HEALTHY RESPECT FOR RELIGION
A new study suggests that most physicians in the U.S. think religion can benefit people who are ill and that sometimes God intervenes to heal them. This is the latest in a long series of studies and reports connection faith and healing. The caution I try consistently to issue is this: Don't let religion be seduced by science. That is, let's not imagine that it will take scientific proof that prayer "works," say, for religion to feel validated.
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RELIGION CAN BE FUNNY, TOO
Hold on, folks. We've been way, way too serious around here for too long.
As regular readers of this blog know, when I offer a short collection of faith-based jokes, they aren't original with me. Many of them come via Beliefnet.com, though also from other sources, including you. If you have any decent jokes of this ilk, send them along to me.
And if you really want something serious to think about today instead, remember that it was on this date in 1521 that German reformer Martin Luther, at his trial at the Diet of Worms, declared, "Here I stand. I can do nothing else. God help me. Amen." For the rest of you, here goes:
1. A Sunday school teacher asked, "Olivia, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing while he was on the ark?"
"No," replied Olivia. "How could he with only two worms?"
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2. A nun, badly needing to use a restroom, walked into the local Hooters. The place was hopping with voices and loud music. And every now and then, the lights would turn off.
Each time the lights went off, the place erupted into cheers. But the room got deadly silent when the nun walked in.
She asked the bartender: "May I please use the restroom?"
He replied: "OK, but I should warn you there's a statue of a naked man in there wearing only a fig leaf."
The nun said she'd just look the other way.
So the bartender showed her to the back of the restaurant.
When she emerged a few minutes later, the place erupted in applause. She went to the bartender and asked, "Why did they applaud me just because I used the restroom?
"Well," he replied, "now they know you're one of us. Would you like a drink?"
"I still don't get it," the nun said.
"Every time someone lifts the leaf on that statue," the barkeep explained, "the lights go out. Now how about that drink?"
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3. Children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic school for lunch. At the start of the line was a big pile of apples. A nun had left this note there: "Take only one. God is watching."
At the other end of the line was a big pile of chocolate chip cookies. A student left this note next to the pile: "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."
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4. As the storm raged, the captain realized his ship was sinking fast.
He called out, "Anyone here know how to pray?"
A man stepped forward and said: "Aye, captain, I know how to pray."
"Good," said the captain. "You pray while the rest of us put on our lifejackets. We're one short."
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.