Tag: Babylon Bee

If I Were King of the Internet, I Would Mandate the Percontation Point⸮


Satire. Irony. Sarcasm. The written word seldom conveys these things well enough to tell them from someone’s making a serious statement or proposal. (This has even been codified and is now known as Poe’s Law.) Distinguishing serious from ironic is a very old problem, and one that was solved in about 1580. It was in that decade that Henry Denham, an English printer, came up with a solution. His idea was to have a new mark of punctuation that would distinguish when someone was not serious. That mark was the percontation point, and it looked like this: ⸮.

Thus, were I the King of the Internet, you would be mandated to use the percontation point⸮ It would probably be the only punctuation available to such publications as The Onion or The Babylon Bee. And maybe some mistakes would no longer be made:

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This has been an interesting time, forced to make do at home. Fortunately, I am able to continue teaching my math classes online by utilizing Screencast-O-Matic, YouTube, and Zoom. So far, my students have not lost any precious geometry and calculus content! I don’t think I could have successfully taught my students remotely just a […]

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Ethan Nicolle, Creative Director at the Babylon Bee, stops by to talk the pros and cons of going viral, how virality does not automatically equal dollars, the never-endingness of being a parent, the bubble within a bubble within a bubble that is LA, and Ethan’s theory that fighting with bears is the struggle for manliness. They discuss the comic Axe Cop which Ethan created with his 5 year old brother, Malachai. Malachi provided the ideas and story, Ethan illustrated. He delves into finding success and moderate fame with Axe Cop, and what happens after the fame. They theorize on why dogs choose to poo where they do and the fact that it might be responsible for keeping the Earth on its axis, why Bridget wants to get milkshaked, and why Ethan had trouble talking to strangers after his band broke up. Don’t miss Ethan’s new book, Bears Want to Kill You.

Nation’s Music Ministers Yet Again Downcast When Jesus’ Wondrous Love Fails to Lift Dreadful Curse of Daylight Saving Time


The classic American hymn “Wondrous Love,” first published in 1811 during the second Great Awakening, proclaims, “What wondrous love is this, / That caused the Lord of bliss / To bear the dreadful curse / For my soul.” The nation’s music ministers awoke this morning once more disappointed to discover that the dreadful curse Jesus bears for us so we don’t have to doesn’t include Daylight Saving Time.

“‘Wondrous Love’ is a great Lenten hymn,” mumbled Elmer Morgan, organist at Parkhurst Methodist, over his fourth cup of coffee, “So it’s always disheartening to realize Lent after Lent that Jesus’ wondrous love doesn’t extend to lifting the curse of Daylight Saving Time from our souls.” Down the street at Spiritstone Reformed, the worship band reportedly slammed multiple energy drinks before the main service, noting forlornly that no outpouring of the Holy Spirit had made up for that one lost hour of sleep. Only bassist Chas Tietze abstained from energy-drink consumption, “But that’s only because,” drummer Mark Lorenzo observed, “He can play these sets in his sleep, and frequently does.”

Church Lady, Traffic Cop, Spark Epic Prooftexting Battle After Blizzard


Sunday, Jan. 20, Grover Heights — The parishioners of St. John’s faced mass impoundment of their cars Sunday morning for parking them after the village snowplow had cleared the surrounding streets, but before the snow-clearing parking ban had officially expired. Feisty church lady, Cheryl Knapp, began a heated argument with Marl Burlon, the traffic cop on duty, once she realized his intention was to ticket, then tow, parishioners’ cars for “obstructing a snowplow” that had already been through.

Knapp cited 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but not everything is constructive,” conceding that the village was within its rights to tow the alleged offending cars. But, she added, “Where is the benefit in ticketing cars for obstructing a plow they are not, in fact, obstructing, since the plow has already cleared the streets where St. John’s parishioners park?” Burlon countered that the village of Grover Heights benefits from ticket revenue, and that it’s not constructive for supposedly law-abiding citizens like churchgoers to be seen flouting even the letter of the law. “When a scoffer is punished, the simple become wise,” he quoted, adding, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s — including lawfully-impounded cars.”

Suckers for Jesus! Or, Holy Kitsch!


I can’t call it “only in America,” because kitschy and silly, though harmless, religious trinkets seem to be a universal phenomenon. Still, there is something endearingly American about this online Christian storefront, selling Testamints, crucifix-shaped lollies, gourmet Scripture suckers, chocolate tulips (must be for the Calvinists), and little gummy Jesus “footsteps”: show that you walk in His footsteps by eating His feet!

“Take and eat… do this in remembrance of me.” In a religion based on the Eucharist, I suppose it’s not exactly blasphemous to consume Jesus in gummy form, though I doubt my grandmother would have agreed: she would have seen candy shaped like all or any part of Jesus as blasphemously irreverent, even if abstract religious symbols were commonplace in eats where she came from. Part of the wider Christian culture in America is to downplay aesthetic differences: high church or low, contemporary or old-fashioned, why argue adiaphora, huh? At the same time, aesthetics go to the heart of worship: whatever we think “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” means, it only seems fitting to give of our best (whatever that is) in acts of reverence. Religious kitsch occupies a funny place, not just strange, but amusing — and not just amusing to snobs who wish to disdain the rubes. The Babylon Bee, a favorite site of many of us here, often pokes fun at Christian kitsch, and it could hardly be said to disdain American Christians: it pokes fun at the kitsch because it’s run by American Christians.

What even counts as kitsch depends on your background. My grandmother, raised very Lutheran, had pretty exacting standards for what wasn’t kitschy. Were the sanctuary and music too contemporary and informal? Kitschy. Were they too ornate? Kitschy. Most religious statuary and paintings? Also kitschy. That she was Lutheran may have had less to do with her severe standards than the kind of Lutheran she was: she came from a place where Lutherans and “Papists” (Catholics) didn’t quite get along, and when she arrived in America, she was (mostly) eager to assimilate. More eager, she thought, than her Italian neighbors, who might plant a bathtub Madonna in the midst of their front lawn.