October 16th, 2013
03:20 PM ET
What Oprah gets wrong about atheism
(CNN) - To some, Oprah Winfrey appears to have an almost godlike status. Her talents are well recognized, and her endorsement can turn almost any product into an overnight bestseller.
This godlike perception is fitting, since in recent years Winfrey’s work has increasingly emphasized spirituality, including programs like her own "Super Soul Sunday."
But what happens when an atheist enters the mix?
A few days ago Winfrey interviewed long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad on Super Soul Sunday. Nyad identified herself as an atheist who experiences awe and wonder at the natural world and humanity.
Nyad, 64, who swam from Cuba to Key West last month, said “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity — all the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt.”
Winfrey responded, “Well I don’t call you an atheist then.”
Winfrey went on, “I think if you believe in the awe and the wonder and the mystery then that is what God is… It’s not a bearded guy in the sky.”
Nyad clarified that she doesn’t use the word God because it implies a “presence… a creator or an overseer.”
Winfrey’s response may have been well intended, but it erased Nyad’s atheist identity and suggested something entirely untrue and, to many atheists like me, offensive: that atheists don’t experience awe and wonder.
MORE ON CNN: Diana Nyad completes historic Cuba-to-Florida swim
The exchange between Winfrey and Nyad reminds me of a conversation I once had with a Catholic scholar.
The professor once asked me: “When I talk about God, I mean love and justice and reconciliation, not a man in the sky. You talk about love and justice and reconciliation. Why can’t you just call that God?”
I replied: “Why must you call that God? Why not just call it what it is: love and justice and reconciliation?”
Though we started off with this disagreement, we came to better understand one another’s points of view through patient, honest dialogue.
Conversations like that are greatly needed today, as atheists are broadly misunderstood.
MORE ON CNN: Behold, the six types of atheists
When I visit college and university campuses around the United States, I frequently ask students what words are commonly associated with atheists. Their responses nearly always include words like “negative,” “selfish,” “nihilistic” and “closed-minded.”
When I ask how many of them actually have a relationship with an atheist, few raise their hands.
Relationships can be transformative. The Pew Research Center found that among the 14% of Americans who changed their mind from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting it in the last decade, the top reason given was having “friends, family, acquaintances who are gay/lesbian.”
Knowing someone of a different identity can increase understanding. This has been true for me as a queer person and as an atheist. I have met people who initially think I can’t actually be an atheist when they learn that I experience awe and am committed to service and social justice.
But when I explain that atheism is central to my worldview — that I am in awe of the natural world and that I believe it is up to human beings, instead of a divine force, to strive to address our problems — they often better understand my views, even if we don’t agree.
While theists can learn by listening to atheists more, atheists themselves can foster greater understanding by not just emphasizing the “no” of atheism — our disagreement over the existence of any gods — but also the “yes” of atheism and secular humanism, which recognizes the amazing potential within human beings.
Carl Sagan, the agnostic astronomer and author, would have agreed with Nyad’s claim that you can be an atheist, agnostic or nonreligious person and consider yourself “spiritual.”
As Sagan wrote in "The Demon-Haunted World,":
"When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.”
Nyad told Winfrey that she feels a similar sense of awe:
“I think you can be an atheist who doesn’t believe in an overarching being who created all of this and sees over it,” she said. “But there’s spirituality because we human beings, and we animals, and maybe even we plants, but certainly the ocean and the moon and the stars, we all live with something that is cherished and we feel the treasure of it.”
MORE ON CNN: 'Atheist' isn’t a dirty word, congresswoman
I experience that same awe when I see people of different beliefs coming together across lines of religious difference to recognize that we are all human — that we all love and hurt.
Perhaps Winfrey, who could use her influence to shatter stereotypes about atheists rather than reinforce them, would have benefited from listening to Nyad just a bit more closely and from talking to more atheists about awe and wonder.
I know many who would be up to the task.
Chris Stedman is the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard University, coordinator of humanist life for the Yale Humanist Community and author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
"Why would matter come into existence all by itself for no good reason?"
Some things are just brute facts that have no explanation. It might be just a simple brute fact that matter came into existence for no good reason. However, it is also possible that matter always existed. Certain outcomes of Einstein's relativistic physics suggest that the past is not gone and the future already exists. In that case, what would give us the illusion that things come into being is that we can only see one "time-slice" at a time. Google "Brian Greene illusion of time" for more about that. "The Illusion of Time" is an episode of physicist Brian Greene's "Fabric of the Cosmos" series.
"Why would stupid, inorganic atoms combine themselves to form DNA molecules?"
We have examples of various "stupid" systems that result in complexity. The Mandelbrot set is one such system. Mandelbrot set images are produced by taking a simple equation, plugging in a number and then taking the result and plugging it back into the simple equationt- and then taking...so on and so forth. By this simple, dumb process, apparently infinitely complex designs result. Google "Mandelbrot zoom" for videos that illustrate the immense complexity of design that simple, dumb processes can produce.
That would be like one of McTaggart's B-theories of time. I've wondered what "possible" means in a B-theory. I'd suggest that something is possible if and only it occurs.
if and only if it occurs
As far as I am aware, there are 2 possible meanings in saying that something is possible. There is actual possibility- which you are talking about and which I am talking about in this sentence about "2 possible meanings," and then there is also theoretical possibility- which I thought it was obvious that I was talking about with respect to my comments on a /theory/ of time. Anyway, it looks to me that there is some pretty good evidence for B-theory in Brian Geene's "The illusion of Time" video, but I'm no expert on the subject so it is possible (a quiz- which "possible" do I mean just there- actual or theoretical possibility?) that he is wrong somewhere in what he says, but I just don't have the knowledge refute what he says.
Is there a difference, Johnny Smooth? The future, on a simple B-theory of time, is as real as the present. The outcome of an event occuring in the present is already real. It is the possible outcome. (Quantum B-theories anyone?). If you had another outcome in mind, theoretical perhaps, it is not the possible outcome.
Another thing: it is theoretically possible for a tossed coin to come up heads or tails, you might say. But what can that mean? There are no abstractions in reality. There is no outcome until you toss a coin. Then, on that one occasion, there is only one possible outcome. Any other occasion of a coin toss is an entirely different event, not to be related in any way that is true to any other coin toss.
Yes there is a difference. Actual possibility is how things actually are or will be, while theoretical possibility is how people (who don't propose to absolutely know the actual case of what is or what will be) talk about what, to the best of their limited knowledge, is or will be. So, it is actually possible for people to use the word "possible" to refer to the concepts of actual possibility or theoretical possibility. I just proved that since I did both of those things in a previous post. If B-theory is the actual case, it doesn't change the fact that we don't absolutely know what future actually exists right now and so we can really only theorize (propose theoretical possibilities) about the actually possible future.
So you are saying that you don't believe in the proven Laws of Thermodynamics, Entropy, or Conservation of Mass and Energy?? You are throwing out the most proven and fundamental laws of science to head off into the direction of pure conjecture? How do you simply discard proven science in exchange for a TV series!?!?!?? Also, your 'mindless math' example could not be possible if the laws of mathematics were not firm... believers in God understand that He created all natural laws as well as spiritual laws... so we expect math to generate patterns. You did not answer HOW random collisions of atoms could form into DNA. DNA is exactly analogous to computer coding, but instead of a binary code, it is a quaternary code. Randomness can't create genetic coding, because all information requires intelligence.
I really hope any science that you do has nothing to do with healthcare, aircraft design, or anything else that might hurt people if done incorrectly.
If you are a scientist, then how can you not apply the same standards of the empirical process to your sky fairy hypothesis?
If you did, and you don't come back with it being anything other than unproven, then you are not a scientist.
Just another atheist with sticks and stones to throw... but beyond insults I hear nothing intelligent from you.
Lets just cut to the chase then anti-scientist.
You provide some verifiable independent proof of your god, and we non believers will start to believe.
Absence that, you have nothing but an unproven hypothesis that is meaningless.
"All information requires intelligence" – a strange generalization I wouldn't expect from a scientist.
I am beginning to think he believes that because he grew up a Christian Scientist, that means he is in fact an actual scientist.
I'm not sure what I said to lead you to believe that I am "throwing out the most proven and fundamental laws of science" since I'm pretty sure that none of the laws that you mention describe a need for the past to be gone and the future to not exist yet, and I was only forwarding a theoretical possibility with apparently good evidence as far as I can tell to address the question "Why would matter come into existence all by itself for no good reason?" The question assumes that matter came into existence and didn't always exist when that is not the only theoretical possibility.
My confusion about why you'd accuse me of throwing out proven science aside, your attack on TV series as not likely having accurate information is equally baffling to me. The TV series is based on a book written by respected physicist Brian Greene (there can't be any accurate information in a TV series inspired by a book written by a respected physicist either, I guess?). So, your innuendo above that TV series aren't likely to be a good source of information is only attacking a source of information rather than dealing with actual information directly.
My mention of the Mandelbrot set was to show by analogy that all that is needed for design to happen is some very simple set of laws of physics rather than designs needing an intelligent, intentional designer to give specific care to sculpt things as individual items like a person molding a figure out of clay (as the Bible describes the creation of Adam). That you believe that a god created the laws of physics is a belief that isn't well supported by any demonstrable facts that I'm aware of. So, please go into some detail as to why you believe that.
Also, I never proposed that randomness created anything (I only argued that some simple set of laws of physics are all that need be behind the designs of nature that we observe), so I don't know why you are going on about randomness in your last few sentences.
God reigns girls.
according to Catholics, Southern Baptists, and other whacko boys' clubs in disguise.
God reins girls. Hi-ho Silver!
Speaking of 'banana"s garbage:
Karie called Bible Clown a “disgusting, deviant perverted virus,” and a “Bozo,” before ending with this prediction:
“Hell is coming for you love. Special dungeon just for u and u won’t be able to die. LOL.LOL.”
Her various troll names:
Meredith S. (Stolen from a 9/11 widow!!
sam stone (stolen)
yudhisthira mahabharata jr
If she believes in some magic man in the sky AND has time to go thru all that trouble making up those weird screen names, then I hope I never have the misfortune of ever meeting her. She is really creepy.
DM, what do u do all day?
Besides troll? And hack?
What 'bananas' does all day and night:
'Karie called Bible Clown a “disgusting, deviant perverted virus,” and a “Bozo,” before ending with this prediction:
“Hell is coming for you love. Special dungeon just for u and u won’t be able to die. LOL.LOL.” '
Her various troll names:
Meredith S. (Stolen from a 9/11 widow!!
sam stone (stolen)
yudhisthira mahabharata jr
Pot, meet kettle. Hypocrite.
Where is that grossestbof all sthies, god herself, DM MUrdock? She is the only topic athies fear
What Oprah gets wrong about atheism?
–Atheists cannot sense awe and wonder
What Oprah is in awe of in an atheist?
: the quality or state of being concerned with religion or religious matters : the quality or state of being spiritual
So, how can an atheist be spiritual?
Another definition is 'relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.'
I don't think an atheist can really be 'spiritual' as such, but this definition connotes a relation to human consciousness and subjective conscious experience.
You didn't list a source for that definition so I can't really comment, but the OED lists definitions by usuage. Here are the definitions for spiritual in the American English version:
1of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things:
I’m responsible for his spiritual welfare
the spiritual values of life
(of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits.
2of or relating to religion or religious belief:
the tribe’s spiritual leader
Human spirit is a fairly secular term often used to refer to human drives or passions and even "soul" doesn't imply a god, though it may (in some contexts) something that can exist apart from living material.
Pardon me Opera, but spiritual and spirituality are two different words.
May I refer you to the wikipedia page on spirituality?
Chris Stedman has his heart in the right place when he says, he will work for social justice, reconciliation and love. Hope that one day he will be the love of God surrounding him.
However, the term spirituality has a deeper meaning, referencing the soul and the super natural. Just like he references a conversation he had, about God as follows:
“When I talk about God, I mean love and justice and reconciliation, not a man in the sky. You talk about love and justice and reconciliation. Why can’t you just call that God?”
I replied: “Why must you call that God? Why not just call it what it is: love and justice and reconciliation?”
Same goes with spirituality, why must you call it spirituality?
God and spirituality go together.
There are three issues here. First, for many, including those in the mental health professions, spirituality refers to issues of the "human spirit". This is a term used to describe issue of meaning, belonging and drive in humans and has nothing at all to do with supernatural spirits. The Keep in mind this same term has evolved to refer to alcohol, so it has many meanings.
Secondly, even if you want to describe a particular spirituality as refering to something beyond the material brain it may or may not be supernatural. Many people believe that consciousness pervades matter, or that all is mental in substance or that other organizations of matter larger than humans may have something resembling consciousness. None of these is necessarily "supernatural" insofar as several conceptions are quite compatible with modern findings in physics and biology.
Third, even if the "spiritual" belief system were supernatural, it wouldn't relate to god beliefs in any particular way. Atheism is just a belief position on gods, and atheist could, theoretically, believe in all manner of supernatural things, like crystals, libertarian free will, or qi.
Well said Sara. Spirit: the inner quality or nature of a person. Spiritual: of or relating to a persons spirit –>spiritual: of or relating to the inner quality or nature of a person (defs from M-W online).
zampaz, yeah, exactly. I'm not actually crazy about the word spiritual myself, but I don't think its incorrect.
"Spiritual" is an easy word to use to convey the human emotional experience of "awe, wonder and perhaps a sense of connectedness or humility." and I don't know a single word to replace it but I spent a little time checking online thesaurus for synonyms. Perhaps someone can help? According to wikipedia spirituality lacks a definitive definition...but the Etymology found there is interesting.
I spent some time yesterday looking for an alternative, too, and didn't find one.
Hmm...etymology.com gives the following. Yeah, interesting:
mid-13c., "animating or vital principle in man and animals," from Old French espirit, from Latin spiritus "soul, courage, vigor, breath," related to spirare "to breathe," from PIE *(s)peis- "to blow" (cf. Old Church Slavonic pisto "to play on the flute").
Original usage in English mainly from passages in Vulgate, where the Latin word translates Greek pneuma and Hebrew ruah. Distinction between "soul" and "spirit" (as "seat of emotions") became current in Christian terminology (e.g. Greek psykhe vs. pneuma, Latin anima vs. spiritus) but "is without significance for earlier periods" [Buck]. Latin spiritus, usually in classical Latin "breath," replaces animus in the sense "spirit" in the imperial period and appears in Christian writings as the usual equivalent of Greek pneuma.
Meaning "supernatural being" is attested from c.1300 (see ghost); that of "essential principle of something" (in a non-theological sense, e.g. Spirit of St. Louis) is attested from 1690, common after 1800. Plural form spirits "volatile substance" is an alchemical idea, first attested 1610; sense narrowed to "strong alcoholic liquor" by 1670s. This also is the sense in spirit level (1768).
It seems like saying "I'm spiritual" means "I'm interested in the place and relations of humans in the universe". This could mean all sorts of things, but implies an interest in both ontological and ethical realities surrounding the individual, society and sentience in general. I may come to terms with the word at some point, but I'm not happy using it for myself even though I meet those criteria. Perhaps, because like "atheist" it is a term claimed by a large group of people who also hold ideas I don't agree with.
har har har...I've run into a few "fundamentalist" atheists; "Ve must have a Doctrine, Ya?"
"Yeah, whatever, go herd some cats."
To Chris Stedman:
Some good points in your article, hope that some day you will come to feel the love of God and know Christ.
And may I also express our hope that you some day come to see reason?
"Love one another, because all that we hold precious as humanity is in our fellows.
Cherish all life for it is unique and fleeting.
Ease suffering and comfort others. Because you can."
Alqaeda fooled em all
For some reason they think they are funny when they try humor. They r hysterical when they don't mean to be
I suggest you end the crack use. Maybe switch to LL's weed.
The snake can't wait for prison
Atjies are responsible for almost all evil in the world
Talk to us murdie.
I rejected no-god at 5 and the no-godders have never forgiven me. I have converted thousands to Christ based on my revolting experiences as an athie
Your vast experiences as an "athie" prior to age 5?! LOLOLOL
Minimise child abuse. Typical
Well Finally something Christians and Atheists can Agree on. Oprah is nuts.
Let us discuss that boob, DM Murdock, the laughing stock of all things atheist
and say you did hundreds of times already, your trollness
Their responses nearly always include words like “negative,” “selfish,” “nihilistic” and “closed-minded.”........
Most true...they almost think you're EVIL if you don't believe in a god....as an atheist I scare many people and they really don't like to get too close to me since I'm knowledgeable and well educated and ALWAYS LAUGHING AND HAPPY....it scares them ...specially when I tell them I gave god up when I was 8 years old and therefore never bought into the GUILT,SHAME AND FEAR RELIGIONS instill in people so as to control them since they"re told by their religious leaders the only way out of their misery and getting to HEAVEN is through them...WHAT SCAMMMERS.
To be fair, we're not all like that. I know atheists who are miserable b@stards and/or retardedly stupid, just as I know religious people who are happy and/or intelligent.
TYRANNASAUR, bananas, LOL???, etc, is same person talking to themselves.
U tell em murdie.
Let me explain why religious people think Atheists are evil:
Satan, for eons, has challenged and promised God that he will take away all God's creation away from God. This is Satan's nature. Satan has been doing this since the beginning of creation. Satan is not a two horned, spikey tailed monster – infact he is the most handsome creature – an ex-angel who challenged God's authority.
Satan has been at work in using human logic and human understanding of basic science for eons to convince humans one way or another that God does not exist. Satan does not want any followers of his own. Satan just wants people to stop believing in God. One of these tricks is to tell people "I dont need God to be good". Of course one can be good.
But – to come to the original point – Religious people think Atheists are people who have been subtly convinced by the devil to believe in themselves more than believing in God and hence have lost their souls to eternal damnation.
It does not matter what or how well we live here on earth. What matters is where does one's soul go after death. Yes – the atheist will tell you this is stupid mumbo-jumbo and we will just be dead when we are dead – but thats what Satan wants to convince you.
Satan fight's against Yahweh's tyranny. I'd much prefer to be on Satan's side than the tyrant's side.
If you made or built something, isn't it yours?
There's a bridge, and there is a little kid standing beside it claiming to be an agent for the owner of the bridge. He asks you for a lot of money to cross the bridge. There aren't any signs or anything else to suggest that this isn't just an ordinary bridge free for public crossing. Do you automatically just trust him and pay up, or do you ask for proof that he is what he says he is?
Lisa, your analogy doesn't really fit. My intention wasn't about ownership. ISD didn't answer, so I didn't get to get into it, but my point was that God is not a tyrant. Heaven is His by right of creation. Of course you don't believe that. Fine, I get it. You have a right to rule your own house as you see fit. So does God. That doesn't make Him a tyrant. Nor you. Mathews was trying to open up a dialogue and explain some things and offer a perspective. Even if it's not logical or evidence. He didn't attack. He was trying to explain. If it doesn't make sense to you, fine. But he didn't attack.
No, religious authorities claim that there's a heaven and that God created it. They also claim that there is only one way across life, and that everyone must pay the price in homage to this God in order to take it. They are like the boy in my analogy, and you can pay the kid out of fear that you might upset the claimed owner of the way across, or you can just take your chances and cross without paying, and probably being cheated. If the real owner shows up and threatens me then I'll just tell him that he should have labeled his bridge better, or gotten more trustworthy agents to collect tolls. If God's real, he's running a lousy business getting pastors and the bible to sell his claim to "the Way".
And what comes after death?
Who will Judge? St. Peter? Joseph Smith? Will Ma'at measure your heart against a shu feather?
Are you 100% certain that you won't be judged unworthy of Valhalla becuase you died peacefully in bed and not on the field of battle?
There are many gods and many afterlives.
They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.
If there were no satan and no hell would there be a need for god to exist?
God existed prior to Satan and hell. And hell was created for Satan, not for man.
Thank you for your courteous reply. I don't remember satan or hell being created in genesis. Did I miss it? Where is this in the bible?
I haven't read all of your stuff carefully but I'm assuming you're atheist or at least agnostic. Was your question genuine or just poking fun at the absurdity of god and hell?
Genuine question. I am an agnostic atheist. I don't "poke fun" of people but I do challenge Young Earth Creationists in matters of science.
I find the history of the OT/NT interesting. I read both a long time ago and can cherry pick a verse or two here and there.
"Let me explain why religious people think Atheists are evil:"
Let me explain why Atheists think religious people can be dangerous.
They think Satan and God exist based on little more than stories and unusual coincidences, and they are willing to dehumanize others who don't believe likewise by calling them "evil".
"Religious people think Atheists are people who have been subtly convinced by the devil to believe in themselves more than believing in God ..."
And what do religious people think about people who aren't atheists but who follow a completely different religion? How is that really any different? They're still "wrong", right?
'but thats what Satan wants to convince you.'
unless of course what satan wants to do is convince the religious to condemn atheists as evil, thus opening them up to hate, which is forbidden. Each time a believer condemns an atheist then I guess satan wins.
Not all religious people condemn atheists. Relational interactions occur on many different levels. As with any other cultural differnces, 2 parties can either agree to disagree when it comes to certain things. Hatred and condemnation doesn't have to enter into it.
Whether all do or not is beside the point. I was answering the specific claim made, which was about:
'Let me explain why religious people think Atheists are evil:'
That's really funny, I can only imagine what people would think.,..... My family, friends, and co-workers don't know that I am, and have been, an atheist for the last 10 years. My husband knows, of course, but no one else. I can only imagine the shock, and the statements "But you're not a bad person! You are kind, and nice, and you bring your children up correctly, to respect others, and with morals!" People who don't actually KNOW an atheist believe that we are some kind of an ogre, a horrible type of person, that has no moral compass. Just because I don't have the threat of everlasting doom hanging over my head, does not mean I am going to be a bad person. Personal responsibility goes a very long way. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror every morning, and like what I see. And I do. Without their god(s)
My step-daughter told her aunt that I was an atheist and the poor woman couldnt even say the word out loud. Her response apparently was 'I didnt know he was an *silently mouthed* atheist!'
Not one has real interest in finding god. Not a single one.
Have you tried shoving a bible up your ass?
How to spot an athie. Every time u sense insincerity and lies.
I think bananas is bananas....I LOVE BEING AN ATHEIST....FREE FROM GUILT SHAME AND THE FEAR YOU MUST BE SECRETLY LIVING IN....GO PRAY FOR ME....OLOLOLOLOLLOLOLO CRAM GOD WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE I ALWAYS SAY.
Yes. The RCC is so open and honest.
True. No evidence for god. None. Reborners don't really believe in god. They just like watching idiot atheists go nuts
Wait, no evidence...I thought Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron demonstrated the perfect design of the banana 😉
"No evidence for god. None."
In other words, you believe there is no evidence, right?
Got to love their efforts. Athies pretend to be seekers and ask profound questions only to answer them with nonsense to make them look good. Geniuses
Is that you LOL?? ?
'Athies' is a giveaway, isn't it? Who else says that?
I like the name bananas better than LOL?? anyway. He needs it to be clear that the responses are intended as humor (Bill Deacon apparently gets it...I don't, but to each his own). I found it frustrating when people tried erroneously to debate his statements with the LOL?? label which was confusing.
I don't think he wants to make it clear. If nobody rose to his bait, how else would he feel vindicated?
Dave, I thought that at first but then after there was some discussion about whether he was joking he added the word "pithiest" to his name which seemed to be intended to clarify his goal. People kept answering in all seriousness, though, which I guess proves some sort of point.
Yes, I recall the 'pithiest' addition to his moniker. Heck, it takes all sorts to make a world. If he gets his kicks out of trolling people, good luck to him. At least he's not too mean-spirited in his trolling.
Yeah, U haven't noticed him picking on anyone in particular and when he touches on argument it is mostly broad generalizations that are fairly light hearted. Bill thinks he's funny so he has at least one fan. I don't get it at all, but hopefully he's having some fun at least.
That was meant to be "I", not "U".
To be fair, Bill thinks the cardboard in his mouth is the body of the son of a Late Bronze Age Canaanite war god.
That is funny.
Another day, another handle. ho hum