Policy holders have been treated to a series of strongly-worded announcements from Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) over the last few days. Alerts from the company which provides employee insurance solutions and risk minimization services for the Adventist Church typically focus on humdrum counsel about car maintenance; the perils of wrinkled church carpeting and the need for faithful weeding of pavement cracks in church parking lots. As of late, however, all messages have focused on the evils of "satirical material of any nature."
"The last few days my inbox has been filling up with 'URGENT' warnings to 'satire creators or consumers' said Todd Buchanan, Associate Pastor at Carmen Seventh-day Adventist Church in Marietta, Ga. ARM has said that due to an increasing backlash against satirists by extremists the world over, all insurance claims from satire creators or consumers, be they denominational employees or institutions, will be denied.
Chief ARM spokesperson, Frank Ennui, has confirmed that a massive overhaul of policy language for the entire range of ARM products is currently underway but that the gist of it is "follow Stephen Colbert's example and abandon satire." Policies changes will especially stress the need to abandon all forms of religious satire, especially when it touches on issues pertaining to Adventism.
"The North American Division spearheaded a very sensible effort aimed at elimination of satire and parody in the run-up to this summer's San Antonio General Conference Session," said Ennui. "We wholeheartedly support these efforts and will no longer insure persons or institutions that either create or are known to consume satire."
Ennui has encouraged church employees and leaders to scour their social media accounts to remove "Likes" or any form of sharing of satirical material. "This is serious, folks, the life of a church employee is no laughing matter," said Ennui. "To be on the safe side we should all embrace a completely literalist form of communication that allows for no symbolism or double entendres."
Asked if ARM's new war on satire might impinge on an historically-proven and biblically-prevalent form of truth-telling, Ennui remained unbowed. "Any wannabe satirists amongst us can go ahead and cancel their ARM policies right now," he said. "Feel free to tell the truth at your own risk."
Sevvy is a writer at the anonymously-authored humor and satire blog BarelyAdventist.com.
Image by the Adventist Caricaturist, who has taken ARM's advice to stop making satirical images at Caricatures of Adventists.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6556