Big-screen Television? SUV's? iPod's?
And the great issues of the age?
"But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds. "
Perhaps Jesus chuckled as he finished this saying. Perhaps not.
Would the Pope say something similar to Toles?
I don't know, and I wouldn't want to hazard a guess.
Jesus didn't laugh? He never made a joyful noise?
The Gospels don't say he didn't laugh, but neither is there a verse which says, "And the Son of Man laughed uproariously until his wine shot out of his nose" or some such.
There was an idea prevalent among some Catholic theologians in the Middle Ages (Umberto Eco mentions it in the Name of the Rose) that because the Bible never mentions Christ laughing, then laughter is a sin.
You can read about it here.
There's Luke 6:21-
6:21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Well, what does it say in Greek, and what does the Greek translation of the Aramaic say?
For that matter, what does William Tyndale say relative to King James?
And that still doesn't say that Christ laughed, by the way...
From my reading of the Gospels, incidentally, I'd say it's almost certain he did laugh, and he certainly employed humor. I'm not arguing this, I'm only pointing out that there were theologians who held laughter to be sinful. Since Toles doesn't really make people laugh, it was probably not a point worth making...
Perhaps we should have a good laugh at people who think that every possible detail of Christ's life and ministry can be inferred flawlessly from available texts.
The question of whether Toles wanted people to guffaw with pleasure, chortle with derision, or snort in contempt is kind of curious. And your point appeared to be that he didn't know anything about the Church's actual teachings, whether on laughter or anything else.
At any rate, the quote I pulled from the Gospels was one that I thought most relevant to the situation. That is, it points out how the purposes and motives of Christ were misunderstood and maligned by contemporaries.
Similar points can be made about the purposes and motives of Pope John Paul II. People like Toles either condemn him for being too archaic, or praise him for being modern. No one seems to notice that he didn't care whether he was archaic or modern; he measured himself by the standards of the Church.