As they say in Oklehoma: Remember the Sabbeth to keep it holey

“A fundamorphosis is the theological transformation that frees someone from fundamentalism.”

“Rather than, as Jesus taught, forgoing ritual for repentance and reconciliation, this movement seems to suggest ritual rather than repentance.”

White Protestant faith has never been about survival, whereas black faith from the start has been.”

Love overrides everything that’s supposedly not kosher.”

“I wonder, when I talk to Justin and when I read his book, why he’s not more pissed.”

“I have seen what has been done in the name of Christianity and, while I know that it is a distortion, every time I meet someone who identifies as a Christian, I become guarded and prepare to defend myself.”

“Why it’s like they were just making stuff up, scaring people for their own personal agenda – you know, instead of really speaking for God.”

“The wildly disproportionate interest that popular American Christianity has with the End Times not only makes us look stupid, it also makes us actually stupid, insofar as it corrupts our prudential judgment with emotional hysteria.”

“If the American bishops really want religious freedom, the last thing they should promote is a top-down demand to vote the way they say.”

“Pride is based in fear. Humility requires courage.”

Fewer than 20 percent of the colonial citizens were active in churches. Change came after 1776, so that, in one common estimate, church participation jumped from 17 percent to 34 percent between 1776 and 1850.” (via John Fea)

“They’re also encouraging others to put up nativity scenes at their homes and businesses. And I think that’s great. That’s exactly where they belong.”

How about the Daddy’s Girl shirt? The double meaning will not be lost on anyone, because really, aren’t Christian young women supposed to be Daddy’s girl until marriage, but also the ‘Daughter of the Most High,’ as the shirt proclaims?”

“This holiday, I would rather my kids have three presents and your kids have three presents than my kids have six presents and yours have none.”

“The next day, much of the school in the historic fishing village — girls, boys, a dog and at least one teacher — was pigtailed, and the bully absent.”

A pool is a still, stagnant body of water; it does not move or change.”

“If you pick up a book and don’t like it, put it down. Never read what you think you should read. Never feel inadequate if you don’t like what you’re ‘supposed’ to like. Reading is personal.”

Church Sign Epic Fails, Hangover Edition

"I think he's decided he's going to go out with a bang here."

Intra ecclesiam nulla salus
"He certainly sounds like he expects one soon."

Intra ecclesiam nulla salus
"Their feminism is thin and weak and mostly based on theories discarded by the rest ..."

Intra ecclesiam nulla salus
"He's failed as a Christian, then. Because that's the antithesis of what Jesus was teaching."

Intra ecclesiam nulla salus

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  • I wonder if that Oatmeal one (the quote about the pool) was related to recent events in the life of Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content.  He maybe had a rather bad reaction recently after getting a rather frustrating bit of negative criticism about his use of body image in his comics.  I say “maybe” because all I know is, the bad reaction was rather soon after he posted about the criticism.  No idea whether there’s contact between the two, Matt & Jeph.

  • Lori

    From this edition of church sign epic fails, I’m less concerned about the scripture on that A&W sign than about the “shrimp”. What, exactly, is the “shrimp” made out of?

    Assuming that the “shrimp” are in fact just shrimp, what did the sign maker think s/he was conveying with the quotes?

  • ReverendRef

     Maybe the “shrimp” at A&W is like the krab you can get at some supermarkets . . . a fake form of crab meat manufactured at a plastics plant.  Maybe “shrimp” is something equally fake.

  • P J Evans

     Well, at least ‘krab’ starts with seafood. (It’s some kind of white fish, with flavor and color added. Could be worse.)

  • Lori

    I considered the krab. I’ve never seen a shrimp version and I’ve also never seen a restaurant (even of the fast food sort) serve krab.  That leads me to suspect this is just another case of quotes abuse, but I could be wrong. So odd.

  • Arresi

    Given the placement, I’d assumed they were advertising their new shrimp-flavored ice cream.

  • This reminds me of an old Garfield cartoon:

    “Garfield, get the paper.”

    “Okay, Sahib.” *returns with paper full of holes.*


    “Sahib asks fish, paper is wet. Sahib asks cat, paper is holey.”

  • Worthless Beast

    The immediate cringe… I understand it.  I tend to have it myself – I still loosely identify as “Christian” though I don’t go to church, have gone largely “blue” in my politics, am introverted and crazy, and am somewhat agnostic on most days. I feel weird when I talk to someone “more devout,” sure that they want to re-convert me to a more conservative format like I used to be.  I have the same reaction to self-proclaimed Atheists on the Internet much of the time, too, I’m sad to say, because I’m paranoid that if my beliefs and/or desires and hopes are ever brought up or found out, I’ll suddenly lose IQ points in their eyes. I’ve seen it happen – the sudden change in the level of respect when you reveal a “shaded” aspect of yourself to some people. Even here, I sometimes worry that I’m “bothering the adults” just by being around.  It’s not limited to worldviews, either. I support adults’ right to drink booze if they want to, but I don’t party and have an immediate deer in the headlights fear reaction to encountering drunk people – I grew up in a family of alcoholics.  You could be the happiest and nicest drunk on the planet, but I will still be scared to death of you.   

    In one of my short stories, I wrote a scene in which a man and his sister are in a graveyard and he starts talking about how he doesn’t want a cross on his tombstone, even though “he’s always believed in his own way.”  He is certain that with the abuses and distortions of the churches, people will come, in the future, to see them the same light as people see swastikas today.   This was inspired by walks in my local cememtery, wondering about all those people who died in the early 1900s, and 1920s, and 1940s who have crosses as the default considering the changes in perception going on today.

  • Worthless Beast

    I find a lot of people don’t understand the meanings of basic punctuation.  Some people apparently use quotes simply to emphasize something, without being aware that quotes are used to get out of truth in advertising and to make things look dubious.

    When you’re going to do up your church sign, ask “are there any writers in the church?” – That should solve the problem.

  • cjmr

    Yes, there is a ‘shrimp’ version of ‘krab’.  Krab tastes more like I remember crab tasting (before my seafood allergy) than ‘shrimp’ tastes like shrimp.

  • D9000

    “If you pick up a book and don’t like it, put it down. Never read what you think you should read. Never feel inadequate if you don’t like what you’re ‘supposed’ to like. Reading is personal.”
    But also, do not read only things you like and agree with. Challenge yourself  sometimes, try to learn new things, read other viewpoints, and not just re-inforce your existing bias and prejudice. (This is the real value of formal education, at least in the humanities; you are forced to read things you wouldn’t, if you were left to your own devices. The way of the autodidact is strewn with temptation to take it easy).

  • D9000

    And I don’t know if even love can help when it comes to ‘shrimp’ and krab. (If, that is, such things are trayf … interesting question, are things that pretend to be trayf themselves trayf, or not?)

  • AnonymousSam

    The last time I had “crab,” it triggered my shrimp allergy. That was enough confirmation for me.

  • P J Evans

    I had a similar question about turkey ‘ham’. The person I asked decided that for this, intent mattered. (Interestingly enough, the package isn’t marked one way or the other.)

  • The_L1985

    Jewish boyfriend says, if it’s made out of non-trayf foods, it’s ok.

  •  From the people I’ve talked to, I get the impression that among some Jewish traditions, it’s assumed that God is not impressed by you trying to find a  loophole so that you’re not technically breaking the rules. And in other traditions, that is exactly the sort of thing that impresses God.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I find a lot of people don’t understand the meanings of basic punctuation. Some people apparently use quotes simply to emphasize something, without being aware that quotes are used to get out of truth in advertising and to make things look dubious.

    That’s what I thought too. Misuse of quotation marks and apostrophes in advertising signs is so common they get referred to as “greengrocer’s apostrophes” or “greengrocer’s quotes”. My local butcher has a blackboard outside on which he advertises specials, and half the time it will refer to “fresh” sausages or some such. Looks dodgier than it is!

  • Jeph described it as “the demons finally catching up with [him]”, so whatever it was, I was guessing it had been building for a long time.  I would speculate a lot of stress that went without catharsis.  

  • P J Evans

     Not being a Jew, it doesn’t matter to me. But I asked one of the people at work who is. (Yes, we have some interesting discussions in our galley.)

  • P J Evans

     Signs that say ‘call “[number]” ‘ make me wonder if anyone has ever actually checked their grammar. I understand that sign printers don’t do proofreading; what they get is what they print.

  • Worthless Beast

    Well… it’s been a while since I’ve actually worked in the field, but I’ve been a graphic designer – mostly newspaper advertisting, some signwork.  As a peon designer, you are not *allowed* to correct people’s work, and if you do, (make up a dummy with their original wording corrected for grammar and whatnot),  you’re more likely going to get the person insisting that they want things their way even after you explain that it makes the ad look dodgy. 

    The customer is always right – even when they aren’t.

  • Matri

    The customer is always right – even when they aren’t.

    “The Money is always right.”

  • D9000

    I am a Jew (ish), but it doesn’t matter to me, either, I just thought it was an interesting question. There’s a rabbi I see now and then who I’m friendly with; I’ll see what he says about it.

  • Worthless Beast

    The hard fact of this world is that you do have to let your “honor” give a little bit if you want to keep your job and pay rent that month.