Okay, this is sort of living down to my understanding that American conservatives (or particularly, the religious right that makes up an influential chunk of them lately) have no tolerance or capacity for humor, particularly when the joke is on their position. It starts to remind me of those Iranians who can't stand having a few cartoons about Mohammed out there anywhere, and have to resort to criminalizing humor (and images of people, period even) to toe their own line. But anyway...
The US, right? It's more or less
still a free country. I think (though there are some areas where I have my doubts)... So if you think mocking an idea itself, or mocking the notion of someone in effect demanding the right to proselytize to strangers (which many seem to do with such an opening, regardless of this specific case) is unacceptable, then you need to go find a still greater, more actual theocracy
than the historical advantages and biases of major religions in the US have managed to carve out . Considerable though the weight of those biases and conventions (and certain chunks of the South in particular pushing them rather hard) can be.
The analogy to telemarketers was raised. Well, telemarketers don't deserve to be the subject of jokes, either. It's an awful, stressful job - and when people shout at you or make fun of you, it's double stressful. So no, you shouldn't be making jokes of telemarketers, either...
Telemarketers? Actually, I did market research by telephone for some months and I encountered lots
of people upset at being called -- and these were mostly people who had dealt with the companies offering the surveys before (or their relatives), not totally unrelated parties! Plenty of them
made nasty remarks or simply hung up or tried to distract me into unrelated conversation or sometimes, picked fun at the survey process.
And you know what? I wasn't particularly offended. I just took it in stride as part of the job of dialing unfamiliar people at some random time in their life. If one was bitchy, I could just hang up right away and dial another one. (Think: Hmm, Mr. Mormon could easily walk away and find someone else to offer the news. Doesn't God want to give everyone
a chance. Or did your church give you a quota to bring into the congregation next Sunday, if the comparison is to a job? Well then, better hurry up and keep playing the numbers til you find someone amicable.)
There are plenty of fish in the sea, and a few like to answer surveys (maybe a few even like to talk about a new product, if you're only marketing). Quite a few don't. Big deal. I don't consider it a personal attack, and I've hung up on plenty of unwanted phone calls myself. It was one of the easier jobs I've done -- I sat there reading off a script to those people who wanted to answer it, and happily ignored the rest. So the assumption that a telemarketer has to be personally damaged by brusque or snide responses, totally does not hold water for me. Lots
of jobs (or lifestyles, or interest groups) can be stressful. That's no good reason why those who find humor to help reduce tension should have to give it up. "Hey, Secret Service, I know you've got things you want to get done too, but no pointing out it's ironic that the killer attacked Congress on a day when no one was in the office. He might get offended! How dare you?" What???