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Jesus: The

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/jesus_the_allamerican_jew_20040416

"Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession" by Richard Wightman Fox (HarperSanFrancisco, $27.95). "American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon" by Stephen Prothero (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $25) One of the staples of American humor is the "three proofs that Jesus was..." joke, whose completion is always an ethnic identifier. Thus, three proofs that Jesus was Jewish: 1. He went into his father's business. 2. He lived at home until the age of 33. 3. He was sure his mother was a virgin, and his mother was sure he was God. Interestingly enough, this ongoing joke series includes no entry headed, "Three proofs that Jesus was American." Only in a country like Israel, where "American" names an ethnic group within the nation, could such a joke be told. If such has been told, I hope somebody will be kind enough to send me the three proofs.

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