‘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.

  • 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…

  • 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.)

  • 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://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..

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

    http://leasthelpful.com/

  • 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?”

  • 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.

  • 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://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.)

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • 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

    EVERY TIME YOU SEE, HEAR, SPEAK, READ, THINK, OR THINKING ABOUT THINKING ABOUT IMAGINING THE POSSIBILITY OF USING THESE WORDS THE MOST HORRIBLE THING YOU CAN IMAGINE WILL HAPPEN FOREVER! SPREAD THE WORD!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s it exactly.

  • 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.

  • VMink

    +1

    … Sorry, I couldn’t resist. =)

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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. 

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

    Because you posted some right there?

    Oh, right. No questions. Shush, Bunny.

  • 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
    reasons.

    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.

  • 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.”

  • ReverendRef

     You forgot WWJD:  Wealthy Whites Jonesing for Drugs

  • Magic_Cracker

    I thought it was “Jacking-off Devils”!

  • 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.

  • AnonymousSam

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

  • 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.

    TRiG.

  • 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

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

  • Tricksterson

    Well the one about Furbys is probably true

  • Dantesque17

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

  • 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.

  • JustoneK

    I like you.  :D

  • AnonymousSam

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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://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.


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