Why Christians Aren’t Funny (Homebrewed CultureCast)

A couple weeks ago, Relevant Magazine published an essay on Christianity’s tenuous relationship with humor titled Why Christians Aren’t Funny. Christian and Jordan consider themselves moderately funny and definitely students of comedy, so they invited the article’s author, Larry Shallenberger, on to discuss the topic of Christians and their weak-ass senses of humor. Larry is a pastor and writer from Eerie, Pennsylvania, and long-time member Burnside Writers Collective. They discuss the cultural implications of not being funny, why Christians aren’t historically linked with comedy (it’s probably because of Northern European roots), and the value of humor in spirituality.

Later, Christian and Jordan discuss the Oscar nominations and make a few picks. Then they discuss a local news story in which someone covered up the “ST” on a stop sign with “PO”, and talk to an artist in Boulder who sells poop signs online. Unfortunately, that interview wasn’t entirely recorded.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE

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About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • katz

    Christian, dude, I wish you wouldn’t constantly drag everything back to gender essentialism. C’mon, dude, you’re better than this.

    • Guest

      Umm, what?

    • http://www.facebook.com/christiandpiatt Christian Piatt

      There is very little fixed about gender identity save for the genitals you’re born with (and some folks even modify that!). Not sure what you’re getting at. Keep in mind sometimes our discussions about gender roles is humor, tongue in cheek.

      • katz

        You seriously brought up the “women aren’t funny because men need to be funny to get into women’s pants while women just have to be pretty” thing.

        • http://www.facebook.com/christiandpiatt Christian Piatt

          Actually that was jordan dude.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jordanrgreen Jordan Green

          I wouldn’t call it “gender essentialism”. I would say, culturally, there are historical differences in what men are attracted to in women and what women are attracted to in men. There are, as in everything on earth, exceptions, but I don’t think it’s crazy to infer women are less inclined to factor physical looks into attraction than men. Just saying it’s “gender essentialism” doesn’t make it any less true, though I’m definitely up for hearing opposing viewpoints.

        • j_anson

          If men’s humorous abilities were driven by getting into women’s pants, they’d make a lot fewer jokes about getting into women’s pants.

  • j_anson

    It was once pointed out to me that many (most? all?) non-pun-based jokes are fundamentally rooted in some element of suffering or discomfort (pun-based jokes, of course, are designed to CAUSE suffering). While I don’t know that I want to defend that as an unbreakable rule, it’s certainly true of a lot of jokes. And though I think many Christians definitely are capable of being funny and enjoying humor, I can see how deriving entertainment from suffering or discomfort would sit awkwardly for many people while they are trying to cultivate a spirit of love, empathy, and tolerance. (Obviously there are also just plenty of Christians who are zealots, and zealotry doesn’t mix will with humor either.)

  • Lisa

    Funny thing is – Jesus was *really funny* at times. that plank in the eye bit is hilarious!


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