Category Archives: Saint Bashing

Patron Saint of Comedy, Genesius

saint genesiusI think Catholicism may be the most OCD religion in the world. I know, with the rosaries and Hail Mary’s and huddled masses it isn’t shocking, but that they have so many, very specific saints is pathological.

For example, Saint Genesius of Rome, the Patron Saint of Comedians.[1] He must have killed before he was killed.

It seems he was in a play that mocked Christianity for Emperor Chuckles McDiocletian’s amusement, when things suddenly got real. Genesius started seeing angels, made the mistake of telling everyone within earshot, and then asked to be baptized for real, on stage. What a drama queen! For coming out of the dressing room closet as a Christian, Diocletian had Genesius’ head removed, c. 286 or c. 303, doesn’t matter. What matters is what made Genesius a saint; not being a funny guy, for being a dead funny guy.

Of course it all started with a legend, as most religious stories do. Genesius of Arles (only one to a town please) worked as a legal clerk, heard about Christ and wanted to get baptized. At this point in the story he got some really terrible advice:

He…was not trusted by the bishop he found, who instead advised him that martyrdom was at least as good in the eyes of God. Genesius was eventually beheaded.

Martyrdom is at least as good?! That’s quite a span: dipped in water or decapitated. Meh, same difference. Genesius didn’t even bother to get a second opinion, he headed (headed…get it?) straight toward the sword. I guess that’s why he wasn’t named Geniusius!


[1] Also the patron saint of actors, clowns, comics converts (what are they?!), dancers, musicians, stenographers, printers, lawyers, epileptics, thieves, torture victims, and apparently, even magicians.

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St Sebastian, Patron Saint of Sports

SebastianCatholics seem to have a saint for every occasion. Today we are taking a look at Saint Sebastian, Patron Saint of Sports of sorts.[1]

My religious background having been in the protestant camp, I know very little about saints (other than Francis of Assissi), so I knew nothing of Saint Sebastian. Today, our own Saint Frank sent me sleuthing and after some brief, yet quite intense research on a website (guess which) I learned the following, almost surely true facts about Saint Sebastian, The Twice Martyred:

  1. He might have been born around 256 and died in the vicinity of 288.
  2. His non-Christian name could have been Gallia Narbonensis (or possibly Gallileo Carbonisis), but his friends called him Sebastian for short.
  3. Apparently Mr Sebastian was a Christian with a mission at the time when, Christian scholars are pretty sure he became a captain in Diocletian‘s Praetorian Guard.
  4. Sebastian, who today could easily have been a life coach, encouraged Christian prisoners (and their families), who were on the sacrificial short list, to stick to their guns. Martyrdom; that’ll show the Romans who’s boss.
  5. Unfortunately, Diocletian felt that Sebastian’s attempts to cheer up the soon-to-die spoiled the fun. Who wants to kill someone who just stands there, praising the wrong god while lions knock them about? There may be no crying in baseball, but in ritual sacrifice it’s a goddamn rule.
  6. As punishment for being a such a killjoy, Diocletian had Sebastian tied to a tree and let his best archers practice hitting the tree. They were very good, so Sebastian survived the one or ten arrows that accidentally hit him and Irene of Rome [2] was able to fix him right up.
  7. When he got better, having suffered mere flesh wounds, and perhaps delirious from herbal pain management, felt empowered to stand on a step and talk shit to Diocletian, who just happened to be walking past.
  8. Diocletian was not amused. He had Sebastian clubbed like a baby Harbor seal and his body chucked into a sewer.
  9. The remains of someone that somebody pulled from the sewer and identified as Sebastian’s are now in Rome. Or France.

St Sebastian is an inspiration to athletes, especially archers, because of his willingness to take one for the team. Sebastian led by example: Be a team player, even if it kills you. Injured? Walk it off, and talking shit at your opponent is all part of the game.


[1] Judging from the many portraits of Saint Sebastian, he might be even more popular with the gay S&M crowd.

[2] Saint Irene of Rome, who as you know was the widow of the martyr Saint Castulus, and should not to be confused with Irene of Florence, a charlatan who didn’t know a salve from a poultice.

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Sticking it to St Sebastian

saint_sebastian

On yet another circuitous route to a point of interest I have yet to find, I found a truly useful martyr. Personally, I’d rather not have him forever suffering and relentlessly judging me as I sew together some little trifle to brighten up a chair, but I’m weird that way.

But it gets even better! If you order this amusing bit of trivialized Christian lore today, you’ll pay full price and I won’t get a commission of any kind.

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