The people of a village once looked out to see one of their most pious neighbors tied to a tree. Rushing out to release him, they were stunned to discover that he had tied the knots himself. “Jesus tied his ass to a tree,” the man said sternly, “and I’m going to follow Jesus!”

“But the word “ass” originally meant “donkey,”” someone replied.  ”Jesus wouldn’t want you to suffer like this.” The man shook his head, “God’s word is unchanging. If you want to pick and choose what you’re going to obey that’s fine, but I take it all literally.”

Eventually, there was just a skeleton tied to the tree, but the people were so impressed by the faith of the man they built a gate around the tree with a sign that read, “An Altar to Literalism.”