If There is Gallows Humor, Can There Be Crucifixion Humor?

If There is Gallows Humor, Can There Be Crucifixion Humor? April 6, 2012

I came across this cartoon at The Far Left Side:

I am (as most readers know) open to attempts at humor that verge into territory that some might find irreverent. But this one simply didn’t seem all that funny to me.  Silly, yes, but not really funny.

As I reflected on why that might be, it struck me that perhaps I only appreciate humor that I think makes a useful point about Good Friday, or the historical Jesus, or Christian views of the atonement, even if making them through irreverent parody and satire. And so here are a few that I thought were funny, and made some sort of useful point in the process (including one that I’ve shared before).


Which, if any, do you find funny? What point, if any, do you take away from them? Or is this a topic about which you consider it inappropriate to make attempts at humor – and if so, why?


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  • connexions

    I laughed out loud at that first cartoon. But then, it reminds me of the time I sat despairing in a Good Friday service as the preacher suggested – in all seriousness – that Jesus probably distracted himself from the pain of his crucifixion by admiring  the timber to which he was nailed. You couldn’t make it up.

  • I’ll admit, I found the first one hilarious–but I also have training in woodworking, and a tendency to critique joinery at inappropriate times. 

  • Ken Brown

    I thought the second one was great, but I’m afraid I didn’t really laugh at any of them.

  • Joepiecuch

    i found them all mildly amusing, at best; i don’t see anything as sacrosanct, but…it’s gotta be funny to be funny.

    i arrived here after taking note of you as one of the few sane and intelligent commenters saying relevant things in response to the bart ehrman/’did jesus exist’ post at WEIT. i suspect i don’t share with you much in the way of belief, but i’m more interested in listening to rational people with whom i disagree than crackpots whose thinking overlaps to some degree with mine.    

  • lightseeker

    I thought the first one was funny, but not a gut buster. The third just fell flat, not funny at all. But the second, though not a funny, hit home: most of us have no clue what true excruciating pain is…

  • Guest

    I thought the first one was funny – a bit left field (rather makes me think of Dibber criticizing the natives in “The Mysterious Planet” for wasting wood).  The last one was okay.  The middle two had more meaning, but were just “blah” to me – boring.

  • jjramsey

    I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned the crucifixion victims’ musical number at the end of Life of Brian. Ok, it’s not about the crucifixion, but it’s still dark humor (very dark!) about that ancient torture and execution method.