I have a feeling this is how the Browns solve most of their problems.
“Honey? The dog pooed all over the rug!”
Now, now. Let’s take it to God.
“Dad, the fast food workers screwed up our order.”
“Now, now. Let’s take it to God.”
“Uh, Dad, I think I’m pregnant.”
“Now, Now, Joshua, let’s take it to– wait, ewwww.”
“Uh, Dad, I killed the postman”
“Now now, lets take it to God”
“Dad! Dad! I ate two of my older brothers!”
“Now, Now, Joyce, let’s take it to God.”
“Dad, you’re not gonna believe this, but the Mormons were right all along.”
“Now, now, let’s- wait, WHAT?!”
“But they’re not even Christians!”
Darn non-editing comment system.
if I may, Mormons are not Christians in the same way cheese is not a dairy product.
Since the reply option isn’t showing up on the relevant post: Kaci, as a Mormon myself, I completely agree. But that doesn’t mean I won’t poke fun at my religion now and again. ^.^
I just like using cheese references
That reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46PXaJxzuDE
It doesn’t cross any lines I hope.
Well I know that from a few academic perspectives Mormonisn isn’t actually Christianity. The inclusion of a new holy book is enough to just make it another Abrahamic religion.
Of course the problem is you get people using that as a point of discrimination or something similar – I’m not Christian myself, and personally I’d probably still classify Mormonism as a Christian denomination.
Assuming you define Christianity as the worship of Jesus Christ as the son of God, Mormonism would be Christianity, but it would be a different branch in the same ranking as Catholicism and Protestantism (is that the right word?).
Like how biological classification works; Religion is the encompassing “Everything”, Monotheism is the Kingdom, Christianity is the Phylum, Catholicism, Protestantism(?), and Mormonism would be the Orders, and so on as it branches out from there.
“Daddy! I killed DC Comics Hitler!”
“And Stephanie Brown!”
“I don’t think we should tell God…”
“Um… Dad…? I think I killed God.”
“Now Now, lets take it to– who do we take it to if God is Dead?”
the beyOnd-maN, of cO ursE! ..
Is he friends with the Slenderman?
That…no, it doesn’t even make sense!
Why? I once knew a girl who was married to Slenderman. He’s a nice guy.
I think he’s much older and unrelated to Slenderman. Although he is related to Superman, and some people call him Superman.
No, the other post.
Then is he like Nietzsche, then?
Beyond-man is the early English translation of Ubermensch. So yeah, the concept was Nietzsche’s.
So this means that Nietzsche is not dead yet!
“Dad, the oven just burst into flames!”
“Now, now. Let’s take it to God.”
Wake up Maggie I think I’ve got something to say to you!
It’s late September and I really should be back at school….
“Now, Now, let’s take it to Rod!”
God, in this case, being the player, since they are apparently Sims. (Seriously, how many times did that happen to me?)
“Hey Dad? I think i had sex with god”
“Now now, lets ta- Wait what? Joshua no! Even god shouldn’t do that!”
“Seriously! Even he won’t have sex with you!”
“And god ‘LOVES’ all his children!”
If all of humanity is God’s children…does that make Jesus’ conception incest?
Oh dear lord xD well technically no and yes, because jesus became god’s son only after he died. I think. I’m not really jewish xD so technically yes, and no.
Your theology’s off.
…yeah, the whole idea behind the immaculate conception is that Jesus is directly God’s son.
Actually, no. The “whole idea” behind the Immaculate Conception does not directly have to do with Jesus – it refers to his mother, Mary, who was born without Original Sin.
Well, you can’t really untangle Jesus from the equation considering he’s the one being conceived. Mary’s a virgin who is pregnant with Jesus because God has the power to impregnate women that way. All 3 are integral to the conception shenanigans.
And I’m moderately sure Mary being sinless is a Catholic thing. Doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the Immaculate Conception, given that Protestants don’t have a sinless Mary but keep the Immaculate Conception idea.
It does, actually. According to the scriptures, God reached down and prevented the transfer of Original Sin to Mary so that she would spiritually fit to give birth to Jesus. Jesus’ own conception is called the Incarnation, in any case.
I call shenanigans. A cursory glance at the intro of the four gospels reveals no such thing. You’ll need to provide a reference to overcome my skepticism.
The Immaculate Conception is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Immaculate Conception refers to the sinless state of Mary. Pope Pius IX proclaimed this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on December 8, 1854.
The doctrine can be seen here… http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/p9ineff.htm
… though…. Christians who reject the doctrine of Immaculate Conception maintain that there is no biblical support or basis for it.
And that is true. … so if you are a practicing Roman Catholic, you got to believe what the Church says. If you are not one, then you got a choice.
So both sides are right!
Actually, Original Sin isn’t in the bible, it’s one of the things the Catholic church added in to their theology in the years since it was codified.
So, the scriptures don’t say anything about it, because the idea didn’t exist yet, or to be charitable, hadn’t been extrapolated yet, when they were written.
Humanity are all Gods Children. – God the Father of all mankind.
God made Adam and Eve. – Adam and Eve are therefore Siblings
God made Eve from Adam’s rib. – Eve is Adam’s gender swapped Clone. – Eve is Adam’s Daughter. – Eve has two Fathers.
Eve and Adam had children, – They had sex, it was Parent-child and sibling incest.
All there children are simultaneously their own Uncle-Nephew or Aunt-Niece.
as there was no one else to marry Adam’s Sons married Eve’s Daughters, Seeing as they were all siblings, The entire human race is the product of incest,
Secondly you are the cousin of everyone else in the human race.
To all of you who are married and/or have had relations,
Congratulations you have loved your cousin you red neck you.
Two identical (or identical gender swapped) clones having children could only produce the same genetics that existed in the original. So not only is everyone really incesting it up, but everyone who doesn’t look exactly alike is a mutant.
This is actually a point of discussion I really enjoy:
When the bible says God created man, was it procreation or invention?
That is, are men literal children of god, and that at some point man would mature into another god. Or were men invented by god, similar to how a man would invent some kind of sentient artificial intelligence.
@A5PECT – In my opinion A God or Gods would create an Intelligent species by way of evolution. Seeing as it is far easier to make minor changes over time, than it is to make an entire genome from scratch. The latter being harder in two points, one that the God/Goddess would have to fully understand the base-4 programming language of DNA and RNA, second that it would be much harder to tailor the DNA to survival within an ecosystem it has not evolved with.
Regardless of either Origin, There is no reason for a God/Goddess to create an intelligent species unless they intend to Ascend/Evolve that species into a new generation of Gods/Goddesses.
I mean think about it, The universe has entropy decay. The universe just after the big bang had many stars and galaxies. Since then the stars and galaxies have become fewer in number of new stars and the galaxies have drifted into clustered strings, there is a lot of empty cold space in the universe now. Eventually Entropy decay combined with the last sun going dark will mean, that matter will continue to get colder and colder, till atoms disperse into particles, and particles disperse into quantum particles, eventually the manifolds of these particles will also unravel and separate, and sometime after that the dimensions of space-time will also no longer have the energy to hold together and everything will dissolve back into the quantum foam of the void.
This end awaits all intelligent life that can’t technologically or spiritually evolve to the point of becoming what we mortals term “Gods”.
Here are the Goals we need to evolve to.
1. Being able to escape this reality for another reality,
2. Travel Backwards and forwards through time
3. Travel to alternate realities, universes, Multi-verses.
4. Create a Universe from scratch by causing a big bang,
5. Being able to customize the physics of the universes we live in or create.
6. Understand Base-4 DNA and RNA such that we can program life from scratch.
7. Able to Design our own biological and technological programming languages.
If we can’t evolve to do all of these 7 goals we fail.
and we will die with the rest of this universe.
We become Gods or we die, there are no other alternatives, and no second chances.
My concept of incest can be best described with a quote from a very funny Harry Potter fanfiction: “If you know how closely related you are to someone, you’re too closely related to date.”
Well that basically exempts the entire human race for me.
Seeing as Science has traced the Y chromosome[Father] and the mitochondria[Mother] back to two single individuals as the potential parents of the entire human race.
Went to a singles dance with some cousins from my father’s side, they introduced me to a girl to dance with, her reaction upon meeting me, “Cousin !” she was from my mother’s side of the family.
I don’t date much anymore.
“Dammit Hank, I’ve told you not to call me anymore!”
“But God, it’s raining outside and I don’t have an umbrella and I’m going to get all wet-”
“Alright, fine, I’ll help you this time.”
“How do you keep getting this number?”
“I know a guy. He has all the numbers.”
“His name is God”
“What? But, huh?”
“Just once I’d like to get through my meal without someone calling me. I JUST calmed Einstein and Hitler down enough to get them to apologize to calling my kid a traitor. We got a game in a few hours, people!”
+1 for Artemis Fowl reference.
“Dad, the gardener just fell on his hedge trimmers and is bleeding everywhere”
“Now, now. Let’s take this to God. And by God I mean the neighbor’s yard”
Fell on the hedge trimmers? Bullshit! LESLIE TILLER WAS FUCKING MURDERED!
I love you. and this reference.
Now I have wanted to see Hot Fuzz all over again.
“But it was for the greater good!”
“The greater good…”
Not most problems. Just the ones where a family member is ‘off message’.
“Well I know you want to be a rock singer and not a doctor, little Timmy, but I think we should check with God…”
“Huh, it looks like God is totally down with it. Timmy, you should be a Rock Star. Also, he said something about Enterprise.”
‘Take it up with God’ indeed….
And yea, that’s clear passive-aggressiveness laced codependant control baloney if I ever saw it (and, directly and indirectly, I’ve seen a LOT of it) The Browns can convince themselves this has anything to do with God rather than having to let go of the umbilical cord all they want…
Something tells me Joshua and Joyce’s other brothers got tired of being stonewalled and shut down all the time, and that’s why Joshua brought up that he was only here for the big game, and why Joyce teased him about never being around.
He and the others probably pray to God a lot, asking to throw their parents a mulligan, for fear Mr.and Mrs.Brown’ll unwittingly reject the Kingdom of Heaven once they both pass on by doing something like this the second they catch wind of something at the pearly gates that doesn’t conform to their fixed ideas.
I wonder what Joshua and Joyce’s other brothers are doing with their lives?
Is this… a real thing that happens? The “take it to God” thing where the parents just talk down to the kid? I learned really fast not to question anything about religion, in my own house, if I didn’t want a 120db lecture on the subject. Not exactly the same, but still negative reenforcement.
Anyone have a “right” way to go about this? I honestly can’t think of a way to defend archaic things like not fraternizing with atheists. At least not without relying on fiat.
Whatever you do, remain calm. It gives you a chance when they are being loud and unreasonable to point out that you are calm and that they too should relax and discuss this like rational adults. Be patient, wait for them to waiver, then hammer hard your point. It is important to remain in controll, both of the conversation and yourself.
It happened to me. All the time.
I’ll admit, my parents never did such a thing. My dad actually scoffed at all the praching (preaching + praying) that went on during the pastoral prayer at the church my family goes to. But it’s definitely something that goes on. I resonate with this situation far more than the situation in the last strip.
“Dad, I think I might be dyslexic!”
“Now, now. Let’s take it to Dog.”
Which, you know, is *not* the worst way to deal with problems. There are much better ways for sure. But praying together and holding each other…passive aggressive or not…is a good way to forgive and move on for the majority of stupid family spats. Like this-hopefully Joyce learns to continue thinking on her own.
I want to emphasize again that I don’t approve how passive-aggressive the father is, but the method itself is okay. It’s probably extremely comforting for families with faith.
I only have a problem with this method personally when families do this for illnesses. “Oh honey, let’s not go to the doctor. Let’s PRAY the disease away.”
…Yeah, you deserve those neglect charges.
The context, however, is suspect.
It’s looking like they’re using that method to make the fact their daughter won an argument with them, due to their judging someone without even trying to get to know them, just go away…Using it as a shield, you could say.
In doing so, they let Joyce down. They let her down real bad, and past “fundies SUXXXX0RZ!!!” arguements, that’s where the problem lies: A pedestal has been broken.
What’s wrong here is that they aren’t asking God; they are TELLING God what to think. This is a lecture disguised as a prayer.
Yep, Letters of the Preston Family all over again, the Middle Ages having been over with for centuries be damned.
Doesn’t even end with Religion or anti-progressive beliefs, either. We’re talking about Manipulative Reasoning 101 here, because sonder doesn’t get pyramids built for some big shot’s glory.
You could still pray while going to a doctor.
Well, yeah. Let’s re-quote my original comment:
“Oh honey, let’s NOT go to the doctor. Let’s PRAY the disease away.”
I don’t think Joyce’s family is this stupid. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a Joyce. And also, she trusted the school nurse to give her the flu shot.
idea from previous play-time with Crimson Doom:
“Hey Dad, cheese is a dairy product.”
Umm… Passive aggressive ass-holery?
At least they’re not exorcising her!
It zooms in on her face. The Brown’s could have set up candles and stuff in that time.
Mood lighting can really undercut someone’s feeling of self-worth
Wait until Joyce’s head turns 720.
“RIIIIIISE and Vote CanvasHat!”
Rise of the Demoncratic Process.
Vote CanvasHat Demoncrat nominee 2016
New Campaign Poster
“Your mother sucks cocks in hell!”
Before the page was fully loaded, that’s almost what I thought was actually happening.
it’s not too late. There’s more comics in this arc.
Of course there’s also a chance that she’ll think that God is telling her not to abandon her friends just because her parents think it’s the right call.
That would be getting ahead of themselves. One step at a time.
Or just aggressive, flat-out.
Just remember kids, there are actual parents who are much worse than this
But there’s plenty who are better :3
Like the kind that is a single mother and falls asleep in the tub while you have friends over?
are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting? >_> <_<
If you’re thinking that having a friend with a mother like that is awesome, then yes.
Probably not as awesome for the friend, though.
Maybe, just maybe, that mother lets her kid have friends over, so she can take time to relax from taking care of her kid the best she can? What if she’s a really good (AND hot) mom.
Yeah, these are the kind that accept you having a different religion and hate you, but overall just leave you alone about it. I’ve met the kind that tries to force their views upon you without consent.
Though honestly, I just find it hilarious when one of those southern preachers comes down to my school and starts telling people that they’re going to hell. Seeing that stereotype just cracks me up every time.
And then there are crazy lab experiments where they raise a kid with no parents at all and it’s pretty horrible. But ‘m not bitter or anything.
Oh, noes! *Hugs*
…Ok, I was wrong. They instead prove that they are in a cult instead
Now now, it’s not a cult until they have a picture of tentacle-Ziggy on the wall.
Well, we haven’t seen the inside of their house in the Dumbiverse yet…
It’s a haunted place. You can’t sit down for all the doilies…
Fundamentalist Christianity basically IS a glorified cult, imo. And that’s coming from someone who grew up in it.
Yes, I was prayed over like this a LOT.
There’s two kinds of gettin’ prayed over, and lemme tell ya, this is the wrong one. It’s actually kinda comforting when you asked somebody to do it, but when you didn’t, even if you knew it was coming ’cause everybody else in your youth group was getting prayed at or something, it goes from comforting straight into they-are-touching-me-and-I-am-not-happy-with-that.
PRETTY MUCH. and since I was really private with any personal stuff I had going down, I didn’t get much of the comforting nice kind.
It was all the uncomfortable claustrophobic oh g-d oh g-d stop touching me please except i can’t say that because isn’t this what g-d wants? kind. :/
OMGosh I am sorry O_o
Fellowship of the fiive gooolden riiiiings.
I thought it was the Fellowship of the One Ring? That’s light and darkness right there with Gollum stalking the hobbits.
Fellowship of four colly birds? Is this where this is going?
It’s “calling” birds.
And Fellowship of the Three French Hens.
Don’t get me started on the Fellowship of the Two Turtle Doves.
So where was the Fellowship of the Partridge in the Pear Tree? Did I miss that one>
You fool! You’ve doomed us all! The Fellowship of the Partridge in a Pear Tree must not be named, or else the power of Christmas will be unleashed!
Nut punch him. God will forgive you and quite likely thank you.
I gotta say… that looks more like some sort of new age meditation ritual than a prayer. I guess I was doing it wrong.
You know, this bothers me, because the verse at the end “fellowship in darkness” is specifically referring to marriage. It’s a part of the Bible discussing marriage and relationships, and it’s saying, “Hey, generally marrying someone who doesn’t also believe in God is going to make your marriage potentially not work, and I don’t think it’s a very good idea.”
It is not about who you should and shouldn’t be friends with.
Joyce and Dorothy are secretly engaged.
Maybe they think she wants to marry Dorothy.
“Well. if you like her so much why don’t you marry her!”
Naw, they’d need to move to Vermont first. Too much effort
The way things are going, soon they might just need to move to Illinois.
Iowa is a lot closer anyway
Maybe they fear that Joyce has turned into a LUG-nut.
I don’t know what LUG-nut means, but I know if Joyce turned into what comes to mind when I see Lugnut, she would probably be the perfect child in the Brown’s eyes. Dorothy would probably have rotating faces, though.
LUG: Lesbian Until Graduation
LUG-nut: Someone who has a thing for LUGs.
Well, I’ll never be able to watch Transformers Animated in quite the same way, thank you very much.
That’s just silly…
Yes, well, keep in mind, they compared Dorothy to Hitler.
A fan of Linux User Groups?
A fan of LEGO User Groups?
Well she did say she loved her 2 comics ago…
…You really think that makes a difference to the Browns?
There are plenty of things for them to choose to take out of context out there. I doubt this is the only occasion.
They just Godwin’d because Joyce has an atheist friend… you’re really surprised about them taking a Bible verse out of context after that?
So, I just read 2 Corinthians Chapter 6 (where the quote seems to be from), and it very much does not seem to be specifically talking about marriage. The Browns are not speaking out of context.
Yup. Here’s the way the Message puts it:
“Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives.”
A lot of people interpret that in the context of marriage, but that’s not the only way that passage can be read.
Try reading that passage in a different translation to see how it compares.
But we’re looking at multiple translations of an ancient text (though most translations are actually translations of translations) so it’s possible that some of the translations refer to it in the context of marriage and some as a general partnership. Either way, since we’re not reading the original, it’s really hard to say what it meant definitively. (especially since there wasn’t punctuation in the way we know it now, languages shift over time and slang we don’t know was used.)
I initially used the King James version, since that’s what I grew up with as a Mormon kid. New International Version was more or less the same. If you can find a version that contradicts my, please post the reference here.
At any rate, Paul considered marriage largely meaningless, since he believed the Second Coming was imminent. It would be strange to interpret anything he wrote as applying to only marriage unless he specifically and explicitly said so.
Well St Paul wasn’t exactly the most enlightened individual. I know that’s controversial for a Christian to say, but it’s true.
I’m a little astounded you found that so fast.
Red mage truly is a force to be reconned with.
I’ve put extra ranks into my “Google-fu” skill
What but…I don’t…
Seriously? So all the people I’ve seen using that verse misunderstood it? I wish I’d known that before now.
No, they understand it fine. Axel appears to be mistaken.
Once there is a customary reading, all other readings are mistaken. That’s why you should not be reading the Bible yourself but rather let a preacher explain it to you. It avoids falling into all the mistaken readings and makes faith so much more simple that it’s not funny.
I really can’t tell whether you’re being ironic or not.
I’m moderately sure he’s being sarcastic.
………………Yeah, they… they don’t make that clear. In the church.
As in, I grew up in that shit, and I didn’t actually realize that until RIGHT NOW. I’m almost 30.
Christians misinterpret verses ALLLLL THE TIMEEEE to justify their hatred. As someone who grew up in a home very similar to this, it’s… very believable LOL.
Meh, I think that can be expanded to people misinterpret, well just about anything to justify what they want.
I know it would be a hard decision for me to tell my parents to piss off.
Yeah, not so much here. If they don’t like my decisions, they can very well stuff it.
You also probably have a lot more rope to rebel than Joyce does.
I would agree, but I got the impression that Joyce’s parents are funding her education and retain the power to yank her out of school (which is why she didn’t want to tell the authorities or her parents about being attacked at the party). I’m guessing that they’re going to secure from her a pledge to stop being Dorothy’s friend before they leave, which she will give in order to be able to stay at school. She may even try to obey for a while out of guilt, but I think eventually she’ll make her own decision.
What is with that praying?
It’s next level praying. you wouldn’t understand
Super Prayin’ level 3!
I just imagined Hank getting all buff like Kame Sen’nin did. Cuz that was 9000% awesome
It’s “Laying on hands” and it’s supposed to like. IDK help the holy spirit get in you through the people praying or something.
IT DIDN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE TO ME WHEN I BELIEVED THIS SHIT, TBH.
It also heals you 1d6 for every two paladin levels.
plus an extra +4 if you’ve got the Healing Shield of the Lord equipped.
Conversely it deals damage to Atheists, blasphemers, the undead, and those equipping cursed gear like the Idolatry of Monkey Master Shirt.
Ouch. That hits Joyce triply. She’s blasphemous for claiming that atheists can be good people and have a moral center, an atheist by association because clearly so much as being nearby an atheist means you share their beliefs, and is wearing Monkey Master stuff. Now we just need to have her secretly be vampiric or something for the full set!
[Note: the entirety of this post, save for the disclaimer that you are currently reading, is meant facetiously, and any resemblance to offensive and ignorant claims is meant in the spirit of parody.]
Well she is going to be taking some damage, but if she succeeds on a will save she’ll only take half damage.
That isn’t blasphemy or idolatry at all…
Sarah called the Dexter and Monkey Master stuff idol worship
Joyce’s parents think that being friends with an atheist is Blasphemy.
Joke is proven.
It’s a type of ritual magic. Which is really weird, because if they saw someone doing exactly the same thing but with some other deity they’d flip the hell out and try to burn them for witchcraft, but despite one of the ten commandments being not to use God that way they do.
That’s nuts; it looks exactly like something you’d do whilst training a dog, to make it submit to your will.
Doing something like this to a vulnerable young person is just abusive, and close enough to brainwashing as makes no difference.
Yeah… even when I was particularly devout, the “laying on hands” practice made me as uncomfortable as hell. Not to mention that it tended to feel forced and pretentious.
This type of prayer is called “praying over” someone or “laying on of hands,” and several forms of Christianity practice it, including mine. (I’m a Mormon.) Laying on of hands, as I know it, is a way of imparting blessings to a specific person. It may be a blessing of healing, or a blessing of comfort and counsel. In my church, priesthood holders also lay on hands when giving the gift of the Holy Ghost to complete a baptism, or when setting someone apart for a calling (volunteer position) in the church.
In my church we believe that God can communicate with each individual. In the context of a blessing by laying on of hands, ideally the speaker listens for God’s guidance in what to say. (Unfortunately, Joyce’s parents do not seem to be listening.) And the person receiving the blessing can listen as well, to understand the words being spoken and discern whether they are from God.
I still don’t get the term “Holy Ghost”. Ghosts are dead, but a divine spirit wouldn’t be.
Holy Ghost=bad English translation of several other bad translations, basically just supposed to reference the incorporeal power of “God” over one’s soul.
*Please note the phrase in that entire run-on sentence I have any faith in is “bad English translation”
Mr. Brown, I don’t feel like you’re helping.
So they use prayer as a thin disguise to guilt-trip their daughter into doing as they say. Get fucked, both of you.
Oh believe me, they do. In the Walkyverse.
Hey Mike, I got a sack of nickels and a special job for you
You’ve really captured that “laying-on-hands squint.” Bravo, Willis.
When the Bible talks about being yoked, I’m fairly certain it refers to marriage.
Nah, I think it’s referring to getting hit with eggs.
No, I’m pretty sure it means build an entry plug.
What are you, some kinda yokester?
Entry plug? Are they trying to syncing her to an Eva or something?
Joyce might not be the best choice for an Eva Pilot.
Worried that she might initiate 3rd Impact?
True. Her mom’s not dead and had her soul shoved into an 80-foot biomachine made to wage war against giant monsters.
Otherwise she’d probably be the most well-adjusted Eva pilot ever, if rather conflicted about supposedly killing the servants of the Abrahamic god.
“But, I have to kill those Angels to save humanity!”
“Now, now, Joyce, let’s take it to God…”
“Can I really throw the Longinus that far?”
Through various contorted associations, I find myself envisioning Ruth asking Billie, “Why do you pilot Eva?”
You’re right. Let’s go with Sarah.
Or Ultra Car.
No, dude, it’s about oxen. Do not associate with atheist cattle, man. THOSE COWS BEST BELIEVE IN GOD IF THEY ARE TO ESCORT YOU TO OREGON.
That or they think Joyce was coveting Dotty’s ass.
Wait, that’s not what’s going on?
But that would mean she wants to steal it.
That’s not what coveting means.
By covet most people mean “to want something so much you’d be willing to steal it”. It’s hard to steal a person’s butt though.
The tenth commandment is in fact about stealing a wife which is obviously a type of property that can be stolen according to Bible-reasons.
No. To covet means “to desire what belongs to another.” It’s like envy or jealous. You don’t need to go so far as wanting to steal it. It also means “To wish for earnestly”. So what Plasma Mongoose is saying is that people think “Joyce wants dat ass”/”Joyce really likes looking at Dotty’s bottom”/”Joyce is physically attracted to Dorothy’s clunes”
No, just borrow it for a few glorious hours. Every night. Loudly. Until Sarah gets disgusted and moves out.
Or joins in.
This system needs a Like function…
Or else you will die of Dysentery.
The Christian cows are immune to dysentery.
Finding enough holy water to drink is hard, though.
The context of 2 Corinthians Chapter 6 is idolatry, not marriage.
In the words of Koh:
They balance each other: push and pull, life and death, good and evil, yin and yang.
Of course Koh was a giant evil face stealing centipede monster, so perhaps we shouldn’t really be taking advice from him.
The lack of background in the last panel makes me think that Joyce ascended into some astral plane.
She’s going to find out that the Cosmic Owl is the one true religion.
She met the Ancients!
Joyce, I do not like that look. REMEMBER ALL THE PARTS OF THE BIBLE THAT SAY YOU SHOULDN’T BE A JERK. THOOOSE PAAARTS.
Something her parents would do well to remember. Just because Joyce is an atheist, doesn’t mean that they can conveniently forget that they are supposed to be nice to her ANYWAYS.
Oops, wrong name.
No need to look that far. Honoring your parents is actually right up in the Ten Commandments.
Yet weirdly enough there is nothing to tell parents to be good to their kids, except maybe for the parable of the prodigal son which is questionable at best towards the good kid who wasn’t a wayward asshole.
The commentary I was taught included it.
“Children, honor your parents, and parents, give your children no reason to dishonor you.”
The commentary I was taught says you put that shit into the actual rules if you give a shit about it for real, and they unsurprisingly didn’t
Oh, they care a LOT.
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death.”
Who wants to go for 1000 comments this time? (Probably not me, sorry…)
The Moral Foundation comic has finally reached 1,000 comments.
If I didn’t know that this was supposed to be a realistic universe, I’d say that they were trying to cast a spell.
They wanted her to join Hufflepuff not Slytherin.
Yer a wizard, Joyce!
“She’s a witch!” “Burn her!”
Only if she weighs the same as a duck.
She turned me into a newt!
I got better….
I knight thee Sir Rex Hondo of Dumbalot!
“If I didn’t know that this was supposed to be a realistic universe, I’d say that they were trying to cast a spell.”
They are. They’re summoning a spirit for posession/mind control purposes.
This being a realistic universe it won’t actually happen, but that’s what they’re trying to do here.
I wonder how they function in the real world?
Taco Bell or McDonalds….Tacos or McNuggets.
God, help me decide.
Well, that’s settled! McDonalds it is!
Or, we put the McNuggets into the Tacos.
Truly a creation worthy of God
Needs more Cowbell
“Go to Chick-Fil-Eeeeetttt obviousssllllyyyyyy”
“But Lord God it’s Sundaaaay so it’s clooooossed”
“Then what the fuck are you doing out the hooooooouuuuuuuse”
You’d be surprised how accepting people are of white-bred people wearing sweater vests and joinng in prayer circles.
No one can resist a sweater vest.
I actually wanna try wearing sweater vests at some point, when I’m in better shape.
White-bred, or White-bread? These things have very different meanings.
There’s no reason you can’t be both.
That is indeed a thing that makes sense. You in this time my friend.
White-bred on white bread?
Gross! That was made for eating! Not that– BLASPHEMY you’re doing!
Wait, isn’t placing the hand on the head is indicative of blessing or exorcism, not prayer?e
Or are they suggesting that Dorothy is possessing Joyce? And just wait till they meet Ethan.
They’re trying to seal Joyce’s soul in her body cos as everybody knows, atheists, like gingers have no souls and as such, they will want to drain Joyce’s like a HP dementor.
Unfortunately, chocolate doesn’t seem to work on atheists.
Speak for yourself! Om nom nom.
See? Even just mention chocolate and they start swarming around.
Well, it works on the lactose-intolerant ones…
Judging from Dorothy (an admittedly very limited sample size), they do seem to be fairly fond of caramel.
Actually, the Browns are secretly androids built by Jesus after his resurrection to await the second coming. Their hands act as a direct line to the Big Guy, kinda like Inspector Gadget’s hand-phone, except using telepathy instead of sound which is why they don’t put their hands on her ears.
Maybe Joyce hears from her scalp?
Nah, a lot of evangelical Christians do it, especially when they’re praying for healing, guidance, or blessing.
Reminds me of the cleric’s Touch spells in D&D, actually. “Bless! “Protection from Evil!”
I’m pretty sure “Bless” is a burst, not a touch spell. It would be really inconvenient otherwise.
I will be glad when the story arc involving Joyce’s parents is over. I’ve really enjoyed almost all of this comic, but Ethan and Joyce’s parents just piss me off. (Hey there’s another thing they have in common, shitty parents. Maybe it IS meant to be after all.)
good point and as a matter of fact do you think Joyce’s parents will be for or against Joyce trying to lead a gay man back to the “straight and narrow” and will his parents agree. And what happens when they find out he’s Jewish?
The being Jewish part will probably be worse than the being gay part, in their opinion.
Depends entirely on what Christian sect they’re a part of. I was raised Baptist, and the Jews were always considered God’s Chosen People. … when they got talked about, anyway, which wasn’t often.
I’m actually really enjoying this well-written depiction of a couple of pairs of closed-minded dickheads
I will enjoy it when this section is over as well. I’d rather leave some memories behind…
“This is god, your phone call is very important to me…..”
“Now please hold indefinitely while we find an operator to patch you through”
“Jesus loves me that I know, For the bible tells me so. *our lines are tied up at the moment, please wait for someone to answer your call* yeeeeeess jesus loves me. Yes jesus loves me.
Aw, man. I was hoping for a rousing chorus of “God is bigger than the boogeyman”.
“Our God is an awesome god, He reigns, from Heaven above”
Our god’s cooler than yours.
Mine has his own Cooling System!
My god doesn’t even have stats, so he can’t be beaten!
My God has 8 seats and cup holders!
My god is the Everlasting Sky. Your god, *hmph* is beneath him.
But are they BUCKET seats??
“Stick shifts and safety belts, bucket seats have all got to go, when we’re driving in the car, it makes my baby seem so far. I need you here with me, not way over in a bucket seat; I need you to be here with me, not way over in a bucket seat.”
How great is our God, How great is our God
I think you need to knooow
oh my god i just choked on my tea and now have that song STUCK IN MY HEAD, thanks a lot
“This is God. STOP CALLING ME AND MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN DECISION, YOU TWITS! I GAVE YOU FOLKS BRAINS AND HIGHER CAPACITY OF THINKING, FOR ME SAKE!
…are there parents that actually do this?
I feel sad that you didn’t know.
There are parents who’ve beaten kids to death with rubber hoses because they thought it was God’s will and that doing so would “purify” them. This is nothing compared to some whackjobs out there!
It took me a few seconds to realize that this comment was not nested as a response to Totz the Plaid, and was totally relieved when I did.
Are you sure? I could be commenting from beyond the grave!
Which would totally have a bunch of atheists eating crow right now, if it were true and we could prove it.
Maybe the existence of ghosts is just evidence against theism. I mean, if there’s a heaven, why aren’t they there?
Whether in heaven or wandering the Earth, the verified existence of ghosts would certainly put a crimp in the blanket denial of anything supernatural to which many (at least many of the most vocal) atheists subscribe, you must admit.
Admittedly I don’t believe in ghosts either (except for Casper, of whom we have decent film footage), but yeah, just having ghosts be real doesn’t imply that god (or God, or Thor, or Kali) exists too. Just because Santa Claus is real doesn’t mean wendigos are.
Then again, people who believe in one crazy theory tend to believe in others.
Panel 3 made me fear it was a vision of Faz’s family.
Faz’s family has a wierder ritual
“Alright, everyone pull out a porno and sit in the wanking circle. A family that Faps Together, stays together”
…and people say “Darn you” to Willis?! Someone get me some brain bleach, stat!
It’s cute how you PG-13′d the community’s iconic catch phrase, there.
There is no porno, only mirrors. For the Faz family loves looking at itself ALL. DAY. LONG.
They’re actually projector screens. For charts.
As you can see from this chart, Faz has grown 2.4 mm since last family gathering
-Well Fazzette’s bust has become a Booming C-cup. Fazzette will try to increase this size in time.
It’s creepy how controlling this looks, because they have their hands on her, they are the ones talking, and she’s just passively standing there while they talk to God for her and tell her what to do.
IT’S LIKE MIND CONTROL AGAHAGAAHHHHH.
It’s called manipulation and abuse.
Pretty much. I swear, it’s freaking cultish indoctrination, the only reason fundie Christians aren’t called a cult unless they’re as OUT THERE as Westboro Baptist is because it’s so widely accepted.
As they say, the only difference between a cult and a religion is the number of members.
Joyce’s parents are, in essence, Mastermind.
Or maybe they’re Master Mold, and this is just how they reboot a faulty unit.
But that guy has at least a snazzy mustache (if you mean the X-Men villain).
Also, somewhere in this room her brother is watching and going, “Wow, somehow I didn’t realize how ridiculous we look when we do that. Let’s not ever do this again.”
YEAAAAAAH. The best prayers ARE passive aggressive, as I figured out when I almost started a coup against my health teacher in my fundie high school (long story). I agreed to apologize in front of the class, and I did…although it took every ounce of self-control to go through with it and not punch her out in the middle of the prayer she did beforehand.
Very few things tick me off more than prayer as a form of judgment and gossip.
‘I am making the right decision, you’re just too much of a doodie head to realize that.’
That’s not me, that’s god talking.
“THAT IS WHY AH DO THE VOICE.”
This begins Phase 2 of Joyce’s conversion to Atheism.
Thank God for Atheism!
+1, have all the Internets!
Never happen. Conversion to a somewhat more mellow congregation, however…
you know she’s based on Willis, right?
You have a point there. It always amazes me how much our boy Willis has changed from Roomies! to now. I’m personally of the opinion that he ate some fruit off the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
It occurs to me that a religion that vilifies knowledge and glorifies ignorance *RIGHT IN ITS CREATION STORY* probably has some core issues.
Yeah, but I think Willis wants to leave her as a Christian to keep the cast more diverse and make her character arc more unique. How does Joyce keep her faith after all this and become more mellow and open-minded?
Well, over the course of this comic Joyce has already become more open minded than she was before she came to college (she’s okay with Dorothy’s atheism, allowed herself to geek out over a cartoon, and has found out that gays are people too), so Joyce might just keep going down that road for now.
… It’s Joyce. She’s the sweet Christian girl. It’s her primary archetype. I don’t see him changing it.
Actually, leaving aside that she’s based on Willis, you realize there have been -plenty- of people that were as-if-not-more religious when compared to Joyce that are now prominent activists in the atheist community?
Also plenty – if less visible – people who are religious, but nonjudgemental. They just don’t get any publicity, by their very nature. I would have put myself in this category for most of my life. (Have left the church, but do not consider myself a dedicated atheist)
Probably past when you’ll see this, but what the hell. I fully recognize that (most of my family is that way) But I was specifically replying to a comment saying Joyce would -never- end up an atheist, the implication being that she is too fervent a believer, so that’s the claim my post was after.
Heavenly Father, we just come before you in prayer, and we just ask that we can just take our hands off of this person after a little while because we just don’t like touching people this much. And we just pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sounds not unlike me as a child in Church. “Peace be with you, but please don’t touch me because you have sweaty old man hands and you’ve been coughing a lot.”
It could be worse. There are those prayers where everybody holds hands, and then, once the prayer is over, everybody squeezes each other’s hands as a way of saying, “Let go of me oh god let go of me.”
Ugh, man, the round robin prayers were the worst. Just when you think it’s over and you can get yourself out of the horrible, back-aching position you just put yourself in so you can get a hand on the person’s shoulder through everyone else’s arms, someone else starts a 5 minute prayer that says exactly the same thing as the person before them. And your hands get all sweaty and you stop focusing on the prayer and start focusing on how you never want to be around for someone moving away and leaving your youth group or small group ever ever again.
Actually, I’ll bet that Joyce will make this decision despite what her parents are trying to pull. If she’s paying attention, she might well realize that her parents are intentionally trying to play mind games with her – shaping their prayer to make her feel guilty rather than making an honest prayer for guidance.
I think she does realize that already.
She does look peeved at them in the fourth panel.
I’m just worried that expression might be guilt, and the brainwashing is working…
“What fellowship has light with darkness?”
And that’s why Jesus gave the prostitutes and tax collectors the bird.
That’s why Jesus had the snazziest outfits in all of Jerusalem: he knew how to sort his damn laundry.
VZG, I bequeath unto you an Internet for making my drink come out my nose. XD
I shall hold it dear to my heart and I promise to only occasionally use it for porn.
And then VZG was not seen again for seven months.
He gave the tax collectors the bird. As Joyce pointed out, the prostitutes were chill.
Jesus knows it’s hard enough out there for a prostitute without people making them feel bad about it.
As I recall, he was fine with tax collectors. “Render unto Caesar,” etc…
It was the moneylenders in the temple that made him flip his shit.
One of his disciples was a former tax collector, as I recall…
Thankfully the correction strengthens the point. Joyce’s parents are bad at getting Jesus.
Yeah, he was cool with sinners. It was the corrupt religious folks that really got his dander up.
For reference, Hank is paraphrasing II Corinthians 6:14. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (King James Version) It’s part of a passage a number of scholars believe was inserted into Paul’s text (or maybe Paul was quoting an earlier work not his own) because the “believer/unbeliever light/darkness righteousness/unrighteousness” dichotomy in it (along with certain other terms in the passage, like “Belial” for Satan) that is more characteristic of highly dualistic groups like the Dead Sea Sect.
That said, it clearly fits Hank’s and Carol’s ideology to a tee. Sadly.
(‘Being righteous even unto the unrighteous’: Pretty important, if you want to be able to look at yourself in a mirror without flinching.)
Using their first names breeds familiarity. We want to avoid that.
And then Sarah comes in five hours later and this is still going on and she leaves.
Or, Sarah comes in, takes their prayer about “light and darkness” totally out of context and breaks out the bat.
Actually, that would be a pretty awesome development. Not the bat I mean, but Sarah walking in mid-”darkness” line.
(BTW, the only darkness in that room is spewing off that old asshole’s mouth.)
I Cant wait till joyce is floating in mid air on her back yelling random bullshit.
As someone raised non-religiously, and is completely ignorant on ANYTHING regarding christianity, this seemed very culty. O_o. Is that an actual thing? I mean, I assume it is, since I doubt Willis would just make it up for no reason, but…damn.
Have you read the Bible? It gets a lot more cultastic than this in there.
No I have not.
Well, let’s say that David dances enraptured in a loincloth before the procession carrying the Ark of the Covenant. Would that make you?
And here I was thinking that pagans were the only ones doing the naked dancing thing. Live and learn, I suppose.
Well I’ve certainly been missing out. I’ve read Genesis, Exodus, and partway through Leviticus, but the craziest things I’ve seen were when Jacob acts like a total dick to his brother Esau, and when God smites some person for pulling out right before the money shot.
Slaughtering all of the firstborns not crazy enough for you?
Well, the craziest things God and the Hebrews (wow that sounds like a band name) have done. There’s probably more that I’ve skimmed over. I tend to skim a lot with books like this.
Oh wait, you’re talking about Passover, my bad. That is damning, but then again the Egyptians had killed the firstborn sons of the Hebrews, so it could be seen as karma. It certainly isn’t anything I’d commend today, but revenge was pretty important back then.
Oh, man, you should. It’s hilarious.
I’m forced to assume it happens a few times, but luckily it’s never been done with me (my mom was pretty religious, but didn’t even care whether I went to church or not so long as I promised to stay Catholic).
I doubt it is but since a i am not religious and my parents raised my catholic i wouldnt know.
Pretty sure this kind of parenting and behavior is out there. I’m very ignorant to religion itself as I chose to stay away from that subject, but I have seen and overheard parents using God and religion as a guilt tool to use against their kids, it’s pretty uncomfortable to see.
Yeah, is a real thing, and not only on the States.
The closest I’ve heard of (granted, I don’t know many fundamentalists) is my grandma had a ‘laying on of hands’ which from my understanding is a pastor saying a prayer while putting his hands on your head and possibly sprinkling with oil to help healing, which includes healing ‘spiritual challenges’.
It’s a real thing and it’s a lot more common than people think. Quick way to identify them: pretty much any church with “Good Word/Shepherd/News,” “Glorious,” “Way,” “Apostolic,” “Faith,” “Bible,” “Gospel,” “Pentecostal,” “Baptist,” “Victory,” “Fundamental/ist,” (bonus points for more than one of those in their name) churches are going to be like this. Science is of the devil, sent to deceive the faithful. Dinosaur bones were put in the earth to test the faithful. The earth was created “old” – it’s only 9,000 years old but God made it to look much older, to test the faithful. … You get the idea. Anything that doesn’t fit their interpretation of the bible is sent by the devil to test/deceive the faithful. It’s pretty awful to grow up in that environment, once you see the real world and realize how incredibly narrow your upbringing was. Joyce has acclimated much better than many sheltered, brainwashed fledgling fundies I’ve seen.
There is nothing wrong with “the Earth was created old” as a belief: a story may be new and tell a tale of a billion years. The Earth could have been created five minutes ago and you would not know the difference.
But the point is that it does tell a story of billions of years, and with such a perfect storyteller, we would be fools not to listen.
I felt the same way about Bioshock
Heretic! Only 6000 years! (4004 BC.)
Baptist churches tend to be more reserved and conservative in worship; this is somewhere between Baptist (tame) and Pentecostal (batshit). Some Baptist churches are actually very progressive compared to most. One here in Charlotte was actually booted from the Southern Baptist Convention for performing civil union ceremonies. This was shortly before the Southern Baptist Convention withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance for not being homophobic and misogynistic enough.
You’re trippin’ right?
My church lays hands on people to pray and we most certainly do not believe science is of the devil or anything that goes along with that :/
It’s just like everything else in the world. A very vocal minority makes everyone else look bad. There are plenty of awesome and tolerant people of every religion and race.
Are you referring to the act of prayer? Or praying with someone’s hands on her head? Prayer is a very common thing in the U.S. among protestant Christians. It’s such a part of the culture that I am surprised if you are unfamiliar with it, in the U.S. it’s on T.V. , in films, and books. Most of the time people pray with their eyes closed and their hands folded, or sometimes with their hands joined together or on top of someone being prayed for, as they did here. You can pray alone or with others.
If you are referring to how they just won’t back down on being judgmental of Dorothy, that is them being bad people who judge others outside the church. I wish I could say that is highly uncommon, but it isn’t. However, I can say that the Christianity I grew up in condemns this kind of thing. Your not supposed to marry non believers, but being friends is fine. I wonder why they didn’t just send her to Christian college, after all they have to know Joyce has instructors that are not Christian.
I was referring to the “hands on head” and the praying for someone in such a way. Praying in media is very much a private thing, or at least, a mass thing in a sorta private way, but never like this, which seems oddly culty compared to the way it’s normally depicted.
But, here’s the thing, it is a private thing here. We’re watching only members of a family praying together. The passive-aggressive part is from her father’s snide choice of words, but otherwise it doesn’t seem that strange to me.
I honestly bet his character is not one to do this all the time, just an overreaction based on his worries about sending his youngest off to a secular college. Not to be condoned, but probably seeing him on his worst day rather than the norm.
This type of treatment and P-A prayer/parenting/etc are a LOT more common than you’d think – there are a lot of really fundie churches that don’t SEEM fundie on the surface, and a lot of fundie Christians who don’t seem fundie on the surface.
NO ONE I think would meet my parents without hearing about them from me and believe they’re super fundamentalist Christians and did this sort of thing with me from a very young age (the prayer-as-PA-guilt thing, the laying on hands thing, the “let’s take it to god” thing) because they’re very friendly, welcoming (on the surface) people. But if you’re not a Christian? Trust me, their only goal with you is to BRING YOU TO G-D, HALLELUJAH.
It’s way. Way. WAY more common than a lot of casual/liberal Christians and non-Christians realize, I think.
That’s just scary and fucked up. I’m sorry, it’s really psychologically traumatising. Not the act itself, but the passive-aggressive guilt-tripping phrasing. Sounds like a good way to bring up some really fucked up kids.
It reaaaaaally really is. I’ve been out of my parents’ house (and subsequently the church and all that) for about 8 years now and I’ve still got a lot of issues that stem from the shit my parents and pastors did and said when I was growing up.
I’m glad that you’re slowly overcoming all that bull, Mat. Hang in there, it will get better!
as the fucked up kid of very fundamentalist parents, I would have to agree with you. It gets even better when you add being gay and/or trans* into the mix
I’ve a trans friend from that background.
And of course we aren’t allowed to say that. Finding something is odd is the same as hate, as I failed to retain the last time this was discussed. Please teach me to less awful…I’m just so bad.
As a queer trans person, I can definitely concur with this. -_-
Yeah, this definitely happens. I was raised with it, so it only seems mildly manipulative to me, not incredibly cultish. For the most part, prayer circles comfort me a great deal, especially if I know that the people praying know me well and have my best interests at heart.
Joyce’s dad, though, I want to punch in the face and scream at.
As an atheist who lives in a multi-cultural, multi-religious society, this arc has been bloody disturbing. I haven’t been this uncomfortable reading a comic for a while.
Then Willis has done his job.
Doesn’t make you want to visit, does it?
Same here. I knew this sort of thing wasn’t uncommon, and I knew Willis had grown up with this so I expected something of the sort, but I didn’t expect it to be so uncomfortable to read. It takes me back to the time I went along to my fundie friend’s youth club as a kid, and had to listen to a talk by a complete nutcase, which everyone else took seriously. What could I say? Why are you listening to such manipulative bullshit? Ugh!
I guess what makes it uncomfortable for me is that I never had experience with this kind of people, so this comic making it feel more real is very very scary. Coupled with the fact that the religious right making a push overseas is even more terrifying.
I’m a new commenter, and I wanted to say that this arc is wonderful. Keep it up, David!
When in doubt I too seek the guidance of the deity in this case the great old one Cthulhu
Of course I always botch my sanity check when he responds I don’t remember what I asked for guidance on in the first place.
ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn
Ah, a Cthulhuist! Always jolly people. I’m a Pastafarian myself; whenever I’m confused about anything I just call out to His Noodly Appendage to send me on the right path.
May His Noodle touch you and yours, brothers and sisters.
And may the green slimy noodles of Cthulhu guide our brother Mechaqua to the true path.
Ia Ia. Cthulhu Fhtagn.
I wouldn’t have thought nondenominational Christians could be quite so ritualistic.
What even made them decide that this is a thing they sometimes do?
Oh, but it’s not a ritual, it’s just the laying on hands to bring the Holy Spirit to the person you’re praying over. A ritual would mean that they’re some sort of pagan or catholic.
Yes, my churches growing up, all of the six or seven I went to through my childhood and teen years, would do stuff like this, but then claim that we had no rituals or something. it was super fucked up.
In some of the local nondenoms, the laying on of hands is Kind of a Big Deal. Annoyingly so. “Might I say a prayer for your new baby?” “I…suppose?” *SWEATY UNWASHED HANDS TO EVERYONE’S FOREHEADS AAAUUUUGH*
Even when the person doing it is basically sweet, I still find it creepy. It’s more annoying when some young buck suppressing his worldly desires takes on his church’s message as his ONLY METHOD OF RELEASE. Oh yeah….he’ll pray for you soooooo hard, with lots of passion…for Jesus. All up in The Word!
For the record, I’m an Agnostic Episcopalian. Then again, for anyone who knows any Episcopalians, the agnostic part is rather redundant.
I grew up going to a non-denominational church (this one) and laying on of hands was a big big thing. You had to have people to it to complete catechism. My family was huge on the passive-aggressive stuff and the not being able to watch cartoons for weird reasons too. I wasn’t homeschooled, thankfully, though I did spend some time going to a Christian school. Some of my homeschooled church friends were horrified when I talked about playing RPGs.
I don’t think that this is the norm, exactly – I know when I visited friends churches they were much more laid back than mine – but there’s definitely a lot of this out there.
I just…I hope this resolves itself okay. Joyce is my favorite character because I love the way that while she’s kind of naïve she is ultimately well-rounded and not presented as being critical or dismissive of religious people. I know that a lot of Joyce’s character arc is based on personal experiences, but I’m actually really hopeful that she doesn’t eventually entirely abandon her faith. There really aren’t many religious characters in media who are presented as being rational and normal and Joyce actually comes really close to that despite her occasional weirdness. Also from personal experience I can say losing your lifelong faith is really traumatic and I just don’t want my girl Joyce to have to go through any trauma.
You don’t go from alcoholic to occasional drinker.
But if you try to surface too quickly from too deep you’ll get the bends.
And yet, by secular logic, drinking in moderation is okay. I think that’s what Wilkie is hoping for, not total abandonment but toning it down to reasonable levels.
But then again, in all honesty, comparing religion to alcoholism is simply not a good comparison, because they’re quite different beasties. Alcoholism, regardless of what you’re actually drinking, has essentially the same harmful effects, different mostly in magnitude; whereas the potential harm from overzealous religions are as varied as religion itself is. And similarly, the solutions for overzealous religion are as varied as religion itself is.
I actually don’t think Joyce is an “alcoholic” in the terms of the analogy you’re presenting. Heavy drinker, sure, but she doesn’t seem to need every aspect of her life to be all about her religious indoctrination like some people.
Does anyone remember the Animaniacs episode where the Warner brothers and sister went to hell and screwed with the devil? Cause I really think Joyce should watch it.
my mom warned me about that episode
I bet you werent allowed to watch south park.
Don’t be silly. Willis is too old to have grown up watching South Park.
But the Smurfs deriving power from Beelzebub? He’d be right in that bracket. I know I was.
The Smurfs is a Nazi propaganda cartoon. Gargamel is the evil “ewige Jude.”
I could’ve sworn the Smurfs were communists.
*shrug* The Nazis were socialists.
Only according to them, though.
*twitch* Not sure if e- is joking or not…
Just got Poe’d.
Not everyone knows that “National Socialism” is/was a lie.
You just jumped a thousand yards past the relevant point. A better question is if Willis could watch Simpsons. I know I couldn’t.
Hell, I couldn’t, and I was raised in an atheistic household.
Ditto, only replace “atheistic” with “nonreligious”. The same was true of SpongeBob, Family Guy and South Park, among other things. I grew up being told they were stupid, and between commercials and occasional snippets I’ve seen of some of them, I’ve only found support for that opinion.
…reminds me of the time I was upset at the post office because my little sister had H1N1. A woman very kindly asked what was wrong, so I told her my sister was hospitalized. She asked if she could pray for me. I’m agnostic, but it seemed like a nice gesture, and thinking she meant when she went to bed that night or something, I said sure.
…and then she grabbed my neck, forced my head down, and prayed right there in the post office. I tried to pull away and she said no. It was surprising and scary for me.
Okay, that’s just not right.
Wow, that’s just…
What the shit.
PRAY WITH ME, BONGO!
LAUGHING SO HARD.
It reminds me of my creepiest prayer experience– when I was waiting tables I worked with this crazy fundie-ish woman, who, when she got pissed off at someone or got a bad tip, would say “I will pray for them, that they get EVERYTHING THEY DESERVE.” She would say this is the most menacing creepy way you can even imagine in your head. I even got the freaky hate-prayer from her one day because she thought I had taken one of her tables out of turn.
Now, if life was a sitcom, we’d Gilligan Cut to the people in question getting literally everything one could want out of life. XD
Oh, man, I will tell you right now she WOULD LET GO, or we would be talking about how I pressed charges and got her fired. That is so not within acceptable bounds.
(Ah, wait, I assumed this was an employee, but I just realized that isn’t necessarily the case. So possibly never mind that part)
But you would still presumably threaten to press charges.
Absolutely. You don’t grab somebody without explicit permission, and what that lady thinks “pray for me” means is far from universal.
I’d be irked, but it’s not really about the personal indignation as it is about the fact that behavior like that needs to be clearly delineated at NOT OKAY.
Oh, Joyce’s parents, you don’t realise it but you’ve pushed Joyce further away from your desires by trying to reel her back in. Now she’s seen exactly how people must see her and exactly why Walky things she’s hella brainwashed.
Joyce? Just roll your eyes and tune them out until they leave and go back to living your life.
^ This. I don’t think Joyce’s parents are being abusive, per se. They’re doing what they believe — and 4 weeks ago, Joyce would have been into praying away her temptations, too. But she is beginning to think for herself and to determine how she wants to shape and practice her religious beliefs/moral codes (which is what college is for, dammit!), so she is suffering MAJOR cognitive dissonance in realizing that the minute she was given enough exposure to other ways of thinking to understand that everything doesn’t boil down to Good Or Evil, her own thinking got more complicated and nuanced. It’s a wonder she hasn’t turned purple.
Just because it’s “what they believe” and Joyce would’ve gone along with it gladly a month ago doesn’t mean it’s not abusive.
Trust me, the sorts of people who practice Christianity the way Joyce’s family does tend to engage in a lot of little subtle abuses that can stack up to really fuck you up if you’re not careful.
(source: personal experience, and the fact that I KNOW my friends at church were raised the same way I was)
I’m drawing on my own experience, too. I wasn’t “fucked up” by my parents just because they believed differently than me and expressed concern that, from their standpoint, I would be better off trusting in God. It was awkward at times, and I did feel bad about letting them down, but it wasn’t abusive. Yes, parents *can* be abusive when they’re only acting on their beliefs, but this isn’t one of those cases, in my opinion.
Ehhhh, I’d say it’s borderline, honestly. They’re being extremely emotionally manipulative with this stuff, with the intent on getting her back “under control” basically, even if they don’t phrase it or even SEE it that way. And emotional manipulation so you can control what a person thinks and believes is abuse.
There’s a difference between “expressing concern” and “passive-aggressively trying to guilt trip you into agreeing with us again for your own good”. That might just be a lot of bad associations with situations and conversations like this on my part, but that’s how I see it.
“I’m drawing on my own experience, too.”
No, you’re drawing on your desire to ignore the experiences of others
Our opinions differ. I have a friend whose parents use exactly these sorts of tactics to aggressively belittle her sexuality. They have stunted her self esteem, and are constantly finding new ways to emotionally blackmail her. The Brown’s aren’t quite -there- yet, but they are on some exceptionally thin freaking ice.
I wouldn’t say my nephs were “fucked up” by being raised like Joyce. I will say they were “fucked over” since two of them had learning disabilities that went undiagnosed until High School, and the fact that my sister couldn’t teach worth shit.
And then Sarah walks in.
And then Sarah walks out.
And then Sarah shakes it all about.
Thank you, Yotomoe, you made my day happiness!
And that’s what it’s all about.
Like a polaroid picture…
I guess “it” means her butt…not that I’m complaining.
These are the people who told Jesus to stop spending time with “sinners.”
Not trying to offend anyone but the only reason id ever read the bible assuming some day i do it’ll be to see if it has some fun stories in it not cause id take anything seriously. Thats just me i mean i read mythology and at somepoint in time it was a religion yet if attempted to prove it real everyone would laugh at me so yeah.Just saying thats why im not religious.
And then Joyce reveals that she has received God’s guidance… by asking who she needs to talk to to bring Enterprise back.
Welp, if Willis himself approves a comment, you know you’ve done something right. Keep up the good work, Alexander!
Wow, the Willis seal of approval, you are golden my friend.
I’m sorry, I can’t help myself:
What does God need with a starship?
I’m not sure if I’m more disappointed with not getting the reference sooner, or that I eventually did get it?
That part of the movie redeems it for me.
Can’t help yourself? Or did the Devil make you do it…
Clearly, she lacks a moral foundation.
Also, when’s the next bus?
As a non-jewish, non-fleshling, I think I find this more offensive than than the last strip.
But then, Primus doesn’t really care if you believe in him or not.
Yes, well, Primus is your planet, so you guys don’t have to touch each other because if you’re on the ground you’re already touching God.
It’s easy to be indifferent to others when you’re a giant planet.
Dictating the proper course of action to God. Niiice and humble.
Now of course, as we learned yesterday in the discussion, Hitler was a good Christian, and all good Christians are like Hitler, so this should be no surprise.
Well that isnt entirely true but it shouldnt matter as long as you believe in the magic of rainbows and horned firebreathing pegasus.
Nobody said that.
Somebody also said “Nobody” and “said.”
Everybody blamed Somebody because Nobody did what Anybody could have done in the first place.
Great, now it looks like I’m making that eagle uncomfortable.
Can’t tell if sarcastic or not.
Sarcasm. I’ve been waiting for someone to use a -body since I first saw the name.
I didn’t think my respect for her dad could get any lower, but he did it. It was already at zero, but he somehow made it go negative with that condescending prayer. I was fine up until the end, but…he he just HAD to call Dorothy evil. So did Mary, but at least she was more honest about it.
“For what fellowship has light with darkness?” sounds like a saying they probably used back when interracial marriages with still illegal.
When you talk to God, it’s called prayer but when God talks to you, it’s called schizophrenia.
Oh, hey there Widely Spread Quotation. I hardly recognised you.
What’s the point of old chestnuts if not to drag them out occassionly.
You shouldn’t let them get old in the first place. You should roast them and eat them.
I almost got a guy to think he had a religious vision earlier today.
Schizophrenia isn’t multiple personality disorder.
Multiple personality disorder doesn’t make you hear voices. Schizophrenia does.
I thought the joke was about God being a second personality.
How about “God is love, love is blind, I am blind, therefore I am God.”
I think it sort of fits with Joyce’s parents.
And Joshua is in the backround mentally screaming “I can see! Thank You God! I can see!!”
And then he walks into a wall.
“Wait, no, I need glasses again.”
Light has a hell of a fellowship with darkness in the Bible. The only people who knew Jesus was Jesus and actually believed in what he did were demons, a Roman legionnaire, two criminals, and a Samaritan woman.
Everybody in the comments is commenting as if this is how EVERY religious person, nay, Christian, acts and thinks.
Thats true but i think most of us (hopefuly) know that isnt true.
I doubt everyone is. This is, sadly, how a LOT of practicing Christians think and act, though. And by “practicing Christians”, I mean people who go to church every week without fail, not people who consider themselves Christians (whether they are or not is not my place to say) but only go to church once in a while, which is actually what I believe a majority of Christians in America are.
Though it’s hard not to lash out at all christians when you had to deal with stuff like this and other more obviously emotionally abusive/manipulative stuff growing up, which I”m sure at least some of us did.
Amen! I hate the way that every single commenter is making sweeping generalizations.
You’re giving me an irony-boner.
Even better when you realize that half the comments aren’t. Half the ones above this one.
Regardless of individual Christians, the fact is that Joyce’s parents have the Bible supporting their stance.
There are tons of Christians that are great people, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Bible, the cornerstone of their dogma and belief, is full of hateful and disturbing messages.
How about “Love your neighbor as yourself?” How about “Love is patient, love is kind?” It’s easy to say the Bible is full of hateful messages without an understanding of the context in which a lot of passages were written. Going through it myself, I haven’t found anything terribly hateful besides the way people decide to interpret it to serve their own prejudices.
There’s little room for interpretation of passages about annihilating rival cities. You can find good messages, but “context” doesn’t always work as a defense.
Certainly not when it comes to genocide, misogyny, and racism.”But context!” is never an excuse for these things, even more so when it’s all backed by a supposedly all-powerful and benevolent god.
An all powerful God who hates people. In the Old Testament He actively made war against everyone except the Hebrews and Gentiles who worshipped Him, and even then He was sporadic at best in the help He gave. At least He mellowed out in the New Testament.
Yes, but most Christians seem to find omnibenevolence integral to their concept of God.
If by “everybody” you mean “perhaps a few”.
No they aren’t…
I’m not even mad anymore. Just…I lost so much respect for them that I don’t care.
Gotta give you props for getting that family pitch-perfect. I grew up in a variation of this family. If the passive-aggressive prayer doesn’t work, they’ll just wedge in a bit about “fools” who won’t listen to wisdom, a la one of the Psalms. Win-win!
Joyce would totally hate monster hunter since the game has no real creatures aside from the felynes and humans nor do they have a god.
Joyce would probably love Monster Hunter until her parents found out about it and manipulated her into hating it by quoting relevant scripture and making such pleas to God through prayer.
Well I’ve apparently fallen so far outside of the demographic for this comic that I’ll probably have to start back with “peanuts” or “the family circle” before I can work my way back. I read this comic because I enjoyed the humor and because I have two college age daughters. I would point out the you folks have had roughly eight panels to get to know these fictional characters. I’d be a little more impressed with all the “durr hrr hrr” going on if any one of you could lose the Jesus hate and maybe focus on a different context. Mainly, two parents who have sent their daughter to college and are concerned that all the values they’ve tried to teach her are going to go into the toilet. Considering that Joyce is a freshman, they’ve just let go of their kid. Prayer is a way of directing a message. Was this one a little pointed? Yes. Heavy handed. Yes? And in a couple of days they have to go home and wonder if their kid is going to be okay. They had to have done some things right, yes? Joyce is obviously smart, curious and healthy. The fact that Joyce is hanging out with an atheist is a bit heavy for these folks. This is on par with dropping your teenage daughter off at college, and she comes home with three tattoo’s, a nose piercing, cigarette dangling from her lip and every other word is something obscene. A bit of advice. This is a pretty cool lesson. You don’t know how they got where they are, and you don’t know where they will end up. These folks are only trying to protect their kid. They haven’t learned to let go yet, and at some point they have to trust they did a good job and leave it in God’s hands. That is the HARDEST thing a parent has to do. So cut them some slack. Thus endeth the sermon, and thank you for your attention.
If it helps, you’re not alone in that realization. I definitely saw my own parents in these strips, even though my parents aren’t religious at all, because of that common thread of worrying and the fact that kids in college will inevitably rebel a tiny bit regardless. That being said, it still can be shocking to read
I know the people who act like this in real life, and I know Willis has too. It makes me sick, it makes me rage, and it looks like many others feel the same way as I do. I have cut this adult- this archetype, this stereotype- all the slack in the world for my entire life. I have dealt with these people. And I think I have the right to denounce their kind of logic and child-rearing sense here in exacting terms with plenty of obscenities as they compare me to a mass-murdering megalomaniac, denounce their daughter’s choice in friends, and say the same stupid things that they always have and always will repeat until the end of their time- for the sake of my own sanity. Because I can’t talk like that in real life, to the real people who I know who act like this. That isn’t right.
Leave us to our comments. You really don’t have to scroll down.
And I don’t mean to attack you. This is just really volatile stuff. I’m sure most people here would agree with Jesus on most of his major points, it’s just that the people who have appointed themselves his spokespersons can be absolute gits…
Only eight panels? No. We’ve had the entire comic to see how their attitudes have affected Joyce’s worldview and almost a week of strips of them being intolerant jackasses in this storyline.
Your comparison is illogical. They were vile to Dorothy and even worse behind her back, and now they’re emotionally manipulating Joyce by attempting to shame her.
There is no justification that makes up for that sort of behavior. None whatsoever.
Even if they were raised that way, they could’ve chosen to look at the world instead of shutting themselves off in closed-minded hate.
I tried to play Devil’s Advocate for the Browns before, but, no. They’re nasty people.
Timeout: you want me to “cut them some slack” for telling their daughter she has to ditch her friends because they don’t conceptualize the universe the same way they do and using cultish intimidation and brainwashing because “Hey! Empty nest syndrome!”
Hell, no. Fuck, no. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
I think I can. I honestly didn’t think my comment was going to draw nearly this much ire, but I will say this. I have no idea what your relationship with your parents might have been, but, out of curiosity did your parents approve of every friend you had, right off the bat? This isn’t a criticism. This is merely a suggestion that people over react. I think everyone has heard a parent say “if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” That an exaggeration. Of course mom and dad don’t think that, but some times in a moment of exasperation something pops out that’s basically ridiculous on some level. Me, I was suggesting that there was a different point of view to take than “Jeseus Bad!”. Thank you for your opinion and taking the time to read mine.
I can say quite confidently that any friends my parents ever disapproved of were based on the actions of the friend rather than the demographic.
I have a Mother like this.
And even when she is a Human being, she is also my Mother and we can’t just say “Yeah, there happened a lot of things to her” and pretend, that it is okay, what she is doing.
You can’t always hide behind the things that happened to you.
Sometimes you have to be responsible. And when you have a Child, you will always be responsible.
Because everytime you are not, you destroy a part of your kid. Not like abuse, but hard enough that you child can get a mental disorder.
Also, it’s even more wrong, when this people think, that Atheism is the same as being obscene and living unhealthy.
It’s not okay, just because they are filled with prejudices and they don’t know better, no, it makes it worse.
They are grown-ups. They are parents. And still they act like children, not mature enough, to believe in what they learned AND to accept people, that are different, because they are still too stubborn and too immature.
That’s a way to destroy a kid.
No. No I will not cut them some slack. Because my parents were exactly the same way with me growing up. I know intimately why and how Joyce thinks and acts the way she does and what her childhood was like because THAT WAS MY CHILDHOOD.
So no, I am not going to give her parents the benefit of the doubt or whatever it is you want me to give them, because this is like looking into a mirror for me and seeing all the abuse and manipulation I was subjected to from the time I was old enough to form my own opinion about things (so, when I was about 7).
And for the record? I don’t hate Jesus. Or Christians. In fact, I think Jesus himself had a lot of really good teachings, and the Christians who stay away from the more fundamentalist and hypocritical side of the religion are awesome people. The ones I know are deeply awesome people, and I respect both them and their faith. But these people? They use Jesus and the Bible to justify judging and hating certain kinds of people (queer people like Ethan, atheists like Dorothy, people of other religions), and if you think that believing “because you are gay/don’t worship the way I do/don’t believe what I believe, you’re going to hell” isn’t hate, then you have a really skewed view of what love and hate are.
I try not to get angry and emotional in comments with people I don’t even know, but this is a deeply emotional and traumatic part of my past. That’s the sort of place some of us are coming from – not just mindless hatred of an entire religion.
Whenever I read your comments I feel like we’re probably on the same page and have had the same experiences concerning this.
It seems likely. And that makes me really depressed because I would not wish this bullshit on ANYONE.
I’m truly sorry that hit a nerve with you. Your reaction is understandable. I’m also sorry that your relationship with your parents is how you described. That’s a truly hard and heavy thing to have to carry around. You’re last paragraph suggested you’re trying to get a handle on your reactions to this kind of thing and that’s truly healthy. I wish you the best.
Seriously, by the time they get to College age, IT’S TOO LATE! They’ve already heard everything you’ve got to say, and some of it they agree with, some of it they don’t. On the parts they don’t agree with, they’ve already heard all your arguments and they aren’t convinced. The only things that can change their minds are new people with new arguments, and direct experience. The only effect of harping on about the things they don’t agree with is to make them want to see you less often.
The reason Joyce’s parents are getting so much hate here is that not only do they not accept this, they will probably never accept it. They have a very rigid idea of who their daughter should be, and what sort of life she should have, and they’re prepared to be pretty underhand to try to enforce it. How long before they bring out the straight emotional blackmail? She still loves them: will they use that as a weapon against her?
I rode the train to manipulation town until I was in my 20s.
Joyce is not an adult. At least, not mentally, emotionally and socially. She is a stunted child whose parents (knowingly or unknowingly) put a low glass ceiling over her head with God-shaming.
She will continue to defer to her parents because, in her eyes, her parents carry the authority of God. We’re taught to obey our parents, even if they’re not 100% right, and that to go against them is to go against God.
Nobody wants that kind of stigma on them. Maturity is like a taproot, though, and will eventually find a way through. But she will be several years behind her peers in development and may end up completely casting off the religion in resent once she finally has a chance to see it all from above.
You may well be right. I have got the impression that Joyce hasn’t had it as bad as some: her pastor said she was “the best socialised out of her whole homeschool group” and her parents did allow her to go to IU rather than a Christian college like her best friend. I interpreted that as a signal that they think she is ready to survive on her own (without doing anything they wouldn’t approve of, or disagreeing with them in any way, of course).
No one is a mature adult at that age, but my point was that by then, children have learnt everything from their parents that they’re going to.
Exactly. I left the church at 19 (after a year of some REALLY sketchy shit on the part of my parents and pastor) and am still, at 27, trying to break away from the way my mother specifically tries to manipulate me.
Sometimes it works, and I recently had to declare that I would not be coming back to visit them in their home because I called my wife in the middle of a visit sobbing because my mother had basically managed to take my frustration and hurt and desire to be a good person in regards to things like race and turned it into how I’m a horrible hateful person who pushes people away by ALWAYS ARGUING WITH THEM ALWAYS OVER EVERYTHING and that’s why I don’t have friends and am unhappy (despite the fact that I have friends and am actually pretty content).
I’m almost 30 and she still has some control over my thoughts and emotions, despite my attempts to break away from it, she just uses it to tear me down much more obviously than she ever did when I was still “part of the church”. :/
“three tattoo’s, a nose piercing, cigarette dangling from her lip and every other word is something obscene” is equivalent to “Wants to have a friend that doesn’t share our religion and that we know literally nothing else about”? I suppose the “obscene” words would be “tolerance” in this scenario.
It’s so precious when one of the 4-1 majority goes all victim mentality with a “lose the Jesus hate” crack. And comparing friendship with a non-believer to addiction and carcinogens is just totes adorbs.
It’s equally precious when someone manages to peg me as part of the “4-1 majority” whatever the heck that is, but my point was I could see their point of view as a PARENT who has kids in college. There’s a level of culture shock. From the Browns point of view it probably was as bad. I suggested a little compassion but apparently that’s not a concept you can grasp yet. Once could hope.
No, it isn’t equivalent. It isn’t justified to make such a comparison–even if some people believe so.
And they don’t show compassion for anyone else.
To get compassion they have to show compassion? I’m sorry but if you wait for that nobody get’s any mercy. Showing compassion when somebody’s wrong is very hard. Thank you for your opinion though.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or to rearrange it, I’ll do to you what you do to others.
The burden is on the Christians (it’s their book after all), which I guess means I have to bite the bullet here.
Timeout, totally behind you one hundred percent.
I didn’t peg you as anything; you pegged yourself. Congratulations on being a PARENT (I CAN CAPS LOCK, TOO!) and all, but you finding it so easy to relate to these characters only makes me more thankful to have been raised by rational, accepting people who didn’t impose their own insecurities on children.
And yes, having a laugh at the victim mentality in your comments and the intolerant, nonsensical smoking analogy absolutely means I haven’t grasped the concept of compassion. Wow, you really got me there. Good show.
Kudos for speaking up, but I’ve seen the damage their kind of un-Christ-like attitude can have, both on someone’s own kids and on the bigger community. Jesus didn’t cloister himself with people who lived righteously, he met people where they were in life, whether beggars, whores, theives or worse, and showed them love and compassion. Jesus was definitely “in the world” in that way. So many people use the phrase, “in the world, not of it” as justification for insulating themselves against the “world” while totally ignoring the “in the world” part. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he didn’t just say “love the Lord your God with all your heart,” he also said “…and your neighbor as yourself.” Our neighbors aren’t limited just to those who share our beliefs, socioeconomic status, skin color, or lifestyle. Those who are well have no need of a physician.
I know a young man, raised by his grandparents, who was recently kicked out of the house, with nowhere to go, because one of his oldest childhood friends came out as transsexual. They had rather see him homeless than have the family name associated with something they disagreed with.
I’ve met many, many people in my travels who say they believe in God but won’t attend church because they have a friend or relative who wouldn’t feel welcome.
I have a brother-in-law who sends his kids to church with my parents, but doesn’t attend himself because he thinks people would judge him for his tatoos.
One of my ex-wife’s friends had planned to go to church with us once. I’m really glad she backed out, because the sermon that day was about the evils of homosexuality, and she has two moms. That was also the last day I ever attended that church.
Is this what Christ’s love is supposed to do to people?
No. That isn’t what Christ’s love is supposed to be about. I’m glad you can see that as well.
If you don’t think that Joyce’s parents’ behaviour these last few strips has been horrifying, despicable, abusive, ignorant and childish, then you have never ever ever been anywhere near the demographic of this comic.
And if you seriously think this has anything to do with “Jesus hate”, you are so enormously off-target, you didn’t even hit the right universe.
As a conservative Christian, I can’t cut them any slack because they’re wrong. While Willis and I don’t always agree on matters of faith these kinds of people do exist, people who follow the letter of the law rather than the spirit of Jesus’s teachings. Joyce has actually been a pretty good girl while here. She’s fled from “youthful lusts” (granted her way of doing so is…a bit different), she’s tried to get her friends to at least give church a try (two of which she’s had at least some success with), and has stayed true to many of her principles.
My worry is that her parents have kept her unprepared for that guy at the party or..well, Billie to a point even if she isn’t a totally evil person. She treats everyone decently except for Walky but even then they do sort of get along. She’s kind hearted, sweet, and not afraid to not only speak her mind but listen to others even if she doesn’t agree with it even after they’re done. She has a few fault but I think her parents should be proud of her.
Now if Dorothy’s parents are as strict about their atheistic perspectives this could be an interesting friendship and a way for both Joyce and Dorothy to grow as people and characters, plus I think it would balance out the way Joyce’s parents are depicted. (And there are people on both sides that are way overboard in their views.)
I say let’s see how Joyce and Dorothy come out of this before throwing it away. I think Willis is being fair here. I would argue on certain Shortpacked strips, sorry Dave, but here he seems to be treating all perspectives well enough right now.
“Now if Dorothy’s parents are as strict about their atheistic perspectives this could be an interesting friendship and a way for both Joyce and Dorothy to grow as people and characters, plus I think it would balance out the way Joyce’s parents are depicted. (And there are people on both sides that are way overboard in their views.)”
It is a simple thing to find people who describe their parents like Joyce’s. While I don’t deny there are some zealous atheists out there, I have not heard of any atheist equivalents to Joyce’s parents, who use atheism to control, shame, and judge their kids. Making Dorothy’s parents into those types would not ring true, and would not square with what we already know of Dorothy as a character.
It would also require that their statement to the Browns that they let Dorothy decide for herself be a lie. The unreliable narrator has a place in fiction, but this isn’t a good spot for it.
The argument for “balance” is also specious because we see a very broad range of attitudes among Christians in this comic, but don’t have a similarly broad sample of atheists. Making our one set of atheist parents as bad as the worst set of Christian parents we’ve seen.
It’s not bad or imbalanced storytelling or an attack on Christianity to say “atheist couple X are better parents than Christian couple Y.” That story element would only be a problem if the story treats each couple as the factory standard default setting for their respective belief systems, which Willis clearly isn’t doing here.
I’d argue that Dorothy’s parents aren’t atheists themselves. They raised her areligiously and gave her the opportunity to choose her own and they respect her decision — and nothing in their dialogue indicated that she came out at the same place they’re at.
Mind you, they may not be devout Christians/Buddhists/Wiccans, but there is plenty of room for them to be some form of deist.
This isn’t empty nest syndrome, though. This is empty cage syndrome. We saw how the parents feel about her leaving the nest at the start of the comic: they were cool with it. Happy, interested, supportive good parents.
And now this shit we’re seeing lately. This isn’t about her leaving the nest; it’s about her leaving the sheltered cage of ideas and prejudices that they raised her in. Leaving home, that’s not a problem. Associating with atheists, though – that’s bad! Really really bad! Like, NAZI bad. Because obviously that’s a reasonable and understandable thing to say about anybody.
Go back and read the last few comics. This has jack shit to do with Joyce leaving the nest. It has everything to do with her associating with those dreaded outsiders. The division they’re drawing is between light and darkness. Light being their sainted selves, and darkness being all those worthless shitty scumbags who dare not be in lockstep with their particular flavor of religion and intolerance.
And it can only go downhill from here. Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Dinophiles, homosexuals, ex-cons, black people, mixed-race people, ‘loose women’, people who don’t wear shoes – this dorm is a veritable cornucopia of people who are not clones of themselves, and it’s anybody’s guess who will offend them next! I wouldn’t be surprised if they reject and lambast every single person that Joyce knows here.
Well, except Mike. Mike is obviously an upstanding young man. Perfect for her.
Joyce is a freshman but she’s the youngest of… Five? Seven? They’ve had lots of practice letting go. Befriending a person with a different worldview in he first month of freshman year isn’t really comparable to tattoos anyway, is it?
Nice work, Willis.
You managed to make a webcomic make me feel physically ill.
I kinda smell someone starting to bear a more simple and relaxed view of religion.
And that smells like . . . freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!
You know its a good thing joyce doesnt listen to slipknot or papa roach just saying if she did and her family found out theyed probably get her exorcisted.
Does exorcism help with bad taste in music?
“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”
Now I don’t say this as a rebuff to Joyce’s parents, but what is the first thing that many of you see when you read this? That the darkness is more powerful? That it holds a certain animosity to the light? Sure, I suppose that works.
But what if the light is just to sure in itself, to blinded by it’s own ego to see that the darkness is the thing that defines it? That the darkness has always just been waiting for the light to realize that without it, the light does not exist as well.
Sorry, this came from the “For what fellowship does light have with darkness” line from yon amazing comic.
Love Terry Pratchett!! Was that from *Good Omens*?
Reaper Man, actually. A Discworld book, and one of my favorites.
Reaper Man, at least according to Google ^_^ I just remember seeing this quote on Facebook, and it’s always been one that stuck with me.
Just bought a bunch of discworld novels the other day. Can’t wait to get to them! But ya, Reaper Man was a great story.
“I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs, a very endearing sight, I’m sure you’ll agree. And even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged onto a half submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters, who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen. Mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.” Vetinari
I’m a Pagan. But, I have read the Greek and Roman Mythology, The Bible, the Book of Morman and I will read the Koran next. I think it is important to know your fellow human beings beliefs, and I find it interesting.
I always keep in mind that my religion is considered mythology. I find this funny.
I do not find public displays of prayer, even if done “by white breds wearing sweater vests”, to be all that acceptable. Their own Bible speaks to them of not being like the Saraccan (sorry for spelling here) showing off their humility and piousness with public praying, but instead to take their prayer to the closet, to pray in solitude. It has been a long time since I’ve read that passage, I have quoted it as best I could.
People like The Browns are not Christians, I don’t know what they are. But they are not following their own rules, they are twisting them to force their daughter to their way of thinking.
If they’re praying in public to show off I agree with you. If they honestly feel like they need to pray for something specific they shouldn’t have to hide it like it’s a crime (except in countries where it is). Whatever problems I have with the Browns here (and lo they may turn out to be many) they do honestly think they need a move of God here. They’re not trying to show off to the campus “hey, we pray so we’re better than you”. (Granted they probably DO think they’re better than you but I think I’m arguing two different things here.) So it’s the only thing they’ve done here that doesn’t bother me.
The only thing.
I don’t know, I’m also strangely accepting of the fact they wear sweater vests. They make it work, somehow.
Do… Do you think this marks the beginning of Joyce’s doubts and questions causing her to lose her faith and mark her journey into atheism?
If so, that might be too painful for me to even read.
I have to say, as someone who has seen friends coming out of that path (I thankfully was pretty much always agnostic, even as I kid) it is one of the most painful things to watch. I’m stoked that Dorothy and the others are getting through to Joyce and showing her the wider world but (even though this is a webcomic when its all over) I feel really really bad for Joyce.
Or she could acknowledge that people like this are going to exist no matter what and keep being Christian (albeit much more liberal than before).
To be honest, I’m not sure that’s what should happen. I’m agnostic, but I have no problem with people that have faith (to be frank, I actually have some jealousy that they can believe everything will work out even when things are at their worst). I do have problems with (as others have called it) the brainwashing, or with the forced ignorance of the greater world, or turning a belief system that says it’s based on love into something hateful. Joyce has already started expanding her horizons, and that’s good, but I don’t think she has to lose her faith to do so.
If I had to bet on an outcome for Joyce, I’d say she’d end up mainline Protestant when all is said and done, though she might flirt with abandoning Christianity altogether during her “okay, I don’t believe what my parents taught me anymore — what DO I believe?” phase. She might examine paganism or atheism, but I don’t think they’d be good fits for her in the end. If her relationship with Ethan were to last long enough she might consider the idea of converting to Judaism, but I expect that ship to hit the reality-iceberg and go to the bottom long before she gets to that point.
I think seeing her shop around for different flavors of Christianity during her entire crisis of faith is more probable than a “my week as a Wiccan” type story, though, even if I’m not entirely discounting the possibility of the latter.
Of course Joyce is going experiment with various religions and belief systems. But in a way that offends literally everyone.
Y’know…I hope not, honestly. Sure, I’m all for heaps of character development and painful self-reflection, but…
Joyce’s original character arc during the final years of It’s Walky! really spoke to me. Everything from around Dina’s death through to the end of the series; from suffering successive crises of faith to coming out a stronger, better person but not having cast everything aside.
I grew up in a fairly moderate/liberal Methodist church. The kind of church that would allow the youth group to build a real genuine haunted house each halloween (a real one, not a hell house or whatever. We did zombies and ghosts and graveyards and shit. Not a single biblical figure to be seen). Then when I was around…19, I think? A lot of political shit went down behind the scenes, and long story short we had a split in the congregation and the new pastor was far more fundi and in line with a lot of the remaining church (mostly the older folks). Halloween was neutered, and soon I started seeing creationist books popping up.
Anyway, I read It’s Walky a bit after I left the church and was suffering from successive crises of faith. And you know what spoke to me? Joyce’s conversation with The Cheese; about how even if you’re wrong, at least the choice is your own. Joyce’s conversation with Joe, about her faith is for herself. Joyce’s conversation with Walky, about how despite everything that had been thrown at her, he was a shining example about why she still believed. It started me on my own personal spirital path. Twelve-thirteen years down the line, I’m something of a post-Christian pluralist who hasn’t been to church (aside from Christmas with the family) since. But I still have a very strong personal faith. I even minored in religious studies in college, and have a fairly impressive library of various religious texts from that time. And as silly as it seems, I think Joyce’s arc at the end of It’s Walky! was a big factor in that.
So…I dunno. If she became an atheist it wouldn’t be the end of the world, and it might even inspire someone else on their journey down the road. But it would be really painful for me to read, because it would be sort of a parting of the ways for that character and I, since I don’t ever really see myself becoming one. Changing, sure, that comes with life. So…yeah. And that’s not a knock against atheists (I mean…almost all of my friends are at the very *least* agnostic), I’m simply speaking for myself, personally.
…Huh. I wrote way more than I intended to. Shit.
Have this many readers really never seen a group prayer before? The only bad part is that he makes it out to be her problem and made a backhanded comment about Dorothy.
Group prayer does not usually involve putting your hands on people’s bodies
Well not normally in a Church, but families do it sometimes.
Wait, I guess it wasn’t really her decision. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.
My husband’s Catholic and they did it once in a while in some of the church groups – but only if the person actually wanted it (at least so it seemed)… Either way it always creeped me somewhat out but I was also raised not only in a quite non-religious family but in a ditto country (Denmark) so overt demonstrations of faith etc. was and is still for me rather strange and outlandish…
Used to happen in my church all the time. Normally with two or three people, standing at the back or the front. We’d have a focused prayer time at the end of the service where the congregation sang a few songs and anyone who felt comfortable could go to any of the volunteer prayer partners and ask for prayer for absolutely anything.
Now I’m at a different church, and they don’t really do that sort of thing, which is fine. I find that I miss having the option sometimes, though. It’s really wonderful and comforting if you’ve asked for it and just need the touch of another human being, especially if you’re having a hard time.
This is not how prayer ever worked in any part of my family.
I grew up in a very fundamentalist religion. Laying on of hands was *doctrine*.
Whether the person being prayed over wants people invading their personal space or not, far too often.
I was thinking exactly the same thing.
I hate people who pray for what they want to happen every single time rather than leaving it open for God to actually have a say in the matter.
I liked her parents better when Joyce was the neurotic one and her mom kept trying to get her laid.
“Honey, have you seen the good book? …No, the OTHER good book.”
Oy, me too.
How I wished that her parents in this universe would have any semblance to their other selves.
I weep in disappointment.
Who knows. They might still fuck like bunnies.
How many siblings does Joyce have in this universe?
Three, as opposed to five in the Walkyverse. I’m never learned why, though I assume it’s so the Brown siblings can form a barbershop quartet.
Watch over my parents and grant them your blessing
So they may survive the dicks I command them to go choke on
I’ll have to remember this one for my family’s next Thanksgiving.
An internet to you Ms. Farmer.
I read that as Falmer.
Somebody’s been playing too much Skyrim
Well I’ve received the image of a Falmer wearing a straw hat and overalls plowing some underground fields.
I’m a guy, buddy. I just keep getting Sierra as a Grav.
Joyce, I love you. I want you to be a golf pro.
Damn you for making me feel old.
I’m just glad that somebody got it.
Please someone explain this to me.
Just kidding. For some reason that is the third image result when you Google the phrase “I want you to be a golf pro”. Apperantly it was from an old Sitcom from the 70s called WKRP in Cinncinnati about a radio station according to our old pal Wikipedia.
Bingo! And still feeling old…
Good grief Joyce’s dad reminds me of my dad….Ugh!
Joyce hon… run…now! Get out while you still can!
“I see it’s Joyce teeing up to the third hole at Human Decency. It’s a hard dogleg left, with the smart play being to shoot to the outside elbow.”
“I disagree, if she goes to far Right she’ll be in some thick rough, hard stuff to get out of.”
“If she tries to play it along the left the way she normally does, she’ll be right back in the sand, just like the last hole.”
“Good point Bob. Let’s see what she does.”
That last panel… is that the seed of awakening I see sprouting on her brow?
Oh, no, no it’s not. Just speck of dirt on the monitor.
Anyway, onward to tomorrow!
Sorry, I see “Joyce” and “the third hole” and my mind goes to a really filthy place and refuses to even read the rest of the post, replacing it with something that would likely make Faz blush.
Because going and actually speaking to Dorothy and getting to know her is SO MUCH HARDER AMIRITE?
Wait, they probably think they’d be doing Satan’s work if they did that.
What I’m taking away from all of this isn’t that Joyce’s parents are cultists or ruthlessly indoctrinating her so much as treating her like a little who doesn’t know what she’s talking about and needs her hand held through everything. They don’t trust her enough to have a non-Christian friend and stay a Christian herself. It is then humorously exaggerated, as befitting a primarily comedy-based webcomic. Poe’s Law is in effect, however.
Like the attempted drugging and rape of Joyce at that party was “humorously exaggerated, as befitting a primarily comedy-based webcomic?”
Your argument is invalid.
AHAHAAH haha. ha. HA.
If you think this sort of thing is “humorously exaggerated” then I envy you, because this was quite literally what my life was like growing up, and what it continues to be like every time I have to spend time with my parents despite being 8 years removed from when I left the church.
From what Willis has mentioned about his childhood, I’m betting he is writing from experience.
As someone who is the punching bag of Poe’s Law more often than not… no. What you should take away from this is yea, some parents/people ARE like this and it’s no humorous exaggeration. Especially if you’ve been on the receiving end, I reckon.
My reaction to Joyce’s parents…part 2…
I Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate…You!
“There Joyce, are you happy?! Now we have to bother God. He’s probably in the middle of dinner, too, so I hope your friend is worth it!”
“Joyce, don’t you remember what we told you? Every time you distract God with your piddly shit, he loses his place and gives a new baby an extra chromosome or two.”
This comic is even more awkward when you remember that Joshua is still in the room, probably standing off to the side, feeling really uncomfortable because he used to be in Joyce’s position.
Welp…I’ll be honest. If they actually leave it at this, it’s better than I had feared. I’d rather have Joyce deal with this weirdness than her parents flip out and deliver some kind of ultimatum by holding her college funding over her head.
At least this way, it’s still Joyce’s decision, she’d just had her rather f’ed up upbringing shoved in her face a little harder. And that was going to happen sooner or later anyway.
This so reminds me of Monty Python’s Church Police.
So, let’s take it to God is Brownspeak for “stand there and be quiet while we invalidate your opinions and force our rationales down you throat.” bless his heart, Mr. Brown’s a dick.
Welcome to the world of fundamentalist Christianity.
this gets me so pissed, only because this is how my parents have acted and still act and it just pisses me off, just because someone believes something different it doesn’t make them a bad person
Sorry Mr Willis, but my wife has dark brown hair.
And this my friends is why I left Christianity behind and never looked back, I just hope Joyce sees her family for what they are, extremist bigots and avoids going down their path, because losing faith in anything is a tough road to go down, but modifying your faith to better fit the realitys of the world is the best move.
Seconded. I believe that Joyce’s faith is important enough to her that she’ll try to adjust how she views the world without losing it altogether, but it might come with one of those EXTREME SWINGING TO THE OPPOSITE SIDE phases first.
Despite the fact that I could never return to Christianity after my history with it, I would be much happier to see her come to a more true and loving form of her faith in the end.
Yeah. Whether or not I believed in God and the divinity of Christ became a non-issue as soon as I figured out I had nothing to do with the terrible closed-minded bigoted ignorant people that this religion creates.
Every time I think I might like to try another church that advertises themselves as “different” or “tolerant,” I find that they’ve still done something like kicked people off staff for coming out as homosexual, for instance.
I’ve told myself I’ll give Christianity another chance if I can actually find a church with a transsexual on staff. It’s a good litmus test, I think.
Now let’s contemplate that David told us the Browns were going to be a distant second in the “worst parent” competition of this story arc.
Ponder this gravely. And then delete your bookmarks while you still can.
We haven’t seen the darkness in the hearts of Dina’s parents yet. Or Dorothy’s. Which will it be?
How… How did the Saruyamas even have time to do that to a human body in the space of an elevator ride?
Noooo, we never even expected Sarah would die! We were too worried about Ruth and Dina!
I thought it was the Siegals he said were going to be a distant second.
*checks* Yeah, that’s what he said. I sincerely hope this is what he was talking about, though I suppose the Walkertons still have time to show up and start sacrificing kittens.
Mrs. Walkerton: Hey walky. Check out all the cat’s we killed on the way here! Soup’s on!
Walky and Sal: OH BOY!
“There was even a kindly young blonde man who offered to strangle them for us! You should meet him.”
Mr. Walkerton: He only charged a nickel! Speaking of which, where did my wife run off to?
This looks less like a prayer and more like their trying a three-way Vulcan mind-meld.
Being an atheist who spent part of my youth growing up in the bible belt, all I can say is that this arc is pretty spot on and disturbing.
We must exer-CISE the DEE-muns!
Are they out of shape?
Joyce’s eyes are opening.
It’s a literal metaphor!
I was an evangelical myself, and I have to say I recognize all that I didn’t like about certain types of evangelicals in Joyce’s parents. While an atheist myself, I love pointing out to that type that Jesus’ ministry was not to the “publicans, who wish to be seen as devout” but rather the folks people automagically decried as unrighteous. Tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, what have you. When I hear prayers like that (and boy did I), it made me cringe. It didn’t feel -right-. I’m glad to see Joyce cringe. It makes me happy for her. It makes me believe in her.
not gonna lie, i like the Browns for trusting Joyce to make her own decision, in at least some capacity. i know from personal experience that this guilt trip could be SO much worse.
AHAHAHA well, in some capacity that if she doesn’t make the “right” decision I get the feeling things are gonna get more drastic.
Maybe not. It’d be nice if they actually just let her make it. Buuuuut… my gut instinct is telling me they won’t.
And then everyone combusted royally, as if they were made flesh into burning bushes. There was made screaming until the walls, and ashen marks that stain forever more, and all was made well.