently asked that in the future people not do balloon releases because they’re very environmentally unfriendly.  He got hammered.

    The group think that already exists goes into high gear around death.

    • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Conuly

       Who cares about all those dead birds, turtles, and whales? That little kid hated animals!

  • Jim Thomason

    Pssh. What a load of baloney. It’s clearly a blue whale.

    Look at it – He’s facing to the right. There’s a branch jutting into the right side of the photo, and above that is a sliver of blue sky. That parts his mouth. At the left most tip of the light blue, you can see a little ball. That’s his eye.

    His pinkish/purplish flipper is right above the building, to the immediate left of the red sign on the building’s upper right.

    All hail the cosmic space whale!

    • Sfugly

      The Almighty will forgive you too!! Jim for your insensitive and sarcastic tirade.   

      • Glasofruix

        Your allnotmighty let people die, i doub’t he’ll give a fuck over some internet comments…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

           Glasofruix  is full of Win.

          • Findog53

            Glasofruix is a dna defect.

        • Sfugly

          You are a very angry person Glasofruix. read my earlier threads. GBY!!

          • Glasofruix

            Oh the “you must be a very angry person” excuse now, it’s like a godwin point. Not to mention the final allcaps and 2 (two) exclamation marks. A bit cheap, but meh, i’ll still enjoy your tears regardless.

          • Isilzha

             And you’ve made some of the most inane, ridiculous, ignorant and outright stupid comments I’ve read on the internet in days.

            • Sfugly

              Again another nihilistic Rhodes Scholar.

              • Isilzha

                Better a scholar than an uneducated moron like you!  Also, there is no god.

          • amycas

             http://www.derailingfordummies.com/complete.html#notlistening

      • Jim Thomason

        The cosmic space whale forgives all!

      • Isilzha

         The almighty what?  penis?

    • Lee Miller

      No–it’s a shark AND a whale!  The shark has the branch thing for its mouth, and the whale is sticking it’s tail up in the air!  Miwacle!  It’s a Miwacle! OMGOMGOMGOMG

  • jose

    I see the tail of a whale. It’s like the whale is stuck into the building.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Benjamin-Hamilton/1169648654 Benjamin Hamilton

    It looked rather tornado-y.  It took awhile to see the “angel”.  

  • LesterBallard

    I simply don’t see it, and if someone asked me I did see it, I would tell me no. 

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Well, obviously, you don’t have faith.

      • LesterBallard

        Well, that’s true. But I often see the images in other things; toast, water stains, semen stains, Jesus in this dog’s ass; http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/heavenlycreatures/files/2011/11/jesusbuttdog.jpg. But I know it’s pareidolia.

        • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Conuly

           Wow, in this image that dog’s butt really DOES look like a person.

          • LesterBallard

            No, it looks like Jesus. Jesus is God.

            • Glasofruix

              Maybe Jebus really loked like a dog’s butt, or toast, or a potato chip… unfortunately we’ll never know.

  • Isilzha

    Seeing rain like this is very common out West.  I always think it’s cool to be standing dry in one location, but see that it’s raining in the distance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Chrystler/1797838676 Jesus Chrystler

    All I know is that the opening in the clouds looks a lot like North America.  Looks like the west coast and their liberalism is coming to save everyone!

  • CultOfReason

    I see the angel.

    I also see a very realist face with the angels left wing forming its nose, looking down at the building.

    In fact, I see whatever I want to see if I stare at it long enough.  I guess even atheists can have an imagination after all.

  • Alfredmcguffin

    Just to the right of the “angel’s” wings, I see the top of Jabba the Hutt’s head.

    What a bunch of Bantha Poodoo!

  • 7fta

    I see another batman supervillan, Penguin!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609238798 Peter Eakin

    One of the movie patrons, a non-victim, said that he believed Jesus was watching over him during the shooting. 

    Jesus playing favourites. Makes complete sense.

    • 7fta

      I wish just once that Jesus would show up early and prevent these dastardly events from happening.  He’d be everybody’s hero! 

      • CultOfReason

         He does it all the time.  In fact, he’s preventing me from getting shot up right now.  It’s just that these non-events don’t make the news ;-)

    • Isilzha

      Those type of comments make me ill!  I don’t understand how most people can’t see that it implies that he’s special and the other people somehow deserved to die.

  • Tia_Boo

    Yes, there is an angel, an white angel and there is the Silver Surfer in the negative space on the right side. Sorry, it’s an eagle… the american eagle, not the SS.

  • Barbara

    I see a dove getting hit by a missile. Big f’ing whoop.

  • CelticWhisper

    Looks more like a zombie with a conch shell on its back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=847160370 Paul ‘Jam’ Morris

    Looks like the tail of a whale to me, maybe it’s the spirit of the Great Fail Whale :-o

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Warner/620045191 Nick Warner

    Hemant, It’s a little disappointing how much you seem to be using this tragedy to score petty “religion is stupid” points.

    • Isilzha

      It’s horrible that you and many others are using this tragedy to try and promote your religious delusions.  Some of those religious people are so eager to do so that they erect religious symbols in the victim’s names without even bothering to find out if those symbols are something the victims and their families would WANT to represent them.  I find all those actions absolutely REPUGNANT.

      • Kodie

        Seconded. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Warner/620045191 Nick Warner

        I’m a proud atheist and am not trying to push any religious delusions. 

        When I see all these stories on FA about how some religious group is wrong for the way they are trying to deal with the tragedy or commemorate the dead, it all comes across as so very petty. People died. horribly. can we put our arguments aside for once and remember the bigger picture here? Having a “religion is stupid” fight over a tragedy like this is repugnant. Think about the families, memorialise the dead as you see fit, don’t resort to petty name calling. It’s ugly. We’re better than that.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

          I think the same people who are “dealing with this tragedy” would be furious if another group put up Islamic symbols on behalf of the deceased.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Warner/620045191 Nick Warner

            Then let them be the petty ones for making a fuss about it, let them look like the insensitive jerks they would be. I fear that’s how we come across with arguments like these. Instead of negatively pulling them down, we could be building ourselves up with thoughtful sincere eulogising and memorials.  

            • Kodie

              Maybe because we, or at least I, consider eulogizing and memorializing the dead to be empty gestures. Most people were not close to these victims or live in that town or in Colorado. We still have to be “sensitive” to other people’s beliefs as they process this via their faith. In my opinion, tolerating faith, especially in this circumstance, is counter-productive and somewhat selfish of them to control the rights to this tragic event. It helps them, it comforts them, and how does this help the dead or their families? You pray for them? You build crosses for them, maybe make a casserole for them? You hug your family and friends a little tighter and life goes on.

              The faithful are the first to go, but the guy is evil. He should have been killed, he deserves to rot in jail for being evil. I’m not sympathizing with him particularly, but in the interest of preserving the memory of the dead, I would like for people to not be so ignorant about mental illness. Sweep it under the carpet until it happens again and again and again. There’s a focus on ONE day, ONE event, ONE shooter, isolated situation that arose from what. Evil? One horrible guy and we can lock him up and he’ll get punished and never do it again. I fail to see the sincere memorializing the victims or their families in putting the religious blinders on if how we react fails to prevent future tragedies, stigmatizes people with a real illness, and allows those people to simmer up all their plots until their opportunity strikes, rather than guide them to help. It’s just saying we love when these things happen, and we have no choice but to let fate play out so we can cry together, because that’s where we feel closest to god and learn what’s really important. 

              I’m against that crap, and religion seems to relish it.

        • Isilzha

          It’s more ugly for someone to put up a ‘memorial’ of crosses to the victims and then get in a snit when others point out that the victims and their families may find it offensive to be represented by a cross.  So, some of us ARE thinking about the families.  If I was a victim of a tragedy like this and someone put up a cross to represent me I know my husband would be outraged at that action because he knows I find a cross to be a NASTY symbol of a NASTY religion.  Why should strangers be able to do that to him in the name of THEIR religion??  Religious people need to be told that what they are doing in the name the victims and the tragedy is NOT ok with everyone.  WE need to point out that their religious privilege can be hurtful to some people and no one should be presuming to speak for the victims and their families!

          What’s even more ugly is the fact that religious people seem to think they have the only voices that are allowed to be heard. 

          There is no “religion is stupid” fight going on here.  There are many of us pointing out that many of the things done in the name of religion are FAR from benign and often harmful and dangerous.

        • Kodie

          I think remembering the dead this way is counterproductive to honoring them and how horribly they died. Religious beliefs may be comforting but they’re not real and not a step toward the direction of preventing it from happening again. It’s all a big show for “god” and for other people that we’re caring individuals, we care, we stop, we mourn, and then we just get back to our own fucking narrow-minded lives, satisfied that they’re remembered with dignity, but for show. It’s hypocritical nonsense, and prevents acutely examining the ways we can prevent it from happening to someone else. We can’t change that it happened, but we tend to feel pretty happy with ourselves, thankful it didn’t happen to us, all those warm fuzzy feelings we have to protect. What about real lives? Can we protect real lives, if we just go through the ritual motions? Religious belief tends to stifle productive action, and we’re just sad when it happens and happy again until it happens again, and we get sad.

          It’s heinous that there’s “one” way to memorialize a tragedy that happens to be religious, and critically analyzing it in a forum removed from the incident, we have to hold hands and light candles and not ruffle any feathers, as a sign of decency and respect.

          Chris Cuomo on The View yesterday speaking on this tragedy. “We keep coming into these new tragedies, and we have the same conversation, but nothing changes.”

  • Cutestoutcast13

    Honestly, you prbly just don’t have an imagination and therefore not only did hour childhood suck, your adult life sucks as well. Crystal Fuller is one of my closet friends, when she posted this picture I was the first one to notice anything. I personally do not see an Angel. What I do see it what appears to be a man’s face looking down. Regardless what you believe, she believes, or what anyone believes there are angels watching over and helping the victim’s family and friends get through such a rough time in the latest tragedy. I don’t think it is fair to put anyone on blast for having seen what they consider an angel, a face, or whatever it may be. That’s just my opinion and since you’re so openly expressing yours, I figured I would as well!
    My thoughts and prayers are w all who have suffered through this, I couldn’t imagine dealing w such loses. Keep the faith!

    • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Conuly

       “It doesn’t matter that you don’t believe in things that lack evidence, there are still angels out there watching over us and helping us in some non-tangible way that can’t be verified.”

      • Isilzha

         and definitely not doing a very good job at it!

    • Isilzha

      I don’t understand how you can see an angel and find that comforting in any respect.  I’d be angry to think such a being was making an appearance now after so many people lost their lives and others face life changing injuries.  What if that angel is there mocking you, laughing at the tragedy.  Why would you think that it’s a good thing to see an angel after the horror in Aurora? 

      • amycas

         It’s a kind of weird “angel worship.” Angels are merely messengers in the Bible, but for some reason a lot of modern Christianity has a ton of mythology based on angels (as guardians and the like). Just look at the success of Precious Moments.

      • Sfugly

        Aren’t you understanding anything? you idiot.

        • Isilzha

          What is wrong with you, moron?

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      Angels are watching over the victims’ families? Were they watching over the victims? What do these angels do when they see a crazy murderer with a gun close in to kill them? Skywrite a warning?

      • Drakk

         Start a betting pool. Angels are assholes.

  • RealDenverGuy

    Wow people, she took a picture on a cell phone and it made headlines… I happen to know Crystal, and she didn’t ask for all of the attention brought on by the media. Anyone can look at the picture, and form an opinion. Whether you be a believer or not, you have the right to believe how you may, and see what you see in the photo. The fact is that I am a Denver, Colorado native, and dozens of people were injured with 12 dead. You all focus on the “arguement”, and forget about what is truely important. Of course people (Believers & Non-Believers) would like to find a positive moment in all of the chaos that happened. So let it be just that, and stop the bs arguements. I’m curious if any of you even remember how this conversation started…

    • Isilzha

      So, what’s really important here?  That we let a bunch of people have their silly delusion that they see stuff in clouds that isn’t there?  That we don’t speak up and say, “No, it’s just a cloud and not a particularly remarkable one at that.”  Because saying that is somehow harmful or mean in what way exactly?

      I think it’s more harmful to say silent on these matters ESPECIALLY in times of tragedy.  It’s very easy for ‘angel clouds’ to become steel crosses that others want to put up as homage to their religious beliefs in a public monument to a different tragedy.  Never mind that every building in the world is composed of structural supports that LOOK like crosses.  Never mind that the human brain is primed to see patterns in everything, even clouds.  Never MIND the truth, because that just may upset someone’s fragile false view of the world.

      Never mind that for many people the truth is more comforting.  Seriously, how is it comforting to see an angel in the clouds and think that it didn’t prevent the events in Aurora.  OK, if you’re seeing an angel and really believe that then I want you to
      consider the possibility that it’s come to GLOAT over the events in
      Aurora.  Obviously it didn’t do anything to prevent the tragedy
      beforehand, so why is it here now?

    • Kodie

      While I do understand people feel better when trying to make sense of such a tragedy, I also think that a fair amount of this fantasy world contributes to the ignorance of what causes people to enact such tragedies. I understand a lot of people want to elevate the victims and not give the shooter the attention that he craves, just shut him in a box and call him evil, and never really confront it. Meanwhile, angels, god, miracles, blah blah blah. What is really important here? To glorify that this happened at all? Because that’s not how you go about preventing it from happening again.

      Yes, they deserve to be grieved over, it’s what we do in the aftermath. I’m not trying to take away anyone’s comfort, but what is really important here? That this was inevitable? In a society where people defend their right to be childish and ignore reality, where it’s more important to believe a cloud is an angel – whatever the fuck that even means or why it’s supposed to be good – than to provide the channels of support against this ever happening again… no, what’s really important is that this didn’t have to happen, it did, and we have a chance to learn something new, to grow, and to shape the future, but we’d rather persist in the belief that a cloud is an angel. No, I’m sorry, that’s not what’s important here, for the victims of this horrific tragedy. I think they’d all rather it hadn’t happened, if they could “rather” anything. They would not “rather” we all cling to this illusion out of respect for them.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      What if I say I know a magical spell that protects from bullets. I might open a magical shield store in Denver tomorrow.

      Would you be comfortable with a scam like that in your city?

      I’m not saying the photographer is a scam artist. Whether she wants to or not, though, she’s working for some.

  • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Conuly

    Looks more like a deformed peacock to me.

    I once saw a skull in the clouds. And it was pretty unambiguous, too. Nothing untoward happened to me, though, or anybody I know. I’m sure somebody somewhere died, but they probably didn’t see the skull like I did. *shrug*

  • Kodie

    I guess I see it, but I don’t really? What I see looks just like a real-life visual of that windy cloud graphic they sometimes put on the news, you know, the cloud with a face (eyebrows?) and a mouth that blows wind that’s curly. I don’t see the face here, that’s just a cartoon to make the weather look like a cast of characters. http://sfaulhafer.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/wind202.gif

  • CoboWowbo

    This reminds me of 9/11 … Fundies claim they saw the devil’s face in the smoke of one of the towers. 

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    I certainly construct my comments based on the time, place, and forum. How I respond to something like this depends on whether I’m on an atheist forum, the mainstream media comment section, or standing in front of the photographer.

    In a forum like this, it is absolutely proper to point out that anybody who believes there’s an angel in the picture (or angels at all) is batshit crazy. I have no problem with mocking. A person who believes in cloud angels isn’t likely to be present here, and if she is, she should be prepared for whatever people say.

    In the TV station comments, I’d just describe the phenomenon of pareidolia and suggest that the image is best interpreted in light of how the imagination works.

    To the imager directly, I’d say that all too often we see what we want to see, and that as somebody who doesn’t believe in angels, I don’t see one there.

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with pointing out that there is no angel in the image, regardless of the forum.

  • m6wg4bxw

    My mother is a hardcore pareidoliac, and moderately nutty Christian. 
    For fun, I showed this to her. I told her some people were seeing something in the clouds, but didn’t say what. She saw (in this order): a cross, the face of Jesus, Mary, an anchor.

    Then I told her that the big deal was that people were seeing an angel. She said, “Yeah, I can see that, but Jesus is plain as day.” Then I said that I saw the face of Dr. Robotnik. After showing her what he looks like, she was able to see that too.

  • Trackermom

    I saw the angel.  I also am awesome at the I Spy Books and Where is Waldo. 

  • Kodie

    When I was a kid, we saw as a family (a secular family), an “apparition” on the storm door one Christmas morning. Someone had opened the back door to see an imprint on the storm door made of frost, because IIRC, Christmas had fallen on a Sunday that year and we got the paper delivered. It had a shape as tall as a person, formless as a robe, and had a head with a halo around it. Looked like it could have been Mary, but it was because of the wreath on the door. Condensation – look it up! It happened to be there nearly every day while the wreath was up (being Christmastime and winter temperatures), and probably distorted and disappeared as the sun came up by the time we left for school, for example, it was just because it was Christmas we’re up so early, and Sunday that the paper was delivered that anyone opened the door.

     

  • John Heylin

    So if it was an angel would this be god sending someone in his place to kind of say “Whoops, my bad. Wasn’t paying attention that day.” Oh, and his emissary had to only appear in a photo, not to anything else.

  • Revyloution

    Looks like a female dark elf from World of Warcraft to me.

  • Good and Godless

    Tyrannosaurus Rex, A Chicken Attacking Santa (or someone carrying a sack) above giant magnet,  Tiny Surfer on Big Wave, Koala on Branch, Alligator with Porpoise (not Dolphin) on snout, Small Headed Boxer, Horse (with shadow)… no sign of any angels.

  • Michael S

    Ask them why they think an angel would show up in the first place.

    Is it supposed to mean, “I’m an angel showing up to wink at you so you know you were right all along?” The omnipotent god has to be a total ninja, but can’t control his own flunkies?
    I imagine it’s the cleanup crew. A cosmic analogue to Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction. God’s hands-on policies with reality must have fucked up big time, so a magical intervention in the atmosphere is needed to calm the sheep.

  • Michael S

    It’s obviously a Muslim angel.

    • Findog53

      And that would be ok!

  • snoozn

    Hmm, I don’t really get the anger over this one. I do get the anger over all the idiots who are blaming atheists or lack of faith or whatever for causing the shooting. But the woman in the article didn’t even say anything about how “this is a sign that Jesus is watching us!” She just said that her friend pointed out the angel in the clouds and then she saw it too. I also see it. I’ve seen all kinds of things in clouds — it’s not a hallucination, it’s the tendency of the human brain to try to make things into patterns. Would the folks here be getting all bent out of shape if someone saw a cloud shaped like a whale over Seaworld? 

    I did not read any of the comments on the article, so I guess maybe that’s what people are angry over. I can certainly imagine there are lots of silly references to it being a sign or a real angel or whatever. But I don’t think it’s fair to say ” Fuller is desperate to find any sort of sign of something positive in the wake of the disaster. I’m sure it comforts her.”

    Didn’t anyone else here ever ever lie on the grass and point out all the cool stuff in the clouds?

  • http://twitter.com/arensb arensb

    Quick: What do you see in this picture of the sky above the site for the Aurora tragedy victims’ vigil?

    I see Swamp Thing.

  • m1n4

    Was it only me who saw a sunset instead of clouds?
    I mean, there are clouds but they look purple-ish which makes me see a nice sunset…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPVVPRJ7QKLPU6TF5B4IZTENTI No

    Ugh. I got this very thing on one of my facebook updates from a family member today. Between this and the woman saved from Holmes’ buckshot due to a cranial defect, I’ve heard for too much “it’s a miracle!!!!11!!1!!!” over the last week. Maybe I’m missing it, but everyone seems to be spending all their time looking for miracles in a stark tragedy, rather than bothering to think about how we might end this American form of terrorism in our public places and business spaces.

  • Claud

    It is truly an Angel. An angel appeared im the clouds almost the same way during burial of my 14 yr old cousin.
    For thought…if you don’t believe that God exists and one day life passes, only to come face to face with the Father, Jesus and the Angels above…then what? Would it be too late to say you believe or have faith?


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