Countering Street Preachers with the Gospel of Bill and Ted

For the past year, street preachers in Penn Square (Pennsylvania) have made lunch a little less pleasant. They have a right to be there, but it doesn’t mean they’re not annoying.

So Jim Patterson, Ryan Meehan, and Brendan Krick decided to preach alongside them… from the gospel of Bill and Ted:

Meehan and Krick host a comedy open mic night once a week, so check it out if you’re in the area!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley
    • Michael Williams

      Most excellent. No matter what, if it gets released, my butt will be in a seat! :-)

  • http://twitter.com/jimpattersonha Jim Patterson

    Thanks for the posting on this, Friendly Atheist! We had a lot of fun doing it.

  • r.holmgren

    except that be excellent toward each other is taken directly from Jesus – so – thanks?

    • David S.

      Really? The Golden Rule is not something that Jesus came up with; it goes back at least to Leviticus 19:18 in the Judeo-Christian tradition and rabbis in Jesus’s time were in active discussion of it. Laozi and Confucius mention forms of it. Moreover, Bill and Ted are stronger then Jesus; not “do unto others what you would like done unto you” but “do unto others what would be excellent”. Less self-centered, more concerned about what would be excellent rather then temporarily desired.

      • tinker

        Exactly, Xtians don’t seem to get that the golden rule is flawed, for example:

        If it doesn’t bother me that my music is too loud then it shouldn’t bother you either. If I run my motorcycle at 2 in the morning no big deal because I don’t mind it. I can run my high beams on all night because it doesn’t bother me when others do.

        I always say, don’t be a dick to each other. But Bill and Ted are more mature than I ;)

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Also, the Leviticus verse is in the context of your duty to your neighbours. Specifically, those in your village. That meant no conflict with the various genocides the Israelites were commanded to perform by that blood thirsty Jahweh.

      • David S.

        By the time of Jesus, a lot of rabbis had extended it to universality. There may not have been love between the Jews and the Samaritans, but many Jews at least in theory considered them their responsibility to love. He may have been a radical hippie, but his ideas didn’t come out of nowhere.

    • SeekerLancer

      So then practice what you preach instead of inciting Internet arguments.

    • KaeylynHunt

      Um,NO actually,Confucius was the first one to postulate THAT idea,several hundred years before JC,daddy&The Spook got around to plagiarizing it&few other thousand things.

  • Randay

    “Do unto others…” and “Be excellent to each other” are bad generalized immoral statements. Would you propose that to the Wall Street Brokers, the Bankers, the Republicans in Congress? It doesn’t serve any purpose or morality to be nice to them and give them that out They are more criminal than most of the people in jail. Do unto others what they deserve, Be excellent to those that deserve it.

    • KeithCollyer

      Being excellent has to be taken in context. Sometimes being excellent to someone might mean removing them from a position where they can hurt others. Maybe to jail. I’d go along with that for the bankers that caused the crisis

      • CottonBlimp

        It has to be taken in so much context that the statement itself is meaningless.

        Of course, that’s its appeal. If it was an actual, meaningful statement, then more people would disagree. The fact that it means nothing allows people to adopt it and make up how it justifies all the decisions they’ve already made.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

          A few thoughts. One, I imagine the writers meant the “Be Excellent” line to be a parody of the Golden Rule. According to BillAndTed.org, the “saving the future” aspect of the movie was a last-minute addition before filming; and I realize this is completely irrelevant to the question, although the premise of the film is that the fate of the world depends on two idiots passing a high school history course.

          Two: I rather think the notion of how such rules work is one of harnessing social forces–a better world through ostracism. I’m not saying it’s effective, just how I suspect it would work if it were effective.

          Three: I feel the same way about such abstract notions as liberty, fairness, good, evil, patriotism–you get the point. Unless one offers up specifics illustrating how these ideas are to be applied, a person can get away with meaning all sorts of different things with these words.

          • CottonBlimp

            Actually, I was talking about Jesus more than Bill & Ted.

  • http://twitter.com/jimpattersonha Jim Patterson

    I appreciate the deep thinking behind the Bill and Ted philosophies but I think some people are missing that we mostly did this just to mess with some street preachers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dharmalogos Aaron Wooldridge

    All we are is dust in the wind, dude.


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