And every kind of thing is produced on the earth in due balance and measure. The mineral kingdom supports the vegetable and they in their turn support the animal, and there is a link of mutual dependence between them. Excess is eliminated. The waste of one is made the food of another, and vice versa. And this is a chain of gradation and inter-dependence. (15.19) The Holy Qur’an
It was not too long ago in the passage of time, in a city not far from here, there lived a local politician and this city was surrounded by thousands of acres of agricultural land. A huge dense forest thickly populated by tall trees covered a vast portion of this land running into a few hundred square kilometers. One day the politician decided to make a detailed survey of his constituency and during such surveys he had to make lengthy detours around this huge forest. This inconvenienced him a great deal and he decided that he should somehow put an end to this problem. That day, he decided to venture deep into the forest to find a way to solve this problem.
He had never gone inside the forest before, though it stood on the land of his constituency. Filled with resolve, he walked with determined steps into the forest. What he saw inside totally shocked him. The forest on his land grew wild. According to his thinking a forest meant that it should have plenty of huge trees and, therefore, anything that was not a tree was useless. He cleverly reasoned that the grass and the bushes that grew wild in his forest absorbed precious water from the ground that was meant for the trees. Then there was the problem of all those fallen leaves, the dry twigs and the rotting branches that fell from the trees, had scattered all over the forest and merely cluttered the ground. All the problems that plagued his constituency would vanish if the forest were cleared of its wild undergrowth and roads were built inside the forest for people to move about freely. He made this into a poll-issue and very soon the people of the city gave him the authority to carry out his plans by voting him to power.
After taking stock of the problem, he went to a nearby village and hired hundreds of laborers to clean up this forest. He promised to pay them well for all their services rendered by them in this regard and he instructed his laborers to get started on the job from the next day itself. All pleas for caution from other well-meaning people who wanted to preserve the wild nature of the forest went unheeded by the politician. The laborers came next day armed with pickaxes, shovels, sickles and brooms. First they swept the area clean and wherever they could they gathered all the dry twigs, the leaves and the rotting branches and started burning them. Having finished the task after a few weeks they attacked the bushes and the low obstructing branches of the trees with their axes and made them into huge heaps and started burning them down too.
After a few weeks time, his forest started wearing a clean and an airy look. The politician took a great interest in planting the new trees to replace those trees he had got felled for obstructing the way. The new trees were planted in neat rows and were lined up to look like chairs alongside a wall and there was not a single speck of dirt to cover up the groups. The laborers had done a thorough job to the last detail. The politician was very pleased with the orderly sight that greeted him from every corner of the forest.
Three years passed by and the people of the city began to notice strange changes in his clean forest. The crowns of the tallest trees had their crowns thinned out and they were sparsely populated with leaves. On a closer look they found that the leaves of even the largest of trees had started to loose their color and sheen. They almost wore a transparent look; the forest had become peppered with dead trees, standing tall but totally lifeless and dried-up. Then there were those huge trees, victims of many storms that had fallen across the path totally blocking the path of the traveler who passed that way. Winter was a long way off and yet the ground lay covered with yellow leaves. Only a short time had passed since the politician had cleaned up the forest and it was untidy once again, worse than before a poor shadow of it’s former self.
The politician who had also heard about the sad state of the forest was puzzled. He could simply not understand why the trees had dried up and it was certainly not from lack of care from his side. Three years had passed since he had cleared the forest of its thick undergrowth. Along with the forest, he also took great care to attend to the problems of the people of his constituency. He had inlaid the forests with roads and electricity and telecommunication cables, which brought them close to the other people of the outside world. Finally at his wits end he called for help from the experts who lived in his constituency and they were asked to form a committee to study the problems in the forest and suggest remedial measure within three months time.
The experts studied the problem and at the end of three months they submitted a report to the politician. According to the report, what had happened was that the laborers in their enthusiasm to clean up the forest had swept out just everything-all that should have been swept out and all that should have been left untouched. The dry branches of the dead trees were certainly of no use, except perhaps as firewood but the bushes had also been chopped out needlessly. The politician had briefed the laborers earlier that the only things of importance in a forest were the trees and the bushes were of no value at all! However the people of the city found out from their own sad experience that the trees could not live without the bushes for they began to dry soon after the bushes had disappeared. They cursed themselves for entrusting the care of their forest into the hands of a shortsighted politician.
The report also gave the reasons as to why the bushes were so important to a forest. The forest is not just a forest and it can be compared to a densely populated city. The houses in the forest were the nests and the burrows and its inhabitants the birds and the animals. While it is true that some birds build their nests high up in the tall trees, there are many others that build their nests in the thick undergrowth tucked away safe in the thick foliage away from prying human eyes. They would dart quickly into their nests as soon as they sensed danger from other birds or animals and the moment they sensed a stranger nearby.
When the laborers had chopped down the thick undergrowth on the advice of the politician, the birds that nested there took flight immediately and flew far away and settled themselves in other forests and that was the beginning of all the problems that were going to plague the forests in the months to come. The reasons were not far to seek. It is a well-known fact that the birds rarely sit on a branch idling or whiling away their time. They fly all around the forest hopping from branch to branch from dawn to dusk tidying up the forest in their own methodical way. As soon as they spot a beetle or a caterpillar on the trees they quickly snatch it up by their beaks and they eat to their fill. After that they start hunting for more and take it in their beaks to their baby nestlings. The baby-birds on their part eat an awful lot of bugs brought to them by their parents and grow very fast. The forest birds used to eat away thousands of bugs everyday and when the birds flew away to other forests, the beetles and the caterpillars’ had the time of their lives. They made merry, multiplied and multiplied in alarming proportions.
The trees in the forest started drying up because they were now swarming with insects. Some insects feasted on their leaves and others on the roots. The tree appeared to them like a well laid-out banquet table but with a difference. Here, the insects would make a feast of the table too! After the birds had left they had multiplied rapidly and attacked each tree in regiments. The caterpillars were the first to advance and they chewed up the leaves and the roots. The trees used to absorb light and air through its leaves and water from its roots for photosynthesis. In its absence the trees became weak with thirst and hunger. These weaknesses laid them open to attack from many more enemies. The next in line to attack were the beetles, the type that fed on the bark of the trees. These beetles started chewing through the bark and they started boring long winding tunnels under the barks, chewing up on the wood as they worked and carting away the sawdust on their backs.
If only the tree had been stronger and healthier, it would have done away with the beetles in no time, feeding on its bark by its own defense mechanism, by drowning them in the heavy sticky sap that flowed underneath the bark. But the tree was no longer its former self; as it had been before the caterpillars had overran it. It had dried up because of lack of food and water and there was not much sap left in it. There was no one to defend the tree either as the birds had already taken flight to safer areas.
The beetles feeding on the bark stayed on the job boring away at the tree from all sides and it was not long before the tunnels merged forming a bored out band under the bark. The beetles had cut between the roads inside the trees that linked the leaf with its roots and the live healing sap could no longer flow beneath the bark. The trees lost their last leaves. They still stood straight up in the forest, but hollowed and eaten down form inside, and they were dead.
Even now the enemies of the trees would not let it rest in peace. New beetles different from the bark-eating beetles arrived on the scene and they had feelers that were longer than their bodies and they made straight to the center of the tree trunk to eat it away continuously and turned the once mighty trees into mere hollow shells ruining it completely. Like this, all the trees of this forest were ruined completely.
All this happened because the people acting on the advice of a politician had chopped down the bushes and shrubs in the forest. The politician in his narrow vision had imagined a forest that was only filled with trees. He was mistaken, the experts told him so, for no forest is complete without the shrubs, the bushes, animals, birds, beetles and the caterpillars alongside the trees.
All the plants and animals in the forest lived with each other according to a master –plan, the law of nature, and they had co-existed for centuries living off each other in perfect harmony. This co-existence for centuries was destroyed in a very short duration all because of the shortsighted vision of a politician, who had imagined in his mind a forest that was only made up of trees and he had not bothered to ask the learned and the wise about the rules of this master-plan before he had ordered the forest to be cleaned up.
The people now wise from the findings of the experts woke up suddenly to the facts that now faced them. Their city would be deprived of clean healthy air from the forest, medicinal herbs, firewood, fruits and flowers that grew wild in it. They rushed to the forest armed with paste hoping that the caterpillars would stick to it and they also sprayed the leaves with a poisonous spray. It was no use. There were too many insects and nothing could stop them anymore.
Those that are wise will learn from this story and not repeat the same mistakes again. The next time we decide to change nature we should know that everything created by nature is interlinked with everything else and we should not forget this relationship. Even the woodpecker and the ants are important members of a forest for they too eat up harmful insects and help to keep the forest in order.
If you wish to help protect a forest in your area, you should remember that it should extend to all its inhabitants and don’t let anyone break off the branches of a tree, or root out bushes, destroy the nests of birds or burn away ant-hills for we have a responsibility of saving the forests for the generations that are going to come after us.
We provide sustenance of every kind, physical, mental, spiritual, etc., for you (i.e. for mankind.) But we do more. We provide for every one of Our creatures. And there are those of which mankind is not even cognizant. We provide for them also. There are those who may at first sight appear hostile to man, or whom man may consider hostile, such as wild and noxious animals. They are Our creatures, and We provide for them also, as they are Our creatures. But there is due order and balance in the economy of Our universal Plan.' (15.20) Surah Al-Hijr of the Holy Qur’an
House of Ill Repute
You’ve probably heard the story of the two Irishmen who were working on the road in front of a notorious house of ill repute. As they laboured, they were shocked to see the pastor of the Methodist Church walk down the street and, after a few furtive glances over his shoulder, duck into that house. Would ya look at that, Darby! said Pat. What a shameful disgrace, that Protestant so-called man of God sinning in the likes of that place! They both shook their heads in disgust and continued their work.
A little later, the Rabbi from the synagogue across town parked his car three blocks away but ended up entering that same door. Did ya see that, Darby? said Pat. Is nothing sacred to those Jewish people? What is the world coming to? A man of the cloth indulging in sins of the flesh! Tis a shame, I tell ya!
It wasn’t long before a third man, this one a Roman Catholic priest, followed the path of his colleagues, right through the door of that place. Oh no, Darby, look! said Pat, removing his cap. One of the poor girls must have died!
A Jewish man moves into a Catholic neighborhood. Every Friday the Catholics go crazy because, while they're morosely eating fish, the Jew is outside barbecuing steaks. So the Catholics work on the Jew to convert him.
Finally, by threats and pleading, the Catholics succeed. They take the Jew to a priest who sprinkles holy water on the Jew and intones:
....."Born a Jew
......Raised a Jew
......Now a Catholic."
The Catholics are ecstatic. No more delicious, but maddening smells every Friday evening. But the next Friday evening, the scent of barbecue wafts through the neighborhood. The Catholics all rush to the Jew's house to remind him of his new diet. They see him standing over the cooking steak. He is sprinkling water on the meat and saying:
....."Born a cow
......Raised a cow
......Now a fish."
A rabbi and a priest get into a car accident and it's a bad one. Both cars are totally demolished but amazingly neither of the clerics is hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest's collar and says, "So you're a priest. I'm a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There's nothing left, but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days."
The priest replies, "I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from G-d."
The rabbi continues, "And look at this. Here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of Kedem wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune." Then he hands the bottle to the priest. The priest agrees, takes a few big swigs, and hands the bottle back to the rabbi. The rabbi takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap on, and hands it back to the priest.
The priest asks, "Aren't you having any?"
The rabbi replies, "No...I think I'll wait for the police."
Newly Discovered First Page of the Bible
They recently discovered a smaller scroll hidden in the cylinder of the first scroll of the ancient Biblical scriptures, believed to be the actual "first page" of the Bible. When deciphered, it read:
"Copyright (c) 300 B.C. God. All Rights Reserved First Scrawling: First-Sunrise-After-Stonehenge-Keystone- Is-Shadowed, 300 B.C.
All beings, places and events depicted in this work are fictional, and any resemblance to actual beings, places and events past, present or future is purely coincidental.
WARNING: Some of the actions performed in this work are dangerous and should only be attempted by professionals familiar with the action in question.
NOTE: Those tiny points of light in the sky when it gets dark are called 'stars.’ Some of them do blow up on occasion. In no way should this be construed as a sign that there is, beneath such an explosion, any form of savior. Should such a misconstrual happen, the author will not be held responsible for the avalanche of arrogance, zeal, bigotry, humanocentricity and other vile acts which will surely follow the residents of the planet into time eternal until someone sees fit to erase the denizens of the world and let the author start over.
Suggested retail: 1 sheep."
Like Moses, Shakespeare and G*d.
So the Synagogue got really fed up with its Rabbi. The Executive Committee met and he -too-reluctantly, concluded that they’d have to let him go. Trouble was - who'd want to take him - especially if it got out that he'd been fired? So the Executive Committee decided to give him a glowing letter of recommendation. It compared the Rabbi to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself.
The recommendation was so warm that within six weeks the Rabbi succeeded in securing himself a pulpit in a major upwardly-mobile Synagogue 500 miles away, at twice his original salary and with three junior Rabbis working under him. Needless to say, in a couple of months the Rabbi's new employers began to observe some of his imperfections. The President of the Rabbi's new pulpit angrily called the President of the old Synagogue charging "We employed this man mostly on the basis of your recommendation. How could you possibly compare him to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself, when he can't string together a correct sentence in English, when his knowledge of Hebrew is worse than mine and that on top of everything else, he's a liar, a cheat and an all-round low-life?"
"Simple," answered his colleague. "Like Shakespeare he has no Hebrew or Jewish knowledge. Like Moses, he can't speak English, and like G-d Himself - Er is nisht kan mentch' (He's not a human being!.)"
The Atheist and the Monster
An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both. As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, "Oh, my G-d! Help me!"
At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place, and as the atheist hung in mid-air, a booming voice came down from the clouds, "I thought you didn't believe in Me!"
"Come on G-d, give me a break!!," the man pleaded. "Two minutes ago I didn't believe in the Loch Ness monster either!"
Two beggars were sitting next to each other. One holds a sign saying "Please help the war veteran,” and the other holds a sign saying "Please help a poor Jew.”
People pass by and even those who didn't intend to give money to any of them, give to the first to upset the Jew.
One good man passes by, gives money equally to both, and then says to the Jew: "Why don't you change your sign? Don't you understand that nobody will give you any money?" and walks away.
As he goes, the Jews turn to the other one and says: "Imagine that, Haime, he would teach US business..."
Yeshiva University decided to field a crew team. Unfortunately, they lost race after race. They practiced for hours every day, but never managed to come in any better than dead last.
The Rosh Yeshiva finally decided to send Yankel to spy on the Harvard team. So Yankel shlepped off to Cambridge and hid in the bulrushes off the Charles River, from where he carefully watched the Harvard team as they practiced.
Yankel finally returned to Yeshiva. "I have figured out their secret," he announced. "They have eight guys rowing and only one guy shouting."
Just before Rosh Hashanah, a team of terrorists invades the shul and takes the rabbi, the cantor and the shul president hostage. Hours later, the governor stands tough, he won't give them a million dollars, nor a getaway car nor a Jumbo Jet.
The terrorists gather the three hostages in a corner and inform them that things look bad and they're going to have to shoot them. Nevertheless, to show that they're not really a bad bunch, they'll grant each hostage one wish.
"Please," says the rabbi, "for the last two months I've been working on my Rosh Hashanah Sermon. What a waste to die now without having carried it before an audience. I'll go happily if you let me recite my sermon. It's an hour - ninety minutes long, tops."
They promise to grant him the wish.
"Please," says the cantor, "after 50 years I've finally gotten the 'Hinneni' prayer just right. What a waste to die and not sing it to an audience. It's only about 45 minutes long - then I'll go happily."
The terrorists promise to grant the cantor his wish too and they turn to the shul president.
"Please," says the president with tears in his eyes, "Shoot me first!"
Three Reform Rabbis
Three Reform Rabbis were in a terrible auto wreck. None survived. One minute they were driving along the highway, talking and laughing and joking, and the next, BOOM! they were before the Creator of all. Shaking his head, The Omnipotent One looks at the three.
"Reform I can understand. But where will it end? You! Goldblum! The ashtrays in your temple so My people could smoke while the Torah was being read?" Goldblum shuddered. God went on. "I can live with that. Men are weak, but the Word is strong!"
Goldblum sighed with relief.
"Bauman! Really, I can accept My people need to eat, but really: serving Ham & Cheese Sandwiches to the devout at the temple during Yom Kippur?"
Bauman hung his head in shame.
"Even that I can allow to pass, even with the eating of that which is not Kosher. I'm not pleased at all with the playing fast and loose with my people, but I can accept these indiscretions."
Bauman also heaved a sigh of relief.
Finally, He turns to the third rabbi and says, "You, Rabinowitz, have gone too far! Am I asking too much? No, you flaunt the world at Me, even on the holiest days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by putting out a sign saying.... 'Closed for the Holidays!'"
An observant Jew called Jacob finds himself in dire trouble. His business has gone bust and he's in serious financial trouble. He's so desperate that he decides to ask God for help. He goes into the synagogue and begins to pray. "God, please help me, I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well, please let me win the lotto.”
Lotto night comes and somebody else wins it.
Jacob goes back to the synagogue. "God, please let me win the lotto, I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well.”
Lotto night comes and Jacob still has no luck!!
Back to the synagogue. "My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house, my car and my wife and my children are starving. I don't often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. Why won't you just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order???"
Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Jacob is confronted by the voice of GOD himself: "JACOB, MEET ME HALF WAY ON THIS ONE....BUY A DAMNED TICKET.”
Outer Space Priests
NASA sent many many shuttles into orbit circling the earth. They attempted to include passengers of all races, color and creed.. Eventually they invited, a priest, a Druid (as a catch-all) and a rabbi to orbit the earth in the shuttle...
Upon their return, crowds of people formed to hear their religious leaders impressions. First the Catholic priest emerged, beaming and happy, in his white robe. He made a statement regarding how wonderful it was to visit G-d's creation from space. He said, "It was totally amazing, I saw the sun rise and set, I saw the beautiful oceans. I never knew Asia and Africa were so large! Perhaps, we should send more missionaries?"
Then the Reformed Druid emerged in his white suit also beaming at the peaceful power of creation as view from outer space. He said, "I saw the magnificent earth, our home, I saw the majestic sun. I'm truly in awe. I’m glad to be back with feet firmly planted again on my Goddess. I had to wing a prayer during an eclipse of the Sun and moon by the earth, but it worked okay. The crew enjoyed the whiskey. Oh, and no angels were seen."
Then the Orthodox rabbi came out. He was completely disheveled, his beard was tangled and in every direction, his kappa was frayed, his tallit was wrinkled, like you can't imagine. The crowds asked him, "Rabbi, did you enjoy the flight?.., creation?..., outer space?"
The rabbi threw his hands in the air and said, "Vhat "ENJOY??? What was there to enjoy??? Oyoyoy! Three days of continual sunrise and setting! On with the tefillin, off with the tefillin, Mincha, Maariv, Mincha, Maariv!...Gevalt!!!!!!"
Where is God?
In a certain suburban neighborhood, there were two brothers, 8 and 10 years old, who were exceedingly mischievous. Whatever went wrong in the neighborhood, it turned out they had a hand in it. Their parents were at their wit's end trying to control them. Hearing about a priest nearby who worked with delinquent boys, the mother suggested to the father that they ask the priest to talk with the boys. The father replied, "Sure, do that before I kill them!"
The mother went to the priest and made her request. He agreed, but said he wanted to see the younger boy first and alone. So the mother sent him to the priest.
The priest sat the boy down across a huge, impressive desk he sat behind. For about five minutes they just sat and stared at each other. Finally, the priest pointed his forefinger at the boy and asked, "Where is God?"
The boy looked under the desk, in the corners of the room, all around, but said nothing. Again, louder, the priest pointed at the boy and asked, "Where is God?"
Again the boy looked all around but said nothing. A third time, in a louder, firmer voice, the priest leaned far across the desk and put his forefinger almost to the boy's nose, and asked, "Where is God?"
The boy panicked and ran all the way home. Finding his older brother, he dragged him upstairs to their room and into the closet where they usually plotted their mischief. He finally said, "We are in big trouble."
The older boy asked, "What do you mean, big trouble?"
His brother replied, "God is missing and they think we did it!"
A little boy, not accustomed to seeing a priest in his "work uniform," went up to the priest and asked, "Why do you dress so funny?"
The priest replied, "This is the uniform that I wear when I work."
The child, still staring at him, asked, "Do you have a boo boo?"
The priest was somewhat puzzled, but quickly figured out that the child was looking at his white and black Roman collar. The priest pulled out the white plastic insert and showed it to the child, telling him that it was also part of his uniform.
On the backside of the collar there was some writing: "Wash with warm soapy water." The priest showed this to the little boy and then asked him, "Do you know what these words say?"
The little boy, obviously much too young to read, stated, "I sure do."
The priest, a little taken aback, then replied, "OK then, tell me what they say."
The little boy then replied, "Kills fleas and ticks for up to six months!"
The Power of Scripture
This lady surprised a burglar in her kitchen. He was all loaded down with the things he was going to steal. She had no weapon and was all alone. The only thing that she could think to do was quote Scripture. So she holds up a hand and says: "ACTS 2:38!!!"
The burglar quakes in fear and then freezes to the point that she is able to get to the phone and call 911 for the cops. When the cops arrive, the burglar is still frozen in place. They are very much surprised that a woman alone with no weapon could do this. One of them asked the lady: "How did you do this?"
The woman replied, "I quoted Scripture."
The cop turned to the burglar: "What was it about the scripture that had such an effect on you?"
The burglar replied: "Scripture! What scripture? I thought she said she had an ax and two 38's."
Lawns and God
GOD: St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the USA? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers weeds and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it, sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS: No, sir -- just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. FRANCIS: Yes, sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stoke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You'd better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a real stupid movie about...
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis
A man was brought to Mercy Hospital, and went in for coronary surgery. The operation went well, and as the groggy man regained consciousness, he was reassured by a Sister of Mercy waiting by his bed.
"Mr. Smith, you're going to be just fine," the nun said while patting his hand.
"We do have to know, however, how you intend to pay for your stay here. Are you covered by insurance?"
"No, I'm not," the man whispered hoarsely.
"Can you pay in cash?"
"I'm afraid I can't, Sister."
"Do you have any close relatives, then?"
"Just my sister in New Mexico," replied, "but she's a spinster nun."
"Nuns are not spinsters, Mr. Smith," the nun replied. "They are married to God."
"That's right..." the man said with a smile, "So bill my Brother-in-law."
Going to Heaven
Father O'Malley walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to Heaven?"
The man said, "I do Father."
The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."
Then the priest asked the second man, "Do you want to go to Heaven?"
"Sure, Father, and who wouldn't?" was the man's reply.
"Then stand over there against the wall," said the priest.
Then Father O'Malley walked up to Murphy and said, "Do you want to go to Heaven?"
Murphy shook his head and said, "No, I don't Father."
The priest said, "C'mon lad... I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to Heaven?"
Murphy said, "Oh, when I die, yes. Sure, I thought you were getting a group together to go right now."
An old man was once on the subway, and he sat down next to a younger man. He noticed that the young man had a strange kind of shirt collar.
The priest became a bit flustered but politely answered, "I wear this collar because I am a Father."
The older gent thought a second and responded, "Sir, I am also a father but I wear my collar front-ways. Why do you wear your collar so differently?"
The priest thought for a minute and said, "Sir, I am the Father for many."
The older fellow quickly answered, "I too am the father of many. I have five sons, six daughters and too many grandchildren to count... But I wear my collar like everyone else does. Why do you wear it your way?"
The priest who was beginning to get exasperated thought and then blurted out, "Sir, I am the Father for hundreds and hundreds of people."
Now the kindly old gentleman was stunned and sat silently for a long time.
As he got up to leave the subway train, he leaned over to the priest and said, "Well, sonny, perhaps, it's your pants you should wear backwards."
The Skinny Dip
A minister, a priest and a rabbi went for a hike one day. It was very hot. They were sweating and exhausted when they came upon a small lake. Since it was fairly secluded, they took off all their clothes and jumped in the water. Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their "freedom."
As they were crossing an open area, who should come along but a group of ladies from town. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the minister and the priest covered their privates and the rabbi covered his face while they ran for cover.
After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the minister and the priest asked the rabbi why he covered his face rather than his privates. The rabbi replied, "I don't know about you, but in MY congregation, it's my face they would recognize."
Is Hell Endothermic or Exothermic?
Dr. Schlambaugh, a senior lecturer at the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Oklahoma, is known for posing questions on final exams like: "Why do airplanes fly?"
In May a few years ago, the "Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer " exam paper contained the question: "Is Hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof."
Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or similar. One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we must postulate that if souls exist, they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls also must have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it does not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.
As for souls entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some religions say that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions, and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With the birth and death rates what they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change in the volume of Hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of the souls and volume needs to stay constant.
[Answer 1] So, if Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
[Answer 2] Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase in souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it? If we accept the postulate (given to me by Teresa Banyan during freshman year) that "it'll be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,” and taking into account that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then [Answer 2] cannot be correct;...... thus, Hell is exothermic.
The student got the only A.
A mom and dad were worried about their son not wanting to learn math at the school he was in, so they decided to send him to a Catholic school. After the first day of school, their son comes racing into the house, goes straight into his bedroom and slams the door shut. Mom and dad are a little worried about this and go to his bedroom to see if he is okay. Then they find him sitting at his desk doing his homework. The boy keeps doing that for the rest of the year. At the end of the year the son brings home his report card and gives it to his mom and dad. Looking at it they see under math an A+. Mom and dad are very happy and ask the son what changed your mind about learning math? The son looked at mom and dad and said, "Well, on the first day when I walked into the classroom, I saw a guy nailed to the plus sign at the back of the room behind the teacher's desk and I knew they meant business."
Why Sex Is Better Than Church
You get better quality partners by being good at sex than by being good at religion.
Having sex doesn't make you feel guilty.
You don't have to get out of bed to have sex.
Sex is fun.
If someone is yelling at you during sex, you're probably doing it right.
The company is better.
You don't have unwanted observers judging your sincerity.
It is so interesting that you don't fall asleep until afterwards, or not at all.
Sex doesn't have so many rules.
Countries don't make war on each other for their sexual practices.
You don't have to take someone else's word on how to have sex.
The environment is more comfortable.
The memories have a higher rerun value.
You never have doubts that you're actually having sex.
Even when it's bad, it's good.
You'll never waste an afternoon arguing with someone over whether their sex life is better than yours.
You won't be ostracized for not having sex.
You don't have to worry about whether you've chosen the right kind of sex.
They don't pass around collection plates in bed.
You won't be eternally tortured in flames for not having sex, not having enough sex, or being bad at sex.
Singing is optional during sex.
You don't have to dress up for sex.
You can hope for a second coming without 2,000 years of effort.
In the throes of sexual passion, one can cry out, "Oh God! God!,” but in a church service one can not cry out, "Oh Sex! Oh Sex!"
Jesus and Moses were sitting on a bench in heaven, remembering the good old days. They talked about what they used to be able to do and wondered if they still had their old tricks in them.
So, they decided to go see if they still had extra-worldly powers like they had so many years before. The pair went to the Red Sea and Moses raised his hands and parted the sea just like he had when he was much much younger.
Jesus, clearly amazed, asked Moses, "There's so much that I did, but what could I do now to see if I still have the power?"
"Walk on water like the good old days," replied Moses.
So Jesus kicked off his sandals and stepped into the water. He took three steps on the surface and then sank under the murky waters of the Red Sea. Dumbfounded, he looked at Moses and wondered what was the matter.
"Must be those holes in your feet," Moses responded.
A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway seat next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading.
After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, "Say, Father, what causes arthritis?"
"My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol and a contempt for your fellow man."
"Well, I'll be damned," the drunk muttered, returning to his paper.
The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized.
"I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"
"I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does."
A Six Year-Old Girl
One day a 6 year-old girl was sitting in a classroom. The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children. The teacher asked a little boy: Tommy do you see the tree outside?
TEACHER: Tommy, do you see the grass outside?
TEACHER: Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.
TOMMY: Okay. (He returned a few minutes later) Yes, I saw the sky.
TEACHER: Did you see God?
TEACHER: That's my point. We can't see God because he isn't there. He doesn't exist.
A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some questions. The teacher agreed and the little girl asked the boy:
LITTLE GIRL: Do you see the tree outside?
LITTLE GIRL: Tommy do you see the grass outside?
TOMMY: Yessssss (getting tired of the questions by this time.)
Preacher: Do you say your prayers at night, little boy?
Jimmy: Yes, sir.
Preacher: And do you always say them in the morning, too?
Jimmy: No, sir. I ain't scared in the daytime.
The Ants Go Marchin'
by Mark Twain
Last summer in Germany in the company of a crowd of German research scholars, I was fired by their example to do a little research of my own. I first had made about a dozen little toy churches and labeled them "Presbyterian," "Catholic," "Methodist" and so on. Then I rang a church bell and turned loose a crowd of ants I had caught. I found that the ants paid no attention whatever to my churches. This was Experiment No.1.
Experiment No.2 consisted of placing a little honey, say in the Episcopal Church, and ringing the bell. Before its notes had ceased every last one of the ants had entered the portals of the Episcopal Church. Experiment 3 was the transferring of the honey to the Methodist Church and ringing for service. The former devout Episcopalians now went over in a body to the Methodist Church. In short, in whatever church I placed the honey, there I would find the ants before I had done ringing the church bell. From these experiments there could be but one deduction, viz: that ants have intelligence.
by Mark Twain
After listening to a sermon by Bishop Doane, Twain remarked "I enjoyed your sermon this morning very much. I have a book at home with every word of it." To this implied charge of plagiarism, the bishop protested. Finally he showed the clergyman an unabridged dictionary and said he "stood ready to prove it."
by Mark Twain
During a trip in London, Mark Twain was a guest at a banquet of English scholars. The conversation drifted into a discussion of the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy. The party became divided in its opinion, and finally one desperate person turned to Mark Twain, who had not entered the discussion, and begged him to commit himself. Mark Twain replied,
"I'll wait until I get to Heaven and ask Shakespeare who did write his plays."
"I don't think, Mr. Clemens, that you will find Shakespeare in Heaven, " replied the loyal Baconite.
"Then," replied Mark Twain, "You ask him."
Horses and Rabbis
A Jewish rustic, whose soul was heavy with sin, decided to visit a rabbi in a neighboring town to ask for his intercession with God. When he returned home from this visit the rabbi of his own town asked him reproachfully: "Isn't one rabbi enough for you? Must you have two?"
"You know how it is, Rabbi," answered the farmer. "Two horses can pull a wagon out of the mud better than one!"