The Raving Theist

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Animal Crackpots

October 11, 2005 | 17 Comments

American Hindus Against Defamation once bullied a couple of companies out of putting the elephant-headed God Ganesh on sandals and toilets, and is currently working on taking the Trunked One off of underpants. One interesting aspect of their advocacy is that they only seem to pursue inadvertent slights to the deity. You won


17 Responses to “Animal Crackpots”

  1. MBains
    October 11th, 2005 @ 8:34 am

    *Unless it developed over time through some random process even less conscious than the stupidest animal.

    Yah right! LOL! Like anyone would believe that!

    Now I see where you got the Raving part of your name.


  2. Mister Swill
    October 11th, 2005 @ 8:53 am

    You, of all people, splitting hairs over which religious myths are sillier? Why is a human-looking being with tons more power than a human being any less preposterous than an elephant-headed being with tons more power than a human? Christians always like to say that God made humans in his image. Well, maybe Ganesh made elephants in his image but didn’t give up making smarter animals with opposable thumbs. (Or was Vishnu the creator of the world? I forget.)

    Hinduism is a great reminder that long before God there were gods. Yes, I know, Hindus will tell you that all of their different gods are really manifestations of the same universal force. Well, this is just my dilettante-sense tingling, but I suspect that notion has been played up in recent centuries in an attempt to “modernize” the religion and allow it to compete with monotheistic faiths, particularly Islam.

  3. markm
    October 11th, 2005 @ 9:01 am

    Elephants don’t need opposable thumbs – their trunk already has opposing flexible tips. Multiple trunks would suit them much better. However, even though they may be the most intelligent ruminant to ever exist, they’re still far, far below the intelligence level needed to conduct a conversation or use those opposable tips to make tools, let alone to design a universe. They are herd herbivores, what use do they have for a big brain?

  4. Jennifer
    October 11th, 2005 @ 9:02 am

    A religion ruled by animals is pretty silly.

    So often theists here use the age of their religion as a sign of credibility. Is any tradition older than the worship of animals. Not only that but I prefer a religion whose basis is so obviously guilt (sorry we had to eat you) to one whose basis is so obviously justification for misuse of power (made in his image – ‘specially in my rockin ass area).

  5. cubic rooms
    October 11th, 2005 @ 12:08 pm

    It wasn’t random.

  6. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:54 pm

    To put it another way, relative to the claimed intelligence of God, the difference between an elephant and a human is insignificant (or even nil if the claim is infinite intelligence.) So a human-headed God and an elephant-headed God are exactly as silly — especially since we know it is a crocodile-headed God.

  7. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 11th, 2005 @ 2:14 pm

    Is there an Atheist Anti-Defamation organization, and if not why not? Given the rampant anti-atheism around the country there’s a bundle to be made on lawsuits. At the very least they could harass Cafepress over any thongs or boxers depicting a lack of God(s).

  8. Debbie
    October 11th, 2005 @ 2:54 pm


    You have opened my eyes. As a result I surveyed the toilet seats in my home and office and was shocked to note that every single one lacks any pictures of any deity.

    Who do I sue?

    I also agree that Sobek does a better job of striking fear in believers and unbelievers than a deity that looks like a white, 30-something hippy.

  9. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:10 pm

    You know, thinking about it more, it’s not entirely uncommon to find theists actually arguing that the simple lack of a mention of God is tantamount to the promotion of atheism. This is an argument often used against not having officialized God talk in public schools, for (an arbitrary) example:

    While it has been clearly shown that the First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion as well as religion and nonreligion (Epperson v. Arkansas, 1968) and that there is no favoritism among sects or between religion and nonreligion (Walz v. Tax Commission, 1970), such practices have not been applied to public education. By excluding more traditional (God centered) religions from public education the court has installed non-religion (human centered) religious practice i.e atheism and its prodigy Secular Humanism. Thus the Court has violated its own position of neutrality and it becomes impossible to apply the Court’s original ruling.

    Or maybe a little more apt, Rev. Mark H. Creech believes that Michael Newdow’s case to have “under God” removed from the Pledge “ought to be knocked down on the basis it promotes atheism”.

    By not putting Ganesh or Jesus or even Sobek (Peace Be Upon Him) on some item — or, even worse, by having such a depiction already present actively removed, as the AHAD are seeking to do — are not the people responsible also installing “non-religion (human centered) religious practice i.e atheism” on the item and causing it to serve as a promotion for atheism? And if that item should happen to be something offensive, does it not bring offense to atheism?

  10. oliverwxyz
    October 11th, 2005 @ 6:51 pm

    I agree with you Mr Swill – my suspicion is that the common Hindu concept that their Gods are just aspects of a universal force, has perhaps been played-up in recent times, perhaps to counter Christian missionaries in India, or Islam. I would guess they started off, at least, more literal than that and that for many ordinary people in Indian villages they exist as actual beings still.

    having said that, RA’s view is a bit – maybe deliberately – hard on most modern Hindus. As I said the deities, with their colouful myths and outlandish appearances, are often said to be just a way of helping the worshipper focus on an ascpect of a universal force (‘Brahman’) that can;t be depicted or understood intellectually.

  11. sternwallow
    October 12th, 2005 @ 3:26 am

    Atheism needs a few universally recognized symbols that the idiotic theists can insist NOT be used wherever their favorite symbol is banned. Otherwise we have, as shown in prior comments, the situation where theists are arguing for the removal of nothing or the replacement of nothing by some differrent nothing.

  12. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 12th, 2005 @ 6:42 am

    Here’s the official atheism symbol.

    Of course it’s stupid looking, and the idea of an atheism symbol is as inherently silly as having a flag for the country of Noncanada, but it will suffice for sternwallow’s scheme.

    It’s also one of the many wacky symbols that you can get on a grave stone at US veteran’s cemeteries for free (assuming you’re a veteran and dead), so it has the quasi-official stamp of government.

  13. Rocketman
    October 12th, 2005 @ 10:20 am

    Excuse me? Non Canada?

    Um…and I say this in the most civilized manner possible…

    Fuck you.

    Thank you.

  14. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 12th, 2005 @ 4:30 pm

    Rocketman, are you a citizen of Noncanada, i.e. a Noncanadian?

    Or, as may be surmised by your brusk tone, are you one of those Canadians who despises us Noncanadians for our uniquely Noncanadian attributes and beliefs, such as ability to speak Tagalog and Sobekism? You know, there are roughly 6.41 billion of us and we demand respect!

    Maybe I was wrong about the silliness of a flag for Noncanada. Perhaps in the face of such irrational hatred for our Noncanadianess by bitter Canadians we do need a unifying symbol that we as citizens of Noncanada can rally around.

  15. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 12th, 2005 @ 5:24 pm
  16. Rocketman
    October 13th, 2005 @ 4:11 pm

    Why…why…you…I might be tempted to drop into impoliteness if this goes much further.

    I don’t despise you noncanadians at all. I feel pity.

    A deep and abifding pity that you have to live in places without real maple syrup, beaver tails, moose droppings and the vast panoply of changing colours.

    I pity your sad lack of more than one parka, the fact that you can’t ski in June and the utter absence of barely legal drunk women from Hull, Quebec.

    But soft—do not pass this information along. We are perfectly happy with our vast country and our small population.

  17. darwinfish
    October 14th, 2005 @ 12:19 am

    you guys are mean! I super love hindu gods …and they’re not silly looking, they’re artisitc!

    and all of them are supposed to be facets of Brahmah or something…seems to me that they would have evolved from more primitive animal worship

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