Taking oneself far too seriously

Glenn says he caught some flack from Christians who emailed in their displeasure at slightly lighthearted announcement of the new Blogs4God site, updating his original post:
“Some people thought there was a hint of anti-Christian mockery in the item above, and one noted (angrily, and in all capital letters) that the site nowhere says it’s ‘definitive.’ “
This irked me, as I’ve had numerous interactions with Dean Peters, founder of the new site and author of HealYourChurchWebsite, a weblog devoted to — of all things — preaching the gospel of good web design to Christian bloggers and web designers.
Dean has always displayed great courtesy and a sense of humor, tightly coupled with a healthily strong aversion to taking himself too seriously. As a result, I’ve consistently enjoyed our interactions, despite the fact that we disagree dramatically with regards to religion, and I’m sure in many other areas as well.
So anyway, my first reaction was to dash off a comment to Glenn stating that I thought he let the compaliners off way too easily.
My second reaction was this: is the lack of a sense of humor — and in particular, a self-deprecating sense of humor — the defining characteristic of a fanatic?
My gut says “yes”. (And for the record, no, I’m not saying everyone or even anyone who wrote to Glenn is a fanatic; the incident simply spurred this line of thought in my mind).
I think if you lose the ability to laugh at yourself; to see the foolishness inherent in your own actions, you’ve sacrificed one of the major internal checks that nature (ok, or God) has equiped us with to ensure we don’t go completely insane.
Humor directed at ourselves — and at our beliefs — is one key way that we ensure that we don’t fall into the trap of believing we’re always right; of ensuring that we have those santity checks on our own behavior that keep us from just proceeding blithely along our way, safe and secure in the deep conviction that we are completely right. It’s the anti-hubris, so to speak.