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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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92 Responses to 772

  1. soniamain says:

    I like that one:)

  2. Robb says:

    Invocation has always amused me.

  3. James says:

    But maybe the difference is him being there and them being receptive to that. So they are in a sense inviting God in.

  4. jonbirch says:

    aah… good point, james… not thought o’ that. :-) however, invocation, as robb suggests, is kinda odd, isn’t it?

  5. James says:

    But maybe they wern’t receptive to it. So in that sense they are inviting God in.

  6. Tiggy Sagar says:

    There’s that Hitler/David Mitchell character again!

    There’s a lady at my church who looks exactly like the one with the bun on the right, except she has bobbly, dangly earrings that bob about all the time writes raunchy novels under the guise of them being Christian ‘Mills and Boon’. Too much HRT, I reckon.

  7. becky says:

    I love how the Lord is dressed a bit different and has slightly darker skin – maybe they were looking for God in the mirror they didn’t see him in the eyes of the other?

  8. Tiggy Sagar says:

    I was wondering why he looked like a ten year old in a nativity play. Very Blakean. I hadn’t thought of seeing God as a child, but now I think of it that would be preferable – I like children and they like me.

  9. Robb says:

    Invocation is like inviting the owner of the house in!

  10. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Lol, yeah it does seem absurd and even insulting to God. We should acknowledge His presence instead.

    Robb, are you on msn? I’m bored and I’ve got no one to talk to.

  11. Pat says:

    What about epiclesis then Robb? :lol:

    I can see where you and Jon are coming from on this but I guess I’m with JAmes here: surely much of what we do (formal or informal rituals) in relation to God-things is not an attempt at reification – at making some sort of abstract reality come into being, but a restatement of the ontological realities – reminding ourselves of what always and everywhere IS….even if the language sometimes suggests the former.

    Don’t know if that makes sense but it’s late and my brain is frazzled – I know what I mean anyway! :-P

  12. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Yeah it was a bit of an ontological mouthful Pat!

    Do you mean it’s a declarative statement?

    I think Robb has gone to bed. At least, he didn’t join me on msn :-(

    Tiggy – missing her mum.

  13. danielg says:

    I agree here, this is one of the ‘prayers’ that really annoy me.

    Lord be with us? Perhaps we should pray, Lord, may we be with YOU.

    Also annoying? ‘Bless this food to our bodies.’ Does that mean that God can make the french fries healthy, and we don’t need to diet? Does prayer make bad food nutritious? Silly.

  14. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Maybe that’s like the Yiddish, ‘Wish you well to eat it!’
    And of a new coat, ‘Wish you well to wear it!’

    I detest all religious cliches, which kind of makes going to church a bit hard.

  15. Mike says:

    Yea. Good theology. Jesus is with us here and now.

  16. miriworm says:

    Always remember Rob Frost talking about how people would be surprised if God answered the prayer to ‘turn our eyes inwards’! :-o
    Also once heard someone pray for ‘all those people in the unihabited parts of the world”! :-D

  17. rockingrev says:

    I remember talking with a group of ministers about this subject and how we invite the Holy Spirit to bless our services when they are already carefully scripted in front of us. Should we be more honest and say, Lord bless this service of worship, but not too much because I like to remain in control here and we do not want things to get out of hand! Annie Dillard once wrote something along the lines of, have we any idea what power we are invoking. We should not be wearing fancy hats to church when we do this but crash helmets!

  18. JF says:

    My observation is that the words have little to do with God anyway, and everything to do with getting each other in the mood for a bit of public praying.

    “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do] for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

    Anyone ever counted the repetition of the word “Lord” in a prayer meeting?

  19. JF says:

    And the word “just”.

  20. rebecca says:

    JF (#19): did you go to Greenbelt in 2001, and if so do you remember what Tony Campolo had to say about that reading?

    If you heard, you will probably remember, because the universal applicability he applied to the reading was positively shocking. At the debriefing session afterwards I said “Did he REALLY say that to find God you have to shut yourself in a cupboard?” and one of the trustees (I’d better not mention the name) said that it depended who you shut yourself in the cupboard with, which guaranteed that I’d never be able to take Tony Campolo’s sermon seriously again. If I ever could.

  21. Spiralis says:

    His prayer continued:

    Lord we also ask that you will be with our friend Doris and dear Jane and Mabel and ……
    Watch over us as we go our ways this week.
    We pray that the weather is good too.


    I’ve always wondered why we say – “and I pray that….. ” in a prayer? Is it just a holy way of saying I ask? Or is there more to it? Surely the fact that you are praying removes the need to keep saying “and I pray … and I pray… ” throughout a prayer……
    any ideas why ? thanks

  22. subo says:


    am going to have to stop watching scream movies

  23. Robb says:

    Tiggy – sorry, I don’t do MSN and I was out.

    Pat – I love a good mass. Is there anything to be said for having another mass?

    There is one thing communicating reality through the things that we do. It is another to convey an unreality.

    I will do what I always do and tell a story. Some of my friends are as high church as it gets. When I was at theological college one of the highest spikiest Anglo Catholics I have ever met would go and pray before the tabernacle.

    One morning he had been in the little chappel for about thirty seconds whilst I and the other sacristans set up the church for mass. He stormed out of the chapel muttering “the f#’@ing things empty” and carried on walking.

    Sacristan 1 and I looked at each other bewildered. We went to investigate and lo and behold, the door to the safe was ajar and nothing was inside. Sacristan 1 who is right up the candle and also one of the most spiky Anglo-Catholic I know turn to me and said “but he does know that Jesus is still here and will still listen to him praying doesn’t he”.

    It transpires that a diabetic was having a hypo and in their confused state managed to go and find the key to the tabernacle and scoff the host. I think it is worth it for the profound theological lesson he taught us all that day!!

  24. JF says:

    Rebecca… no, never been to Greenbelt and I don’t know Tony Campolo. But I have heard of Jesus!

    I don’t think the “closet” is actually a cupboard! Just somewhere closed off; i.e. a quiet place on your own.

    Seems if you have an internal God, you can hear him all the time, but if you close out everything else, you hear him better (this would be what Jesus was advocating).

    With an external God, however, his silence is deafening until you meet up in a group to summon him up like a genie from a lamp. This could be what church, Greenbelt (and maybe the Florida revival?) is all about?

  25. jonbirch says:

    hey jf… agree up to the point where you say god external is silent. i see god in you, in nature, in sunsets, in black holes… no invoking necessary and all external to me. granted, my experience is internal and maybe that’s an interesting point for debate. :-)

  26. jonbirch says:

    good story, robb! :-)

  27. jonbirch says:

    i led worship when tony campolo was speaking once. he was asked to speak for half an hour… went on well over an hour. my first and last experience of him.

  28. Pat says:

    Robb – I’m sure there is….and Father Crilly says a lovely Mass :lol:

    I loved your story! And I take your point. I fear though that it could be a rather depressing exercise to think of all the things we might be saying and doing (as individuals and churches)that are conveying ‘unreality’ rather than actualising that which God essentially is :-(

  29. beatthedrum says:

    Thats something that has always got my goat somewhat. The constant calls for God to be present, for jesus to be present with us, how we invite him ito our meeting….. how dare we ‘invite’ him into our meetings. HE IS THE CREATOR REDEEMER ALL POWERFUL GOD…

    Yeash our presumptions are amazing.

    He is ALWAYS present that is what OMIPRESENT means…… yes sometimes He is more open about his presence as in for can ‘feel’ him more but he is never more or less present…..

    The nerve os some people!


  30. Pat says:

    Jon @ 26: if we start on that discussion, we’ll be here ’til Greenbelt and beyond! :-D

  31. Wiggy says:

    Jon – was just thinking about the ‘brothers in christ’ terminology. Could there be some cartoon that looks as how we try and bless our ‘brothers in christ’ (ie other christians) but we sometimes treat them better than our own brothers in blood?

  32. becky says:

    I never heard Tony Campalo speak – I like some of his books though but he is starting to get too political – Jesus is not a Democrat even though he did ride a donkey.

    Tony Campalo got banned from Calvin College (a very conservative Christian school) for saying the word sh*t during a speech – no clue if ban has been lifted.

  33. Robb says:

    Wiggy – Paul’s model of church – family.

    Which church do you go to where people treat each other that well?

    Becky – was it campolo who said shit and then went on to say “and all you really care about is the fact that I said shit”?

    Mike Yakonelli has a similar story about a girl who wandered in to church and months later told them how great they had been to her whilst her life was shit.

    That apparently doesn’t go down well in a testimony.

  34. Carole says:

    Robb (24) :lol: funny story!

  35. Tiggy Sagar says:

    ‘when thou prayest, enter into thy closet’

    It’s too full up with clothes. Dyou think that’s where C.S. Lewis got the idea for Narnia?

    ‘a diabetic was having a hypo and in their confused state managed to go and find the key to the tabernacle and scoff the host.’

    I’d have drunk the wine.

  36. beckyG says:

    34. Rob – yep so the story goes …

  37. Hazel says:

    That’s not a very holy prayer, it doesn’t follow the linguistic rules of praying. If it was “Dear Lord, we would invite you to just be really here with us right now, if it is your will” that would be much better.

  38. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Re. ‘shit’.

    Is this a word Christians disapprove of? I’m kind of out of touch.

    I used the word the other day to one of our church leaders, but it was actually referring to shit because of the toilet blockage in my flat. I think I just said, ‘There was shit everywhere.’

    Wouldn’t Jesus have sworn if he’d hit his nail with a hammer when carpentering?

  39. JF says:

    Tiggy – I hope not. Maybe when he hit his thumb?!

  40. Robb says:

    Interesting asside. Was Jesus a carpenter? He is referred to as “the carpenters son” once or twice but never as “the carpenter”. He is referred to as “rabbi” on numerous occasions. Would it not make sense that he was in fact a rabbi rather than a carpenter.

    After all I am not an electrician.

  41. Tiggy Sagar says:

    I meant his fingernail, not a nail he was MEANT to be hammering!

    Apparently Joseph was more of a builder than a carpenter. I think rabbis kept their day jobs. St. Paul did.

  42. beckyG says:

    39. In certain Christian circles here in the US one does not say shit even if one is actually throwing the theological equivalent of shit that is hurting others.

  43. Tiggy Sagar says:

    And if you’re on the receiving end?

    I didn’t realise ‘shit’ was still a rude word – Merd!

  44. danielg says:

    >> Tiggy: I didn’t realise ’shit’ was still a rude word

    Are you kidding? Only someone totally immersed in the uncouth world, or a teenager unaware of social norms could think that. Profanity is rude. I’m not saying we don’t all do it, but it’s not part of mature, polite, or official conversation.

  45. danielg says:

    BTW, this cartoon reminds me of something I heard a humorous preacher say.

    He was talking about churches that are all emotion and shouting, and mistake their excitement for the presence of God. He was at one meeting where someone stood up and said “Thus sayeth the lord, I am here.”

    He said, “I wanted to stand up and say ‘Thus sayeth the Lord, NO I AM NOT!'”

  46. Robb says:

    I am the son of a miner and friend of many squadies. I often swear like a trouper.

    Never do in the dog collar unless I am just with people who are really close to me who have known me for years. Sweary vicars are tiresome. I even cringe when friends swear in dog collars. It just gets really old really quick.

    Having said that, I have managed to keep pit talk in the tap room and away from my mother for years. Doesn’t change the fact that when my dad and I go to the working mens club for a game of snooker we swear like miners.

    Golden rule. Never swear as punctuation. If you are emphasising a point perhaps. Punctuating sentences with swear words for no reason usually means you need a better education.

  47. danielg says:

    Rob, I think I need an American English translation of what you said. New vocab include:
    – squadie
    – dog collar
    – tap room

  48. Queerprayer says:

    So true. Today I had a big prayer sesh with a friend wherein I asked God to come and send his presence. An hour later I walked past 3 homeless folk without so much as a side glance.

  49. JF says:

    Queerprayer, it’s very honest of you to see those homeless people as evidence of God’s presence, but it’s true that, if you ascribe a healing or blessing to him, then you have also to ascribe to him the fact that people are sick or homeless.

    It then becomes difficult to fathom why God’s will seems to work simultaneously in ways which we would consider to oppose each other.

    I take another, simpler view, namely that both / all events transpire independently of any manipulating force. I can find no evidence that it is otherwise.

  50. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Only someone totally immersed in the uncouth world, or a teenager unaware of social norms could think that

    Er… I don’t hang out with anyone uncouth – I’m rather elitist like that. I only hang out with rather articulate, intelligent people in Bath which is on the whole the epitomy of polite and cultured society. And most people I know say ‘shit’ without thinking twice about it and no one considers that they are being rude to anyone. So do my parents who are from East London. Btw, I’m a very long way from being a teenager! By the way, your two posts were rather contradictory. Is saying ‘shit’ only okay if you’re a miner in a working men’s club or tap-room (isn’t that an eighteenth century term?) So called ‘swear words’ are just words like any others, to be used in the appropriate syntactical context. Personally, I love a good Anglo-Saxon intensifier to give weight to my sentence. I don’t use swear words to attack people.

  51. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Oh sorry Robb, I got muddled up because the posts and photos are so close. I thought your post was from danielg. Don’t know what part of America you’re from Daniel, but in NY they certainly say ‘shit’ a lot.

  52. danielg says:

    Perhaps I was expecting Christian sensibilities from you. I just find it surprising that anyone would consider words like ‘shit’ as ‘not rude’, that is, not profane or ‘bad’ or crass. People that hold that using curse words in normal speech is ok are usually profane themselves, with little in the way of moral understanding.

    Perhaps by ‘not rude’ you didn’t mean to elevate the word ‘shit’ to normal acceptable speech.

    Even though I am a pastor, I am known to say shit on occasion, so I’m not judging anyone’s use of the word. But I wouldn’t fool myself into thinking that such words were something less than profane or ‘rude’ in the sense that they are expletives.

    I certainly don’t want my children learning to use those at a young age.

    To say that they are no different than words like “ouch!” is, to me, justifying a type of profane, unholy, speech.

    But the whole idea of ‘profane’ speech, and the use of expletives that have root in our sexual and excretive bodily functions, is an entire subject all its own.

    You might enjoy my musing on this subject, A Theology of Profanity

  53. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Hmm, Christian ‘sensibilities’. That sounds more like late Victorian, bourgois sensibilities to me. Did Jesus say anything about not swearing? Christian sensibilities to me would be things like loving your neighbour.

    Unlike you, I don’t divide the world up into ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’. I try to find God in everything.

    ‘People that hold that using curse words in normal speech is ok are usually profane themselves, with little in the way of moral understanding.’

    Rather a crass sentence! What do you know about people’s moral understanding? It’s certainly not something you can judge from their choice of vocabulary. I think you must have led quite a narrow life if you think that.

    I do think that you should refrain from commenting on another culture. I was asking about the use of the word ‘shit’ in British culture, not America, and that’s not something you would know anything about. We do tend to swear more here and in a more jocular way. For example some Americans on a forum I posted on didn’t believe that I was being friendly when I said to someone, ‘You lucky bastard!’. The use of that term as a friendly endearment was outside their experience.

  54. rebecca says:

    Tiggy (#54): before Daniel G jumps on you: Jesus did say something about not swearing. See Matthew 5 vv 33-37. But he is talking about swearing oaths, rather than the use of expletives.


    Daniel G — I’m loath to criticise somebody I know almost nothing about, but — you could see the “but” coming there, couldn’t you — picking up on the same sentence that Tiggy picked up on, it isn’t very gracious to make sweeping assumptions about somebody just on the basis of what language they use. There is no end of factors which affect somebody’s use of language — at the most basic level, their mother tongue will depend on where they are from (or possibly what language their parents spoke). And people learn to use expletives as they learn to use other words.

    BTW: Tiggy, now that I know you’re from Bath, I’ve looked around to see if I have any contacts there who might be able to offer you a lift to Greenbelt, but I’m afraid I can’t find anyone.

  55. Robb says:

    Danielq –

    squadie = someone who is in the army
    dog collar = clerical shirt. Piece of plastic worn around the neck to signify working for the church. Usually Catholic, Anglican or Methodist here in the UK but not always.
    Tap Room = a Yorkshirism denoting a room in the pub usually frequented by working men where it is deemed acceptable to talk in a colourful manner…

    Colourful = colorful but in English :P

    Tiggy – are you talking to me?

    Danielg – Oh no – I have little in the way of moral understanding.

    Oh well.

    Tiggy (54) – here in the UK it would be a real achievement to be called that.

  56. Kirsty B says:

    In my understanding, most “4 letter words” were designatated swear words by the victorians as they were not deemed polite as they were terms used by the working classes.
    Anyway, back to the cartoon, just throwing the question into the mix, not sure about what I think of this myself but IS God always everywhere? Can He leave? I was reading something in the Complex CHrist (Kester brewin) about whether God is always in our church services or not, but I can’t remember much more beyond that. It caused me to ponder. Has anyone else read it?

  57. Tiggy says:

    ‘Can He leave?’ Wow, what a weird and wonderful question! Presumably He could leave if he wanted to, but WOULD he? If God is sustaining the universe, wouldn’t that particular piece of universe collapse or something if He left? Or can God sustain from the outside without being Himself present? I wonder if the Scholastics had a go at this one…

    PS. Rebecca – thanks for trying!

  58. beckyg says:

    56. I’ve heard dog collar and flea collar used to describe the white band priests put around their necks.

    Re: saying shit – what’s ridiculous is that Tony Campolo was banned for letting that word slip during a speech by Calvin College.

    I’d like to distinguish between saying shit in general and shit as a perceived leader of a religious community. I live in NYC where swearing is commonplace. And I can really let them rip. However, because I am a published Christian writer, I work on keeping my swearing to a minimum though I am human.

    This is part of a larger discussion we’ve had with other cartoons re: how Christian pastors/authors/speakers should behave when on church business – some folks think being cool is OK at all costs and I have had my ass chewed out for suggesting that moves like going to gay bars (or straight pick up joints), flirting on facebook etc. are moves that one choosing a professional career as a Christian leader should think twice about doing — or else the focus becomes on the mishaps and not the message.

    Tony C. is a case in point – he let one S word slip during a speech and no one remembers what the speech was about at all.

  59. Tiggy says:

    Hahaha! ‘had my ass chewed out’. Now that would be considered really vulgar here. I always think that our ‘arse’ sounds worse than your ‘ass’.

    I don’t know about the leadership thing. Jesus was a leader and he hung out with ‘undesirables’ in the ‘wrong’ places. I would have more respect for a Christian leader who did that to be honest.

    I also think one of the roles of Jesus was to be iconoclastic, which means we shouldn’t necessarily think in terms of conforming to polite society’s mores or Little House on the Prairie or whatever. Jesus broke the rules and shocked people, especially the rules around what is and isn’t taboo.

    Me, I just love words! I’m an English teacher.

  60. danielg says:

    >> REBECCA: it isn’t very gracious to make sweeping assumptions about somebody just on the basis of what language they use.

    Actually, it is proper and useful to make initial evaluations of someone based on their speech, since this is one of the most important indicators of their spiritual maturity.

    Matthew 12:34
    You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

    Ephesians 4:29
    Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

    James 3:2b
    If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

    >> TIGGY: Hmm, Christian �sensibilities�. That sounds more like late Victorian, bourgois sensibilities to me. Did Jesus say anything about not swearing? Christian sensibilities to me would be things like loving your neighbour.

    That’s the problem – you seem see such maturity and purity as “victorian” – which I take to be a classic modernist, liberal, and distintctly non-Christian view of what it means to be mature. I may be assuming too much, but if your view of Christianity is merely a sentimental positivism summarized by ‘love your neighbor’ (the ‘second’ greatest commandment) which omits the internal maturity and purity involved in ‘love God’ (the first commandment), I suspect that you may not be a born-again believer at all, or at least, one who has not walked very far on the path to xian maturity.

    Perhaps my assumption is wrong. As I said, I use profanity on occaison, and don’t kick myself over it very much, but neither do I excuse it as unimportant or unreflective of my true inner state.

    True ‘Christian sensibilities’ eschew evil, which includes evil thoughts, speech, and actions, and we have copious support for such a view in the bible. This is not to be confused with mere outward religion, or ‘Victorian’ rule keeping, which IS deadening.

    But to say that such speech is not somehow condemned by scripture as improper (though you might make a weak argument for limited use of profanity, see the many links provided in my article on profanity above) shows for me a great unawareness of the Biblical teachings on the importance of what we say.

  61. Tiggy says:

    But I don’t say ‘evil’ things. Saying ‘shit’ if you miss the bus or whatever is not ‘evil’ or ‘corrupt’. I think Jesus had more important things in his mind than that when he said those things – expressing hatred or being judgemental for instance.

    Seeing those sensibilites as Victorian is taking an historical view that recognises that things haven’t always been viewed in the same way. For my university studies I specialised in the history of ideas and you soon see how relative to a specific historical context particular ideas are on what is ‘proper’. I’m sure a lot of things that Jesus and his disciples said would be disapproved of today as impolite.

    You have a pretty strange idea of what ‘evil’ and ‘maturity’ are. And my God, you ARE pompous!

  62. danielg says:

    >> TIGGY: think Jesus had more important things in his mind than that when he said those things expressing hatred or being judgemental for instance.

    What we think and what God has revealed are often not the same thing.

    Sure, Jesus was concerned about LOVE, but you act as if such things are not connected to our speech. It’s BOTH AND, not one or the other.

    And quite honestly, in my opinion (what *I* think), the more you grow in love, the less you end up using profanity. Take your level of profanity as a measure of your maturity, and stop excusing it!

    I’m not saying the person who does NOT swear is necessarily more mature or spiritual (though James words would indicate that only a mature person really has control of his tongue), but I AM saying that a person who DOES swear IS revealing a lack of maturity.

    This formulation works with faith and works as well. You say you have works (“I don’t swear”) but you lack faith/hope/love, what have you? Nothing. However, if you have faith (I am growing in love, really!) but have not works (my speech is still profane), perhaps you are decieved!

    I think that’s the point. We all stumble in this area (as James 3 indicates), but to excuse it is to miss the real significance of our speech AS A SELF-DIAGNOSTIC TOOL that reflects the TRUE state of our heart.

    And EXCUSING it is even worse because it shows a great ignorance of and IGNORES the truth contained in the scriptural understanding of what we say – it reveals what the heart is FULL of, as Jesus said.

    Say “shit” pretty often? I’d say there’s some serious “shit” still in the heart, even if we want to say ‘that doesn’t mean what you think it means.’ It means MORE than what most of us think it means.

    Here’s a possibly relevant scripture regarding what comes OUT of our mouths as what is truly spiritual:

    Mark 7 15
    It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit – that’s the real pollution.

  63. Tiggy says:

    No, I don’t excuse my swearing because I don’t happen to think there’s anything wrong with it. I don’t happen to say ‘shit’ a lot in any case. I have been using the word in the literal sense lately because there a serious plumbing problem in my block of flats. None of the people at my church, including a couple of the leaders, considered it a bad or inappropriate word to use.

    When I do swear it’s usually for comic effect, but you’re far too humourless to understand that. I almost never swear in anger and never AT people. It’s a good job you didn’t live in Chaucer’s time when a great many of the words you disapprove of were commonly used and not rude.

    It’s pretty obvious from those Biblical texts you quoted that they are not talking about swear words, but about the expression of thoughts that would be damaging to other people.

    Anyway, I’ve had enough of hearing your pontifications about me and I don’t particularly like your ‘vomit’, so I think we’ll leave it there.

  64. beckyg says:

    IMO, Jesus broke the law so he could bring forth the kingdom of God – e.g., which is more important keeping the law and letting a person suffer or breaking the law so that person could be set free. As Christians, we are commanded to do likewise in love.

    That’s NOT what I’m referencing – Jesus hung out with sinners there are no signs of him say flirting with say the temple prostitutes. If he came back today and say set up say a Facebook account, I don’t think you’d find no photos of say Jesus wasted on the toilet and other moves.

    In the United States, I try not to swear when I’m in church settings or in some other capacity as a professional writer because if I do it’s like cutting a solitary fart in a room – very weird and uncomfortable feeling. NOW, if I am out with some of y’all for beers and we’re in a setting where we’re all letting a few rip, I am much looser with my language. And when I’m in a foreign country, I VERY much watch myself until I get a sense of the culture.

  65. beckyg says:

    My bad grammar – I meant to say “You wouldn’t find any photos” …

  66. Tiggy says:

    Can I just point out that I don’t flirt with prostitutes either? :-)

  67. beckyg says:

    68. Good for you – Tiggy. I think we have to look at WHY Jesus broke social conventions and they were to cut through the BS that keeps us from the love of God. If you’ll notice, Jesus uses different language when addressing specific groups of people.

  68. Robb says:

    I personally love getting old versions of the bible and reading the swear words. It is the 7 year old child inside me that makes me do it.

  69. Tiggy says:

    Hmm, now is that different to reading the naughty bits in D.H. Lawrence? Not that they’re very good. Personally, I much prefer the Song of Songs. No one does erotica quite like the ancients, though some of the Indian writers come quite close – all those mangoes!

  70. Robb says:

    It allows for much less self riteousness than DH Lawrence.

  71. Tiggy says:

    And pretentiousness! And you never get any mangoes in D.H. Lawrence.

    The Song of Songs is thought to have come from Yemen – like me! I wish I could read Arabic and study all those beautiful Yemeni songs. Yemen had a large Jewish population and was officially Jewish for a brief period so you get some Hebrew songs from there too.

  72. Robb says:

    Are you implying the Kama Sutra? It is mostly just the same as the song of songs. It is the later illustrated versions that had the addition of a couple of stylised (sp?) pics.

    I think that the church… and indeed Judaism… would look much cooler if the song of songs had been illustrated in a similar manner by the ancients.

  73. Robb says:

    And by cooler I don’t mean lower in tempreature :D

  74. Tiggy says:

    NO, I did NOT mean the Kama Sutra! That’s not poetry – it’s a sex manual. How can you say it’s like the Song of Songs?? The Song of Songs doesn’t talk about sexual positions – well not that I remember. It’s all olives and pomegranates – no mangoes sadly, wrong climate. The Illustrated Song of Songs – now there’s a publishing opportunity. I wonder if it’s been done…?

  75. Robb says:

    The actual real hindu spiritual book the kama sutra is love poetry like the song of songs. In reality it is a big dissapointment if that is what you are looking for.

    The karma sutra (sic) is how the western world has rewritten all of that in modern mythology and dodgy VHS casettes.

    At least the Kama Sutra has an honest name. “Pleasure of the flesh” is much more accurate than Song of Songs.

    Sorry – I digress. The bible is ace!!

    [Oh dear – I was a random theologian before I digressed and became cleric]

  76. Tiggy says:

    I don’t know where you got that from Robb. The Kama Sutra is a prose work. ‘Karma’ Sutra is just a misspelling.

    I was thinking of other ancient Indian writers and some modern ones. Us Eastern types are more passionate y’know. ;-)

  77. Robb says:

    I know it is a misspelling. That is why I wrote sic next to it.

    It is littered with anustubh verses throughout. I have to admit it is a lot more graffic and sexual than the song of songs. But it is a lot less graffic than it is in people’s imagineering.

    Where did I get that? At university my best friend learned sanskrit and made me go to all the modules in Eastern religions. In return I made her go to all of the modules in christianity and biblical criticism. We have really interesting conversations :D

    I didn’t learn sanskrit. It was at 9AM and it would have just been me and her and dermot killingley in a room four days of the week. I decided that she should go by herself. :D

    She is really good at telling people that their tattoos mean “made in india” LOL!!

  78. Tiggy says:

    Just having a particular metre isn’t enough to make it poetry. The Pali Buddhist texts are the same, but I wouldn’t call those poetry either. Like the Kama Sutra, they are too didactic to be poetry, though a lot more boring.

    Even I would have got up for nine to learn Sanskrit and I’m rarely in bed before three. But I had my alarm wired up to an espresso machine in those days.

  79. Robb says:

    Are you suggesting that that poetry cannot be didactic?

    Sorry, probability states that none of this is going to be to anyones taste. I just glanced at my CD collection and “keep em separated by the offspring” could definitely be said to be didactic. That’s the CD that just happens to be at eye level.

    All of the best poetry is didactic. The outpouring of the soul to the benefit of others. What we are left with otherwise is Britney Spears.

  80. Tiggy says:

    Yes, I am. I don’t know the particular song you mention or if it’s poetry. My definition of didactic is not ‘The outpouring of the soul to the benefit of others.’ And I like Britney Spears, esp. ‘Toxic’.

  81. Robb says:

    I can’t believe that you think that poetry can’t be written with intention to teach.

    Heck even the online dictionary defines didactic poetry as its second definition of didactic!

  82. Robb says:

    PS the Offspring album Smash is pretty much punk didactic poetry from start to finish. Anti road rage/gun crime/low self esteem and so on.

    Their pinacle. All before and after pales in significance….

  83. Tiggy says:

    Give me an example of some didactic poetry – the actual words. I know there are rhymes that are didactic, but I wouldn’t call them poetry.

  84. Tiggy says:

    PS. Never try to type whilst eating a Mini Magnum.

  85. Tiggy says:

    This expresses my thoughts on so-called didactic poetery,


  86. Robb says:

    Sorry – have to go to bed. Work in not very long.

    How are you defining poetry?

    I guess you could sit quite happily at dinner with Edgar Allan Poe ;)

  87. Tiggy says:

    That would depend on his table manners.

    I have ice-cream in my keyboard.

  88. becky says:

    BTW-i had a major crush on Edgar Allen Poe’s work when I was a pre-teen. I would sit down to dinner with Edgar Allen Poe but then leave once it got to after dinner drinks.

  89. Tiggy says:

    Why would you leave? I read a novel about Poe, about a detective investigating his death. It was really good, but I can’t remember who the author was.

    How did things get on to Poe anyway???

  90. CC says:

    (perhaps it’s a little bit offtopic now), but @ 45: Here in the Netherlands, ‘shit’ is a perfectly acceptable word to swear with – it’s not considered as rude at all. (it’s sort of a ‘polite’ substitute for ‘damn’)There are certain words which ought not to be used in public, but ‘shit’ isn’t one of them.
    So, it was really embarassing to discover that it’s considered as really impolite in the US…

    I think this is a great cartoon! Apparently I’m not the only one who feels annoyed when people try to ‘invocate’ God.

  91. Tiggy says:

    I wasn’t even using it to swear with – I was describing what happened when my toilet got blocked and overflowed! My church leader didn’t seem the slightest bit bothered by it and she’s very genteel.

    They won’t even mention the toilet in America – they say they’re going to the ‘bathroom’ or ‘restroom’. Very prissy. For some reason, my family tend to swear in Yiddish and they aren’t even Jewish! Even the seven year old says ‘bumpf’ for fart.

    ‘Invocate’?? Is that different to ‘invoke’?

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