Every Time a Bell Laughs an Angel Gets Confused
- 2009 Jan 15
Here's the rest of the interview started with yesterday's Every Time a Christian Laughs an Angel's Wings Fall Off :
Q. Most attempts by Christians to be professionally funny are usually dismissed as lame. Why do you think that is?
A. Because most attempts by Christians to be professionally funny are usually so lame it's like watching Dick Cheney try to break dance. It's just painful. Humor has its own rules. You start trying to impose Religiously Inoffensive on those rules, and you might as well start intoning from Leviticus.
Q. Most of the comedy that comes out of popular culture seems to Christians vulgar, mean-spirited, offensive, or in some way antithetical to the Christian worldview, be it, stand-up, sitcoms, movies, etc. What do you think our response to this should be from both our role as culture “consumers” and our role as culture “creators?”
A. As cultural consumers, I think Christians should make a point of not laughing at any joke that begins with, "Two disciples of Jesus walk into a bar." We also shouldn't laugh at the Pope's hat. And no pulling out a straw when they start passing around the communion wine. Beyond that it's an open call. Generally, it's my deep and personal conviction that under no circumstances should any Christian anywhere ever laugh at anything that isn't funny. And if something is funny, Christians should laugh---but modestly. If stuff starts flying out of your nose, you're an embarrassment to your pastor. As for being culture "creators," I think Christians should leave the funny to comedians. And I think comedians should leave the pointing and frowning to us. That way everyone's happy.
Q. As a whole Christians, at least evangelicals generally, seem to be a humorless lot. Would you agree? Why is that?
A. I would guess that evangelicals, or Christians generally, are laughing and full of humor to the degree that they're not thinking about everyone roasting in hell. It's hard to be funny when you're thinking about people roasting in hell. You can picture people roasting in hell also trying to roast marshmallows, or complaining about the air conditioning---but that's about it. And when evangelicals try to get funny around the reason people don't have to roast in hell, what do they get? Jesus flayed and slowly dying on the cross. Not exactly an evening with Steve Martin. We actually have a pretty gruesome religion, come to think of it. And I think that may tell us something very, very important about the Pope's hat.
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