Why are Episcopalians so humorous?

One of the fun things about keeping a blog is access to the blog stats. This can also be a dangerous thing: early on I’d check the hit count almost obsessively, trying to figure out why a particular post was getting more hits, what I could do to boost the stats, etc. The stats, while helpful, are not worth obsessing.

I especially enjoy seeing search terms people have used to find the blog: “church and the single girl” is a popular one; so is “james k.a. smith” (whatup Calvin College!). During Lent there were several search terms about “failing” Lent or breaking Lenten fasts (including a couple about protein shakes). And then there are things like “episcopalians drink” (yup), “‘don’t like organs’ ‘worship’” (I’m guessing they didn’t find what they were looking for here), and, to my bewilderment, multiple instances of “books laptop and make up arranged on shelves” (what? how?).

Perhaps my favorite search term yet is this week’s “why are episcopalians so humorous” (if that was you searching, own up!). Yeah, why? Hahaha.

Are Episcopalians really any more humorous than anybody else? Probably not, though spending an evening with some friends from my parish might be enough to convince anyone otherwise. That was actually something that struck me about my church from the beginning—so much good-natured laughter. I like to describe it as a community of “grace and humor”—and it is. Really, though, I know a lot of funny people who aren’t Episcopalians (or Christians). Maybe I’m just blessed to know many humorous people.

This could be read negatively, too. Say it in an exasperated voice: Ugh. “Why are Episcopalians So. Humorous.?” That people group is just so laughable. Look at them with their smells and bells and social liberalism. Sheesh.

Really, though, why shouldn’t we be humorous? There is much to be joyful in, to delight in. Being quick to laugh doesn’t make someone silly or unserious. I turn to one of my favorite Episcopalians, Madeleine L’Engle, who in A Circle of Quiet writes about laughter/lightheartedness as actually being a condition of an appropriate seriousness. She writes:

Paradox again: to take ourselves seriously enough to take ourselves lightly. If every hair of my head is counted, then in the very scheme of the cosmos I matter; I am created by a power who cares about the sparrow, and the rabbit in the snare, and the people on the crowded streets; who calls the stars by name. And you. And me.

So why are Episcopalians so humorous? Maybe it’s because we’re learning to take ourselves seriously enough to take ourselves lightly. (Maybe it’s because “Episcopalians drink.” Ha.) I’d ponder some more, but I’m going to go read some Episcopal jokes.


Do you know why Episcopalians are so humorous? Do you take yourself seriously enough to take yourself lightly?


7 thoughts on “Why are Episcopalians so humorous?

  1. “A cheerful heart is good medicine” The word episcopal (like epistle) strikes me as funny, just the sound of it. Being humorous is wonderfully human, down to earth (humus), humble.

  2. I appreciate your good theological reasons, but I think it’s simpler than that. Episcopalians have a good sense of humor because they drink. Scottish Presbyterians are funny, too, for the same reason.

    • I did note that “why are episcopalians so humorous” and “episcopalians drink” were used to find my blog in the same week, possibly the same day. Correlation? 😉

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