You Know the Photo that Came with Your New Wallet? God Is Like That.

You Know the Photo that Came with Your New Wallet? God Is Like That. May 29, 2017

Wallet with GodNew wallets sometimes come with sample photos in the clear plastic sleeves. Suppose I kept the photo of the female model and told everyone that she was my girlfriend. Her photo is in my wallet, after all, and I’d be happy to show it to you.

You might remember this bit from the movie Napoleon Dynamite.

Napoleon: My old girlfriend from Oklahoma was gonna fly out here for the dance but she couldn’t cuz she’s doing some modeling right now.

Pedro: Is she hot?

Napoleon: See for yourself.

At this point, Napoleon brings out a stock model photo from his wallet, and Pedro is impressed.

The Christian is like Napoleon when he brags about God’s properties, accomplishments, and (of course) skills. “Oh, he’s great—he supports me when things are tough” or “He found me a new job and cured me of cancer” or “He upholds the very laws of physics.” All this is stated without evidence.

Anytime you get a little too close to exposing the claim, the goalpost is moved.

Maybe you prayed without success, but you’re told that God’s answer must’ve been “not yet.”

Maybe natural disasters that kill thousands don’t sound like what an all-good god would allow, but you’re told that that’s actually mankind’s fault.

Maybe you wonder: If the Trinity is so important, why aren’t the specifics made clear in the Bible? Or: Why is the Bible ambiguous such that there are 45,000 Christian denominations? Why does a good god do so many bad things in the Bible? Why doesn’t God make his existence obvious to everyone? Why does the Christian story seem to be from the same mold as all the other religions? You’re told that you can’t judge God or that God works in mysterious ways or that you haven’t proven that God doesn’t exist.

God is the ultimate hot girlfriend from Oklahoma who just can’t find the time to come out. She’s busy modeling, you see.


See also: Weak Analogies Don’t Prove God


An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself,
without going in partnership with State Legislatures.
Certainly he ought not so to act
that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at.
No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule,
by the threat of fine and imprisonment.
It strikes me that God might write a book
that would not necessarily excite the laughter of his children.
— Robert G. Ingersoll


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  • TheBookOfDavid

    The bible may be vague on the concept of the Trinity, but the wallet reduces it to a tangible demonstration. There is the fashion model, a grey haired patrician in his study, and a postcard perfect sunset clip. Even though they were photographed in three separate shots, they are in the same wallet, and are the same subject.

    My father is the gentleman displayed in the wallet, instead of the guy sharing my last name. You should know that already, since he is your father as well. Dad says you are an inept financial planner, and needs you to store your cash in his wallet from now on, for safekeeping. You can trust him to invest it wisely. Believe me, the returns, which you collect posthumously, will reward you beyond your wildest dreams.

    The model and I have a strictly platonic long distance relationship, the best of any kind. You are completely free to have the same relationship with her, so that we can be friends as well. She has so much love for us that you must return it in kind, or you deserve to be thrown in lifetime solitary confinement, for hating all that is good and beautiful.

    • Greg G.

      The model and I have a strictly platonic long distance relationship, the best of any kind.

      You should try a real relationship with a real person instead of a fantasy.

      Edit: Corrected “blokquote”.

      • TheBookOfDavid

        I agree. Seidensticker’s wallet is full of false girlfriend, guaranteed to bring trouble if you get involved with her. That’s why my friend is Canadian Model. The Wallet of TBoD does not lie!

  • Tony D’Arcy

    I’ll see your wallet photo and raise it with my Betsy Devos pin-up.

    • Jim Jones

      Devos, Bachmann and Palin: America’s official harpies.

      • Tony D’Arcy

        Not sure about Bachmann ?

        • Jim Jones

          Michele is crazy enough.

    • Kevin K

      My girlfriend Vancouver who sucks like a Hoover. She’s from Canada.

  • Jim Jones

    I still can’t get a theist to come up with a reasonable, non-contradictory definition of ‘god’. Proof is way down the track.

    I have my own definition but I doubt they’ll accept it:

    ‘God’: “A projection of the ego of the self described follower of the supposed being, enhanced with super powers”.

    • watcher_b

      I’ve started identifying as an “Ignostic” (that god hasn’t been defined well enough to say whether or not he exists) to my Christian friends so that we can get away from trying to “prove” something that hasn’t even been well defined.

      • Jim Jones

        ‘God’: “A projection of the ego of the self described follower of the supposed being, enhanced with super powers”.

        My definition.

    • Phil Rimmer

      God: What your poor, puny dad should have been. Promising Disneyland and beating up those nasty kids’ dads.

  • Joe

    My wallet is also a good metaphor for God: There’s nothing in there.

    • TheBookOfDavid

      Mine at least contains expired coupons, punch cards for cafes I’m never likely to revisit, and business cards of shady local enterprise.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        No raffle tickets from who the hell knows when?

        • TheBookOfDavid

          I admit, my wallet is not perfect. Even the coupons are at risk of ultimate judgment, unless they are redeemed.

    • Greg G.

      I think I found your wallet in my pocket.

  • Pineal Peniel
  • RichardSRussell

    Why settle for a wallet photo? You can get illuminated Bibles complete with real photographs of Jesus and the gang taken by the Virgin Mary herself.

  • busterggi

    At least the girl in the photo is real even if she is somewhere else.

  • Meh, when you show that “God did X” is just shorthand for “Nature does X” (thereby getting the void of evidence you say exists), you do the same for “Cogito ergo sum.” It becomes “thoughts exist”—the agent, the self, is an approximation just like God. Which experiments a scientist “chooses” to do are not caused by reason (or Reason), but brain states preceded by other brain states, all caused by the laws of nature (≠ scientific laws) cranking on boundary conditions and maybe some pure noise thrown in for flavoring. Truth is not selected for, but successful survival in contingent environmental conditions.

    A convenient outcome in the above is that mediocrity is excused—we’re just evolved primates, after all. There is no “better knowledge” to which we have access; we really are doing the best we can. The laws of nature would have to be different, or the boundary conditions, or the randomness, for me to do better. I have control over none of the above, therefore I am 100% blame-free. Of course society needs fictions of moral responsibility, but there is no true state of affairs to which they can attach.

    What I would love to see is exceedingly rigorous treatment of how many things necessarily become fictions once God is declared to be a fiction. The nice thing about fictions is that they can be jiggered by the powerful without any real grounds for objection. Now, if everyone actually has agency, but it is convenient for the powerful that most believe they do not …

  • roberto quintas

    Sometimes a recent buyed wallet comes with fake credit cards. So, taking your argument, that means that there is no credit cards, neither banks? Silly annalogy.

    • I’d explain the analogy (which you don’t understand), but it’d just be repeating the post.

      • roberto quintas

        so, it’s my gilt that you make a silly analogy? how proud you must be…

        • DoorknobHead

          GOLDEN COMMENT
          “Gilt” was a very good word choice, even if only accidental, as “gilt” means covered thinly with gold leaf. So I would say, yes, it is the gilt that makes it seem like the article was an irrelevant and silly analogy — a silly analogy that points out silliness — what more relevant form of analogy is there for silliness than a silly analogy. The religious often think their religion is pure gold, when their religion is only gilt.

        • roberto quintas

          You need a “leap of faith” to claim that something covered with a gold thin leaf is false.
          A silly analogy points to nowhere, It doesn’t know where comes neither where goes.
          Still, It is amazing that his wallet comes with a female model and he can even say that she is from Oklahoma. It is remarkable, since this person can even don’t exist…

        • DoorknobHead

          A STEAMING PILE (HEAP) OF FAITH
          I need a “leap of faith” for something so mundane? No, all I need is a fingernail to scratch beneath the surface. Next, sit back and watch as believers rationalize how their ‘pure gold’ beliefs don’t appear gold underneath the scratch as they scramble to maintain their golden delusion when presented with contrary evidence. They might come to a rationalized conclusion that it IS pure gold, but it is pure gold from Oklahoma, and that is the nature of ‘special’ godly Oklahoman gold.

          (sing) OOOOOK-lahoma, where the gold is reef, underneath, and the religious-wind comes sweepin’ down. Oh, the pain.

        • roberto quintas

          and you are still trying to rationalize a silly analogy… [sigh]. seems the need of certainty isn’t a monopoly of believers. what about the photo of female model? how even it can be possible without a real person?

        • DoorknobHead

          IS THERE A NEUROLOGIST IN THE HOUSE? BRAIN SCAN, STAT
          Still trying to rationalize away from and willfully misunderstand an analogy! Amazing. “How can it even be possible without a real person”? Really? What is “it” that isn’t possible? Lies? [lies is the answer for the analogy by the way, I’m not actually asking]. “How can [lies] even be possible without a real person.” [aka silly comment] You do realize that everything claimed about the photograph were lies, right? She was not the man’s girlfriend, she was not known to live in Oklahoma and any excuses for her never showing up were all lies. I wonder if antropologist Pascal Boyer’s minimally counterintuitiveness concepts (MCI) would help explain why this is so difficult and willfully misunderstood. Maybe trying to attack people of different religions with the analogy would help clear the blockage — after the analogy is understood — something I’m skeptical will ever happen. As Bob wrote, you do not understand the analogy, not even closely.

        • roberto quintas

          “You do realize that everything claimed about the photograph were lies, right? She was not the man’s girlfriend, she was not known to live in Oklahoma and any excuses for her never showing up were all lies.”
          and you do realize that you have to adress to false claims, refuting them, with solid arguments, not with a silly analogy. in what part the false claims makes the girl or the photo false? that’s the point. the argument try to use this silly analogy to claim that, therefore, what a believer believes, is also false. so I do understand the silly analogy, but he can do better. and I am really surprised how hard is to an atheist make a case rationally.

        • Joe

          what a believer believes, is also false.

          So, can you falsify the analogy by proving God is real?

        • roberto quintas

          Actually, the analogy isn’t “false”, It has failures.

        • Joe

          I’m quoting you directly.

        • roberto quintas

          seems that you have text interpretation problems.

        • Joe

          The problems are on the person typing the text, in that case.

        • roberto quintas

          Strawman fallacy.

        • roberto quintas

          Worse. It’s clearly a case of pick, cut and take pieces of a text out of context.

        • You do realize that analogies match up two similar (analogous) but not identical things, right? To say, “Yeah, but it doesn’t match up in this area” doesn’t mean that it isn’t a valid analogy.

        • Greg G.

          But you have a book that tells about a guy you say you love. It’s very similar to a wallet with a picture of a girl the person says he loves. It is an apt analogy.

        • roberto quintas

          No, I don’t have such book. What we have to look, is that there is a photo of a female model. A good case would be search and with the result of this research, discover the real name, identity and relationship of this female model, dismissing all false claims.

        • Greg G.

          I’m referring to the Bible. When asked for evidence during the debate with Bill Nye, Ken Ham kept saying, “I have this book.”

        • roberto quintas

          I have nothing with this.

        • Do you want to move on to making some sort of argument? An argument for your religious beliefs?

        • DoorknobHead

          MOVING THE GOALPOSTS BY PEDANTIC SEMANTICS ANTICS
          Okay, semantics is the claimed issue, after much ado. I guess being pedantic about word choice is fine for anyone to have a problem with, even while others don’t seem to be suffering from the same issue. Luckily anyone is free to write their own superior analogy that models reality more perfectly, without personal humor, using the best most ‘appropriate’ words possible with no ‘false’ metaphors for the consideration of all. For some, who’s minds don’t explode from the use of silly analogies to casually illustrate a point, and who are not tripping up on ‘word choice’, the false claim being addressed is different, deeper and more fundamental and is more aligned with ascribing characteristics to things which are difficult or impossible to verify or impossible to know. I thought the issue was fallaciously and inappropriately assigning attributes. Different worldviews; different views on the appropriateness of goalpost movement. People be funny.

  • roberto quintas

    second: your wallet came with a photo of a female model. a photo without a real person? really? you can even tell that she is from Oklahoma. how astonishing form someone who even can’t exist! you make me laugh hard.

    • Greg G.

      The part about Oklahoma is analogous to Christians making stuff up that they believe about God.