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Author Topic: The Marine and the Atheist Professor
snopes
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Comment: I'm seeing the Marine and the Atheist Professor story showing up all over the internet lately:
quote:

An atheist professor was teaching a college class and
he told the class that he was going to prove that there
is no God. He said, "God, if you are real, then I want
you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

Ten minutes went by. He kept taunting God,
saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."

He got down to the last couple of minutes and a
Marine just returned from the Gulf and released from
active duty and newly registered in the class walked up
to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and
sent him flying from his platform. The professor
struggled up, obviously shaken and yelled, "What's
the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine replied, "God was busy watching
over my buddies engaged in combat."

Many people seem to embrace it as some sort of
patriotic allegory about our fine boys in uniform delivering some
well-deserved comeuppance to the misguided elitists of academia. The
story is crafted well enough to appeal to most Americans. And that really
is the problem. A lot of people are passing the story around as a
'feel-good' story. What they clearly missing what the the story is really
about. I've sent some of the folks back a 'slightly' modified version to
illustrate the real lesson being taught:

"A fireman steps back from the rubble of a house that has just collapsed
and killed two members of his engine company and three children who were
trapped inside by the fire. With tears in his eyes, he laments out loud.
"There is no living god who could allow this. If there is a god let him
strike me down right here right now, too."

After several moments, a disheveled man in a a beard and Islamic prayer
robe steps forward and strikes the fireman down, knocking him unconscious.
"Allah was busy, so he sent me." the man says.

Now I'm curious who you'll root for this time, and more important, why?
Surely you won't be swayed by the change in description of the characters
or the setting. It is your principles that are the measure of your being.
If your true patriotism came out siding with the Marine after reading the
first story then I trust you'll continue to side with striking down
another American for his words and beliefs in the second."

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Greg of Winter
Xboxing Day


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I hope God appoints that Marine a good lawyer.

--------------------
Meanwhile, at stately Wayne Manor...

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Mouse
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Unfortunately, several of the marine's classmates were training to become cops and they subdued him and proceeded to play cops and robbers with him.

Mouse the "Squeal like a burglar." Louse

--------------------
"You see? The mysteries of the Universe are revealed when you break stuff." Coop from MegasXLR

"I distrust who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -- Susan B. Anthony

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Greg of Winter
Xboxing Day


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How about this variation:

A man's son is dying of a terrible illness. He prays to God to help his son, and he tells God to give him a sign in 15 minutes or he will renounce his faith.

Right before the 15 minutes are up, a man walks in smothers the child with a pillow, killing him.

"God was busy saving some hurricane victims in Florida, but he told me that he wanted to take your son to heaven, to ease his suffering."

--------------------
Meanwhile, at stately Wayne Manor...

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Communication Attempt
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In short,you don't send a man to do a God's work!

I can see why this glurge would be popular.It has patriotism,fighting and God,wich seems to be the top 3 values in America

--------------------
"I love God,he's so deliciously evil!" -Stewie,Family Guy

The fun thing about standards is that they come in so many varieties.

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VersesBatman
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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So God condones senseless acts of violence?

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Jon Up North
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Only against atheists because we're all assholes with the hidden agenda of draging the free world down to anarchy.

--------------------
We're not insured for pickles.

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VersesBatman
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Oh but of course! How could I forget?

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It's like they took a bunch of movies, put them in a blender and turned it on really fast!-Mystery Science Theater 3000

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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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Sooooo...those 1300 who have died so far in Iraq were killed while God was smiting godless intellectuals?
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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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4 stars, best story ever read. God's revenge taken forth by his children. [lol]

--------------------
Joseph Z

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Horse Chestnut By An Open Fire:
Sooooo...those 1300 who have died so far in Iraq were killed while God was smiting godless intellectuals?

Thats why he has to send marines to do it now.

I've seen this one many times before, always the same save for the person committing assau- working for the lord, and the reason behind it. Obviously this ending was tacked on for the current business in the Mid-East.


As for the evil athiest conspiracy (EAC), I missed our last meeting, did we decide to continue our assault on God directly or to back down and take the more subtle route by systematically destroying the sanctity of Marriage, children and puppies?

--------------------
"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Good to know that you get some intelligent comments as well, snopes!

You could just as easily reverse the story, too: A preacher is giving a sermon and says "God protects us from harm"; some random person walks up and punches him and says "No, he doesn't exist". It's just as relevant, and even reversed they could still use it to "illustrate" how nasty atheists are, for going round committing random acts of assault...

(PS - a lot more than 1300 people have died in Iraq. You mean 1300 of the US soldiers that God is apparently watching die. Well, 1288 so far to be exact.)

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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Something I don't get about the Mid-Eastern's battle thing. They attack America because...Allah told them to?

--------------------
Joseph Z

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
Something I don't get about the Mid-Eastern's battle thing. They attack America because...Allah told them to?

Nope.

ETA: ok, I'll be nicer...Wikipedia article on Al Qaeda the group responsible for the Sept 11 attack.

pinqy

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Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:
[As for the evil athiest conspiracy (EAC), I missed our last meeting, did we decide to continue our assault on God directly or to back down and take the more subtle route by systematically destroying the sanctity of Marriage, children and puppies?

Whatcha y'all got planned for next year's Super Bowl? This year's was a doozie!
[Big Grin]

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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Magdalene
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Comment: I'm seeing the Marine and the Atheist Professor story showing up all over the internet lately:
quote:

An atheist professor was teaching a college class and
he told the class that he was going to prove that there
is no God. He said, "God, if you are real, then I want
you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

Ten minutes went by. He kept taunting God,
saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."

He got down to the last couple of minutes and a
Marine just returned from the Gulf and released from
active duty and newly registered in the class walked up
to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and
sent him flying from his platform. The professor
struggled up, obviously shaken and yelled, "What's
the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine replied, "God was busy watching
over my buddies engaged in combat."

Many people seem to embrace it as some sort of
patriotic allegory about our fine boys in uniform delivering some
well-deserved comeuppance to the misguided elitists of academia. The
story is crafted well enough to appeal to most Americans. And that really
is the problem. A lot of people are passing the story around as a
'feel-good' story. What they clearly missing what the the story is really
about. I've sent some of the folks back a 'slightly' modified version to
illustrate the real lesson being taught:

"A fireman steps back from the rubble of a house that has just collapsed
and killed two members of his engine company and three children who were
trapped inside by the fire. With tears in his eyes, he laments out loud.
"There is no living god who could allow this. If there is a god let him
strike me down right here right now, too."

After several moments, a disheveled man in a a beard and Islamic prayer
robe steps forward and strikes the fireman down, knocking him unconscious.
"Allah was busy, so he sent me." the man says.

Now I'm curious who you'll root for this time, and more important, why?
Surely you won't be swayed by the change in description of the characters
or the setting. It is your principles that are the measure of your being.
If your true patriotism came out siding with the Marine after reading the
first story then I trust you'll continue to side with striking down
another American for his words and beliefs in the second."

The problem with the two stories is there is a difference as to why the person is saying, "If there is a God, let him strike me down now." The first story, the professor is not being provoked into making such a statement, he is just being a snarky jerk, and probably has been a snarky jerk about other things. Most people probably want to hit him for some reason anyway.

The fireman is lashing out in a moment of grief and despair, and most people would sympathize and feel sorry for him, despite what he's saying.

It basically boils down to the attitude and situation. The two stories really aren't relevant to each other.

Magdalene

--------------------
"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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Jon Up North
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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IMHO The Evil Atheist Academic then gets up and asks the Marine why god is busy in the middle east when the xian god is omnipotent. The EAA then produces a dictionary and asks the marine to look up the meaning of omnipotent.

Realizing the Marine is not just violent, but slightly undereducated, the EAA helps the marine fill out an aplication for funding a liberal arts degree through the military.

--------------------
We're not insured for pickles.

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
After several moments, a disheveled man in a a beard and Islamic prayer robe steps forward and strikes the fireman down, knocking him unconscious.
"Allah was busy, so he sent me." the man says.

Why is he talking to an unconscious man? [Confused]

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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Communication Attempt
Jingle Bell Hock


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Because it's easier to pass a point when the other person can't reply.

It reminds me of the story of the atheist professor and the egg challenge,except this one added a dose of patriotism.

--------------------
"I love God,he's so deliciously evil!" -Stewie,Family Guy

The fun thing about standards is that they come in so many varieties.

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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But but but if he's unaware, however will he learn?!?

Four Kitties

--------------------
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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PatYoung
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I have noticed in many of these types of "glurge", the conservative wins the argument by physically assaulting the liberal. Is this a common conservative fantasy? Are there liberal equivilents?

--------------------
pat "Megadittoes Rush" young

THUMP, THUMP, THUMP

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Of course. In the liberal equivalent the soldier's blow bounces harmlessly off the professor, who is serene in the knowledge of his chi. The soldier then begins to practice Falun Gong, and the two drive their Prius to Massachusetts to get married. ETA: Oh, I forgot, they're both vegetarians.

Four Kitties

--------------------
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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Brian O'blivion
Deck the Malls


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quote:

Magdalene wrote:
The problem with the two stories is there is a difference as to why the person is saying, "If there is a God, let him strike me down now." The first story, the professor is not being provoked into making such a statement, he is just being a snarky jerk, and probably has been a snarky jerk about other things. Most people probably want to hit him for some reason anyway.

The fireman is lashing out in a moment of grief and despair, and most people would sympathize and feel sorry for him, despite what he's saying.

It basically boils down to the attitude and situation. The two stories really aren't relevant to each other.

In both versions, someone gets punched because they said there is no God. The professor's attitude is just deck-stacking so you'll hate him more. Snopes' version is stacked the other way so you'll see the underlying point of the story is punching atheists to prove God exists.

As in this version:

THE MARINE AND THE ATHEIST PROFESSOR

An atheist professor, author of several books such as “Heartland America: Why I Hate It” and “Religion: Puerile Nonsense or Dangerous Threat?” was teaching his college class about the Gay Pagan Self-Esteem Program newly mandated by the state. He then told the class that he was going to prove that there is no God. He said, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

Five minutes went by. He kept taunting God, saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting.”

Ten minutes. He continued to mercilessly trash-talk God, saying “What’s the matter, God? Don’t exist or something? That’s right, you best keep walkin’."

He got down to the last couple of minutes and a Marine just returned from the Gulf and released from active duty and newly registered in the class walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent him flying from his platform. The professor struggled up, obviously shaken and yelled, "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine replied, "God was busy watching over my buddies engaged in combat, and my buddies wounded in combat, and my other buddies killed in combat."

“What’s your point?” the professor asked, placing his elitist horn rim eyeglasses back in place.

The Marine thought a moment. “So He sent me. To punch you. Because He was busy.”

Rubbing his weak, bewhiskered chin, the tweed-clad egghead asked, “So you’re saying an omnipotent, transcendent deity was incapable of multi-tasking? Or that your pugilistic abilities somehow make a convincing argument vis-à-vis the existence of said supernatural entity?”

The Marine fumed silently as the professor continued hectoring the class in his thin, nasal, New England academic voice. “Or are we to believe Jehovah himself placed you in this classroom for the express purpose of engaging me in fisticuffs to protect his honor? Why, even this little girl wouldn’t believe such nonsense,” he said, indicating little Suzy Jones in the front row, a young girl whose father was a fireman who died the previous week rescuing fetuses from a burning abortion clinic.

Little Suzy put her puppy Patches down and ran to the front of the class, kicking the professor soundly on his shins, until the balding Marxist collapsed again to the floor.

“Ah, yes…here we see a demonstration of the brutality inherent in the, ow, monotheistic tradition,” he pointed out, as Suzy and the Marine continued to rain kicks and punches onto his prostrate form. “Do I need to, ouch, point out that God has not in any strictly, oww, discernable manner actually, personally knocked me off this platform?” he asked, clinging in a fetal position to the podium.

Eventually the two defenders of the faith grew tired and stood by, sweaty and out of breath, as the professor dragged himself up to a standing position. “Yes…well, I think I’ve made my point,” he stated, his annoying, East Coast intellectual voice full of gloating despite the lack of several of his teeth.

“I will now prove that good and evil are merely relativistic Western concepts imposed on…”

Suddenly the door burst open and an imposing figure with a full, Hestonesque beard strode manfully into the classroom, rolling up the sleeves of his flowing white robe as he approached the professor.

“All right Poindexter,” he said in a commanding, booming voice, smiting the professor with a devastating roundhouse to the jaw that sent the snobbish Postmodernist hurtling from the platform.

“Right,” said God, adjusting his robes. “Want something done right, do it yourself.”

“Thank you, sir,” exclaimed the Marine, saluting sharply.

“Sure, sure,” replied God. Glancing at his watch, he strode quickly from the classroom. “Look, I gotta run…that typhoon isn’t going to devastate Bangladesh by itself.”

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ZOIDRubashov
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Here is my ending for the glurge.

A 4'11" female student calmly reached in her purse and removed a cell phone. She calmly dialed campus security/police.

The marine looked at her with a big grin. "Hey look what that idiot is doing," he pointed to the young woman. "She's going to report me. Do you think any one will take that old professor's side."

"I will," the young woman asnwered. "You committed assault in front of me and I'm a witness."

"You wouldn't dare," snarled the Marine.

"Yes I would. This is America and we have a right to express our opinons without fear. What happens the next time one of us disagrees with you? I don't know about God, but I believe in free speech and I hate bullies."

Just then the campus police picked up and the young lady reported the crime she had just witnessed.

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PatYoung
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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OK Brian. I've finally stopped laughing.

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pat "Megadittoes Rush" young

THUMP, THUMP, THUMP

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Mouse
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Brian, Zoid, I must thank you for making me laugh my head off and renewing my hope in humanity.

--------------------
"You see? The mysteries of the Universe are revealed when you break stuff." Coop from MegasXLR

"I distrust who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -- Susan B. Anthony

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GranolaSuicideSpawn
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'd like to say I don't think the modified version is analogous to the original. I understand the point you're trying to make, snopes, but the changes don't lend the same meaning.

By this I mean, first of all, the original doesn't have a horrible tragedy where someone is in great pain and wondering how God could possibly let such a thing happen. Just a pompous professor throwing out a dare. Quite a different scenario, especially in light of the coming kick.

Kicking someone when they are in horrible pain after trying to save many lives from a tragic fire is pretty different than the original scenario, I mean. It doesn't make the worshiper in the second story look good whatsoever; not that the Marine looks "good" but few people mind a pompous ass getting kicked in a fictional story, while most people (including Muslims) might object to kicking a fireman who just proved unable to save children from a fire.

But more importantly, I think, is that the first story doesn't name "God." It's just "God." That makes a big difference, because so far as I know Muslims call Allah "God" too. The God in the original story is generic. No one said Jahweh or Jesus. That seems to be something people read into it, though I'm not sure why. Maybe because Christians inevitably forward glurge? No matter, naming God changes the whole tenor of the story, whichever way you slice it.

Thus while I appreciate the point you're trying to make, I don't think those modifications really hold up to any scrutiny. It probably could be changed to do so, but you'd have to merely hint at the God in question (I suppose it's the Marine being an American that gives some subliminal clue that he's either Christian or Jewish and not Muslim; perhaps there is some other suitable vague clue that would suggest the kicker is a Muslim without making it clear at all.)

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snopes
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quote:
I'd like to say I don't think the modified version is analogous to the original. I understand the point you're trying to make, snopes, but the changes don't lend the same meaning.
As the prefacing "Comment:" indicates, that item was sent to us by a reader, not written by me.

If I were trying to come up with a counter-example, I'd write something like this:

quote:
An atheist Marine D.I. was breaking in new recruits and told the group that he was going to prove that there is no God. He said, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

Ten minutes went by. He kept taunting God,
saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."

He got down to the last couple of minutes, when a homosexual recruit walked up to the D.I., hit him full force in the face, and sent him flying from his platform. The D.I. struggled up, obviously shaken, and yelled, "What the hell's the matter with you, maggot face? What the f*ck did you do that for?"

The homosexual recruit replied, "God was busy watching over my lover, who has AIDS."

- snopes
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pinqy
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quote:
But more importantly, I think, is that the first story doesn't name "God." It's just "God." That makes a big difference, because so far as I know Muslims call Allah "God" too. The God in the original story is generic. No one said Jahweh or Jesus. That seems to be something people read into it, though I'm not sure why.
Why does it matter which god? And no, the "God" in the original story is not generic. If you're talking to someone and you say "Well, Mom said that it would be a good idea to..." would we be wrong in assuming you meant your own mother and not just mothers in general or a generic mother anyone could assume? Besides, since the only people I'm aware of that use the appellation "God" are Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and since they do all worship the same god, then "God" is not generic because nobody would assume you meant Shiva or Demeter or Bob.

pinqy

--------------------
Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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GranolaSuicideSpawn
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ok; let me clarify pinqy. The "God" in the original was generic enough to *include* Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The three major religions of the world. So then what's the point of purposely changing it to "Allah"; the point the author was trying to make in changing it thus is then lost.

Snopes; I agree, and I'm sorry I thought you wrote it! That story definitely makes the point and is analogous [Smile] Thanks for clarifying for me.

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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
So then what's the point of purposely changing it to "Allah"; the point the author was trying to make in changing it thus is then lost.
I think it perfectly exemplifies the point the author was trying to make: people only approve of "defense of religion" (or "defense of God") tales such as this when the religion/God being defended is their own.

- snopes

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by GranolaSuicideSpawn:
Snopes; I agree, and I'm sorry I thought you wrote it! That story definitely makes the point and is analogous [Smile] Thanks for clarifying for me.

Pssst! GSS, as long as we're letting you in on the niceties of the board (such as "Comment:" means snopes didn't write something), might I point out to you that snopes doesn't capitalize the first letter of his name?

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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GranolaSuicideSpawn
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Merci, Kitties. I capitalized it because it was the first word in the sentence. I missed the word "comment" in the OP though I'm not sure why.

I see what you're saying, snopes, but it doesn't mesh to me with what pinqy said. Your version is the only one so far that is actually analogous, IMO.

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Ms Stressa
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In my ending of the story, the professor would have the Marine arrested for assault and kicked out of his class. As a result of his actions, the Marine is expelled from college, and must pay the military back for his tuition. In a funk over the unfairness of this judgement, he gets drunk at a local bar and tears the place up. This gets him tossed into jail again, triggering a disciplinary hearing. He is broke, worried about getting kicked out of the military, and getting sent to jail when the professor's lawsuit arrives, suing him for 10 million dollars.

"Dammit! Why have you forsaken me Lord, when I was doing your work?" the Marine cries to heaven.

From heaven above, God answers: "It's like this, son - you're a dickhead and a bully. And nobody likes a bully."

He then flushes his head down the toilet, or cries like a girl or something -- Stressa

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ParaDiddle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Altered Ending -
{snip} He got down to the last couple of minutes and a Marine just returned from the Gulf and released from active duty and newly registered in the class walked up [edit]

the aisle until the athiest fireman/drummer/bassist jumped if front of him and walked up to the podium and punched the professor in the face. The professor struggled up, obviously shaken and yelled, "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

"Because
A- This is a state university.
B- I'm an adult returning student who's paying my own tuition.
C- You're trying to convert the faithful for no productive outcome and
D- this a 'Music Theory' class".

- ParaDiddle

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