See How They “Love” One Another

by | Nov 26, 2012 | Uncategorized

Door Where Martin Luther Posted 95 Theses by Phil Camill via Flickr.
Door Where Martin Luther Posted 95 Theses by Phil Camill via Flickr.

The door where Luther tacked his 95 Theses.

“You are pious and honest people, who cannot do anything but calumniate and lie.” Ouch — that’ll leave a mark. Or an even less veiled insult: “You are idiots and swine.” Want some more? Just click here.

A while back, a friend of mine forwarded me the Shakespearean Insult Generator. The site is, as the title suggests, a compendium of Shakespeare’s most memorable ripostes, which appear upon the click of your mouse. And from the looks of it (and from the citations that come with each insult), it is fairly comprehensive.

So a few weeks ago my attention was piqued when, on Reformation Day (doing business as “Halloween”), a member of my community mentioned the “Martin Luther Insult Generator.” In addition to being online (and free!) it is also a fairly comprehensive collection of Luther’s pithy digs. And despite ongoing ecumenical tensions among Christians, insults like this one give a sense that intra-ecclesial rhetoric may have cooled just a bit:

A natural donkey, which carries sacks to the mill and eats thistles, can judge you – indeed, all creatures can! For a donkey knows it is a donkey and not a cow. A stone knows it is a stone; water is water, and so on through all the creatures. But you mad asses do not know you are asses.

Some of the most impressive insults even take the form of prayers!

May the Lord Jesus protect me and all devout souls from your contagion and your company!

There is, alas, probably very little spiritual fruit to be gleaned by using an insult generator. But in addition to being funny, perhaps this is just another proof of those famous words about Christians: “See how they club one another.”


Timothy O'Brien, SJ   /   @tob_sj   /   All posts by Timothy