What’s to Laugh About?

I laughed at this remark, “Now that there is a fence around Washington, can we rename it the national zoo?”

Then I thought, “Can we hope for good leadership from people we don’t treat with respect?” 

Or “Can we hope to have people we respect run for offices we ridicule?” 

I know there is a place for loving laughter at moments that reveal our common humanity, like parodies of the regional accent of JFK. But that did not demean the man or the office.

And there is the unmistakable sign of good mental health when a leader can laugh at himself. 

Like Abraham Lincoln who fired a cabinet member. When he was harshly criticized for keeping some of the others, he compared himself to a farmer whose chickens were being harassed by a family of skunks. He killed one skunk, but the stench was so bad he decided to let the others alone.   

When our laughter is a way of implying that we think someone is a fool, or worthless, we need to listen to what Jesus said,  

“But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:22)

Published by walterdaleedwards

United Methodist Minister (Retired since 2002), My wife, Iris Carroll Edwards married in 1962. Son William Lee "Bill" Edwards, Daughter Iris Dail Edwards.

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