≡ Menu

Concerning Religious “Differences” in the Fallen World

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

“Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over. — — Emo Philips

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MIKE GUENTHER January 7, 2022, 4:15 PM

    Ok …I did not see that coming.

  • Klaus January 7, 2022, 4:20 PM

    Now that’s funny.

  • Rob Muir January 7, 2022, 5:18 PM

    We’ll, after all this is Emo P. Back in the 80’s his humor was simply bizarre, and this is a very funny example. I leaned more toward Steven Wright for bizarre humor. Emo’s delivery was frequently just hard to understand.

    • gwbnyc January 7, 2022, 9:18 PM

      wright kills me- my fave is he notices everything in his apartment has been replaced with an exact replica…

      • Vanderleun January 8, 2022, 8:33 AM

        “Last night somebody broke into my apartment and replaced everything with exact duplicates… When I pointed it out to my roommate, he said, “Do I know you?

        • Mike Austin January 8, 2022, 12:03 PM

          “Yesterday upon the stair
          I met a man who wasn’t there.
          He wasn’t there again today.
          Oh how I wish he’d go away!”

        • mmack January 9, 2022, 2:02 PM

          My favorite Steven Wright joke is:

          “I stayed up one night playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.”

    • SoylentGreen January 8, 2022, 5:38 AM

      Yeah, Emo can be whiny and too long.
      It’s a small world but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it. – Stephen Wright

    • Vanderleun January 8, 2022, 8:38 AM

      I finally got around to watching Chappelle’s “The Closer” last night in which all sorts got their manpanties out of joint because he made fun of transexuals.

      And he does.

      The problem is that for the first time Chappelle has produced a very unfunny preachy and utterly narcissistic hour of tripe. The man makes the whole comedy moment about his hate of white folks and how badly he’s been treated and how he really is — and he says it — the GOAT. Awful and even more appalling is they found lots of white folks to slap their thighs and “laugh.” Towards the end of the hour-plus however, it is possible to detect that the audience is tiring of the whooping laughter routine.

      • Mike Austin January 8, 2022, 9:43 AM

        Negro celebrities getting white audiences to laugh at their own destruction is common. Here is Jamie Foxx bragging about killing white people:


        One day if this goes on to its natural end any negro will approach any white and demand he commit suicide. The white will meekly comply, to the laughter, applause and approval of other whites.

        • Jack January 8, 2022, 11:51 AM

          I’ve know hundreds of negros in my life and I will say with 99% certainty that I have never known one who was not, behind his grinning lips or his slick mouthy tongue, a conniving sob who kept his roving eye open for anything he could eat or screw. And, if those weren’t available but he was somewhat taken or fascinated by a thing, he would just as happily steal it or tear it up and sh*t on it.

          I’ve been around quite a while and I have had a lot of interaction with them so understanding them that way is not a problem for me. I truly do hate that they are that way, but they is what they is. The problem is that the majority of non-blacks don’t understand them for who and what they are and that failure is the cause of every problem the negro presents.

          • Mike Austin January 8, 2022, 12:26 PM

            I have made a similar observation during the past 18 years I lived in the US. I have no idea how to solve it. Maybe it cannot be solved.

            • ghostsniper January 8, 2022, 1:26 PM

              A good start would be to get the gov’t out of it entirely. When people have to face life as it is, rather than the fairy tale/nightmare the gov’t delivers, they either sink or swim. Remove the gov’t and the problems solve themselves. Twas ever thus.

              • Mike Austin January 9, 2022, 3:34 AM

                True. Christ said, “If any would not work, neither should he eat.” US government policy toward blacks is what it was in the South before the Civil War—with a few minor modifications in language: free food, free housing, free medical care. And all of this provided with no work required. And as you said, take away these government programs and the problem solves itself—after a few months of spasmodic violence.

  • Mike Austin January 8, 2022, 6:00 AM

    Like all good humor that joke was based upon truth, which is: If Christ founded but one Church, then why are there so many out there, all of whom claim to be Christian, and most of whom have slightly—and some not so slightly—differing doctrines, teachings, interpretations of Scripture and so on? At last count there were at least 10,000 denominations of Christianity in the USA. Which one is the “One True Church” founded by Christ? Ask any Christian and he will be glad to tell you. Of course his answer will be the Church he attends.

    The oldest Christian Church is the Catholic Church. To disagree with this is to disagree with History, for it is not a question of theology. The Catholic Church was at first a European, Middle Eastern and Northern Africa phenomenon. As the old Roman Empire in the West fell apart, the only international institution around was the Catholic Church, and the only recognized international leader was the pope. This fellow boldly claimed to take precedence over all earthly rulers, to be able to dethrone them if they veered too much from Church doctrines. This was a bit much for the Eastern Roman Empire—Byzantium—and so the first split emerged in Christianity. That split remains today, visible in the several Orthodox Churches—Russian, Romanian, Greek and so on. By 1054 this split was permanent, as there was—and there is—no possibility of agreement between the two faiths.

    But the real split occurred in 1517—and this is what explains the thousands of Christian churches today. Martin Luther was a Catholic monk who claimed that the Church has become so corrupted, so worldly and so degenerate that she was no longer the Church that Christ had founded. Millions agreed with him, and so in an instant the Catholic Church lost her influence over half of Europe. And so began the separation of Christianity into the thousands of examples we see today.

    A man today who desires to abandon his worldly paganism of money, sex, power, status and materialism for Christianity, has an obvious problem: Which Christian faith? I am not a theologian—and I no longer involve myself in apologetics—so the answer must be left up to the man himself. Better to be a Christian—any Christian—than to live enslaved by the world and all its charms.

    “In my Father’s house are many mansions” said the Carpenter. So choose one.

    • Jack January 8, 2022, 12:02 PM

      Jesus did say “in my Father’s House are many mansions” and many churches and denominations exist as a result of His Life and Ministry but many of us are simply not in any way convinced that the RCC is the True Church or anything remotely related. I’ve known some seriously artful sinners in my life and the preponderance of them declared catholicism as their ‘faith’ and they did so happily because in the teaching of the RCC a priest…and God and all of us know what those guys are capable of….can absolve them from their sins by repeating prayers from some pen and not from the heart of the sinner. And the mere idea that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth with the power to absolve sins or grant authority to anyone to do so is simply illogical when Jesus Himself said “NO ONE comes to the Father but through ME. Take it as you will but simple truths cut through a whole pile of BS from the mouth of those who desire to control.

      I’m not about to argue about which denomination is the closest to what Jesus would desire but I will say that we are told that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and those temples trump anything that is created and administered by man. Individually and corporately we are all responsible and we will face the Lord for every thing in our lives. Repentance works but you had dang well better mean it if you do and ask for forgiveness.

      • Mike Austin January 8, 2022, 12:20 PM

        My comment was not about choosing the Catholic faith in particular, but about choosing Christianity in general. A man will choose Christianity or not. I would rather he did than remain pagan. Any differences between the type of Christianity he chooses and the others will be worked out by Christ. It has nothing at all to do with the Church to which I belong.

        As for your observation about you knowing “seriously artful sinners” and how most of these were Catholic: This is called “anecdotal evidence”, and as such is inadmissible in a court of Logic. It is like saying that I knew “seriously artful sinners”, and they were all Protestants. Which proves…what, exactly? I can tell you this, that all men sin. Sin has no religious preference as far as I know.

        Your other criticisms of the Catholic Faith were dealt with and solved by the Church Fathers almost 2000 years ago. These keep cropping up again and again among those unaware of early Christian history.

        • Jack January 9, 2022, 10:00 AM

          I appreciate a good rebuke Professor but I’ll disagree. Anecdotal evidence in the form of eye witness testimony and oral history forms the backbone of much of what we know or suppose in history and these conversations and discussions, at least in my experience, aren’t being conducted in a court of logic, whatever that is.

          And you are right about Protestant and Catholic sinners. I know some great Protestant sinners too but the members of the RCC that I grew up with happily reported that they could receive absolution for any of their sins from any priest while us the rest of us were required to go before the Lord cold and alone on the matter of our sins and speak to Him personally about it.

          Much of early Christian History is comprised of anecdotal evidence or it has been contrived and shielded from the eyes and ears of devotees by noble Church Fathers for the hidden purposes of the RCC but its truths are out there, likely stored in old dusty boxes of ancient
          memorabilia deep within the basement of the Vatican Library which no human eye will ever see. With all of that going for it the RCC should be impervious to the most difficult questions presented to it. It believes it has settled and solved everything for everyone for all time that is not the case or the truth.

          • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 7:12 AM

            I have not ben called “professor” since my 10 years of teaching college Economics, Philosophy and History for the International Baccalaureate in Argentina. Back in the USA I reverted first to a mild mannered teacher, then to a mild mannered retired teacher.

            Explaining what a “court of Logic” is would bore you to tears. If you had not studied Logic in the context of an education in Philosophy it would be a waste of time to try and do so.

            “Anecdotal evidence in the form of eye witness testimony and oral history forms the backbone of much of what we know or suppose in history…” Eyes witness testimony and anecdotal evidence are not at all the same thing. Eye witness accounts are what historians call “primary sources”. One example is the Bible. Another is Caesars’s “Gallic Wars”. One example of anecdotal evidence is assuming that a personal opinion applies to the general population, as in the statement: “I know 10 Mexicans. They are all liars. Therefore all Mexicans are liars.” Oral History is discounted as History, as it comprises no written sources and is inherently unreliable. It must always be bolstered by outside written accounts and archeology. The reliability of oral history can be shown by watching a group of children play “Telephone”.

            Catholics believe in Confession—or Reconciliation if you prefer. Your criticism of this is really just criticizing Catholics for not being Protestants. That is like criticizing basketball players because they do not follow the rules of baseball.

            Your last paragraph is just “Da Vinci Code” conspiracy nonsense. It has been refuted, debunked, ridiculed and laughed at so many times that I need not do so.

            Your final sentence is a curious one. Catholicism “believes it has settled and solved everything for everyone for all time…” Why would anyone belong to a religion that did not claim this?

  • Andrew R January 8, 2022, 8:40 AM

    That’s the best Emo Phillips bit I ever heard. And so true.
    My two favorite lines from Stephen Wright:
    “The ice cream truck in my neighborhood…plays Helter Skelter.”
    “There’s a fine line between fishing, and standing on the shoreline looking stupid.”
    (I’m the latter.)

    • Denny January 8, 2022, 3:21 PM

      Oh yeah but, – “I just bought some instant water but I don’t know what
      to add to it.”

  • Dirk January 8, 2022, 10:11 AM

    Organized religion, is a sham. Isn’t It church’s whom argue which is the TrueFollower of god. Which is the better, which is closer to god. So for a few more dollars weekly in the bucket, we can continue that argument, the pastor can do his thing.

    Riddle me this,,, Was it god himself whom suggested people tithe 10% of their earnings.

    Isn’t it organized religion who collectively are bombarding the US, with illegal border crossers.

    Where does it say-organized religion gets a pass on law breaking.

    Would god himself look favorably on church organizations playing political games.

    Would god frown on border policies,,, why here on US borders,,,,,,,,but not in Israel or other nations with walls to keep illegals out.

    In a tough place, I believe,,,,,,,,,,I just don’t believe in organized religion. I see all of em as hypocrites.

    Ronnie Reagan said Trust but Verify. A policy I take to heart.


    • ghostsniper January 8, 2022, 11:34 AM

      Verify, then possibly trust.
      A policy I live by.

    • Anonymous January 9, 2022, 10:27 AM

      Dirk, organized religion is not the sham you might imagine. Denominational congregations do a great deal of the heavy lifting that keeps this society in balance and particularly much in line with Jesus and His work. It’s outreach is long and firm and millions of souls benefit from it. Jesus created the universe but thankfully He kept it pretty simple for those who came along after Him but not everyone pays attention and many don’t even show up. Others use His work as a profit center. I think modern Christianity takes a lot of heat but the heat doesn’t come from the teachings of Jesus; it comes from the big time and corporate charlatans who use their Creator and their interpretation of His work to build their own empires that are supported by the easily led.

      The 10% tithe thing is scriptural. I believe it’s in Malachi but I don’t know right off the top of my head. Whatever, you can find it.

      These border problems are being brought to you by men and women in government who see a link to personal profit by permitting it, who are in violation of many laws and who simply don’t give a damn about their nation or the people in it. Some are political players who steal it, sell it and live happily without any conscience while others foot the bill but people like these exist in all layers of society, not just in big government. And yes, some of them hide behind church banners, believing that they are acting as the Lord would desire. That ‘render unto Caesar’ thing has been widely misinterpreted.

      Scripture speaks to those who would try to profit surreptitiously and while Jesus did give a nod of approval to those who taught, blessed and healed, etc., in His Name, He knows the hearts of individuals who are banging Him for a buck.

      Don’t give up on churches, there a millions of them who will help you in your Christian walk and they aren’t interested in skinning you financially or having you pledge your life, finance and allegiance to doctrine. It’s really pretty simple: Christ crucified, raised on the third day by the power of God, for the forgiveness of sins of all who accept Him! The rest, just white noise.

  • Mike Austin January 8, 2022, 1:12 PM

    “Forgive me Lord, for I am a sinner.” The policy I live by.

  • RedBeard January 8, 2022, 1:21 PM

    I stopped attending my local Church after they performed a “same sex marriage” in it.
    The once-respected Pastor said that I “should be more open minded, and just rejoice that people who love each other have chosen a lifetime commitment to each other.”

    When I inquired if he would also perform a marriage between a man and an underage girl, a man and several wives, a man and his sister, or a man and his mother, he said those were all “blasphemous and disgusting.”
    My reply was yes, those scenarios are all just as disgusting as what sodomites do, and if he approves sodomite behavior then he is surely one of them. Most of the congregation has now also abandoned that Church and joined more traditional and Conservative ones.

    • Mike Austin January 8, 2022, 3:17 PM

      You did the right thing. Christ had already left that church.

  • SteveS January 8, 2022, 4:59 PM

    In our rural Sierra Nevada community there is a Catholic Church a Presbyterian Church and a Baptist Church (Southern). The Presbyterians have become more and more liberal over the years, theologically and politically, and their membership is aging and sparse. The Catholic Church is, well, garden variety, ritualistic, Mary worshipping. The Baptists stay close to the Bible. It’s the North Star when navigating these troubled times. I’d say 90% there don’t consider themselves Baptists. What folks are looking for is undiluted truth in scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Do I agree with everything in “the Book”? Let’s just say I’ll have some questions I pray will be answered one day. My ideal church would be the “Everything is Holy Now” Baptist Church.

  • John Venlet January 9, 2022, 6:52 AM

    In his book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton addresses this issue of the one true faith in a manner I think well eliminates the various denominational claims to possessing the one true faith.

    G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, I–Introduction in Defense of Everything Else, pg. 20, New York: John Lane Company, London: John Lane, The Bodeley Head, MCMMXIV

    These essays are concerned only to discuss the actual fact that the essential Christian theology (sufficiently summarized in the Apostles’ Creed) is the best root of energy and sound ethics. They are not intended to discuss the very fascinating but quite different question of what is the present seat of authority for the proclamation of that creed. When the word “orthodoxy” is used here it means the Apostles’ Creed, as understood by everybody calling himself a Christian…

    Very sound approach, in my opinion.

    • Mike Austin January 9, 2022, 8:03 AM

      Chesterton wrote “Orthodoxy” in 1908 when he was still Anglican—which later in life he called “a pale imitation” of Catholicism. Fourteen years later he converted to Catholicism. The book—which he later said “was a thinnish sort of thing”—as you mentioned focused almost entirely upon the Apostles Creed. Chesterton came to view Orthodox Christianity as more and more a defense of Catholicism—thus, his conversion. He wrote in 1929 “The Thing: Why I am Catholic”, in which can be traced how far he had come from his much earlier work.

      The Apostles Creed pre-dates the Nicene Creed, which contains a mush fuller explanation of the Christian faith. Both creeds came out the Catholic Church in the 4th century.

      • John Venlet January 9, 2022, 9:11 AM

        Mike, what you note about Chesterton’s travel on the path to Christianity in his later life is indisputable. I daresay, though, that Chesterton would not have referred to the Apostles’ Creed as being thinnish, nor any less orthodox than the Nicene Creed even if the Nicene Creed has “a much fuller explanation of the Christian faith.” I consider any individual who accepts and professes the Apostles’ Creed a fellow follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, no matter if they’re Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Sacred Word Movement member, etc.

        • Mike Austin January 9, 2022, 9:24 AM

          Chesterton was referring to his book, not the Creed. For the religious path he chose, “Orthodoxy” and Anglicanism were just beginnings. Chesterton’s path led him to Catholicism—the end point of his religious quest.

          Both the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed are completely orthodox. But simply mouthing the words means nothing. Christianity is not a form of magic, with incantations and spells. The Anglican Church and the Methodist Church believe both Creeds, duly recited every Sunday by their lesbian bishops.

  • Rob Muir January 12, 2022, 8:12 PM

    I think that Emo would be gratified that his joke spawned such a lengthy and detailed discussion thread. We’ll done!