Hello all. Recently, there has been much news about the film The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco and the hacking of Sony by Kim Jung Un’s government. The controversy surrounding this situation has gotten me thinking about this moral question: Is it morally right to make fun of a specific person if that person does not want to be made fun of?
MY OPINION:: No. I believe that it is wrong to make fun of a specific person or group if that person/group does not welcome it. After all, is this not an absolute of humor? Is it not only funny when everyone is laughing? Would you like it if someone made fun of you when you did not want to be made fun of? Is that would Jesus would do? Maybe if that person was a Pharisee, but I am pretty sure Jesus’s attacks on the Pharisees did not involve crude humor and such and they were meant to instruct and not derive malicious joy from.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. But that obese, ignorant, [intellectually challenged] North Korean dictaterrorist is the devil and an enemy to Heaven and America! He does not count as a human being and thus it is morally obligatory to place ourselves higher in the eyes of God to him, to insult him, to desire misfortune upon him, and to make crude jokes against him. In no way do I approve of cults of personality, Communism, radical nationalism, hacking, and constant threats of nuclear war and the invasion of South Korea (Hint: Kim Jung Un and North Korea). I also do not approve of morally offensive humor, blatant sexual jokes, comedy based on perverted views of Christianity, advocacy of recreational drug use, general disrespectful and crude behavior and humor and the like (Hint: Seth Rogen and This is the End).
Before, the inner American within me had trouble containing its excitement whenever a dictator, terrorist, or any other Anti-American is being killed, insulted, and the like. But, thank the Lord, that I have learned that, although I am American, I am first and foremost a Catholic (although I can not say I am perfect). I feel for dictators and terrorists. To me, they are like physically handicapped and terminally ill patients who are in need of the most help but instead are being ostracized and sometimes being snuffed out by others. Dictators and terrorists are just like any other human beings. Although their sin is different than what most of us would get the chance commit, they are sinners just like any of us. They, too, have succumbed to the attraction of sin. They, too, are in need of God’s grace in order to do good and be saved. That is why I feel so bad whenever people rejoice over dead terrorists and rally together to desecrate the images of dictators. I do feel for the people victimized by the terrorists and dictators, but I know that people are praying for those victims and supporting them or their loved ones. But I also know that many people do not pray for terrorists and dictators and are not at all supporting them or those close to them. That is why I find it so disheartening.
I am not saying that we should approve of the actions of terrorists and dictators. I am saying that we should love the sinner and hate the sin. That has been a teaching of the Church for almost two thousand years. But specifically making fun of someone when they do not want to be made fun of is an act of hating the person to me. And this is why I believe that it is unethical to make fun of someone if they do not want to be made fun of even if they are a dictator like Kim Jung Un.
Besides, I personally would not enjoy watching another Seth Rogen film too much after watching This is The End. I would probably watch The Interview if it was a humorous but somewhat serious critique of the North Korean regime and if it contained a respectful plea to Kim Jung Un to change his ways. But, judging by This is The End and trailers for The Interview, I have a feeling that the movie will be full of morally offensive crude humor involving a lot of sexually perverted jokes and “non-constructive” criticism of Kim Jung Un and North Korea.
However, these are just my thoughts. What do you guys think? Please cite the Catechism, Bible, etc. I thank you all in advance. Also, may I invite all of you to think of Seth Rogen, Sony, Kim Jung Un, Korea, and basically everyone involved in this controversy as you say your prayers tonight?