September 13, 2007

A Catholic Sense of Humor

Kathy Griffin caught some bad press (if there is such a thing to her as bad press) by holding up an award and saying "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now." Worse still, her later statement about the speech was "Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?"

G.K. Chesterton once said that the only subjects worth joking about are serious ones, like being married or being hanged. (Chesteron himself had quite a wit. He noted once that "the Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." Chesteron is also the wit that made such critical, serious, non-funny observations as "poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

I agree with G. K. - we need to laugh more and more in this world, especially about the serious things. Somehow, though, Ms. Griffin's comment doesn't make me laugh. I suppose that's a critical component of humor - actually making people laugh - so perhaps her sense is a bit rusty, instead of ours.

Jesus had a good - and fairly sarcastic - sense of humor. Matthew 7:4 is a good example, as He asks, "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye?" And before anyone answer us that Catholic humor is too saccharin and clean, have a look at Mark 7:15, where Jesus discusses what goes into the mouth and what... comes out when you're done.

You know - like what Kathy Griffin said.

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