“If you are threatened or offended by people disagreeing with, challenging or even ridiculing your faith, then your faith can’t be that strong.”
And so, via Noah Millman:
A rabbi and a priest, the two principal clergymen in a town, come, over the years, to be good friends, finding mutual comfort in sharing the joys and the tribulations of a life of the cloth. It doesn’t hurt that they also share a love of golf.
One day, they are in the midst of playing a round, when the priest turns to the rabbi.
“Jacob,” he says, “there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you, but I’ve always felt it was a bit of an insensitive question. But we know each other so well by now, I feel like I can ask. As a Jew, you’re forbidden to eat pork.”
“Certainly,” replies the rabbi.
“But you live among gentiles who eat pork regularly. Have you ever been tempted to try it?”
The rabbi sighs. “Yes, yes I have – more than that, I gave into temptation. While I was studying for the rabbinate, one evening, I went out and had bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I don’t even know why I did it – I guess I was curious.”
The priest nods, as if to say, “I’m sure God forgives you,” and then asks, “did you like it?”
The rabbi nods. “I must admit, it was delicious.”
The priest nods again, as if to say, “I thought as much,” and they go on with their game.
A couple of holes later, the rabbi turns to the priest.
“Michael,” he says, “since you asked a question of me, there is one I’ve always meant to ask of you.”
The priest smiles. “Certainly, Jacob – anything you like.”
“Okay. So, as a priest, you are forbidden to have sexual relations with a woman, am I right?”
The priest nods, seriously. “Yes, that’s right. We are called to celibacy.”
“But were you never tempted to break your vow?”
The priest is quiet for a long time. Finally he speaks. “Yes, yes I was. More than that, I gave in to temptation. For about a year, many years ago, I had a girlfriend.”
The rabbi smiles, as if to say, “I don’t judge you,” and then asks, “Michael, do you mind if I ask you one more question?”
The priest nods. The rabbi puts his hand on the priest’s shoulder, and leans toward him.
“Better than pork, wasn’t she?”