[A Foreign Disease]
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Author Notes:
Hannah Rose Williams
I want to say I'm so thankful to Jorge Mendez for all his hard work on this cover, and all his patience in seeing it come to fruition! Drawing that cluttered hovel of an apartment panel after panel got real dull, but it was so nice to be able to fall back on ol' Georgie's concept art. Go give him some love if you're on deviantART!

This story may seem like it was inspired by the Hong Kong riots or COVID-19. My husband and I actually came up with the idea way back in 2008! Let us know what you think.

User comments:
jerrie edit delete reply
nice cover art
Mrremoraman edit delete reply
DANG nice cover!

Making a comeback?
talon123 (Guest) edit delete reply
The comics are good. The story nice. I was hoping for more detail at times and other times if you took a bit more into certain scenes would make this a great story.
...(RockB) edit delete reply
What's that Jesus-commercial below the comments, are you somehow involved with that?

Of course it's a scam, there are no PSPs to "win" and there is no Jesus and no God as well.

I knew there would be no PSP before I clicked the commercial because I know that there is no God since about 16 years ago when I discovered a chain of... well... things as-true-as-the-Bible that led to the conclusion that the god of the Old Testament of Christian bible, as described in said bible, cannot possibly exist.

For some years(!!) following that discovery I asked around and nobody had an answer. Jehovah's Witnesses are the only group of Christians that are somewhat accessible about it, from all others I just got stuff that has nothing to do about the problem or nothing at all, but they also couldn't explain it. After 7 years of asking and thinking about it, the only possible outcome of getting no answers was that there are no answers. Then everything fell into place: Since the god of the bible doesn't exist, the bible was purely man-made from start to end, no god was involved in its making. But it claims to contain God's word and it claims to be true and (unlike other, non-christian religions) it claims to be the only truth - which nails down that it is a lie.

Since then my problem is: Should I let people spread these lies without trying to counter them? And my answer is: No. Not if I can at least tell that it's a lie.

IMHO people can believe whatever they want but as soon as they try to use scams like the one about PSPs and claim as all other are wrong, it becomes borderline criminal. And there's my limit.
The Letter M edit delete reply
The Letter M
What do you mean, Rock? I got my PSP. I'm sitting on my cloud in heaven playing it right now. Are you sure you put your credit card number in right? Hahaha. Xxx. Love you, buddy.
Hannah Rose Williams
"I couldn't find answers to my questions, therefore there are none." Questions are not arguments and cannot support your position.

As you haven't made any clear arguments, I can't begin to engage with them. Sorry the only Christians you knew were dumb. If Jehovah's Witnesses seemed intellectual by comparison, I fear they were very, very dumb.
...(RockB) edit delete reply
> "I couldn't find answers to my questions, therefore there are none." Questions are not arguments and cannot support your position.

No, I asked the ones who claimed to be experts or at least knowledgeable on the matter. For several years, merely because I couldn't believe that no one noticed what I did. So if the (self-declared) experts don't know the answer to my question, who else (do you think) would? God HimSelf maybe?

> Sorry the only Christians you knew were dumb. If Jehovah's Witnesses seemed intellectual by comparison, I fear they were very, very dumb.

There were pastors among them. From different Christian churches, not only the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Want to have a go at it? Just say yes - I didn't want to put a lot of effort into explaining something nobody is interested in.
Hannah Rose Williams
P.S., the .gif at the bottom of the screen is just something I found floating around the internet. It is clearly, CLEARLY a joke, ya ding dong! 😆
...(RockB) edit delete reply
CLEARLY, someone put some effort into the text behind that joke-gif. I didn't read all of it, it is long and contains several further links, some apparently to videos and whatnot. IMHO a lot of effort for a joke. Why is there a link to something further at all if it is a joke and you found it floating around the internet?
And... I have met people who are just so "intellectual" to make such things for real. Of course with no PSP or anything to "win" but as a serious attempt drag people into some cult. (There are also some who would do this for a joke, but from what I got (personal experience and internet), the serious fanatics CLEARLY outnumber the jokers, so the likelihood of this being a joke wasn't that high, especially not with the long text behind it.)
...(RockB) edit delete reply
In addition instead of an edit: In the comments on page 26 you confirmed that the page behind that .gif is not a joke. So you are one of those who would use even a hilarious and CLEARLY obvious scam to get people to read about your cult.

On the other hand, some people are so immersed in their beliefs that their REALM would get SHATTERED once they learn that it's a lie.

So: Ask for it if you think your faith is invincible or if you want to learn the truth. Don't ask for it if you have doubts in your faith and you rather keep believing in Jesus Christ and that Christian god no matter whether it's the lie or not.
You see, I'm hereby asking for your permission to present my proof. That is all.
Hannah Rose Williams
Knock yourself out m'lord :)
...(RockB) edit delete reply
'K, I consider that as "you may do it". Thank you. And I'm already very curious about what you think about it :-) Here goes:

Old testament, the Israelites are wandering through the desert. At some mountain they receive the 10 commandments. (Just in case: Do You consider these 10 commandments to be God's Own Word's? Back then (when I discovered this) I was taking the bible very seriously and I believed that the 10 commandments were God's Own Words. Doesn't matter whether God carved them into the plates Himself, or Mose did it on God's command. Also, I believed that the meaning of the 10 commandments can be translated into other languages than Hebrew. If You don't believe that the 10 commandments are God's Own Words, then my proof crumbles to dust right here.)

There are commandments like "I am your Lord and God. You shall not have any other god beside me.", "You should honor your father and mother.", "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.", "You shall not steal from your neighbor." Please note that these last two regard "your neighbor", they are "restricted" to your neighbor. One could possibly say that you can covet your enemy's wife and you can steal/take from an enemy whatever you want.

Then there is one that I knew at first as "You shall not kill." - very simple and clear. You shall not kill. Ever. Not your neighbor, not your enemy, nobody, no matter any reason you might have. (I believe the Quakers are using this commandment as their reason for refusing to serve in any army.) But after discussing the matter with some Christians, I'm willing to accept this one (in translation) as "You shall not murder." which is less strict, now You can kill in self defense, but it is still not "restricted" to your neighbor. So for duration of presenting my proof, let it be "You shall not murder." Regardless, this commandment, if taken seriously, should have rendered the tribe of Israel peaceful, on a personal base and as a whole tribe.

Some time later the Israelites come across Jericho. The Jerichoans(?) don't attack them, they just close the doors of their city to keep them out and want nothing to do with them. You know what happened then.

My points are: God ordered them to invade and kill every human and animal within the city after the walls fell, old folk, women, children, babies (and even the animals). Even if we let the old and the woman (some pregnant?) aside, killing children and babies is clear murder of the worst kind, even in a war. A war that was started by the tribe of Israel, Israel was not the defender, they were the aggressor. HERE I WON'T ACCEPT ANY COMPROMISE: Israel started a war, won and murdered the surviving enemies. If you trust the bible to be true, then that is the truth.

Now, a lawgiver is not necessarily restricted to their own law and God already showed that He was absolutely capable to eradicate whole cities, with Sodom and Gomorrah, without any help from humans. But here, he ordered his followers to break a law he previously gave, in the worst way possible. He ordered them to commit a mortal sin, by His own laws condemning them to hell.
(At that point I thought: How is it possible that no one discovered this since the bible came into existence? So I asked around, but nobody came up with a satisfying answer.)

And it's getting worse. Let's take a step back and consider...
What if a human would have given such a set of commandments to their underlings? I bet that no human ruler with a little bit of experience would have worded a commandment like that, instead, every one would have worded it like "You shall not kill unless I say so.", thereby still forbid killing on a personal base but leaving a way for going to war.

I came to this solution with this particular commandment and I have no experience in ruling whatsoever. No human king would have made such a mistake, ever.

So what does that mean? Every human king would be smarter than God, now and back then. So, human kings would be smarter than their Creator, not only their Creator but the Creator of the whole world and the universe?
How is that even thinkable? It's impossible. But here am I, there are are all the human kings - and there is a stupid god.

At that point it was no longer possible that the god, as described by the bible, could exist.

That's it. Now I'm curious about what You can say about all that.

Edit: I removed several typos from the long text but there are probably still some more. I'm a human, I make mistakes. Still, as shown above, I am smarter that the Christian god.
Hannah Rose Williams
If I'm understanding you correctly, then the core syllogism of your argument looks like this:
(1) God commands against all killing, period.
(2) God later commands genocide.
(3) Therefore God is either evil (a false god) or the Bible is contradictory nonsense.

The objection you've raised is nothing new, and has been answered satisfactorily by many theologians over the centuries. I'm only going to give this a short response, but both (1) and (2) are false.

Regarding the first premise, the Ten Commandments are a summary of the Mosaic law in general, which obviously includes killing in many circumstances, not the least of which being atonement sacrifices. "Thou shalt not kill" is therefore often translated as "thou shalt not murder." We all know there is a distinction. If I break into someone's home and attack them, I am a murderer. If I shoot someone who has broken into my home to attack me, I am not a murderer.

Regarding the second premise, God simply did not command genocide. Middle Eastern language was and often still is hyperbolic, so we cannot read the Bible like an autistic 17th century Puritan. We have to understand the text through the lens of its original culture, a basic skill for interpreting any literature, fiction or non-fiction. For that matter, while Westerners do not honor their elders by claiming they lived to be 900 years old, we sometimes use the same hyperbolic language today. If I say the Chiefs OBLITERATED the Eagles 38-0 (I know that's not what happened, but I don't have any real sports analogies) we do not mean that an entire sports team was murdered, do we? At least some of the peoples (who WERE killing women and children, by the way) who were supposedly genocided by the Hebrews are referenced later as still existing. God commanded that these evil, child-sacrificing civilizations be destroyed, but it isn't an open-and-shut case that the Hebrews genocided them.

Here's a whole book on the subject. Here's a YouTube video. I know you won't take any time for either, and I will not be taking any more time for you. Here's why.

From the moment you found out the webcomic you were enjoying had been written by a Christian, you have been exceedingly rude (condescending, arrogant, pedantic) and laughably quixotic in your crusade against sarcastic gifs. The mere fact that you think questions are arguments rather than starting points is proof that your mind is already made up before you make inquiries. I thought you might have actually found an original problem when you threatened to "SHATTER my REALM," but even then I was excited to hear a new question because naturally we do not know everything, and every discovery will lead to new questions, and that's a beautiful and exciting journey. Imagine if scientists quit science because they could not yet answer how gravity worked (a relatively new discovery). The world is full of mysteries. It doesn't mean truth is unknowable or not worth searching out.

I suspect the reason "no one has been able to answer your question" is because talking to you is obviously an absolute waste of time. In the words of a certain frog prince, "Enjoy your loneliness, my friend!"

Edit: enabled HTML
...(RockB) edit delete reply
First off, thank you anyway.

> (1) God commands against all killing, period.
> (2) God later commands genocide.
> ... but both (1) and (2) are false.

Let's see.

As for (1) - I said: So for duration of presenting my proof, let it be "You shall not murder." So to allow self defense.

Only, the Israelites attacked Jericho. This attack was no self defense in any way. It was an aggressive, unprovoked, act of war, and the successful attack ended in murdering women and children. Which is for all practical purposes, especially considering the size of the event, genocide. Even if there had been a few single survivors - for the sake of the argument, I'm not aware of any survivors other than the traitor Rahab and her family - the populace of Jericho as such got completely eradicated, Jericho didn't exist anymore.

As for (2) - God did not command genocide? From the Wikipedia page about "The battle of Jericho": "Following God's law, the Israelites killed every man and woman of every age, as well as the oxen, sheep, and donkeys."
Please don't try to lie about this, it won't work because it's too easy to find out the truth (of the bible).

> God commanded that these evil, child-sacrificing civilizations be destroyed,
So he did. And the Israelites did as told.

> but it isn't an open-and-shut case that the Hebrews genocided them.
I'm not aware of Jerio or it's people having been mentioned at any later time in the bible. Can you give a pointer to some verse in the bible where Jericho was mentioned to still exist or Jerichoans were mentioned to be alive after the attack of the Israelites? Then please do. Until then, and in the light of the above, I simply don't believe you: The walls fell, the Israelites invaded the physically destroyed city and murdered (nearly) every human being. That's genocide, no less.

> If I say the Chiefs OBLITERATED the Eagles 38-0 ...

Oh no no. This was not a friendly sports match (or anything non-bloody/non-violent) and the loser agreed to demolish their city and all the people agreed to commit suicide. They were literally literally killed, not figuratively. According to the bible, all of them except the traitors. No whitewashing here! I can't nail down every such (or similar) event from the bible but this one time it is indeed an open-and-shut case that the Hebrews genocided them. Prove me wrong, I dare you: Quote a verse from the bible saying that they were still alive afterwards, but Rahab and their family, the traitors, don't count as Jerichoans being alive after the genocide by the Israelites!
By the way, unlike the Canaanites, the Jerichoers had no chance the flee, because the Israelites were all around them. Imagine yourself in Jericho, being a mother with a little baby, not knowing that the Israelites had a commandment that forbids them to murder and not knowing that their God had ordered them to violate that commandment and not knowing that the city walls might fall - would you try to leave the city, thereby putting yourself at the mercy of the enemies, or would you stay?

> Here's a YouTube video.

I was curious so I watched it. In there, at about 2:29: "God has the right to take life." Okay. He "does this" anyway, whether he has the right or not, he has the power to do it and he does it, not caring about any right or any law he gave to his followers.
Then "he also has the right to deputize others" - No. Not if he wants to be taken seriously. Not after giving a commandment that forbids murder. After giving that commandment, every one of his followers who does kill for any other reason than defending himself or others, violates that commandment and commits a sin. Is it OK to commit a sin - knowingly? After all "Jesus died for our sins" so it doesn't matter, right? But what's the point of even knowing that you do something wrong (and still doing it) when you also know that every wrongdoing you do will be forgiven? Ask yourself.
Next "god exercises judgement against...", plagues and whatnot. Well yes, GOD CAN DO IT, he stands above his own law, very obviously. But "using" humans to "exercise his judgement"? Using your own example about the burglar: A burglar breaks into your house and tells you "God sentenced you to death and I am executing His judgement", do you have to accept it, or are you, as a Christian, allowed to defend yourself against that would-be murderer, to the point of killing him in self defense? The human laws are quite clear...
And then, "that they don't actually narrate these events happening" - so what happened instead? Remember "Following God's law, the Israelites killed every man and woman of every age, as well as the oxen, sheep, and donkeys." How can this be interpreted in a way that is like "it didn't happen"?

And that book is mentioned in the video and in the comments below :-D

There is another video, also only 9:48, "Did God Command Genocide In the Bible?" God's judgement and so on. Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned at around 4:00 - but there is a major difference: Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God himself. He didn't "use" His People to do it. And the rest... Oh My God :-( "the killing of the children saved them." "I think that God had morally sufficient reasons" - Now I'm ashamed that I have mentioned that video.

> From the moment you found out the webcomic you were enjoying had been written by a Christian

Please consider the order of my comments. I knew that before I started reading the comic and I read it anyway, out of curiosity.

> you have been exceedingly rude (condescending, arrogant, pedantic)

Yes. I have been. Exceedingly, indeed. I tried to be neutral when I commented about the comic. But not so much when I spoke to its author. Is this a sin? Will it be forgiven when I accept Jesus as my savior?

> and laughably quixotic in your crusade against sarcastic gifs.*

LOL, you consider that a crusade? Your standards are quite low regarding crusades.

> I thought you might have actually found an original problem when you threatened to "SHATTER my REALM,"

And you didn't see the sarcasm in that even though your comic is named "SHATTERREALM" and I wrote these two words in all caps?

> I suspect the reason "no one has been able to answer your question" is because talking to you is obviously an absolute waste of time.

Well, you didn't answer them also, see above. But thank you for trying and wasting your time anyway. Actually, I didn't think you would answer. I truly admire that you tried.

*: Trying to put my personal opinion about these "sarcastic gifs" aside - whom do you want approach by that?
- Someone who is a Christian? Most likely reaction: "Haha, funny."
- Someone who is not a Christian and doesn't consider becoming one? Most likely reaction: "Typical Christian bullsh*t."
- Someone who is on the fence? Possible reaction: "What kind of bargain is this? Looks fishy ... Aha. I knew it. These Christians cannot be trusted. So, Jesus as a savior... better not trust that part, too."

See, if the sarcasm hurts your case, it's obviously counterproductive. Unless you never wanted to convince/help anyone to accept Jesus as their savior. But just making a joke only for Christians is kinda undermined by the website behind that gif. So what is it?

You mustn't forget that I have been a Christian for the majority of my live, then on the fence for several years and now I don't see much of a chance to come back to that, but still, if I see a chance to get this concluded -or- getting someone to question their cult, I jump at it. After all, I am now convinced that the bible is a collection of legends, all written by humans, and that the Christian god has about as much "right to exist" as any other god. And HERE the problem arises that the followers of most other gods would give that right to the Christian god, only the followers of the Christian God do not return the tolerance.

And all that above aside, you missed my major point completely: That all human kings and most humans who would not be rulers of any kind, like me, would not make the mistake of formulating a law like the Christian god did. THIS is what finally renders his existence to be impossible.