Holy Humor Week is better than fire and brimstone

Holy Humor Week is better than fire and brimstone By Bob Karolevitz A long time ago I wrote a column titled "You Must Have a Great Sense of Humor, God!"

I said that anyone who created an aardvark, a duck-billed platypus and a pterodactyl couldn't be eternally sober-sided and serious.

The passing years have not changed that belief, but I do have a bit of hang-up because most priests and preachers don't seem to agree with me. It's understandable, of course, because they don't have much evidence to think otherwise.

Take the Bible, for instance.

I've read the Good Book from cover to cover, and there's very little in it chuckle-wise. Oh, Psalms 126:2 says "Then our mouths were filled with laughter," and Ecclesiastes suggests that we should eat, drink and be merry — but, by and large, the prophets and evangelists have written very little to tickle our funny bone.

We don't know much about Jesus's life for almost 20 years after he got separated from his parents temporarily at the age of 12. It's hard for me to imagine, though, that as he was growing up, he didn't giggle and guffaw a bit.

"I'll bet he and Joseph laughed now and then when they goofed up a carpentry job. And some time during those two decades I'm sure he teased his mother in the kitchen when she burned the unleavened bread or spilled a measure of flour.

I've got to believe that he did more than just increase in wisdom, stature and grace as Luke capsulized all those intervening years in just one sentence.

Wouldn't you think he at least smiled a bit when Peter tried to walk on water and got all wet in the process? And there had to be a little levity at the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee or the party would really have been dullsville, with or without the water being changed into wine.

I don't mean to blaspheme, but I doubt if God intended religions to be all sackcloth and ashes. Or, worse yet, for holders of one belief to murder and maim those of another.

Somewhere I read that a writer in a denominational magazine came up with an idea for a Holy Humor Week. After all, we've got a National Pickle Week, a National Bratwurst Week and dozens of other contrived promotions.

I think it would be a good idea to lighten up our religious experience now and then, and I'm not too sure that God wouldn't agree. I don't mean that there should be a lot of knee-slappers from the pulpit, but sometimes we get an overdose of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

A Holy Humor Week might just send us away smiling instead of fearing the dreaded Armageddon.

No doubt I'll be taken to task for this unconventional approach to religion by those who are tradition-bound. I'm certainly not advocating fun and game in our churches, temples and mosques, but God gave us a sense of humor and I'm sure he expects us to use it.

Maybe mine is just a case of warped theology. Frankly, I don't expect much to change. It is doubtful that we'll hear any ho-hosannas ring!

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