David Bruce: 250 Anecdotes About Religion — Scripture, Thanksgiving


• One thing to learn from the Bible is that it is possible to bargain with God. When God wished to destroy Sodom, Abraham was upset because he did not think it was fair for the righteous to be destroyed with the wicked. Therefore, he asked God not to destroy Sodom if 50 righteous people were in the city. God agreed, then Abraham asked God not to destroy Sodom if 45 righteous people were in the city. God again agreed, so Abraham kept asking for mercy until God agreed not to destroy Sodom if only 10 righteous people were in the city. (Unfortunately, not even 10 righteous people were in Sodom, so it was destroyed — but not until the few righteous people had left the city.)

• Two Rabbis, one of whom had many followers and one of whom had few followers, began talking. The first Rabbi, who had few followers, said that the other Rabbi had so many followers because the people thought that he could work wonders such as healing the sick and reading people’s minds, then the first Rabbi asked if the other Rabbi knew what he was thinking. “Of course,” said the Rabbi with many followers. “You are thinking of the verse in Tehillim, ‘I have placed Hashem [God] before me always.’” “No,” said the Rabbi with few followers. “I was not thinking of that verse.” The Rabbi who had many followers said, “Then that’s why you have so few followers.”

• A pastor read John 14:2 out of the New Testament, but he used a new translation that said, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” An elderly woman in the congregation stood up and said, “I want you to read that Scripture again — from my Bible. I’ve lived in old, run-down houses all my life, and I’m looking forward to that mansion!”

• A homophobe said to lesbian comedian Judy Carter, “You can’t be gay and be a Christian.” She replied, “I must have a misprint in my Bible. It doesn’t say, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, except homosexuals, should not perish but have everlasting life.’”

• When the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, a man rang the bell of the meetinghouse to announce the news to the populace. On the Liberty Bell was engraved this quotation from the Bible: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

• Art Linkletter interviewed a little boy who was wearing a pin he had been awarded for going to Bible school for four years. When Mr. Linkletter asked him what his favorite Bible story was, the little boy answered, “Humpty Dumpty.”


• A rich racist Southern woman decided to have some soldiers over for Thanksgiving dinner, so she called the captain of the local Army base and said that she had room at her table for three soldiers — “but don’t send over any Jews.” Thanksgiving arrived, there was a knock at her door, and she opened it to find three black soldiers on the front porch. “Oh, no,” she said, “there must be some mistake.” “No, ma’am,” said one of the soldiers politely. “Captain Abraham Goldstein never makes mistakes.”

• Two small girls were best friends — one girl was Jewish and the other girl was Christian. At Christmas, the Christian girl’s grandfather asked her what her best friend had gotten for Christmas. The little girl replied, “She didn’t get anything for Christmas. You see, I’m Christmas, and she’s Chanukah. I’m Easter, and she’s Passover. But we’re both Thanksgiving.”


• In the 19th century, many clergymen looked down upon theaters and actors. One clergyman wanted to see the great actor Edwin Booth, so he wrote him to ask if Mr. Booth could arrange a way so he could see him act at Booth’s Theater without there being a chance that a member of his congregation would see him. Mr. Booth wrote back, saying, “There is no door in my theater through which God cannot see.”

• In rehearsals for Fiddler on the Roof, Zero Mostel kissed a mezuzah (a scroll of holy scriptures) which was nailed to a doorpost. Other people objected, saying that only a few people would understand what he was doing, so the next time Mr. Mostel came through the doorway, he made the sign of the cross. After that, he was allowed to kiss the mezuzah.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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