The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 June 2004

The divine giggle

"Does God have a sense of humor?" asks Abigail at Lazy Reflections.

First thought out of my head was "Have you ever seen a platypus? Exhibit A."

But that really doesn't answer her question, nor is it particularly kind to the platypus. (I mean, if I need to see an ungainly creature which seems to be assembled from random parts, I need only pass by a mirror.)

And I think really she's already answered her own question, since she admits to being a fan of P. G. Wodehouse, who, in her words, "uses Biblical imagery in such a way as to make it humorous without a hint of mockery."

I'd also point her to this observation by Dawn Eden:

I realize that life is a joke — and I'm in on it.

So much of Christianity is about paradoxes — Jesus' saying, "Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it," or God's telling Paul, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." There's a cosmic absurdity to being an immaterial soul in a material body, a Spirit-driven creature in a flesh-driven world.

In the twenty-first century, when rapid-fire gags constitute most of what's considered "humor," this notion may seem almost quaint. Still, if you love paradoxes as much as I do, and I really, truly hate them sometimes, it makes perfect sense.

One last bit: Car and Driver once got a letter from a subscriber — perhaps, now that I think about it, a former subscriber — complaining that the magazine's studied irreverence had gone entirely too far this time. The aggrieved correspondent signed off with: "My God will not be mocked."

The editorial reply: "We wouldn't dream of mocking God. But we'll be damned if He can't take a joke."

Which, I think, pretty much says it all.

Posted at 1:56 PM to Immaterial Witness

TrackBacks if any:

I say unto all, with as much certainty as I can muster, that God is both a great poet and a talented comedy writer.

Posted by: McGehee at 2:06 PM on 11 June 2004

So, Shakespeare is God incarnate then?

Posted by: Aniwarp at 5:01 PM on 11 June 2004

Quick, Charles, can you name Aniwarp's logical fallacy?

Posted by: McGehee at 10:06 AM on 12 June 2004

The syllogism is backwards — unless you're prepared to argue that Shakespeare (or, for conspiracy theorists, the author using that name) is the only great poet/talented comedy writer and that possession of these two traits automagically confers divinity upon an individual.

Besides, as Valentine Michael Smith once said, "Thou art God." :)

Posted by: CGHill at 11:42 AM on 12 June 2004

*I* can certainly name Aniwarp's fallacy(s); he's a (shudder) teenager with not only a car, but income!

Posted by: wamprat at 12:19 PM on 12 June 2004