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Source: (consider it) Thread: Calling for Jesus at the Pearly Gates
Simon

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# 1

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Joke submittted by Toby:

An Indian man dies and arrives at the Pearly Gates.

"Yes, how can I help?" asks St Peter.

"I'm here to meet Jesus," says the Indian man.

St Peter looks over his shoulder and shouts, "Jesus, your cab is here!"

[ 10. August 2005, 15:04: Message edited by: Simon ]

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Hazey*Jane

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# 8754

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Offensive for racial, not religious reasons.
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KenWritez
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# 3238

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This joke only makes sense if you live in London or the UK, I think. As I'm not English, I had to stop and figure it out.

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Corpus cani

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# 1663

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Definitely racist, but in some strange way, not offensively so. Made me titter.

Cc

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Wesley J

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# 6075

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Somewhat funny, just slightly offensive to me. Whoever's seen the BBC comedy programme 'Goodness Gracious Me' will smile. I did.

It could well be told by an Indian person poking fun at Indians, I feel. Though not scoring top marks: a nice little joke. [Smile]

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Not

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# 2166

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I think it's more a joke about racism, than a racist joke - but that may be too fine a distinction...

It made me smile - but I'd be uncomfortable telling it

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Linguo

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# 7220

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quote:
Originally posted by CJ:
I think it's more a joke about racism, than a racist joke - but that may be too fine a distinction...

It made me smile - but I'd be uncomfortable telling it

My thoughts precisely - my brain is stuffed full of jokes-about-racism which I can't tell.
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Newman's Own
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# 420

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I did not find it to be racist. Obviously, a large percentage of taxi drivers are Indian, but there is nothing remotely shameful about that profession - indeed, I would imagine some of them have a very tidy income. Somehow, it more gave me the impression that Peter was preocuppied than that, for example, Indians would not be going to heaven (or whatever implications it might have for others).

The joke is not offensive, though I found it only mildly funny. I'd be unlikely to repeat only because it could be taken as racist, though I did not see it as so.

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Marquis
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# 9750

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Pretty funny, and contrary to what everyone else is saying I feel it is a race joke about white folks, not Indians. The point (IMHO) is that St. Peter (in his guise as an elderly white dude) can only assume that an Indian would be there for a menial task instead of eternal salvation.

Very Eurocentric! [Razz]

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Fiddleback
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# 2809

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Brilliant! Almost as funny as the priest and pimple one.
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rewboss
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# 566

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I found it offensive because of the implication that Indians have no hope of getting into heaven. I also didn't find it funny because I first read "cab" as "crab", so for several seconds I was just mystified.

I don't know, it just falls flat for me. All it does is suggests that St Peter is a racist, which he might well have been in real life (God had to give him a little vision to make sure he would actually go and convert a Gentile), but other than that...

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Sir Kevin
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# 3492

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Not very funny and definitely racist. Why did I laugh? I don't think the nice family from India in my Catholic parish needs to drive a cab to get into heaven.

On the other hand: It has a good beat and I can dance to it, I give it a 59.

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Duo Seraphim*
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# 3251

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The disturbing aspect of this joke is not only the Indian not saved, but that racism goes right to the top even to Heaven.

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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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I have more problems with jokes on race than jokes on religion because you choose your religion and whatever comes with the territory. You don't choose your race.

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John Donne

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# 220

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The cab/Indian thing only makes sense if you know that that cabs in the UK are predominantly driven by Indians (which I didn't, but guess it is the case).

There might be a harmless racial element, say, where you can laugh about the ubiquity of Indian cab drivers without ill-feeling for their race (But why would you bother when there are better things to laugh about? [Confused] ), but I think there is a less savoury implication that the only business an Indian would have arriving in Heaven was because he was driving a taxi for Jesus.

The unexpected part of Jesus needing a taxi and the reader finding that a new arrival in Heaven is there are a taxi driver I find a funny combination. But not in this racial context.

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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(Sadly, depending on your point of view) It works in Canada too. There is a bank downtown with a large sign that says "Taxi Loans" but all the information on the sign is in Hindi. Cheers, OliviaG

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Zeke
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# 3271

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I'vw often heard jokes here in the USA about how seldom you get an English-speaking cabbie. It must be an easy first job for refugees and recent arrivals to get. It can be difficult, though, to make them understand where you want to go if it isn't a major destination.

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The Bede's American Successor

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# 5042

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quote:
Originally posted by KenWritez:
This joke only makes sense if you live in London or the UK, I think. As I'm not English, I had to stop and figure it out.

This joke would be very clearly understood in Seattle. Haven't you ever seen a cabby or a bus driver with a turban?

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Rat
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# 3373

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I'm surprised anyone reads this as racist - it's satirising the narrow stereotypes of (broadly) white society, not attacking the Asian character. And yes, as somebody mentioned, it would have fitted very well into Goodness Gracious Me.

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churchgeek

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# 5557

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quote:
Originally posted by Marquis:
Pretty funny, and contrary to what everyone else is saying I feel it is a race joke about white folks, not Indians. The point (IMHO) is that St. Peter (in his guise as an elderly white dude) can only assume that an Indian would be there for a menial task instead of eternal salvation.

Very Eurocentric! [Razz]

That's exactly how I read it. You can even imagine a context where the Indian gent has an appointment with Jesus to hold a discussion, have lunch, or just hang out and chat - tell jokes even. Peter apparently doesn't get it - just like through most of the Gospels, where we can see ourselves in the disciples' place, misunderstanding our Lord's intentions at every possible chance.

OK, I've over-analyzed the humor right out of that one! Is that what these threads are for? [Big Grin]

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Let me state at the outset that I'm broadly against censorship and oppose the proposals regarding 'incitement to religious hatred'.

Having attended the Greenbelt 'Laugh Judgement' session I felt it unfortunate there was no time to discuss the issues raised.

In my opinion 'Calling for Jesus at the Pearly Gates' struggles to be more than a racist anecdote that could only be regarded as a 'joke' when told by Bernard Manning to a convention of the National Front. (I find churgeek's argument unconvincing sophistry). The only context it might be otherwise would be for a Pakistani to tell it to an audience of Pakistanis, a la Lennie Bruce. Context is all.

For me the 'joke' is unacceptably offensive because apart from diminishing the author, the teller, and their assumptions about the audience's sense of humour, it lampoons a section of society that ill-deserves to be satirised and cannot fight-back. (My Pakistani Newsagent has recently had his shop windows attacked and the law has failed to punish the known miscreants).

The contrast is with the offensive jokes about the Trinity, which is well capable of extracting any punishment it feels fit, the reluctance of Rome to deal with paedophile priests etc. deserves savage satirical comment, as does narrow-minded sectarianism. Offending powers greater than oneself is bravery, making the weak an object of ribaldry is fascism.

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Spong

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# 1518

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I agree with Kwesi (excellent first post). Of course it's racist. It came eighth on the funniest list, and didn't score on the offensive one - I found the latter surprising, although admittedly the offence is not religious.

I don't think those who refer to 'Goodness Gracious Me' can have understood the programme. The only way this would have worked in GGM would have been in the sketch where they reversed stereotypes and had the group of drunk Asian lads making fun of the white waiter, in which case the cab driver would have had to be white and St Peter Asian.

GGM could have done sketches about a particular Asian cab-driver as a character, one of the rude boyz for example, but it would never have done one where the punchline was a stereoptype of an Asian in European eyes.

And my experience is that most non-white cab drivers are not Indian, they are (as Kwesi says) Pakistani.

Spong

{Note to US Americans - Asian as per British usage]

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Spong

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SteveTom
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# 23

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quote:
Originally posted by Spong:
I agree with Kwesi (excellent first post). Of course it's racist. It came eighth on the funniest list, and didn't score on the offensive one - I found the latter surprising, although admittedly the offence is not religious.

Actually, I'm glad to say, it came in the offensive top ten, not the funnies. It was number 10.

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Spong

Ship's coffee grinder
# 1518

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Ah, sorry. It was the 'Pearly Gates' bit that confused me.

Spong

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The needs of our neighbours are the needs of the whole human family. Let's respond just as we do when our immediate family is in need or trouble. Rowan Williams

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Marquis
Apprentice
# 9750

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I'm sorry guys, but I think you are seeing rascism just because you want to.

I stand by my original opinion, that this joke takes the piss out of doddery old white dudes, not south aisian cab drivers. I feel that way because it is the doddery old white dude who does not understand what is going on. The asian cab driver actually has almost no role in this joke, except to get the ball rolling. All the humor (such as it is) rests with the ill concieved misconception of St. Pete. HE is the focus of the joke, not the cabbie.

But perhaps I just don't feel the same need to equate any and all race related commentry to a negative white supremicist agenda, as some of the more impassioned bretheren.

[Roll Eyes]

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Kwesi
Shipmate
# 10274

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There are clearly two diametrically opposed views regarding this 'offensive religious joke.'

1. There are those, like myself, who regard is as racially offensive, so that while it remains offensive its status as a 'joke' is doubtful in most circumstances- especially amongst Christians and the liberally-minded.

2. Those who hold that it is an anti-racist joke because the joke is on Peter as spokesman for white racist assumptions. In which case, of course, it cannot be regarded as 'offensive' from the perspective of those who hold this view and others, like myself.

There is a third view that doubts whether the joke is religious at all.

We now have a classificatory problem, don't we, as to why 'Calling For Jesus at the Pearly Gates' can be regarded as an 'offensive religious joke', because it fails to fulfill the necessary criteria to make it so from any one of the perspectives so far enunciated. It would, perhaps, be useful to know why it was included in the competition!!

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Kenny C
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# 10488

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quote:
Originally posted by KenWritez:
This joke only makes sense if you live in London or the UK, I think. As I'm not English, I had to stop and figure it out.

Where do you live? Have you taken a cab lately? There are plenty of Indian cab drivers in the US.
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