My Fellow Inebriates,
You’d think I’d get more comments like the one I received last night from one Robert Richard, aka “Nice Chrstian [sic] Guy.”
robert richard Apr 7, 11:18 pm
I’m offended by your use of the name Jesus in this way. Obviously you are ignorant of the diety Christ holds, obvious you are ignorant of the consequences you will face because of your insubordination. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of God! Really! He doesn’t mess around and YOU need to backtrack and rethink your foolishness.
Nice Chrstian Guy
Who knew Christians stayed up so late? The comment is in response to this picture and the title “Fix It Jesus-Style”:
Robert’s message is the kind of comment that actually makes my fur hurt. I guess I’ll just go through it bit by bit.
I’m offended by your use of the name Jesus in this way.
What are you doing on my site, dude??? What are you looking for? Doesn’t the Bible forbid drinking? Are you scanning just in case there’s a review for O’Doul’s? (There is.)
Okay, so, Robert buddy, being offended is a choice. It’s not like having your leg broken. It’s your chosen reflex to something I published for an audience that is not captive. (I have the crappy site stats to prove that.)
Incidentally, lots of guys are named Jesus.
Obviously you are ignorant of the diety [sic] Christ holds…
I guess this is where Liquorstore Bear gets definitively outed as an infidel. But here’s the thing, Robert dude…I just don’t know. I guess you could say I’m a
Right? I totally don’t know. But you don’t know either. So you can believe what you want and it’s cool. As for me, well, we probably won’t run into each other at any barbecues, will we? So it’s probably cool if we just leave each other be.
Oh yeah. It’s spelled D-E-I-T-Y. And I’m not actually ignorant of the fact that many, many people believe in the divinity of Christ and consider Christ a deity. (Got that usage? Tricky, right?) Again, totally cool with me.
The humans at LBHQ were actually raised as Christians—one Catholic and the other a more vague, inclusive flavor. We have a bunch of well-read Bibles and plenty of Christian relatives with whom we coexist pretty peacefully.
Going back to ignorance, there is a difference between being ignorant of the fact that people believe Christ is a deity and the “fact” that he is one, which you cannot know for sure (and nor can I). You cannot be ignorant of a non-fact. Your accusation of ignorance is tantamount to saying I’m ignorant of the fact that blue is the nicest color. (But don’t worry, Robert, there’s a laundry list of stuff I don’t know shit about, like quantum physics, how to index a book, why my homemade liqueur has curds…)
…obvious [sic] you are ignorant of the consequences you will face because of your insubordination.
You do mean in the afterlife, right, Robert? You’re not going to throw a brick through the LBHQ window or anything? And…oh yeah—insubordination to what? If you mean insubordination to you, then I guess I’ll have to hunt through my files to see if I’ve agreed to be your employee (or did you mean slave? because the Bible’s okay with that). But if you mean insubordination to God, then maybe you and I should both leave it to God. Even though he’s probably busy and whatnot, I’m sure he’ll get around to punishing me when he’s ready. As long as you don’t mind waiting. You seem kind of eager, Robert.
It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of God!
I thought God was supposed to be nice. Especially NT God, who seems like a mellower, middle-aged sort of God whose prefrontal cortex is fully on line now so he doesn’t get sudden nasty impulses. You make falling into his hands seem like getting mugged or something, Robert.
Really! He doesn’t mess around and YOU need to backtrack and rethink your foolishness.
Dude, he totally messes around. Look at the way he messed around with Abraham that time. Kill your son! Oh wait—I was only messing around, let him go. Throughout the Bible (Leviticus, anyone?) God tells people to do horrific things. (That’s what I meant about OT God as opposed to NT God—he was off the hook in ancient times, right?) If you don’t think God messes around with people, check out what he asked Noah to do.
Okay, so I know this is low-hanging fruit here and only adherents to a literal interpretation of the Bible will be offended by it (um…why are you here??). For many people, faith is totally compatible with science and modern life—and kindness, compassion, openness to other people’s opinions, a sense of humor—you name it.
So how would I backtrack? I’m a pretty dumb animal, I admit it. To give you an example, for a long time I thought water was poisonous. I’m a total idiot. But I try to be open-minded. So I’ll keep thinking about how to be less foolish. Will you, Robert, give some thought to how you can be more of a
Nice Chrstian [sic] Guy
and more open-minded, instead of threatening small bears who don’t have a chance of getting into Heaven anyway because Heaven is reserved for human beings and not dumb animals?
My Fellow Inebriates,
When a pair of friendly Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on our door this week to regale us about the miracles of our 6000-year-old planet, whose majestic Grand Canyon sprang up in a geologic nanosecond, it was obvious we need more science in our lives, especially out here in Langley.
It’s important to be precise with your measurements, as my mother stressed to our visitors. She offered them some books on evolution, but they said they already had their own, so why would they need to read further?
I told her she should have invited them in to do shots with us.
My Fellow Inebriates,
‘Tis the season for manger scenes. I haven’t posted one since last year, but a friendly spammer visited to tell me she’d seen one featuring liquor bottles. And get this—the whole thing was an ad for Liquorstore Bear. OMG!
I saw an ad for liquorstore bear for this Christmas season, I found it to be in very poor taste!! The ad had liquor bottles placed to create a nativity seen, including one in a manger to represent my Savior!! I found this to be extremely distasteful and offensive! There are just so many other things you could have done in order to advertise for this season! If you need help in your advertising department, feel free to contact me! I assure you I can do much better than that for any season! Extending you wishes for a very Merry Christmas, and of course, a Happy New Year!
I don’t run any ads, people. The enterprise just isn’t that large. But last year I did run the pic Teena is talking about.
As heartening as it is to be pitched on advertising and chastened for blasphemy in the same missive, Teena’s objections to the Liquor Nativity seemed a little automatic and underexamined. And since I hadn’t drunk anything interesting to write about, I was happy to find myself with a topic.
What makes an alcohol nativity scene offensive as opposed to one made of clay, wood, plastic, or glass? What assumptions could Teena be bringing to the table (or stable)? Does the medium used to create the artwork carry connotations, and if so, are those connotations incompatible with piety?
The media in this case are bottles of Absolut, Jagermeister, Cutty Sark, Jack Daniel’s, etc. None of these products had been invented in the year 0, although Jesus Christ notably made wine from water at a wedding in Cana.
One of our neighbors’ lawns has a manger set-up with inflatable figures that glow in the dark. These undoubtedly were invented well after the year 0, and not until last century did blow-up figures develop their own arguably irreverent connotations. The neighbor’s display is okay, right? Or should I email him saying his lawn ornaments remind me of inflatable sex dolls? Or that I’m worried about the Lord being detached by vandals and punted around the yard?
As for other artistic media, if someone fashioned a nativity scene out of clay, and the clay turned out to be not clay but fecal matter, but you couldn’t tell…well—is the end product offensive?
Teena might well argue that intention is everything, but how can she know what the artist’s intention really is?
- To draw an association between Jesus Christ and alcohol?
- To draw an association between Jesus Christ and heavily marketed products—i.e., consumerism? (Doesn’t Teena work in advertising?)
- To make a statement about an access of reverence in any situation, particularly in a modern world where products such as Jim Beam are more readily visible than, say, fishing nets and chalices?
- To get people talking about the nativity?
- To poke fun at people who think they know what God approves and disapproves of?
I’d venture that person who constructed the Liquor Nativity scene was probably not indifferent to religion. This was surely a person who wanted to make a statement about it. Can Teena be fully confident of what that statement was?
As I mentioned to her, if I ever encountered such a scene, it would quickly be short a wise man or a shepherd 😉
But seriously, being offended is a choice. It is Teena’s choice to be offended, especially since the offence depends upon assumptions about the artist’s intent as well as, puzzlingly, the notion that God condemns the consumption of alcohol. Has Teena even thought about what she objects to exactly?
I would have let her comment be, but she wasn’t just commenting on the manger; she was trying to sell me advertising. LBHQ is a live-and-let-live outfit, with room for all beliefs—but the over-punctuated gist of Teena’s note was to plug her own services, all the while objecting that her Savior was not being respected. Unless Teena believes there are multiple Saviors (do you think she believes that, MFI?), Teena believes those who do not embrace her Savior are not saved. That they will suffer everlasting hellfire. Maybe I should be offended by that.
I don’t expect to hear from Teena again; someone else will buy her advertising help and they can rap about religion to their hearts’ content. Being a bit of a furry asshole, though, I left her with a postscript:
All world cultures with access to grain and reasonably abundant water have made alcohol. That’s far more cultures than worship Jesus Christ.