It’s not the topic of the week, or maybe it is. Who knows?
Scot McKnight responded to the Fake D.A. Carson Site on his blog today (if 2:18 am in the morning qualifies as today). Scott says,
A few comments: Yes, this can be funny stuff. Yes, Carson’s big enough to handle it. Yes, we all need a little humor and satire can be great fun. But… No, this site is not good. Why?
A steady diet of satire is soul-destroying, especially when one remains anonymous and especially when it goes on indefinitely about the same person. Satire turns the human gaze against others, even if at first in fun, and learns to hold Eikons up for ridicule and insult. It has its own way of becoming a cancer of cynicism, eventually eating the soul. I was a reader of The Wittenburg Door in its early years. Feasting on such comes with a price.
Bob Hyatt comments on his blog,
There are two kinds of satire- the satire that you do when you genuinely like someone, but see their flaws and foibles and the satire you do when you genuinely dislike them and really don’t care much about their feelings at all.
To me, the first is lighthearted, and even though you are poking fun at their foibles, you make a point not to be a tool- yeah, points get made, there’s a bit of jabbing… but you don’t take the time to show up and roast someone unless you really like them.
The second… that’s another story. When you dislike people and what they stand for, and out of that produce satire that mocks them… in my opinion, it’s exceedingly easy to cross a line into just ridicule for the sake of ridicule, no matter what high-minded motivations you may try to attach to it.
I’m convinced the right word is scorn. As stated in the Scornucopia post – noun: the feeling or belief that someone or something is worthless or despicable; verb: to feel or express contempt or derision for someone or something. I’m further convinced that whether noun or verb, scorn should not be used as easily and as often as it is in the supposedly Christian blogosphere – whether by me or anyone else. Perhaps more learned believers than I have come up a Biblical hermeneutic for scorning fellow believers, but I have my doubts.
UPDATE: Bene D joins the conversation with a very good post – Satire, sarcasm, scorn and scars – wrestling with our tendency to so easily respond with the first three.