Have you ever joked at someone and felt good about it? Or, have you ever joked at someone and felt bad about it? If you are the latter, this might be because your conscience was telling you that you are guilty of coarse jesting. In this blog post, we will be expounding on what is coarse jesting and how it can affect your soul.
Coarse jesting is the use of vulgar words and gestures for the sake of humor or to attract attention. It’s often used as a way of making others laugh, but it may also be used to insult someone or make fun of them. It is considered inappropriate in many situations as it can be hurtful and offensive.
Coarse jesting can include:
- Using lewd gestures
- Vulgar jokes (Green Jokes)
- Mockery or insults
For the most part, coarse jesting is not appropriate. It’s not right, good, proper, or nice. Coarse jesting is rude and impolite and should be avoided at all costs.
This definition can also include racist, sexist or homophobic jokes since these forms of humor are all generally frowned upon by most people in our society today (although there will always be some who think otherwise).
Coarse Jesting Example
Coarse jesting happens in any place at any time even on broadcast television. Here are some of the celebrities that went viral following their crude jesting act on national television, and you’ve undoubtedly heard them apologize.
Joan Rivers caught under fire when he uttered a vulgar joke that insults many Germans: “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens,” Rivers said.
Daniel Tosh was chastised for making a crude remark about women: “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now?”
This is an example of a misogynistic act of coarse jesting.
It was so subtle when Gilbert Gottfried commented about Japan’s tsunami/earthquake tragedy: “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach goes to them,” a mockery joked in the middle of the horrific tragedy in Japan.
Jesting vs Coarse Jesting
Before we proceed to the in-depth discussion, let’s differentiate first Jesting as compared to Coarse Jesting.
Jesting, or “jokes,” is a statement someone says to make light of difficult situations. They are often used to ease tension and create a more relaxed social environment.
Coarse jesting, on the other hand, is the practice of making jokes at the expense of others. It is a form of bullying which can be very damaging to those who are subject to it.
The Catholic Church is against Coarse Jesting
The Catholic Church teaches that coarse jesting is wrong because it is disrespectful, hurtful, and sinful.
The Magisterium has a history of opposing coarse jesting for it believes that such humor can lead people astray from their religious beliefs.
CCC 2468 “Truth as uprightness in human action and speech is called truthfulness, sincerity, or candor. Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and in guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy.”
Coarse jesting is a sin against truthfulness because it involves lies and falsehoods said with the intent to deceive others.
The act of joking about God or neighbor is a sin against charity because it rejects their dignity as fellow human beings made in God’s image.
A person who is truthful in his words and actions will show himself true in deeds, while guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy.
This means that a truthful person will be honest in what he says and does. This is because he knows that lies and deception can hurt others.
That said, the Church allows jokes that are humorous and do not involve making fun of someone.
What does the bible say about jesting?
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
“A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.”
“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.”
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
It teaches us that “coarse jesting” is abusive speech that is cruel, insulting, and demeaning.
Jesting has the same root word as a joke, so it should not surprise us that coarse jesting involves telling jokes and this is part of what makes it so dangerous in our culture today. The Bible warns us against making light of sin by making jokes about it.
Instead of joking about sin and using crude humor to make a point or even to help someone feel better about their circumstances, we need to be serious in our words.
“When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
This means that when we joke around with others, even if we think it might be funny, we should take into consideration how our words make other people feel.
There are no insults that do not wound the dignity of the human person. The Catholic Church teaches that every person has a God-given dignity that we must respect at all times. We should recognize that every person has dignity and value. Therefore, we must be sensitive to what others may feel if we throw words regardless if it is a joke or not.
“No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption.”
We hope that this article has provided some insight into coarse jesting, the Church’s teaching on it, and Christ’s call to us to always recognize every person’s dignity. We must learn to see in one another the dignity of being children of God and therefore brothers and sisters in His family. May we always remember that we are made in God’s image and likeness.