Kyle Mann of THE BABYLON BEE: Fighting the WOKE with a Well-Placed JOKE | Kirk Cameron on TBN

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Kyle Mann of THE BABYLON BEE: Fighting the WOKE with a Well-Placed JOKE | Kirk Cameron on TBN

Kyle Mann joins Kirk Cameron to discuss The Babylon Bee’s use of humor in taking on the liberal agenda. He examines creative methods of using satire to promote common sense in a post-truth era and also digs into the truth behind why the woke can’t take a joke! Don’t miss this interesting interview on Takeaways with Kirk Cameron on TBN!

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The woke movement turns into this very graceless, um, very unforgiving culture, uh, where people are deaf uh, and make them seem like they’re virtuous because they are they have these different, uh, intersections of identity, that make them oppressed.
For some of you who are not familiar, um, here are just a a few of the headlines that, uh, these These jokesters are written about me.
Um, another actress accuses her Cameron with treating her with respect. I love that.
I actually love that one. That one that one actually was was quite a compliment, and this one’s actually been shared close to a million times.
That’s been some great publicity for me. So thanks. I didn’t even pay for that.
Uh, another one is, uh, new movie filtering service replaces every actor with Kirk Cameron.
So I guess, uh, I guess that’s the way to clean up a film.
Just have me play the good guy, the bad guy, and everybody else.
And, uh, Kirk Cameron to star in the new Jason Bourne film, born again, of course.
I mean, we could see that one coming.
The way that you all and your team at the Babylon Bee is able to have this sanctified sarcasm that is able to mock some of the silliness of modern Christianity and do it in such a way that ties in with with popular culture is is no easy task.
So now that you’ve been there and and and you’ve become this professional, mock machine of of things that are worthy of mocking, how has that shaped your actual faith in Jesus?
I mean, I mean, is he still precious to you, or is he a punch line?
Yeah. That’s a real danger. Right?
I mean, CS Lewis even said that he didn’t like writing the screw tape letters, um, because it made him feel like like a demon.
You know? Yeah. Yeah. He he had this, uh, you know, he he would respond to fan mail and said something like, I don’t wanna write another word, uh, uh, in the voice of screw tape because it makes me it makes me think like a demon as I’m mocking things, you know, and and obviously, the screw tape letters is this book that that is very powerful in satirizing the ways that we fall victim to sin and temptation.
But at the same time, you gotta be careful as a satirist.
You know, you wanna deconstruct things, but you wanna deconstruct targets that are worthy of deconstruction.
You don’t want to get so cynical about everything that faith itself, uh, becomes the punch line.
That’s definitely like a spiritual struggle, and that we wanna keep all of our writers thinking in terms of, um, you know, what’s a worthy target to be mocked what’s something that’s light and silly and fun that we can mock without actually making God or the Bible or Christ the punch line.
Because we wanna point people uh, to those things.
Kyle, how did you come up with the name Babylon Bee?
So the founder of the Babylon Bee Adam Ford came up with that on day 1, uh, when we launched the site, and it was, uh, it was kind of this idea that as Christians, a lot of times it feels like we live in Babylon, you know, and that’s only that’s only become increasingly true over the past several years.
Uh, but it does feel like we’re in exile, you know, and so we kind of thought of this idea of you know, writing news for Christians, writing news for believers from this perspective that their dispatches from exile, you know, dispatches from Babylon.
And it’s this idea that we, you know, the world is not our home, and we just kinda comment on the crazy stuff, uh, that happens here.
Now what were you doing before the Babylon Bee? How did you how did you get there?
It’s kind of a an interesting story and kind of a boring story.
I was, you know, I was just in construction sale and, uh, uh, uh, I I started emailing in headline submissions.
And so my very first headline submission was uh, holy spirit unable to move through congregation as fog machine breaks.
And, uh, I emailed that in on the 1st day, and you know, the rest was history.
So I eventually took over as the editor in chief.
Help us understand. What what do we mean when we talk about the woke movement?
Ultimately, it boils down to this oppressor versus oppressed paradigm.
Um, you know, they see everything in terms of do you have power and are you wielding that power to oppress people?
Or are you powerless? Are you marginalized?
Um, which means that the woke movement turns into the very graceless, um, very unforgiving culture, uh, where people are desperately climbing over each other to be in the oppressed group, um, they’re fighting for identity labels to make them the good guy, um, and make them seem like their virtuous because they are they have these different, uh, intersections of identity, uh, that make them oppressed.
Um, and so it is really this it is really a very uh, miserable movement to be a part of.
Um, and you you can just see that observing from the outside is that you can never be content with what god has done for you.
You can never be content with your, uh, with your life because you’re always wer you’re always thinking and dwelling on what people have done to wrong you and not instead saying, you know what?
I’m I’m gonna thank god for what I have, and I’m gonna do everything in my power to work hard, you can only blame other people for your problems.
So that’s at the heart of it, and then that touches all different areas from gender and race to, uh, whatever.
What is the the mission statement, if you will, of the Babylon Bee?
Is this purely entertainment trying to make people laugh?
Or are you trying to shine a light on something and educate people, or maybe a little of both?
Yeah. It’s definitely a little of both.
Mean, I would say the mission statement of the Babylon B that we’ve kind of, um, that has kind of crystallized through the years has been that we’re trying to use humor to communicate truth to a post truth culture.
So that’s gonna that’s gonna touch a lot of areas because we’re gonna end up doing some political jokes, some current events, but it also means we’re gonna be doing some jokes that are just more lighthearted.
You know, we’re gonna be doing some jokes that are just gonna point to the everyday wonder and everyday humor that, uh, that god has kind of infused throughout our lives.
So jokes about husbands and wives, jokes about the silly things we do at church.
Those are all good things that kinda can help kinda take us out of the insane, uh, angst that we can feel when we’re watching, uh, the news and and, uh, kinda consuming the 20 fourseven news cycle.
So communicate truth in that, um, but a lot of things also are just gonna make us laugh, you know, and I think that’s also a good thing in and of itself.
Comedy is such an interesting space to work in and and having been on a sitcom for 6, 7 years, uh, when I was a kid, I remember that there was always a concern with the writers That’s sometimes a joke might cross the line.
And I remember one time there was a joke where, uh, my character, Mike, came in and said, dad, I know what I wanna do for a living.
And he said, what’s that, son? And I said, I wanna be a chiropractor.
And he said, son, I I just had such higher hopes for you than spending your life hugging men who have thrown their backs out.
And we got a flurry of emails from from the chiropractic associations across the nation, and they regretted saying that joke, and they had to do a retraction And they did a whole new episode where, um, you know, somebody threw their back out, and someone said, do you want me to call a medical doctor?
And they hey. He says, no. He says, Get me my chiropractor.
And all of a sudden, there was this backpedaling.
Has there ever been an article that you have published that you regretted? Or had unintentional consequences.
Yeah. For sure.
I mean, the thing is with jokes is that you you kind of do have to step over a certain line because you do have to surprise people.
You know, if you’re only ever going to make jokes in the same kind of safe square, of, uh, of available content, and people are gonna just be just know what to expect.
And what makes a joke work is that you kind of do the unexpected.
Now at the same time, you know, we’re believers, and we don’t wanna cross certain lines, um, even for the sake of a joke, you know, we don’t wanna we don’t wanna make people think target of a joke is god or the Bible or or anything like that.
We wanna make fun of the misperceptions, uh, that we modern American Christians have about those things and the ways that we fail um, and our and sometimes our hypocrites with our faith, uh, with those things.
So we we make fun of those, but we try not to kind of cross that other line where your actual punch line the joke is Scott or the Bible.
Now in terms of joe uh, jokes that we’ve, you know, regretted or or felt bad about after, there’s definitely things that we look at later and we go, you know, we stand by that joke.
However, I’m not sure that the blowback, was worth the point we were trying to make.
Um, and sometimes if your joke is just a little too nasty or it’s a little too over that line, then you’re gonna end up kind of overshadowing your point, and the joke isn’t gonna land as well, uh, because you’ve kind of you you’ve kind of gone a a little too far.
What do you say to those who accuse the Babylon be of spreading misinformation?
People like the New York Times have accused us of that as well as uh
The fact checkers come out and say, misinformation. Yeah. That’s so annoying.
Joke that there We kinda joke that there is a that there is a red, uh, siren up on the wall at Facebook headquarters.
And whenever we publish an article, it starts blaring, you know, and they, uh, they try to suppress it.
Uh, yeah, I mean, it’s so crazy because left wing satire and secular satire has been out there for so long, um, and people have always mistaken satire for real life.
And there was never really this blowback from media and big tech and fact checkers.
And that’s only been since there is a fairly conservative Christian site like the Babylon bee that all of a sudden misinformation becomes a concern for them.
You know, people still think that Sarah Palin said that she could see Russia from her house uh, because there was a Saturday night live sketch that that said that.
Um, and you never you didn’t get the fact checkers super worried over the spread of misinformation for a joke.
Yeah. So it does feel like, uh, it does feel like they’re they’re they target us because of our political and religious views?
You know, we we could all just be straightforward and not try to be funny about anything.
Why do you believe that satire has such an important place in today’s culture.
Yeah. I think satire is super important because it does help us kind of question the, uh, assumptions that we have about society, our government, what’s important.
God, the way we do church, satire is a cutting tool.
You know, it helps us cut away the traditions and the man made things that kind of build up over and around our beliefs.
So whether that’s, you know, our our political beliefs or our religious beliefs, you know, there’s it’s so easy for us to take, uh, the way that we do church and kind of add that on the gospel and say that this is part and parcel of the good news.
And so for us to be able to kind of cut away those things and make people laugh about our specific religious traditions, and then we can, uh, that that helps us to be able to point people towards, uh, the gospel and things that are important.
So I I do think satire is very important for any society.
And once the comedians start getting threatened by cancel culture or censors, you’re in a really bad place as a culture, I think.
As a culture, we’ve become so super sensitive that it’s, uh, it’s a badge of honor to be a victim and to have your feelings hurt and and and that seems to work for people.
But at the end of the day, that’s a terrible strategy.
How can we have thicker skin if someone’s getting hurt and upset my my satire, my irony, uh, by sarcasm, uh, how can we have thicker skin and be healthier that way?
Yeah. I mean, I think definitely the first step is to be able to laugh at yourself.
And I think you do see this progression with the Babylon B where, you know, we did Our very first target was ourselves.
You know, we made fun of, uh, we made fun of Christian culture.
We made fun of little things that we would do in the home and church you know, and I think that that is key to just hold yourself lightly.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. You know, if you’re somebody who just constantly takes themselves seriously.
You’re gonna be a humorless person in life. You’re not gonna be able to laugh at yourself.
You’re not gonna be able to laugh at other kinds of jokes because you take yourself that way.
I do think there is something to progressive politics, um, that makes those people unable to laugh at themselves because you know, they don’t have the gospel.
Um, people that believe, uh, a humanistic worldview, they take themselves very seriously because to them, their politics are salvation.
You know, their politics are the way that we are going to save the world, And so to laugh at them is just like laughing at their religion.
Hey. Let me ask you this.
Someone once said that they that they found that that there’s maybe even sarcasm in the Bible.
Maybe maybe god in the writing of Holy Scripture has used a bit of satire or or sarcasm What do you think about 1st King’s 1827 that says, and at noon, Elijah mocked them saying cry aloud for, uh, he’s a god.
Either he’s uh, he’s musing or he’s relieving himself or he’s on a journey or perhaps he’s asleep and must be awakened.
What what do you think? Is that is that possible?
That’s a fantastic, uh, bit of satire there used by Elijah with the the profits of ball.
Yeah. The he says, you know, is your god, uh, over in the porta potty?
Um, you know, that’s just a wonderful that’s just a wonderful cutting uh, bit of satire.
And you notice, like, Elijah’s not, um, he’s he’s not engaging them in a debate.
You know, he’s not engaging them in apologetic debate 1 versus 1.
Let’s, uh, let’s figure out who the real god is. He just mocks them.
Um, and I think that’s that’s a great example.
Also, in the book of Isaiah, you know, it talks about the idle carver and how the idle carver goes out and carves a piece of wood.
And what if he act and he uses half of it for an idol as his god, and he uses half of it to burn for firewood.
You know, and he says, how does he know that he didn’t, um, make a mistake?
And he’s accidentally worshiping firewood and burning his god, you know, and and what a great what a great bit of humor, you know, that as Isaiah is delivering the word of the lord.
And you see that throughout script God has definitely given us, uh, humor as almost a prophetic gift in that it can really speak to us in a way that straight speech often can’t.

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