(A rewrite of an old blog post from 2006 that is still relevent…)
“Thankfully, our Gods have a sense of humor.”
This is a phrase one hears regularly in our home. Francis and I will often find ourselves giggling uncontrolably in the middle of a fairly serious religious discussion. Or taking an amusing mundane conversation in a bizarre theological discussion – like reinterpreting the old Christian explicative “God’s Blood!” for polytheists: “Annwn’s Nipple Hair!* Horus’ Beak! By the Holy Pancreas of Aphrodite!” (We share an odd sense of humor, its one of the reasons we’ve been together so long. No one else will have us.)
Many share our belief that we humans should not take ourselves too seriously, but including the Gods in this practice makes most people uncomfortable.
So I’ve coined the term “Reverent Irreverence.” (I’ve since seen the term used by others, though in a different context, so I don’t know if “coined” is the right word here.)
I don’t know how Francis came by this approach to divinity, but in my family growing up, a gentle teasing was a way of showing affection. I love my mother, I have tremendous respect for her, and gratitude of giving me life and helping me become the woman I am. I will also tease her mercilessly when she does something silly. We never get mean, but we do remind each other of our more amusing imperfections. I guess it keeps us humble.
Of course, the Gods don’t need to be humble, at least where humans are concerned. They’re Gods, after all.
Still, this is one way that I show Them my affection for Them. I’ve always gotten the feeling They were in on the joke.
(Some Gods, anyway. Others, er, not so much. Odin, for example. While I do sense a sort of wry wit about Him, and I do have a deep love for Him, there’s no way I’m going to make the Allfather the subject of even the gentlest mocking. Nope. Wouldn’t be prudent.)
Anyway, it could be argued that there is precedent. Anyone who’s read Homer knows the story of Aphrodite’s affair with Ares and how Hephastus caught Them. A story, I assume, the Gods would prefer wasn’t widely told. Yet no one was smited.
To date, neither Francis nor I have been smited either.
*If I ever start a band, this will be it’s name.