About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Chinese had to
leave Italy. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Chinese community.
So the Pope made a deal.
He would have a religious debate with a member of the Chinese community.
If the Chinese win, they could stay.
If the Pope wins, the Chinese would leave.
The Chinese realized that they had no other choice.
So they picked a middle-aged man named Ah Peh to represent them.
Ah Peh asked for one condition to be added to the debate.
"To make it more interesting", he said, "neither side would be allowed
The Pope agreed.
The day of the great debate came.
Ah Peh and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute.
Then the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.
Ah Peh looked back at him and raised one finger.
The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head.
Ah Peh pointed to the ground at where he sat.
The Pope pulled out a loaf and a glass of wine.
Ah Peh pull out an apple.
The Pope stood up and said: "I give up. This man is too good. The
Chinese can stay."
An hour later, the cardinals were all around The Pope asking him what
The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the holy
trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there
was still one God common to both our religions."
"Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around
us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also
right here with us."
"I pulled out the wine and loaf to show that God absolves all sin. He
showed me an apple to remind us of the original sin. He had an answer
for everything. What could I do?"
Meanwhile, the Chinese community had crowded around Ah Peh. "What
happened?" they asked.
"Well," said Ah Peh, "First he indicated to me that all Chinese had 3
days to get out of here. I replied to him f*@k off and not one of us was
"Then he pointed that this whole city would be cleared of Chinese. I
showed him that we are staying right here."
"Yes, and then???" asked the crowd.
"I don't know", said Ah Peh, "He took out his lunch, and I took out