I’m a huge fan of comedy. When it comes to movies and television shows 9/10 times I’ll choose comedy over drama. I think it’s simple why I choose comedies, it’s because I enjoy laughing and feeling good. One of my favorite forms of comedy is parody. A parody acts to imitate or comment on another work. I think what makes a parody so enjoyable is that it gives us a chance to laugh at a subject and admit flaws. I think that’s cool and I think it’s healthy. “Weird Al” Yankovic has made a career out of taking songs that are hits or have deep meanings, and putting a hilarious spin on them. However some do not agree with what Weird Al does, they find it offensive that he’d poke fun at their favorite artist or that he’d shed light on something that was obviously ridiculous. Even though Weird Al isn’t maliciously attacking the artist or message, these folks are angry at the mere idea that Weird Al would criticize something these folks hold so near and dear.
As a Christian I see this a lot in Christianity and even more so, up close and personal. At college there’s been more than a few times where I’ll be chatting with someone and they’ll bring up worship music and I’ll make one joke about it and suddenly their smile vanishes and is replaced by something ranging from a fake smile to a disgusted look. After their face makes this transition, they’ll respond to my joke with a fake chuckle or a criticism of my joke. Other times I’ll make a joke about the campus minister and it’ll be met with a horrified look (usually they’ll hold their opinions until there alone with friends, because it’s easier to talk behind a person’s back than to their face). In both instances my joke wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t saying that I hate the person/thing, and it certainly wasn’t criticizing God or the bible. All the joke did was shed light on something obvious.
I think there’s a problem when we can’t laugh at ourselves, especially when the flaws are obvious. As humans we are going to make mistakes and when we do we need to admit them, not pretend they do not exist. When we do this, we advocate an un-healthy perspective. We turn flawed humans, into perfect beings that are not to be questioned and we turn corruptible things into things that are incorruptible. Along with putting extra importance on people and things, this mindset also ends up taking away importance from God. Instead of singing to God, we make sure the masses are enjoying the music, instead of seeking out God during the week we sit in a pew/chair on a Sunday and wait for our pastor to tell what God has been telling him. We make sure we have all of our bases covered with humans first, then we shift our focus to God. And that’s not good.
As Christians we can have our music preferences, we can have our opinions, and we can have people that we go to with questions, or who help to mentor us, but we cannot turn these things into idols.