459: Holy Ghost

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 01:43, 6 December 2012 by Lcarsos (talk | contribs) (Paring down, adding links, adding a transcript, ADDING THE DATE, and calling a spade a spade and the Pope the Pope)
Jump to: navigation, search
Holy Ghost
Okay, everyone, cross yourselves, then cross the streams.
Title text: Okay, everyone, cross yourselves, then cross the streams.


Many Christian denominations hold the belief (of which Catholicism is one) that God exists, and exists as a threefold presence within which there are three distinct 'persons' who interact with one another and the world, yet sharing one common nature. The three 'persons' sharing the property of being God are conventionally called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—but in more archaic English usage, the third person was referred to as the Holy Ghost.

The 1984 movie Ghostbusters was based on the premise that ghosts exist and that four unemployed men had access to technology that could trap such ghosts. These men formed a business as Ghostbusters and an important tool in their arsenal was a so-called "proton beam" powered by a wearable backpack. These beams would prod or stun ghosts, allowing them to be maneuvered into traps. Throughout the movie, the Ghostbusters reminded each other 'not to cross the beams' as this was supposed to cause a disastrous reaction, until the climax of the movie where crossing the beams was required to subdue the main antagonist.

Here we see that the Ghostbusters have just encountered and eliminated the Holy Ghost, and are being taken to task by the Pope. The bishop points out that Christian theology requires a Trinity and is unwilling to accept the Ghostbusters' apology.

The title text is a play on the fact that Catholics may make the sign of the cross (by touching the forehead, chest and shoulders), colloquially called 'crossing oneself', and on the Ghostbusters' concept of (not) 'crossing the beams'.


Pope: This is a disaster.
out-of-frame voice: Is it really that bad?
Pope: Do you know how much scripture we'll have to revise?
out-of-frame voice: Look, we've apologized—
Pope: I mean, we can't have a trinity with just a father and a son!
out-of-frame voice: Again, we're sorry.
Pope: Sorry's not enough. Guards, take their proton packs.
Ghostbusters: Hey, we were just doing our jobs!

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Pope: Do you know how much scripture we'll have to revise? It isn't a problem. Trinitarian dogma isn't even peripheral to scripture. So the answer is: "None". I am sure that had there been cause for concern at least one comedian would have come up with it by now.

I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 09:46, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

It's not the Trinity that's the issue. It's that the Bible talks a whole lot about the Holy Spirit. He is very important to the theology. If He can be trapped, it means the Bible got a lot of things wrong. Trlkly (talk) 23:50, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Nk22 (talk) 11:18, 20 April 2015 (UTC)Woah