KENTUCKY—Right now, I am in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church in Richmond. I’m about to tell stories to a room of Baptists.
The entree tonight is barbecued pork. The beverages are sweet tea and extra-sweet tea. These are beautiful people.
I don’t often give speeches at Baptist churches. I speak at lots of other churches, but not usually Baptist ones.
This is probably because I tell a lot of Baptist jokes. I do this because I come from fundamentalist Baptists who will forever be in my blood. They were people who wore lots of Brylcreem and ate too many congealed salads.
But I can’t help it. My people are too easy to make jokes about. The punchlines practically write themselves.
Here’s one a preacher told me:
One day a Catholic priest, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, and a Baptist minister were fishing. They were arguing over which denomination Jesus would be.
The Catholic priest said, “He’d be part of the Roman Catholic Church, no doubt.”
The Methodist said, “No
way. I think after all John Wesley did for the Christian faith, he would certainly be a Methodist.”
“I think he’d be Presbyterian,” said the Presbyterian. “I have no doubt he’d join the Reformed Tradition.”
The Baptist minister shook his head and said, “I’m sorry fellas, that boy’s going to Hell unless he cuts his hair.”
It is hard to make a Baptist laugh. Chances are, if you’re Baptist, you didn’t laugh at that. In fact, you might have even read it and remarked aloud, “Bah humbug,” then went into the other room and horsewhipped your firstborn child.
Again. I’m kidding.
See? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. The people I came from didn’t laugh. In fact, we laughed less than all other denominations combined.
For instance, I once attended an Episcopal church in Mobile that had cocktail hour…