The Babylon Bee: Teaching Christians to Laugh at Themselves
By Abbie DeHaas, Contributing Writer
Sometimes, Christians take things a little too seriously. Many of us have succumbed to the modern tendency to take offense at everything. However, humor can be a good way to lighten the darkness of the world that often bogs Christians down.
Adam Ford, a man who felt the effects of this darkness, decided to combat it with a webcomic called Adam4d. For years, he used Adam4d as a way to speak truth through humor; now, he also does this with his new website, The Babylon Bee. The Babylon Bee is a satirical Christian news source. It uses the tagline “Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire” and publishes articles with titles such as “Joel Osteen Googles ‘What Is A Trinity’” and “Bored With Porn, Man Turns To ‘Game Of Thrones.’”
In an interview with Christianity Today, Ford said he believes God gives us humor as a gift.
“It’s important to look at what we’re doing, to ‘examine ourselves,’” Ford said. “[Satire] forces us to look at things we wouldn’t normally look at and makes us ask if we’re okay with them. And, sometimes it just makes us laugh. . . Also, the more our culture sinks into absurdity, the more important satire will be as a cultural critique.”
Ford also quoted Charles Spurgeon as saying humor “ought to be consecrated and used for the cause of Christ.”
Since time began, humans have been using humor to keep a healthy attitude about the world around them. Also, they have used satire – a strong form of irony –as a tool to highlight ridiculous aspects of contemporary political and social issues.
The Internet is the perfect place for this type of humor. A popular secular satire website is The Onion, and its companion website, ClickHole. The Onion satirizes news stories, and ClickHole parodies the BuzzFeed-style “clickbait” articles that dominate FaceBook (e.g., “You Won’t BELIEVE What Happened Next!”).
The Babylon Bee is created in the same style as The Onion, except it uses Christianity as its subject. However, by no means does it ridicule Christians; it only serves to point out certain absurdities of both the secular and religious culture that surrounds us.
The Babylon Bee succeeds where many Christian variants of secular cultural products fall short: it uses the form to its full creative potential, while still redeeming the content. It maintains a consistent standard of humor and good morals, two things that can go seamlessly hand-in-hand – as long as you’re willing to laugh at yourself a little.
Editor’s Note: As MOVIEGUIDE® has noted before, there’s good satire and bad, or immoral, satire. Satire can be good when it points to the Good, the True and the Beautiful. However, it can be bad if the satirist resorts to ridicule or malicious mockery. It can also be bad if the satirist distorts the truth or the facts, uses logical fallacies such as guilt by association, or resorts to foul language and other depraved devices to make his points. For an in-depth discussion of this, see our article, “Culturally Corrosive Comedy: The Daily Show & Colbert Report,” at https://www.movieguide.org/news-articles/culturally-corrosive-comedy-the-daily-show-a-colbert-report.html.
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