“I’ve never felt so alive!” from ReverendFun.com [updated]

There’s a whole homily in this one panel cartoon.  If you don’t get it right away, check out the related Gospel passage (Matthew 8:28-34 is clearer than the verses indicated under the cartoon).  If you still don’t get it, put a comment on this blog post and I’ll explain…  There an immediate funny interpretation, but if you read more into it,  there’s more. [Note: see my fuller interpretation in my comment below.]

“Reverend Fun” sometimes really gets it right!


About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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8 Responses to “I’ve never felt so alive!” from ReverendFun.com [updated]

  1. CMSmith says:

    Okay, I’m going to need a little help. My initial thought was of the irony that the pig feels at the peak of his or her aliveness right before the moment of death. Sometimes true for us too.

    I read the passage.

    Or does it have more to do with the pig being possessed by the demon?

    I’m not very good at jokes sometimes.

  2. A Reader says:

    I don’t get it at all….and, that Bible passage is scary. Very scary.

  3. Biltrix says:

    I didn’t get it because I can’t see the picture.

  4. OK, here’s my take on it.
    First of all, you have this pig who is falling off a cliff, and discovers that she has the soul of a sky diver, or a base jumper (those people who leap off tall buildings or cliffs and wait until the last possible moment to open their parachute). People who do that say it gives them an incredible thrill and intense sense of being alive. So, this poor pig has discovered what she really enjoys in life (i.e. the sensation of free falling), has really become aware of her own vitality, and has forgotten that she is about to hit the water.
    Now, here’s how I see a homily in this. The Gospel passage says that the pigs are happily grazing (or whatever pigs do) on the hillside, more or less obedient to their swineherds, until they are possessed by the devil. Then, they abandon the safety of their caretakers and plunge off the steep hillside and drown. The cartoonist imagines what the pigs might have felt in those moments between running free and drowning: freedom! No more swineherds telling them what to do! They have discovered their freedom and independence and are finally enjoying life, following their own feelings and instincts, ignoring or defying those who try to impose rules on them! Of course, this is leading to their imminent demise, but they are blissfully unaware of that.
    All to often this is what happens when people reject God and His laws. They might have a feeling of freedom and independence, but without divine guidance in the various ways it comes to us (through reason which discovers meaning and order in nature, through the Scriptures, through the guidance of pastors, etc.), they often end up running themselves off the cliff of hedonism, pride, etc., which leads to their spiritual – and sometimes material – destruction.
    At times, it seems like this is what we are doing as a nation. We have embraced moral relativism and rejected any objective standard of behavior beyond the consensus of public sentiment (often manipulated by the media) or the ideology of whatever interest groups happen to have the power to influence legislation and the judiciary. This means we have largely rejected the guidance of divine revelation and even, in many cases, right reason. The more we give in to our base impulses and irrational emotional tendencies, the more we become like the possessed herd that races towards destruction, all the while rejoicing in our freedom and our absolute right to determine the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.
    If we don’t want to be like this cute little piggy who is happily plunging towards a murky death in the water, we need to turn to objective moral truths to guide us, both from a sound rational approach to reality (rooted in a solid philosophical realism with metaphysical foundations) and from the revealed truths taught in the Scripture and Tradition and explained in the Magisterium of the Church.

    That’s oversimplifying things a little, but I think you get what I mean. The cartoon has an initial irony and incongruity that made me smile, but it also can be read as a commentary on the situation of modern post-Christian, morally relativistic society.

  5. A Reader says:

    That is really great analysis of the picture. I’m glad you shared it. It is true. Seems like the great majority live by impulse instead of intellect and it debases mankind.

    The part of the Bible passage I found scary was the demons. They asked to be put in the swine. So, the swine did not really voluntarily “abandon the safety of their caretakers and plunge off the steep hillside and drown”. They were just innocently grazing and then suddenly forced by demons off the cliff. It involved demonic possession.

    I have never really understood why God allows demonic possession in innocent people – like children – who cannot possibly comprehend the magnitude of say a wheegy board or whatever. (The movie The Exorcist was so scary because it was based on a true story involving a young boy.)

    Alternatively, as you say, sometimes people chase and partake of hedonistic things they think will make them happy….and probably do make them happy for a time…food, drink, wine, women, drugs, money, fame…they often spend all their time, talent and treasure in pursuit of these things. They are their “gods”, and they become enslaved to them. The demons. It is horrible to witness the destruction. Instead of life it brings death and devastation.

    And, so the culture war rages on…as it has for thousands of years…good vs. evil.

    I think Christians today need to just live good and happy lives and give reasons for their joy – when asked – People are drawn to happy, upbeat people. 🙂

  6. Exhimmine says:

    Hello! Just want to say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.

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