A Moment of Levity

I usually talk about heavy subjects on this weblog, but sometimes it’s nice to shift gears and have a laugh. Here’s one of my favorites, from an old post on the Usenet newsgroup alt.atheism:

While on a business trip to Rome, the CEO of Tyson Foods manages to be granted an audience with the Pope at the Vatican. After receiving the papal blessing, he says to the Holy Father, “Your Holiness, I’ve come with a business proposition for you. Tyson Foods is prepared to donate 100 million dollars to the church if you’ll change the Lord’s Prayer from ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘Give us this day our daily chicken’”.

Taken aback, the Pope responds, “My son, we cannot do that. The prayer is the word of God. It must not be changed from how it is written in the holy scriptures.”

“Well,” says the Tyson man, “we anticipated your reluctance. For this reason, we’ll increase our offer to 300 million dollars. All we require is that you change the Lord’s Prayer from ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘Give us this day our daily chicken’”.

Again, the Pope replies, “It is simply not in our power, my son. As I have said, this prayer represents the immutable word of God and cannot be changed under any circumstance. Not one jot or tittle may be altered.”

Finally, the Tyson president says, “Your Holiness, we at Tyson Foods respect your adherence to your faith, but we do have one final offer. We will donate 500 million dollars — that’s half a billion dollars — to the great Roman Catholic Church if you would only change the Lord’s Prayer from ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘Give us this day our daily chicken’. You don’t have to give your final answer now, but please consider it.” With that, he leaves.

The next day the Pope convenes the College of Cardinals. “There is some good news,” he announces, “and some bad news. The good news is that the Church is about to come into 500 million dollars.” “And what is the bad news, Holy Father?” asks a Cardinal.

The Pope replies, “We’re losing the Wonder Bread account.”

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • 2-D Man

    I don’t think mine’s as good as Ebon’s, but I’ll toss one in for good measure.

    An engineer and a theologan are wandering through the woods one day and they happen upon a cabin. They look in the window and see the strangest thing: an ordinary wood stove is in on the opposite end of the room, suspended from the rafters by wires.

    The theologan exclaims, “Fire has always been a religious symbol. Without even realizing it, the builder of this cabin has raised up fire to God in honor of the gifts he has given us. This shows that we all respect God whether we know it or not!”

    The engineer blinks, looks in the window, then looks back at the theologan, “Well, I suppose, but I just figured there was plenty of wire, but not much ducting.”

  • terrence

    Oh-oh, you may have just started “Religious/Atheism Joke Sunday….

    Phone rings in the rectory:

    “Is this Father O’Malley?”

    “It is”

    “This is the IRS – can you help us?”

    “I can”

    “Do you know a Mr. Ted Houlihan?”

    “I do”

    “Is he a member of your congregation?”

    “He is”

    “Did he donate $10,000 to the church last year?”

    “He will”

  • Freak

    The version of 2-D Man’s joke I heard had the engineer say “He must have found a more efficient way to heat his cabin.”, and a psychologist makes some sort of comment. They decide to wait for the owner to return, and he gives the above explanation.

  • http://badnewsbible.blogspot.com XanderG

    Here’s my joke:

    A young lady walks into St Peter’s Catholic Church and heads to the confessional. She sits down quickly and says, “Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I’ve become a prostitute.”
    “Oh sweet virgin Mary!” cries the Priest collapsing to the floor.

    The priest awakes, a little dazed, looking into the worried face of the lady.
    “Father, are you all right? I didn’t know being a prostitute was such a grievous sin!” she asks anxiously.
    “A prostitute you say? Oh thank the Lord Jesus, I thought you said Protestant!”.

  • Christopher

    Ok, here’s one for you guys:

    A philosopher and a theologian were having an argument over which field brings man closer to “truth” – the theologian says “you philosophers are like a man searching in a dark room for a black cat that doesn’t exist.”

    To which the philosopher replies “but the theologian would have found it!”

  • 2-D Man

    Oh, I’ve got another one! (And a couple more, but I won’t overdo it for now.)

    Three people are sitting down arguing about the ‘designer’ of the human body.

    The first is an artist, “I think the designer was an artist. Look at how beautiful the body is.”

    The second person is an architect, “No the designer was an architect; look at how structured the body is.”

    The third person is an engineer, saying, “You’re both wrong. It was a civil engineer.”

    When prompted to explain, the engineer states, “Who else would run a sewage line through an amusement park?”

    (Freak is right. The previous joke did include a psychologist and the engineer did say something about alternative heating, but an engineer (with the possible exception of an electrical engineer ;) ) would never say that because there is no reasonable circumstance where raising a wood stove would improve its efficiency. I like my version better anyway, because it juxtaposes religious and rational thinking quite a bit more clearly.)

  • jack

    Jesus and his caddie are out playing golf. They come to a tee that has big lake in front of it, with the green on the opposite side.

    Jesus says to the caddie, “Give me the 9-iron.”

    The caddie says, “Oh Jesus, you’ll never make it over that lake with a 9-iron! Why don’t you try something a little lower?”

    Jesus replies in a stern, insistent voice, “Give me the 9-iron!”

    The caddie sighs, shrugs, and gives Jesus the 9-iron. Jesus swings, hits the ball, and PLUNK! It lands right in the middle of the lake. So Jesus goes walking out across the lake to get his ball, just as another group of golfers arrive at the tee. One of them exclaims, “Hey, look at that guy walking on the water! Who does he think he is, Jesus Christ?!”

    To which the caddie replies, “Well actually he is Jesus Christ; his problem is, he thinks he’s Tiger Woods!”

  • Mikeyj

    What’s the difference between God and a Surgeon?

    God doesn’t think he’s a Surgeon.

  • subcorler69

    Hello, my fellow free-thinkers. Kind of an odd occasion for my first post, but I couldn’t resist. Here’s my contribution:

    It’s early 1944. A young, Bavarian “Wehrmacht” – soldier is on patrol somewhere in Poland. Suddenly, a young Pole jumps out of the bushes and tries to run away. The soldier is about to cock his gun, when he hears a thundering voice in his head: “I SAY UNTO YOU: DO NOT SHOOT HIM!” He’s scratching his head, doesn’t bother and aims again. “I SAY UNTO YOU: DO NOT SHOOT HIM! FOR I, THE LORD, THY GOD HAVE DECIDED: THIS YOUNG POLE WILL SOMEDAY BECOME POPE!” The soldier thinks for a moment, then says to the voice in his head: “Alright, let’s make a deal: I won’t shoot him, but I get to do the job after him.”

  • valhar2000

    A man, who is a devout Christian, watches a new neighbour move in. He goes over to greet the new neighbour, and they talk of this and that, until the subject of church comes up, and it turns out the new neighbour is an atheist.

    The christian, appalled, pleads with the neighbour to get him to accept Jesus as his saviour, bvut the atheist will not bugde. Finally, the christian admits defeat, and tells his atheist neighbour that he will pray for his salvation.

    Thereafter, the years pass, with the christian praying diligently, and the atheist not at all.

    The Christian’s children grow up dull and ugly, and rude and disrespectful. The atheist’s children grow up smart and handsome, and loving.

    The Christian’s wife becomes fat and ugly, and nags him all the time. The atheist’s wife remains thin and beautiful, and makes love to him every day.

    The Christian has money troubles, low credit rating and has trouble holding a job. The atheist lives comfortably, never knows hardship and and gets promoted all the time.

    Then, finally, frustrated and bewildered, the Christian asks: “Why God, why? I have accepted your Son as my Lord and Saviour, I have obeyed all your rules, I have praised your name every day! My neighbor has done none of those things! Why have you blessed him so much more than you have blessed me?”.

    Then the clouds parted, the sky was turn asunder. and a bright divine light came down, and God said:

    “BECAUSE HE DOESN’T KEEP BUGGING ME ALL THE DAMN TIME!”

  • Roi des Foux

    Three nuns are talking.
    The first nun says, “Yesterday, I was cleaning the priest’s room, and I found a stack of porno magazines!”
    The other two nuns react with horror. “Oh no! What did you do?”
    The first nun says, “I took them all and burned them!”
    The second nun says, “You think that’s bad? Yesterday I was doing the priest’s laundry, and I found condoms in the pocket!”
    The other two nuns react with horror. “Oh no! What did you do?”
    The second nun says, “I took them all and poked holes in them!”
    The third nun says, “Oh SHIT!”

  • http://actionskeptics.blogspot.com Akusai

    It ain’t much, but it’s all I got:

    Three young nuns are about to take their final vows. Their Mother Superior comes down to the chapel and says to them “Before you recite the words, Brides of Christ, you must first cleanse your sins and purify your bodies.”

    Another nun enters carrying a washbasin full of holy water.

    “If any of you has known a man,” says the Mother Superior, “cleanse that part of your body that knew him in the basin.”

    The first nun steps forward. “When I was young and foolish, a boy convinced me to touch him with my hands.” She proceeds to wash her hands in the basin.

    The second nun steps foward. “When I was a young child, a man molested me and penetrated my nether regions.” She proceeds to cleanse her bottom in the basin.

    The third nun looks nervously at the basin but stays frozen in place.

    “Have you no sins to confess?” asks the Mother Superior.

    “It’s not that,” says the third nun. “I just don’t want to drink it after she’s had her ass in it.”

  • http://neuraltransmissions.wordpress.com Neural T

    When is that book coming out?

  • Ingersoll’s Revenge

    “Knock-knock.”

    “Who’s there?”

    “Jesus.”

    “…Hitchens, put the bottle down!”

  • Alex Weaver

    I’m still amused by telling people I’m morally opposed to banal sects. ^.^

  • NoAstronomer

    In the version of Ebon’s joke I recall from my youth the end goes like this…

    After the pope refuses the CEO’s final offer the CEO leaves the audience and comments to his entourage,

    “I wonder how much the bakeries are paying him?”

    actual joke in a few…

  • NoAstronomer

    Having missed the last bus a young priest is walking back to the seminary late at night. Unfortunately his route back takes him through a seedy section of town. From out of the shadows a voice hails him:

    “Five dollars for a quickie!”

    The priest replies “No thank you” and hurries along. Yet moments later he is again propositioned,

    “Evening love, five dollars for a quickie!”

    “No thank you”

    Finally arriving back home he happens across the Mother Superior in the hallway,

    “Mother Superior, what is a ‘quickie’?”

    ‘Five dollars. Same as in town.”

  • terrence

    An American tycoon has fulfilled a lifelong dream of an audience with the pope. Just before the meeting, an ashen-faced cardinal comes out and informs the tycoon that all audiences have been cancelled, as the pope has only days to live, and the secret must be kept. Crestfallen, the tycoon heads for the airport. While on layover in London, he decides to have an ale at the local pub. On his way out, he is accosted by a homeless drunk who says “Pardon me Guv’nor, spare a bob to buy me a meal?”

    “I’ll do better than that, my good man — take this ten-pound note, go into that pub and place it on the “Odds on pope to die” wager on their blackboard”

    One year later while on vacation, the tycoon runs into the same bum at the same pub.

    “What’s the matter,” says the tycoon, “didn’t you make that wager?”

    “Aye, aye” says the bum — and then I parlayed it all on the Archbishop of Canterbury!”

  • Dan O’Maryland

    A man boards an airplane, and who’s in the seat next to him – the pope! The man is nervous, excited, and trying to think of something to say.

    The pope is doing a crossword puzzle, and the man says “So, your Holiness, do you enjoy crossword puzzles, too?”

    The pope responds “Yes, my son.”

    The man thinks to himself, wow that was a dumb question – I blew it.

    Just then, the pope leans over and asks “What’s a four letter word for ‘woman’ that ends in U-N-T?”

    The man, terrified, thinks: oh, dear. I know the answer, but it’s such a terribly vulgar word, I can’t… oh wait! He blurts out “Yes, your eminence! The word is “AUNT.”

    The pope says “Ah, yes, of course. Do you have an eraser?”

  • MisterDomino

    A man is frantically running up and down the aisles of a moving train, looking very distraught and obviously in a panic. Finally, he shouts to the seated passengers, “Please, everyone, is there a priest on board this train?”

    No one responds to the man, so he continues moving up and down the aisles, sporadically waving his arms and pulling at his hair. Again he speaks to the passengers, saying, “Okay, fine, is there a deacon on board?”

    Again, no one responds. The man is obviously growing quite desperate, and he shouts out, “Alright, is there a rabbbi on board?”

    A man near the back of the car approaches the panicking passenger and says, “My son, I am a Baptist minister. Is there any way I can help you?”

    The passenger gives him a confused look and shouts, “What? No! To Hell with you! I need a goddamn corkscrew!”

  • http://mcv.planc.ee mcv

    The Pope arrives to New York for a visit. There is a press conference in the airport and someone from the press asks: “Are you planning to vist the prostitutes of New York?” to which the Pope replies: “Are there any prostitutes in New York?”

    The headlines next day in the papers “The Popes first question upon arrival…”

    /…/

    The Pope is been driven and he suddenly feels an urge to drive himself.
    “Driver, stop the car. I have never before had the chance to drive and I’d like to try”
    Since he is a rookie driver they soon get pulled over by a cop. The Pope rolls down the window and when the cop sees him, he immidiately calls the HQ for advice.
    “I pulled over a high ranking VIP. What should I do?”
    “Who? A movie star?”
    “No. Higher”
    “A politician then?”
    “No. Even higher.”
    “Who then?”
    “I don’t know, but the Pope is his driver.”

  • terrence

    MisterDomino reminds me of The Quick Guide to the Different Religions:

    Jews don’t recognize Jesus
    Catholics don’t recognize Allah
    Protestants don’t recognize the pope
    Baptists don’t recognize each other in the liquor store

  • knuffy
  • June

    A missionary just finished reading the bible to a group of natives. He announces to the group, “There, you’re not pagans anymore. You’re now heathens.”

  • Alex Weaver

    I’m in chemistry class at the moment, taking notes on a laptop, and was informed earlier that “When an ion is surrounded by water molecules, it’s known as “solvation”

    No commentary on whether this is solvation by foith or solvation by warks, but apparently Boptism is required.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    Heh. That reminds me of this great line from Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale, on the speech capabilities of early hominids:

    The evidence is that their throat shape would not have allowed the full range of vowels that we deploy. On the other hand, as the linguist and evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker has remarked, “e lengeege weth e smell nember ef vewels cen remeen quete expresseve.”

  • Alex Weaver

    In the spirit of this joke:

    The Four Stages of Fundamentalism:

    1. You don’t believe in Satan.
    2. You believe in Satan.
    3. You devote your life to opposing Satan.
    4. You might as well BE Satan.

  • Kennypo65

    Whenever you find four priests, you’ll always find a fifth.

  • Kennypo65

    It’s OK to kiss a nun, but don’t get into the habit.