Friday, February 06, 2009

The Devil's BBQ

I was babysitting my friend's precocious five year old girl yesterday. We had to run some errands, and as we were shopping, "Tegan" and I were discussing what sort of behavior is expected of good children.

"Ah hafta be good," Tegan announced dramatically in her deep-fried southern Tennessee accent. "If not, the Devil hates little girls and he's gorna grab my soul, drag it into the depths of hell, and cook it!"

I couldn't help myself. I threw back my head and howled with laughter in the middle of the store while Tegan watched me, bewildered. "What?" she demanded. "What did ah say?"

I wiped my eyes, picturing the Devil hovering over a barbecue grill with a spatula, wearing a "Hell's Kitchen" apron.

"Who told you this?" I finally demanded.

"Mah cousin Angela," she said. "What? It's the truth!"

"Not exactly, little one," I said. "Angela sounds like a particularly nasty little girl."

"Wahl, she is," Tegan admitted. "She useta be purty mean to me."

"Well don't worry about it, honey. The Devil doesn't send children to hell if they do something bad. You believe in Jesus and he's watching out for you," I said. Or that's what I think I said. I had never had to discuss theology with a five year old before.

I called Tegan's dad, and told him what she had said so that he could handle it at another time. I listened to him roaring with laughter before I hung up the phone.

"What?" asked Tegan again. "Why is ever'one laughin'?"

"Well, that's just something that we hadn't heard before," I tried to explain soothingly.

"So he ain't gonna eat it when it's nice an crispy?" she asked.


M@ said...

Dr. Blogger, theological discussions w/ five year-olds are always a losing proposition.

Saur♥Kraut said...

M@, I concur.

Angela said...

This makes me think about my neice, when I was home for Christmas she was getting into something she wasn't supposed to and I told her "No Ma'am." Obviously a Southern thing, even though I am not from the South I like using "No Ma'am" and "No Sir." She now tells everyone "No Ma'am." At least it makes her "No's" a little nicer.

Thank goodness I have not had to have any theological discussions with her, I wouldn't know where to start.


Saur♥Kraut said...

Ange, They always hit you between the eyes when you least expect it: Forewarned is forearmed.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I would have said "The Devil does not have a BBQ. He has a deep fryer. He likes to bread your soul with creole spice then deep fry it".

See how that goes over :)

Ed Abbey said...

This certainly wasn't what I was expecting when I saw the title of your post. I was expecting some spicy BBQ that you ate.

daveawayfromhome said...

I would've taken Lazy's route, also. I'm always telling my kids ridiculous things like that. We used to tell my oldest that we had gotten her from the gypsies and that some day we'd sell her back (we always made sure that she knew we were joking, of course).

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, *LOL*

Ed, I'll have to start a cooking blog named that.

Dave, I used to tell my son he was a monkey that we adopted and then had his tail surgically removed. ;o) Of course I wasn't trying to convince him of that - but we used to have the funniest arguments.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...





undergroundlogician said...


Funny attempt at parody!

Lessee, you will go to hell because of your sin. Those who don't believe in your god will sin and end up in hell too! So tell me, what is the motivation to believe in your devil, if believing or not believing, we still get to be in hell. Is it being with YOU?!!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm too smart to fall for the God/Devil Myth, best off without it, unless you're scared that is, of facing life without the crutch of religion.

Underground Logician said...


The god/devil myth you say? So, are you toting your knowledge of the non-existence of God as an absolute? How do you arrive at such an absolute? I thought you were a relativist? Or was it an agnostic? Interesting change, Daniel.

I suppose that if what you said was actually true, religion would be a crutch. So how does one become so sure as you are sure?

To me, I see too much historical evidence to ignore if one is determined to follow the truth.

Let me ask this: Do you hold to the same absolute conclusion that Julius Caesar is a myth or not?

Your answer?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

There is as much chance of a god that you worship as there is of being a Zeus or a Thor.

In other words, not very much of one. It is not absolute but neither is the idea that we were made by a giant chicken with hands of a child and a beard made of glass. I can't disprove or prove that but the chances are very, very slim.

I am as sure as I can be due to various factors, the main one being no evidence and the second one being the things that people site as 'evidence' are so human as to make the origins of the evidence godlike, ridiculous.

There is far more evidence of Julius Caeser than there is of Jesus, also, I'm sure someone called Jesus existed, it is a common name and is still used in many parts of the world but the issue is, people worshipped Caeser as god, as some people still insist on doing with jesus, neither were gods but both existed.

Just as people worship many other figures in history, for far longer periods than have so far worshipped jesus.

Underground Logician said...


You readily admit that there is no evidence, the non-existence of God isn't an absolute and yet you advise us to hold to your beliefs. You say the chances for the existence of god are slim. Why? How can you have such certainty when you just admitted that it is not absolute?

In the context of religion, why should we put all our faith in the words of Daniel Hoffman-Gill? Why should we allow you to determine our worth to society or not; our worth as people or not based on whether we follow your admonitions or not? You are trying to tell us that we are somehow supposed to entrust our futures, and what happens to us after death, our very eternal souls (unless you say we have no souls), to who, with no absolutes, with your level of education and expertise in the matter, tell us that religion is a crutch and needless.

It makes more sense to me now that when I bring up the subject of religion that you get so irritated, and get even more angry when I disagree with you openly and to your face. You get angry because I reject your religion, a religion with a faith in Daniel Hoffman-Gill.

Call me a weakling, wimpy religionist who uses the crutch of religion, if the choice is Jesus Christ or you, I choose Christ; I reject you. Which will mean that what you say in the matter that opposes the words of Jesus Christ are immaterial.

I must add before I sign off that I had a similar religion to yours decades ago. It was the religion of ME. And frankly, after a suicide attempt having let myself down miserably time after time and was unhappy to the core, I like this Jesus religion infinitely better.


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm not advising anything, aside from that the evidence and chance of a god, of any description, is so slight that perhaps to dedicate ones life to it is a little wasteful but in most cases harmless, if not a wee bit repressive.

I'm not asking for anyone to have faith in me or anything else, rather to look at the evidence around us and make a judgement using that, if you want, if you don't...fine.

I have no religion and I am no religion, religion is a non-evidence or fact based thinking that depends on faith in various texts or stories or images that are in turn not supported by evidence.

You;re trying the classic: "but you are just making a new religion" thing that religious people do to make their own belief system seem okay by them.

I don't play on the same filed as you, what you take for granted I do not, what you believe in I do not, I don't need a belief or a faith just a weight of evidence and a weighing up of the pros and cons.

My strong reaction to the religious stems from many things, primarily that I see it as a stunting device to humanity and anti-human at its worse. Then I dislike it becuase of what it implies about the stupidity of humanity and the things we need to somehow make us feel we have a purpose.

It smacks of weakness.

Just to be clear, I don't ask for your faith, all I ask is that you find a life that doesn't need odd, magical, mythical figures from the Bronze Age.

However, I do find it funny that a dead guy who you never met, who was clearly (by modern definitions) a very kind but delusional guy who thought he was the son of god, is your go-to man for guidance.

I prefer Thor, he had a hammer.

To be clear, it is not the religion of me, religion is not in my world, aside from when it gets thrust in by believers. Many people who believe in Christ, Thor, Apollo, Mohamed, Guru Nanak, kill themselves. Fair enough, it's your life, do what you want with it.

Real shame.

Underground Logician said...

Well, Daniel,

Maybe the other thing that irritates you is my and other Christians rejection of those things modern, even post modern. We don't let modernity assume superiority and define people who lived in ancient times...people may I remind you, you have not met either. If you wish to reject historical evidence, fine. It will be interesting to see how consistent you are in all things historical.

I'll say this much: I am willing to allow you to feel shame for me. And if others reject your conclusions and join me in our faith in Jesus, we will allow you to feel shame for us. Like I said before, your opinion of me and us is really immaterial.

I have no intention, nor do I think it possible, to force anyone to believe in Jesus Christ. So when I speak up, you have no need from now on to feel anger because it is not a threat to you. You are strong; I am weak. In a sense, you could say I am doing you and yours a tremendous favor; I and other Christians with our persuasion weed out those who are weak and prone to needing crutches. You will discover who are the strong and those who are not since this type of weakness is upsetting to you.

We Christians will take the weak with us and allow humanity to be purified from those who need a crutch and who pull other members of our race down. You can be sure to find many who want to go it alone.

Ultimately, we all will die and from this side of death, this seems utterly foolish. Yet people's opinion and pity for us is STILL immaterial to the situation. You are basing everything on opinion. We'll see how things fair when we are all on the other side. We'll see then if this Jesus thing is a myth

So, all together, let us wait...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

First later, then wait.

Not for me thanks, I've got a life to live.

There is no historical evidence for any god.

When we die, we are dust.


Underground Logician said...


What do you mean "we"? As a relativist, you cannot force your relativism on me. You don't have absolute evidence, remember? You are talking probabilities. At least be consistent with your lack of certainty. You need to say, "When I die, I most likely will become dust." Then you won't be labeled an absolutist like us religious people and only speak of your own death. You would be considered tolerant, open and very courageous to face the uncertainty of death. We all know that that is very good.

Later, oh, and the clock is still ticking...

daveawayfromhome said...

You know, maybe the reason the Founders included the clause on non-establishment of religion was because they were tired of the arguements. They would have had Catholics, Lutherans, Puritans, Quakers, Deists, etc, all arguing over which way that God "wanted" things to be, and in turn desiring to make government as "God" wanted. Easier perhaps, to relegate all that bickering to the social sphere, and let government get on with the business of running things. Certainly it cuts down on the number of arguement vortexes, though it doesnt eliminate them altother.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

We = all creatures on earth.

Unless dogs have a heaven in your book, or our monkey cousins?

It's not relativism, it's life.

It's about weight of evidence not absolutes.

It's about the fact you believe in myths that one day will lay next to the other dead gods, my fear is we'll not have learnt from the pet cemetary for decomposing gods andjust simply replace them with the 'latest thing'.

There is only now UL, no later and the clock is our own invention, what we do with the time is also our own business but wasting it on dead gods is not the most useful. But by all means keep on trucking and as always, I will keep batting back your hocus pocus.

All the breast...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


Indeed but try telling that to the wingnuts.

Dr. Deb said...

Um, wow.

Underground Logician said...


You think the notion of pluralism was to eliminate argument? Hardly!

You don't want argument? You don't want discussion? It is a sham position to think one can govern a people without entering the moral sphere.

Secularism's false idea of separation of the religious/moral from the public square is fantasy. How can you appeal to justice without getting moral? On what grounds? Cuz you want it? So what?

How can you advocate for those who are being marginalized without getting moral? Just attempt it. If there were no inalienable rights, the Civil Rights Movement would not have gathered any steam. Slavery would never have been fought and defeated by William Wilberforce, who by the way, DANIEL, was INSTRUMENTAL as a wingnut fantasy driven looney evangelical Christian. Had he not interfered, he could have thought to himself to keep his morals out of it and "let government get on with the business of running things."

It is a slothful position to cut yourself off from history, caricaturize all Christian influence as looney and make them the source of the evils in the world. We are constantly tempted to take on the easy to chew pablum puked into our mouths by a momma-bird media. Egad gentlemen, I've seen you make stands on positions; you've got the courage thing down. Now, open your eyes to history and don't accept the PC that is trying to emasculate us.


Christianity is hardly a "fad." LOL. Man, you deny absolutes, but you make absolutistic statements. You hold to contradictions and think this is sophisticated and noteworthy. Your blog name "Blurred Clarity" says it all. You actually pride yourself in contradiction!

I recall your attempt to disprove the principle of non-contradiction and I was amazed. Not at what you accomplished, because you borrowed the principle to disprove it. I was amazed at how you were actually convinced that you accomplished this impossible feat.

Like Dr. Deb, all I can say is: "Um, wow!"

The Doozie said...

I've always subscribed to the good old fashioned notion that if someone is giving you trouble, you just throw them on the BBQ. I've rid myself of plenty of pesky neighbors and stalkers this way

The Doozie said...

Also, I left a comment on the post below this one, even though you people already hashed it out.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Doozie, I agree - the BBQ grill is the way to go, every time.

Dr. Deb, ;o)

Dave, Underground, and Daniel, Carry on. You know my position - I don't need to restate it.

Just one thing: Arguing will change no one's mind if it is already made up.

Underground Logician said...


I'm done. I don't need the last word. Daniel or Dave can have their say if they wish.

daveawayfromhome said...

"It is a sham position to think one can govern a people without entering the moral sphere. "

I've never thought that one can govern without morals. But neither do I believe morality to be the sole bailiwick of religion.

Nor do I, unlike Daniel, claim that there is no God. I do claim not to know, but I figure that there is some sort of a superior intelligence, perhaps even one that oversees everything. However, I do not claim to know what that deity may be, and I've never been given any evidence that convinces me one way or the other.
And this is where my resistance to religion in government comes from. I have no intention of allowing one group's idea of what God "wants" to be allowed to run my life. Use a general amalgamation of religious morals to run the nation, that's fine. Religions do a great deal of good in both society and the world in general. It's when things start to get specific that I object.
I dont begrudge you or Daniel your beliefs. That's a matter between you and God, whatever that Being may be. And I expect the same courtesy returned to me.

As for Political Correctness, you use that term like a shield, UL. Maybe Daniel has that in mind, but I never do. If I seem to be choosing pluralism, it's because we live in a society made up of a lot of different groups, each of which have their own ideas of right and wrong. For the most part, though, these ideas overlap, and it is at this overlapping part that the government ought to stand. The Founders, in their wisdom, chose to build the country on the many things each religion has in common, rather than divide us on the few (frequently piddling) differences (and please, dont tell me that abortion isnt piddling, I know that). Seems to me that the places where overlap does not occur needs to be left up to the individual.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Underground, ;o)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave & Daniel, Thanks for weighing in, as always. I believe this to be a useless argument at this point, don't you? No one is about to change anyone's mind here.

Time to move on, perhaps?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Combating ignorance and not letting nonsense pervaid. It's a matter of life and death.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Ah, but that's where it gets sticky.

I think of the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure".

daveawayfromhome said...

It was a useless arguement well before this point.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And a lot of people worship trash Saur, in many ways.

And spot on Dave.

Saur said...

I do agree with Dave, and I agree with you, Daniel, when you say "And a lot of people worship trash Saur, in many ways."

However, we will have to agree to disagree as to what is trash. Fair enough?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Remember, I never started this, I merely wrote a joke comment that reflected many Christians pompous views on the devil.