Interfaith Jokes

JOKES

Religion is no laughing matter. It’s too often true, particularly of late.  So this feels a little frivolous, but I’ve been compiling a few religious jokes (related to me by people WITHIN that tradition, fyi) and am hoping for just a little universal healing through chuckles.  Here goes.

BUDDHIST

Q. Why couldn’t the Buddhist vacuum behind his couch?

A. Because he had no attachments.

JEWISH

A Jewish mother is walking with her small son along the shore, enjoying the sounds and smells of the ocean. Suddenly, without warning, a huge wave comes in and washes the boy out to sea. The woman screams, but no one is nearby, and she can’t swim. She sees her son’s head bobbing up and down as he cries for help and moves farther and farther from shore.

Desperate, she sinks to her knees in the sand. Pleading with God for mercy, she swears she will devote herself to good causes and be faithful in attending synagogue if God will spare her only child.
Suddenly another huge wave crashes in, and deposits her son, wet but unhurt on the sand.

She lifts her face to the heavens, extends both arms and cries… “He had a HAT!!!!”

CHRISTIAN

Jesus is talking with his disciples before heading up a mountain to give a big talk to the multitudes who have gathered.

“So,” he says, because the disciples are looking a little distracted. “Listen up! This is a big afternoon for me and I want everyone to pay attention! I don’t want to end up with, like, four versions of this, OK?”

MUSLIM
And in honor of the holy month of Ramadan, which concludes this week, here is one from my Muslim brothers and sisters (followed by the explanation that I needed after hearing the joke).

Stan and Bob were two non-Muslim friends who got lost hiking out in the desert. After days walking without food and water, they noticed a Mosque on the horizon one morning. They felt uplifted at the sight and got a burst of energy.

“Thank God!” said Stan. “Look – I’ll walk in and say my name is Mohammad and say your name is Ahmed and this way they are sure to give us some food. Deal?”

Bob replied. “No. I’m sticking with my own name.”

They finally got to the Mosque and walked in. A sheikh saw them and said, “Welcome! May I ask your names?”

Stan said, “I am Mohammad” and Bob said, “Hi. My name is Bob.”

The sheikh called across the room and said, “Guys, bring some food and water for Bob immediately. And for you, Mohammad – Ramadan Kareem!”

(Ramadan Kareem is a greeting that is telling someone to have a blessed or generous Ramadan – so “Mohammad” is not going to get any food or water until sundown when Muslims break their fast).

Katie Brick is the Director of the Office of Religious Diversity at DePaul. She likes to laugh – so share your interfaith jokes on the thread below.

Being Present as a Form of Healing: QIRC Reflection

Dialogue in the happening...
Dialogue in the happening…
IMG_1532
Vincentian Art Exhibit

I think I’m getting the hang of Quarterly Inter-Religious Celebrations (QIRC). This was my second QIRC on staff, and 4th or 5th QIRC overall, I believe. It was very different going from hosting to presenting on the evening’s theme, Healing A Wounded World Through Art, – I found the former to be significantly less challenging than the latter, which is stressful for obvious reasons. That said, I had a fantastic time.

One of the things that caught me off guard was how empowered I felt in my religious identity while speaking about it to others. In the past, I have been unwilling to identify with a specific tradition or faith because I had been unwilling to claim ownership over what I believed. I understand now that this is because I had been looking for the ‘perfect’ religion. Without ever realizing it (and, indeed, oftentimes hiding behind a mask of feigned ambivalence), I was hailing religions like cabs – only to leave each taxi the second that their route to my destination varied from the one I desired. ‘There’s got to be a cabbie that has thought about this route before, someone who knows exactly what it is that I should do,’ I thought to myself. Since then, I have come to understand that only I can chart this route, because only I have had my life of experiences. As a result, I’ve begun to take ownership over what I believe; love it even. And it seems as though now that I love what I believe, people are more interested in hearing me talk about it – and now that people want to hear what I have to say about Buddhism rather than what others have to say,  it is easier for me to find delight in my identity. I want to hear what I have to say. I suppose that is the healing that I will take from the QIRC as a whole.

Islamic Art Exhibit
Islamic Art Exhibit

I also couldn’t possibly write a reflection without commenting on Morgan Spears’ performance. God, what a stupendous, brave, and vulnerable piece of art. And how much more challenging and perfect could it have possibly been for our night’s theme? I had personally invited her to perform, but had no idea that her poem would be so personal and self-revolutionary. I think the most powerful part of the entire evening for me was when, after Morgan performed, she came over to my booth to thank me for asking her to be a part of the evening. She looked me in the eyes with an expression that said ‘sorry if that got out of hand…I kind of lost track of myself’, and I told her that she was incredible, and then she just smiled and we both laughed and hugged. She said that she was super nervous to open herself up the way she did, but I could see in her face how grounded and lucid the experience had left her feeling. Morgan’s performance, more than perhaps anything else at the QIRC, invited the audience to engage in radical transparency, heartfelt expression, and most importantly, the kind of listening that one can only learn by calling out for God and enduring the silence before Her/His reply.

Until next quarter!

Josh Graber ’14