Tag Archives: Humor

Poe’s Law, Atheist Humor, and “That” Tweet

Two days ago, we learned that Steve Jobs passed away.

Hero though he is, I’m not going to eulogize him. I mention it merely to provide context for the Westboro Baptist Church family member’s tweet:

Westboro will picket his funeral.He had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin.MT @: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died at 56.

Dumb, yeah. Surprising, no. The interesting bit is coming up…

The above tweet was posted via an iPhone. Irony alert! When people started pointing out the hypocrisy, Margie Phelps countered:

http://t.co/4Khk7ygv via @Rebels mad cuz I used iPhone to tell you Steve Jobs is in hell.God created iPhone for that purpose! 🙂

Yup. “Rebels mad cuz I used iPhone to tell you Steve Jobs is in hell. God created iPhone for that purpose!

I don’t need to tell you this is ridiculous, that Jobs’ company created the iPhone, etc.

What I would like to share is the eminent applicability of Poe’s Law.

Poe’s Law

Coined in a forum post, well-liked on Urban Dictionary, and even apparently the subject of academic research, Poe’s Law in the general form is:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.

Ironically and desperately, Conservapedia unintentionally provides a great example:

Poe’s law is a symptom of liberals [sic] illogical and superstitious thinking.

Right now, you may be thinking, surely Mr. Atheist made up that quote, or took it out of context. It’s so absurd on the face it. Surely no one really believes that?

But as far as I know, the inmates running the asylum that is Conservapedia are very serious, and the above quote is genuine.

But what does this have to do with the Phelps tweet?

My Kind of Humor

Every so often, I make a casual and dry sort of joke, in situations where a man-made tool or option is being overlooked.

For example: Someone near me is frustrated with their computer.

Them: “Why won’t this work? I even tried Control-Alt-Delete.”

Me: “Well, that’s why God gave us a restart button.”

It’s an easy joke. Not terribly funny, perhaps, but it amuses me to imagine someone actually believing God had anything to do with a restart button, or other man-made implements. Heck, even a creationist who believes in free will, a concept so fundamental to Christian theology, should agree God didn’t give us a restart button, or the Buick they drive, or nukes.

Fool Circle

So now it should be clear why I love this tweet. An extreme fundamentalist group member, making the same joke I do, but seriously.

Poe’s Law at its finest.

This is exactly why the hateful things coming out of Westboro do not bother me at all. They’re so far out there, so self-mockingly dense and reactionary and hateful and polemic, that I have to trust the general populace to react with scorn and rejection.

And I hope that that rejection leads some of them to further distrust religion, superstition, and illogic.

The Evils of Flossing

Did your great-grandparents floss?

Of course not. So why is the dental profession pushing flossing on innocent younger generations?

We don’t know if it’s a conspiracy. But we do know we cannot trust scientists, who lie to us about everything from global warming (liberal conspiracy) to evolution (Satan’s lie that we are animals). Who or what is about to stop them from scaring us about plaque?

These “scientists” warn about plaque and gum disease. If plaque is so scary, why does my (soon to be former) dentist’s wall have plaques on them? A bit hypocritical for someone so scared silly of gum disease, don’t you think?

And what on earth is gum disease. What a cop out. It doesn’t even mean anything, no more than leg disease or neck disease! Real diseases have real names: Lung cancer. Hypothermia. Liberalism.

It’s all a schtick designed to get our kids hooked on flossing. Look, they even give our children free samples, hoping flossing becomes an addiction — sorry, I mean a “habit”!

I say we return to the traditions of out forefathers: boldly eating what we will and ignoring the self serving interests of the floss-peddlers. Clearly George Washington felt this way. He believed in the tyranny of prescriptive oral hygiene so strongly he choose wooden teeth before he would surrender.

My children and I will not be flossing, I promise you that!

The preceding was a parody of the radically conservative mindset.

Proof the Christian God is Evil

You know those ridiculously sensationalist headlines that promise the world and don’t deliver? Post titles that make a claim, but end it in question marks so as to deny all liability?

This isn’t one of those posts.

Proving God is Evil

First we have to define our terms.



The triune god-head of mainline Christianity including Catholicism and most or all Protestant religions, consisting of Jesus (who is God), God the Father, and the Holy Spirit (who is also God). This God is revealed in the Bible to be un-changing. See: Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalms 102:26; Malachi 3:6; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 6:17,18; and James 1:17. For example:

Malachi 3:6 – “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

God, in one manner or another, created the entire Universe, as implied by Genesis 1 (or described by it, if you take it literally).

God does not ever lie.

Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.”

This God is also all-powerful or omnipotent. The most cited verse is Matthew 19:26: “With God all things are possible.” We concede that logical impossibilities are not possible for God (e.g. making a rock so big he cannot move it), though since God created everything, including logic, that’s a debate for another day.

Lastly, God is all-knowing or omniscient. This is proclaimed in Deuteronomy 29:29 and elsewhere. We take this to mean he knows the past, present, and future, and furthermore knows the results of all his decisions before he makes them. (We ignore the likely truth that someone can not be both omniscient and omnipotent because they would not be able to change their future mind.)

The Bible

The collection of writings Christians call the Bible. King James, NIV, Catholic? doesn’t really matter for our purposes. We shall take it mostly literally, except for parables and much of Genesis; this is what most Christian religions do. We also assume this is God’s primary or only means of reliable communication with humankind (ignoring forgeries and legitimate Bible scholars, not to mention intra-Biblical contradictions).

I am teasing you with definitions before the proof. But a definition of terms is important. The next one is perhaps more interesting, so bear with me.


Doing unto another as one would have the other do to them. This, the “Golden Rule,” is widely held as Jesus’ most important teaching. It can be found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.


Knowingly doing the opposite of good.


Evil acts.


Sinners. Taken as a the most basic tenet of Christianity, Jesus’ supposed sacrifice makes no sense otherwise.

You can’t wait, can you? On to the good stuff.

Proof, version 1

  1. God created everything (given).

  2. God created humankind (by 1).

  3. Humankind is composed of sinners (given).

  4. Sinners create evil (given).

  5. Humankind creates evil (by 3 and 4).

  6. God created evil (by 2 and 5).

  7. God knew the consequences of creating everything, including humans, before he did it (given).

  8. God knew he was creating evil (by 5 and 6).

  9. Thus, God sinned, himself, by definition, as a sinner knowingly commits evil acts.

I dare you to find a hole in that logic, given those definitions.

You want more? Okay. But let’s define another term or two.

More Definitions

Free Will

The ability to choose between two or more options. This does NOT mean omnipotence.

Conscious Beings

Entities that have at least the illusion of free will. This includes humans.

Proof (version 2)

  1. If I were to create a universe and conscious beings, I would create a universe where they cannot hurt each other.

  2. In fact, I wish all humans had free will but could not hurt each other.

  3. It is not logically impossible for conscious beings to have free will without being able to hurt each other. Proof by contradiction / counter-example:

    • Assume free will requires the ability to hurt other conscious beings.
    • Universe X is populated by beings whose only choice is to appear green or purple to observers. This does not inhibit others’ choices or harm them.
    • (Implied: Universe X denizens have no language, as communication involves choice of a message.)
    • Universe X denizens have free will, because they can make a choice; omnipotence is neither required nor granted.
    • This is a counter-example to our initial assumption.
    • Thus, free will does not require the ability to hurt other beings.
  4. God did not do unto me as I would have done to another conscious being.

  5. God defined evil through the Bible (from given).

  6. God did evil according to his own definition.

  7. Thus, God is evil.

I like this second proof a lot, though it did require a sub-proof. I double-dare you to poke a hole in this one, too!

Well, that was easy.

I hope you enjoyed these proofs as much as I did. For more, see this eloquent rebuttal of an apologist (which the apologist attempts to rebut, but has nothing solid to contribute); it illustrates how an omniscient God is necessarily evil. That “problem” is called theodicy. You may also be interested in this wonderful article on God’s immutability.

What’s that? The soft sound of Christian readers not being swayed? “Well, this post must be wrong, because of course God can’t be evil. He is benevolent!” they think. Yet they ignore the alternative: that He does not exist at all.

Much love,

Mr. Atheist

We’re Hiring!

The last few decades, the Roman Catholic Church has been whining about a decrease in “the vocations,” or candidates for the priesthood (and sisterhood — gotta maintain equal opportunity!). I decided to help them out by “reposting” their newest job opening:

We’re Hiring!

What: A small parish seeks a full-time reverend.

When: As soon as you finish seminary.

Job Perks: The Church treats Her men well. Here are just some job highlights:

  • We provide tax-free income and a house.
  • Variable job pay — guilt your flock into putting more into that basket whenever you want. Just send 50% to your Bishop and our holy father the Pope.
  • Swing elections however you want to — you can’t officially endorse politicians or parties, but you can dedicate whole homilies (that’s what we True Christians call our sermons) to key issues of the election.
  • Listen as real people confess their darkest sins to you!
  • A “Don’t ask, don’t tell” pedophilia policy. Additionally, we can transfer you to another parish, should things get hairy (and your parishioners pay your settlements for you, should the filthy, underage, Satan-loving whores rat you out).
  • The comfiest chair in the building!
  • Little boys (and girls) hold your books, light the candles, and bow to you.
  • Hundreds to thousands of people will bow, kneel, chant, or sing when you tell them to.
  • Everyone thinks you can turn crackers into Jesus’ body … and you’re not an alcoholic, you’re a bloodaholic! Which doesn’t exist — you can’t get too much Jesus.
  • Goddess worship, kinda like the Pagans. And an alibi: Mary’s no god, she just intercedes for us.
  • A rock-solid, Constitutional excuse for your homophobia.
  • Wear essentially a dress without cross-dressing (no pun intended).

Necessary Experience: Most have an easy time meeting our humble needs:

  • An ability to alternately scare the death out of folks and convince them you’re their best friend
  • An ability to keep a straight face while invoking “magic” that never works
  • An ability to get up on time most days.
  • (No proof of two-way conversations with God required)

Inquire within… your soul.

Pope Palpatine

I recently noticed a distinct lack of a page with a comprehensive list of “Pope Palpatine” images, so I compiled this one. (If you know who created these, or if I missed a good one, let me know.)

And just so you Catholics don’t accuse me of being needlessly “militant” (ha) you should note that I have many legitimate beefs with this guy, his predecessors, and the religion of which he is the dictator (and in which I was raised).

Pope evil children.jpg

pope lackoffaith.jpg.jpeg


I find your lack of faith disturbing.


pope palpatine 2.jpg

Sometimes illusions can be quite close to the truth!

Bonus: Catholic Cardinals heiling Herr Führer.