8.7.13

An Open Letter to Christian Comics

A while back I wrote a piece for Relevant Magazine called "Why Aren't Christians Funny: On Evangelicalism's Long Struggle with Humor." The piece was a quick look at what I believe are some sociological reasons the Evangelical community struggles to produce much (and/or) good art in the humor genre.The piece generated some decent conversation and I ended up on co-blogger Jordan Green's podcast.


What I should have anticipated by didn't is that I'd end up having so many Christian comics hit my inbox to either 1) tell me why I am wrong and offer to kick my arse, but not before I clicked on the youtube link to their monologue; or 2) tell me why I am right and then ask me to click the youtube clip of their act. I just had another comic email me this week as a matter of fact.

I'd like to point out there are few things less funny than an angry comic. (Look at George Carlin toward the end of his career.The only thing different than him and a street preach was the ticket price of the venue.In his bitter old age, he just skipped the comedic set up and just screeded about societal ills.He was often right. He just stopped being funny.)

But I should also acknowledge there's some latent arrogance in any column that appears to dismissive of an entire genre. Seriously, how frustrating would be to invest your time and energy into an art form only to read an article that suggests you have no chance to producing good art?

Now that really wasn't the point of the article, but I how the comics could have come to that conclusion.

So to all the Christian comic and the comics who happen to be Christian: mea culpa. The point of the article was to look at Evangelicalism on a macro level and to suggest that our collective lack of humor points to a malaise in our spirituality. We might take ourselves too seriously and maybe have a bad case of defensiveness. I was looking at the aggregate and not the individual humorists.

So if you happen to be genuinely funny, fantastic. You've got the medicine we need.

Just stop emailing me. I'm not going to fight you, bro.


2 comments:

  1. Great piece Larry. And the in depth discussion on the Homebrewed podcast was excellent.

    As a Christian and someone who delves in comedy I've struggled with it's virtue a lot in my life. My biggest issue was spending time on something that appeared meaningless, especially since my stuff was basically void of any Christian message and often, if not always, wallowed in absurdity.

    Thankfully with the help of some friends, (namely Jordan and my wife), I came to see that we are given so much grace by God we are free to enjoy absurdity in life, and even wallow in it for a good time.

    Psalm 139:13: Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day.

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