I received this card almost 10 years ago now. Inside was a very nice note from a member of our congregation. But the front cover… *shudder* I’ve kept it all this time as the gold standard in horrible Christian schlock art. Please, for the love of God (and I mean that absolutely literally), make it stop.
Let’s analyze this together, shall we?
(1) Is this a clown that has died, or an angel dressed as a clown? And then we must ask the follow up… WHY? Is not Heaven a place of radiant joy? What in the Sam Hill would Heaven need clowns for? Are there kid birthday parties in heaven? We live forever, so… the magic might wear off when we’ve been there ten thousand years. Further, I’m quite sure Mickey D’s (while serving up delicious burgers) is a sign of the fall of man, and there will be no need for them or their clowny mascots in the world beyond. And if this is a clown who has died… well that’s the creepiest ever. Nobody likes clowns anyway. We like dead clowns even less. Can I get an Amen?
(2) Jesus hair, or early ’80s feathered mullet? Either way, we lose. Unfortunately the artwork is too primitive to provide adequate detail, so we’ve gotta go with context clues. The scripture reference below suggests that this might be Jesus, presenting His sheep to be fed. But that is a whole new world of disturbing. Why then, the clown nose, wings, and Mickey Mouse gloves?
(3) The sheep in this picture seems to have recently stumbled upon some carelessly discarded Vicodin. Note the ever present look of happily surprised wonder.
(4) The scripture reference seems recklessly tied to this inexplicable picture on purpose, as though putting a sheep in the cartoon justifies use of the verse, which makes it “Christian…” If we connect the dots here, either this dead clown is Jesus (a view that my atheist friends buy, but that the Church obviously rejects) offering a sheep to us as a visual aid. Or, if WE are His sheep, maybe this verse has been written to an unidentified army of angel clown warriors, whose sole job in the heavenlies is to make sure we get enough to eat?
Ridiculous. Right? All of it. Whether you are a Christian or not, we can find common ground on this: This is BAD ART. And I propose that when the Christian sub-culture produces, endorses, tolerates, purchases, or passes along such horrible, tacky, thoughtless art, we are HURTING the cause of Jesus Christ. We are proving ourselves to be irrelevant. Thoughtless sheep, following the herd, willing to endorse anything with a “Christian” label on it. Yuck-o. Drives me crazy.
I’ve written about this before, and it generated quite a lengthy discussion. But I still believe that when it comes to art, the Church ought to offer our best. God has given His Body different gifts, and each ought to serve according to their gifting. And again, to be clear, that is not to say that someone WITHOUT an artistic gift has any less merit or worth in the Kingdom. I am not the church’s Administrator for good reason. I don’t have those gifts. We serve where we have been given gifts to do so.
That’s why I have kept this card for the last decade. So that some day it might do some good – as a clear example of what we MUST NOT do. Someone thought this up. Someone drew the artwork. A company mass-produced this. Someone else chose to buy it…
Please, for the love of God… make it stop.
“the christian clown angel sheep jesus card :: please, make it stop” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.