The priest, the rabbi, and the minister

March 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm (By Rodjean)

So, officer O’Malley comes into the back room at the Italian restaurant, only to find the priest, the rabbi and the minister sitting on the floor with dice and cash in plain view. It is obvious that they have been illegally gambling, but the cop hasn’t actually seen them doing it. So, he turns to the priest ans says, “Father, have you been gambling?” The priest says a quick Hail Mary, then says, “No.” The cop turns to the minister and says, “Reverend, have you been gambling?. The minister says a short prayer asking Jesus for forgiveness, then he also denies gambling.

Frustrated, he asks the rabbi if he has been gambling. The rabbi responds, “With whom?”

I heard a number of such jokes when I was growing up. They were pretty mild, but they often played softly with stereotypes. The priest was generally earnest and a little naive. The rabbi was usually clever and a little more worldly.

It is hard to imagine a little joke like this getting through the din of vulgarity in the modern world.


  1. louisemowder said,

    This reminds me of the sort of songs that were popular at the turn of the 20th Century. I collect “antique” recordings, and there are whole classes of tunes that will never be sung again. These include “Coon” songs – about blacks – “Dutch” songs – about Germans – and “Jewish” and “Irish” songs – well, those are self- explanatory. There were even a few “Chink” songs.

    They reflect the stereotypes about racial groups that you can find in many silent films, even by some of the greatest directors, such as Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith.

    All of them worked together to create a common belief that there were groups of people who weren’t really “American” – or even individually human- because of some group into which they were born. It certainly led to some terrible bullying, and not just lynchings like Leo Frank’s. My grandmother told me that she was terribly mocked and bullied and even physically threatened – as a 10 year old of German extraction (two generations back) during the “Great War.” That was part of the reason she brought up my mother to be so opposed to racisms of any kind.

    We may find these jokes mild and even harmless today, but they encouraged us to think of people as having certain indelible traits simply by virtue of their genetics. If America is truly the “Land of the Free,” then it should embrace the idea that individuals are free to grow beyond their ethnicity, upbringing and culture. These “harmless” jokes encouraged just the opposite.

    That said, it is mildly amusing, because it plays on the *stereotypes* that we all know.Jeff Foxworthy’s jokes work the same way. Did you know that Foxworthy is an advisor to Mitt Romney, on how to win over Southern voters? (I wonder if Foxworthy is the reason Romney referred to “cheesy grits” this week.)

  2. mockturtle said,

    I think my favorite priest, minister, rabbi joke goes something like this: All three were discussing the question, “When does life begin?”. The priest said firmly, “At conception.” The Protestant minister countered, with equal vehemence, “At birth!” The rabbi replied, wistfully, “When the kids are grown and the dog dies. That’s when life begins!”

  3. kngfish said,

    Din of vulgarity? Puh-leaze! We’d be a lot more fun if we understood the sweet sounds of vulgarity….No more Ciceroisms!

    I’ll bet Romney still thinks a ‘cheesy grit’ is a bug he’ll have some Honduran squeegee off the windshield of the Bimmmer…

  4. chasrmartin said,

    It is hard to imagine a little joke like this getting through the din of vulgarity in the modern world.


  5. kngfish said,

    ….and then there was the incredibly stupid dirty limerick writer who couldn’t think of anything to rhyme with ‘Nantucket’.

  6. kngfish said,

    …or the smartass jokey blog commenter who wouldn’t post the punchline….

  7. kngfish said,

    ….or his multiple personality doppelganger who wrote ‘to get to the other side.’

  8. karen said,

    Friends of ours visited last night– we never have company over, but since a beloved pony was put down in her life(39yrs old)&my husband TRIED to quit smoking(2 laser treatments for 300$) and lasted 5 miserable days– only to go back to it(breaking my heart)- we decided to get together, her family and ours…

    they all have cell phones and the nasty, dirty jokes and the visual jokes(a stripper in one)along w/the audio of annoying sounds– freaking stop the circus. I don’t mind innuendo, but don’t draw me a picture- geesh.

    Priest, minister and rabbi jokes are THE best. I also admit, i love a good blonde joke, 2:0).

  9. amba12 said,

    You know the one about the priest, the minister, and the rabbi who were asked what words they would like to be said over them after they died.

    The three of them ponder, and the priest says “‘May the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost lift his soul into eternity in reward for a lifetime of service to the poor souls of this earth.'”

    The minister (evangelical, obviously), says, “”Hallelujah! He is reunited with his loved ones and sitting at the feet of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!””

    The rabbi says, “‘Look! He’s moving!'”

  10. mockturtle said,

    The rabbi says, “‘Look! He’s moving!’”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: