It’s official. There is a winner for the best “religious” joke of all time.
Comedian Emo Philips tells of walking across a bridge and seeing a man standing on the edge, ready to jump off. He ran over and said, “Stop! Don’t do it!”
“Why shouldn’t I?” he said.
“Well, there’s so much to live for.”
“Well, are you religious?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?”
“Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
“Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
“Wow, me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
“Baptist Church of God!”
“Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God or Reformed Baptist Church of God?”
“Reformed Baptist Church of God!”
“Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”
His new friend replied, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915.”
To which Philips replied, “Die, heretic!,” and he pushed him off.
Yes, it’s funny. But like many jokes, only because it’s painfully close to the truth. The lack of unity around “mere Christianity,” much less the lack of civility between disagreeing Christians being played out on the internet, is one of the great public disasters of our day.
So while it may be the best religious joke ever,
…it’s no laughing matter.
James Emery White
Voting as cited by GQ Magazine; www.emophilips.com.