B. C. Sunday Strip, and Johnny Hart's patience

I’ve been following the religious tint of B.C., such as it has been, for several years–I’ve actually followed the strip since the early 60s.
Today’s Sunday strip seems to be Hart’s effort to answer people who criticize him for giving the strip any kind of religious flavor. Actually, maybe the deck shouldn’t be all that stacked against him, as it apparently is, but I liked his retort in any case:
B.C. sends a message across the sea and gets a reply concerning 'creationist science":
“Heck, no! If they wanna believe they were created when lighting struck a swamp, more power to them.”
Kudos to Hart for fighting back. :slight_smile:

What I’ve never been able to understand is how life couldn’t have been created by God’s causing lightning to strike a swamp. (Or whatever.)

Some Christians do believe that God could have gotten the ball rolling through a lightning strike. I believe that Hart’s jab, however, was directed mainly against those who believe that this process could have happened without divine guidance.

I think my anger at Hart has more to do with the newspapers that CARRY B.C., actually. I LOVED the strip when I was younger, and still read it because:

a) it’s on my comics page, and I always read EVERYTHING on my comics page (thankfully, we don’t have any of that tripe like Mary Worth, or this statement wouldn’t be true)


b) It still occasionally has moments that remind me of its former glory.

That said, I wouldn’t miss it if it was gone.

My anger at the newspapers has to do with the fact that it has turned into a strip that most papers wouldn’t carry now, due to it’s occasional religious content, if it was new. The fact that it was a well-respected strip before the fall has kept it on the pages, IMHO. That said, I always look forward to the Easter Strips, as I know that they will get my socialist/atheist dander up, and give me something new to rant about with my friends who feel the same way (and my friends who don’t agree with me, but are able to have an intelligent conversation/debate without falling into yelling and name calling, or losing sight of the fact that we are friends DESPITE this).

I wonder how long a comic strip would last if it made jabs at religion and had a detectable atheistic bent.

I’d say about 12 seconds, because if you make fun of someone’s religious beliefs, that’s considered incredibly offensive. But, making fun of someone’s beliefs if they are an atheist apparantly is so acceptable that it’s comic-page fodder.

Imagine if the strip said this:
“Heck, no! If they wanna believe they were created by a big old bearded guy in the sky, who sacrificed himself to himself to change rules he himself made, more power to them.”

Well, TV shows do it all the time. While this occasionally gets them in trouble, it’s seldom seems to be fatal.

I think the comics pages are quite a bit more conservative than television audiences, on the whole.

You mean like the Smother’s Brothers?

What bothers me about B.C.'s Christian bent is that it’s B. fucking C. If you want to do a strip about Jesus, set it in the post-Jesus world, for Christ’s sake.

Was their show cancelled because of any atheistic bent? As I understand, it was mostly because they were pushing the censors to the limit.

Besides, their show ended decades ago. You can get away with a lot more nowadays.


I don’t get it. How is this a retort to his usage of his religious beliefs in his comics. To me, is more like trying to saying, “Dang it, why people can’t take creationst ‘science’ seriously? I know, I will make a cartoon out of it.”


The Smothers Brothers show was cancelled due to their politics. More specifically, their anti-war (anti-Vietnam war) comments…

My chief problem with B.C. is that it sucks. It’s not funny, it’s not interesting, and it isn’t even intelligent. If the guy could write a sharp strip I would enjoy it whatever his politics.

“Lightning struck a swamp?” That’s the big zinger? Whoa-ho-ho-hoooo! That’s a funny one! [snarf snarf]

Not that I get the impression that he cares. I’m just sayin.

And then there’s Mae West, banned from the radio for adding a sexual overtone to a well-known bible story.

I read that strip too, and really couldn’t make much sense out of it. I, too, enjoyed the strip when it was in its glory days and hadn’t sunk to its present level of crap. I used to have a B.C. cereal bowl that I think my parents got at a Marathon gas station during one the promotions they used to have. It was my favorite bowl. Wish I knew what happened to it.

I hate the guy on the other side of the ocean. It must be Jerry Falwell or someone over there . . . Our caveman sends over some ridiculous strawman statement, and then comes the righteous response of Falwell. I especially hate the ones that condescend to our caveman and smugly tell him he’s going to hell. Those are just painful, like reading a Chick tract.

At this point I think I would like to hear from someone who has the courage and inclination to spit on the grave of H. L. Mencken, who would probably have ranted against Hart and B.C. far more severely than any of the Teeming Millions.

You know what?
This is sounding like an earlier rant. I’m talking about a rant of 40 years ago.
Once upon a time there was a comic strip called “Li’l Abner” by Al Capp.
Some considered it the greatest comic strip of all time.
Anyhoo, as time went on Al Capp got old and egotistical and started using “Li’l Abner” not as an amusement but as a soapbox for his increasingly conservative views. At some point he got pretty much out of touch with the majority of comic readers.

Is Johnny Hart getting old?
Well, he ain’t getting any younger.

Hart is seriously born-again. He’s one of those Falwell/Robertson types who says that Jews & Muslims who don’t accept Jesus will burn in Hell and homosexuality is the work of Satan. The comic is just one of his outlets to spread his gospel. If you want a cite, here is a link to a Washington Post article by columnist Gene Weingarten, fellow Hell-bound Jew.

Submitted for your consideration.

You know, I could never put my finger on why I was starting to dislike BC until you stated that way. . .BC has just become that . .a “gentler and kinder” Chick tract.