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A Modern Court Jester

Note: the comedy routine I am going to discuss in this blog entry contains many instances of words which some people might find offensive. To avoid this I am going to use f— and c— instead. If you think that the use of a lot of extreme swear words indicates a lack of sophistication or merit then I think you are wrong. I really think they work in this situation and there has been a history of this going back years with comedians such as Billy Connolly. If you want to enjoy the routine in its full glory just use this URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TynFaEQj_Ys

They say that many a true word is spoken in jest. And the standup comedy routine I recently found on YouTube is a classic example. It’s called “God is for Idiots” by Jim Jefferies. I will give you a few parts of this routine and then explain why I think they have a deeper relevance. Are you suitably prepared? OK, here goes…

Quote 1:

God loves the stupid and the f—ing… [pauses] this is the thing about people who believe in God… they’re idiots. There’s no dancing around it, you’re a border line f—ing mentalist… you’re an idiot… you’re like a 13 year old kid who still believes in Santa.. oohh [sounds like a retard], I’m still going to get… oh f— you. You know, I don’t hate people who believe in God, I don’t hate them… right. But I just don’t want to talk to them, I don’t want to be around them. It’s like how I don’t hate the mentally insane, right? But the mentally insane and religious people are in the same f—ing bag. If I’m standing at a bar chatting to either of them I’ll eventually walk away saying “OK…” [gestures like he’s trying to back away from the crazy person]

Analysis:

Actually having written this down and reading it through it sounds a lot more like a mindless rant than the original! But I still think there’s an element of truth here. If anyone told me they believed in an invisible man in the sky who talks to them in their heads and answers their questions, but no one else can see him, I would say he is most likely insane. And religion is close to insanity, it really is, because that’s really what a lot of religious people think.

Of course there are believers who have a lot more loosely defined ideas, such as a god not really existing but there being some universal spiritual force, which you can’t define, etc. In reality they don’t have a belief at all and I really wouldn’t count them as being religious. They’re probably not quite as crazy as the ones who have a more well defined belief but they’re just as annoying!

And religious belief is often childish as well, and the comparison with Santa is a good one. After all Santa is based on a real saint from Christianity who allegedly performed as many great miracles as Jesus himself! But most adults don’t take that too seriously. They grow out of that idea so why can’t they grow out of their other equally silly ideas?

Quote 2:

You know there’s a web page called “Ask God” where children can ask questions from God and through the power of the Internet [sarcastic look] God will answer them. I’m a bit dubious, but… So the most asked question on “Ask God” is “were there kangaroos in the Ark”. So, children could ask any question in the world but a child’s mind works like this, they go “I like kangaroos, I think the Ark story is bullshit so… shazam”. And the answer to that question is “although there are no mentions of kangaroos in the Bible, it does state there were two of each animal so you can be assured there were kangaroos in the Ark”. Now why is there no mention of kangaroos in the Bible? Could it be that when the Bible was written Australia hadn’t been discovered so… no mention of kangaroos. But didn’t God create kangaroos? Isn’t the Bible written through the hand of man through the voice of God? But why didn’t he mention kangaroos? They’re such an exciting animal! It seems to me that they only seem to mention things in the Bible that are within a 5 mile radius of the guy writing it. Like if I was God in the end of the Bible I would have lent in and said “Oi, tell ’em it’s round”. ’cause, ah, didn’t know the world was round. F—ing built it, but didn’t know the world was round.

Analysis:

The flood story is clearly total nonsense. There is not the slightest doubt about it: a global flood did not happen, and animal species were not saved from extinction on an Ark. The discussion is over… or should be because unbelievably many of these f—ing idiot [there, I’m starting now too] Christians really think it happened!

Even if the flood story was only supposed to be a metaphor what sort of message does it send? I’ll tell you: some people weren’t behaving themselves the way God wanted so he killed them all. All the adults, guilty or not, all the children, all the unborn babies, everyone (except Noah and his family). But he wasn’t even happy with that! He killed almost all the animals (and presumably plants) as well. So the message seems to be God is a mindless, evil monster. Is that really it?

And regarding kangaroos. Of course there are many possible excuses for why they might not be mentioned in the Bible but extend the idea a bit further. Why are so many amazing things which science has discovered not mentioned in the Bible? Again you can make excuses about humans not being able to understand or not being ready for certain types of knowledge but surely there would be a few clues from the word of God which showed a greater knowledge of the real universe. But no, there’s nothing. Just primitive superstitious nonsense, almost as if the whole thing had been made up by desert nomads. Hey, perhaps it was.

Quote 3:

Now, when I started this show my first routine was about how lesbians were fat, ugly, useless, with no sense of humour, and you couldn’t applaud more. Then I killed an Arab man from a f—ing helicopter. Just shot him dead. Then I said… that Christians are bullshit and there is no god. And that’s the moment that half the audience chose to be offended. Was that the f—ing moment that got you? How very Christian of you towards the Muslims and the lesbians. Next time start your sentences with “Well, as a hypocrite…”

Analysis:

So far we know most Christians are childish, slightly insane, and believe complete nonsense. Now we see how they are also hypocritical. It’s true, I think. The only truly evil people I have ever talked to have been religious (Muslims as well as Christians). Sure, I have talked to some fairly good people who also had religious beliefs too but even they tended to become very upset and offended by comments against their beliefs rather than things that really mattered. In many cases their priorities are very mixed up!

Quote 4:

You think you’re a good person because you have Christian values? Do you want to know what Christian values are? Christian values are a load of shit. What are Christian values? The Ten Commandments. What are the Ten Commandments? Very sensible values to live your life by. Do you know what’s a load of shit about them? The fact that you had to have them written down! The fact that you couldn’t figure out internally not to kill people, don’t steal… really? You should just know these. These should be internal in you. The Bible is too wordy. All the stories are too wordy. The Ten Commandments are a load of shit. You don’t need all these things. The Bible should be just one sheet of paper and on that sheet of paper it should say just one thing “Try not to be a c—“.

Analysis:

The argument gets a bit self-contradictory here: Christian values are shit, they are represented by the Ten Commandments, which are a good guide for living. I sort of see what he’s saying but I think he’s wrong. The Ten Commandments are not a good guide at all. About half of them are OK: don’t kill, don’t steal, etc. But as he says, we all know this anyway and really moral people (like atheists) don’t do these things because they know they’re wrong. Christians either also know they’re wrong (independently of the Bible, in which case why have the Commandments) or they are inherently evil and only stopped from acting in an evil way by fear of breaking their God’s rules.

As well as being unnecessary the Ten Commandments are also incomplete and have superfluous elements. The first half about having only one god, something about graven images, and other crap, are irrelevant nonsense. The second half, as I said, are obvious and included in almost every moral philosophy (some pre-dating Christianity) so are also unnecessary. But what’s maybe worse is the lack of commandments related to important topics such as freedom, slavery, women’s rights, environmentalism, etc. Apparently God forgot about these, maybe because he was too concerned about people coveting their neighbour’s ass!

There are many times I would like to rant about religion the way the comedian did but it would possibly be seen as an unnecessary attack or even some sort of hate crime. But when an opinion is presented as humour it is often more acceptable. It’s a bit like a modern version of the court jester who is the only one who can criticise the king.

Yeah, all Christians should watch this movie, and please think about the message, and try not to be too offended!

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