‘LOL stands for Lucifer Our Lord’ and other lies told by the deluded self-righteous

This is ridiculous:

If you can’t view that image, it says:

BEWARE: Stop using the abbreviation “LOL.” “LOL” stands for “Lucifer our Lord.” Satanists end their prayers by saying “Lucifer our Lord,” in short, “LOL.” Every time you type “LOL” you are endorsing Satan. Do not use “LOL” ever again! Keep Satan out of your life. Share this advice to Christians.

This is a lie. It is an obvious, intentional and ridiculous lie.

It’s not true, and no one is really stupid enough to believe it’s true, but they find the game of pretending it is to be titillating.

It’s exciting to pretend you’re standing up against Satan. It’s pleasant to imagine that you are more righteous than your Facebook friends because you avoid the abbreviation LOL. What a convenient tribal marker to set you apart as a heroic, good and godly person.

And what a rush, pretending that you have secret knowledge that others must turn to you to receive. You are enlightened, they are benighted. They should listen to you so you can set them straight and save them from Satan and all his satanic monstrosity.

Those are the emotional rewards of playing this game. That’s why participating in such delusional deceptions can feel good. All of those emotional rewards may be counterfeits, but the counterfeits are so much easier than trying, and likely failing, to actually be heroic, good or godly.

We can laugh at the nonsense of that Facebook version of Satanic panic, imagining that those passing it along are just too naive, ignorant or dim to know any better. But that’s not the dynamic here. They do know better. This isn’t stupidity or ignorance, it’s pride.

Pride makes the deception attractive, and embracing the deception — immersing yourself in it — requires you to reject reality in favor of something else.

The end result is something that may appear indistinguishable from appalling ignorance, but it’s a different disease with a different cure.

Here is another version of the exact same delusional nonsense:

Planned Parenthood offers Black Friday discounts on murder of unborn” screams the headline.

Oh Noes!1! The Satanic baby-killers are discounting the Satanic baby-killing for Lucifer Our Lord!

Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast offered the special, saying, “Visit our West Palm Beach or Kendall Health Center for special after Thanksgiving savings on Friday, November 23rd.” It appears you would have been able to save $10 on the murder of your unborn child yesterday.

It makes things a bit easier, doesn’t it? After all, who doesn’t want “cheap and easy” for discarding the unborn? We might as well get it done between our trip to Starbucks and our Black Friday shopping.

This is a lie. Two health clinics in Florida offered $10 discounts for office visits on Friday for patients getting well-woman check-ups, contraception consultations or STI screenings. Not abortions. (And, seriously, how much of a raging misogynist asshole do you have to be to even imagine that a $10 discount would create some kind of incentive for getting an abortion?)

This lie is as obvious, as intentional and as ridiculous as the “LOL” lie at the top of this post. And it is being told for all of the same reasons.

The blogger at “Front Porch Politics” is lying because it makes him feel good about himself. He is lying to make himself feel righteous by imagining others to be demonic. He is lying so he can pretend he has secret knowledge that others must rely on him to bestow. He indulging in a role-playing fantasy in which he battles Lucifer Our Lord, a lonely enlightened hero in a benighted world. He is lying in order to invoke tribal markers that he believes set him apart as heroic, good and godly.

And he is writing for others who wish to participate in the counterfeit emotional rewards of this delusional lie.

This invitation to deception is not true or right or good. But it is very popular among evangelical Christians desperate for some way to at least briefly feel like they are heroic, good and godly.

Lies, pride and willful delusion. That’s the cancer at the core of American evangelicalism, the corrosive rot that has turned bearing false witness into a spiritual discipline. LOL.

"Apparently by "no one wants to marry her.""

LBCF, No. 164: ‘That girl’
"Interesting, especially considering that all U.S. Airlines will have retired all of their 747s from ..."

LBCF, No. 164: ‘That girl’
"This is my mom's favorite carol, and easily one of mine too, but I don't ..."

Some notes and rules for a ..."
"How does one "reprimand" a religion?"

Some notes and rules for a ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hallquist Chris Hallquist

    Huh? I’m confused about the source. The first one just *screams* “Poe” (i.e. parody or hoax).

  • JustoneK

    It’s got to be parody, but oh man the world we’re in…

  • Eamon Knight

     Remember the panic over the Proctor & Gamble logo? This smells like a retread of the same thing. People really are that stupid (or nasty, or however you want to characterize it — I agree with Fred that it’s a lie believed because it’s so much *fun*, in a horrible twisted sort of way).

  • Vermic

    Angry Ninjas Groping Elderly Ladies: great mobile app idea, or greatest mobile app idea?

    I remember a similar scare in the late 70’s when everyone was all atwitter about the band KISS, which STOOD FOR KIDS IN SATAN’S SERVICE.

    Gene Simmons used to joke that it stood for Kids In Sunday School.  See, it works both ways!

    Remember the panic over the Proctor & Gamble logo? This smells like a retread of the same thing. People really are that stupid (or nasty, or however you want to characterize it — I agree with Fred that it’s a lie believed because it’s so much *fun*, in a horrible twisted sort of way).

    This is a good place to link to Fred’s series of posts from 2008 on P&G and similar panics.It starts with “False Witnesses” and is no less relevant or essential reading now as four years ago.

  • VJBinCT

     It’s only ‘Poe’ if you can’t tell the difference between parody and actual fundy stuff.  This one is a little too over-the-top (and correctly spelled) to be real.  But you never know.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There are purported “parental leetspeek guides” which claim that “woot” means we own the other team. (-_-)

    So yeah, grain of salt with these kind of “let’s let you in on TEH BIG SEKRET” writups.

  • http://meyerweb.com/ Eric Meyer

     The thing about Poe’s Law is that it’s symmetrical.  So while I agree that the LOL image screams Poe’s Law, I don’t think it’s in the same direction you think it is.

  • Matri

    You would like to think it is a Poe. Your sense of humanity would honestly scream for this to be a Poe, that this cannot possibly be real.

    And then you turn your gaze over to candidate Mitt Romney…

  • Jenny Islander

    I generally try to treat people who spread these stories around with compassion.  Something in their upbringing–generally the kind of congregation and/or religious school that regards fact checking and logical appraisal as worldly lukewarm nonsense–has stunted their God-given reason; they are “like sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless,” and “open to every w ind of doctrine that blows.”  The parents who destroy all of their son’s hobby material, that the boy bought with money from his own after-school job, and threaten him with reform school if he dares associate with the demon-infested sinners who got him into the hobby–they still love their son; they’re just scared and unable to use their common sense.  (Real life example; the hobby was D&D.)

    Of course, when the boy grows to be a man, he wants nothing to do with his own family; he leaves his hometown and doesn’t come back, and I fear that he has also left his religion.  The people who originate these stories should make one last public announcement in which they recant everything they said, line by line, phrase by phrase, and beg forgiveness on their knees.  And then they need to shut up.  (In this case, the liar was Pat Pulling, who AFAIK never admitted that she had lied.)

  • http://twitter.com/jessefuchs Jesse Fuchs

    In David Foster Wallace’s essay on David Lynch, he refers to that feeling as “epistemological privilege”. It’s an enjoyable feeling, but probably healthier to get it by watching poker with the hole-cams, or being the guy with the touchscreen on one of those Wii U Hide & Seek games, or really anything else that does not determine your entire conception of the universe..

  • Green Egg and Ham

    Well, right-wing Christians are stupid enough to believe that what other right-wing Christians tell them is the truth.

    They cannot imagine that others of their ilk could be wrong, misinformed, naive, lying or misleading.  After all have they all not found the Truth?

    It never dawns on them that Pastor Sneedly could be lying to them.

    It never dawns on them that their hostility to science, education and facts makes them vulnerable to misinformation, lies and errors.

    It never dawns on them that Fox News (sic) is lying to them for ad revenue.

    It never dawns on them that their echo chambers and bunker mentality keep out facts, not just liberal voices.

    I remember a similar scare in the late 70’s when everyone was all atwitter about the band KISS, which STOOD FOR KIDS IN SATAN’S SERVICE.

    We were all too stupid to believe that lie too.

  • Dantesque17

    I had been told that it was “Knights in Satan’s Sanctuary”.  So dumb.

  • Weirdogrrrl

    What Green Eggs & Hams said is exactly what the person who created this hoax wants people to think….

     but sadly there will be someone out there stupid enough to believe it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.steckly Daniel L Steckly

    Doesn’t matter if it was made as a spoof. Somebody somewhere will take it to heart. 

  • Hawker40

    I will here admit guilt: I posted the “LOL” pic on my facebook, with the comment “It must be true, I read it on the internet!”

    I thought it was either a funny, over the top imitation of a RTC ‘warning’ intended for mocking, or a actual RTC warning that diserved mocking.

  • Michele

    I also posted it, but most of my friends recognized it as too over-the-top to be true, which is why I posted it. My cousin, who is not the brightest crayon in the box, expressed her dislike for the post.

  • hidden_urchin

    I don’t think they’re just desperate to feel heroic. I think they’re equally desperate to use they’re imaginations. If the only acceptable fantasy is a Satanic Baby-Killer LARP then people will join it because our brains can’t handle a complete lack of fantasy.

  • Lliira

    If the only acceptable fantasy is a Satanic Baby-Killer LARP then people
    will join it because our brains can’t handle a complete lack of


    They get all hot n’bothered over anal sex, too. Those bad bad homosexuals, having all that anal sex (it’s not like women have asses or anything)… all those bad bad positions they use… and all the bad bad sweaty hot men groping each other and penetrating each other with big hard dicks… they’re so very very bad, we must spread word of how bad they are, in extensive detail.

    Of course, they make up half the crap they say, but then that’s the power of porn. And porn that you don’t admit is porn is especially powerful. And it happens on the other side too, with certain feminist anti-porn crusaders obsessing over how horribly demeaning and non-pleasurable anal sex  and BDSM in which women are submissive supposedly inevitably is for women. When you mark off a portion of consensual adult human sexual possibility as BAD, do not pass go, do not collect $200, you’re gonna get obsessively porny about it.

  • Turcano


  • CeeQ

    Oh please. Can’t believe this is even a thing but then again, after reading this tumbler of Least Helpful Reviews – I can pretty much believe anything. Go on and click on it cuz WOW. The delusions run deep. Also….apparently…..some people don’t understand what books are and what they do…..LOL!


  • Tricksterson

    Well the one about Furbys is probably true

  • LouisDoench

    Why oh why did you show me this thing!!!!! 

  • CeeQ

    Wretched isn’t it?!?!?!? LOL

  • Magic_Cracker

    The LOL thing is also a prime example of magical thinking. What it tells the target audience is that it doesn’t matter if you and everyone else in the world means “laugh out loud” when you type “LOL,” what you are really doing is invoking Lucifer, and like Ash playing the tape recorder in the cabin, there will be hell to pay. It’s weird that a religious movement that believes that sincerity trumps all would turn around and say that common usage and honest intent are, in this instance, irrelevant.

    So who/what does ROTFLMAO invoke?@734384c8954c81acc4221acef4a80d91:disqus : The Fundies in my high school told me KISS stood for “Knights In Satan’s Service” and AC/DC “Against-Christ/Devil’s Children” or “Anti-Christ/Devil’s Children,” depending on which backmasking seminar they went to. Of course, this was the early 90s, so I was like, “Who the fuck listens to KISS and AC/DC anymore?”

  • VMink

    We also heard the ‘Knights in Satanic Service’ and ‘After Christ Death Comes’ lies.

    This was also at the school which was being effectively steeplejacked by fundamentalists and had atrocious ways of ‘helping’ bullied kids.

  • Magic_Cracker

    What is “After Christ Death Comes” even supposed to mean? Isn’t the point of a cryptic code to make things less cryptic for those who know the code? It’s like saying Styx really means “Satan’s Terraforming Your Xylophone.”

  • BaseDeltaZero

    It would make sense if it were After Death / Christ Comes, but… urgh.  Maybe in the sense of ‘death is in pursuit of Christ’?  I dunno.

  • JustoneK

    I like you.  :D

  • JayemGriffin

    That explains why the high C developed a peninsula.

  • Will Hennessy

     KISS, naturally, stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid”: a philosophy which I as a musician agree with.

    …and, of course, AC/DC stands for Altruistic Christians Doing Charity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

     I didn’t work one out for RO(T)FLMAO, but I did come up with “Rolling One For Lucifer” for ROFL.

    For KISS, I heard both Kids & Knights versions.  Never heard of the AC/DC ones, though.

  • MikeJ

     Rolling One Tightly For Lucifer My Angelic Overseer

    That’s what my friends and I always mean any way.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

     “Who the fuck listens to KISS and AC/DC anymore?”

    KISS was on Letterman not long ago. I did have very amused flashbacks to my childhood – my elementary school teachers in 1977 were pushing the “KISS are eeevil!” thing.

  • CeeQ

    “……and no one is really stupid enough to believe it’s true….”

    You’re too kind, Fred. I know several people who would *actually* believe this to be true.

  • LL

    This. Many, many people are exactly that stupid. I guess to be charitable, we could call them gullible. But that’s really just a “nice” way of calling someone stupid. 

  • http://semperfiona.livejournal.com Semperfiona

    The best thing about using the avoidance of LOL as a tribal marker? It’s completely invisible to everyone else, so RTC’s would get to feel righteous without worrying about anyone thinking less of them for their self-righteous behavior. (Of course, posting the ugly graphic above would defeat that.)

    Lots of people avoid LOL, myself included, purely for esthetic reasons. I dislike the profligate use of LOL–especially the way some people use it within their own writing–because I think it reads rather like a lack of confidence or like laughing at one’s own jokes. If the thing I said was funny, then it stands on its own. If it wasn’t, adding “lol” to the end won’t help it any.

    If I really truly *did* laugh out loud at something someone else wrote, it’s probably worth a comment containing actual words. (Or I’ll just click Like.)

  • VMink


    … Sorry, I couldn’t resist. =)

  • Aeryl

     I have found “lol” useful when texting and email so the recipient knows you are attempting to make a joke, as no one hss invented a sarcasm font yet. 

  • AnonymousSam

    When I see behavior like this on display by conservatives, I start having trouble telling who the good guys are. Satan’s the one we’re supposed to sympathize with, right? With people this evil, vicious and prone to lying, he couldn’t possibly be responsible for all the evil in the world. After all, they’re in service to God.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Heh, that’s kind of the premise of the fantasy novel that I meant to write for NaNo but never did start. I keep worldbuilding and getting to know my lead characters but I know nothing about my side characters and hardly anything about my plot, but Lucifer and his oldest daughter are absolutely the leaders of the good guys. (The daughter doesn’t want any part of this–she’s a jeweler, not a hero, dammit–and thinks her big sister would be much better suited, but she’s the one got voted in, not the big sister, and she’s competent enough that nobody’s letting her resign.)

  • AnonymousSam

    Eventually I plan to sit down and write the most sacrilegious book ever, featuring a protagonist who just happens to be the gay lover of the Antichrist, who is only subjugating and destroying the world because Heaven is forcing him to do it.

    Hoping to have it shelved in local Christian book stores nationwide!

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’d buy it.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! Call it “Godswill” … it can the name of your protagonist.

  • AnonymousSam

    If I named him Will, I’d be struggling too much not to make a Grace pun.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I was thinking “Godswill” would be a punnish surname.

  • AnonymousSam

    I keep reading it as God Swill… hrmm, that pun may be too awful to pass up.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I keep reading it as God Swill

    That’s the idea!

  • Beroli

     How is it that Lucifer’s oldest daughter has a big sister? Is she a half-sister who shares mothers, not fathers, with her sister?

  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s it exactly.

  • Magic_Cracker

    GOD = Grand Old Demon
    JESUS = Juiblex‘s Evil Son Ululating Satanically
    ANGEL = Angry Ninjas Groping Elderly Ladies
    BIBLE = Book of the Infernal Baboons Laughing at Everybody


  • ReverendRef

     You forgot WWJD:  Wealthy Whites Jonesing for Drugs

  • Magic_Cracker

    I thought it was “Jacking-off Devils”!

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    Back in the old days it was What Would Jenna [Bush] Drink?

  • Will Hennessy


  • ReverendRef

     OH!!  Sign me up.  Especially since my drug of choice is pretty much any filled confection.  And this is probably what got Eve into trouble.  That tree was really a tree of jelly donuts, and when the serpent asked, “WWJD,” she obviously said, “Me.”

  • Tricksterson

    Ooh!  Me!  even though as a diabetic (who recently got put on insulin) I really shouldn’t.

  • Worthless Beast

    The Fun with Acronyms there… Why did my mind flash back to the Timecube?

    The ANGEL one really made me LOL.  “Angry Ninjas Groping Elderly Ladies,” especially since in one of my recent fanfiction works for a thing that I like, I tried to portray one of the canon’s guardian races (a race of ninjas!) as being quasi-angel-like.  They don’t tend to grope old ladies, though… they just tend to turn into them after a few centuries, and are adorable when they’re old.

  • oneskunktodd

    CHURCH = Cultists Having Unrestrained Religious Communal Hysterics

  • Kiba

    Oh Noes!1! The Satanic baby-killers are discounting the Satanic baby-killing for Lucifer Our Lord!

    Dammit! You mean I missed it? 

  • fuchsialucia

    I too thought the LOL thing had to be a Poe when I first saw it. Even if it’s not, it’s one of those things that spread through the leftosphere like Fiendfyre because it gives us a free ticket to other and mock all those iggerant fundie wingnuts who will believe anything. Othering and self-righteousness are not just the province of the far right. Do not ask how I know this.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Because you posted some right there?

    Oh, right. No questions. Shush, Bunny.

  • fuchsialucia

     If you’re asking if I indulge in self-righteous othering, I must plead guilty (I do try not to, but I’m often clocked over the head with the realization that I’m doing it again).

    If you’re asking if I am self-righteously othering liberals who fall like ravening wolves upon any excuse for self-righteously othering wingnuts who self-righteously other liberals who… please excuse me while I try to find my way out of the fun house.

  • xytl

    Very true. I read this and thought immediately of the ‘Intent Isn’t Magic’ meme. You know. The one that says it doesn’t matter what you mean by a word, nor in what context you used it – all that matters is whether a reader – _any_ reader – is upset by it.

    So in this case a deluded self-righteous Christian might say, ‘Oh, you may say you meant Laugh Out Loud, but Intent Isn’t Magic. I understood it as a Satanic reference and was deeply disturbed by it. It reminded me of traumatic childhood experiences and I had to go and cry for the rest of the day. If you do not immediately conform to my demands and alter the language you use – and not just around me, but everywhere on the internet, because you never know if someone like me is reading – then you’re a Horrible Person who Doesn’t Care About Others’ Feelings.’

    ‘Oh, and I demand an apology for your disgusting Satanic behaviour.’

    … thirty seconds later: ‘Still no apology.’

    … one minute after that: ‘The silence is deafening, isn’t it?’

    … and then go and chalk up five Self-Righteousness points.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Interestingly (or not), Ayn Rand was very fond of claiming not only that words have Real True Definitions whose meaning trump connotation, context, and intent, but that she gets to decide what those Real True Definitions are. It’s an equivocation fallacy, the rhetorical equivalent of sweeping the leg … a bad-faith move that might get you a warning, but if you pull it off, it completely fucks up your opponent by forcing them to argue on your terms.

  • stardreamer42

     Huh, I didn’t know that! I have noticed that Libertarians frequently have their own private definitions for commonly-used words, but I didn’t realize it was an actual formal part of the religion.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The best part is when they contort themselves to define anything “good” as being retaliatory force instead of initiated force.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Without endorsing everything that appears on the site, I recommend Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature for its rather thorough-going unpacking of the numerous fallacies, particularly the posts on Objectivist jargon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    That redefining thing makes more sense of the recent Libertarian we had around here, a few weeks ago or so, who insisted that taxation = charity, at which point I invoked Humpty Dumpty on him.

  • ohiolibrarian

     You knocked him off a wall!?! I don’t think you should.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    I wasn’t sure whether that was obvious enough or not, and I’m not sure whether you really got it or not, but regardless, here’s the Through the Looking Glass context I quoted at the time:

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Scientology does it too. It’s one of the markers of over-controlling organizations; they redefine terms so that outsiders think that they’re harmless or support the same things they do, but the internal definition is not at all what it seems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    Interestingly (or not), Ayn Rand was very fond of claiming not only that
    words have Real True Definitions whose meaning trump connotation,
    context, and intent, but that she gets to decide what those Real True
    Definitions are.

    Ah, so THAT’s why Libertarians keep telling me that monopolies cannot exist without government enforcement. All those things I think of as monopolies aren’t actually monopolies.

    I assume this also relates to how “altruism” is the most evil thing possible in Rand-land.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Indeed, per the Ayn Rand Lexicon, “The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.” (more at link)

    When put that way, who would want to be altruistic?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    When put that way, who would want to be altruistic?

    Well, if you’ve internalized the first part about yourself whatever reason (which can happen, though any account I could provide would only be anecdata), the second actually looks kind of attractive as a way to gain a sense of meaning in your life. But I don’t think the first part is actually reflective of a healthy mind-set, and as you can find altruism from people who are not horribly depressed or self-loathing, then anyone who isn’t a major asshat would probably agree that her definition doesn’t hold up.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Indeed, per the Ayn Rand Lexicon, “The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.” (more at link)

    When put that way, who would want to be altruistic?

    Ooh, ooh, me, me!  

    Actually, that describes several of my values pretty closely.  Heck, I have had more than one fantasy about charging with the Light Brigade.  Tragic waste of life that it was, there was still something romantic about it, affirming that your duty to others outweighs your own life, and that you value that duty more  than you value your own existence.   Heck, Robert A. Heinlein (who is otherwise very similar to Rand in philosophy) understood that, “Duty is a debt you owe yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily.  Doing so can involve anything from years of patient work to an instant willingness to die, but in the end the reward is self respect.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Heck, I have had more than one fantasy about charging with the Light Brigade. Tragic waste of life that it was, there was still something romantic about it, affirming that your duty to others outweighs your own life, and that you value that duty more than you value your own existence.

    But if one dies now, then one cannot continue carrying out that duty to others. Sometimes that is not important. Sometimes, particularly when one’s death now would accomplish little and one’s life later could accomplish much, it is.

  • Lliira

     you value that duty more  than you value your own existence

    Oh barf.

    Some things are worth dying for. But duty? It’s mostly b.s. and mostly means “do whatever those in authority want you to do.” The Light Brigade died worthlessly, those lives were lost for zero reason, it was a stupid and senseless way to die. I can’t blame them, because their choice was to be shot in the front by enemies or shot in the back by erstwhile friends. But there is nothing whatsoever of value in dying for that kind of “duty”. It’s not duty — it’s waste of life in order to prove to the authorities that they’re still the authorities. Also see: World War I.

  • arcseconds

     Does ‘duty’ only mean ‘duty to your country’ to you?

    I mean, I’m used to saying and hearing things like ‘it’s my duty as a friend’, or ‘it’s my duty as  a parent’, or ‘its my duty as a doctor’.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Seconded. I was raised in a family environment where duty was valued, but was also anti-militaristic and not at all nationalistic. My personal ethic is not entirely deontological, but it certainly has a lean in that direction. Those who have more than they need have a duty to support those who don’t have enough. You have a duty to use your gifts and privileges for the benefit of others. That sort of thing.

    I had a negative reaction to Fearless Son’s comment, but not because there’s something wrong with duty. It’s that what he dresses up as duty is a disturbing desire to be the star of some violent fantasy.

  • Tricksterson

    The Charge succeeded.  They did reach the cannon and they managed to spike them.  It’s just that most of them died doing it.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Also, it wasn’t like the officers just up and decided ‘you know what, let’s get a bunch of our guys killed’.  There was a miscommunication and the brigade attacked the wrong target.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    Pointless waste of life, yes. But it’s not duty to your country. It’s duty to the person next to you. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    If you haven’t already heard this, that post deserves a song:

  • stardreamer42

    Yes, and that’s also why coercion is something only governments can do. If your boss tells you “suck my dick if you want to keep your job”, that is totally not coercion, but “pay your taxes or go to jail” is.

  • Michael Pullmann

     What if a guy puts a gun to my head and says “Suck my dick or I’ll kill you”? Is that not coercion?

  • Michael Pullmann

     Or were you being sarcastic? Curse this text-based form of communication!

  • EllieMurasaki

    To a libertarian I don’t think it is. You’ll want to check that with an actual libertarian, of course.

  • Mark Z.

    <actual libertarian> Yes, that’s obviously coercion.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Ah. Sorry. But there are a lot of self-identified libertarians who seem to honestly believe that coercion is something only government is capable of.

  • Tricksterson

    Oh most definitely it is.  Ex libertarian, current nihilist.

  • Beroli

    My understanding is libertarianism states that maintaining an absolute monopoly on the use of force is the single legitimate function of government.

    So the guy who does that gets carted off to jail. The one who demands sexual services in return for enough food to survive, on the other hand, is only doing something wrong in a Libertarian’s book if he, personally, stole your food first.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *faint voice*

    Did a libertarian actually come up with that exact line of reasoning? D:

  • Tricksterson

    Deoends on the libertarian.  They are not a solid mass.  Some might indeed elieve that ohers would consider it just another fom of coerion.

  • vsm

    I particularly like the people who make up bizarre etymologies for everyday words and phrases like picnic, buck and rule of thumb and then try to eradicate them from English.

  • Tricksterson

    As someone who has actually occasionally practiced magic,  yes it is!.  In fact all magic really is is  a means of focusing one’s intent.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Different sense of ‘magic’, I think. What you’re doing is wanting something to happen, deliberately focusing your attention on it, possibly with props. (Or so I understand. Sorry if I’m fucking up.) What’s happening when people say ‘intent is not fucking magic’ is, to use the standard metaphor, Adam stepping on Betsy’s foot and Adam expecting that his lack of intent to hurt Betsy means that Betsy does not have a hurt foot, even when she is telling him to get the fuck off because ow.

  • Tricksterson

    No, you got it pretty much right

  • Evan Hunt

    I see your point, Fred, but I have to admit I just completely love the “LOL” thing because presuming it to be true makes reading twitter so. much. funnier.

    “OMG did you see what Bieber was wearing HAIL SATAN”

    “I gots a secret twitter crush haha IA R’LYEH WGAH’NAGL FHTAGN”

    “K tweeps gon get off twitter and go make brownies nao BAGABI LACA BACHABE LAMAC CAHI ACHABABE”

    It just makes the world a jollier place.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    that’s not the dynamic here. They do know better. This isn’t stupidity or ignorance, it’s pride.

    Wonderfully phrased.

    This lie [about abortion discounts] is as obvious, as intentional and as ridiculous as the “LOL”
    lie at the top of this post. And it is being told for all of the same

    Well, among others.

    In particular, it is also being told as part of a campaign to weaken the political and economic resources available to organizations like Planned Parenthood and the people who benefit from their services.

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    TW: Racism.

    I read that post about abortions. The comments are closed, but there are four existing comments. The second reads as follows:

    Hopefully most will be Africa American

    I don’t even know where to start.


  • stardreamer42

    Cracked.com has an interesting list of The 6 Looniest Moral Panics in American History. The LOL thing might make #7. Did somebody get it off a Chick tract or something? 

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Yeah, it’s things like this that make me think it might not be a joke.

    That, and the fact that some people already don’t know what LOL means.  I understand there are people who think it means “lots of love.”

    As in:

    Hi honey,

    Aunt Mary’s cancer may be back.  The doctors are running some tests.  Call me as soon as you can.


  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    A while back, a friend on Facebook had left a comment that ended with LOL.  This particular friend was someone I was particularly interested in (Read:  obsessed with) when we were in high school.  My mom had seen the comment, and we ended up having the following conversation.

    Mom:  She said “lots of love.”  Maybe she’s interested in you.
    Me:  First of all, no she didn’t.  Second of all, she lives over a thousand miles away.
    Mom:  Yes she did.  She wrote “LOL.”  That’s “lots of love.”
    Me:  That’s not what that means.
    Me:  (Explains the actual meaning)
    Mom:  Well…it could mean “lots of love,” too.
    Me:  Except that it doesn’t.

  • reynard61

    Everything I do, I do for the LOL*(s).

    *Love Of Luna

  • Will Hennessy

    For the record, I don’t use the Laughing Out Loud abbreviation because I find it inane, not because of any satanic connection. But if people want to use it, hey, fine by me.

    In the words of Demetri Martin: “I type LQTM–Laugh Quietly To Myself. It’s more honest!”

    Or in the words of Lore Sjöberg: “SMYOAALTS.”*

    *–Spare Me Your Obnoxious Abbreviations And Learn To Spell.

  • Jessica_R

    Nothing it going to top the genuine warning that “GMBO” or giggling my but off is an abbreviation texting tweens use. Because, you know, actually explaining what LMAO means would get Letters from the Professionally Offended for using swears.  

  • JustoneK

    You’re making that up  :o

  • Jessica_R

    Nope, read about it here, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/08/22/one-big-exhale-never-did-me-no-good/

  • Tricksterson

    Lolis Out to Lunch?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    My sister has a story about a friend who rather unfortunately thought “LOL” stood for “Lots Of Love”.  Unfortunate, because she texted it as words of sympathy in response to a text from a friend relaying a death in the family.

  • christopher_young

    My sister has a story about a friend who rather unfortunately thought “LOL” stood for “Lots Of Love”.

    This was the Prime Minister of Britain?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    The “Lots of Love” thing sounds a bit like an urban legend because I know I’ve heard it before with similar contexts, and the similarity across tellings feels a little suspect. It’s possible I’m being overly suspicious and there really is this congruent alternate etymology that keeps popping up, but still. Hm.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Probably one of those urban legends with a bit of truth to it. “My mom thought LOL means ‘lots of love'” is a mere statement of fact, not even worth mentioning to anyone. “… and used it in an extremely inappropriate way in an email” turns it into a story that people will listen to and spread.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    I had a friend that had a shirt which read ‘LOL: Lots of Laughs’.  Which is… closer, I guess?

  • http://twitter.com/wonderbink SheilaTheWonderbink

    Am I the only one remotely curious about where this thing came from in the first place?  Who created it?  Where did they come from?  What were they thinking?  I secretly suspect it’s a hoax perpetuated by someone who got sick and tired of Facebook friends using LOL as punctuation and figured this was the best way to discourage it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    I found it necessary to correct this terrible misconception. The correct honorific is ‘HAIL SATAN’, not “Lucifer Our Lord”. 

  • ohiolibrarian
  • arcseconds

    I think I say this every time Fred says “these people don’t really believe this stupid thing, they’re just pretending”.   

    So let me phrase this as a question this time.  Why would they not believe this in a perfectly straightforward actually believing it kind of way?

    People usually believe things (straightforwardly) when they:
    a) fit into their current worldview
    b) are reported from a source they take to be reliable
    c) don’t already take themselves to know the contrary

    it also helps, but isn’t strictly necessary to also have

    d) makes them feel good in some way.

    Let’s just take another piece of nonsense lots of people, including perhaps many here (in the past if not currently), believe:

    “Columbus set out to prove all of the flat-earth people wrong, and demonstrate the Earth was round” .

    Now, many people believe this.  I’m pretty sure I believed it at one stage.  I don’t think they pretend to believe it. They believe it because:

    – they already believe that people in the past were quite stupid and ignorant
    – they already believe that people in the past commonly believed the earth was flat
    – they often already believe Columbus to be a great revolutionary explorer, part of the myth of the founding of the USA.

    b) – they get told this by a source they take to be authoritative.  This may even be a history teacher
    – the original book that started this, Voyages of Christopher Columbus by Washington Irving, presents itself as a substantially non-fiction account, written by a well-known literary figure.

    c) – they don’t already believe some other account of Columbus’s reason for voyaging, or at least not one that excludes this (it’s compatible with finding another route to the indies

    d) – it’s nice to believe you’re living in an enlightened age, where you know so much more than those ignorant buffoons in the middle ages
    – for Americans (or Americaphiles (is this a word?) ) it’s a nice founding myth.

    In the case of people who are inclined to believe in things like Lucifer our Lord:

    a) – they already believe that they exist in a small island of righteousness in a sea of evil.
    – they already believe satanists are rife
    – they already believe satanists hide themselves to some extent, but have enough hubris to proclaim their allegiance in obscure ways. 
    – they already believe in coded messages

    b) – they take stuff coming in to their inboxes from their co-religionists to be a reliable source of information.
    (lots of people do this, and not just from people that they trust, either.  I’m sure we don’t think people falling for Nigerian scams ‘pretend to believe’ in the scam.)

    – contrariwise, they don’t take the mainstream media to be reliable at all, so unlike most people (who might well think the media is biased, but they don’t generally think it’s outright lies and deceit), this is one of the few channels that they actually truest.

    c) – well, Fred’s already discussed this.

    What makes these two cases different? OK, ‘c’ may be doing more work in the later case, but it’s not the only thing at play.    In both cases, the pre-existing worldview is one that’s at least somewhat informed by how good it makes the holder feel.

    Sure, the LOL thing probably makes less sense ultimately, and I’m sure the LOL-haters are on average less good epistemic agents than the people who believe Columbus was trying to prove the earth was round.  If they thought about it, there’s a lot of aspects that look a bit odd – if satanists were really everywhere, why would they need to hide.

    On the other hand, the Columbus story doesn’t make a whole heap of sense either, and I’m sure most people who bought it didn’t think about it a whole lot, either.  (What made Columbus believe the earth was round?  Why was this convincing to Columbus but not to anyone else? How did he fund his voyage or get crew if everyone thought it was a suicide mission off the edge of the Earth?   Given that he didn’t really circumnavigate the globe, how did everyone go from being flat-earthers to round-earthers but geocentrists in time for Galileo? )

  • Random_Lurker

    [quote]This invitation to deception is not true or right or good. But it is
    very popular among evangelical Christians desperate for some way to at
    least briefly feel like they are heroic, good and godly. [/quote]

    But what is the cause or motivation of this desperation?  This behavior is not exclusive to evangelicals, but it is conspicuously concentrated among them.  Why?

    It’s a mystery to me.

  • hamletta

    I’d lay money down that the only Poe involved in this is “Purity Of Essence.”

    I sent this to my co-worker, who just this week got hisself a(n) “LOL” bumper sticker with the Obama logo as the “O.” 

    Bless his heart, he’s the lone wingnut on the (tiny) staff of our inner-city mainline church. He’s good-humored, though, and the parishioners support him in email.

  • hamletta

    When I got my first modem and went into my first AOL chat room, every joke I cracked got an LOL, which I understood to mean “Love online.”

    Thought I was a regular Carole Lombard, I did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001098371002 Michael E. Bowen

    Got to get busy making more of these to share on Facebook…


  • Umm Qasr

    LOL Lucifer is my Lord…… Btw we end our prayers with hail SAtan…get your facts right but thank you for free advertising of our lord SAtan…