Thursday, March 5, 2015


I often have difficulty communicating with people who do not appreciate sarcasm and satire whether used by me or others.    They tell me that it signifies a weak argument or that it is hurtful - even un-Christian.    (See:  FRANCIS & CHARLIE  -  1/19/2015.)    I've tried to ex- plain that these are legitimate ways of conveying truth and have even given examples from the Bible:  the Hebrew prophets, the apostles, even Jesus used it frequently.

I began to think that possibly those who object to sarcasm may have difficulty under- standing it - perhaps their brains are wired differently, like even the brilliant genius Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.  I recall my frustrations in teaching Bible Study Methods at the College of Biblical Studies.  There were a few - though very few - students who just couldn't catch on, not only to sarcasm and irony, but to similes and metaphors.  As I recall, their inability to grasp these and other figures of speech had little to do with their intelligence or lack of the same.  Perhaps the objections I was receiving were from those who just couldn't get it.  Perhaps.

However, I am now of the opinion that many who object to sarcasm do so, not because they don't get it, but because they do.  They don't like it because it points out their faulty thinking or behavior.  In other words, if your argument is weak, if you can't refute what's being said, condemn the method of argument - or even better the one who uses sarcasm to make his argument.  Use ad hominem; sometimes a good offense is a good defense.

Often in the Gospels we're told that Jesus' hearers didn't catch on to His use of parables - "You'll keep on hearing but won't understand" (Matthew 13:14).  But now and then they did understand.  "And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them" (Matthew 21:4, 5).  And what was their reaction?  "... they tried to seize Him" (verse 46).

So if you object to sarcasm, ask yourself why you are objecting.  Maybe it fits!

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