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Religious consideration through stand-up comedy (or “That’s my shoe…”)

Not long ago, I was thrust into a debate about religion when a casual conversation with someone I had just met on a blind date was steered toward the topic of theology.  While I always speak my mind, I tend to subscribe to the idea that religion and politics are two areas to be avoided when you first converse with someone.  Typically, those two topics tend to lead to heated discussions, and are best saved for a time when you and the other person have had more than a single verbal encounter on which to base your acquaintance… but hey, that’s just one guy’s opinion.

This person insisted on talking about religion, extolling the virtues and righteousness of their particular denomination of Christianity.  The conversation then turned toward me, my religious beliefs, and whether or not I would consider becoming a member of that her congregation if we decided to keep dating.  I politely explained that I just try to focus on the ethical ideals that I feel makes me a good, caring, and kind person, which aren’t really specific to any one religion.  A reasonable response, no?

Apparently, my date did not agree, as she continued to talk about how I should convert to her way of thinking, despite my efforts to chance the topic.  As time went on, my inner nerd rose up from within to provide a definitive answer to my views on the topic.  I found myself saying, “The best way I can describe my views to you is to quote George Carlin, who said, Religion is like a pair of shoes… find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.‘”

Perhaps the greatest stand-up comedy joke, extolling the dangers of myopia and religious intolerance, belongs to comedian Emo Philips, who said:

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.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 82

When asked to introduce yourself to the rest of your special collections course classmates on the first day of the new semester for your library science graduate degree, you proceed to try out untested stand-up comedy material that you’ve been working on, in anticipation of the mythical day when you get to perform at a real venue.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 33

Upon adding a Bill Hicks stand-up performance to your Netflix Instant Queue, you become extremely offended that Netflix would dare suggest that a Jamie Kennedy DVD was “similar” to Bill Hicks in any way.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 28

You hear of a club holding an open mic stand-up comedy night, and you immediately start planning to go there and perform, despite never having attempted stand-up comedy in your entire life.

A little smidge o’ Patton Oswalt

This man may be most recognized by the general public as an actor from The King of Queens, United States of Tara, and as the voice of Remy the Rat in Ratatouille. However, he is perhaps one of the greatest and most honest stand-up comedians working today. Here is an example of his aforementioned comedic greatness.

WARNING! This video may not be appropriate for all audiences.