• A wealthy man was dying, so he made out a will, leaving his books to a yeshivah (theological college) and his money to his children. The Chofetz Chayim suggested that he make a different will, leaving his money to the yeshivah and his books to his children. He explained, “The yeshivah already has books, and by your leaving your books to your children, they may decide to read them. On the other hand, your children have the ability to earn money, as you did. The students of the yeshivah, however, are engaged in study and have no head for business.”
• The sons of Texas preacher Edwin Porter worked while they were growing up, something that Rev. Porter encouraged because idle hands can be tempted to do the work of the Devil. Although the money the boys earned was theirs, Rev. Porter kept an eye on it and on how his boys spent it. Whenever he saw that one of his sons was tempted to spend money on something that Rev. Porter — and in his opinion, God — didn’t approve of, he would borrow the money until the temptation had passed, then repay the money with interest.
• In York, England, Quakers sometimes passed through a Toll Bar on their way to the Friends Meeting House to worship. The Toll Bar was free to preachers going to church to preach, but Quakers do not preach unless called by the spirit to preach. Whenever the Toll Bar attendant asked the Quakers if they were going to preach, they replied, “We are going to hold a Quaker Meeting; it is likely that we shall preach, but if we do not we will tell thee on our return and pay toll both ways.”
• The spiritual leader Ho Chi Zen (a figment of a satiric mind) used to accept students. Outside the door of the room where he taught, he left a basket and a sign that said, “If you wish to donate, do so before class.” He always watched his students to see who donated money and who did not. If any student donated money three classes in a row, he kicked that student out for being excessively gullible.
• A man’s donkey was dying, so he vowed to Allah that if Allah saved the donkey’s life he would sell it for one dollar. The donkey did get well, so the man brought the donkey into the marketplace, along with a cat which he set on the donkey’s back. “For sale. A donkey for one dollar,” shouted the man, “provided that you also buy my cat, whose price is $1,000.”
• English Prime Minister William Gladstone, an Anglican, once spoke with Father Healy and criticized an Italian priest who claimed to be able to rescue souls from Purgatory — for 25 lire per soul. Father Healy, however, was unwilling for his religion to be criticized, so he replied, “Tell me of any other church, Mr. Gladstone, that would do it at that price.”
• An old Scotsman was once approached by a Salvation Army lass who held out her tambourine to him and asked, “Will you give a shilling to the Lord?” The old Scotsman asked how old she was, and she said 16. He then said, “Well, I’m 79, and I’ll be seeing the Lord before you will, so I’ll just hand Him the shilling myself.”
• A new Sunday School teacher named Rolf E. Aaseng once got so annoyed at a church piano that wouldn’t play E-flat that he ordered the church superintendent to have it fixed — “even if I have to pay for it myself.” The superintendent sent him the bill, and he did have to pay for it himself.
• During the 1930s, African-American contralto Marian Anderson sang several spirituals and other religious songs in the USSR, where religion was outlawed. Therefore, she was not surprised that the interpreter announcing her program tried to play down their religious nature. For example, the interpreter would say that Ms. Anderson was going to sing “an aria by Schubert” instead of saying that she would sing Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” However, the audience knew exactly what she was singing, and when they wanted an encore, they shouted out religious titles such as “Ave Maria,” not “an aria by Schubert.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
250 Anecdotes About Religion, Volume 2 — Buy
BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC
Music: “Laugharne 68 (The Drunken Guitar)”
Album: WALK LIKE A KING: SONGS FOR DYLAN THOMAS
Artist: Terry Clarke
Artist Location: UK
Info: “Anglo-Irish Reading boy, raised right on Dion DiMucci, Eddie Cochran & Don & Phil. Always wears shiny boots when stepping up to the microphone.”
“The Dylan Thomas who sailed into New York in 1949 left behind a bombed-out, impoverished, austerity-ridden Great Britain. It was a Britain where lives were still ruled by rationing and darkened by memories of air raids and fear. He sailed into a neon-drenched world, where be-bop was spoken, where the dreams of Elvis Presley, The Drifters, Johnny Cash, West Side Story, Dion DiMucci, and Jack Kerouac were about to be born. I imagine Dylan Thomas sitting in the Cadillac’s back seat, dropping Almond Joy wrappers in the footwell, while, up front, Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty are scanning the road like hawks on jazz, in Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD. …”
Price: €1 (EURO) for track; €7 (EURO) for 16-track album