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Signs of godliness

Signs of godliness

Christians, as a rule, don’t wear ridiculous garb. They leave that to their poncy spiritual leaders.

But devout Jesus junkies identify themselves by having a certain madness stamped on their features, a swivel-eyed, purse-lipped craziness that suggest someone’s poured treacle into a precision cyborg. I offer as an example the montage, above, of Stephen Green, of Christian Voice UK.

Another example: Andrea Minichiello Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre:

What got me thinking about signs of godliness was my arrival in Gibraltar for my marriage on Tuesday. The hotel into which we booked was awash with Spanish-speaking Jews of an orthodox stripe, made obvious by their full beards, big black hats and yamulkes on their young male offspring.

I imagined there was a Jewish wedding on the go, or a bar mitzvah, but when I began exploring the streets of Gibraltar, everywhere I looked I saw similarly-kitted orthodox families.

“What’s this all about?”, I wondered. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency provided the answer:

Jews have lived in Gibraltar since at least 1356. For more than 200 years, beginning with the expulsion of Jews from the Iberian peninsula in 1492, there was no Jewish life here. That changed in 1713 when Britain took control of the territory affectionately dubbed ‘Gib’  or ‘the rock’.

In the centuries since, Jews have occupied major political positions. In 2008-09, the largely ceremonial post of mayor was occupied by Solomon Levy. Still, some say the walls between Jew and non-Jew in Gibraltar have grown taller.

‘There’s Jews here that have absolutely no contact with non-Jews,’ Abergel said.’They won’t send them [their kids] to anything – swimming lessons, ballet, judo, etc, – if it’s not organised by the Jewish community.’

Today, that community numbers around 700 of Gibraltar’s population of 30,000 but their visibility is astonishing.

My interaction with one of the community was limited to a brief exchange with one of the hotel guests on Saturday. He was mournfully waiting for a lift. He looked relieved when I arrived, and asked me in Spanish to push the button, explaining that he couldn’t do so because it was the sabbath.

I obliged, but not without rolling my eyes in disbelief that, in the 21st century, people can still manifest such insane behaviour.

My next thought was:

Why can’t we, the ungodly, have some sort of sign that marks us as as the only rational beings on the planet?

Pastafarians have an answer of sorts, but I’d look ridiculous wearing a colander.

A tattoo across my forehead saying “atheist”?

I don’t think so!

Over to you, dear readers, to suggest how the infidels, the apostates, the rationalists, the humanists and the rest of the plain sane population can tell the world there we’re here in growing numbers, and we’re extremely proud and relieved to be godless.

14 responses to “Signs of godliness”

  1. Stephen Mynett says:

    I am sure there are some on here who remember the “Stop me and buy one” ice cream carts, a tricycle with a refrigerated front part.

    We could get some of those but replace the front part with a large bin with the message: “If you wish to join the 21st century and start thinking, throw your Bibles, Korans, Torahs etc in here and we will take them to the recycle for you.”

    A thought, do you think George Lucas had seen pictures of Green and Williams just before he envisaged the bar scene in the first Star Wars film?

  2. 1859 says:

    Hummm…symbols can become barriers, tribal marks, signs of oppression, madness etc., – crosses, crescents, swastikas, the hammer and sickle, the star of David, the white hand of Sauron, all spring to mind. The Flying Spaghetti congregation favour pirates – How about flying a Jolly Roger, or sporting a ring in one ear only? Personally, I have a tattoo spiralling around my wrist of the first 100 decimal digits of pi – this makes me pretty godless I guess (certainly mad in my students’ eyes!).

  3. barriejohn says:

    @1859: That tattoo sounds great! How about a tattoo of a DNA spiral? The knowledge that we already have about that makes “god” redundant.

    Barry: You forgot the one who surely caps the lot!

    http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Slideshows/_production/ss-140912-ian-paisley/ss-140912-ian-paisley-09.jpg

  4. Broga says:

    Sign of being an atheist. A black cloak. My grandchildren are vampire fans and wear imitation cloaks. Not for them the stories of beautiful princesses and handsome princes. They prefer Dracula and pirates – especially Black Bart.

    A swirling black cloak, draped from the shoulders, would certainly set us apart.

  5. RussellW says:

    Barry,

    I wouldn’t have obliged by pressing the button. The self-inflicted misery of religiots is their problem, not mine.

  6. Robert says:

    Just ridicule the pious loudly, overtly and to their faces.

    As for pressing the button on the lift I would say” Alluah achbar … You are welcome to share this confined space with me and breathe the same air as me if you dare”.

  7. Broga says:

    “and asked me in Spanish to push the button, ”

    So what do they define as “work”? Turning on the shower? Replacing a broken shoe lace?

  8. Broga says:

    So what do they define as work? Turning on the shower? Replacing a broken shoe lace? Turning the handle to open a door?

    It’s bonkers intended to make smug religiots even more self righteous.

  9. tonye says:

    There are a few sites that sell atheist clothing.

    I have an old t-shirt with the slogan ‘Godless Heathen’ across it. I think that covers all angles.

  10. Barry Duke says:

    This, from Ask the Rabbi:
    “If there is a non-Jew who is using the lift for themselves you are allowed to join them. However, you have to get off on the floor they do, and enter and exit the lift with them … In times of great need one is allowed to tell a non-Jew to perform a task on Shabbat that is forbidden to a Jew because of a Rabbinic prohibition (as opposed to asking a non-Jew to perform a Torah prohibition for us, which is nearly always forbidden). There is a debate about whether pushing the elevator buttons is forbidden rabbinicly or from the Torah. If we rule leniently on this question (as many great authorities do), then, in a times of great need it would be allowed to ask a non-Jew to push the buttons needed for you to ride the elevator. The question though is ‘what is considered great need’? Certainly if someone is staying in a hotel room and needs the elevator in order to leave their room and go to synagogue to pray, or to return to their room in order to sleep, that would be considered as a great need. However, if one could just as easily stayed in a ground floor room, then it may not be considered as great need if they themselves choose to enter into a situation where they will need the elevator. Each case would need to be examined individually to determine the level of need involved.”

    In the case I referred to, the guest clearly broke the sabbath rule because he asked me to press the buttton for the 4th floor and exited there. I went up to the 7th.

  11. Now wait just a damn minute here. “However, you have to get off on the floor they do” – so what if it’s not your floor? You walk the rest of the way? But that’s WORK – a lot more work than pushing a button.

    Or are you supposed to lie down on the filthy hotel carpet and go to sleep there? Very pious, I must say.

  12. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    “In times of great need one is allowed to tell a non-Jew”

    Bollocks to that, they’re not TELLING me to do anything.

  13. Vanity Unfair says:

    What to wear?
    How about, by turns and according to the situation, an air of smug amusement, condescension and superiority. This followed by, as the occasion allows, and a lift would be perfect, a lecture on the failings of omnipotent deities that leave their adherents impotent in the face of the modern world.
    Sometimes I can be vain and unfair (the name is a reminder not to be) such as when a confectioner’s assistant tries to sell me a bun under the guise of a muffin when it has patently not been yeast-raised, is the wrong shape and consistency and, what is more, is cold and will not respond sympathetically to toasting. Then there are cafés whose staff, having finally learned how to make adequate coffee proceed to ruin their reputations by forgetting how to make tea in a proper manner. Tea-bags are the best evidence for the existence of Beelzebub and the downfall of Western civilization that can be imagined. And then some misled man (I would be honoured to assist a lady, of course) wants me to act as a lift attendant because he is too special to press a button for himself. To what is the World coming?
    The bun was, fortunately, quite toothsome but it was not a muffin.

  14. Robster says:

    Being consistently absent from all religious facilities, shooing away silly religious salespersons when they come to the front door, laughing at the religiously afflicted when they do silly religious stuff,offering the reverends, priests and other self declared god/Jesus representatives no ‘respect’, ignoring that weird Grace person before chowing down, enjoying the mirth on offer when the religious try to take it all seriously and just telling others when they ask, the truth. That’s all that’s needed.

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