Citation Needed on this Church Sign

There must be a rule about writing those illuminated messages for churches that no one can ever fact-check them or suggest that the messaging makes no sense.

This is the sign one reader spotted over the weekend outside Hawkwood Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta:

Really? “Mass murder is never of God”? Never?!

Well, what about all those times God committed (or allowed) genocide in the Bible?

What about all those people who have killed many, many others in the name of their God? Did 9/11 never happen? Witch hunts? Crusades?

The Religion of Peace and the faith that includes the Ten Commandments have followers who do plenty of awful things in the name of God… but I guess none of them are True BelieversTM.

(Thanks to Hayley 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.

  • TnkAgn


  • Travis Myers

    The sign is correct. Nothing is of God.

  • Robert Burns

    Sooo, how about that whole flood thing and that guy Noah?

  • dwolfcoach

    Yeah, the Bethshemites would vouch for that. 1 guy looks into the Ark of the Covenant and he and 50,073 had to die for it. WTF??

  • Jim Charlotte

    The theologian (such as William Lane Craig) would argue that if God says it is okay, then it isn’t murder. The rebuttal to that is made nicely by Godless In Dixie;

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor


  • Stephen DuMont

    No true Scotssman fallicy.

  • JMM

    Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

  • Mottfolly

    No, no, ya’ll have it wrong. God is a community of all those bitchy gods who have been our history. Zeus was my fave, stand on a mountain and throw lightning, boy do I miss him today, I would have so many targets, they must have him locked up. What they are saying is that we will never mass murder all of those gods.

  • rhodent

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I would parse the phrase “mass murder of God” to mean God was the victim of mass murder. So to say “Mass murder is never of God” means “God is never the victim of mass murder”. All things considered, I agree with that statement.

  • Q. Quine

    But, if you are forced to show up at mass by divine command, and you get murdered there, isn’t some responsibility attributable? Or, perhaps I misunderstand them, and they are just saying that whoever gets murdered during mass, it is never their deity or deities. However, from my experience, the concept thereof, sometime is.

  • m6wg4bxw

    I don’t see a problem. God killing humans is analogous to the state executing convicted criminals.

    EDIT: Down-votes. LOL!

  • A3Kr0n

    It’s the Devil, right? He causes mass murders. I don’t know, he’s pretty wily I hear. He’s probably acting like some good guy, building mega churches to himself, and telling even poor people they need to give him 10% of their meager income.

  • atheos

    Maybe the other “o” fell off?

  • closetatheist

    How about the mass murder of gays that would occur if these pricks got their way?

  • Nikita Parmar

    I drove by this sign today and turned my car around just to make sure I read it correctly. It gave me the willies… Maybe they’re getting ready for Halloween.

  • Anthony L. Hayes

    Oops that.

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion
  • Artor

    Yet again Xians demonstrate that they don’t know what’s in their own fucking book!
    Oh, I forgot. Instead of mass murder or genocide, you just call it a crusade instead. Problem solved! No mass murder here folks, this is a completely different thing that just also happens to involve lots of people dying in misery. But it’s of God, so it’s okay.

  • Dan Weeks

    Unless your an Amorite, a Hittite, an Amalekite, a Moabite, a Perizzite, a Hivite, a Jebusite, or any one of the 7 nations of Canaanites, or a citizen of Sodom, or Gamorrah, or Egypt, or Jericho, or Beth-el, or….you know, fucking Earth.


    I thought it’d been “proven” on other posts that if God does it, it’s not murder, because, y’know… Jesus.

    All those *ites were asking for it, because, well, Jesus.

  • Matto the Hun

    Anytime something bad or horrible happens in the name of or because of their religion it’s always a massive serving of No True Scotsman.

    1) at this point we should be really calling it No True Christian… or to be fair, No True Theist.

    2) If every Christian had the power to Un-Christian another Christian because he/she isn’t Christianing right we wouldn’t have any Christians left. And then I’d laugh.

  • David Kopp

    Bingo. This is just a global “No True Scotsman”

    “Don’t associate us with anything bad, mmkay? Because… reasons!”

  • Brian

    I guess when they don’t question God, that also means.. don’t question your grammar… lol….

  • Randall

    Well, yeah, there’s only one of him. It could only be regular murder.

  • wmdkitty

  • wmdkitty

    What, were they aiming for buffy-speak? “Mass murder is not of the good”?

  • atheismFTW

    Christians got a different way of seeing that flood. To them, all who died deserved it for they were serial sinners. So God had to become a serial killer to punish them, see? Never mind that any loving and sane parent would not kill their kid for disobedience. Never mind that we would demand the death penalty for any human who massively killed like their god is portrayed as doing. Christians understand that God is above this logic. And he forever remains their god who is all good and merciful because Christians refuse to face the truth. Sad, huh?

  • kashicat

    I’m getting comments on my repost of this that I think need to be taken into account. I know a great many non-fundie Christians who get told: “Christianity is evil. You don’t believe the things those fundies do. Therefore you are not ‘really’ a Christian. And your more moderate views don’t count.”

    They’re right, you know. In the same way that we don’t want Ken Ham telling us that we “really, secretly believe in God” because we enjoy the high art of Handel’s Messiah or the Sistine Chapel, we do need to be careful to acknowledge that not all Christians believe the awful stuff. (Just the loudest ones, with all the cash, who are trying to stage a coup d’etat.) This is totally separate from whether we think even the moderate Christians are justified in being any sort of believer. They at least would support our right NOT to believe, and most non-fundie Christians do good, humanitarian work.

    I happen to be (originally) from Calgary, and I know the Baptist community there. So this sign — from the Hawkwood Baptist Church — does indeed represent the evangelical/fundie community that doesn’t consider the Old Testament genocides to be mass murder. (Which therefore makes them crashing hypocrites.) But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make some kind of distinction. Or provide our own citations. (Such as “This sign is from a fundie church and NOT from one that is trying to show that some Christians do not believe in genocide.”)

  • sane37

    Can’t murder what isn’t.

  • sane37

    Benign delusion is still delusion.
    That said, I’d rather the delusional be the benign sort than not.

  • Lurker111

    Forgot the Midianites. You know, Kill the Mothers, Kill the Boys, Rape the Daughters at Your Leisure.

  • baal

    It’s not mass murder if you’re not murdered at mass.

    It’s not mass murder, that’d be just killing a ton of people. God had a personal relationship with everyone he killed so it’s more like a lot of very personal serial murder.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Well, technically it’s actually true. Murder is an unlawful killing. If your God commands a genocide, that’s not murder, that’s God’s will.

  • Lurker111

    All these comments don’t even qualify as “shooting fish in a barrel.” This is draining the barrel and tossing in a hand-grenade. With madness of this sort, It’s too easy.

  • Dexi Chaos

    liar, liar pants on fire!

  • Dexi Chaos

    hmmm, because there is no god, right?

  • momtarkle

    God only drowned the atheists. That doesn’t count.

  • momtarkle

    If someone gets murdered during a Catholic mass, God washes his hands of it.

  • The Other Weirdo

    If someone gets murdered during a Catholic mass, God washes his hands of in it.

    There. Fixed it for ya.

  • Tainda


  • Alierias

    Kill them all and let God sort them out?

  • fenaray

    That would be beautiful!

  • Anna

    Such as “This sign is from a fundie church and NOT from one that is trying to show that some Christians do not believe in genocide.”

    Well, maybe some don’t believe it, but the vast majority seem to. How many mainstream, moderate Christians have condemned the story of Noah’s Ark? The Plagues of Egypt? The Book of Job? Abraham and Isaac? Those are stories in which the murderer is presented in a good light, as the hero of the story, not the villain. It’s not just the fundamentalists who believe that god-commanded killing is okay.

  • Marisa Totten

    +10 points for this post. LOL

  • ufo42

    Columbus, whom god fearing Catholic Bishops insisted should have his own holiday, committed genocide while still maintaining his status as a “good Catholic”. Maybe the sign means that mass murder is only a thing when white people are killed.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    • Or maybe His being 3 in 1 implies that it would be a serial killing.

    • Have you considered the implications of His being Omnipresent? “God is everywhere and in all things”, I seem to remember that from back in the day. Killing everything in and of the Universe, wouldn’t that qualify as mass murder?

    • Alternately, I know of someone who stuck a rusty nail in a Mass wafer that was reputed to be the Body of Christ.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Pretty sure they couldn’t use the excuse of calling it a Crusade when it ‘happened’ in the Old Testament.

  • wmdkitty

    Technically, being 3-in-one, that would be a triple-homicide (if not rising to the level of mass murder). Serial killers must have 3+ victims over a long-ish period of time. A spree-killer is someone who just goes on a fucking killing spree over a shorter period of time.

    (Sorry, I know weird things.)

  • Matt D

    Hmmmm, this might be useful. Perhaps as a thought experiment, we could have a Theist write down the names of anyone they see as “Un-Theist”, to demonstrate widespread disparity in religion is commonplace, thus it’s a human construct.