The Raving Theist

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Last Stop, Heaven

October 27, 2005 | 24 Comments

One of the advantages of dying — at least in the obituary cartoon universe — is that you get to spend the afterlife reliving the moment of your greatest triumph. But what if you’re Rosa Parks, and your moment consisted of an acrimonious confrontation with a racist white man over a bus seat? Apparently the script gets re-written a bit:




While it’s certainly nice of God to maintain an all-Caucasian workforce at heaven’s bus company, it might not be authentic enough for Rosa’s taste. Remember, her problem wasn’t getting a seat at the front of an empty bus — it was keeping it once the bus filled up with members of the master race. Being chauffeured around in a private coach doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. Perhaps the drivers will drop the friendly facades and start hurling nasty epithets at her, but they seem too happy to do so. Or maybe they’re smiling because they know the bus will eventually start plummeting down through the clouds, and Rosa doesn’t have any wings.

Or maybe she does:


Which makes you wonder why she needs the bus at all. Apparently this cartoonist thinks it’s so she can make a living:


And I guess Martin Luther King, Jr. is serving coffee at the Woolworth lunch counter. At least their boss is someone they respect:



24 Responses to “Last Stop, Heaven”

  1. sternwallow
    October 27th, 2005 @ 1:07 am

    I wonder why Rosa Parks is white in all of those cartoons?

  2. Political News and Blog Aggregator
    October 27th, 2005 @ 2:19 am

    Rosa Parks, civil rights heroine, passes away at 92

    Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights

  3. Jason Malloy
    October 27th, 2005 @ 3:46 am

    It must really be a bitch to be a Civil Rights figure, and go to heaven and see the same power structure.

  4. Erik
    October 27th, 2005 @ 8:24 am

    Hmm… Does Jesus really qualify as a white man?

  5. Alpha Male
    October 27th, 2005 @ 9:51 am

    Jason Malloy said: It must really be a bitch to be a Civil Rights figure, and go to heaven and see the same power structure.

    Seriously, why a bus? Hasn’t she at least earned an upgrade in her transportation options? How about a cab driven by a Hindu?

  6. Rocketman
    October 27th, 2005 @ 10:23 am

    Man, does anyone wonder why black people in the states are pissed off?

    The systemic racism inherent in these cartoons is unbelievable.

    And such a paucity of actual ideas.

    Man, I would like to personally invite any American atheist who can stand the cold, the exceptionally high tax rate, the fact that there is nothing of any cutural significance outside of four or five major Cities, who can handle cohabitation with a bunch of neo-french seperatists, gay marriage, moose and squirrels, can learn to automaitically apologise for things that are not your fault, and the fact that we produced Celine Dion–I’m so very, very sorry–

    to emigrate to Canada. Were colder and poorer–but we have gone a long way to seperating church and state, and our racism–while not non-existant–is no where near as systemic as it is with your folk.

  7. Rocketman
    October 27th, 2005 @ 10:30 am

    To clarify-I’m not comparing gay marriage to Celine Dion. I’m all for it. GO Pride!

    Actually true story–I just got married–it seems like the season.

    My future brother in law related that at a different marriage ceremony the minister–from michigan–included a ten minute rant against gay marriage in the ceremony as a part of the whole god marriage ritual.

    It only strengthed my beleif that being married by a gay secular humanist officiant was the right thing to do at my own ceremony.

  8. cubic rooms
    October 27th, 2005 @ 10:48 am

    The last cartoon seems a little disgusting to me.

  9. benjamin
    October 27th, 2005 @ 12:12 pm

    There are so many things wrong with the last cartoon, it’s barely believable. First of all, I wouldn’t consider Jesus white.
    Secondly, it makes Rosa look racist, because she would only give up her seat to ONE white man. Most people would gladly give up their seat to anyone who was more in need of it than they are… people without the use of both legs etc.
    Thirdly, the seat is big enough for two; why would she be giving her seat up for jeebus? Is jeebus racist?

  10. a different tim
    October 27th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    With Benjamin there. That last one is deeply wrong in so many ways. It kinda looks like being bounced to the back of the bus for a white man is OK after all, as long as it’s for Jesus.

  11. Jason Malloy
    October 27th, 2005 @ 2:29 pm

    There are so many things wrong with the last cartoon

    Which is why its extremely obvious that TRA created that one.

  12. benjamin
    October 27th, 2005 @ 2:38 pm

    You could be right Jason… the last one is unsigned.

  13. Xianghong
    October 27th, 2005 @ 2:52 pm

    The last one looks like a hasty cut and past job.

  14. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 27th, 2005 @ 3:10 pm

    The last one looks like a hasty cut and paste job.

    The cartoonists could have at least given the buses wings. How else are dead buses going to make their rounds?

  15. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 27th, 2005 @ 3:23 pm

    Something I just noticed… Why do cartoonists almost always have St. Peter wearing glasses? I don’t think they had them in the first century. Granted they didn’t have flying buses either, but the glasses seem a constant character trait.

  16. Toxic
    October 27th, 2005 @ 4:16 pm

    Becuase they are lazy hacks.

  17. probligo
    October 27th, 2005 @ 4:58 pm

    Rocketman, perhaps you should have tried NZ’s Civil Union instead of marriage :-D That aside –

    I have been trying to persuade one of NZ’s better journo’s (and the newspaper which published it) to release a story she wrote on the aftermath of Cyclone Rita.

    Anyone who believes that racial discrimination is a thing of the past in the US is sadly, very sadly, mistaken.

    Obviously the same holds true in the view of the afterlife as in the here and now.

  18. Miriya
    October 28th, 2005 @ 5:40 am

    What a shame the Ilustrators focus on that point in history, this woman did much for her community and that incident was the only thing that they can focus on. So much for having an imagination.

  19. mark
    October 28th, 2005 @ 6:42 am


    Is the head of state in Canada not the Queen of England who is also the head of the Church of England?

    Strangely, a survey here in the UK said that although only 45% of Britons believe in God, 55% of us support the monarch being head of the church. Figure that one out.

  20. Rocketman
    October 28th, 2005 @ 8:46 am

    Actually ELizabeth is the Queen of Canada. A seperate but confusing status. As the head of the Church of England it really has no bearing on our democratic process except to ratify certain legislative considertions through the governor general-this is largely a ceremonial position.

    If, for example the Queen of Canada decided to attempt any interference with Canadian governance it would be viewed very dimly by the electorate and would in all honesty signal the death knell of her involvement even as a titular head.

  21. GeneralZod
    October 28th, 2005 @ 2:59 pm

    Since they still wear glasses in Heaven, all physical limitations must carry thru to Heaven. See, Rosa is old and frail in each cartoon. So I guess amputees and the blind (see the Ray Charles Cartoons) do not get any breaks in the afterlife either!! Too bad.

  22. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    October 28th, 2005 @ 4:11 pm

    If Peter’s glasses are any indication, in 20 years when cyborg eyes are perfected here on earth, angelic Ray Charles will be given an upgrade. God may make animals and plants and love and such, but it’s us humans who make technology, and so He has to import our inventions into Heaven. I mean, obviously, if God could invent glasses then why aren’t astigmatics born wearing them?

  23. Jason Malloy
    October 29th, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

    So I guess amputees and the blind (see the Ray Charles Cartoons) do not get any breaks in the afterlife either

    Yeah, haven’t you seen Beatlejuice? You get to keep only what you left with. This is why its best to kill yourself at 27 or so like many of the major rock stars – you don’t want to be lumbering and shuffling about on the clouds for all eternity like a hemorrhoidal mummy just because you got the “privilege” of dying peacefully in your sleep at the ripe old age of 94. An endless existence of broken hips and mashed potato dinners, just for a few dozen extra years on the ground? I mean how is that even a trade-off?

    So yeah, we should all snuff ourselves as soon as possible, but mind you, you should really use a method that doesn’t deform your body too much; Kurt Cobain is running into walls up there because he doesn’t even have a head, just several cumbersome dangling meat sacks. Though I’m happy to report his youthful exit allows an eternity of full, undisturbed erectile function.

  24. The Raving Atheist
    November 1st, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

    Matter of Interpretation

    It’s the worst Rosa Parks cartoon ever says Brittney Gilbert of Nashville is Talking, the blog of W-KRN-TV (News 2) in Music City. “Tasteless” and “bizarre,” adds Evariste of Discarded Lies: Brittney doesn’t say where she found it, and Evariste got it …

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