Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ the holidays

The new Jesus and Mo strip, called “merry”, deals with the unwarranted fear of persecution of Christians in the UK. Given Trump’s election, we’ll see a greater hegemony of Christianity in the U.S. as well, but given our increasing secularization, somehow I don’t think Christian complaints will abate.



  1. GBJames
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink


  2. Dominic
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I LOVE Yule, or ‘Coynezaa’ as it is known by PCC[E]
    And now, seeing J & M at the bar, I could murder a pint! Preferably of some yule ale…

  3. Sastra
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if the Christians would rather be afraid to say ‘Merry Christmas’ — or afraid to not be afraid to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ Once it’s generally acknowledged that Christmas is primarily a secular holiday open to one and all, they’ll have to find some other greeting which marks them as religious. Preferably it should be a statement which is both offensive to nonchristians and allows them to express their own offense over change.

    “It’s so horrible. I’m afraid to say ‘Christmas is only for Christians.'”

    • Kevin
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I’ve witnessed a lot of Christians not saying it anymore for fear that it is offensive or possibly they are embarrassed. There is a strong correlation to education. The lower the education, the more like one would say Merry Christmas. Also, there is a correlation between security of one’s belief. If one is secure about their faith then they are less likely to push the need for advertising Christmas.

      • Sastra
        Posted December 7, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        If one is secure about their faith then they are less likely to push the need for advertising Christmas.

        Unless it’s the opposite.

        It’s a popular thing to say, I know, but it sounds to me like a subtle and possibly unconscious form of manipulation, a way of pushing people to not be pushy as well as a way of feeling good about ourselves. But like “bullies suffer from low self-esteem,” it may not be true, and may even be false.

        • Kevin
          Posted December 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          Insecurity is often blanketed by arrogance and hubris. I will admit that Christians will often have their chests out when they pronounce ‘Merry Christmas’. But today the blind mask of courage is marred by the fact the words are no longer innocuous, but actually contentious even if they are not.

          The fact is Christmas is not what it was, i.e., 1970s Christmas. The truth hurts because little voices in all their Xmas-heads are saying: not everyone believes what I do. And the reminders are everywhere.

          • Sastra
            Posted December 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            Insecurity is often blanketed by arrogance and hubris, true — but being pig-sure of yourself can wear arrogance and hubris like a fancy dress ballgown.

            People who are 100% sold out for Jesus may be insecure about their continued privilege, rather than insecure about their faith. Those who entertain doubts, or recognize that the issue is complicated, would I think be more likely to say “Happy Holidays” to avoid giving offense. But I don’t know. It’s an empirical issue, and I’m speculating.

            • DiscoveredJoys
              Posted December 7, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

              It reminds me of a time when I wished a colleague Happy Christmas on the last day of work. “We Jehova’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas” he said a little smugly.

              I’d forgotten he was a JW – but I *didn’t* go on to say “Doesn’t seem to stop you drinking and womanising though.”

      • darrelle
        Posted December 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never been the slightest bit Xian but Christmas was always a big deal in our family growing up. Purely secular from my point of view, though I was aware of the religious aspects of the holiday.

        Consequently neither the word Christmas or the holiday have any religious meaning for me. Though, again, I am aware of the religious origins and nature of both. I’ve never naturally perceived the word as Christ Mass. To me it is just a label that attaches to a holiday involving snow, pine trees, decorations, awesome food, spending time with friends and family, Christmas music, gift giving and lots of generally warm memories and feelings.

        I have no problems saying Merry Christmas. When I hear Xians talking about the war on Xmas or see those silly ass “Keep the Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers it makes me want to punch Bill O’Reilly in the mouth, but it doesn’t make me want to stop using the word Christmas or stop celebrating the holiday. And I am completely unoffended by people not using the word Christmas and or not celebrating a winter holiday of any sort. I do have a problem with people of any kind getting grumpy about someone else offering them a happy greeting of any sort. Not much mind you, but it’s at least worth an eye roll.

        • Anna
          Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink


        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted December 8, 2016 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          Totally agree.

        • steve
          Posted December 8, 2016 at 4:45 am | Permalink

          + a quadzillion

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:44 am | Permalink

          Besides which, any time the Xtians get too precious about it, I just recall to myself that they stole the whole thing from a long pagan tradition…


  4. rickflick
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    An amusing comic. I’m struck by how bold and courageous the bartender is. She’s tougher than I’d probably be. I’d be afraid to say these things that make Jesus afraid to say “I’m afraid to say Merry Christmas these days”.

  5. bluemaas
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Freedom From Religion Foundation’s paeans to the “gregorian” calendar years’ ends and its Winter Solstice, which, some many years but not this one, happens to be my and my daddy’s birthdays as well, has there in my opinion some mighty darling greetings (and such items for sale here, for example): “Heathens’ Greetings” and “Away With the Manger” and “Reason’s Greetings” and “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia” and “’Tis the Season for Reason.”

    I (usually) do not stretch it to be demonstrative of my godlessness; but now anymore I never let it go by either that I am atheist. For example, at the gym just last Monday morning someone came up to me rowing away and asked if he hadn’t “just seen you in church yesterday.” Well, opportunity ‘d just knocked !

    I am not afraid at all. “Merry Winter Solstice” is m’common response everywhere (particularly back .to. store clerks and restaurant servers and … … anyone else) now. Actually, to that response of mine then ? I am often very pleasantly surprised to hear good (read that: science – y) things stated back to my greeting !


    • rickflick
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      How do you handle this touchy issue on Facebook? Are you ‘out’ with your ‘friends’?

      • bluemaas
        Posted December 7, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        O, quite easily, actually Mr rickflick. But rather deceptively so: I have no ‘friends’ there at all. Cuz … … I am not on Facebook. (I don’t even have a cell phone. And never have.)

        I am in The Woods. A hermitess. But you, Sir, & a few others who are truly flesh – ‘n – bony friends may come to visit me there once in a bluish moon or so.

        Seriously though as an atheist, it is getting easier and easier to out myself as that. Anywhere that I am.

        And, I would say B Y F A R, much more so that is (as an atheist) THAN it is outing myself as a feminist. S t i l l. (EVEN though I work on a ~nearly 37,000 student body – census’, state (public) university campus !) Talk about folks’ being “touchy” ! When this about me is actually known &/or out front & center ? Why, the level of vitriol and loathing spewn back my way has to be / is simply rooted in sexism I discern ! Still. And blatant.


        • rickflick
          Posted December 7, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          As the bard himself said, “Oh the times they are a’changin'”.

          • bluemaas
            Posted December 7, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Yes, Mr rickflick,
            for atheism and
            for (some countries’
            [re their laws, that is]
            worth of) atheists.
            At the least.

            Not for feminism.
            Not for feminists.

            I would say.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’s because I’m lucky enough to live in a country that’s mostly not religious, but we just don’t have all these arguments here.

    It’s summer time so all tertiary education institutions are already on holiday, and the all other schools will be soon too, and they’ll stay that way until at least the end of January.

    There are two days public holiday at Christmas/Boxing Day, and two more the following week for New Year’s Day and the day after, so unless Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday, that’s two four-day weekends in a row.

    Almost every professional (lawyer, doctor etc) and trade (plumber, mechanic etc) business either closes or operates on reduced staff from Christmas Eve for two-three weeks. Basically, the whole country shuts down except for food, petrol (gas), retail, transport and tourist businesses.

    Most people get together with family in the same way USians do for Thanksgiving, whether or not they’re religious Christians just because it’s the most convenient time to do so.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


      Both in England (when I was young) and here in NZ, I always regarded ‘Merry Xmas’ as a purely secular holiday greeting, just like Happy New Year.

      In fact, from as early as I can remember, I regarded it as a rather bad-taste attempt to hijack the occasion if anyone tried to impute a religious significance to it.


  7. W.Benson
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    A June, 2016 report released by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that in America “Nearly eight in ten (77%) white evangelical Protestants say that discrimination against Christians now rivals that of other groups,” other groups being African-Americans and other minorities.
    The report goes on to state that “No religious group is more likely to believe that it is important to keep fighting laws and cultural changes that go against their personal beliefs, regardless of prevailing public sentiment, than white evangelical Protestants. Seven in ten (70%) white evangelical Protestants and two-thirds (67%) of black Protestants agree with this statement.” About 3/4 of Republicans, Trump supporters, Hispanic Catholics, and evangelicals (black or white) have, according to the PRRI, authoritarian or highly authoritarian orientations.

  8. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Strange how it is ‘Happy Easter’ rather than ‘Happy Crucifiction’ or ‘Happy Resurrection’. They often wear little necklaces of a man-on-a-stick though.

  9. Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    A club I belong to just had their annual Christmas Toys For Tots event, originated and run for the last several years by a very popular and generous fellow club member, who happens to be a Muslim.

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