Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? More Saints, Theologians, and Hierarchs Respond

It's the Spouse of the Ironic Catholic (sic) here, filling in for the Ironic Catholic, who is lost somewhere under an avalanche of paperwork. I've been asked to continue yesterday's theme, but being something of a traditionalist on the question of chickens, I think I'll stick with the original question: "Why did the chicken cross the road?" The Communion of Saints (as well as a few elements of the Church's hierarchy), weighs in:

Teilhard de Chardin:
The chicken was pursuing a teleological upsurge toward final consumation in the Omega Point of Divine Love.

Flannery O'Connor:
The chicken was struck by a truck while crossing the road, but experienced a flash of grace in the instant of its death. I prefer peacocks anyway.

Thomas Aquinas:
Whether the chicken crossed the road?
Objection: It seems that the chicken did not cross the road, for chickens are accustomed to the farmyards that are the source of their food, and the henhouse that is the source of their rest.
On the contrary, "And God said to Noah, 'Go into the ark, and take with you . . . seven pairs of birds of the air. . . ." -- which could not have been accomplished had the chickens not crossed the road to the ark.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
We don't care why the chicken crossed the road, as long as it had the right of way and crossed in an approved crosswalk.

St. Lawrence of Rome:
Run, chicken, run! Run from the rotisserie!

St. Paul:
Let's just hope that the chicken had a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ along the way.

And the angel of the Lord went before the chicken, and there was a strong wind, and the traffic parted before the chicken, so that it was able to go into the midst of the road, with the traffic forming a wall on the left and a wall on the right, so that the chicken crossed the road safely. The farmer pursued the chicken into the midst of the road, and the angel of the Lord looked down on the chicken, and the traffic closed in on the farmer, so that the chicken did prevail with the help of the Lord.

Father Daniel Berrigan:
Clearly, the chicken crossed the road as a nonviolent protest of the road's implication in the military-industrial complex.

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
We're not sure, but if it was trying to reach across the road to hold hands with another chicken during the Lord's Prayer, we may have to butcher it.

Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares that this joke is not in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church because 1) it lacks Trinitarian organization; 2) it fails to teach about the judgment of all chickens and the real possibility of hell for all chickens; 3) it fails to mention the fallen nature of the chicken; 4) it fails to use the male personal pronoun to refer to God . . . in fact, it doesn't mention God at all. Why we are reviewing this? What was the question again?

...and while we're getting into it, why did the chicken cross the road, anyway?
Who is this who dares darken counsel by asking why the chicken crossed the road? Gird your loins like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me: Where were you when I made the chicken, with its ineffectual yet tasty wings? Did you give the chicken its cluck? Is it by your wisdom that the chicken runs, flapping its wings toward the distant horizon? Did you set the foundations of the earth upon which the road runneth? Answer, for surely you are great in years!
Of what account am I? See, I will lay my hand on my mouth, and ask no more why the chicken crossed the road.

First version of the question here.

Jeff from The Curt Jester adds more here.
Paul from Alive and Young continues the list as well.
Even more from Video Meliora....

And a fantastic one from Lori in the comments of Mark Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It!:

Jesus: "O chicken, why cross the road when you can get under my wings! How often I have longed for it and you would not! Please come to me . . . I know you have free will, but . . . come back, please. . . Hey, look out for that car!"

--And IC peeping in. I thank Sic for his yearly stunning contribution to the blog!
(...perhaps the chicken crossed the road to enjoy


CMinor said...

All right. These have to go in the book.

Allen said...

Another favorite answer of mine:

Jerry Falwell
Because the chicken was gay! Isn't it obvious? Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's what they call it -- the other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side."

Angela said...

Those were great, when I got to the response from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and office mates wondering what the fuss was all about. Thank you for the wit, sic.

Rufus McCain said...

Great stuff! I like how it culminates in Job's encounter with the living God.

Here's my contribution: Binx Bolling on why the chicken didn't cross the road: He was too sunk in the everydayness of his own life to be aware of the possibility of crossing the road.

Intrepid Mother of the Front Pew Crew said...

I hope that you get your own chapter in the book.
I especially enjoyed the comments by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments!

Sanctus Belle said...

One of your best IC - I linked from my blog here for this post! Thanks!

Therese Z said...

St. Gerard Majella:

The chicken actually did not cross the road, but the farmer heard that she had, and punished her. The chicken, in the face of barnyard scorn, clung to holy humility and remained silent. Two years later, the farmer learned that the story of crossing was slander and came to the chicken to apologize. The chicken offered it all for the greater glory of God.

Lori Pieper said...

IC, sorry that I wasn't able to answer your request to publish my contribution until just now. You have my permission. . . retroactively!

Anonymous said...

Blessed Mother Theresa,Chicken cannot cross a great road,Chicken can only cross a greatroad...Little-ly.

Scott said...

And it came to pass that the chicken, making its way to Jerusalem for the festival, came to buck-buck-buckeee, which being interpreted means, a road, and it not being the road to Jerusalem, it did cross it and set its face to the Jerusalem.

Here endeth the lesson.

ctd said...

State Catholic Conference:

The question is not why the chicken crossed the road, but whether doing so again would enhance or diminish the life and dignity of the chicken, how the chicken's actions contribute to the common good, and to what extent the bishops should weigh-in on the chicken's prudential judgment.