Calvinism – You have two bulls. They argue with each other incessantly. You have no idea what they are talking about.

Appalachian holiness – You have two snakes.

Acts 29 – You have a bull and a cow. They are absolutely, positively, 100% equal in value, dignity, and worth.

Nondenominational – You have two cows. You baptize each of them six times. You claim to have 12 cows.

“New” Calvinism – You have two cows. You stole them from the Southern Baptists.

The Southern Baptist Convention – You have two cows. Also a weirdly large amount of political capital, now hopelessly compromised.

Arminianism – You have two cows. They need to be fed. There is no handle on the outside of the barn door. You stand at the door and knock. Eventually, they die of hunger.

Lutheranism – You have two bulls. You insist they have nothing to do with other cattle and they die. You have no cows.

Presbyterianism – You have two cows. You consider a new type of bovine immunization. You suggest it at General Assembly. You are accused of liberalism. The SJC burns your farm to the ground, just to be safe.

Catholicism – You have a billion cows. This is exactly as difficult as it sounds.

Orthodoxy – You have two cows. You have always had two cows. They have always been the same two cows.

Dispensationalism – You have two cows. You are raptured. The anti-Christ steals your cows.

Emergent – There are no cows. There do not need to be cows. You are a vegan.

Prosperity – You have two cows. You don’t build a pen, insisting that their faith will protect them. Both are eaten by wild dogs.

Anglican  – You have two cows. They have strikingly different concepts about what it even means to be a cow. Eventually, one submits to the Pope.

Anabaptists – You have two cows. You take care of them and milk them. At some point your neighbor lends you his bull. There are calves. Then there are more calves. Eventually you have to build a bigger barn, but not a huge one. It works out pretty well. Nevertheless, you have a good 30% chance of ending up executed by Lutherans.

Mainline – You have two cows. One is dead. The other doesn’t look so good. You form a committee to study the issue. Or rather, to study other issues. You write up the committee’s findings for the newsletter. The second cow dies. You have some coffee cake and go home.

Religious Right – You have two cows. All of their calves have gotten nose piercings and left the farm.

Religious Left – You have two cows. You read a thing about how cows don’t actually necessarily need to be fed; the ones who want to are able to photosynthesize. This sounds right. You put them out in the sun with high hopes. No one can say that you’re on the wrong side of husbandry. Both cows die from starvation.

Methodism – You have two cows. Both of them are constantly threatening to leave each other.

Megachurch – You have 2000 cows across six different pastures with engaging, relevant cow feed and dynamic calf programming. Two of your cows produce milk.

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Posted by Susannah Black and Jake Meador

Susannah Black received her BA from Amherst College and her MA from Boston University. She is an assistant editor at Mere Orthodoxy, editor at Plough, associate editor of Providence Magazine, and an editor of The Davenant Trust’s journal Ad Fontes. She's a founding editor of Solidarity Hall and is on the Board of the Distributist Review. Her writing has appeared in First Things, The Distributist Review, Solidarity Hall, Providence, Amherst Magazine, Front Porch Republic, Ethika Politika, The Human Life Review, The American Conservative, Mere Orthodoxy, and elsewhere. She blogs at Radio Free Thulcandra and tweets at @suzania. A native Manhattanite, she is now living in Queens. Jake Meador is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie and their three children. He is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy as well as a contributing editor with Fare Forward and the Vice President of the Davenant Institute. Jake's writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play.


  1. just one more pair of cows September 14, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Latter Rain, the two cows have a special message about the role they will play in End Times prophecy they can share with you if you send a special gift to them first.


  2. this is fantastic. if would buy this if it were a print of some kind.


  3. What about the Progressives You have two cows – or bulls – or cow/bulls – whatever, it doesn’t matter – who are filled with doubt about everything that has traditionally been true about cows


  4. Spot on … except that Southern Baptist cows also have had the nondenominational cow attribute (which thankfully some are starting to deal with). Also, my midwestern prejudice has trouble dealing with the notion that an Amherst grad could be so astute. Wow!


  5. Soon post-conversion, an older family member, and older in the Faith, said (almost inaudibly), ‘Catholic is a hard religion.’

    I note the word ‘difficult’ appears once above.

    It’s true.

    Try to find a port-a-potty during one of our small gatherings of friends. t


  6. What happened to the Pentecostal/Charismatic cows?


    1. You have two cows. A revival breaks out. Now in their corporate worship services, they bark like dogs and roar like lions as prophetic manifestations.


    2. The charismatic Pentecostal cows put on their MAGA hats and dove into the religious right like lemmings. Some died. A few crawled back out, sheepish and embarrassed.
      Among those who loved their new farm because finally, something will happen about abortion without actually having to care about pregnant women, and they can say everything they’ve been thinking about gay people but we’re too afraid to say it. Soon,the men became respected prophets and leaders. The charismatic women are uncomfortable with the bull centricness of the new farm. But as long as someone will let them dance and speak in tongues, they make do.


  7. Orthodox Presbyterians: You have two bulls. You devise a new bovine immunization. A couple of fellow Presbyters question your novel immuno-hermeneutic, complain at Presbytery; you take an appeal to General Assembly, wasting a full day of 140 commissioners’ time.


  8. Great update on an old joke. Thanks for this.


  9. Adventism: You have two cows. You predict that Christ will return on October 22, 1844. By November 15, the cows have died from great disappointment!


  10. Restoration Movement: You have a cow and a bull. Only the bull is allowed to moo outside of the pen.
    Restoration Movement: You have two bulls. They are not in fellowship with one another because one of them sometimes plays an instrument.


  11. Oh my gosh, this made me laugh so hard…


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