Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Poe's Law

Looks like I may have jumped the gun a little with my post yesterday about the "Christian Side Hug" rap. Nolan (I have to credit him, or he'll whine like a little bitch if I don't) brought this article to my attention. Apparently, the whole thing is a joke. No, it wasn't a bunch of atheists who thought they'd make fun of Christian rap music. It was written and performed by a Christian who was making fun of the phenomenon of "side hugs" amongst the Christian community. So, the idea is real, but the rap was a joke.

Okay, that's pretty funny, and kudos to him for mocking something that's so mock-worthy. Here's the problem though. There's an internet law called "Poe's Law.", explains it as follows: "Poe's Law points out that it is hard to tell parodies of fundamentalism from the real thing, since they both seem equally insane. Conversely, real fundamentalism can easily be mistaken for a parody of fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they argue he's a "deep cover liberal" trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes."

That's your basic problem. Christians can be so absurd that I can't tell when they're just playing at being absurd. Yeah, I know, not all Christians are equally absurd, but many of them are, and I don't have time to go around dividing them up into little subcategories. I'll just have to keep issuing my standard disclaimers of "I know that not all Christians think this way, but..."

Because here's the thing - was this rap any more ridiculous than speaking in tongues? "Christian Twitter"? Worrying about Harry Potter books? Using a banana as "the atheist's worst nightmare"? Creationism? Your average apologetic argument? The notion that God impregnated a woman with himself in order to die so you don't have to go to hell? Ever see Jesus Camp? If these people are fooling, they've fooled a lot of people:

Yeah, I got fooled, but in this case, I think that it says more about the ones who were doing the fooling than the one who got fooled.

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