Religious Humor Could Be Heven Sent or Hell Bent
Religious humor is a way to poke fun at that part of our life that can't be controlled or quantified.
Taking the edge of the that part of life we deem too sacred to even discuss.
Religious jokes, like ethnic jokes are often just a reflexion of how we deal with the differences in an area of life that is practiced differently by most people, and that is also deemed sacred by most people. Most jokes involving religion, usually deal with religious customs, or stereotypes brought on by the different religious rituals. Religious humor takes some of the edge of the more serious aspects of this area of our lives. Religious humor allows us to play with the mystery that is often part of religion in an innocent and non offensive way. Some my favorite religious jokes are those about people in the clergy. These mysterious men and women, who devote their lives to a higher purpose, clergy members are often are involved in ritualistic practices, and are often the subject of speculation, especially by those with a mind bent on humor. Part of these rituals engaged in by many members of the religious clergy; include having to wear some sort of ceremonial dress. One really great joke comes to mind, when I think of what clergy members have to wear as a part of their devotion. The joke goes as follows:
Vacationing in Hawaii, two priests decide to wear casual clothes so they won't be identified as clergy. They buy Hawaiian shirts and sandals, and soon head for the beach.
They notice a gorgeous blond in a tiny bikini. "Good afternoon, Fathers" she says as she strolls by.
The men are stunned. How does she know they are clergy? Later that day, they buy even wilder attire consisting of surfer shorts, tie dyed T-shirts, and dark glasses.
The next day, they return to the beach. The same fabulous blond, now wearing a string bikini passes by, nods politely at them and says, "Good morning Fathers."
"Just a minute young lady.", says one of the priests. "We are priests and proud of it, but how in the world did you know?"
The blonde replies, "Don't you recognize me? I'm Sister Katherine from the convent."
There you have a wonderful joke that pokes a little fun of the clothing that is often required to be worn by clergy members of the Catholic Faith. Here’s another joke that approaches the mysterious of the afterlife in a humorous way.
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very
grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to
take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take
some of his wealth with him.
An angel hears his plea and appears to him. "Sorry, but you can't
take your wealth with you." The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.
The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.
Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to
greet St. Peter. St. Peter seeing the suitcase says, "Hold on, you
can't bring that in here!"
But, the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through."
St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, "You brought
As you can see, Saint Peter is often the central figure in jokes involving the after life. Since it says that Peter was given the keys to the kingdom, he has often been associated with being heaven’s door man. I often doubt that. I imagine God came up with more important task for this legendary saint, and central figure of the Christian Faith. I won’t deny, most of these jokes are among the funniest in religious humor. Here’s another one of my favorites.
A priest and a taxi driver both died and went to heaven. St.
was at the Pearly gates waiting for them.
'Come with me', said St. Peter to the taxi driver.
The taxi driver did as he was told and followed St. Peter to a
mansion. It had anything you could imagine from a bowling alley to an Olympic size pool.
'Wow, thank you', said the taxi driver.
Next, St. Peter led the priest to a rugged old shack with a bunk
bed and a little old television set.
'Wait, I think you are a little mixed up', said the priest.
'Shouldn't I be the one who gets the mansion? After all I was a priest, went to church every day, and preached God's word.'
'Yes, that's true. But up here we work by results, during your sermons people slept. When the taxi driver drove, everyone prayed.'
Then there are jokes that compare religious practices, especially those practices done to new converts. One of my favorites is the one where the pastor, priest and the rabbi try to convert a bear. It goes like this.
A priest, a rabbi and a minister decide to see whose best at his job. The test is to go into the woods, find a bear and try to convert it.
After they are done the priest says, "I read to the bear from the Catechism, sprinkled him with holy water and next week is his First Communion."
The minister said, "I found a bear by the stream, preached God's holy word and he let me baptize him in the river."
The rabbi was bandaged from head to foot and said. "Looking back, maybe I shouldn't have started with the circumcision."
No article on religious humor is complete with a joke or two from the dark side, so here’s a really good one. It called Bill Gates and the Afterlife.
Bill Gates dies and is met at the pearly gates by St. Peter. St. Peter says, "Well, you've done a lot of bad things in your life, but you've done some good things too, so I'm going to let you take a look at both heaven and hell, and pick which one you want to go to."
Bill thinks this is fair, and takes a look around heaven. He sees a lot of people in white gowns playing harps and floating around, but it looks rather boring. He looks down at hell, and sees people laughing, drinking, smoking and partying down.
"I'll go to hell," Bill says, and instantly he is whisked away into hell, where he is immersed in a vat of boiling oil as flames and smoke fill the air.
"What happened to all that fun I saw people having?" Bill asks, shocked.
St. Peter looks down and says, "Oh that must have been the screen saver you were looking at.
As long as we’re having a hell of a good time let have another shall we.
The Devils challenged the Angels to a game of cricket.
"But we've got all the cricketers," said the Angels.
"Yes. But we've got all the umpires!" exclaimed The Devils.
As you can see religious humor is a reflexion of the many questions we have concerning religion. Religion often deals with issues of the great beyond. We can’t help but want to poke fun at those things that we can quantify or control. When making a joke concerning someone else’s faith, we should always do so with great respect, and in good taste. Our faith is that part of us that most of us hold dear, therefore, it should always be dealt with the deepest of respect. There’s no reason why not to poke some fun at the lesser issues involving religion, such as dress, customs, holidays, but that doesn’t mean that we do not have to approach these subjects with a certain degree of respect and caution as well. Even if dress, holidays, and customs are considered externals by many, they are still a part of what the devout would consider holy or sacred. I guess like every area of life even in the heavenlies we all need a good laugh now and then.
Dear reader, I want to leave you with a good laugh, so let me indulge you with yet, one more really good joke.
The story is told of a lady who was rather old-fashioned, always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language. She and her husband were planning a week's vacation in Florida, so she wrote to a particular campground asking for a reservation. She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped, but didn't quite know how to ask about the toilet facilities. She just couldn't bring herself to write the word "toilet" in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old-fashioned term BATHROOM COMMODE. But when she wrote that down, she still thought she was being too forward. So she started all over again, rewrote the entire letter referring to the bathroom commode merely as the BC: "Does the campground have it's own BC?" is what she actually wrote. Well, the campground owner wasn't old-fashioned at all and when he got the letter, he just couldn't figure out what the woman was talking about. That BC business really stumped him. After worrying about it for awhile, he showed the letter to several campers, but they couldn't imagine what the lady meant either. So the campground owner, finally coming to the conclusion that the lady must be asking about the local Baptist Church, sat down and wrote the following reply:
I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure in informing you that a BC is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away, if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. It is such a beautiful facility and the acoustics are marvelous...even the normal delivery sounds can be heard. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now a supper is planned to raise money to buy more seats. They are going to hold it in the basement of the BC. I would like to say it pains me very much not to be able to go more regularly, but it surely is no lack of desire on my part. As we grow old, it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather. If you do decide to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks. Remember, this is a friendly community.
Sincerely, (Campground Owner)