April 14, 2012

Jesusaurus Rex FC


I was playing an X-Box live game one day when I was matched up with an opponent named 'Jesusaurus Rex' which I thought was a pretty funny name. It's really hard to narrow down what someone finds funny about something but I think I appreciated the novelty of the name and the contrast between the two ideas of Jesus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It looks like I'm not the only one either, as there are songs entitled Jesusaurus Rex, a pretty funny youtube video, a Wikipedia style page and a few pictures on Google images, which are all pretty funny, although I didn't find the songs particularly enjoyable.

Anyway, after playing against this person I've unabashedly stole the name and used it for quite a few things when forced to name something. My trivia team, a name for my computer, and whatever happens to come up. It turns out that a few of my friends liked the name as well and one of them used the name for his Rec soccer team.

This seemed pretty lighthearted and silly, as Rec soccer usually is, but another friend didn't like the name. I don't have any problem with not liking the name as taste is pretty flexible, but the reason for not liking it was something I did disagree with. He didn't like the name because he found it to be derogatory against people of faith.

This is something I don't really understand because there is nothing inherently bad with Jesus or the Tyrannosaurus, so putting the two together shouldn't be a cause for offense. It isn't derogatory, mean spirited, or meant to imply ridicule. Yet, maybe there is one problem?

Would it fall under the third commandment of taking the lords name in vein? Well from what I've read (1 2) taking the lords name in vein has very little to do with swearing, as in vein usually applies to some kind of falsity. We looked for ketchup at the supermarket in vein or I tried to muster up the courage to say, "I don't want Dairy Queen" in vein. In fact, at least one page says that saying God dammit is pretty much the opposite equivalent of saying god bless, and neither should be offensive to anyone.

Historically taking Gods name in vein meant to put God's providence for something that God didn't really say. God tells me we will win this game! It was by the power of God that made apples taste better than oranges! God said go jump off that roof! Would all be examples of taking the lords name in vein and would violate the third commandment, but saying, 'god damn it' when you want god to damn something, or making a name like Jesusaurus Rex which makes no reference to what God would have done does not violate taking the lords name in vein.

What if the name instead was Muhammadaurus Rex would that make it worse? It seems like it would to me because Muslim sensitivity is so high. Muhammadaurus Rex shouldn't be any more offensive, but it is, not because the name is more derogatory, but because the people who believe in Muhammad are more inflexibly offended.  The problem then isn't with the name, but the people.

Does it belittle God? Possibly, but it shouldn't. If God is all powerful than how could a sarcastic name make him less powerful or diminish him at all? I think the one thing I got out of the God Delusion was that people need to be able to talk about belief in the same way they can talk about taxes without it becoming a personal attack that eliminates the conversation. Jesusaurus Rex shouldn't be any more offensive than Obamasaurus Rex or Muhammadsaurus Rex, any of which shouldn't be a call to arms for anyone.


Thanks for reading,
-themoralskeptic


15 comments:

  1. Some would consider it a violation of the commandment to "Not take the name of the Lord in vain."

    Of course, you have to be a Christian to be offended by this.

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  2. Yeah, that's probably the only people who would respond poorly, but to Christian people to travel reddit's credit my topic got mostly upvotes and people didn't seem to mind the name. I was pretty impressed with the comments as well.

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  3. Every time you talk about taking the Lord's name "in vein," I think of injecting Jesus into my arm. It's the purest form of salvation! Fortunately, there's help for you if you get addicted. You just have to be ready to make the change. I think that I've run with this joke long enough.

    Anyway, isn't it funny that so many Christians use their religion in precisely the wrong way? Please, God, let my favorite NFL team win! God is telling me to run for President! That hurricane was God's punishment for our vices!

    Good religions, insofar as they can be good, try to persuade their followers to abandon their attachments to desires and beliefs and objects. A religion full of rituals and rules and hellfire and pride does precisely the opposite: it encourages its own form of desire fulfillment, demands obedience, seeks domination, and elevates material prosperity. There is nothing redemptive in it, since it only strengthens attachments. The conservative brand in particular is guilty of this.

    But I would note that "God damn it!" would count as taking the Lord's name in vain. It is invoking the name of God to judge something on the speaker's behalf, but judgment is supposed to be within God's authority, not ours.

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  4. Well, that is interesting, but I think there is a distinction between asking God to damn something and taking the lord's name in vein.

    Judgement is still in God's hand, just as if you were praying and asking for something. You are not claiming God supported your notion of damning whatever it is, but I guess it depends on your intention when you say it. If you say it as a question it's cool, but if you are giving God's judgement as you would see it than I'd agree with you Ryan.

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  5. Prayer faces the same problem when it is used to ask for something. God's will does not change according to the desires of a human being. It is arrogant to think otherwise.

    In the case of damnation, it is even worse because, according to the Christian tradition, all of us--including the one calling upon God to damn another--deserve damnation. Therefore, on top of the arrogance in asking God to deliver judgment according to one's own desires, one is being hypocritical.

    Of course, most people don't mean "God, make him suffer eternally" when they say "God, damn it!" Similarly, most people don't really mean "Go to Hell." The intention does matter, which is why casual swearing should be morally irrelevant to Christians.

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  6. I don't think that prayer being a bad thing because it's arrogant is the official church dogma....I may be getting out of the shallow end of the pool of my knowledge, but I don't think asking god for something is looked at as a bad thing.

    I think the intention is the important thing as well thought, no matter the case.

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  7. Christian/Biblical doctrine is a mess in terms of both logic and consistency. What counts as "official church dogma" depends on too many factors, including which church you mean. Moreover, what Christians practice and what they say they believe may differ greatly. So, I would not say that this is what all Christians believe, nor do I think that arrogance is the reason they would give for believing it.

    But consider: while the average Christian might pray for all sorts of irrelevant things (like for his favorite NFL team to win), he would also be likely to say that asking for an expensive car is an illegitimate or inappropriate use of prayer. I would expect him to say that it is materialistic and luxurious to boot. But the truth is that the Biblical God is not interested in sports teams, either. Arbitrary, meaningless wish fulfillment is not the goal. Salvation, growing closer to God, and helping those in need are.

    It is indeed, however, a case of arrogance. If you call upon God to alter such events (which God set in motion and whose outcome God already knows), you are not only asking God to possibly interfere with its own plans for your sake, but asserting your own wishes over those of others. It should be obvious that, for various reasons, a being like God would not intervene in such a situation; therefore, it should be obvious that prayer has some other purpose. Christians usually say that it is for communion with God.

    Of course, using the Bible, I can argue with myself. The Lord's prayer seems thoroughly irrelevant, given the Christian belief that God already has a plan and knows the future. The prayer calls upon God to provide our daily bread, forgive our debts, and refrain from leading us into temptation. Presumably, if God saw fit to do any of these things, it would do so, regardless of our own desires and prayers. And if God did not see fit to do them, then it would not do so, regardless of our own desires and prayers. Nevertheless, Jesus offers it as a proper prayer.

    Make of that what you want; I see it as inconsistency. Even when I was a Christian, I didn't understand the purpose of prayer. In any case, my criticism of prayer for personal (and irrelevant) gain stands. As far as I can see, such prayer would destroy the most important message that any religion could offer (abandon your attachments to worldly things), turning it into just another means of mindless desire fulfillment, which fits perfectly into a consumerist society.

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  8. I'd have to agree with you on pretty much everything you said, people pray for things that if heard would be offensive and are arrogant.

    Consumerism seem to be the new god in many ways anyway, and maybe that shows the transition.

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  9. Um, i mostly refrain from commenting on such complex subjects as this - but yep, the word "vein" got me, and was busy trying think up a witty response, but see that someone else beat me to it.

    As for the 'name' ... um, have no problem with the 'Jesus'; nor 'Rex' .. it's the 'saurus' bit that amuses me ... translates into something like 'Jesus-extinct lizard-king' ... heh. Might offend someone, i guess.

    Probably irrelevant - but if anyone asks me "Do you believe in God?" - am the sort of person who responds "Um, which God am i supposed to believe in?"

    Also, have just come across a notion that might prove fascinating as the basis of a 'novel' of some sort - what might have happened if, 1700 or so years ago, Constantine had decided to make Mithraism the "official" religion of the Empire.

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  10. thatd be my gamertag jesusaurusRex57 add me if you want kinda funny that i found this article

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  11. That is pretty sweet, congratz on your find!

    That is a pretty cool, I never broke down the translation, so you taught me something pretty interesting Davoh.

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  12. If you look at the bones of a Jesusaurus Rex, it's clear with the use of carbon dating that Mountain Dew is the best soda ever made.

    --Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Edited for Rednecks--
    --Family Guy--

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  13. Found this after googling my gamertag ha!

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  14. Hah..well the name has gotten some use for sure.

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  15. Hah..well the name has gotten some use for sure.

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