One of the many big flaps in the upcoming elections is the one in Kentucky with Jack Conway (D) fighting Rand Paul (R) for a Senate seat.
Paul has a twist in his knickers against Conway for ads depicting Paul during college belonging to a secret group that apparently had been banned by Baylor because they mocked Christianity.
I am not sure that it should be fair game to bring up stuff we did in high school and college.
The big thing in Kentucky is that Conway used the information about the society to which Paul was associated mocking Christianity and faith. Paul is quite upset with this, refusing to shake his opponent’s hand during debates and Paul stridently expressing his Christian faith.
Why? What is so special about Christianity that you cannot knock it, mock it or make fun of it? What makes it exempt from basic rules of comedy? We mock everything else in life.
We mock those of Heaven’s Gate beliefs who committed suicide to get to their heavenly home on the far side of the Hale-Bopp comet. We mock snake handlers and strychnine drinkers of southern fundamentalist groups. Bill Maher, and earlier George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, H. L. Mencken and even Mark Twain kidded about religion and Christianity. Fortunately, they were not politicians.
We mock and joke about various occupations such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, pilots, farmers, city dwellers and salesmen of all types. There are jokes about blondes, short people, tall people, women, men, teenagers, babies, dogs, and other pets. And we do mock some religions, specifically Catholics, Catholic priests, Jews and Muslims, and in about that order.
Cartoonists have made fun of religions, even in Christian magazines and books. And don’t get me started about the problems Danish cartoonists have had with Muslims.
Why shouldn’t Christianity and religion be the subject of jokes and humor? Very close to all this are beliefs by some in the flat earth theory (check out the Flat Earth Society), unprovable miracles (check the TV news each night), unproven prayers (check the TV again), faith healing (check out the TV, Christian Scientists and fundamentalist sects), and creationism beliefs (unfortunately, much of this country). And we kid about all of that.
Oh that’s right; some of those get into the religion area. The sad thing is that you could have the best possible qualities for any office in the land, but if you were a flat-out atheist or agnostic, you might as well fold your tent, pack up your posters and head for home. You won’t get elected.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the Conway/Paul race, considering a long-ago foolish act of kidding about Christianity. Christianity, it seems, is just not sacred in some circles and definitely too sacred in others.
Oh yeah – did you hear the one about the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac? He stayed up all night wondering if there really is a dog.