The Gospel reading for this Sunday’s liturgy is the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor (Luke 9:28-36). Religious humor can be really stupid and really offensive, as my radiation guidance counselor Worme ruefully notes about the idiotic SNL skit and movie trailer, which I have not followed. Unfortunately, religious humor is also my favorite kind of humor. Maybe it’s because I think everything ultimately boils down to a religious question in one form or another, and since the religious question (defined pretty broadly) is the ultimate touchstone, in some way it makes religious humor the ultimate humor template. That’s a grandiose way of saying I like a good snicker at a religion joke or sketch, perhaps especially when it’s my own creed being lambasted.
But there was a time when religious humor could be really funny and irreverent social satire without being snarlingly vicious, gratuitously crude and ponderously unclever. Like way back in 1970, with Firesign Theater’s album Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliars, and the Powerhouse Church of the Presumptuous Assumption of the Blinding Light.
Oh, blinding light
Oh, light that blinds
I cannot see
Look out for me