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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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12/10/2004

Laughing At Ourselves 

I love reading LarkNews. I enjoy The Holy Observer. I'll probably (when I actually have money and a job again) support both of these websites. In short, I have a sense of humor, and the ability to laugh at myself. Especially, I see some value in satirizing religious practices (though I don't find Landover Baptist especially funny anymore; they've gone more than a bit over the top, and it seems they're not quite as relevant as they once were).

So I would be in opposition to the law in Britain that would potentially outlaw religious satire, claiming that it fosters religious hatred. And I hope I'm not alone.

I've said my piece about people ridiculing religious ideas. There is a difference between ridicule and satire -- though it is a fine line. I think that it's ironic that England is doing this -- England has largely abandoned any real religious practice in favor of ceremony, it seems to me. I would have expected this to come from the "tools of the Religious Right(tm)" who are running the US right now. Maybe I just missed the meeting when we discussed that, I don't know. You'd think they'd have sent me a memo or something -- after all, my dues ARE paid up.

Satire is a valuable tool, and I think of myself as rather satirical at times (though I haven't done much of that on this blog yet). And the ability to laugh at ourselves is important to a sane outlook on life. The line that we walk, though, is when it stops being satire and starts being mean-spirited, or ridiculing. That's when I stop laughing and start getting offended.

But government shouldn't decide where that line is. Good taste should. And if I don't like what someone says on TV or in print, I can always ignore them. Or work to try to change their mind -- which is what the Christian mission is.

{edit}And, in case anyone was wondering, I thought the nativity at Tussauds was pretty funny.


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