May 24, 2006
May 26, 2006

May 25, 2006

WHAT'S A LIFE WORTH?

When I was a boy in India, I watched college students try -- but fail -- to save a drowning man in a river. One reason they failed was that when they asked a man with a boat to help, he started haggling about price and thus wasted time. Now a similar thing has happened on Mount Everest, and there's an international debate about the ethics of it. Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary is outraged that some climbers apparently passed by a dying climber near the summit without helping. For a great faith-based description about why each life is precious, see Glenn Tinder's book, The Political Meaning of Christianity.

* * *

A LITTLE LEVITY TODAY

* * *

All right, all right, class. I know we're overdue for a humor break.

Bigmouth_3

So how about today? Remember: These jokes aren't original with me. Some of them come from Beliefnet.com. Others come from you -- when you're kind enough to pass them along to me.

* * *

1. God: "Whew, I just created a 24-hour period of alternating light and darkness on earth."
Angel: "Oh yeah? What are you going to do now?"
God: "I think I'll call it a day."
* * *

2. A man goes to a Unitarian Universalist service for the first time, and later is asked what he thought of it.

"Darndest church I ever went to," he replies, "the only time I heard the name of Jesus Christ was when the janitor fell down the stairs."

* * *

3. A poor man walking in the forest feels close enough to God to ask, "God, what is a million years to you?"
God replies, "My son, a million years to you is like a second to me."
The man asks, "God, what is a million dollars to you?" God replies, "My son, a million dollars to you is less than a penny to me. It means almost nothing to me."
The man asks, "So God, can I have a million dollars?"
And God replies, "In a second."

* * *

4. It was Palm Sunday, and the family's 6-year old son had to stay home from church because of strep throat. When the rest of the family returned home carrying palm branches, the little boy asked what they were for. His mother explained, "People held them over Jesus' head as he walked by."
"Wouldn't you know it," the boy fumed. "The one Sunday I don't go to church, and Jesus shows up!"

* * *

5. A lifelong unchurched man suddenly develops a vague religious urge and decides to join a church--any church. So he sets out to find one.

His first stop is a Roman Catholic church where he asks what he has to do to join. The priest mentions diligent study and the affirmation of the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, then--just to see how much the man knows--asks him where Jesus was born. "
Pittsburgh," he answers. "Get out!" cries the shocked priest.

Next stop is a Southern Baptist church where the seeker is told he would have to learn Bible verses, swear belief in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds, swear off booze, and be baptized ("By immersion, not just some sissy sprinklin'"). The Baptist preacher then, to see how much this man knows, asks him where Jesus was born. "Philadelphia?" he asks tentatively (once bitten, twice shy). "Get out, you heathen!" yells the preacher.

Our perplexed protagonist finally walks into a Unitarian church where he is told all he has to do is sign a membership card. "You mean I don't have to renounce anything, swear to anything, or be dunked in anything?" "That's right. We have no special tests for membership, no dogma. We support total individual freedom of belief." "Then I'll join! But tell me--where was Jesus born?" "Why,
Bethlehem, of course." The man's face lights up. "I knew it was some place in Pennsylvania!"

* * *

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.

Today's religious holiday: Ascension of Christ (Christian).

Comments

Keith Herron

A joke with a Southern Baptist church that enforces allegiance to the Nicene and Apostles Creeds? You must be drinking!

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