Friday, September 24, 2010

Christian Cheese: Five reasons why Clown Ministry is a terrible idea

In a relentless effort to find a silver lining in the dark cloud that passes (in some aging circles) for "relevance", we here at Southern-fried Catholicism hang our heads low and , once again, highlight some ridiculously low points in Christian art, architecture and culture. We hope you enjoy these forehead smackingly sad examples of Christians trying their darndest to be "with it."

Today, we present to you Five Reasons Why Clown Ministry to Adults is a Terrible Idea.

I have to start this post with a loud groan. Ya see, I'm a little biased because I, like a lot of people, don't really like clowns. That being said, you should probably dismiss all that follows as a very biased and cranky personal diatribe, because that's largely what it is. I'm not scared of clowns, I just have a severe dislike for them. I mean, what's to like? They wear ill-fitting clothes, get a kick out of annoying people and constantly invade personal space. Sorry, but when I see a clown, I don't think about holy things. Instead, my mind is flooded with thoughts of Pennywise, John Wayne Gacy and I.C.P. No thanks. They all give me the creeps. So, while the subject of "Christian clowning" is ripe for many a joke, I'll try to keep this rather short and sweet, assuming most anyone who reads this who wears normal-sized shoes agrees with me on this one.

Who's bright idea was it to mix clowns with church in the first place? When did we, as a culture reach that precipice? I mean, really?!? As if we don't have a hard enough time convincing the world that Jesus Christ is Lord, you think it helps our case to slap on a big purple wig? (no offense, Jan Crouch). Clowns are meant for circuses, nightmares and Steven King books. I might even buy the argument that there's a place for them in ministry to children. But they're not for big people church. Here are the top five reasons why:

5. Christian clown puppets are creepy: A conflation of last week's Christian Cheese topic (church puppets) and this week's - this video manages to take the worst of both and mix them into a wonderfully horrible mishmash of clown-inspired puppetry. Yay! Sorry, but encouraging kids to approach random clown puppets on city stoops ain't exactly the direction we should be moving. Having these people watched It?!? Sidenote- this puppet sounds suspiciously like Rosie O'Donnell and it's horrible. Coincidence?

4. Catholic clowns ruin things like pilgrimages - annually: Imagine you're a poor and faithful Catholic in Mexico who has scrimped and saved for years to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Finally, the day has come. As you devoutly approach the shrine to pray before the miraculous tilma of Juan Diego, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by... clowns. Irreverent, loud,  obnoxious clowns! Everywhere! This happens each July. and it's horrible. Thanks alot, clowns.

3. Clowns make it impossible to take worship seriously: There's a time and a place for "praise and worship" music. But if your praise band is a bunch of clowns, how do you worship with a straight face? Really?

2. Clowns are annoying: What's the message that Farmer Brown is trying to impart here? That Jesus loves us or that this clown has a high-pitched response to everything? I guess it was the former 'cause I can only remember the clown, darn it.

1. Clowns scare the heck out of senior citizens: I'm pretty sure this counts as nursing home abuse in some states. Watch this video at the 0:31 mark. Again and again. And imagine that was your sweet grandmother sitting in that wheelchair, minding her own business, and suddenly, out of nowhere, clowns begin jumping out from behind the columns. Christian clowns! Scariest... thing.... ever.