October 4, 2015


To Laugh Is Human, But Is Comedy Divine? (Dwight Longenecker, 10/03/15, Imaginative Conservative)

Laughter lightens and enlightens the soul. Laughter is a sign of confidence and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, after all, comes from the word "enthuse," which is derived from the Greek en theos-or "God within." Enthusiasm is a sign of the Holy Spirit's presence, and any religion that is totally dour, sour, and serious is not the religion of Christ the Lord, but the religion of the Anti-Christ--the Dark Lord.

Laughter, like all emotion, opens the heart, and when the heart is open things get done. There's an old Russian saying, "The heart moves the feet." In other words, it is the emotions that motivate. In fact the word "emotion" and "motion" and "motivate" all come from the same root. The mind might be informed, but until the heart is moved nothing moves.

When the heart is opened we experience a little vulnerability, and at that point God can slip in past the watchful guardians of the soul. This vulnerability makes us open to reality--especially the reality of our humanity. Like art, music, sport, or dancing, laughter is one of those delightfully useless absurdities that make us human. Animals don't laugh and cry. Apes grunt but they don't guffaw. Wolves howl and owls hoot, but not with laughter.

Let's get theological. If we're created in the image of God and we are able to laugh, then does God laugh? Is comedy divine?

I'm convinced of it. Because he sees how all things work together for good, he sees that the whole cosmic drama has a happy ending, and a just ending is the definition of a comedy.

God therefore sees the whole cosmic joke and instead of seeing him only as the sober and awesome God of the Universe, it doesn't do us any harm to also see him as a King of Comedy-I'm seeing an everlastingly burly Burl Ives, or the good man, John Goodman. I'm seeing the Creator as a chuckling Chesterton or the sweet John Candy. He is Jolly Jehovah, the Lord of Laughter, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and the Almighty Master of Mirth.

...to a conservative, a comedy. Of course God finds us amusing.

Posted by at October 4, 2015 7:25 AM

blog comments powered by Disqus