Friday, December 24, 2010

Religion and comedy...

I was browsing some videos on YouTube, when suddenly I came by some videos that are excruciatingly wicked and twisted which on one hand it maybe funny, but on the other hand it maybe a little wrong. Why? Because it it a combination between religion... and comedy.

It's true that "Laughter is the best medicine...". It's also true that we need a little humor in our lives. But if we somewhat cross the line, it's just totally personal.

This first video I saw is a real starter for the taking. This video is about four Jewish rabbis talking on their cellphone, and while their at it, they keep screaming "SHALOM!!!", causing a total disturbance to a Bar mitzvah (manhood), a Brit milah (circumcision), and a funeral. At the end of the video after the delivery guy sends the fish then comes the sign, it said: "OY!".

This first video makes me think of the question: What is the connection between religion and humor? What makes religion also entertaining? What makes religion itself entertaining? For starters, religion uses humor either to encourage the people more to have a big faith in God, or because they don't want the people to fall asleep during the worship service (ironically...). That's the positive part. Now, the negative of it is that humor can be a little out of hand and would cause offensive mockery against the other by using stereotypes.

So religions use humor to counter these effects, utilizing this element to tell people that God really loves us, and would never reject us what ever we are, whether you're black, white, brown, Christian, Muslim, or an indigenous native, we are never rejected. This next video tells the story:

So this video from the United Church of Christ tells about members being literally ejected from the pews because they're different from the other people. This "congregation" ejected a single mom, a gay couple, a Latino man, few other people, and a disabled man. There was also a part where a beggar was ignored by a well-dressed family. That shows how God welcomes people. Until today, I still don't know why they also welcome Muslims in churches. A mystery.

But it's still not over yet, there's still another side to it. In Islam, there is one mystic is also known to be a very great comedian. His name is Mullah Nasreddin. But his funny stories is only to enjoy and to enlighten. It goes like this:

"A thief went to Nasreddin's house and carried away almost all the possessions of the mullah to his own home. While Nasreddin had been watching from the street. After a few minutes Nasreddin took up a blanket, followed him, went in to his house, lay down and pretended to go to sleep. The thief asked Mullah, "who are you? And what are you doing in my house?" Mullah replied, "we were moving into your house, weren't we?""

Confused? I am also, but we will leave it to the pros for that.

So the main point of humor in religion is both to entertain in one side, and to enlighten in the other. But there also instances of humor that can be a little offensive to others, causing total hysteria. 

The moral lesson: "To laugh is human, but to teach is divine..."

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