January 16, 2021

Thank You George Carlin

Done. Thanks.

Wikipedia has a very complete Carlin entry.

Comedians and those who knew the man discuss Carlin’s life and contribution.

When I heard that George Carlin had died, one of the first thoughts I had was how he had, in his own way, lived a life devoted to the “word,” i.e. the comedic word, and the truth, at least as Carlin saw it.

Carlin changed comedy and brought a massive amount of laughter into this world. Time magazine has a good recollection of Carlin’s contribution. I admired Carlin and relished his incredible insights into the nature of human existence. He made me laugh and he taught me a lot about how to think differently from the status quo. He was the embodiment of Dickinson’s advice to “tell it slant.” He’d recently been nominated- and will receive posthumously- the Mark Twain Award, and that’s an appropriate recognition. In every respect, Carlin was a worthy imitator and successor to Twain. In these safe and politically correct times, that’s worth an award.

Really, in his own way, Carlin was a great humanist. He didn’t just make comedy; he took comedy from the nature and foibles and follies of human existence. View people have ever been able to see below the surface with Carlin’s incredible powers of ironic observation, and even fewer have been as skillful at telling the truth. Carlin was perpetually amazed at what was their to see and hear from the human comedy, and he was committed to making those discoveries known.

For example, go to Youtube and find Carlin’s routine on materialism, which is profoundly labeled “Stuff,” and you’ll be edified, I promise. (That’s the Christian-ese word for positively influenced by the truth.) While Carlin’s routines are often too profane for most Christians, they contain always keen, sometimes breathtaking examples of observation and ironic truth-telling.

What strikes me as continually ironic is that Carlin and other comedians have become the truth-tellers of our time, while many Christians, especially in their official capacities as official religious spokespersons, have become the embodiment of truth avoidance and truth obscuration. Or, if you’d like to get on the more cynical bus with me and the Ecclesiastes Band, we’re more known for being liars about the human journey than we are for telling the truth. In that sense, I can say a hardy Thank God for George Carlin, who wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was, even if it totally overturned the tables so nicely arranged by the orderers of society and the custodian of decent thought.

Carlin embodied Shakespeare’s ideal of the fool. (See King Lear for details.) The Fool was a truthteller wrapped in the costume of a clown. Because you had agreed to submit to his agenda of laughter, you opened yourself up to his agenda of truth. One of the first conversations between Lear and his fool includes a death threat, but the Fool is not intimidated, and soon Lear is begging his Fool to continue being the one person who will tell him the painful, but precious, truth.

Carlin was often plunged into controversy of his own making. He saw the hypocrisy of assigning shock value and criminal consequences to words and he played the trump card of the “7 Words You Can’t Say” routine and changed the culture. I know there are plenty of Christians who equate the Golden Age of morality with a lack of profanity, but I’ll have to differ on that one a bit. Behind Carlin’s crusade to use offensive words was another agenda: an understanding of words with social, political, racial and religious significance that were also dangerous to the status quo. Word control was a form of oppression, and Carlin was the liberator in Fool’s clothing. Christians should be verry careful before they side with the thought/word police. What you gonna do when they come for you?

Yes, Carlin took aim at God and religion for most of his career, and if you can’t laugh at the truth of what he was saying, then I wonder what the truth means to you. Carlin was a clown, critic and prophet unafraid to point out the contradictions and embarrassments of religion that most people prefer to ignore. He was raised Catholic and I heard him give genuine, heartfelt thanks for his Catholic school education in a recent interview, a gift he assigned to the Catholic teachers at his school and a gift he appreciated throughout his life. I have a feeling that Carlin was not so much of an unbeliever in God as he was a servant of the truth, and that put him on the side of the infidels most of the time, because too many religious people find untruth and lack of truth to be useful allies.

But how many people do you know whose abhorrence of religion isn’t because of what religion confesses to believe as much as how religious people conduct themselves and their place in the world? While I reject the hysteria of the New Atheists, I find myself frequently standing with Carlin as he assesses religious hypocrisy.

Yes, Carlin was an unbeliever, but there is a lot of nonsense not worthy of belief these days, and a person who loves the truth should stand with the prophets and say so, whoever they are.

I’m not for making atheists our spiritual mentors or encouraging more pastors to do stand-up, but I am for saying thanks to George Carlin for showing many of us what it is like to use words with truthful, playful, revealing power. To say thanks to George Carlin for showing us how to think differently and to really see what’s right there in front of us all the time. To say thanks to George Carlin for making us take responsibility for our manipulations of power by manipulating words in a way that puts the other person down. And thank you to George Carlin for all the many, many insightful, humane, wonderful laughs.


  1. Thank you.
    Perhaps Carlin was the Nietzsche of our time.

  2. Michael,

    Thanks for the courage to post this. I had to struggle a bit to find the courage to do my own tribute to one of the funniest and smartest men of the last few generations. Like I said, while we didn’t share worldviews, we did share, I believe, a love for humanity and a desire to see it freed from bondage.

    Grace and Peace,

  3. aaron arledge says

    The death of Carlin has brought mixed emotions in me today. He was a a genius with his craft and I hear he was a great guy. I never faulted him for making fun of Christians or people who believe in God but I cringe at some of his routines where he made fun of God directly. I hope that part was just an act.

  4. May he rest in peace. I hope he knew Jesus.

    But I’m not with you in your praise of Carlin. He hated and mocked the church. I don’t think most Christians are liars and I still think the Bride is beautiful.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  5. I will go to my grave wondering with George Carlin why we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway.

    His “7 words you can’t say on TV” has lost some of its punch in recent years because many of those words are said on TV now. This is what the world calls “progress.” I am in the world, but not of the world.

  6. By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.

    Something is wrong here: War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the resume of a supreme being. This is the kinda shit you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude.

  7. I appreciate Carlin’s humor (even the stuff you still can’t say on television) but I find his death depressing. He chose to die as an agnostic, if not an outright atheist.

    His jokes about worshipping the sun (or Joe Pesci) because they were more visible and more obviously beneficial to him—and that the odds of getting his prayer requests answered were about the same—might’ve just been jokes, but they appear to also reflect a deep dissatisfaction with the way God had been presented to him. Y’see, he became an agnostic after growing up Catholic.

    His jabs at religion, Christianity, hypocrisy, and so forth might have been dead-on (except, perhaps, for that bit in his “Interview with Jesus” in 1980 where “Jesus” claims that big bands were definitely not coming back—way off, there) but they demonstrate that the Christians in his life never presented Christ properly. They might’ve shared teachings about HIm, but never shared Him. Quite naturally, Carlin concluded that it was just another falsehood in the American mythos, and it seems he never sought to learn otherwise.

    We aren’t without hope that God might still redeem Carlin in spite of this. From what I’ve publicly seen, things don’t look good. Hence my depression.

    But God is good. Hence my hope.

  8. Excellent observation on his Catholic school upbringing. Just FYI, I linked to your post from my article I have 7 Words for George Carlin who Died at 71

  9. Excellent post! I loved George Carlin. When I heard today that he died I was a little sad. I actually thought about posting on it at my blog but wasn;t sure people would “get it.” I’m glad you did.

    Why do gas stations lock their restrooms. Are they afraid people are going to clean them?

    Carlin was brilliant.

  10. Thanks, Michael.

    Your post reminds me of a book Tony Campolo wrote back in the mid-80’s – We Have Met the Enemy, And They are Partly Right. If the unexamined life is not worth living, then an unexamined faith is not worth believing. Perhaps Carlin was not far from the Kingdom of God.

  11. canvasback says

    George better enjoy his Mark Twain award because based upon upon God’s Word He will not have any awards for him. Guess George is going to find out what a flame thrower really feels like. I would say RIP George but get real folks…… George enjoyed all of his rewards while on earth. He better come up with some good answers because I’m sure God didn’t think he was so funny. Potty mouth for sure. Looks like George focused on entertaining the wrong audience….. eternity is a lot longer than 71 years! Bad call George.

  12. Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.


    Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

    Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin’ pocket. I wouldn’t mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

    Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

  13. Several comments have not made the cut. Sorry to those who want to be ugly.

    Bill: I am on sabbatical and I don’t want to spend my time in comments debate, but I am…

    a Not “praising” everything about George Carlin. Let’s not play that game please.

    b. Not saying all Christians are liars in the way you seem to be taking it. A lot of Christians are constantly misrepresenting the truth, especially preachers. Do an afternoon with TBN or local Christian radio if you doubt that.

    c. Not saying the Bride isn’t beautiful, though that’s in the love of Christ.

    I have a feeling I’m frequently in your sights when you post about people criticizing the church, and that’s fine. But I’d like the opportunity to say that, like Campolo, I’m only saying Carlin was partly right, and I agree with some of that part.

  14. lost as a goose…a funny goose…but lost nonetheless.

    great comics usually write from a place of hurt…some never let go of it.

  15. canvasback-

    Your comment is reflective of a person that doesn’t quite deserve God’s love with your hateful retort.

    Just be glad that he’s all forgiving.

  16. Suddenly he says

    Bravo iMonk.
    I am an an agnostic and a big fan of George Carlin. I must say that your “Thank you” is the most eloquent and moving tribute that I have read since I heard the news. Thank you.

  17. My mother told me this morning about Mr. Carlin passing away. What shocked me was when she addressed him as my favorite comedian. Obviously she has never listened to much of his comedic work.

    George Carlin is not my favorite comedian, but he always brought up good comedic points that many of us have pondered.

    Let’s hope that where George is going does not have golf courses, and everything is labeled correctly. Seems that quite a few celebrities have passed away these past three weeks.

  18. Canvasback & Angie – the same person just different worldviews. Angie I can tolerate, but Canvas…Hell is not the ultimate ‘I-told-you-so’….grow up.

    I will always remember Carlin’s routine about Americans becoming obese and wearing loose fitting jeans…it was hysterical.

    IMONK: Your point about Carlin playing The Fool is very appropriate. I generally gravitate towards that kind of comedy. Although it can be crude, there is a certain insightfulness that Carlin possessed that allowed him to see absurdity where most people see sacred cows.

  19. Leif Erickson says

    Thanks, Michael. Sometimes Carlin got a bit TOO strident, especially in later years, which (to me) took away from the comedy, which is what I came to him for. Still and all, though, a genius.
    My tribute: I am making a concerted effort today to say every one of the seven forbidden words at least once. It’s the least I can do.

  20. Gotta echo Leif’s comment. In his later years, Carlin started sacrificing comedy for the sake of his message. He always had an agenda — and I don’t fault him for that — but toward the end, it started drowning out the funny.

  21. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
    profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
    – Proverbs 27:6, ESV

    We’ll miss you, George.

  22. I wasn’t going to do it, but I have to share my favorite Carlin moment. I was listening to his routine about drivers that you don’t want to be stuck behind. He got to the bit about being behind any old guy. . . over 60. . .wearing a hat. At that moment, I was indeed driving behind someone who fit that description, who was also doing everything Carlin described in time with the description. I laughed so hard I almost ran off the road. It was one of those truth about humanity moments that you mentioned.
    I am sad to hear that he has died, because all indications are that he missed finding God’s greatest Truth in Jesus Christ. It is a frank reminder that we are surrounded by people who are “drowning with land in sight”. Maybe it can drive those of us who are believers to be a little more genuine in our love to share the greatest truth we know.

  23. Thank you for your tribute. Carlin seemed to have a much better view of God than he let on. Crude? Yes. Spot on in his observations, absolutely. Made you think everytime. For that we owe him eternal gratitude. When he and Mark Twain get together, we will never stop laughing.

  24. Wouldn’t we all be very surprised if the angry ones, the ones who want to pick a fight with God are more acceptable than those who are indifferent believers.

    I’m not saying that George Carlin is in that category, I don’t know. His humor isn’t my cup of tea. (Give me the late Grady Nutt)

    Lord, be merciful on us, especially those who have most need for Thy mercy.

  25. GranpaJohn says

    An insightful post. I think perhaps a correct description of the the dash of George. (that would be the dash between May 12, 1937 & June 22, 2008)
    Carlin said “And why doesn’t anyone ever say, I think he’s down there now smiling up at us?”
    Hey George, we’ll say it for you now…
    His stuff was REAL; A the painful language barrier aside, it was generally real good.
    Yesterday, my son and I were driving a local road and say a car on its side ten feet off the road. A woman was frantically moving around the car. We stopped and jumped out to help. Her husband and large dog were still stuck inside. DRUNK as a Carlin party! She was hollering “please help us. No Cops, No Cops, don’t call them. So we got him out (too drunk to be hurt), rolled the car back over and it started (doesn’t happen to us that way…). We couldn’t get it off the tree branches so we agreed to give them a lift home. Then she wanted to go to the carry out for smokes before going home. They were a bit shook up and confused (beer or wreck ??) so we obliged. They remembered they needed beer for their “dinner party” at the drive through and got some. As they got back in the car I asked if they would feel worried knowing that they were being rescued and their beer and cigarettes were being toted by a Baptist preacher and the church worship leader. The look was a classic Carlin deadpan. The language and the praise of the Lord’s protection changed considerably on the rest of the ride.
    No I’m not ashamed of helping them. I did manage to get a challenge from the Lord to them and only the Holy Spirit can make it fruitful from there. But it was a real need of real people who really need the Lord and I would never have had the chance to “share” with them in Church. So, beer and cigs in the preachers car, George would’ve put “that” into his routine.
    Only the Lord judges our lives, so while we may consign him to a reward/result in our view of his life, their are some who will not be in heaven that rightfully became fodder for his humor gristmill.
    I can only imagine Jesus saying to those who knew him personally, “why did you not show him a REAL Christian life so he might have changed his views…”
    Lord, PLEASE let someone like George see my life differently than he saw Christians he knew.

  26. GranpaJohn says

    we SAW a car not say a car. sigh, the spell checker thought it was OK…

  27. Carlin faced the issue of theodicy without blinking.

  28. While I can’t call the man a prophet, I can’t bring myself to consign him to hell, either. I guess the best thing now, in my book, is to pray for him, that he is where I hope to see him.

  29. As a lapsed Roman Catholic, I’m not sure where the debate on acts vs. faith as a path to heaven stands these days, but in reading about Carlin over the past two days and his unending battle against hypocrisy and obfuscation, I’m struck by the number of people who encountered him personally and have remarked on his generosity and kindness.

    Perhaps I’m setting the bar a bit low, but frankly, I can think of little greater than those two attributes. Given their rarity these days, they become even more compelling as traits I hope God would like to see at his side (that George might then be loudly comparing substance abuse stories with Warren Zevon, well, we’ll let that slide for now) – God bless.

  30. “What strikes me as continually ironic is that Carlin and other comedians have become the truth-tellers of our time, while Christians, especially in their official capacities as preachers, etc., have become the embodiment of truth avoidance and truth obscuration.”

    Truth tellers without an answer.

  31. Wouldn’t we all be very surprised if the angry ones, the ones who want to pick a fight with God are more acceptable than those who are indifferent believers. — AnnaM

    Somewhere on his website (now that I need to cite the article, I can’t find it), Rabbi Boteach states that “want to pick a fight with God” is the traditional attitude of Judaism, as opposed to the submissive posture he sees in Christianity as well as Islam. He cites Jacob wrestling with the angel and Abraham haggling down the three angels outside of Sodom as examples.

    I think it’s the difference between being Godly (TM) and being real.

  32. Mark Nikirk says….

    “I generally gravitate towards that kind of comedy. Although it can be crude, there is a certain insightfulness that Carlin possessed that allowed him to see absurdity where most people see sacred cows.”

    And you cannot tolerate Canvasback’s comments?


    Clear biblical texts say such things as…

    “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

    So, if it’s clearly wrong for believers to have a foul mouth, how is it ok to not just tolerate but actively entertain and enjoy the entertainment of other’s foul mouths?

    It’s strange how canvasback’s comments, which are clearly in line with the force of the biblical texts, are construed as ‘evil’ here.

  33. While I had a hard time with the profanity he often used (Saw him once in concert and he had the audience expand the “7 Dirty Words” and my wife and I were repulsed by what the audience was throwing out), I did enjoy his wordplay. He was a master of the English language and knew the ins and outs and foibles of American life. Like you said, “…they contain always keen, sometimes breathtaking examples of observation and ironic truth-telling.”

    And that’s what attracted me to George. Especially after the “Stuff” routine. I died laughing when I heard that because it is so true. Whenever possessions try to become an overwhelming part of my life, I remember “Stuff”. It always puts it into perspective.


  34. Mark Palmieri says

    Hello my friend!!! We are still praying for you night and day. I am excited to hear of your daily walking in God’s presence and all the wonderful times you are having! The baseball, and baseball with the kids sounds awesome! I miss you. Cornerstone is coming!! Hey while you are in “Big Lou” you could call Joseph and freak him out in a good way, or get some wings late at night at BW3 on Bardstown Rd. His # 290-5034.
    In His sufficient grace, Mark

  35. I was very sad when I heard of George Carlin’s passing. I had a similar reaction of sadness several years ago when I had learned of Sam Kinison’s death as well.

    I had met them both on separate occasions at a Comedy Store and spoke briefly with each one. I must say that both men were very gracious and affable; both incredibly insightful into the obvious habits of being human and American; both were willing to talk about faith; and both were willing to also discuss the differences about the Christian faith; and sadly, both were hopelessly lost.

    The sadness I feel is twofold:

    Firstly, an insightful, smart, incredibly gifted, pushing the envelope offensive, challenging the status quo comic on the social condition of our day in the lineage of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor is now gone.

    Secondly, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and the singularity of the hope of the gospel of grace, Mr. Carlin’s consistent rejection of the gospel and his attacks not just on Christians (many of which were deserved) but on the person and ministry of Jesus Himself, means he did not wake up in glory upon taking his last breath, but he woke up in perdition. And there is nothing funny about that.

    He now knows full well the eternal state of his lost soul and has been in untold agony for these last few days under the wrath of a holy God.

    I hope that will drive us as believers to not retire in the proclamation of the gospel to those, who like all of us, are in desperate need of the transforming power of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    In His grace alone,
    2 Cor. 4:5-7

  36. Jan Dillaha says

    I have always enjoyed George’s ability to make me see the most mundane things in a totally new light and laugh in the process. George’s rant on stuff beats many of the sermons I have heard in my life.

    Many of the things that George said about religion were so true, hence the wincing and hurt when we heard them.

    I winced the same way when I read comments here that attempt to put the view that George is suffering in hell today. It is my hope that you made those comments with tears in your eyes remembering that we all deserve that punishment.

  37. Jan,

    You should read the comments I’m not posting.

    I would especially encourage all Christians to ask why it is that a guy like Carlin speaks to so many in our culture, while what we have to say speaks to so few. And I also want to especially urge those who haven’t considered the connection between Carlin’s fight for free speech and our constantly diminished opportunities for free speech to take a moment and connect the dots.

    What you don’t like that Carlin said was only possible in this culture because guys like Carlin went to court and won. If you side with those who want to silence the Carlins you are siding with those who will attempt to silence the church.


  38. I wouldn’t be so sure that George Carlin was an unbeliever. Apparently during his tour this last year his opinions changed. According to my boss, who is not a believer, her and her friend went to see him about 6 months ago and they were appalled at being “preached at”. She said they didn’t go to see George Carlin to hear that, if she wanted to be “preached at” she would go to church. Praise God if he became a believer during his last year on earth!

  39. My understanding is that there were some negative responses to some of Carlin’s last shows, but these were not because of a change of mind regarding religion, but for very negative, cynical, anti-human race, anti-comedy rants. There’s considerable evidence that Carlin’s cynicism about the human race took an ugly turn later in his career.

    I’d also remind those who don’t know that he was widowed in 1997 when his wife died of liver cancer.

  40. Steve, I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that “he did not wake up in glory upon taking his last breath, but he woke up in perdition.”

    We cannot know what may have happened in his final moments between him and the Lord. I hope with all my heart that he died loving God. Repentance, no matter when it is offered, is met with forgiveness… I could not claim to be a Christian if I did not believe that.

  41. I would also add to what Christina said, and remind everyone that none of us can “know,” AT ALL, with any kind of verifiable accuracy, where George Carlin is right now.

    Many may have strong beliefs, but that’s all they are: beliefs.

    That said, RIP George.

  42. Jan Dillaha says

    @iMonk – thank you, but no. I am glad that the task of moderating isn’t left to me. I cannot imagine and I am glad of it.

    @Christina – Thank you for the reminder that salvation is a glorious mystery. Carlin seemed to be a man seeking truth. He appreciated truth. He was passionate about truth. Let us hope that somewhere before that last breath he met Him.

  43. While I find your insight refreshing and open minded, I am a bit shocked that anyone who professes to be a devout Christian would admire Carlin in any way. His (in my opinion) brilliant assessment of God (an invisible being in the sky that knows what everyone is doing – sort of like Santa Claus) is right on target. To me it shows how childlike humans are – they demand a savior (whether or not there is one – look at the unexplainable hysteria at Obama rallies for example). It’s simply too horrible to fathom that existence ends with death so myth upon myth evolves into various religions. Carlin hit it on the head, and while this would repulse many who call themselves Christian, I find it commendable that it didn’t put you off from seeing profundity in his other observations on life.

  44. bob pinto says

    No, I’m not in favor of the widely held belief in the gothic chamber of horrors and eternal third degree burns.
    George was a human being who occasionly said funny things. It wasn’t terribly long ago that on a serious talk show he blamed christianity for making profanity dirty. But people have a right to change their minds even on their deathbeds which I’ve seen.

    What will our reaction be when Kathy Griffin or Bill Mahr die suddenly? I hope we can be as loving to our slightly disagreeable brothers as we are to pagans and agnostics. None of us owns Jesus.

  45. LK: I don’t think “devout” is an adjective I’d use to describe myself. I believe in the God who revealed himself in Jesus and I seek to be a student of Jesus.

  46. For my part, I appreciate Carlin, not least for his emphasis on civil liberties. And also his sarcastic take on American consumerism. We Western Christians ought to take note from such insights — no matter where they come from.

  47. I am consistently shocked how professing “followers of Jesus” can talk about this notion of hell and damnation without a view to mercy or grace. So smug. We’ve become so addicted to speaking “the truth” that we’ve become just like the ones Jesus spoke against. “thank you Lord that I am not like this sinner.” Meanwhile the love of God is nowhere in sight. Justice? Let God worry about that. Love? That’s our job.

    As for the comment about loving the Bride because she’s beautiful. No she’s not – she’s just redeemed, and that makes the Redeemer beautiful. We’re still a long way off and many of us will be among the ones to whom this gentle Redeemer one day says “depart from me” for our lack of love and compassion. Let’s keep our love, worship, and loyalty for Jesus before the Church becomes an idol.

    I was a comedian for over a dozen years, and I have to thank you, iMonk, for this insightful, graceful, and courageous eulogy. Let the pharisees bray, keep speaking truth in love and grace. In the mean time, perhaps we all ought to be a little more like the publican – “Lord have mercy on me a sinner” and stop comparing ourselves to others. I’m betting our pettiness makes baby Jesus cry.

  48. Hello Everyone,

    Maybe George Carlin was a comic genius. Personally, I never listened to him because my assessment was that he was a very profane man. (And apparently that assessment was correct).

    I feel very sorry for George Carlin. As he stands before a holy God, all that will matter will be this. Did he repent of his sins, and second, did he place his faith / hope / trust in Jesus Christ to be his Savior. Apparently, the answer to that question is “no”. A very sad day for him.

    Whether he had a keen insight into modern American life is irrelevant on Judgement Day. Whether he was a decent and kind person one-on-one is irrelevant. If he wasn’t saved, then he will be held accountable for every idle word and action he had that led people into sin. He helped change American culture – and not for the better. Sadly, I bet right now he wishes he never would have been famous at all.


  49. Haha, baby Jesus.

    Nice reference.

  50. I think that if Jesus were traveling through George Carlin’s town, Carlin would definitely be one of those guys that Jesus asked to eat and drank with – and Jesus would be criticized for it.