DEATH TO CHRISTIAN CONVERTS?
We carried a short item in our paper the other day about a man in Afghanistan who is facing a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity. But here's a longer, more definitive look at this from the Chicago Tribune. (By the way, if the top of the Tribune page says it can't display what you want, just scroll down. It's there.) It's hard to imagine how Afghanistan -- or any predominantly Islamic country -- is going to be part of the community of nations without some reasonable rules about religious freedom. Executing converts is stunningly unreasonable.
AND THIS JUST IN: Some reports say officials are raising questions about the convert's mental stability. Are these concerns real or simply a way of suggesting that Muslim converts to Christianity simply must be crazy almost by definition? What do you think?
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The archbishop of Canterbury says teaching creationism in schools should be forbidden. Is this good education or do you consider it censorship of religious ideas?
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THESE ARE THE JOKES, FOLKS
OK, you talked me into some more faith-based jokes. You demand these things, but not enough of you contribute, so I have to rely on Beliefnet.com and similar sources because I don't have time to dream all these up myself. So, come on. Contribute.
1. A priest, a minister and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer while a telephone repairman worked nearby. "Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray," the priest said.
"No," said the minister. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."
"You're both wrong," the guru said. "The most effective prayer position is lying down on the floor."
The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas," he interrupted, "The best prayin' I ever did was when I was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."
2. A little boy opened the large old family Bible, and he looked with fascination at the ancient pages as he turned them one by one.
He was still in Genesis when something fell out of the Bible. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It was a very large old tree leaf that had been pressed between the pages of the Bible long ago. "Momma, look what I found!" the boy called out.
"What do you have there?" his mother asked.
With astonishment in his voice, the young boy answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"
3. A Briton, a Frenchman and a Russian are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.
"Look at their reserve, their calm," muses the Brit. "They must be British."
"Nonsense," the Frenchman disagrees. "They're naked, and so beautiful. Clearly, they are French."
"No clothes, no shelter," the Russian points out, "they have only an apple to eat, and they're being told this is paradise. They are Russian."
4. A man suffered a serious heart attack and had bypass surgery. He awakened to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic hospital.
As he was recovering, a nun asked how he was going to pay the bill. He replied, in a raspy voice, "No health insurance."
The nun asked if he had money in the bank. He replied, "No money in the bank."
The nun asked, "Do you have a relative who could help you?"
He said, "Just a spinster sister, who is a nun."
The nun, slightly perturbed, said, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God."
The patient replied, "Then send the bill to my brother-in-law."
5. A priest is driving down to New York to see a show, and he's stopped in Connecticut for speeding. The state trooper smells alcohol on his breath, sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and asks, "Sir, have you been drinking?"
The minister replies, "Just water."
The trooper asks, "Then, why do I smell wine?"
The minister looks down at the bottle and exclaims, "Good Lord, He's done it again!"
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.
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Pat Robertson is not the only religious leader saying outrageous things. How about this report about a rabbi?