I had been frequenting Cracked for years, ever since I came across an article about why a zombie apocalypse would never happen. I was struck by how clever the writing was. I remember particularly how the author pointed that human beings are not only a zombie's only natural predator but also it's main food source and a necessary part of zombie reproduction. The author concluded that this is so absurd because it would be like a human being having to wrestle a lion every time he wanted to make love or have a sandwich!
I started exploring and found a lot of laughs. Sometime it was a bit raunchy, but I didn't mind. I also found done truly fascinating things like the Bolton Strid.
I even registered with them and tried to write a few articles. Their process was fairly rigorous and I was never quite able to write to their standards. One of the things they emphasized was backing up your points with facts. They did not want unsourced screeds because they understood, quite rightly, that humor has to be based in truth.
But it seems like they have forgotten that principle.
Over the last few months, I found myself laughing less and less by their work.
There were little things that bothered me. In one article someone wrote that the people at Chick-Fil-A are "fake Christians." I posted on their message board that this joke didn't make any sense. People are angry at them because they support Christian morality. You could make the point that because of the way they apply their beliefs they could be "bad Christians," but there is no way you could claim they are "fake Christians."
Then there was the article that continued to spread the falsehoods in John Boswell's book claiming that the Catholic Church used to have same sex marriages. I even wrote a New Evangelizers article on the subject. A friend of mine who is a history teacher, warned about how Cracked plays very fast and loose with facts in the name of "humor."
But it was the latest article in human sexuality that was the straw that broke this camel's back. As I wrote above, Cracked has a rigorous editorial process, so this is not an issue of a line bigoted writer. This article would have had to be read and approved by their staff. So it is clear they have no problem with its contents.
In the article, it attacked the idea of sexual sin. Again, all good humor has to follow some sense of truth or logic. This point had none. First of all, the author could not grasp the idea if context. He pointed out that sex can't be sinful because we need it to procreate. That's like saying shoplifting a candy bar can't be bad because we need to eat to live. Sex is good, says the Christian faith. But only in its proper context.
Speaking of context, he also pulls out the old chestnut about how don't follow most of the Old Testament laws, so we shouldn't follow any of them. It amazes me that people in the modern world think that the people who put the Bible together were ignorant if its contents. I could try to explain how the old law was a transitional law slowly preparing the people for the law written on our hearts in Christ, but I fear that would be pointless.
I think that it would also be pointless to address his assertion that there is no reason to believe in sexual sin other than the Bible says so. I suppose raising natural law and virtue ethics would draw blank stares. As someone who works with young people, I have too often seen the dehumanization that occurs as they trade pleasure and attention in place of love and respect. I see how the intoxication of it strips them of joy.
But then he makes the absolutely irrational leap to blaming religious teachings on sexuality for teen pregnancy and STDs. I read that point several times to try and figure out his point, but his illogic eluded me. I am reminded of how Pope Paul VI warned the world in Humanae Vitae that if the world ignored the Church's teaching on contraception, you would see an increase, not a decrease in the problems that this article blames in religion. Paul was right.
That Cracked published an article that opposed Church teaching is not the issue. The problem is that this publication has devolved into bigoted, close-minded rants against things that it does not like.
And that's not funny.