Yeah, I'll admit it. At first I was amused. How clever, I thought. A Christian version of The Onion. So, I retweeted a post or two. I chuckled along. But the more The Babylon Bee popped up in my social media feeds, the more uncomfortable I became with laughing along. What if this "trusted source for Christian news satire" was actually just a poor excuse for Christians to slam other Christians on the Internet?
I mean, to watch Christians gleefully retweet and share The Babylon Bee, you'd think Jesus said: "By this will everyone know you are my disciples, if you mock one another."
And there was something else, too. Something more troubling. It looked a lot like a hidden agenda.
OK, YEAH: I realize I'm sounding like an 80 year old grandmother full of conspiracy theories. I don't care. I'm fed up. AND PLEASE. SPARE ME THE WHOLE: "But Jesus! He was sarcastic! He knocked over tables! He told those Pharisees what was UP!"
Because for #1: you are not Jesus.
Because for #2: there is no comparison between your mean jokes about fellow Christians to Jesus' righteous rebuke of corrupt religious authority. Check yo self.
Because for #3: when Jesus told parables or used clever turns of phrase, the intention was always to bring liberty to the captives—NEVER to mock their earnest (if sometimes unwieldy, break-through-the-ceiling-to-lower-your-sick-friend-down-to-Jesus) attempts at connecting with Him.
Here's the deal, Babylon Bee: I just don't want to read mean, stupid stuff on the Internet anymore. And I especially don't want to read it from fellow Christians.
Cuz I already graduated from middle school.
Cuz I don't think it's funny or Christian or edifying to crack jokes at other people's expense.
Cuz I'm pretty sure Jesus isn't slapping his knee and chortling along like: YEAH, HA HA LOOK AT THAT WOMAN CRYING DURING WORSHIP. SHE IS SUCH AN EMBARRASSMENT TO ME.
I mean. Dude. If I were The Babylon Bee, I'd be ducking for cover because last time I checked, Jesus didn't take kindly to religious folks being judgmental towards women.
And really, that's what The Babylon Bee is all about.
The Babylon Bee isn't about equal-opportunity laughs. Or speaking truth to corrupt power systems.
The Babylon Bee is all about making you laugh at the harmless joke so that later, you're more likely to laugh at the sexist joke. THIS IS PSYCHOLOGY 101. It's called foot-in-the-door compliance. And it's a real thing.
This is why the Babylon Bee pumps out lots of LOL-Christian-Culture jokes like: "First Year Seminarian Ready to Take Over for Senior Pastor" because those easy, breezy jokes pave the way for what The Babylon Bee really wants to say.
Thankfully, The Babylon Bee isn't THAT clever. It's ain't rocket science figuring out its editorial bias.
The Babylon Bee has a definite agenda and it looks like making fun of how women talk, mocking transgender identity, belittling Mormons, pretending that Christians who deny LGBT folks their civil rights are the REAL victims, accusing women who read Amish romance novels as having a porn addiction, shaming Joyce Meyer for using her God-given gifts to preach. I could go on but if I keep rolling my eyes they might get stuck in my skull permanently.
The point is, The Babylon Bee doesn't expose oppressive religious culture and structures (which is what true satire does), it actually reinforces them.
Or, to put that in a headline for ya: Studies Show New Condemnation Same as Old Condemnation.
Or as Solomon might write: History Proves Nothing New Under Sun.
As if this whole shebang isn't disturbing enough, look who runs ads on Babylon Bee: Compassion International. Just WHAT. A Christian relief organization seeking to empower children in poverty is partnering with a website that disempowers other Christians? The cognitive dissonance is jarring.
Dear Babylon Bee Editor: A little sexism leavens the whole lump. I'm not laughing anymore.