retrospective

i thought, given the subject of the last cartoon and the nature of the comments… you wouldn’t mind if i cheated a bit and re- posted an old series which i think is appropriate. i won’t be making a habit of repeating old cartoons! :-)

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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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32 Responses to retrospective

  1. Jason says:

    As an atheist (who still enjoys your work) I’m going to go on record as saying I still don’t see God in any of these things. That’s not to say that God couldn’t have done these things… they just don’t need him and therefore aren’t proof of him.

    As always, keep up the great work making people think.

  2. Joel says:

    @Jason:

    As a non-atheist, might I conjecture that you don’t see God in any of those things because you’re trying not to? Or, alternatively, you’re looking for something that you will never ever find: proof. If one takes a more open-minded view and doesn’t seek just PROOF but SIGNS, you might be surprised what you’ll see.

  3. janetp says:

    Jason & Joel: I agree with both of you.

    No wonder I’m a mess! :)

  4. janetp says:

    Great cartoons, btw Jon. Even if they are ‘re-heated’. ;)

  5. Caz says:

    I think that they are proof of him for the simple reason that I think they were created BY him.

    I can never get my head around how people can think that all the amazing things of this world came from nothing.

  6. AndyP says:

    That’s an abuse of the word “proof” Caz.

  7. maxplanck says:

    Makes me think of ID. Don’t like that ;)

  8. becky says:

    For me it’s not “proof” but by participating in the mystery, I catch glimpses of God.

  9. jody says:

    i really liked these the first time, and still like them the second time :-)

    i don’t think that it can be argued that being in creation, i mean really being in it, participating in it and enjoying it, does something for the soul, even if it doesn’t lead you to an experience of that which is outside yourself, and certainly not immediately to the christian God, even if that’s where i end up with it.

  10. jody says:

    sorry, i meant to say that it can’t be argued against (that being in creation does something for the soul)……argh

  11. steve lancaster says:

    Missed these first time – thanks for the second shot, Jon! They’re great.

    There’s a new book out (3for2 at Waterstones) called ‘The Book of Atheist Spirituality’, by Andre Comte-Sponville, who argues that spirituality can be found by the contemplation of just being.

    But what he describes seems to me to be a meeting ground between atheists and theists, who also start (and never truly leave) just being. Do we?

  12. gilly says:

    oh flip, i’m not an atheist, i am a christian….and i don’t see God in any of this

    (sigh)

  13. Gavz says:

    The creator of something cannot be fully described though that which it creates. Even my best and complex creation – my own children – do not fully describe me, their father.

    In the same way, if there is a God, then this God created science and mathematics, and cannot be described using such a language.

    Therefore, to ask or demand proof for the existence of God is like trying to describe love with a mathematical formula. It’s just not logical. ;)

  14. zefi says:

    People kept saying that they don’t see God in many things, which is fine, but really, what are you expecting to *see*?

    Something?

    Someone?

    What physical matter can qualify as a proof for the existence of God?

    There’s this speculation about God, being perfect, had to withdraw His presence to allow the universe to be created.

    It’s like saying that a black hole doesn’t exist cos I can’t see it. I’m often surprised that with the high rate of accidents and crime, we still have billions of people alive. Statistics can be scary at times, but it led me to suspect that without God actively influencing this realm, there shouldn’t exist such thing as you and I. We should have been dead in our mother’s womb, or died falling off the stairs, or getting run over by a car, or fell into a drain hitting our head and die, or getting stabbed from behind and bleed to death, stuff like that.

    Yea, sounds gruesome. No, I’m not a sadist, I’m just pointing out how life should be if it’s logical, without an active deity, that is.

    You assume that life should be naturally good, and that bad things are proof that God does not exist.
    I believe that life is supposed to be bad, if not because of God making it livable.

    Sorry, I’m just being realistic here.

  15. Ros says:

    If you open your mind, and look closely, you can see God in any situation and anything! :D

  16. Made me smile
    Especially the last one :-)

  17. Love your blog! Did you hear about the people in a Fitness Health joint that can see Jesus on the ceililng? It was on CNN>

  18. Robb says:

    i wonder why (on either side) there is usually an undercurrent* of blame. “You don’t see it because you aren’t looking properly”. We often assume that because “I” am wired this way “you” must be wired this way too. Personally I see God in “Running with the Devil” by Van Halen and “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. You don’t have to, but I do.

    *perhaps an overcurrent.

  19. subo says:

    sharp one Robb, I always get in the way of the blame ball, and end up nursing a black eye or a bruised ego for weeks, never learned to duck.

    have really been thinking of taking a break from all organised christian activity to try to let my ego heal a little, but it’s not that simple, my ego also needs organised christian activity – if not in quite the abundance churches seem to think it should

    the worst bit is realising the blame ball has struck some of my friends, with whats looking like a fatal blow – so if I keep up with organised christian activity, and I culpable?

  20. subo says:

    should we look for God in Creation?

    for me it’s not only the knowledge that God was involved in Creation thats fab, but that he’s invested something of himself within our world, – in each of us.

    So looking at stuff, chilling with folk, lets you catch a glimps of Gods thoughts, just as absorbing a painting reveals a little of the artists personality – oh by the way, the Rothko open’s at the Tate tomorrow

  21. Robb says:

    Thanks Subo.

    The christianity thing is tough. I just moved into a community where one will certainly rub up against people in an uncomfortable way (those of you writing Mall Rats Jokes here need to wash your minds out with soap!!). It is the sort of place where the annoying parts of people are amplified – and you can’t escape the organised christian activity. I guess I am going to have to embrace the opportunity to respond to all those moments of grace that God is going to present me with.

    This afternoon was the moment where I was asked to – erm – “prune” a fig tree in the grounds. As I was “pruning” away with care free abandon, someone grabbed a fig from the floor and declared “don’t waste them”. A moment of grace appeared where I had to resist the inner me who screamed “*$&£% off I’m doing you a favour” and instead smiled sweetly and continued to use the strength of ten men in each hand to chop through branches with blunt shears.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that because Jesus loves us, we respond to him by joining his community. Sometimes that means we don’t like the people He loves. I know I don’t. Sometimes it means realising that Jesus does and that that is something to be embraced.

    Sorry, I ramble.

    At least the fig tree was thoroughly cursed – the wrath of Robb pevailed as it was thrown to the ground!

  22. Robb says:

    BTW, I love the painting analogy. Whilst He isn’t the canvas, He has invested in the canvas and been creative with it!

  23. subo says:

    “It is the sort of place where the annoying parts of people are amplified”,

    I am interested in studies of ‘Body States’, that look at how we react to things like love, exercise and fear, what struck me recently is how the modernism influence has set the church on a path to stress and fear, in contrast with a more traditionalist approach, where we were lulled to sleep

    what I mean by this is that I think there is something profoundly destructive about the way we organise things, causeing the maximum stress and distress to the most vulnerable – and for what? so we can be radical?

  24. AnneDroid says:

    Robb #18 – you’d get on well with a life-sentence prisoner I know who’s a Christian and very into thrash metal. He is constantly telling me about how he finds God speaking through lyrics. Perhaps God will soon tell him not to play it so loud as he’s annoying the guys round about!

  25. AnneDroid says:

    Jon, if I’d come up with these cartoons, I’d repost them constantly! They’re fab.

  26. AnneDroid says:

    In fact, Jon, I’ve posted them on my blog with a link back to you.

  27. Robb says:

    “there is something profoundly destructive about the way we organise things”

    Interesting thought. I have seen many different forms of organisation (I am reflecting upon this at the moment as I am in a totally different form of christian organisational structure than I have ever encountered before) and from my experience, the organisational aspects are not usually the problem. The problem is usually the human component. The component that used the organisation for personal gain/gratification/fulfillment.

    This is the case in any organisation – if you go to a working mens club it is usually even worse than most churches!!

    I will continue to ponder this as it has become a big question for me. When I posted the question about babies on my blog it started me thinking – perhaps when the emerging church emerges we will find that everything is pretty much the same as before…

    Anne – Tell the prisoner that he is not alone in this. It is normal to see God in different things and that there are kindred spirits out there! Tell him I wish him all the best for the future!

    And thanks once again for doing the job that you do. I am not sure that I could do it!

  28. subo says:

    I guess I think the way we set things up colours the way things happen, for instance I’ve been going to a church in Bristol which has spent the last two years waiting on God – for ‘what they should be doing’, a couple of people have just left, they found the uncertainty frustrating.

    I know my own interest and enthusiasm has evaporated through watching a process where the conversation between people somehow short circuits, no one is making sure people’s ideas are collected and worked with – maybe because people don’t realise just how important it is to value everyone’s contribution

  29. subo says:

    sorry, 28 follows my comments about the way we plan stuff in churches -”something profoundly destructive about the way we organise things”

  30. subo says:

    talking of seeing God in the world, your right, perhaps I get something of God from the love and fun from people at church, even if I think church planning structures overly stressful

  31. Kayte says:

    I find I can pray much more easliy when i’m up a hill somewhere. Love it.

  32. Carole says:

    Super posts, yet again. Thanks to all of you for invigorating my thoughts. I love the mix we get here…questioning Christians, ordained ministers, atheists, agnostics and everything in between.

    My response to the cartoons is yes, these are the places that I find God…but it is something which echoes in my spirit rather than something overt. It is that overwhelming sense of wellbeing and peace that a beautiful landscape, a newborn baby, a clear night sky or the miracles of nature give me. It is, in short, joy.

    I love these cartoons as much second time round, Jon. You forget how good they really are. I think it does no harm at all to revisit Classic ASBOJesus every now and again. Why should we just eat roast beef on Sunday when there is enough for sandwiches on Monday and casserole on Tuesday?

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