by Becca Griffin, evangelic admirer of Sarah Silverman.
What Sarah Silverman was teaching me about ministry:
I discovered Sarah Silverman/watched Jesus is Magic for the first time a year before I left the church that I was working in. I couldn’t get over the fact that, she, this brilliant comedian whom I grew to love made so much fun of religion. Not only did she make fun of it, she also did it intelligently and prophetically. Comedians are different than normal celebrities maybe because they write their stuff and perform it and so, I looked more into her and watched more of her work because the things she was saying revealed what she thought personally. During elections she had political videos. At one point she made one called “Sell the Vatican, Feed the World” where she says “you say we should live humbly and I totally agree” while giving hilarious/biting reasons/motivations to the pope and company for selling the Vatican. She’s a voice for so many who find the grandiose or expensive element of organized religion confusing/illegitimate. As some comedians are, she’s a prophet, pointing out things that we’ve become complacent with. I tend to empathize pretty well with people and felt a prophetic push from her and friends I have who have similar prophetic gifting (allergies to bullshit) and, therefore, began to feel even stronger about the things in organized religion that unnerved me and that the people outside of it prophesy against.
She “came into my life” around the same time that a friend who is a lesbian who used to be my youth intern moved back into my city. I talked with her and we reconciled issues from when she left (I felt hurt (even though she was the one hurt from being fired for being a lesbian) that she had hidden it from me and then left without contact for years when she meant so much to me). She talked about trying to go back to church and having experiences of feeling ostracized, being preached at while she was simply trying to go back to her roots in Christ, etc. I felt for her and was ashamed of the church and of working in the church.
She and Sarah Silverman taught me what those outside the church are experiencing and are noticing about those inside of it (inside of it…).
What Sarah Silverman is teaching me now:
Currently, I still look to Sarah Silverman to know what injustice is happening politically, what stupid things are going on, and why life is hard but still funny. I think she’s one of the most important comedians right now (with Louis C.K.). It’s almost like she’s this reminder, not letting the church off the hook for being proud, being overfed/extravagant, being ignorant, being closed-minded, or getting offended too easily (love is not easily offended).
What Sarah Silverman will be teaching me:
I think she’ll teach me the next injustice the church or government commits in the future. She’ll probably also teach me what a very non-traditional woman’s life looks like for a long time. She’ll teach me who else is funny because she plugs other funny comedians with good hearts (she plugged Louis C.K. in her biography well before he was as famous as he is now–he has a show called Louie that everyone should watch (who is of age, especially if you have kids i think)). She’ll teach me about other religions because she’s fair and doesn’t just make fun of Christianity.
Maybe she’ll see this article in the future with “Sarah Silverman”, Sarah Silverman, Sarah Silverman all in it and read it and make fun of it and teach me humility in the future, too. I am always thinking, “would Sarah Silverman make fun of this?” Not that her making fun means that I shouldn’t do something–she does make fun of Martin Luther King, Jr. after all…