Did you hear the one about the preacher, the pope and the television evangelist?
There are plenty of ‘em. Religion inspires more jokes than probably any other topic, which is ironic, because it’s also a subject that few people seem to have a sense of humor about.
If you get mad easily, turn the page.
But if you’re sorely in need of a merry respite from the summer’s increasingly gloomy headlines, read on. What follows are a few jewels from “The Preacher Joke Book,” a collection edited by scholar and humorist Loyal Jones.
I found the paperback at a mountain craft shop and recommend it to anyone who has to write a sermon this week.
Or who has to listen to one.
A bunch of loafers were sitting around a country store discussing the selection of a new pope, which was then in process. One old fellow listened for a while, then said, “Well, I think the Catholics have had it long enough. I hope a Baptist gets it this time.”
A woman called on the Presbyterian minister and asked him if he would preach a funeral for her dog that had died.
“I can’t do that, ma’am,” he said. “Why don’t you try a Baptist preacher?”
“All right,” she said, “but can you give me some advice? How much should I pay him - $300 or $400?”
“Hold on,” he said. “I didn’t know your dog was a Presbyterian.”
A man stayed home while his wife went to church. When she returned, he inquired about the sermon. She said it was OK.
“Well, what did the preacher preach about?” he persisted. “I don’t know,” she said. “He never did say.”
Did you hear about Jerry Falwell’s accident?
No, what happened?
He was out walking his pet duck, and a motorboat ran over him.
A preacher went hunting in the woods, heard a noise behind him, turned and saw a big bear reared up on its hind legs. The preacher cocked his gun, aimed and pulled the trigger. The gun only clicked, and the bear started toward him.
He dropped to his knees and prayed, “Lord, save me from this bear.”
He looked up, and the bear was still coming, and he prayed, “Lord, let this be a Christian bear.”
He looked up again, and the bear was hunkered down praying, “Lord, bless this food for the needs of our body.”
Oral Roberts was so grateful for God allowing him to raise $40 million and not calling him home, he thought he ought to do something to honor God.
He thought about it and decided the most appropriate thing for him to do was to build a tomb for himself, so he got an architect to draw up the plans. When the reverend looked at them, quite pleased, he asked, “How much is this going to cost?”
“Two million dollars,” the aide replied.
“Oh, no,” Roberts said. “That’s too much money for just three days use.”
And finally, revenge for the preachers:
A man and his son went to church, and when they came out, the man was complaining that the service was too long, the preacher no good, and the singing off-key.
Finally, the little boy said, “Daddy, I thought it was pretty good for a dime.”