My temperament is that of an extroverted, sanguine male. Because I’m also intuitive, I often feel on the outside looking in when it comes to male camaraderie. Yet God, by his grace and mercy, has allowed me to feel secure in my maleness even in the company of men very different from me. In fact, I have found that joshing and joking with men has given me an inside track into their lives.
I say this just as a segue to expressing my appreciation for The Babylon Bee: “Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire.” The Babylon Bee “was created ex nihilo on the eighth day of creation week, exactly 6.000 years ago. We have been the premier news source through every major world event, from the Tower of Babel and the Exodus to the Reformation and the War of 1812. We focus on just the facts, leaving spin and bias to other news sites like CNN and Fox News.”
Men, when we can no longer laugh at life, nor get along with people who think differently than we do, we are in trouble. Many of the leading comedians of our time admit it is harder to do standup comedy today, because people are too easily offended. This is not good for our emotional and even spiritual health.
Because of this, I release you as a man to joke, poke fun, and josh with other men. When the people of Israel came back from captivity in Babylonian, Psalm 126:2 tells us, “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” When we can no longer laugh at ourselves and enjoy good, clean joshing as men, we are still slaves in captivity. Men, in Christ we can live in freedom and joy.
I write about The Babylon Bee for two reasons. First, I recommend their website to you if you have not already discovered it. You will be surprised at the insight they provide into our culture through satire. Second, I want to point out how they are in the crosshairs of the popular media. It only shows how oversensitive we have become to opposing positions. When satire is misconstrued, then we are in real trouble as a culture.
Recently The Babylon Bee was able to force the New York Times to remove its defamatory characterization of The Bee as trafficking misinformation and fake news. However, the battle against The Bee continues: recently Facebook announced it would be moderating satire to make sure it doesn’t “punch down.” Essentially, Facebook posits that it can judge what qualifies as “true satire” – which also means it can judge jokes that “punch down” to be hatred disguised as satire.
Seth Dillon, CEO of The Babylon Bee, noted: “Having failed in their effort to lump us in with fake news, the media and Big Tech… now hope to discredit us by saying we’re spreading hatred – rather than misinformation – under the guise of satire.”
I appreciate how Dillion responded to the attacks on The Bee. “But we’re not ‘punching down.’ We’re punching back. Conservatives have been on the ropes in the culture war for a long time… the left’s new prohibition of “punching down” is speech suppression in disguise. It’s people in positions of power protecting their interests by telling you what you can and cannot joke about.”
Men, I encourage you to use satire to lighten your load. It seems like we can no longer laugh. Remember the people of Israel when they came back to Zion: “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy” (Ps 126:2).