Santa is a cognate of the baby Jebus. Each Christmas, children are asked what they want from Santa, who can be all over the world in three billion nursery rooms almost at the same time every 25th of December, which, coincidentally, happens to be the baby Jebus's birthday, too. In other words, If you believe in me, I will bring you toys. Some guys today believe that if they only believe, Santa will leave them 72 table dancers. I may be an atheist today for figuring out the Santa con game fairly young. It took a bit longer to shake the other guy. I think it was the year Santa left me a pawn shop 8mm camera when I had asked for a new Swiss Bolex. My Mom said, "Santa's poor this year." How would *she* know?

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That whole 72 virgins thing is a perfect example of how little critical thinking is a part of embracing religion.  Do these imbeciles have enough foresight to envision what day 73 in heaven will be like?  That's assuming one virgin per heavenly day, but I suppose these mouth breathers would probably go through several per day upon entering the kingdom of rapists.  Or do they just assume that in heaven, hymens magically repair themselves overnight?  Do they ever consider what it must be like for a woman to enter their heaven, and have an eternity of painful rape to look forward to?

Is that anything like saying prayers for the hurricane to miss your town when doing so causes it to go onshore somewhere else, harming people there?  Har har har.

Somewhere I heard it was a misprint, and it was really 72 raisins.  I've since heard that was not true.  Possibly chilled raisins - in fact, "white raisins" of "crystal clarity" which would certainly make martyrdom worthwhile.  Wouldn't it?  Craisins would be even better.

Also in the link,  "They shall recline on jewelled couches face to face, and there shall wait on them immortal youths with bowls and ewers and a cup of purest wine".  Nice!  Is it getting warm in here?

"Thank you for killing yourself and twenty other Muslims in your efforts to kill those two infidels.  Here are your 72 raisins.  You stay here in paradise will be long, so ration them wisely."  Allah is stingy.

Interesting article by the way.  That kind of information doesn't get much mainstream exposure.

I agree!  It could use some exposure in the Muslim world as well.  Maybe those little packets of raisins, with selected commentaries on the boxes, dropped from drones over Damascus, Kabul, Cairo, Tehran.....

This would be the reaction:

I first learned of the translational problems when I read Sam Harris's End of Faith. If memory serves, he relegated it to a footnote.  I almost fell out of my chair.  It has an almost exact cognate with John of Patmos using coded language to throw off Roman legionnaires and traitors to Christianity.  By esopsephia, John warned of The Great Beast, which also had number-letter correspondences to Nero Caesar.  It's easy to guess who the Scarlet Woman turned out to be.  But here's the point: if Jihadists knew that they were to enjoy on 72 white grapes in Paradise, how could it mean a bit of difference if you had been brainwashed into believing that, whatever the reward in the hereafter, Allah wills you to do as we say?  In case of Rupture this mind will be empty.  The modern evangelical equivalent of the Romans of Nero's day is the Dominionist movement, as hair-brained, grossly unevolved a bunch if ever there was one, dedicated as they are to Nuclear Holocaust between Arabs and Jews.

James, that may have been where I saw it too.  Sounds right.  

I have some white grapes in my yard.  I'd be happy to offer 72 of them to one of those Islamists to, say, declare that it's all a mistake.

Of several things I dislike about Christmas, it's lying to little kids that really gets my goat. I was four when I figured it out, and remain a little pissed-off these many decades on. But perhaps that was a favor of sorts -- at least a hard lesson. Until then it had not occurred to me that adults could be less than trustworthy, which was obviously a naive assumption. For me, their Word had been reality, and so I believed in God and the tooth fairy. It didn't take long to realize that if the sacred Santa was a myth, I was going to have to figure out for myself whether all those other heroes were real or not.  And I'd have to do it without relying blindly on authority figures. I knew that I was an atheist by age 6 (giving up on Popeye took a little longer). That made almost every aspect of life harder. I couldn't just assume that Superman would take care of stray asteroids or that I'd go to the "good place" even if I screwed up and then recited the right homilies.


But nearly at the same time I started finding that a harder life lived responsibly is a better one.  Had I missed that early revelation; had I grown up in the Bible Belt and among the mystics on the Rez and not questioned authority until dropping a hit of acid at 16, I may never have developed the confidence to think for myself.  And so thanks Mom & Dad, you damn liars, for fostering skepticism.



ROFL.  Thanks for it.

They are both cons.

I'm glad I am rid of belief in both.

Pat, you will see, has a devious mind. But then the evangelicals say that all of us heathen are full of the Devil.  In my defense I must say I can hardly be harmed by an imaginary entity dreamed up by the Priesthood to explain the presence of evil in the world.  After this, therefore because of this.  If a friend hears of my death, God took me.  If an enemy hears of it, they will say I got what I deserved and am now in Hell.  Hey, you just cannot win.  Sheesh!


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