When I first saw mention of the book "Bad Catholic’s Guide to Good Living" I wasn’t much attracted to it. The title kind of put me off. But after one of the authors John Zmirak wrote me publicizing the book I took a look at the website.
and was impressed by some of the reviews from people such as Fr. Rutler. So I ordered it from Amazon and gave it a shot.
I am certainly glad I did since it was an extremely fun read. Imagine the Marx Brothers mixed up with Butler’s Lives of Saints and a Betty Crocker cook book combined together and then add a dab of apologetics. They go through the liturgical year picking out some of the regular feasts and those of some of the saints with some of the more whacky pious stories attached to them. Added at the end of most of these stories are recommended ways to celebrate the feast a long with appropriate recipes to go along with them. The writing is not for the overly pious and faint-of-heart. It is purposely over-the-top to good effect, though not in any way sacrilegious. There are also short essays on the sacraments that take a more serious tone for the most part and are actually pretty informative. Throughout the book there are interesting pieces of information along with hysterical takes on things.
So while at times I learned some interesting facts about the lives of the saints mostly I laughed out loud while reading it. For example "Some skeptics have asked ‘If Jesus was Jewish, how comes he has a Puerto Rican name?’ " So if you enjoy my sense of humor I can pretty much guarantee you will like this book. In fact I an rather annoyed that I didn’t write it instead.
‘If Jesus was Jesus, how comes he has a Puerto Rican name?’
I have GOT to get this book! Thanks for the review because I was pretty dubious too, despite them using one of my favorite JPII pics on the front. This will be on my Christmas wish list now.
Yup, it is definitely a worthwhile read–that Puerto Rican name comment had me and my siblings cracking up for like 30 minutes. The history behind the usage of Jesus as a name in Spanish-speaking culture is an interesting one, and something about which I have posted here on my blog.
The book is definitely not for everyone. You have to have a certain kind of humor to enjoy this. If you’re like me and don’t find religious jokes funny you’ll be crossed eyed with anger and looking for the nearest SSPX chapel by the time you’re done with the book. The humor here is firmly in the broad satire camp.
But if you do like religious jokes,this has been voted the funniest of all time at a British religious web site:
“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.”
Definitely a funny and hilarious book. I love the idea of a “Purgatory Party” for celebrating Halloween.
Ok, the word verification thing?
I was thinking “this HAS to be a joke!”
So glad I was right. :-0
What’s Zmirak up to these days? I used to know him in college.
Thanks, everybody–but there’s a key word in the joke which is copied wrong. “If Jesus was JEWISH,” why did He have a Puerto Rican name? It’s a Jackie Mason joke, actually….
My 12 year old got hold of it and thinks it is hysterical. He seems to be memorizing bits of it with the same brain space I once devoted to memorizing Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch.
I think our home school group get togethers are about to become more, uh, interesting.
Yes, the Puerto Rican is Jackie Mason’s, and the guy on the bridge– specifically the Golden Gate Bridge– belongs to Emo Phillips.
If and when I swim the Tiber, this book will be one of the reasons. If Catholics have such a warped sense of humor (and why should they not?) then how long can I hold out?
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