Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Funniness of God

Is God funny?

I don’t mean this in the casual sense where we attribute humor to God because something ironic or terrible happend. I mean it in it’s most literal sense? Does He make jokes? Does He laugh at our jokes?

The question calls to mind a conversation between Jerry and George on Seinfeld:

JERRY: I think Superman probably has a very good sense of humor.
GEORGE: I never heard him say anything really funny.
JERRY: But it’s common sense. He’s got super strength, super speed.. I’m sure he’s got super humor.
GEORGE: You would think that, but either you’re born with a sense of humor, or you’re not. It’s not going to change even if you go from the red sun of Krypton all the way to the yellow sun of the Earth.
JERRY: Why? Why would that one area of his mind not be affected by the yellow sun of Earth?
GEORGE: I don’t know but he ain’t funny.

That’s not bad logic. God is all-powerful, all-knowing­—why wouldn’t he be all-funny?

I once heard a story about President Kimball (anyone feel free to prove this to be a mission legend) and one day he exited his office laughing. Someone asked why he was laughing, after all, he was in there by himself. He responded that he had just told God a joke and they laughed together (boy, in the retelling it sounds even less true). Now, regardless of the veracity of this story it has caused me to examine the question. I mean, when we say the perfect word at the perfect time, does he laugh?

This, of course, leads me to the question (assuming an affirmative answer to the first): of what stock is God’s humor? Lamentably, I must admit that the majority of that which makes me laugh comes at the expense of someone else—in some way, shape, or form. Conversly, my late grandpa received great joy from good, clean puns, of which I received more joy making fun of the pun than laughing at it. But I rarely found one to be funny.

So what is Divine Humor?