Life is hilarious. People are funny, things that happen to people are funny, and things that can win you ten thousand dollars on “America’s Funniest Videos” are even funnier… But only if Tom Bergeron is hosting. Why? Because Bob Saget is a nasty old man (You are all thinking it). So when funny things happen, our inclination is to laugh, sometimes, at the expense of others.
The other day, I made a Joel Olsteen joke. Speaking as somebody who tries to be funny (and fails regularly), I like to create a general joke theme to bounce off of. Olsteen jokes are easy to make, because if you don’t love him, then you probably don’t like him. So when I made a joke referencing a new translation of the Bible as the “Olsteen Standard Version,” in front of a group of guys, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The joke flat-lined (much like the punch line I’m about to interject), and there was a slight moment of awkwardness. Probably similar to my prom night senior year…
See, told you it was coming.
Anyways, this cataclysm of silence made me wonder. Are Christians off-limits from being made fun of? Here are my thoughts:
On a side note: Wouldn’t it be funny if I just ended the article at that point? You would’ve been left with as many unanswered questions as after the Lost finale… And probably just as angry.
This is a bit of a hot button issue with some people. The easy answer (and the correct answer to some people) is to say that anything that seems negative isn’t from Christ, and that if you make fun at someone’s expense, you are deep in sin and deserve punishment by the eternal flames of hell and so on… Well, maybe they don’t say the last part, but you catch my drift. They choose to air on the side of caution, from fear of hurting feelings.
For those of you who don’t feel the warmth of sunshine and butterflies, however, there is a second opinion: The idea that there is truth in humor, and that poking fun is merely another avenue of being honest… Which is what we’re commanded to do. I don’t have a clever joke to make about this category, because I put all my effort into that prom joke in the second paragraph.
Then there is a third option: You’re just not funny. In that case, you don’t really have to worry about what is being said. Consider yourself lucky!
How would you categorize yourself? Do you try to walk the tightrope of friendship, to preserve the feelings of others, or do you poke fun, in hopes of keeping honesty strong… and for funzies (I hope the people at Merriam-Webster are reading this and decide to add “funzies” to the dictionary)?
Leave a comment, let us know.