Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Mercurial Sacred Cow

Consider Bethany.  There is no situation that Bethany cannot attempt to laugh at.  I don't mean that in the sense of trying to keep a stiff upper lip in the tides of adversity.  Rather that she has no qualms making fun of anything and everything.

She is so adept that she more-than-frequently puts propriety and "good sense" on a shelf before speaking.  I've heard her make fun of the handicapped, the mentally behind, the recently dead, rape, and other hilarious topics.  She doesn't seem to do it out of real malice, I think.  Instead, she seems to want people to pay attention to her, and the best way to accomplish that is to say something that will get everyone to pay attention to you.

Like joking about someone's parents dying.  Is funny, no?
Actually, no.  It isn't.  In fact, it's terribly awkward.

But no matter how often people make "yuck" faces and weirded-out noises, Bethany keeps right on working.  She seems to do it most often and most insistently to guys she likes.  There's one guy at a time that she sort of imprints on, always sending public messages and being first to chime in during conversations involving other people. She'll dog his steps and comment on everything he does, always being comically critical and borderline offensive.

But though she can dish it out, she can't take it. 

At some point, she made a comment about some minor point.  I forget what it was, but I reinforced it with a fake bible verse.  Something to the tune of Mathew 203:198 -- "Verily, Jesus said unto them 'Please knock off all the evil and hate.  Thanks in advance.'"

The response to this was something along the line of "Andrew, please don't make fun of the Bible.  It's the holy text of my chosen faith."  This, from someone who just finished false-mocking someone about the size of their thighs?  Pshh, whatever.  Nice try, Bethany, but I wasn't fooled.

Except she was serious.  Though I was putting words into Jesus' mouth, they are words that I feel he might have said anyway, were he modern and tired of internet debating.  It's not like I said Jesus would eat KFC or something.preposterous.  But Bethany wasn't mollified.  Indeed, she seemed even more irritated that I thought she might be joking. 

When I explained that I though she was the girl who cried blasphemy, she got haughty.  "Well, it's totally different.  Everyone else knows I'm kidding."  Sooooo... Jesus wouldn't know if you're kidding? 

"Just don't make fun of it," silenced the discussion.

I have to say that it made me sad.  It spoke to me of an endemic immaturity.  Not the part about making fun of religion -- after all, people have a right to defend their beliefs.  But being very protective of a book from a long time ago and not at all protective about the feelings of contemporary people is extremely stupid. 

If one does not respect other peoples sacred topics, I don't see why one should have the prideful expectation of them suddenly and respecting yours as a matter of course.

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