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To celebrate James Crossley’s kind inclusion of The Dunedin School among those few weblogs that exhibit a ‘far higher level of political sophistication and learned interaction with a wider array of scholarship in the humanities than other blogs’, I wish to continue our exemplary critical work by providing our fine readers with two sophisticated, tasteful religious jokes (sadly, I didn’t write these – we all know that most academics do not have a sense of humour):

What happens when you type 'squirrel pope' into a search engine

1) Adapted from a joke by Adam McFarlane in Esquire magazine (June 2007, page 44)

There are four country churches in a small Scottish town … a Presbyterian church, a Baptist church, a Methodist church, and a Catholic church.  Each church is overrun with pesky squirrels.

One day, the Presbyterian church calls a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels, who are, as has been noted, pesky.  After much prayer and consideration (and the employment of some well-loved if  dubious logic), the leaders of the church determine that the squirrels are predestined to be there and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will (especially given that it favours them – the clergy, not the squirrels).

In the Baptist church the squirrels take up habitation in the baptistery.  The deacons meet and decide to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it.  The squirrels escape somehow and the next week, there are twice as many of them.

The Methodists get together and decide that they are simply not in a position to harm any of God’s creations, even if they are rodents.  At least they are not papists, they reason.  So they humanely trap the squirrels (who are, as has been noted, pesky) and set them free a few miles outside of town.  Alas, three days later, the squirrels come back, as do many pesky things at the end of three days.

But the Catholic priests come up with a most effective solution.  They baptise the squirrels and register them as members of the church.  Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.

2) From Mark Z. Danielewski’s visionary novel House of Leaves

What happens when you type 'penguin pope' into a search engine

The seven dwarves went to the Vatican and when the Pope answered the door, Dopey stepped forward: ‘Your Excellency’, he said, ‘I wonder if you could tell me if there are any dwarf nuns in Rome?’

‘No, Dopey, there aren’t’, the Pope replied.

Behind Dopey, the six dwarves started to titter.

‘Well, are there any dwarf nuns in Italy?’ Dopey persisted.

‘No, none in Italy’, the Pope answered a little more sternly.

A few of the dwarves now began to laugh more openly.

Well, are there any dwarf nuns in Europe?’

This time the Pope was much more firm.  ‘Dopey, there are no dwarf nuns in Europe’.

By this point, all the dwarves were laughing aloud and rolling around on the ground.

‘Pope’, Dopey demanded, ‘Are there any dwarf nuns in the whole world?’

‘No, Dopey’, the Pope snapped, ‘there are no dwarf nuns anywhere in the world’.

Whereupon the six dwarves started jumping up and down and chanting, ‘Dopey fucked a penguin!  Dopey fucked a penguin!’