Is there anything incongruous about the following picture?
It is funny to me that almost everyone of reasonable character who reads the above sign will see the humor in it.
It reminds me, too, of the definition Aristotle gives to humanity: man’s specific property is to be risible (able to laugh).
Those who lack a sense of humor are often less of men as a result.
To be funny and to recognize humor, one has to be logical in the best possible sense – only when you know the rules well can you bend them and play with them.
In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce’s alter ego – Stephen Dedalus – explains to his friend that he no longer believes in the Catholic faith. Upon being asked why he is now Protestant, Stephen says: “‘I said that I had lost my faith but not that I had lost my self-respect. What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?'”
This is why religious people who embrace irrational concepts of “faith” are not funny and very often lack a sense of humor.
The same is true of most varieties of atheism. Jean-Paul Sartre will have you rolling on the floor….. not.
The same is true of those liberal theologians who try to naturalize faith and make God like the above sign: God only began to exist in 1975 when those same theologians claimed to have discovered that God was just “really” an artifact of our superego, or whatever. Angels and demons were “false conscience” with original sin as “homophobia” and “intolerance.”
I call it “theological terrorism.” And it’s just not very funny.
Except for this:
That IS funny.
Yours in Christ,
Br. James Dominic, OP