“Peanuts was a lot deeper than people thought”

That was the header of the email that reader Diane G. sent me along with the following cartoon. It’s amazing that this would get published!

7lx4M7BxwYTGoAjmWZktjTl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9“I beesech you, in the bowels of Christ. . .”  Could Schulz have been reading about Cromwell?

 

57 Comments

  1. Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    My husband is Charles Schulz (not the famous one) and loves Peanuts cartoons. I’m sharing this on Facebook!

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Wow – who knew! I respect Shulz so much more now!

  3. Dominic
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Don’t start talking about Christ’s bowels – you will set Ben off!

    • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Yes, Ben thinks fondly of Christ’s bowels.

      /@

      • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        I see what you did there.

      • grasshopper
        Posted September 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        A Diet of Würms can loosen those bowels.

        • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          Ah! Don’t mess with the Immaculate Constipation!

          /@

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:14 am | Permalink

        Yet it is but an appendix to his take on the Jesus myth.

  4. Alan Jenkins
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Was this ever published in a newspaper here in the U.S.? I find that hard to believe it was unless it was in more liberal parts of the country. The backlash would have been substantial in much of the heartland and south I would think.

    • Diane G.
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Believe it or not, there was an era when there was much less political correctness in the US.

      Schulz was often quite subversive; but perhaps putting the words in the mouths of innocent little children–or beagles!–let him get away with it.

      I doubt if Pogo would be acceptable today…

      • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        This was from 1976.

        /@

        • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          Yes, before the rise of the “new” right. the late 70s and mainly the 80s saw the rise of the evangelical right, mega-churches, sharp lean to the right for the Republicans, etc. Many saw it as a reaction to the cultural shake up of the 1960s/70s.

          • Diane G.
            Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

            Exactly–alas.

          • Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

            …and lovely comics like this.

            • Mark Sturtevant
              Posted September 30, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

              Why that can be published really boggles. Sadly, no it does not.

    • Kevin
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Back in the day, as Daniel Dennet likes to say (1970s era) no one talked about religion and if you wrote pieces like this it really wasn’t perceived as a threat.

      Science is a major threat today and that’s largely because people are unpleasantly aware how religion is lousing everything up.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Not a problem. Everyone thinks it is directed at someone other than themself.

      • Doug
        Posted September 30, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        “Satire is a sort of glass, in which beholders discover every man’s face but their own.”
        –Jonathon Swift

    • James Haselhorst
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      I wondered if this was a legitimate Charles Schulz cartoon or something someone came up with to support their personal agenda. I did a lot of checking and eventually found this:

      Charles Schulz had little patience, over the years, for those who claimed an inside track to “the one true way” during religious discussions. This prompted him to take a cautious approach to religious matters, and led to a query that he turned into a repeated punchline.

      In the August 9, 1976, daily strip, Snoopy decides to title his new book on theology, Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?

      A few years later, in the June 20, 1980, daily strip, following an incident during which Sally is humiliated by a discussion leader for her choice of opening prayer, Linus challenges the individual in charge by asking, “Has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong?”

      Although not quite the same context, the meaning is precisely the same. Along with other places, both cartoons are included in the collection And the Beagles and the Bunnies Shall Lie Down Together.

  5. Xuuths
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I used to teach a mini course: Everything You Think You Know About the Bible is Wrong!

    It was a hoot! All of it was done from a christian perspective (I wasn’t ready to come out as an atheist at that time), but hopefully it sowed the seeds of doubt.

  6. James Lee Phelan
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I remember this cartoon from WEIT May 12, 2012 in a post styled “OMG: Peanuts is Atheistic?”

    • Diane G.
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Your memory beats mine. And Jerry’s. 😀

      • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Ah, yes — here.

        I knew I’d seen it before, and thought I’d posted it on my Tumblr, and sure enough it points back to WEIT!

        This is the second time recently that Jerry’s memory has lapsed. Perhaps we can blame that on the Albatross.

        (Maybe we have the true title of the Albatross here… ? 😃)

        /@

        • Diane G.
          Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          Jerry–being busier than a one-armed paper-hanger–has a lot more justification for forgetting trivia than someone like me.

          I feel like I’ve failed him!

          Ah, well, we no doubt have many new readers since 5/12/12.

          • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            I posted this cartoon on Twi**er about 18 months ago – I didn’t know about this website then. I was shocked it had been published originally without a public outcry until I found out how old it was.

            I’m hoping the current battle against theocracy in the Middle East will make Americans realize how important it is to separate Church and state. Sadly, statistics show Americans are wanting more religious influence in government at the moment.

            • Diane G.
              Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

              I believe there are actually some polls showing that a majority (albeit slight) of Americans actually would prefer less religious involvement–unfortunately they’re neither the loudest nor the vote-iest.

          • Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            The chattering class has labeled criticism of Islam as phobic.

            I thought phobia was an unwarranted fear, not a rational fear.

            ISIS will have control of Iraq, perhaps within hours. I wonder if plans have been made to evacuate the Embassy.

          • Posted September 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            It’s worthwhile bubbling it up to the top from time to time.

            /@

            • Diane G.
              Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

              Thanks, I feel better. 🙂

  7. chrissimonite
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Schultz was an interesting guy. From what I remember he was once a Christian, but by the end of his life he considered himself to be a secular humanist. Apparently one of his biggest regrets was the scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas where Linus recites a chunk of the Gospel of Luke. I’m guessing the above comic was from the 70s, quite a bit later…

  8. Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    A fine, upstanding Christian’s take on the poor, miserable, hopeless, despairing, God-hating wretch that was Charles Schulz. (reporting on another godbotting reporting of the same)

    Christians can be so perceptive, sometimes.

    • Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      esp. love this quote: “Real love comes through blood, spikes, and splintered timber”.

      He forgot the chitlins.

      • Diane G.
        Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        That is just so wrong.

  9. Kingasaurus
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    You could argue that Linus’ superstitious belief in the Great Pumpkin (and his double-down reaction when the GP failed to materialize when hoped for) was a jab at religion, but I think Schulz denied that.

    • Pliny the in Between
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      It was particularly subversive in that the failure of the GP to appear was always due to a lapse in faith by his follower.

      • Doug
        Posted September 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        I watched this show every year as a kid. When I saw it for the first time as an adult, it seemed obvious to me that Schulz was spoofing the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or some other group that expected the Second Coming at any minute. In the strip, he even has Linus going from door to door trying to convert people to his faith. Sound familiar?

        At one point Charlie Brown asks Linus how he can believe in the Great Pumpkin and Linus says “How long are you going to believe in that guy in the red suit who says ‘Ho Ho Ho’?” In other words, the “cult” that Linus belongs to is no more irrational than Charlie Brown’s more “mainstream” religion. (And he’s right!) Charlie Brown then says, “We’re obviously separated by doctrinal differences.”

        Schulz was still a church-goer at this point, but I suspect that doubts were beginning to creep in and they were influencing his humor.

        • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          According to Wikipedia (cum grano salis, as usual) the real message from all of his work was supposed to be to not let anyone think for you.

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            “You’re all different!”

            /@

            • Doug
              Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

              “I’m not!”

    • Posted September 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Peanuts: therefore the Old World Gods were figments of the witchdoctors’ imaginations.

      Pumpkin: therefore there is no God.

      Thanksgiving Day could be viewed as a celebration of the Columbian Exchange which I think should put an end to the claim of religion to divine revelation.
      Turkey : Jesus is stuffed.

      If religion claims a magical Noahs’s flood at 2300 BCE ( see Ussher chronology ) then how come so many important food crops were unique to America? Why would a God have magically put them out of reach of his chosen children of Israel ? Out of reach of Jesus ? Why did Adam & Eve never mention missing chocolate & popcorn or pumpkin pie & maple syrup after being excluded from the garden of Eden ? Our diverse choice of diet now is more a ” garden of Eden ” experience than any Babylonian located one could ever have been. [ in the unlikely event of one existing ]

      However if these food crops were evolving due to selective actions by humans, what effect would a large influx of Europeans have had if they arrived in the Americas 2000 or 3000 years earlier? Would some of the crops have been lost, would their breeding have been disrupted ? Would the native American Indians have given up on sweet-corn in favour of wheat ? Or were they already well enough developed by that stage ? I wonder how big tomatoes, potatoes etc grew at 1000 BCE ?
      I think I read that Cassava from S. America has been a boon to Africa. Any angel worthy of the name could have transported some American food crop plants over to the Old World tropics without necessarily informing anyone of their origins but no such thing occurred.

      Snoopy : Has it ever occurred to you to ask how come the scriptures never told of this New World and its bounty ?

      • Posted September 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        The argument from peanuts (Arachis hypogaea)is slightly undermined by the Bambara groundnut ( Vigna subterranea ) & Hausa groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum) both native to West Africa. Apologists are going to say the Old World had plenty of nuts. Seems these three groundnuts belong to the family Fabaceae. Does this mean that they have a common ancestor which dates back to before S.America split from Africa 150 Ma ago ? Evolution has the answers to those who ask appropriate questions.

        • microraptor
          Posted September 30, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          And you’d expect an apologist to know his nuts.

          • Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

            Good one microraptor, lol
            but maybe it’s too much to expect an apologist to know they’re nuts.

    • ichiban
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Interesting that the example of Linus’ belief in the Great Pumpkin is used as a defeater for Plantinga’s “properly basic belief” and sensus divinatus nonsense.

  10. Marion Hansen
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    And the corollary: If you hadn’t been raised to believe it, would it still make sense?

    Marion

  11. Pliny the in Between
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    One of my first cartoons was a homage to Schultz.

    http://pictoraltheology.blogspot.com/2010/10/sea-ing-is-believing.html

    I think he would have approved

    • Diane G.
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha! Of course it’s Lucy, who always pulls the football away, who’s reassuring him. 🙂

  12. Filippo
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    sub

  13. Posted September 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  14. Jim Thomerson
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Johnny Hart’s BC is a reflection of his young world creatinism. Dinosaurs and cavemen, etc. Remember Ally Oop? A better drawn and more interesting creationist comic.

    • microraptor
      Posted September 30, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      BC is one of the few comics that improved substantially after its creator ceased to be involved with it.

  15. Derek Freyberg
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    The “Datebook” section of today’s “San Francisco Chronicle” has an article on the Charles M Schulz Museum (in Santa Rosa), which for the next month is doing its rotating exhibit on “Social Commentary”.
    Quote:
    “After a bureaucratic day obtaining a new dog license for Snoopy, Charlie Brown rattles off all the licenses the pair has obtained. Fishing license, driver’s license, …
    “‘No, she says you don’t need a license for that,’ Charlie Brown says, followed by a panel showing Snoopy carrying a semiautomatic rifle.”
    That cartoon was about 25 years ago, according to the article.
    Other strips touch on the environment, Title IX, racial equality, the Vietnam war, and the atomic threat.
    The show runs through November 2.

  16. Posted September 30, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a cartoon from 1927 that has an irreverent take on religion. The strip is Bungelton Green, and it ran in the Chicago Defender.

    http://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=40530

    In addition to the classic drawing style for cartoons of the era, Bungleton Green has the distinction of being an early (first?) black character drawn and created by an African American, Leslie Rogers.

    http://www.toonopedia.com/bunglton.htm

    Don’t mean to sidetrack the discussion from Charles Schultz, but the comment, “It’s amazing that this would get published!” made me think of this.

    Wasn’t there some book called “The Gospel According To Peanuts”?

  17. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    In other words, this wasn’t peanuts!?


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