If I have one trait you should know about up front, it is my love for the humor of the Theatre of the Absurd, though with human subcultures being nested fractally, I can and must say I have a love for Theatre of the Absurd's methods of entertainment (seemingly nonsensical or fantastic chains of events) while eschewing its original underlying theme - the pointlessness of human existence. Human existence is far from pointless, and within the overarching goal of giving God glory and doing his work, we are made to give thanks to God for all he has given us. Among the great gifts we have been granted are imagination, passion, and creativity, about which I've previously written.
Recently I was given the very great honor of serving as Master of Ceremonies for a talent show. The opportunity thrilled me and I endeavored to produce an MC "show" validating the expectations for entertainment the show's organizers had placed in me (and perhaps I also placed on myself, never wanting to deliver a sub-par product). As stated, my taste for humor leads me to write seemingly nonsensical chains of events. (As I tend to stray from the serious any time I write, I've marked potential logical fallacies throughout this post.)
I'll link the script as I wrote it, you're welcome to borrow it or comment on the Google Doc, but I'll highlight the events within the MC show which prompted this post.
There was a mix-up where a co-MC thought I might be his date for the evening.
Two deaths were implied.
A "body" was moved across the stage.
My brother and I sang "My Old Man" à la the Smothers Brothers, and it was suggested our old man was a nudist and wore a bra (neither of which are true).
All very strange, absurd, ridiculous things to happen during a talent show (except maybe that last one, since it was part of an act). There was laughter, a lot of it, all the talent performances went very, very well, and the finale received applause. (Mind projection fallacy? That is how I remember it.)
I was approached later by a man who expressed disappointment with my script, suggesting the humor violated the precepts of Ephesians 5:
"3. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving."
But I read the passage, consider it carefully, consider the performance I put on, and cannot condemn myself or see God would fault me for it. (Ludic fallacy? Hindsight bias?)
I didn't make sexually immoral jokes about same-sex couples. I made silly jokes about a blind-date and coincidence. I didn't celebrate murder, I portrayed death as absurdly mundane, rather the opposite of how it should be viewed. I didn't encourage or depict nudity in a sexual fashion, I made a ridiculous contradiction, the verse being "My old man's a nudist. What do you think about that? He wears a nudist's collar, he wears a nudist's hat. He wears a nudist's raincoat, he wears a nudist's shoes..." A nudist wearing clothes. Absurd. And I didn't suggest anyone should live as a transvestite, I set up a joke which, if you want to analyze it, showed the importance of not being talked into something against your better judgement (red herring, sorry).
Ah, but Jesse! No obscenity, foolish silly-talk or coarse joking!
There was no obscenity in my performance, but I will point out Jesus called pharisees a "brood of vipers," literally the sons of snakes, for which I believe we have a modern equivalent regarding canines. Neither was there any coarse joking.
And really, Paul the Apostle, no foolish talk? No knock-knock jokes? No silly stories for children at bedtime? No puns? The Bible has puns, at least one spoken by Jesus, though it really wasn't very funny because the audience immediately tried to throw him off a cliff, perhaps the best proof we have puns really are the worst form of humor (regression fallacy, sorry for this, too). I'll put forth Paul meant a much more serious kind of foolish talk, like boasting and slander. (Anyone with knowledge of the Greek words translated as "foolish talk" please let me know what is up here.)
I assure you all I am not here to be a stumbling block to others. If anything makes you uncomfortable because of what you believe, flee from it. Feel free and be emboldened to respectfully approach others with your concerns, a mature and truly admirable gesture on your part. I welcome any chance to reasonably discuss differences, so should everyone else, and I am truly grateful my brother-in-Christ came to me in a caring fashion. He seemed accepting of my apologies, for which I am also grateful.
Because he approached me I learned something, and all knowledge is worth having. For that I am extremely grateful.
Because I must,
I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
- "Hallelujah," by Leonard Cohen