45. “Christians worship a dead Jew on a stick”
GEORGE CARLIN DID NOT say this.
“Christians worship a dead Jew on a stick”
Referring to Jesus as a “dead Jew on a stick” for shock value is really nothing new. I’ve heard countless people use the expression over the years. In fact, if you wait around just about any internet forum for long enough, some holy-roller is bound to show up and start proselytizing, which soon erupts into what’s known as a ‘flame war’, and in the exchange of insults you may very well see somebody using this line. A simple search on the web for the string “dead Jew on a stick” brings back countless examples.
Regardless, there’s no evidence that Carlin himself said this, much less coined the expression. Carlin had other deliberately cartoonish descriptions of Jesus (“the man with the glowing head”, “Jesus was a cross-dresser”, etc.), but this wasn’t one of them. The line doesn’t show up in any of Carlin’s albums, books, or HBO specials. This looks like yet another case of some clueless person on the internet taking some blasphemous phrase and misattributing it to Carlin solely because it’s blasphemous. This misattribution seems to have been pretty recent too; I can’t find any examples of Carlin’s name being attached to this prior to 2013.
So who was the first person to coin this phrase? Who knows. I found a printed reference as early as 1989, but I’m sure it’s older than that. Though curiously enough that 1989 reference was a white supremacy publication I found on-line (“Racial Loyalty” issue #48, March 1989), attributing the quote to white supremacist Harold Covington, in his pre-Jesus days. Again though, I’m sure the quote is older than that. Even aside from the fact that it doesn’t even sound like something Carlin would exactly say, Carlin’s full-on religion bashing didn’t really happen until the 1990s.