I’m a smart ass. That isn’t just my assessment; its what a fellow at church told me this morning after I delivered my sermon.
Out of curiosity I looked up “smart ass” on urbandictionary.com: A smart ass is “someone who is sarcastic, in a cutting yet witty manner. A person capable of making a remark that could be interpreted as an insult or a joke depending on the sensitivity of the listener and the specific situation. A smart ass is not necessarily a bad person just usually perceptive.”
I am not necessarily a bad person. I could be a bad person, but not necessarily so. That’s nice. But what I really like about being a smart ass is that people don’t know if I am insulting them or kidding them. My friend Bob says that’s how I get away with saying wildly outrageous things about religion to audiences of religious people.
This doesn’t always work. Once during a lecture at Occidental College I made the campus Catholic Priest so angry with comments I made about biblical humor (he said there was no such thing) that he refused to shake my hand or stand next to me in the receiving line.
Anyway, I seek to elevate smart–assery to a fine art, and use it pull the curtain back on the Great and Terrible Oz of Religion in order to free my listeners from the clutches of theological correctness. Another name for this is “holy rascal.” It has become my life’s work. And, since I don’t know if I’m kidding myself or insulting myself at this moment, so I must be really good at it.