The realm of comedy for making political statements and shaping public opinion has long been dominated by the liberal left. It makes sense. Conservatives are more straight-laced and serious and therefore easy targets. But as Jay Leno demonstrated in the weeks before stepping down from the Tonight Show, heavily criticizing liberal politicians and social policy can draw exceedingly high ratings. So the sword cuts both ways; it is just that fewer people swing the sword leftward.
Comedic talents on the political right include Rush Limbaugh and his parodist cohort, Paul Shanklin, as successes but most other attempts have been weak or failed, whether they be in TV or movies. Nevertheless, it is a growing trend among those on the right to parody and poke fun at those on the left in an attempt to turn the tables to some degree. Where intellectual arguments are most often met with failure, the poignant punchline can prick the pickle, so to speak, sometimes.
Leftward logic and humor tend to be heavily dominated by mockery, derision, hostility, often lots of foul language, and a strong play on emotions. Shallow arguments based emotion and stirring rhetoric are called sophistry, a form of false wisdom. Rightward thinking people tend to use actual logic (like noting that men and women were made for sexual union and same-sex couples were not) but this escapes the leftward thinker. Rightward thinkers also tend to not play on emotions as successfully as leftward thinkers do, probably because they are less emotionally driven than their counterparts. We who engage in apologetics readily admit emotionally driven people are the most irrational we encounter. One person who commented on the cartoon below was happy to tell me that he hated Christians because of the Christian stance against homosexual marriage. I asked him if he also hated Orthodox Jews and Muslims, but never got a response. Oddly enough, he said he was a Christian and somehow that allowed him to feel free to hate his fellow Christians. Hate for fellow Christians isn’t a Christian value, but perhaps he’s not read the Bible yet. We can consider him logically challenged. His emotions clearly overwhelm his reasoning faculties.
So it is with so many who claim to be Christians and yet deny core church doctrines on marriage and homosexual sin. It’s doctrine à la carte day in Christianville! “I’ll have a little sin please, but leave off the homosexual sin. I just don’t like the way it tastes. Too gritty or something. A touch of adultery would be fine, though. And I’ll need a little drunkenness to go with that. Oh, and not too much Hell this time around either. Grace? Yes, I’ll have a heaping helping of grace! Pour it over the mashed potatoes and false doctrine, please.”
The cartoon below appeared on the Facebook page of a very liberal former student. It is sophistry. It attempts to mock parental concern about homosexual marriage. The inference one is to draw from this is that children don’t care about homosexual marriage so no one else should care about it either. It is dismissed with a cookie as if the topic were utterly irrelevant. However, because a child finds things irrelevant doesn’t mean that they actually are irrelevant. Thus, my muse was struck and I proposed a more witty and realistic follow-up conversation following the child getting a cookie. As a father of four, I have some experience in such matters. But, shockingly, my liberal friend and his friends on Facebook (all but one) did not find my sense of humor all that amusing. Therefore, feeling under appreciated, as a humorist, I have posted the cartoon and my witty rejoinder here, where I trust it will be more highly valued (wink, wink) by a more general audience.
After the Cookie
Then, when the child gets his cookie he asks, “But how are babies made without a mommy and daddy?”
The biological father gets to answer, “Oh babies come from lots of places. Sometimes they’re found at a godless, secular adoption agency (because Catholic adoption services and those like them were closed since they had religious objections to homosexual marriage). Other times they are made in a lab test tube because gay marriage is unnatural marriage. It can’t produce children but sometimes people like to pretend there’s no difference! You’ve played pretend before haven’t you?”
The gender-specific-male child replies, “Yes! We used to pretend that there was a monster under the couch and it would eat me if I put my foot on the floor. But I’m too old for that now. Is it something like that, daddy?” to which the naturally male father who conceived the child with his naturally female mother says, “Something like that son. There’s also a cabbage patch option and a stork delivery system, too. But we can talk about that later. “
Glancing down at his cookie and 2% farm fresh milk from a cow naturally conceived by a male and female bovine, the son thoughtfully says, “But my friend Johnny says it’s wrong for boys to marry boys.” “Oh, really, son?” the natural father replies, “Why does he say that?” The young progeny replies, “Because his dad said that God says it’s wrong. And his dad says that God made marriage for boys and girls and that it’s a sin if you do it wrong.”
Dad (the male complement to a mom) replies, in his [note the use of the male pronoun “his” which is opposite of the female pronoun “her”] great wisdom, “Like I said, sometimes adults like to play pretend. Sometimes adults like to pretend boys marrying boys is the same as natural marriage – like when a boy marries a girl, the way Johnny’s dad said God designed it. And sometimes adults like to pretend that it isn’t a sin. That way they feel better about themselves.”
“Why don’t they feel good about themselves, daddy?” the boy asks. “Well,” says dad, “it’s because the Bible that Johnny’s dad reads says they will go to Hell if they don’t stop sinning.” Puzzled, the boy asks, “What is Hell, dad?” “Oh,” adds the father, “it is a terribly hot place run by a bad guy and his army of bad people where people go when they die if they’ve not done what God said they should do. Kind of like, . . . Cuba. So if they pretend it’s not sin, then they can have all their fun and live guilt-free!”
The sexually conceived male offspring now replies, “I thought when you got big you quit playing pretend, daddy.” Wisely the biological father now says, “You should, son, you should.” The boy responds, “Gay marriage sounds dumb.” The conjugally married male parent responds, “I knew you’d figure it out son. Way to go! I knew your mother’s genes weren’t that bad. Have another cookie.”